Ideas and resources for parent conferences

These reviewed resources offer information so share with parents at conferences or suggested activities to share at conference time. Read "In the Classroom" ideas to display and other creative approaches for parent conferences. Parents will appreciate your sharing of educator-reviewed resources at conferences and on your TeachersFirst public page so you can work as a team in support of their child's learning.

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Proficonf Video Conferencing - Proficonf Ltd.

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need a safe online meeting site? Proficonf offers web-based conferencing without any downloads. Create your room, share the link, and begin your conference. After creating your...more
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Do you need a safe online meeting site? Proficonf offers web-based conferencing without any downloads. Create your room, share the link, and begin your conference. After creating your account, begin an event or schedule a time for a later meeting date. After allowing the site to access your camera and microphone, choose the link to share with invited participants. This site also includes a chat feature to turn on or off as desired. Other options allow screen sharing, an online whiteboard, and file uploads. Free accounts offer meeting times of up to 45 minutes with up to 25 participants.

tag(s): collaboration (55), parent conferences (23), parents (53)

In the Classroom

Use Proficonf to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. Online conferencing is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work. Enhance classroom technology by sharing this tool with students to use when collaborating on group projects. If using the chat feature, ask them to include their chat with the final project as part of their reflection on the learning process.

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PictureStem Project - Tamara Moore, Kristina Tank, and Elizabeth Gajdzik

Grades
K to 3
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The PictureStem Project offers STEM teaching units for grades K-2 incorporating the engineering process and correlated to science standards. These three units - one each for grades...more
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The PictureStem Project offers STEM teaching units for grades K-2 incorporating the engineering process and correlated to science standards. These three units - one each for grades K, 1, and 2 include modular features that contain content within different lessons throughout the school day. Each lesson within a unit provides science concepts based upon literary connections using picture books. Select any unit to view and download the entire unit including printables.

tag(s): animal homes (67), animals (324), engineering (130), geometric shapes (172), main idea (8), measurement (178), numbers (191), patterns (89), phonics (68), preK (281), reading comprehension (131), STEM (211)

In the Classroom

Enjoy these free, high-quality STEM units to use in your elementary classroom. As you teach lessons found on this site, enhance learning using a portfolio-creation tool like Seesaw, reviewed here, to share student work and reflections. Upload images of student projects then use Seesaw to add video reflections, students' written responses, and more. Share Seesaw portfolios with parents during parent/teacher conferences to demonstrate student learning. If you are unable to use the complete units in your classroom, be sure to look through the many lessons to "mine" for shorter activities that work in your teaching situation.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Collabify - collabify.app

Grades
4 to 12
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Participate in an online meeting with one click using Collabify, no registration or download required. Click to begin your session, then share the URL with the other participant. Features...more
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Participate in an online meeting with one click using Collabify, no registration or download required. Click to begin your session, then share the URL with the other participant. Features include chat, webcam access, screen sharing, and file sharing. Using this site without registration allows you to participate in one-on-one meetings, register to invite up to four participants.

tag(s): chat (45), collaboration (55), parent conferences (23), parents (53)

In the Classroom

Use Collabify to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. Collabify is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work.

Have your students set up collaborative groups for projects, lab data, and more. Anything students can do on a single computer; they can do collaboratively on this tool, accessing their work from any online computer. Be sure to test out this tool before using with your class. It may be a good idea to set up the groups with the teacher as a "member" but have students work from home for group projects. Make sure you are protecting the safety of student work and identity and are within your school's Acceptable Use Policy.

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Microsoft Forms - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need a quick and easy way to create forms, quizzes, and polls? Microsoft Forms has you covered. Create surveys and collect data in real-time, assign quizzes with your ...more
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Do you need a quick and easy way to create forms, quizzes, and polls? Microsoft Forms has you covered. Create surveys and collect data in real-time, assign quizzes with your point values for automatic grading, and create polls on the fly to quickly receive responses for immediate use. Sign in to your Microsoft account to begin (or create a free account) and select either a new form or quiz. Click on the plus mark and follow prompts to add new items. Add an image to any part of the form using the search bar or upload your own. Forms also offer the option to add a YouTube video within questions. Forms works on all devices, use the preview to see your form as it appears on computers or mobile devices before sending. Share your form using the URL, QR code, or embed in a website or email. View responses through the response tab created with your form. Return to previous forms as needed to review the data collected or duplicate forms to create new polls or surveys.

