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Writing with Writers - Scholastic Inc.

Grades
1 to 10
1 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This student activity page provides information and step-by-step guidance for several different kinds of writing. Writing is difficult to teach and some of the ideas here are creative...more
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This student activity page provides information and step-by-step guidance for several different kinds of writing. Writing is difficult to teach and some of the ideas here are creative and motivating for kids. Learn about myth writing, descriptive writing, news writing, writing book reviews, biographies, mysteries, poetry and more! Divided into teacher resources, student activities, books and authors, and "connect" (a section that enables you to interact with other teachers/classes of students), this site has some nifty nuggets that are quite useful, depending on what you want to teach. While registering is free and allows you to interact with others in their registered group, you do not have to register to take advantage of most of what the site offers.

tag(s): authors (120), folktales (65), mysteries (25), news (261), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

With short articles and encouragement from authors that students have read (such as Virginia Hamilton, Jane Yolen, and Jean Lowry Nixon), you can easily encourage students to write anything from mystery to myth. Use your class blog to share student writing in a moderated space, if your school policies permit.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

This Scholastic writing site, including writing mysteries, and writing with authors. Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Threaded Adventures - Kevin Hodgson

Grades
4 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
A Threaded Adventure is the online version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" story. This site will help you and your students learn about the different "branches" a story can ...more
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A Threaded Adventure is the online version of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" story. This site will help you and your students learn about the different "branches" a story can take and how to create their very own "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories online. This is perfect for those looking to integrate technology into their writing curriculum. Not only will you find directions to help you and your students create Threaded Adventures; the explanation of how to do this IS a Threaded Adventure, and you will find sample Threaded Adventures written by students. Threaded Adventures also inspire "predicting" as a reader, an essential reading strategy!

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Click on the links to read about how your students can create a Threaded Adventure. The author of the Threaded Adventure suggests the use of a wiki to have your students create their very own "Choose Your Own Adventure" because wikis are easy of use for the students. If you are unfamiliar with wikis, see TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Wikis can be private or public. Just be sure you have parent permission to publish student work online. If you use wikispaces, your students will not have to have an email account to join your wiki.

Have your students choose a favorite short story or picture book your class has already read. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to reread the story stopping and asking students what direction the story could take if the author hadn't finished the story, or suggest some "what ifs" yourself. Use Gliffy, an online graphic organizer reviewed here, to brainstorm with your class all the different paths the story could take. Once you and the class have decided on several different paths, go to your wiki and demonstrate how to create the "Threaded Adventure" using links to different pages. When your students understand the procedure, have small groups finish writing up the Threaded Adventure themselves. Once they've completed the class Threaded Adventure, they can use a story of their own to repeat the process.

For older students, you may want to go through the process above, and then have them put their story, or parts of their story, on MixedInk reviewed here to get ideas for story branches from their classmates. They could then use Gliffy reviewed here to organize the paths of their story. Once they've made final decisions about the different directions their story will take, they would then publish it on the wiki.

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iCyte Education - ICYTE

Grades
7 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This tool is simple to use, especially since it has step by step instructions upon first use. iCyte is a browser add-on that allows you to save quotes, parts of ...more
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This tool is simple to use, especially since it has step by step instructions upon first use. iCyte is a browser add-on that allows you to save quotes, parts of readings, or anything one can highlight on the Internet. Once installed, this program has two icons that are located on the toolbar of the browser. Simply two buttons, the first is to save citations, and the second button is to view saved parts of websites. This tool allows you to create projects and store citations by project groups. This would be great for students working on research projects and other similar types of papers. Note that this review directs you to the free educator area of iCyte.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

Students could easily install this on their own computers to use during research projects. Teachers could use this to save parts of websites for different classes. Use this tool as an "idea bin" (whole class or individual) throughout a unit before students even start the culminating project. They can collect clips, sites, etc. that interest them about the unit topic so they have raw materials to choose from for the upcoming project. Demonstrate how to use the tool using your interactive whiteboard or projector. You must be able to follow onscreen instructions and locate icons on their toolbar. The only possible issue with this program is that the user must have administrative access to the computers to complete installation.

