TeachersFirst Edge - Utilities

 

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WeLearned.It - eduClipper

Grades
K to 12
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WeLearned.It is a digital portfolio and classroom management tool for students and educators. The free pricing plan allows you to create student portfolios, manage unlimited classes,...more
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WeLearned.It is a digital portfolio and classroom management tool for students and educators. The free pricing plan allows you to create student portfolios, manage unlimited classes, provide feedback in several different formats, and distribute class assignments. Attach documents or websites to tasks from Google Drive, your computer, and more. Students receive a digital code to join, and then their work saves to their personalized portfolio.

tag(s): classroom management (155), portfolios (32)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of WeLearned.It's features in your 1:1 classroom for project-based learning assignments. Motivate students through feedback provided on this site in the form of badges, video or audio recordings, or text. Encourage students to support classmates through providing feedback to peers on the site. Science teachers could have students write up their lab reports, take photos of their labs and label them in a portfolio. History teachers could set up portfolios for student report writing or digital storytelling projects. WeLearned.It is a perfect tool to use during parent conferences.

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Peergrade - David Kofoed Wind, Malthe Jorgensen & Simon Lind

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8 to 12
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Save time grading papers and encourage peer interaction with Peergrade. Create your assignment and a rubric for grading to begin. Students upload their work to the site. Upon reaching...more
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Save time grading papers and encourage peer interaction with Peergrade. Create your assignment and a rubric for grading to begin. Students upload their work to the site. Upon reaching the deadline for completing tasks, Peergrade automatically distributes work to other students for peer review. Using the associated rubric, students evaluate peer's work and provide feedback. Peergrade provides teachers reports with rubric scores, information on rubric questions providing difficulty for students, and the amount of time spent by each student providing feedback. Teachers have the option to provide their feedback on student work.

tag(s): assessment (116), rubrics (30)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of Peergrade to teach students how to provide meaningful feedback to peers. Be sure to check out the site's Rubric Library for use with students as you teach them about rubrics, how to provide feedback that is fair and relevant, and encourage critical thinking as part of any assignment. If you are hesitant to begin with peer reviews, upload example assignments for students to practice working with rubrics and reviews. After completing peer reviews have students create blogs. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. Ask them to reflect on their peer reviews and how completing this activity will help with future assignments.

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Common Core Lesson Plans Template - FormSwift

Grades
K to 12
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Common Core Lesson Plans offers three easy to use templates for designing professional looking lesson plans with language correlated to Common Core Standards. Begin by choosing the...more
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Common Core Lesson Plans offers three easy to use templates for designing professional looking lesson plans with language correlated to Common Core Standards. Begin by choosing the content from Math, Science, or English links. Click the link to start creating your lesson plan. Use the template to add lesson planning information within the template. When finished, print or save as a PDF or Word document. Create a free account to save finished products directly on FormSwift. You must provide the actual standards for your lesson plan.

tag(s): commoncore (89), professional development (161)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these lesson plan templates for lesson planning using Common Core Standards. If you don't teach using Common Core, these templates are still useful for lesson planning. Change the portion with standards to meet your goals and objectives for individual lessons. Use these templates when collaborating on lessons with other educators as a way to maintain consistency in planning. Share these templates with other teachers during professional development sessions.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mahara - New Zealand's Tertiary Education Commission

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8 to 12
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Mahara is an open source e-portfolio creator. Download the Mahara software to begin creating your e-portfolio including journals, social media resources, and uploading files. Once created,...more
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Mahara is an open source e-portfolio creator. Download the Mahara software to begin creating your e-portfolio including journals, social media resources, and uploading files. Once created, share your portfolio using access permissions, allowing members to determine who can view their work. Other features include a resume builder and social networking system connecting members to online learning communities. Scroll to the bottom to find Mahara Support which includes links to a User Manual and Wiki. There is even a demo for you to use for the day to preview Mahara.

tag(s): assessment (116), classroom management (155), portfolios (32)

In the Classroom

Record classroom activities and student learning with photos or videos. Show students how to create a portfolio, then document their learning and make comments in their portfolio. Share portfolios with parents, not just at conference time, but any time the student portfolio is updated to keep parents in the loop.