tag(s): assessment (123), polls and surveys (49), spreadsheets (24)

In the Classroom

Discover the benefits of using Microsoft Forms in your classroom to create surveys for parents and students at the beginning of the year to learn about student interests, create parent volunteer lists, and much more. Create a sign in and sign out sheet for classroom library materials, including books and digital equipment. Use Microsoft Forms to set up and collaborate on lesson plans, include check boxes to standards, materials needed, and covered content. Microsoft Forms is perfect to use for assessment purposes - create online quizzes and exit tickets. Have students use Microsoft Forms to prepare and submit reading logs, brainstorm, and collaborate with fellow students, create "choose your own adventure" stories, or schedule reading and writing conference times. Use Microsoft Forms to set up and share rubrics for any project, have students complete the rubric and turn in with any completed assignment. The uses for Microsoft Forms are as unlimited as your imagination; this is a must-have tool for all classrooms!

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The Time Now - Shane Buck

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K to 12
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The Time Now provides accurate synchronized time information from anywhere in the world. Add multiple locations to compare current local time. This site also features several tools...more
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The Time Now provides accurate synchronized time information from anywhere in the world. Add multiple locations to compare current local time. This site also features several tools including currency converters and travel information. This site meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) standards by providing tools making content useful to all users including those with disabilities including sight impairments.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calculators (39), calendars (38), moon (81), space (233), sun (76), time (138), time zones (9), weather (211)

In the Classroom

Bookmark (or save in your favorites) The Time Now on your classroom computers for students to use throughout the year. Find out the local time and temperature in countries as you study them and compare their local time to yours. Include time/date conversions for online conferences you will hold with parents who are deployed or traveling in different time zones. Share meeting dates/times for Skype sessions using the time conversions, so everyone is "on time." Find a partner classroom located in a different time zone and use The Time Now to compare local times throughout the day. Then create a collaborative class book with your partner class to contrast and compare what is happening in one area of the world compared to your partner. Use a tool like Book Creator, reviewed here, to create collaborative books including images, videos, and audio recordings.

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kudoswall - Nikhil Vootkur and Jag Vootkur

Grades
K to 12
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kudoswall is a free online portfolio-building tool. Upload images to document accomplishments, talents, and experiences. Add and sort information into categories documenting sports,...more
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kudoswall is a free online portfolio-building tool. Upload images to document accomplishments, talents, and experiences. Add and sort information into categories documenting sports, academic, volunteer, or other topics. kudoswall automatically creates a portfolio for sharing or updating at any time.

tag(s): assessment (123), classroom management (145), portfolios (22)

In the Classroom

Record classroom activities and student learning with photos or written anecdotes. 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 anytime the student portfolio is updated to keep parents in the loop.

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Sticky Notes: Just Popped Up! - Ukiv

Grades
4 to 12
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Do you always place sticky notes on your computer screen? This Chrome extension is for you. This simple design allows users to add a note to their screen with one ...more
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Do you always place sticky notes on your computer screen? This Chrome extension is for you. This simple design allows users to add a note to their screen with one click. Change font size, color, and themes to personalize your stickies. View your notes across devices when logged in to Chrome. Be sure to watch for updates to include multiple sticky notes and features for sharing.

tag(s): brainstorming (21), note taking (42), organizational skills (107)

In the Classroom

Make notes for conferences, lab materials, books needed, or even parent conferences on any web page. Add sticky notes to any webpage or PDF shared with students on your interactive whiteboard to remind them of necessary information or as a list of important items to watch for when viewing a page. Create a list of vocabulary words from any website as you view it together. Share this extension for students to use on their device for note-taking.

