Online Tools: Suggestions from TeachersFirst

This editor's choice collection offers timesavers and organizational tools for teachers. They include "utility" sites for teaching tasks such as seating charts, rubrics, and certificates. Other tools facilitate parent communication, such as text messaging or online conferencing. Our editors have also hand picked simple, timesaving, creative tools from the TeachersFirst Edge. These tools organize to-do lists (for yourself or for students), convert files, remove ads from web pages, check web site readability, write a one-time blog, generate an online signup sheet, make a simple graphic organizer or chart, create online corkboards or stickies, and much more. Mark your Favorites using your free TeachersFirst membership, so you can find them quickly!

For a full listing of reviewed "creation" tools by category, try the TeachersFirst Edge, today's hottest tools for creating teacher and student projects online. 

 

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StoryToolz - Chuck Heintzelman

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
StoryToolz offers many different tools for authors: story generators, word count meters, a readability analysis, a random conflict generator, a title generator, a cliche buster, and...more
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StoryToolz offers many different tools for authors: story generators, word count meters, a readability analysis, a random conflict generator, a title generator, a cliche buster, and more. Choose any of the topics to begin. Story generators offer suggestions for conflict within a story or half a title. Choose from random title beginnings and endings to generate your title. Don't miss the Readability area: paste up to 5K of text in the box to check the readability of any source. Registration isn't required; however, it offers the opportunity for additional resources within the word count meter section and a larger portion of text for analyzing in the readability section.

tag(s): creative writing (121), readability (5), stories and storytelling (41)

In the Classroom

Enhance and modify student writing by having them use StoryToolz. First, share it with students with a projector in your writing class to generate ideas for stories, possible centers of conflict to map out the new tale, and show them how to use the tool. Use the readability section with any writing to determine appropriateness for use with students. Have students paste their writing in the readability section to determine if their writing is at an appropriate grade level or to note information such as words per sentence or use of various parts of speech. Paste into the cliche buster to point out ho-hum wording and overused expressions. Suddenly, students may begin to write more complex sentences or use more vivid language. Be sure to include a link to this site on your class webpage and classroom computers for use throughout the year. The readability portion of the site is a great resource for ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers to help determine the appropriateness of reading materials.

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PDF Mergy - PDF Mergy

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
PDF Mergy is a tool for combining multiple PDF documents into one file. Select files from your computer or Google Drive account to merge, drag, and drop to reorder, if ...more
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PDF Mergy is a tool for combining multiple PDF documents into one file. Select files from your computer or Google Drive account to merge, drag, and drop to reorder, if desired. Click the merge button when ready. When the merge is complete, save the new file to your computer or Google Drive with any name you choose.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (128)

In the Classroom

PDF Mergy is an excellent resource for combining multiple ideas for lessons. Save fraction handouts, continent maps and worksheets, or plant identification activities all together as one file. Remember that copyright still applies to any copyrighted pdfs you combine! Save student reports in PDF and combine to put the entire class' work in one single document. Save project receipts in one easy to find file, the possibilities are endless! Want to make a cool flippable book from your combined pdf of student writings? Try PDF to Flipbook Converter, reviewed here to turn the PDF into a flippable online book.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Compress Now - compressnow.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Compress images to a manageable size easily using Compress Now. Upload any image file up to 9 MB in size, slide the slider to choose the percentage of compression, and ...more
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Compress images to a manageable size easily using Compress Now. Upload any image file up to 9 MB in size, slide the slider to choose the percentage of compression, and view the result. Click download to save to your computer. Although this tool is recommended for all ages, elementary students would not use it, but their teachers can!

tag(s): images (263)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Compress Now (or save it in your favorites). Use this site throughout the year when working with images. Compress images for use on web pages to make pages loading more quickly. Use when emailing images to make sure they will get through.

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Rewordify - Neil M. Goldman

Grades
4 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown...more
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown with highlighting. Click on the highlighting to view the original, more difficult word(s). View excellent student and teacher demonstrations showing how to use the website. You have the option to choose how Rewordify displays the results using the options in the settings. Several options allow for easy personalization of results.

tag(s): multilingual (67), reading comprehension (143), vocabulary (236), vocabulary development (89)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for saving and bookmarking for classroom use! Start the school year out by posting the link to Rewordify on your class website and parent newsletter for student and parent access from home. Be sure to share with learning support and ENL/ELL teachers and students. Save a link to Rewordify on classroom computers for students to easily paste text from any website to read in a simpler format. Copy and paste any difficult text into Rewordify and display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to enhance student understanding or show meaning in complex texts. Have students guess meanings from context clues in the more complex version, then share the "rewordified" view to test their guesses. Have students create a word cloud of difficult words identified using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Have students take a screen shot of passages that have been "rewordified" to share and discuss.
 

