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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CurriConnects Book List: Books for Tough Situations - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find independent reading books to help students facing difficult circumstances such as divorce, loss, bullying, deployed parents, friendship issues, eating...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find independent reading books to help students facing difficult circumstances such as divorce, loss, bullying, deployed parents, friendship issues, eating disorders, and more. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'''''® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): difficult conversations (35), disabilities (25), divorce (5), eating disorders (8), emotions (42), social and emotional learning (38), social skills (24)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills and help students facing personal challenges. Reading about personally meaningful topics will help students work through them. It will also build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to what they already know. Keep this list handy in your Favorites to suggest options when a student seems to need them. Since the list includes topics for all levels of maturity, you might want to share portions of it rather than the entire list. You may also want to tell parents about it during parent conferences or when situations arise. As always, allow students to self- select independent reading books from a list of options. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan, if needed. Your school counselor will also appreciate this list. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers and parents who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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Education.com - Education.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find parent information and the ideas to help their kids reach their full potential and make learning fun. There are also many resources for classroom teachers, making the site worthwhile...more
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Find parent information and the ideas to help their kids reach their full potential and make learning fun. There are also many resources for classroom teachers, making the site worthwhile for both. The site is very large, and there is much to explore (articles, lesson activities, worksheets, and more). Find grade-level specific links on the left-hand side, from before Pre-School all the way to High School. Search by topic or browse by age, topic, or featured information. Other methods to browse include menus for Just Ask, Activities, Worksheets, Video, and more. Featured topics each month include back to school information, kindergarten readiness, what to expect in various grade levels, bullying, and other topics relevant to school-age children. There is also a free smartphone app. You can also sign up for the weekly newsletter including a new activity each week.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (59), black history (78), bullying (52), child development (24), crafts (42), parent conferences (22), parents (60), psychology (66), science fairs (24)

In the Classroom

Find information on current education topics such as bullying, creative arts, and more to use in the classroom or share with parents during conferences or in classroom newsletters. Share this site with parents as a resource to help them understand academic, social, and developmental benchmarks expected with each grade level and as a resource for additional activities and worksheets to help support classroom learning. Peruse the many articles related to everything education (for both parents and teachers).

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Behavior Doctor Forms and Tools - Laura A. Riffel, PHD

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Behavior Doctor Seminars offers resources to be used in schoolwide "Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports." The site offers paid seminars; instead you can start positive behavioral...more
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Behavior Doctor Seminars offers resources to be used in schoolwide "Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports." The site offers paid seminars; instead you can start positive behavioral interventions in the classroom or even schoolwide. Try these positive behavior interventions at home as well. The interventions are powerful and may sound a little too "happy" at times. But you get more with sugar than vinegar! The topics vary greatly and include parenting articles such as "100 Free Ways Parents Can Reward Their Children" and teaching articles such as "Desk Fairy Coupon for Neat Desks." There is something here for all grade levels.

tag(s): behavior (43), classroom management (143), organizational skills (97), parent conferences (22), parents (60), Special Needs (40)

In the Classroom

Read about positive behavior interventions and use this site as a resource for implementing the practices that you are comfortable with. If nothing else, try some of the "100 free ways to reward children." These simple ideas can mean a lot to your students. Check out the list of Character Education books. Educate yourself using some of the special education information available here. Be sure to share useful ideas with parents by sharing this link on you class web page or i newsletters. You may want to suggest specific ideas to individual parents at conferences.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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My Young Child - Early Parenting Foundation

Grades
K to 3
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Find online stories to read with young children and help build values. Each title states the value taught: honesty, patience, self-esteem, respect, forgiveness, and fairness. Stories...more
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Find online stories to read with young children and help build values. Each title states the value taught: honesty, patience, self-esteem, respect, forgiveness, and fairness. Stories can be read together or children can watch a video and follow along with the story. The site includes a section for parents with tips on reading with children and promoting good values. The educators section of the site has tips for using the site in the classroom and includes more ideas for parents.