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Casa Notes - 4Teachers

Grades
K to 5
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Casa Notes is your time-saving friend when sending notes home for typical school reasons such as field trips, conferences, and student performance. This site includes 12 templates for...more
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Casa Notes is your time-saving friend when sending notes home for typical school reasons such as field trips, conferences, and student performance. This site includes 12 templates for you to customize some of the content, the color scheme, and add an image. Choose preview to view any template and see what information can be changed; click the circle button, and the red continue button at the bottom of the list to begin customizing your letter. Follow each step to change colors and add information. When complete, print from your browser.

tag(s): communication (15), field trips (11), homework (38), parents (53)

In the Classroom

Use Casa Notes to communicate quickly and easily from your classroom to parents. Print up several thank-you notes in advance, then add names as needed. Use the homework template to fill in missed work for absentee students, or to send home as a weekly notice to parents. Share with students to create notes to thank classroom speakers and helpers.

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Mic Note - Treebeard Bros.

Grades
K to 12
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Mic Note is a voice recorder and notepad available for download on most computer systems. Features include timestamps on recordings, editing, transcription, and shareable links. Once...more
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Mic Note is a voice recorder and notepad available for download on most computer systems. Features include timestamps on recordings, editing, transcription, and shareable links. Once logged in, Mic Note syncs notes across platforms making them available from anywhere. Check the download area to choose the correct version for your needs.

tag(s): fluency (24), note taking (42), speech (86)

In the Classroom

Have students practice spelling words orally, record speeches, practice reading fluency, and much more using Mic Note. After recording, allow students to listen to the playback and reflect upon the quality of their work. Do before and after recordings of students to share with parents during conferences to demonstrate reading progress. Have students record weekly summaries for what has happened in your class to share on your class website or blog. Record weekly or daily homework assignments and share as a voice recording on your website. Save file space by replacing old files with new ones. Mic Note would be an excellent resource for recording and sharing more complicated directions for projects and assignments (adding your voice intonation and cues!). Your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students may do better with a combination of written AND auditory directions. Provide the link on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice in spelling, reading, practicing reports, and more. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Have students write and record audio book reviews others can play on iPads or iTouches in the school library. If you have gifted students in your classroom, this tool is simple enough for even the youngest to be able to record audio mini-dramas portraying a historic figure or event, poetry readings, and more. Be sure to show them how to NAME and download the files to the local computer! Anything they can say out loud can become a creative project recording. Don't forget about recording musical performances or practices.

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Google Forms - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Create forms for virtually any need using Google Forms, part of Google's online suite of document tools. Begin with included templates, or start with a blank form to create polls, ...more
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Create forms for virtually any need using Google Forms, part of Google's online suite of document tools. Begin with included templates, or start with a blank form to create polls, sign-ups, registrations, and much more. Choose from multiple response options including short answer, multiple choice, and check boxes. Options also allow users to incorporate images and YouTube videos directly into any form. You have the ability to make questions required or optional. Once shared, receive responses in real-time within the "Responses" tab or link to a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

tag(s): polls and surveys (49), spreadsheets (24)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the flexibility of Google Forms to create surveys for parents and students at the beginning of the year to learn about student interests, create parent volunteer lists, and much more. Create sign in and sign out sheets for classroom library materials including books and digital equipment. Use Google Forms to set up and collaborate on lesson plans, include check boxes to standards, materials needed, and covered content. Google Forms is perfect to use for assessment purposes - create online quizzes and exit tickets. Have students use Google Forms to prepare and submit reading logs, brainstorm and collaborate with fellow students, create choose your own adventure stories, or schedule reading and writing conference times. Use Google Forms to set up and share rubrics for any project, have students complete the rubric and turn in with any completed assignment. The uses for Google Forms are as unlimited as your imagination; this is a must-have tool for all classrooms!