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Quozio - Quozio.com

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Turn meaningful words into beautiful images in just seconds using Quozio. Paste or type your quote into the quote box or use the site's bookmarklet to highlight text from the ...more
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Turn meaningful words into beautiful images in just seconds using Quozio. Paste or type your quote into the quote box or use the site's bookmarklet to highlight text from the web to use as your quote. Enter who said it. Scroll through background images available to use with your quote. When finished, share via Pinterest, Facebook, or email. You can also RIGHT click the image to SAVE image as and download a copy to your computer for printing or use elsewhere. Register on Quozio using your email to save quotes directly on the Quozio site.

tag(s): bulletin boards (14), images (263), quotations (20), writing prompts (58)

In the Classroom

Use Quozio to create a beautiful image to begin a unit. Start with an interesting quote or comment. View the finished picture on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a starting point for the unit. Make a bulletin board of quote images as writing prompts or verbal snapshots of an era, an author, or a famous person. Have older students be responsible for creating a Quozio image each week with a quote of the week or interesting comment on events that occur in class. Have students choose one interesting quote or piece of information from any text to create a Quozio then have students explain their choice as part of a class presentation.

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Flask - flask.io

Grades
1 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Flask is a very simple list maker. Type in your first to-do item and press enter to create a new list. NO membership required! The unique url generates, and your ...more
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Flask is a very simple list maker. Type in your first to-do item and press enter to create a new list. NO membership required! The unique url generates, and your list is ready to use. Continue typing items as needed and change the name of your list if desired. Use the share button to view the url, embed link or to email the list.

tag(s): organizational skills (90)

In the Classroom

Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. Use class discussion to create a list of all necessary items or steps. Organize tasks and set due dates to assist students in time management for completing projects. Create weekly lists of due dates and important information to embed on your class website. Use this tool to support students in learning organizational skills. Share this tool at the beginning of the school year for your students to use to organize assignments. Use this tool for your own organizational purposes. Create as many separate lists as needed.

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Printable Paper - printablepaper.net

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper ...more
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Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper (college or wide rule), several forms of graph paper, letter templates, and much more. Use the categories listing to find specific options to narrow your search such as different forms of penmanship paper, score sheets, or music papers. There are even several different comic page templates and storyboard templates for storytelling or story mapping. Click on any paper image to download in PDF format. A special heading for teacher resources includes lesson plan paper and more. The specialty papers include doorhanger patterns to decorate and cut out. Don't miss the printable games.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (169), comics and cartoons (54), handwriting (16), letter writing (18), musical notation (35), preK (257)

In the Classroom

This site is a must bookmark for classroom use. Use anytime you need graph paper, writing paper, music sheets, etc. Share a link on your classroom website for student use at home. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Share this site with older students the first week of school. Now there is no excuse for not doing homework because of not having the correct type of paper! Some of the papers have alternate uses, such as using quilting graph paper to create and study geometric shapes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tableizer! - Danny Sanchez

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Tableizer is a "cool tool" for creating HTML code to show spreadsheet data in table format. No one wants to learn how to write HTML (web page code) to make ...more
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Tableizer is a "cool tool" for creating HTML code to show spreadsheet data in table format. No one wants to learn how to write HTML (web page code) to make tables, but adding a table to your blog is sometimes a must to line up information into columns. Copy and paste your cells from Excel, Calc, or other spreadsheets into the box provided. Choose options such as font size and style and color. Click the Tableize it! button to view the HTML code along with a preview of the results. Copy and paste the HTML code into any web page you create, such as your blog or wiki. The best part: no registration is required.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (66), data (147), spreadsheets (23)

In the Classroom

Tableizer is an excellent tool for easily displaying data on your web page or blog. Use anytime you want to display information from a spreadsheet. Share with students for use in displaying lab results, scientific data, budgets, etc. Use this to list a schedule of events, requirements, etc. in a clear table on your class blog.

