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LibrAdventures - LibrAdventures

Grades
4 to 12
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LibrAdventures is a map-based exploration of literature, authors, artists, and film makers (powered by Google). Choosing an author, a genre, a literary timeframe, or a location allows...more
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LibrAdventures is a map-based exploration of literature, authors, artists, and film makers (powered by Google). Choosing an author, a genre, a literary timeframe, or a location allows you to view, using either map view or satellite view, the physical location in which the author created some of his or her famous literary works. The beauty of LibrAdventures is the combination of being able to see, either on the map or using a panoramic view, the place where great literary figures lived and did their work. There are some classic children's authors included. Many of the views also offer 360-degree panoramic views. Each collection (called an "adventure" on the site) provides narrative describing the connections between the place and the author's work, links to further information, and other explanatory material such as a film clip or other media.

tag(s): art history (52), artists (57), authors (94), literature (214)

In the Classroom

Visual learners, or those who find it difficult to make a connection with an artist or author from the past, may find that walking the streets near the author's house, or seeing the view he or she may have seen from the window, helps bring the author and that work alive. The ability to use a more interactive interface to learn more about an author will also appeal to those more accustomed to digital media and hyperlinks in order to associate concepts with a visual representation. The interactive maps can be used on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to accompany an introduction to the life of a particular author before tackling his or her work. As they read or view works by the writer or artist, have students look for descriptive passages in the works that seem to describe what they "see" or experience on the related "adventure" on this site.

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Writing Across the Curriculum - creative-writing-ideas-and-activities.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Do you need fresh ideas and tips for writing across the curriculum? This site should give you lots of inspiration and step-by-step suggestions to get going. Read about the benefits...more
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Do you need fresh ideas and tips for writing across the curriculum? This site should give you lots of inspiration and step-by-step suggestions to get going. Read about the benefits of cross-curricular writing. Get started with the RAFTS prompts information. RAFTS prompts provide students with focus and clarity in writing projects and encourage creativity and freedom of thought. Be sure to check out these thoughtful ideas as you gear up your writing instruction.

tag(s): creative writing (134), descriptive writing (28), expository writing (31), letter writing (17), paragraph writing (10), persuasive writing (42), process writing (33), writers workshop (19)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this site as a starting point for any writing projects. Share this site with other teachers as a professional development activity. Incorporate suggestions from this site into your Writing Workshop. Have students use Page Flip-Flap (reviewed here) to turn their Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book. There is even a page-turning effect! Have students create blogs using Instablogg ( here). This tool allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL to your blog allows you to share it easily.

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Learningpod - Learningpod, Inc

Grades
2 to 12
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Learningpod offers a large database of free practice test questions. Find free Common Core aligned question sets in English Language Arts and Math for grades 2-8. There are practice...more
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Learningpod offers a large database of free practice test questions. Find free Common Core aligned question sets in English Language Arts and Math for grades 2-8. There are practice sets for standardized tests. Search the database of over 49,000 practice questions. Questions are in "pods" containing 2-12 questions on each of the individual topics. Use your email to create a free account. Assign and share with students by embed code, link, or print in PDF format. Answer keys and explanations are easy to access. Keep track of progress through your account, and view summaries of your results on each pod. View comparisons to how other members fared with the same content.

tag(s): advanced placement (16), test prep (83)

In the Classroom

Introduce this tool to students on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Lower elementary students will need help reading the directions on the site, so do a few together. Share pods for student practice on your class website or blog. Create a link to practice pods on classroom computers. Encourage students or parents to create their own Learningpod account to practice and review content at home. Share this site with parents (on your class wiki or website) as an excellent resource for test preparation.

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Educators New to Twitter - Kyle Calderwod

Grades
K to 12
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Learn what you need to do and know to start using Twitter. Sign up to get a Twitter mentor or BE a mentor! Find out what to do before creating ...more
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Learn what you need to do and know to start using Twitter. Sign up to get a Twitter mentor or BE a mentor! Find out what to do before creating a Twitter account, get advice about whom to follow, explore programs to use to help you manage your Twitter account, and read how to keep track of everything. Learn about all the terms needed to be successful using Twitter as a teacher. This site is clean, simple, and very helpful!

tag(s): chat (38), microblogging (37), social networking (103), twitter (47)