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OurStickys - Fabrizio Parrella

Grades
4 to 12
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OurStickys is a Chrome extension that allows you to add a sticky note to any web page or PDF and has some unique features not found on most sticky note ...more
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OurStickys is a Chrome extension that allows you to add a sticky note to any web page or PDF and has some unique features not found on most sticky note tools. Your sticky note appears each time you open that page, even on another machine! Once installed, right-click on any page to add a note. Personalize notes by color, font, size, and position. Add YouTube videos that will play directly in the sticky. Drag and drop text from any program. Even convert a sticky to a "to-do" list! Follow directions to install the extension on your Chrome browser. Plans for the future of this tool include adding the ability to have a simple chat per sticky and to have reminders with notifications.

tag(s): brainstorming (21), note taking (42), organizational skills (107)

In the Classroom

Make notes for conferences, lab materials, books needed, or even parent conferences on any web page. Add sticky notes to any webpage or PDF shared with students on your interactive whiteboard to remind them of important information or as a list of important items to watch for when viewing a page. Create a list of vocabulary words from any website as you view it together. Share this extension for students to use on their personal device for note-taking.

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Mahara - New Zealand's Tertiary Education Commission

Grades
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 (123), classroom management (145), portfolios (22)

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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ClassTag - Vlada Lotkina and Jason Olim

Grades
K to 12
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ClassTag is a cloud-based management system for teachers to engage parents in their classroom community. Instead of parents signing up, teachers add emails to send out invitations to...more
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ClassTag is a cloud-based management system for teachers to engage parents in their classroom community. Instead of parents signing up, teachers add emails to send out invitations to participate. All included emails receive notice of updates and information even without signing up. ClassTag allows teachers to view who has read announcements and other pertinent information. Another option allows teachers to send out a weekly newsletter including personal notes and updates.

tag(s): chat (45), classroom management (145), communication (15), DAT device agnostic tool (169), parent conferences (23), parents (53), Teacher Utilities (88)

In the Classroom

Create a free account to use for all your classes, and even your extracurricular activities. Use this tool to send homework, project, and supply reminders. Remind parents of upcoming events, practices, or items students need to bring to class or practice. Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures and more.

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Updwn - Nathan Bashaw & Connor Montgomery

Grades
K to 12
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Create simple, real-time polls using Updwn without having to register. Type your question and add answer options. If you wish, users can also add their own response. Click the "send...more
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Create simple, real-time polls using Updwn without having to register. Type your question and add answer options. If you wish, users can also add their own response. Click the "send to" icon on your poll to find the URL for your poll. View feedback as users use green and red arrows to choose answers; their initials show next to the chosen response.

tag(s): polls and surveys (49), quizzes (93)

In the Classroom

Use Updwn for quick feedback in your 1:1 classroom. Ask students to choose from book options for independent reading, type of class project, provide a short response for an exit ticket, or choose the correct answer to a math problem. Allow students to create polls for use with presentations. Create a quick Updwn poll for use during back-to-school night or parent conferences; have parents vote on suggested field trips or preferred communication methods. Create a link to a survey on your class website to ask a question of the day. Updwn is perfect for use in virtually any situation requiring quick and simple feedback.

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FreshGrade - Lane Merrifield and Steve Wandler

Grades
K to 12
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FreshGrade is more than a classroom management system; it also creates eportfolios for all students. Easily capture, provide feedback, and share student work with this tool. Use FreshGrade...more
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FreshGrade is more than a classroom management system; it also creates eportfolios for all students. Easily capture, provide feedback, and share student work with this tool. Use FreshGrade to post lessons, assignments, and due dates. Keep track of grades and allow students to contribute video, audio, images, and comments to their eportfolios. Easily share with parents who can also comment. Create an account using your email and start setting up your classes. Click the drop-down arrow next to your name for support. The support is extensive: find a Quick Start Guide, Walkthrough Video, comprehensive Product Guide, FAQ's, Knowledge Base, and a Video Library. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): assessment (123), classroom management (145), multimedia (52), portfolios (22), Teacher Utilities (88)

In the Classroom

Use FreshGrade to manage and organize any classroom. Maintain a classroom calendar so students can easily find due dates and deadlines for homework and projects. Share information with parents to keep them up to date. Even if your school or district already has a learning management system for tracking grades, use FreshGrade for the student portfolios and easy parent inclusion. Record classroom activities and student learning with photos or videos using your mobile device. Show students how to 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. Share student accounts with other teachers they may have.