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dotEPUB - Xavier Badosa

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Convert the content of any webpage into an e-book format to read on your tablet, phone, or other e-reader device using dotEPUB-- even offline! Install the browser bookmarklet in Firefox,...more
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Convert the content of any webpage into an e-book format to read on your tablet, phone, or other e-reader device using dotEPUB-- even offline! Install the browser bookmarklet in Firefox, Safari, Opera, Mozilla, or Chrome to begin. In Chrome and Mozilla use the dotEPUB browser extension to create documents. Once installed, click on the bookmarklet or browser extension while on any page to convert the page and send to your e-reader. Choose from either epub or mobi (Kindle) format for use in e-readers. View the instructional videos for complete directions on how to use the bookmarklet or extension. This site is also available in Spanish. The instructional videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube and you wish to share the videos in class, they may not be viewable.

In the Classroom

What a great find for BYOD programs! Use dotEPUB for students to take content from your course blog or website and put it on their e-readers for easy access wherever they go. Have students download informational texts from web sites to annotate in their e-reader software as you build comprehension and "close reading" skills a la CCSS. Elementary teachers will need to help students learn to use this tool. Use dotEPUB to create an ePub portfolio of your students' blogging efforts. In Spanish class, convert your website into an e-book for students to practice language learning. Make ePubs of any web content for portability and annotation tools available on e-readers.

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Venspired Free Posters - Krissy Venosdale

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
Are you looking to enhance the visual appeal of your classroom? Download creative and visually appealing posters for free through Flickr from this blog. The teacher who created it shares...more
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Are you looking to enhance the visual appeal of your classroom? Download creative and visually appealing posters for free through Flickr from this blog. The teacher who created it shares her own images for you to use. Click on any image in the blog and it will take you directly to the Flickr page. Follow the detailed steps explained in the blog post to create and save the image. There is also a link (with instructions) to create your own posters. The teacher who shared this information would like to hear from those who use her posters. This site accesses Flickr which is blocked by some school web filters.

tag(s): posters (44)

In the Classroom

Start your school year out by using some of these posters to decorate your classroom or hallways. Print pages to add inspiration in student notebooks or for motivational bulletin boards. Have students create their own posters after viewing the blog. Looking for a classroom theme? View the options available to enhance your room. Use the posters as a theme for the day, week, or month. Discuss the poster during class meetings. Relate the messages to character traits from reading selections, historical figures, or famous people. If you have a special class event, upload the images to Flickr (reviewed here) to make posters about it. Secondary teachers can create custom posters using their own digital pictures from historic sites or even roller coasters (for physics class).

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Timer-Tab - brillout.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
Timer-Tab is an easy to use online alarm clock, timer, and/or stopwatch. Click on any of the functions, set your time, and get started. The alarm clock and countdown move ...more
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Timer-Tab is an easy to use online alarm clock, timer, and/or stopwatch. Click on any of the functions, set your time, and get started. The alarm clock and countdown move in increments of hours, minutes, and seconds. The countdown and stopwatch also have a pause feature. One especially handy feature is that the time displays on the browser time so you can see it as you navigate other web sites.

tag(s): classroom management (128), counting (60), time (92)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. At the beginning of the school year, display on your interactive whiteboard or projector to time or countdown any classroom activity. That will get the students in the habit of checking how much time they have left. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit time for a quiz or spelling test. Use the countdown feature for timing the rotations from center to center. Use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups. Employ the count-down as a clever classroom management tool on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Students may even want to use this tool for themselves. Have a timer tab open in your web browser as you display web sites on a projector or web based activities on an interactive whiteboard so students know how much more time they have to read the site or complete the activity. Have kindergarten students practice counting along with the watch!

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Bingo Baker - Matt Johnson

Grades
K to 8
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Whip up a batch of Bingo cards in no time with Bingo Baker! Give your card a title and start typing words into the Bingo grid, change Bingo column headings ...more
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Whip up a batch of Bingo cards in no time with Bingo Baker! Give your card a title and start typing words into the Bingo grid, change Bingo column headings if desired. Use the option to leave the center space free or not by checking the box at the bottom of the page. When finished, click Generate to produce your cards. The free option is limited to printing 8 cards at a time. This may work best for centers and small group work instead of whole class activities.

tag(s): printables (37), worksheets (70)

In the Classroom

Use Bingo Baker to create Bingo games to review any topic with small groups. Instead of telling the word that is on the Bingo card give the definition (so students must find the term) or a math problem whose answer is among those on the card. Create sight word bingo cards for younger students. This is a great review tool for science or social studies. Put a short description of a vocabulary word into the space. Tell students the name of the vocabulary word and see if they can find it on the Bingo card. Or do the reverse and write the vocabulary word on the card and read the definition to the class. Encourage students to create bingo games for each other as review or to engage the audience during oral presentations. Learning support teachers can create them together with students as an engaging way to review. World language teachers (and students) can create bingo cards to reinforce vocabulary.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wordmark.it - wordmark.it