tag(s): bullying (52), child development (24), literacy (89), parent conferences (22), parents (60)

In the Classroom

These short videos/audio books are perfect to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector during class meeting or lesson on honesty or other character values. Share this site on your classroom website or newsletters for students to access at home and to share reading tips with parents. Videos can be embedded on your website or blog for review. This is a winner to share at parent conferences in primary grades!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Jotform - Interlogy, LLC

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use JotForm to quickly build a professional online form. Build contact forms, surveys, and many other forms in a matter of minutes. Customize to meet your needs. Use the large, ...more
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Use JotForm to quickly build a professional online form. Build contact forms, surveys, and many other forms in a matter of minutes. Customize to meet your needs. Use the large, empty canvas by dragging and dropping elements. Generate and post your form online and receive an email for every survey response.

tag(s): polls and surveys (46)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom for a survey, collecting student information, or any time you are looking for feedback. Use this site for checking student knowledge quickly and easily. Use in projects, including graduation projects. Students can collect data for analysis. Teachers can collect input from parents or students, including conference concerns to know about in advance or questions students have about current curriculum topics. Students who might never speak up in class may be willing to share their questions online, especially if it is anonymous.

Comments

Jotform is really easy to use! But there are some limits regarding how long and often you can use it without paying. I also use Google forms/ spreadsheets in my class to make forms. Google spreadsheets also have gadgets that let you graph the results! Elise, CO, Grades: 0 - 12

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The Explorers' Graveyard - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 6
17 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Combine writing, an explorers' study, and fall celebrations using this activity which asks students to compose an epitaph for an explorer of their choice. Writing and art opportunities...more
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Combine writing, an explorers' study, and fall celebrations using this activity which asks students to compose an epitaph for an explorer of their choice. Writing and art opportunities abound, and the end product makes a great display for parent-teacher conferences.

tag(s): explorers (65), poetry (195)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free and interactive lesson plan! Just be sure to save it as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on!

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SignUp - Volunteer Spot

Grades
K to 12
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With SignUp, formerly VolunteerSpot, manage classroom helpers, conference nights, and much more with this easy to use web service. This is a real time-saver since everyone schedules...more
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With SignUp, formerly VolunteerSpot, manage classroom helpers, conference nights, and much more with this easy to use web service. This is a real time-saver since everyone schedules their own time online - no more gathering and sorting papers, and preparing schedules! After signing up for free at the site, teachers can create items and add to a calendar along with different length time spots, as needed. Once the event has been set up, share the URL with parents and others via a web page link, email, or school newsletter. Once a participant has signed up for a time spot they receive email confirmation and an email reminder close before their assigned time. (WOW!) They can also go in and cancel their assigned time completely or choose another time. This feature can be locked if you don't want changes close to the event. Schedules are printable so that they can be posted and used during the event period. For a quick overview of how to use the site, be sure to watch the short video tour included on the home page. Video tutorials reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calendars (40), parent conferences (22)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use this for conference night sign-ups; parents can see time slots available immediately and choose what is best for them. This is also great to use for classroom volunteer schedules, class snack sign-ups, and more. School organizations such as PTO's can use this to schedule volunteers for fundraisers, library helpers, and any other activities requiring a volunteer pool. After creating an event, be sure to post the link to the sign up on your class webpage, blog, and in class newsletters. Teachers will also love using this to organize faculty events and more.

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Cycles vs. Checklists: Fostering Creative Process in an Accountability World - TeachersFirst/Candace Hackett Shively

Grades
6 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Accountability for curriculum creates a tug-of-war with creativity in the data-driven world of education. Find ideas and examples for respecting and incorporating students' creative...more
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Accountability for curriculum creates a tug-of-war with creativity in the data-driven world of education. Find ideas and examples for respecting and incorporating students' creative process as an overlay to even the most restrictive curriculum in these pages, originally part of a presentation by Candace Hackett Shively at the ISTE 2011 conference. Take a high-level look at what theorists and practicing "creative people" say about creative process, and find practical ways to make that process a habit in your classroom. Download customizable assignments and rubrics as examples to use with middle and high school students. This resource is a "macro" overview of creative process, companion to the "micro" (skills based) analysis offered in our Dimensions of Creativity pages.