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Zoom - Eric Yuan

Grades
K to 12
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Collaborate with up to 100 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting...more
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Collaborate with up to 100 participants from anywhere and at any time with Zoom's free online video conferencing options. Features include screen sharing, scheduled or instant meeting times, and private or group chat. Up to 40 minutes of group meeting time, and unlimited 1:1 meeting time is included with the free meeting plans. Sign up using your email or social network account to begin hosting a meeting. The step by step instructions make it easy to quickly begin video conferencing at your convenience.

tag(s): chat (45), DAT device agnostic tool (169), parent conferences (23), video (267)

In the Classroom

Use Zoom to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work. Connect whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Collaborate with experts such as authors and scientists with classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Consider using a tool such as Remind, reviewed here, to alert parents and students when your sessions are open. Use Zoom for group work - no more excuses about not being able to meet for cooperative learning projects! Buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond!

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Flock - Cookies Riva FZC

Grades
8 to 12
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Flock is a free chat and collaboration service. Start by signing up for an account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or video ...more
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Flock is a free chat and collaboration service. Start by signing up for an account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or video conference. Add attachments, polls, a code snippet, or an emoticon. Create a to-do list for the group or project. With the free account, chat records are kept for 30 days. Be mindful of the laws and regulations. Use the web version or download the software.

tag(s): chat (45), microblogging (28), polls and surveys (49), video (267)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use the chat feature to communicate with parents or students. Collaborate with other educators on lesson plans and activities. Create groups of students during group projects for collaboration. Attach the directions to the chat and monitor the conversation by including yourself in the group and promoting good digital citizenship. Use the poll feature to check for understanding or use the chat as an exit ticket.

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Do Your Homework Arizona - Stand for Children Arizona

Grades
K to 8
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Do Your Homework Arizona is a free tool for helping parents understand Common Core Math and English Standards in grades K-8. Search by keyword or explore by grade level and ...more
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Do Your Homework Arizona is a free tool for helping parents understand Common Core Math and English Standards in grades K-8. Search by keyword or explore by grade level and content. Links provide a definition and explanation of each standard and most include an additional link to a practice activity or suggestions for practicing the standard at home. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): commoncore (88), parent conferences (23), parents (53)

In the Classroom

Although created for Arizona parents, all content is aligned to Common Core Standards. Share a link to the site on your class webpage for parents to access on their own. Share information from the site during parent conferences or Meet the Teacher Events to help parents understand standards.
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Woot Math - Woot Math Inc

Grades
4 to 8
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Woot Math is an online math program specifically developed for pre-algebra readiness through targeted lessons in decimals and fractions. Register to create and set up a classroom account...more
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Woot Math is an online math program specifically developed for pre-algebra readiness through targeted lessons in decimals and fractions. Register to create and set up a classroom account for students to independently work on Woot Math activities. Although the teacher creates a starting point, this tool then suggests and unlocks activities based on student performance. Lessons include an explanation of concepts and interactive practice. The teacher dashboard provides information on individual and class progress through the lessons. Sign up for Woot Math for 2015-2016 is free.

tag(s): classroom management (145), decimals (125), fractions (232)

In the Classroom

Woot Math is perfect for use as a classroom center that adapts to individual student needs and skills. Create your account and demonstrate to students on your interactive whiteboard or projector how to log on and use this site. Be sure to share a link on your class web page for use at home. Share Woot Math with parents during Meet the Teacher Night or during student conferences as a resource for practicing fractions and decimals at home. Although the site is for pre-algebra students, lessons provide excellent practice for any student needing additional help with decimals and fractions.
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Milestones - GreatKids

Grades
K to 8
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Milestones offers a collection of videos demonstrating grade-level expectations for Kindergarten through middle school. Choose a grade to start. Select a video from the different categories...more
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Milestones offers a collection of videos demonstrating grade-level expectations for Kindergarten through middle school. Choose a grade to start. Select a video from the different categories offered, including reading, math, and writing. These short videos run about a minute in length and provide an excellent look at the successful accomplishment of grade-level goals. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): parent conferences (23), parents (53), professional development (196), video (267)

In the Classroom

Milestones is perfect for sharing with parents to explain grade-level goals and expectations. Share a link on your class web page or blog for parents to access at any time. Share one or two videos during your meet the teacher night or with individual parents during conferences.

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