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Writer - Big Huge Labs

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2 to 12
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Writer is a distraction-free writing app for online and offline typing. Register using email to begin using the typewriter. The free version allows saving an unlimited number of documents,...more
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Writer is a distraction-free writing app for online and offline typing. Register using email to begin using the typewriter. The free version allows saving an unlimited number of documents, and it automatically saves documents as you write. Customize your experience to include typing sounds or not, change background colors, fonts, and more. When finished, export as a PDF or text document.

tag(s): editing (74), process writing (48), proofreading (25), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Writer is perfect for creating any text document without distractions. Have students create any project in Writer, then copy into another program to add images and more if desired. Although perfect for use with all students, Writer is a great tool for use with students who are easily distracted, and the ability to change the background and font colors and font size will help the visually impaired.

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Flipgrid - Charlie Miller & Brad Hosack

Grades
2 to 12
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Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the "Are you an educator? Click here" link to signup up for Flipgrid One which...more
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Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the "Are you an educator? Click here" link to signup up for Flipgrid One which is the free version of Flipgrid offering the use of a single grid to incorporate the Flipgrid experience. Single grids allow users to include unlimited topics and student responses. This version also provides security settings including password protection. Begin by creating your grid and personalizing settings to fit your needs. Easy-to-follow directions guide you through the process of setting up a video response. When finished, use links to share the URL or embed your Flipgrid into a website. Students access your Flipgrid using the access code provided when sharing your topic.

tag(s): assessment (116), DAT device agnostic tool (179), video (279)

In the Classroom

Flipgrid is a versatile tool for use in any subject. Create prompts for students to respond to about anything and everything. Challenge students to reflect on their learning at the end of a unit, research project, or literature circle. Here are just a few example questions to ask: What are some things you did well on this assignment? What mistakes did you make on your last assignment that you did not make on today's assignment? What would you do differently? What would you like to learn more about?

For professional use, create a topic for peers to discuss. Ideas might include discussing concerns with implementing new technology or curriculum. Have fellow teachers share articles of interest from professional journals. Use Flipgrid to implement a book talk on a topic of interest.

Use Flipgrid as a follow-up for a flipped or blended learning assignment. Ask students to explain what they understand and/or still don't understand about a concept. You can review the responses before class the next day. Use it as an exit "slip" before students leave class or as a warm up at the beginning of class (what do they remember about the lesson taught yesterday). World language students can practice speaking in their new language and choose the best video to turn into their teacher. Student or teacher can explain a series of steps in an assignment or concept, one at a time (great for differentiation). Math students can explain the steps they took to solve a problem and why. Art students can explain a creation, either theirs or a famous artists - talking about techniques. Music students can perform and explain their learning, or reflect on their performance.

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EasyWrite - Deekshith Allamaneni

Grades
K to 12
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EasyWrite is a simple to use writing tool for creating easy to understand content. Just type your text into the text box and begin writing. EasyWrite highlights words not found ...more
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EasyWrite is a simple to use writing tool for creating easy to understand content. Just type your text into the text box and begin writing. EasyWrite highlights words not found in the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language. At the time of this review, EasyWrite worked best with Chrome or Mozilla FireFox.

tag(s): digital storytelling (153), independent reading (129), process writing (48), vocabulary (319), writers workshop (34)

In the Classroom

Have students use EasyWrite to retell difficult text in an easy to understand way. Retell Shakespeare passages in simple English or breakdown complicated directions into simple terms. EasyWrite is perfect for use with ESL/ELL or special education students. Choose any complex or difficult text and break it into simpler terms for easier understanding. Do this by adding a free browser extension to classroom computers and devices. Use a tool such as Grammarly (for Chrome, Safari, and FireFox), reviewed here, or After the Deadline (for Internet Explorer), reviewed here. Turn the theory of EasyWrite upside down - have students paste their writing projects into EasyWrite. If there are only a few highlighted words, have them develop more interesting and complex writing passages. Have students take a screenshot of their original work to include with a final draft.