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Imgur - Imgur

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for easier ways to share images? Pronounced "Imager," this site is easy to use. Use the super-simple photo-sharing site to upload photos or insert image URL addresses. Click...more
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Looking for easier ways to share images? Pronounced "Imager," this site is easy to use. Use the super-simple photo-sharing site to upload photos or insert image URL addresses. Click the upload button or enter the URL of the image from the Internet (obtainable by right clicking the online image and selecting "properties" or "Get info"). No need to register for an account. Uploaded images are private and only the person who uploaded has the URL of the image. Use the simple editing options to be sure the image fits in the blog, wiki, or site you are using it on. File upload is limited to 2 MB. Use a direct link or embed code to share your uploaded image wherever you need.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom to quickly upload and share images. Create albums where individual photos can be titled or captioned. Have students categorize photos and describe them. Use for any project, class explanation of concepts, experiments, or demonstrations. Share pictures of class happenings, speakers, field trips, and other opportunities you would want to share.

Users must be able to find a suitable image for upload from their computer or the Internet. Follow the very simple directions to manipulate the image. Since no registration is necessary, Imgur is easy and safe to use. Be aware that relying on services such as these can be a problem if the site no longer exists in the future. Be sure that students understand rules for sharing appropriate and inappropriate images and copyright concerns.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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KeepVid - keepvid.com

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Want to use YouTube videos but cannot play them at school? Download your video using this free service. No software download required, but you will need to have Java on ...more
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Want to use YouTube videos but cannot play them at school? Download your video using this free service. No software download required, but you will need to have Java on your computer. Find a video you want to save, then copy and paste the video's URL at KeepVid. The easiest way for your download to be successful to insert "keep" into the URL before the "YouTube." In our experience, this tool works without causing other problems. You may encounter warnings about applet security; we ignored these, but you may choose to do otherwise. If you decide to proceed, be sure to "allow" KeepVid access when your computer asks, and click "run" to begin the download. Select the quality you want to save the file to download (low, medium, or high quality FLV, MP3, or MP4 format.) Use KeepVid with a variety of video sites. If unable to view your file, either download a FLV viewer such as FLV Player (find a free one advertised on the site,) or convert your file into a more usable format. Drag the KeepVid button from their site into your browser's links toolbar. Find your video. When it starts to stream, click the KeepVid button in your toolbar. Choose the link to download and save.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (23), movies (65), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use this service to backup videos on your YouTube channel. Use to download and save videos at home that you wish to show to students, especially if they are blocked at school. Users must be able to find, copy, and paste the URL of the video to be downloaded. Once the program starts, you will be prompted to save it. If you want to use the video at school, you would save it to a USB stick.The MP4 format is fast, and it will play on an Apple or Windows computer. If you want to download in FLV format, you must also be able to play FLV files on the computer or be able to download an FLV viewer. No registration or login is required. This should primarily be a teacher resource. If using with students, discuss appropriate and inappropriate uses of the technology as well as choosing necessary videos. Be careful about videos found on the KeepVid site. These may not be family or student appropriate.

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Schoology - Schoology

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site is for adventurous, organized technology users looking for a complete online environment for class management. Manage your classes completely through this online environment...more
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This site is for adventurous, organized technology users looking for a complete online environment for class management. Manage your classes completely through this online environment whether you do/do not have access to school-required tools such as an online gradebook. Use this platform for administering quizzes and tests as well as other assessments. Use the social networking aspect to post messages to a large group of students or to individuals. Use the calendar tool and use the interface for students to find and use all documents and materials. Create and share using this exceptional tool. Note: This tool could be time-consuming in initial set-up. Be sure you have permission to use this tool with student accounts before even considering its use. Watch the video tour and check out the features list for the free features that are included with this vast tool.

tag(s): assessment (100), blogs (88), classroom management (135), forum (9), game based learning (103), gamification (65), quizzes (96)

In the Classroom

This tool can operate your whole class for the entire year and is a complete learning management system (LMS.) Take advantage of this FREE professional resource. Users must be somewhat familiar with web 2.0 tools in order to decide what to use and how best to use them. Be sure to check out all the support material on this site for help in using and setting up the features. Be sure to check with your district's policy concerning the use of such a tool. Be sure that access to this tool is with your classes only.