In the Classroom

After creating an account, look at the page for what else you can start doing. Find other educators to follow on the Before You Begin page, and also look at participating in a Twitter Chat. Find a list of chats to join, and the day and time they meet at the Twitter Chat Schedule. As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account for your class to follow people who work in fields and topics you study. Even primary grades can connect with other classes or "follow" many learning experiences via Twitter. Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

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Calameo - Jean-Olivier de Berard and Mathieu Quisefit

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish, share, and browse interactive web publications with Calameo. Sign up for an account using your email or Facebook account. Upload documents in most common formats such as Microsoft...more
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Publish, share, and browse interactive web publications with Calameo. Sign up for an account using your email or Facebook account. Upload documents in most common formats such as Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF, and OpenOffice. Use the link editor to add YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, and SoundCloud content to your magazine. Share completed publications through a unique URL or embed directly into your website or blog. Calameo is available in many languages. Be sure to check Calameo's help links to find full features and suggestions for use. Use caution when allowing students to explore this site on their own, as some content may not be appropriate for the classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (134), digital storytelling (84)

In the Classroom

Use this site to engage students in Writing for Digital Publication, an important part of the Common Core. In social studies or government class have individual students or small groups design magazines for the candidate of their choice. Remember those travel brochures your world language students used to make with glue sticks and scissors? Try this online tool instead. World language students can also create an interactive magazine telling a story in their new language. In science class students can design a booklet to explain cells, life cycles, or any science topic. Instead of a book report, try a digital magazine. Do an author study via a digital magazine. Create a poetry magazine. Have your ESL/ELL students create a bilingual magazine in English AND their native language. Create digital magazines for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats. Create an ongoing Calameo magazine of class activities.

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Tell Me a Story - Amy Friedman

Grades
1 to 5
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Read timeless folktales from around the world accompanied by beautiful drawings. Categories include Women of Wonder, Animal Magic, and Tell Me a Story. Find several well-known folktales...more
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Read timeless folktales from around the world accompanied by beautiful drawings. Categories include Women of Wonder, Animal Magic, and Tell Me a Story. Find several well-known folktales from around the world in each category. There are teachers' guides for many of the stories.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): folktales (59), readers theater (10)

In the Classroom

In younger grades, read the story to your class during shared reading. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector and discuss the elements of one of the folktales. Next, have small groups of students identify the elements of folktales in the other stories. Have students create an audio podcast of a folktale using a site such as Spreaker, reviewed here. Since there is only one illustration for each story, have students create their own visual presentation to accompany the podcast. Meet Common Core standards by changing the subject matter into prose, poetry, or a script. Readers' Theater material is at your fingertips! Compare and contrast the differences between types of writing. Put a modern twist on the folktales and bring them into modern times, while keeping the same theme.

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Preso.tv - preso.tv

Grades
4 to 12
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Present your PowerPoint, PDFs, and Word Documents on desktop, mobile, or projector screens in real time anywhere in the world using Preso.tv. Drag and drop your file from your computer...more
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Present your PowerPoint, PDFs, and Word Documents on desktop, mobile, or projector screens in real time anywhere in the world using Preso.tv. Drag and drop your file from your computer or upload by browsing your computer files. Once processed, choose to start your presentation immediately or schedule for a later date. Share the custom url with your viewers and begin your presentation when ready! They can watch from anywhere. Options within the program allow you to highlight areas of the slide and zoom in and out to feature desired areas. Additional features provide statistics on the number of viewers and length of presentation. Click on the three bars at the top right of the screen to restart, stop, share the link, add your keyboard, or even begin a Google Hangout! Note that you need some sort of audio connection for your viewers to hear you. A Google hangout or Skype could work for that...or a call!

tag(s): slides (55)

In the Classroom

Preso.tv is perfect for BYOD classrooms. Share a link to any presentation and have students follow along on individual devices as you talk and they discuss. Everyone can see with no need for a projector. Have students use this site when presenting their own multimedia presentations. Help a homebound student by sharing presentations via Preso.tv. Use this site as a great resource for a snow day away from school. Use the scheduling feature for students to view presentations when away from school. Always be sure to share the exact time and URL!