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Edore - Andrew Kwan

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3 to 12
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Edore offers Common Core based lessons that connects learning to real life concepts and interests. Sign up to collect and organize lessons, customize materials for your needs, create...more
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Edore offers Common Core based lessons that connects learning to real life concepts and interests. Sign up to collect and organize lessons, customize materials for your needs, create content, and assign activities. Search by grade level or keyword to find activities based on popular movies, T.V. shows, and sports figures. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (116), classroom management (155), commoncore (89), sports (100)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lessons and activities on Edore to motivate reluctant learners through information that interests them. Even if you don't teach using Common Core Standards, activities on the site can be modified to match any curriculum. Use activities on this site as a model for creating lessons featuring pop culture that relates to your students. Assign sets found on Edore to your class as practice and review of concepts taught in class.
 

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Epic! For Educators - Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue

Grades
K to 5
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-5. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account...more
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-5. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account to receive personalized recommendations based on reading ability and interests. Students can access books on any device and educators receive feedback including time spent reading, page flips, and books read. Students earn badges and rewards as they reach milestones. Resources include classroom posters, lesson plans, teacher tips, presentations, and letters to parents in PDF format. Find educational videos by Smithsonian, Blue Wonders, Animal Wonders, and Encyclopedia Britannica. Epic! also offers titles in Spanish. Tutorial videos reside on YouTube as do some of the educational videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), ebooks (41), independent reading (129), movies (71), reading lists (81), video (279)

In the Classroom

Create your free educator account and share with students as part of your independent reading activities. Adjust reading preferences and profiles as students increase skills or change interest in reading materials. Be sure to share with parents to use at home.

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Wendy, OK, Grades: 2 - 4

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Pluralsight - Code School - Code School LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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The Code School free account provides access to twelve introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free...more
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The Code School free account provides access to twelve introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free offerings. Courses offer several levels of training including videos and challenges. Earn digital badges as you complete each course.

tag(s): coding (66), computers (101), critical thinking (119), engineering (133), problem solving (297), STEM (187)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. Courses are self-paced, so differentiation is easy. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki. Since registration is via email, for young students consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Code Warriors - Kuato Studios

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn JavaScript coding through gameplay and strategy with Code Warriors. Use codes to reach your opponent's power core while protecting your core. Although created for two players,...more
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Learn JavaScript coding through gameplay and strategy with Code Warriors. Use codes to reach your opponent's power core while protecting your core. Although created for two players, single player challenges provide the opportunity to practice skills while preparing for new matches. Choose the Teacher Zone to monitor student progress either as individual players, groups, or as a whole class.

tag(s): coding (66), computers (101), creativity (117), critical thinking (119), DAT device agnostic tool (179), logic (248), problem solving (297), STEM (187)

In the Classroom

Learning to code is an opportunity to teach students to think and problem solve. Coding is a critical digital literacy skill for the future. After school clubs and activities can use Code Warriors to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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MathScienceMusic - Theolonius Monk Institute of Jaz

Grades
K to 12
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration...more
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration with Jazz legend, Herbie Hancock. Click letters on the homepage to begin your musical experience, then scroll down to view the available resources. Each group of resources includes a video introduction explaining the content. Some of the choices include Scratch Jazz (music and coding) and Groove Pizza (Shapes and Angles and Groove). All activities include a short description along with suggestions for appropriate grade level, concepts taught, and links to additional resources. Videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): angles (88), animation (64), brain (67), coding (66), fractions (229), geometric shapes (173), india (32), multiples (32), music theory (44), musical instruments (51), musical notation (39), numbers (196), patterns (87), preK (286), ratios (63), sound (106)

In the Classroom

Share activities from MathScienceMusic on your interactive whiteboard with students, then let them explore independently. Scratch Jazz is perfect for teaching basic coding; students interested in music will enjoy creating their own jazz-themed project using the site's tutorial. Add interest to math lessons by taking advantage of the free lesson plans. Be sure to check out the link to Math and Music Standards found on the music and math curriculum page. Have students create videos of their music creations using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to have them discuss their journey from the beginning through the final creation of their project. Team up with your school's music teacher to collaborate on the many activities provided on this site.
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ReadWorks Digital - ReadWorks

Grades
K to 12
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Find everything you love in ReadWorks PLUS students can now interact online with articles and curriculum, and it works on any modern browser. Teachers can create classes to assign reading...more
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Find everything you love in ReadWorks PLUS students can now interact online with articles and curriculum, and it works on any modern browser. Teachers can create classes to assign reading and track assessments (which are automatically graded). After signing up with email, click on Admin from the top menu and create a class. Students join the class by using a code and their Google account. No Google account? No problem. Create a roster and provide the class code to students. Find Reading passages by level and subject or topic, nonfiction or literary, with questions and vocabulary. Easily assign to the whole class, or individuals as a way to differentiate. At this time the support is through email and they will get back to you within 24 hours. There is still the option to print for those who don't have online access at home.