Comments

I prefer Moodle - more versatile and automatically private. So check that out, too. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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34 Ideas to Inspire Writing - Mark Warner

Grades
5 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Want to spice up your writing program? 34 Ideas to Inspire Writing will have something just perfect for you. This is a slide show of more than 34 very creative ...more
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Want to spice up your writing program? 34 Ideas to Inspire Writing will have something just perfect for you. This is a slide show of more than 34 very creative ideas to get your students writing. The ideas range from writing a script to present the weather, using Voki reviewed here or Blabberize reviewed here to bring a photo, a character, or an inanimate object to life, or random story starters from the Scholastic Story Starter Machine. Some of the slides have a central idea with several alternate suggestions, so you end up with way more than 34 Ideas to Inspire Writing. Some slides include links to sites; others include interactives, videos, and photos.

tag(s): writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

You can select one of the ideas and use your projector and interactive whiteboard to have the class brainstorm for their writing assignment. You could have a link on your web page and use it as a center for students to rotate through, either choosing which idea to use for their writing, or you could designate which idea students are to use. You can also assign small groups to certain ideas and when the writing is done, all groups share what they've written with the class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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SlideShare - SlideShare, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Have no fear, SlideShare is here! Whether you consider yourself techno phobic or ultra savvy, this site offers something for every level of user. This site hosts tons of prefabricated...more
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Have no fear, SlideShare is here! Whether you consider yourself techno phobic or ultra savvy, this site offers something for every level of user. This site hosts tons of prefabricated slide shows or Power Point presentations, and considers itself the largest presentation sharing website available. As educators, we know the value of professional borrowing and this site puts slide show resources for any content area right at your fingertips. For the more daring, upload your own slide presentation creations. Once posted, you can see how many people have viewed your show. View comments left by people who have viewed your show to gain feedback and participate in educational discussion. Shows can be embedded in blogs, social networking sites, or downloaded to your computer (Where - YES! You can edit it to suit your specific needs!) This is not a slide show creation tool, but rather a sharing resource for educators and civilians alike.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Pull published slide shows for use in your classroom. Download a slide show as a template and modify it for your specific needs. In science class, have students record each other completing a lab activity. Then have the students put that footage into a slide show with snapshots of work and products of the lab. Have students create a voice over track and sync it using the slidecast part of the site. It would make for a powerful learning experience. Post slide shows of class notes and have students comment on what they understand or do not understand as an online discussion. If you teach online through cyberschool or virtual learning programs, use slidecast to create "teaching tracks" to go with your notes. It allows you to create a short, but helpful lecture for your distance learners. They will appreciated the verbal aspect of the learning.

This website allows you to upload, so you will need a basic understanding of where your files are located on your computer to do this. However, you are not required as a member to upload anything unless you want to do so. An interesting and valuable feature of this site is that it will allow you to sync audio files or podcasts with your slide show, creating what the website has coined a slidecast. You can create groups to share slideshows privately to only your group members.

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Storybird - Storybird Inc.

Grades
K to 8
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others....more
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others. The final story is available for sharing via URL or email (or keeping private) and printing it is an option. Basically, write text and titles, create a book cover, add graphics, and pass the product to a co-writer (if collaborating) who adds more until both feel the story is complete. A demo video explains the basics. A special section for artists encourages art contributions and explains how to use the art to enhance the stories. an Education area provides a way for teachers to set up accounts for a class with or without student email. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): stories and storytelling (33), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have pairs of students create a story by working collaboratively after you have explained and demonstrated the basics. Encourage your older students to use this tool for projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales and recreations from their home countries.

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WikiMindMap - Felix Nyffenegger

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Finding it difficult to teach search strategies to students? Use WikiMindMap to find alternate or related search terms for the topic being searched. Select a wikipedia domain (for the...more
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Finding it difficult to teach search strategies to students? Use WikiMindMap to find alternate or related search terms for the topic being searched. Select a wikipedia domain (for the US it is en.wikipedia.) Enter your search term and click "search." View related search terms in the mind map. Click on any of these other terms to go directly to a wikipedia article. Use information from the article or view links listed near the bottom. Despite the debate about wikipedia's reliability and authority, the value here is in seeing how topics are related. Click on any of the green arrows next to one of the alternate search terms to make it a center of the next mind map. Click any plus sign (+) next to a search term to branch the mind map even further. Click the minus signs (-) to collapse.