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Small PDF - smallpdf.com

Grades
K to 12
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Small PDF offers many tools for creating and working with PDF files. Choose links to reduce the size of any PDF document, convert JPG to PDF or PDF to JPG, ...more
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Small PDF offers many tools for creating and working with PDF files. Choose links to reduce the size of any PDF document, convert JPG to PDF or PDF to JPG, merge PDF files, and much more! After choosing the option to use, follow the simple directions for uploading files. Be sure to download and save. All conversions use temporary online storage and disappear from servers within an hour.

tag(s): worksheets (40)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save Small PDF for use throughout the year. Upload Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files to convert into PDF documents. Use Small PDF to split large PDF documents into smaller, manageable portions. Have students use Page Flip-Flap (reviewed here) to turn their finished PDFs into an online book. Page Flip-Flap even has a page-turning effect!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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21 Bad Ways to Start Your School Year - Jill Hare

Grades
K to 12
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Everyone wants to start a new school year on the right foot. Be sure to avoid these behaviors that might get you in hot water with your students and colleagues. ...more
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Everyone wants to start a new school year on the right foot. Be sure to avoid these behaviors that might get you in hot water with your students and colleagues. This quick slide show reminds us to put down social media in the classroom, dress appropriately, and to get to know students before dumping big assignments on them. Although the information is common knowledge, the information has relevant reminders for both new and returning teachers. Most topics also include a related article link to find more information.
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tag(s): back to school (36), newbies (18), professional development (69)

In the Classroom

Share this slide show with student teachers as a reminder on appropriate professional behavior. Use the slide show as a tongue in cheek reminder to senior staff members when preparing for back to school. Instead of presenting 21 bad ways to start the school year, turn this slide show around with 21 good ways to start the school year. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here) to create your presentation. You may want to view this yourself for some friendly reminders. Why not challenge you students to create their own "21 Ways to start the year off right"?

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101 Things You Can Do in the First Three Weeks of Class - Joyce Povlacs Lunde

Grades
K to 12
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The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time ...more
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The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time to change the mood of your classroom! This list provides many suggestions for getting off to a great start. Although created for college teachers, most content is appropriate for all grade levels. Scroll through each section to find ideas for transitioning to a new grade level, keeping students' attention, providing support, building community, and much more. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla" it is packed full of wonderful "sprinkles" to start your year off great!

tag(s): back to school (36), newbies (18), professional development (69)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this site during back to school staff meetings to motivate teachers as they begin a new year. Share it with your student teacher before he.she gets started. Challenge yourself and other department members to check off as many items on the list as you can. Keep this list up on your computer as a reminder through the day. Revisit this site each year as a reminder of starting each school year on the right foot! Why not bookmark this site (or save in your favorites), so it is easy to find each year.

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ClassMind - ClassMind

Grades
7 to 12
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Receive instant feedback from an audience or class using any mobile device or web browser and this response tool. Features include automatic grading (even open-ended questions) and...more
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Receive instant feedback from an audience or class using any mobile device or web browser and this response tool. Features include automatic grading (even open-ended questions) and taking attendance. The keyword function helps with live discussions or for easy grading. Search what others have created and reuse their content. ClassMind supports several world languages. Questions can be multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, or open-ended. Click on the arrow next to your name to find a guide for using the tool. Click "How can we help?" at the bottom right to address a specific problem.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (63), classroom management (78), DAT device agnostic tool (69), polls and surveys (39)

In the Classroom

Sign up for an account and create courses and sections. Create questions for students to answer. To register students, use an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to walk students through the sign up information (email address, select their role [student], agree to the terms) and select your course and section. Use this tool, to survey students about their thoughts about issues they may not feel comfortable answering out loud. Create and save "ready to go" quick quizzes on any topic. Start class with quick questions to pre-assess what students know. Give the questions again at the end of the class (or the beginning of the next one) to see what students learned and what you need to re-teach. ClassMind gives analytics for how a student is performing and improving. Know which students or if the entire class needs a review. When students are preparing for speeches or presentations, suggest they use this tool to hold their audience's interest. There is a section where teachers can give students permission to create questions, quizzes, and surveys.