tag(s): classroom management (155), guided reading (47), independent reading (129), reading comprehension (126), reading lists (81)

In the Classroom

Show students how to sign up and log into ReadWorks Digital using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Complete a sample assignment together. Use ReadWorks in blended learning or flipped classrooms leaving class time for asking questions and clarifying. Post the link on your website and consider assigning the Article-A-Day for at home reading. Rotate the subjects weekly and discuss the topic the next day in class. Consider using a back channel tool such as GoSoapBox, reviewed here, for the discussion, so even your quiet and shy students feel comfortable participating, and you can get analytics after the discussion. Teachers of all subjects, but especially science and social studies, can find topics for students to read for their subject. Then challenge students to research the topic further. Have students submit their findings to a special class magazine using Zinepal, reviewed here, created for the topic. Differentiation can be accomplished easily by assigning to individual students, or you can create multiple classes, which would actually be small groups, who read at the same level or have the same topic interest.

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Wordie - ABCD English

Grades
2 to 12
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Wordie is a free vocabulary tool for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers; however, it is also a handy tool for all teachers. Begin by typing or pasting in ...more
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Wordie is a free vocabulary tool for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers; however, it is also a handy tool for all teachers. Begin by typing or pasting in text in the provided box. Use up to 1500 characters without registering. Register for free using your email to use unlimited characters. Choose the reading level you want to assign to the text, then click submit. Wordie analyzes the text and provides two boxes with word banks. The first includes vocabulary applicable to the reading level you input, the second displays words above that level. Uncheck any boxes next to words you prefer not to include as vocabulary. Use the Print Preview to create a printable, including the entire text with vocabulary to learn in a featured word box.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): vocabulary (319), vocabulary development (122)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a useful tool for teaching vocabulary from any text. Copy portions of literature into Wordie to identify and create vocabulary lists for students. Differentiate for student abilities based on reading levels. Use Wordie to develop student writing skills. Ask them to copy their writing into Wordie and run the analysis at a reading level you prefer. If there isn't enough new vocabulary words, challenge students to rewrite in a way that reaches a higher reading level. Use Wordie with ESL/ELL learners to point out difficult vocabulary in reading passages before reading.
 

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Stackup - StackUp LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Stackup is an extension for Chrome browsers that tracks time spent reading and learning online. Also, Stackup scores and categorizes the time into over 60 different categories. Create...more
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Stackup is an extension for Chrome browsers that tracks time spent reading and learning online. Also, Stackup scores and categorizes the time into over 60 different categories. Create classroom reading challenges, set a time and date, invite participants, then view student progress in live time.

tag(s): classroom management (155), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use Stack up to monitor the time students spend on specifically assigned websites. You can also track reading around the web by pre-defined guidelines allowing flexibility of student choice. Use of privacy settings allows competition with reading times or use settings that allow complete privacy. Upon the completion of reading requirements, have students use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here, to present information learned.

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Self-Destructable Text Notes - Coldbeans

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Self-Destructable Text Notes offer a quick and easy way to share information and files without registration. Type text and upload a file if desired. You can even add a password. ...more
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Self-Destructable Text Notes offer a quick and easy way to share information and files without registration. Type text and upload a file if desired. You can even add a password. When finished, share using the provided URL or links for sending to Twitter, Facebook, or email. Once the link is opened and viewed, all information is deleted.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (50), classroom management (155)

In the Classroom

Use these text notes to attach and send a picture of class events or field trips to parents. Files open in a new tab and save like other attachments. Have students write a short response to lessons and send to you as an exit ticket when leaving class. Use this tool to send quick reminders of upcoming assignments and due dates. The uses are endless, just remember, once these notes are read and closed they are no longer available!