tag(s): search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Not sure about using wikipedia articles? Use this site to find related search terms that can then be used in any search engine. Try using this as a first step in a larger research process or to show how topics are related as you start a new unit, e.g. amphibians, cells, or United States Constitution. Establish guidelines for using any resource, including wikipedia. Be sure to point out related links within the articles and sources cited. Use these to obtain more information for research and to discuss evaluating sources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ThumbScribes

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to ...more
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Want to create a class or group poem, story, or novella-- even a song? At ThumbScribes (in beta) you can do that easily. There are many genres from which to choose, and you can be public or private. When using ThumbScribes privately, you will invite your students via email to join in the writing. Scribes are collaborative works, created and passed between ThumbScribes' authors, where each adds a new section to the story, poem, novella, etc.

tag(s): poetry (228), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to collaboratively write a story, poem, or novella using Thumbscribes. Use ThumbScribes in conjunction with Story Writing Tips for Kids (reviewed here), to have students write create a story together. Write a story or poem about a topic being taught in science, a current event, math concept, biography of a hero, or nearly any other subject area. Create a class book at the beginning of the school year to collaboratively share what your students did during the summer months.

Through the "Sneak Peak" you can read any public poem, story, etc. In order to write or "co+create" you will need a screen name and e-mail. Once you've signed up, you can start by creating a new scribe. All you need to do is click on the "Start Writing" button at the top of the page.

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Drop Event - dropevent.com

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This fabulous site allows you to post and share photos related to a certain event with others. Create an "event" and share the link for others to upload photos. Only ...more
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This fabulous site allows you to post and share photos related to a certain event with others. Create an "event" and share the link for others to upload photos. Only the creator of the event must register on the site. All others upload without registering. Email photos to the event site as well. Set permissions for instant sharing or moderate pictures before they show on the Drop Event site. Choose to make your event public or private. Note: If public, it will show up in Drop Event searches and be visible to others. When you create your event, answer questions to create your free account. Note: Most recent events appear on the main page of this site. Be sure to check for appropriate content before showing to students. Consider directing students to the URL of the actual event page.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

This site is great for students to upload photos from field trips or other events. Keep track of project accomplishments by uploading pictures of the process. Have a class project such as DNA models or types of plants? Get them out of the classroom by taking pictures and uploading them to Drop Event. Make a collection for local history or photos of lab results during a bridge-building or pumpkin seed counting activity. Collect images that students can then use in Thinglink, reviewed here, "lab reports" about their discoveries. Place the link to the event page you have created and invite parents to view the creations. Take snapshots to create a Day In The Life event for your classroom. What better way to share memories! Have parent volunteers? Have them upload their pictures too! Whatever project or event you have, sharing and collaborating with Drop Event is easy and fun!

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Alternative to... - alternativeto.net

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use Alternative to... and find a new alternative to one of your favorite online tools. Use the social-network powered database to suggest the new application. Find featured applications...more
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Use Alternative to... and find a new alternative to one of your favorite online tools. Use the social-network powered database to suggest the new application. Find featured applications ready to view. Use the tabs below to find the applications with the "Most views," "Most likes," "Recent," or even those that do not have an alternative. Join/follow the site to vote on favorite and alternative apps as well as uploading new applications to be considered.

tag(s): social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Click on one of the applications to see a great list of alternatives that may meet your needs or those of your students. Offer this site as a means for students to differentiate and express their understanding of the content in different ways. In a technology class, provide time for groups to explore the variety of options and report on ease of use and features for each. Be sure to check whether the sites listed are blocked by any filters in your school first.

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Bitstrips - Core Matrix

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the...more
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Bitstrips lets you create comics. You will also find comics to read or remix, created by others in the Bitstrips community. Create professional-looking comics in minutes. Choose the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props and settings. Several actions are available: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, typing dialog into the bubbles, scaling items in the frame, rotating items, and more. There is a "Bitstrips for Schools" link; this feature does offer a 30-day free trial, however it is fee-based after 30-days.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Have small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of something you just read in class. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon about the characters and plot. You can also have your students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant or the planets.

Register and play with the simple tools to choose how many frames, settings, people, dialog bubbles, and props. Save your work to come back later or you may "publish" right away. You have a choice about whether others are allowed to view and "remix" your work. You also have the option to edit work or embed it in a website, blog e-mail or wiki. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy, (since you own the master account).