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Start.me - Arjen Robijn

Grades
K to 12
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Create a customized start page including your favorite websites, RSS feeds, and social networking sites with Start.me. Choose from over 20 widgets such as bookmarks, weather, calculators,...more
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Create a customized start page including your favorite websites, RSS feeds, and social networking sites with Start.me. Choose from over 20 widgets such as bookmarks, weather, calculators, or currency converters to personalize content. Drag and drop widgets to any area on your screen. Change backgrounds using images provided or one you upload, or personalize using other options under settings. All saved information is cloud-based, so it is available from any device where you log into your account. Create multiple pages for different needs such as work, home, hobbies, etc. Add the bookmarklet to your browser to add items easily to your start page at any time. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, view the intro video at home to learn more!

tag(s): bookmarks (59)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom Start.me with frequently used websites and resources for classroom computers. Add pages for specific subjects or topics such as math and science, or for curriculum topics like explorers. If you work with students in several different grade levels or subjects, Start.me is the perfect organization tool for your online resources. Share login information with students for access at home and school. Students working on a group project could put the resources they find on Start.me so everyone in the group can access them. Encourage your gifted students to use this tool to curate and collect resources for extensions of the curriculum beyond the classroom, such as articles and connections with real world applications of science or resources about current events. World language teachers can collect a home page filled with cultural sites and publications in the new language so students can immerse themselves.

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BBC iWonder - BBC

Grades
5 to 12
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See fascinating questions answered via videos and other media. Find questions in several categories about History, Science, Religion & Ethics, WebWise, Nature, Arts, Food, and Consumer....more
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See fascinating questions answered via videos and other media. Find questions in several categories about History, Science, Religion & Ethics, WebWise, Nature, Arts, Food, and Consumer. Of special interest is the History of World War I. Find videos and slideshows on topics like medicine and trench warfare during the war. There is a comprehensive, interactive section. Find just about anything you want to know about World War I in this iWonder section. Explore all of the diverse topics to learn deeply.

tag(s): consumers (18), earth (208), ethics (17), human body (88), inquiry (33), news (168), nutrition (136), religions (49), reptiles (10), robotics (18), space (170), water (109), world war 1 (38)

In the Classroom

Use iWonder to help build students' background knowledge or spark interest in many topics. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Put a bookmark for this site on class computers for students to investigate at a learning station or when they finish other work early. If teaching World War I, use the interactives in that section as student learning stations, but be sure to load them ahead of time since the buffering process takes some time. An alternative is to assign the interactives for students to complete at home and discuss the next day in class (a flipped classroom idea). Teachers of gifted can offer iWonder explorations to inspire individual projects from middle elementary and up.

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Dropr - dropr.com

Grades
K to 12
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or...more
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Easily "drop" and create portfolios including images, video, text, and interactive artwork using Dropr. Your portfolio will look great on ANY device! Create an account using email or using your Facebook, Google, or Twitter login. Follow prompts to connect your Dropr account to several social networking options. Follow instructions to personalize your page using files from your computer or connected social networking sites. When finished, easily share your portfolio with the link, embed code, or share buttons.

tag(s): careers (109), portfolios (22)

In the Classroom

Have teens and older students upload work throughout the year to create their own "me-portfolios." Create portfolios (with permission) to share younger students' work with parents and students during conferences. Use this tool to show finished projects or to show changes in a project from start to finish. Make a work prototype site and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. Create a link to this tool on your class website for students to share projects and information. (Get parent permission before posting students' work!) Have students take ownership of their own portfolios to show progress and products across several years. Have older students build portfolios to share as part of career and college preparation. Art teachers will want to share this as a portfolio option for their students.

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Reel Surfer - ReelSurfer.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find, clip, and share portions of online videos using Reel Surfer. Note that this site relies on ONLINE videos, so you may not be able to use it if your ...more
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Find, clip, and share portions of online videos using Reel Surfer. Note that this site relies on ONLINE videos, so you may not be able to use it if your school blocks services such as YouTube. Enter a keyword to search or an actual video URL to begin. Drag the stop and start markers to set the video length. Share with friends via Facebook Twitter, email, and more! No video clipping experience is necessary. Even timid technology users will find this site easy to use. Create your own "reel" using multiple videos. Create a free account to save and share videos. Reel Surfer also includes a bookmarklet to add to your browser to easily clip videos from many sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (177)

In the Classroom

Create a "reel" video for review or introduction on any topic. Use the best clips or segments from YouTube and other online sources. Grab the attention of your younger students with a brief video--without having fast forward to find the right spot! Have older students curate and create "reels" to share as part of any presentation project or for review. After watching any video, have student groups create a "reel" video with what they consider to be the most important parts of the video. Share completed videos on your class webpage for use at home.