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Save time when creating presentations and choosing fonts by using Wordmark.it to preview what your exact words will look like. Simply type/paste in any words, and Wordmark.it scans...more
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Save time when creating presentations and choosing fonts by using Wordmark.it to preview what your exact words will look like. Simply type/paste in any words, and Wordmark.it scans the fonts on your computers, displaying the words in each and every font style you have. Adjust font size as desired to see changes or change to positive or negative space. This site helps find the perfect font for any use in no time at all! You no longer have to guess whether the capitals will look funny or the specific letters/words might be hard to read. Art teachers can use this to demonstrate design aspects of different fonts. Sign up using email and a password to save words if desired, but this isn't necessary for general use.

In the Classroom

Share with students to use when preparing any presentation or document. Use this site when creating items for your class blog or website. Be sure to save this tool in your favorites to use for professional projects and lessons!

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QuizBean - Bluehouse Group

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
QuizBean is an online quiz generator that does not require registration. Create "this or that" (sorting) quizzes that involve two options easily and quickly. Begin with a title then...more
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QuizBean is an online quiz generator that does not require registration. Create "this or that" (sorting) quizzes that involve two options easily and quickly. Begin with a title then add quiz answer options. These will be the same two answers for every question. Write the question in the next screen. Add as many additional questions as desired. When completed, save and share via your unique QuizBean URL or send via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Responses receive a correct or incorrect notification. A running total of responses displays on the right side of the screen. Although this site is recommended for all grades, with elementary students the teacher should create the QuizBean for students (with their input). The home page features titles of quizzes created by current users (general public). Check the site before sharing it with students. Displayed on the front page are the most recent quizzes For example, at the time of this review, there were quizzes about beer preference.

tag(s): quiz (65), quizzes (87), test prep (67)

In the Classroom

This site would be great for review in many subject areas. Share how to use this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a QuizBean for early elementary students to identify nouns and verbs, animals and plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, healthy or unhealthy foods, etc. Have students identify Union or Confederate items for Civil War studies. In Science challenge students to categorize animals as mammal or reptile. Pretest your gifted students and allow them to "test out" of material already known. Challenge students to create their own QuizBean for others to use for review and post a link to the quizzes on the class website or blog. Create this-or-that quizzes for ESL/ELL students as they learn English, and then as they start writing to identify proper subject verb and subject pronoun agreement.

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Bubble Test Form Generator - Answer Sheets - Catpin Productions

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Do your students have trouble filling in the bubbles? Create free bubble sheets for assessments. Carefully fill in the fields as you scroll down the page. Blank boxes will not ...more
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Do your students have trouble filling in the bubbles? Create free bubble sheets for assessments. Carefully fill in the fields as you scroll down the page. Blank boxes will not appear on the test form. Change font sizes for the text, and provide directions in English or Spanish. Format your bubble columns and styles that best meet your assessment needs. Select a variety of other graphic styles that are not necessarily "normal" looking bubbles. Various styles of math grids are available. Choose from a menu of miscellaneous options to add some creativity to your test form. Include scoring boxes for evaluation and comments. Include registration marks for automated test marking machines. Select the "Test ID" option to reprint your form at a later date. The ID number will appear on your form. All data is saved for future retrieval (1-2 months). Create a test key by printing a bubble sheet on a clear transparency. Use a permanent pen to mark the correct answers on the test key.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (145), test prep (67)

In the Classroom

Are your students in trouble with the bubble? Provide them with a daily double bubble form. Introduce your students to the many different styles of testing early in the school year. Create forms that mirror graphics, a feelings chart, fact/opinion, music staffs, and many other options. Go beyond the bubble and have students analyze assessment results. Tired of grading? Use the registration marks to create forms for automated testing machines. Students can self-correct using test keys. Get instant results for faster analysis. Give your younger students regular practice with bubbles by creating a "lunch count" bubble sheet students fill in "packing" or "buying" or a daily attendance check in sheet.