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Simple Diagrams - Daniel McQuillen

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Simple Diagrams is a free download desktop application useful to create diagrams and flowcharts. This easy-to-use tool turns ideas and concepts into a visual explanation. You merely...more
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Simple Diagrams is a free download desktop application useful to create diagrams and flowcharts. This easy-to-use tool turns ideas and concepts into a visual explanation. You merely drag and drop icons from the available library onto either a chalkboard or a whiteboard background. Insert personal photos or type written notes on virtual index cards or post-its directly into a diagram. Select colors, adjust alignment, magnify or minimize images and arrange content in layers. One annoying feature of the free version is that it is constantly asking users to upgrade to the paid full version. The free version does not allow you to save their diagram but it is possible to export work as a PNG file on your computer. Insert the PNG file directly into a presentation or interactive whiteboard lesson. Simple Diagrams uses an Adobe AIR platform and runs smoothly on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), drawing (77), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Simple Diagrams is a useful tool for any subject area. Project diagrams onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and write upon them while lecturing. Ask students to demonstrate their understanding of a lesson by creating a diagram of their own. For example, students can demonstrate the chain of events behind the French Revolution, map out battle strategies, or explain the cause and effect of Industrial Age with a diagram. Science teachers may want to ask students to explain the steps of a science experiment or explain a water cycle with a diagram. Solve word problems with diagrammatic illustrations or create family trees full of digital photographs. PE teachers may find this a great tool to use to use when discussing strategic plays or relay races. Suggest using diagrams as a study tool for finals. Simple Diagrams provides a unique opportunity for students to create a visual explanation of key concepts.

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Zooburst - zooburst.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create a 3D digital pop-up book that can be seen without the 3D movie glasses. Be sure to check out the Gallery to view great examples. Use ZooBurst's editing tools ...more
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Create a 3D digital pop-up book that can be seen without the 3D movie glasses. Be sure to check out the Gallery to view great examples. Use ZooBurst's editing tools with public domain (or Creative Commons) pictures or clipart to create your book. Create an account, choose a title, and read their instructions. Take your idea, manipulate with the simple to use tools, and add text, images, and animation. Edit the angle of the pop-up, speed of the pop-up, and even view your creation from a variety of angles. Use the left side panel to search the web for an image by simply entering a search term. Upload a picture from your computer easily. Click on the picture to add to your book. Drag and drop these elements into various positions in the book. Use the right side panel to change size, rotation, and color of the images. Add a chat bubble to the pictures and fill with text. Use the text box below the book to describe the scene on the page. Add new pages or switch between pages through use of the bottom window. Easily save your book and find your creations in the My Stuff link along the top. For those interested in Augmented Reality, here is a screencast that shows it in action.The free version of the tool currently allows 10 books up to 10 pages each. A free iPad app is available. Premium memberships offer more features--at a price.

tag(s): creative writing (166)

In the Classroom

Create a Zooburst book to embed in a wiki, blog, or site to provide back to school information about your class or teaching team. Introduce the teacher(s), subjects, curriculum content, contact information, sites to view, etc. Use for creative writing in any subject area. Have students: make a book to recreate a historical event (or create an alternative ending), explain a scientific term in simpler words, write their own story, or explain how a math concept can be applied in the real world. Create a book and read it to the students during story time. Use Zooburst to create an introductory story for a new concept or unit. Use as a means for students to deliver presentations, reports, or explain complex concepts. You can put together a story using digital pictures from around your school and share it with your students during story time. Or have students work on stories in groups or individually to exercise their creativity, and maybe produce the next classic children's book.

If you have a gifted one or two in your class, set up a free class Zooburst account for them to create extensions of the curriculum in Zooburst: a Civil War tale, a modern day restaging of a Shakespeare play, a biography of a famous scientist or author.

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Popplet - Notion, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Popplet combines a great number of features for creating mindmaps into one package. Share and collaborate with others. Create detailed and easily customized mindmaps. Be sure to check...more
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Popplet combines a great number of features for creating mindmaps into one package. Share and collaborate with others. Create detailed and easily customized mindmaps. Be sure to check out the features section and video tutorial found on the main page. A small amount of example Popplets appear on the main page for inspiration. Change the color of Popplets (mindmap boxes). Draw or insert images and videos from Flickr, Facebook, You Tube, and even your desktop. When you begin your Popplet, follow the mini tutorial that appears to quickly learn the features. Create up to 5 Popplets for free. Though Popplet looks simple and limited, it is probably one of the easiest to use. Have an iPad? Use the Popplet app!

tag(s): mind map (25), myplate (28)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to navigate the simple controls in this online tool. Videos and other information are found on the site and in your account page for a quick overview of learning the tool. If having difficulty saving the Popplet, be sure to remember to save a screenshot using the Print screen function on a PC or the Ctrl/shift/4 on a Mac.