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TeachersFirst's Implementing Common Core in Elementary Grades - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Find thoughtful yet practical articles with strategies for implementing Common Core in elementary grades. These articles guide teachers through the steps of re-visiting or planning...more
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Find thoughtful yet practical articles with strategies for implementing Common Core in elementary grades. These articles guide teachers through the steps of re-visiting or planning their teaching units to incorporate Common Core reading, writing, speaking, listening standards as well as Next Gen Science Standards.

tag(s): commoncore (49), listening (79), literacy (83), speaking (18)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites and use them as discussion points for inservice sessions or grade level meetings as you move to Common Core.

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Musicovery - Vincent Castaignet and Frederic Vavrille

Grades
K to 12
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Create and personalize a music playlist using Musicovery. Hover your mouse over different areas of the mood pad to define your radio settings of energetic, dark, positive, or calm....more
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Create and personalize a music playlist using Musicovery. Hover your mouse over different areas of the mood pad to define your radio settings of energetic, dark, positive, or calm. Narrow choices by different genres such as pop, soundtracks, world music, and more. A song list starts playing once you selected the mood. Create an account to save favorites for use later.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (134), learning styles (11), sounds (66)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students and parents looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Note that songs with words will probably distract, so you may want to stick to classical or other instrumental options. Reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use calming sounds as mood music to set the stage for your story. Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Let a student "DJ" choose a class relaxation or creativity soundscape. If you have "silent reading" time in your class or school, calm music will help students to focus. As you talk with students about discovering their learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support and autistic support teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students.
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The Free Dictionary - Farlex, Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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The Free Dictionary is much more than a dictionary; it also includes a thesaurus, encyclopedias, a literature reference library, and lots more! Browse the home page to find Word of...more
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The Free Dictionary is much more than a dictionary; it also includes a thesaurus, encyclopedias, a literature reference library, and lots more! Browse the home page to find Word of the Day, Article of the Day, In the News, Quotations, Today's Birthday and Holiday, and Hangman. Choose the Spelling Bee to test spelling skills in levels. Your ESL/ELL students can discover and "play" with English words using this site. Browse to find dictionaries for many other languages and specialized needs such as medical and legal dictionaries.

tag(s): dictionaries (46), quotations (22), thesaurus (22), vocabulary development (102), word choice (25)

In the Classroom

Set this site as the home page on classroom computers for students to read and find interesting articles and games. Create an account to customize the page to display information to suit class needs. Use information found on this site for quotes, interesting trivia, and much more. Display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and discuss articles and information with your class.

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SnapCuts - Bee Ottinger

Grades
6 to 12
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Create video messages with SnapCuts' interactive tools and public domain video clips. Browse the categorized database of video clips and drag clips to the "Snapper" bar to create a...more
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Create video messages with SnapCuts' interactive tools and public domain video clips. Browse the categorized database of video clips and drag clips to the "Snapper" bar to create a 30 second video. Add text to any clip. Then share by email, URL, or social media links. Create a free account to save your SnapCuts for future use or editing. Some of the video clips are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always create view the gallery or create your own Snapcuts at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animation (52), video (177)

In the Classroom

SnapCuts is ideal to use as an anticipatory set to introduce a unit or lesson. Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to show students how to get around on Snapcuts. Have students create SnapCuts to show traits of characters, events in literature, or the essence of different time periods in history. Share with students to include in multimedia projects. Include premade SnapCuts in professional development presentations for inspiration and motivation.

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Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits - Reagan Tunstall

Grades
K to 3
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This blog offers practical teaching tips and suggestions for early elementary classrooms. Although the author teaches first grade, most ideas are practical for use in other grade levels....more
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This blog offers practical teaching tips and suggestions for early elementary classrooms. Although the author teaches first grade, most ideas are practical for use in other grade levels. Browse through ideas for setting up Guided Math groups, using iPads in the elementary classroom, and other specific suggestions and images. To find earlier posts scroll down the page and look on the right-hand side. View trending past posts or labels. Choose a label to see posts with topics such as math tubs, journals, or word work.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (78), posters (25), professional development (69)

In the Classroom

Sign up and receive email updates for new posts on the blog or join using Google Friend Connect. Share ideas from the blog with other teachers and use images for inspiration in your classroom. Print and use free resources from the site such as posters, and labels for journals and notebooks.

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