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Fotor - Photo Editing Made Easy - fotor.com

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Fotor is an easy online photo editing tool that doesn't require registration. Upload any picture from your computer to begin. Choose from the editing choices provided. Select...more
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Fotor is an easy online photo editing tool that doesn't require registration. Upload any picture from your computer to begin. Choose from the editing choices provided. Select a template and use basic editing tools to automatically enhance, rotate, crop, resize, and adjust lighting on images. Choose from many effects such as vintage, sepia, and other color effects. Add frames, apply a splash of color, or add text. When finished, save to your computer. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or email with links provided. Other options include templates for creating collages, photo cards, and HDR images. All options are clearly labeled, and edits are available until you are happy with the finished result. Looking to create a collage? With Fotor, you can do that, too! At the time of this review, fotor was available as an app for iPhone, Android and works on Windows and Mac.

tag(s): collages (19), comics and cartoons (54), editing (90), images (263), photography (125)

In the Classroom

Use this tool anytime that photos need to be edited for use on class blogs, wikis, or sites. In primary grades, this tool could be useful for teachers to use to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Consider making them into a collage and posting it on your webpage. Share the editing process with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit together! Encourage older students to use this site themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use the editor to edit pictures to fit styles of pictures when doing historical reports or to set a mood. Use caption bubbles for the photos themselves to tell the stories. Have students annotate or label Creative Commons online images of cells, structures of an animal, and much more. Share the results (with an image credit) on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Chart Jungle - Wendy Shepherd

Grades
K to 4
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Find and print many useful charts at Chart Jungle. Under Education, topics include story starters, homework charts, reading logs, and more. Chart Jungle also includes alphabet and number...more
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Find and print many useful charts at Chart Jungle. Under Education, topics include story starters, homework charts, reading logs, and more. Chart Jungle also includes alphabet and number flash cards to print and use. Other interesting printables include the digestive system, clocks, and skeletons. Choose any chart to print directly from your computer. Although this site does include a lot of advertisements, there are many timesavers and treasures.
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tag(s): charts and graphs (169), classroom management (128), flash cards (41), handwriting (16), homework (33), organizational skills (90), presidents (121), printables (37), time (92)

In the Classroom

Use Chart Jungle as a resource for charts for use throughout the school year. Familiarize yourself with this site at the beginning of the school year. Use the reading chart for students to record the minutes spent reading at home. Use the homework charts to help your students stay organized. Share the flash cards link with parents to use at home.

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Word Search Builder - PedagoNet.com

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Create a word search in a few easy steps. You can choose the size of the puzzle (10 x 10 to 100 x 100) as well as how many words ...more
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Create a word search in a few easy steps. You can choose the size of the puzzle (10 x 10 to 100 x 100) as well as how many words the puzzle contains. You can also choose the highlight color, background color, font size and "word management." Word management allows you the choice of words being forward and backward, diagonal, up and down, and more. Options allow for the puzzle to be played online or printed out.

tag(s): puzzles (143), spelling (96), word study (58)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to help students review spelling words or other content related vocabulary. Change the font to a larger size and print it out for young children or students that have vision issues. Have students create word searches for other students to take. Learning support teachers might want to have partners create word searches as a review activity for terms.

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Quick Picture Tools - QuickPictureTools.com

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Quick Picture Tools offers 12 tools for editing and enhancing pictures. Choose from embossed text, frames, combining images, add text, blur, and more. Click on the editing tool you...more
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Quick Picture Tools offers 12 tools for editing and enhancing pictures. Choose from embossed text, frames, combining images, add text, blur, and more. Click on the editing tool you desire, then choose from options offered to edit pictures. When finished, click "generate image" to save to your computer. No registration needed!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (63), firstday (22), images (263)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for easy image editing for you and your students for any classroom projects. No registration is required, and images are saved directly to your computer for immediate use. Make simple reminder posters or classroom signs using the text emboss tool. Invite students to create image/text combinations for bulletin boards, such as types of leaves or insects. Make introductions of students as a first day of school activity using digital pictures and the text tool.

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Kinteractive Learning - BarryFunEnglish. com

Grades
K to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
Kinteractive Learning offers several free and useful teacher tools for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the dartboard selector to randomly choose students from your...more
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Kinteractive Learning offers several free and useful teacher tools for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the dartboard selector to randomly choose students from your class. Import your class from a txt file or input names manually. Easily edit your class list with absent students. Once ready, click to spin the dartboard, launch a dart and see what names appear! Open each tool in a new window for a larger viewing area. At the time of this review, the other free tools included a random name generator, scoreboard, and stopwatch. Access to all tools is available after registration with email and a password. Note that other areas of this site are subscription-based.

tag(s): classroom management (128)

In the Classroom

Use the free registration option to sign up for the site. Bookmark and use this site as a tool for classroom management, such as a way for choosing random students, keeping score, stopwatch, and others. All of the tools are perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Open them in separate windows so that you can drag off to the side if doing an on-screen activity.

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