Use this tool for brainstorming or creative planning. Create a concept map of facts or concepts in any subject area. Plan an experiment in Science. Determine the sequence of events in History. Create study materials that are easily edited and shared by others. The class can create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or you can assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees or My Plate food group portions in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plotline, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

Comments

david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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PBWorks - PBWorks. Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, ...more
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This online tool lets you and your students create a collaborative "space" online in any subject, allowing as many people as you want to edit, make changes, add new content, etc. You may be familiar with wikipedia, but wikis can be so much more! A recent poll of "high tech" educators cited wikis as the one web-based tool they could not live without! If you have not tried a wiki yet, visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for a detailed, step-by-step explanation and starter help, including dozens of ideas for ways to use a wiki in your classroom.

If you are not sure which wiki tool is best for you, see our detailed TeachersFirst review of PBWorks (formerly PBWiki) features, pros, and cons(done as part of the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through). Ignore the persistent and pervasive suggestions that you upgrade to a fee-based membership!

tag(s): social networking (112), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Click through the first two steps to create a free wiki, including the name (which becomes part of the wiki URL). Be sure to select "education" as the answer to "What is this wiki for?" Wait for your confirmation email (may take a while...check junk mail folder). After the email, choose whether your wiki is public or private (visible to members only or to the public). Set a "key" (password), if you wish. Bypass the offer to PAY. Use the Quickstart steps to configure the wiki just the way you want it or simply play to learn the Clickable editing toolbar. Add and edit pages, invite new members, explore the three template options and a few options for "skins." You may want to become familiar with the tool as a teacher-created site at first so you know its capabilities before turning students loose.

See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for practical management and safety tips.

Safety concerns: Students need email accounts to have individual log-ins. Note: with this wiki tool, you do not have the option of "locking" certain pages or setting different "levels" of users. You and your students have equal access to make changes, once you make them "members." There are also "plug-ins' (widgets) available from the toolbar, some of which may connect you to sites with unmonitored content. Decide ahead of time what you policies are concerning use of the "plug-ins."

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TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in...more
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Learn the basics about Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, and how it can help you with personalized, immediate professional development and collaboration with other teachers in other schools. This collection of reviewed resources related to Twitter will help you get started using Twitter safely for your own learning and possibly expand into using Twitter for class connections with other classrooms. The information includes basic terms such as "hastags," and even features a "widget" to show current "tweets" by educator-specific hashtag groups. Watch the sidebar (if it is not blocked in your school) to get a sense of the sharing possible on Twitter.

tag(s): social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Make this page a must-learn for teaching in the 21st century. Mark it in your favorites to return often to watch the embedded tweets from educators all over the world. Then muster your courage to set up a Twitter account of your own. Follow @teachersfirst or our lead Thinking Teacher @cshively, and we'll be sure to welcome you!

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Easy Prompter - Michael Drob

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Ever think that you could look more professional if you used a teleprompter just like the President? Try this free version then! Simply copy and paste your text into the ...more
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Ever think that you could look more professional if you used a teleprompter just like the President? Try this free version then! Simply copy and paste your text into the field, highlight words if desired, and then click "Start prompt." Click play on the next screen to start the prompter. Speed up or slow down the speed of the prompter using the "+" or "-" buttons. The size of the prompter text can also be increased easily. Users must be able to copy and past text from one application to another. Player controls look much like standard video player controls. Follow the demo to watch how it is used or take a few moments to play with it. Close the site, and the information in the prompter is lost. Want to use this without the Internet? Download the program (click "standalone portable version") for free and drag to a flash drive to have anywhere.

tag(s): speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Use this site to feed information used in group or individual presentations to the class. Set this up on another computer when recording video and audio recordings. Why use this site? Information fed through the prompter can be read at a steady and consistent pace. Teachers promoting oral reading fluency can make practice more engaging by having students pretend they are newscasters. If you advise the school announcement crew, try this handy tool to make them sound and look more professional.
 
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