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Open Badges - Mozilla

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Earn, issue, collect, and display digital badges with Open Badges. Set up a Mozilla Backpack to earn your first badge. Once registered, follow to create and issue your badges with ...more
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Earn, issue, collect, and display digital badges with Open Badges. Set up a Mozilla Backpack to earn your first badge. Once registered, follow to create and issue your badges with documentation features. Share with those seeking to earn the badge; they upload evidence of accomplishment. Once achieved, awarded badges are displayed on an individual's profile and can easily be shared online.

tag(s): behavior (45), classroom management (155), game based learning (137), gamification (88), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Badges are the "stickers' of today and much more. Use Open Badges to keep track of student progress with big assignments, rewarding badges for each completed step. Present awards using badges such as Student of the Month, Math Hero, Perfect Attendance, and more. Share this site the first week of school as you set up your classroom expectations. Autistic support and behavior support teachers will find this tool useful and easy to use for reinforcement and tracking. Gamify your class using badges as reward levels. Challenge students to progress through different achievement levels by providing badges along the way. Share student login information with parents so they can track progress and accomplishments at home. Be sure to keep the login information yourself, just in case students misplace it. Keep track of mastery of various topics or skills, much like a sticker chart! Students can embed their class badges in other sites, such as personal blogs, using the embed code.

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Badge List - Knowledgestreem

Grades
K to 12
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share ...more
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share with those seeking to earn the badge; they upload evidence of accomplishment using one of the five supported formats. Once achieved, awarded badges are displayed on an individual's profile and can easily be shared online. Since the free portion of Badge List is public, it is important for teachers to keep student identities anonymous. Use a code for the student name that is only known by the teacher. Also, be sure to obtain parent permission before using this tool with students. At the time of this review, stated by Badge List: "Badge List is currently developing simpler privacy settings to help K12 teachers protect student data. Until these features are released, teachers will need to take extra precautions to make sure that student data is safe."

tag(s): behavior (45), classroom management (155), game based learning (137), gamification (88), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Badges are the "stickers' of today and much more. Use Badge List to keep track of student progress with large assignments, rewarding badges for each completed step. Present awards using badges such as Student of the Month, Math Hero, Perfect Attendance, and more. Share this site the first week of school as you set up your classroom expectations. Autistic support and behavior support teachers will find this tool useful and easy to use for reinforcement and tracking. Gamify your class using badges as reward levels. Challenge students to progress through different achievement levels by providing badges along the way. Share student login information with parents so they can track progress and accomplishments at home. (Be sure to keep the login information yourself, just in case students misplace their login). Keep track of mastery of various topics or skills, much like a sticker chart! Students can embed their class badges in other sites, such as personal blogs, using the embed code.

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Zukeeni - Debbie Kristofferson

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Zukeeni offers information and support for new and master gardeners. Features of the site include set up tools for garden planning, a plant database, garden guides, and harvest schedules....more
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Zukeeni offers information and support for new and master gardeners. Features of the site include set up tools for garden planning, a plant database, garden guides, and harvest schedules. Some of these have explanatory videos. Sign up to create your personalized garden based on recommendations for your growing area. Once your garden design is complete, Zukeeni provides week by week planting suggestions that you check off as you finish the tasks. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Online-Convert, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): nutrition (158), plants (175)

In the Classroom

Use information from Zukeeni to enhance or begin your school's garden. If your school doesn't have an area for planting a garden, be creative! Plant a small garden in a wagon to roll in and out each day! Create a class wiki and update your garden's growth through pictures and words each week. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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ThemeSpark (Beta) - David Hunter

Grades
K to 12
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Create standards-based lessons and rubrics in minutes with ThemeSpark. Incorporate your ready-made materials or use global resources available on the site. The lesson builder includes...more
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Create standards-based lessons and rubrics in minutes with ThemeSpark. Incorporate your ready-made materials or use global resources available on the site. The lesson builder includes the ability to add a hook, information to learn, practice, and application activity. When finished, download the lesson in an easy to use format. Be sure to watch the QuickStart Lesson Builder video and read through the FAQ section on the site for full information about creating lessons and using ThemeSpark. 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 Online-Convert, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (116), professional development (161), rubrics (30)

In the Classroom

Use ThemeSpark for all of your lesson planning. Copy and paste current lesson plans to Theme Spark to match to standards. Collaborate with peers to create and develop standards-based lessons for your entire curriculum. This is perfect for when you need to have a sub, and for those teachers who must have a week of lesson plans on their desk for an administrator.

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