tag(s): creativity (98)

In the Classroom

Teachers in any subject will find ideas for fostering creativity in their classroom, especially with students developmentally ready to talk about their own creative process (usually middle school and up). Make this professional information a discussion item among your teaching peers and with parents. Share it with colleagues for an informal inservice session. Use the many resources to help students discover their own creative process just as you would help them discover their learning styles. Make creative process a habit in your class assignments through electronic idea bins and more.

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Do Try This at Home: Invention at Play - Smithsonian Museum of National History

Grades
K to 6
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The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation offers this site as a way to explore and learn how to play. The site includes opportunities for play that ...more
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The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation offers this site as a way to explore and learn how to play. The site includes opportunities for play that develops visual thinking, problem solving, exploration, and collaboration. You can also create your own doodles to help develop creative thinking and invention. Find a multitude of ideas for student to investigate and create from inventing a toy, to redesigning the shopping cart or creating a solared-powered invention. Scroll down the page to find "Story Tags." There is a link to Women inventor's stories, which ncludes the stories of some male intventors, too! Read about little known and well known inventors such as Stephanie Kwolek (Kevlar) and Alexander Bell (telephone). Each story includes background on the inventor and information on how their idea developed. Several videos are included demonstrating play activities and skills developed through play and the use of common toys.

tag(s): biographies (89), inventors and inventions (77), problem solving (262)

In the Classroom

Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore the games. Share the site with parents on your classroom website or blog as a resource for using play as a learning tool. Share the site at conferences or parent meetings as a resource for developing learning skills through play. Include the inventor biographies as a resource for students when researching inventors.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twitter - Twitter, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Twitter users enter information to share with their "followers" by creating 280 character "tweets," and "followers" see what they are thinking, favorite links, etc., all from the brief...more
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Twitter users enter information to share with their "followers" by creating 280 character "tweets," and "followers" see what they are thinking, favorite links, etc., all from the brief "tweet." Tweets are much more than messages to share what you are eating for lunch! Use this popular microblogging and social networking tool for a great way to communicate with teaching peers and real world people you may not have a chance to otherwise meet. Reply to others to create conversations for some of the best professional development around. Each "tweet" or message may not seem extraordinary, but using the sum total of tweets from those you "meet" on Twitter can have an amazing impact. Use your profile and settings to add a bio and other information, change your security settings from public to protected, find those who follow you, and more. Post your tweets through the website, mobile devices, or myriad of applications to manage tweets and followers. Keep track of your favorite tweets by starring them. Refer to your favorites list as needed. Wish you could take back a tweet? Click the trash can beside the post to delete (however, others may have already seen and responded.) Find many opinions about Twitter on and off the Internet. Remember you will gain only as much as you put into this service. Build a network of helpful colleagues to become a better learner (and educator). Anyone can learn from Twitter, even a class of elementary students! Still not sure what Twitter is about? Find a great explanation of how it works in this review.

tag(s): microblogging (27), social media (41), social networking (86)

In the Classroom

Bring teaching and learning to new heights by using this service as a great form of professional development. At conferences, use Twitter as a backchannel to expand upon thoughts and ideas during presentations and after. Have a question to ask others' opinion about? Throw it out to Twitter to see the great perspectives given by those who follow you. Start out slowly and look at conversations that catch your eye. Follow people with experience in your areas of interest to gain from the conversations. Start off by following @teachersfirst or @moreruckus2 (our leader).

Learn about hashtags -- ways to mark, search, and follow conversations on a specific topic. For example, the #ntchat tag is for new and pre-service teachers and the #edchat hashtag is for all teachers. Participate in these chats which are scheduled at certain days and times or search for their tweets anytime. Find archived tweets from these chats to learn from some wonderful and motivated teachers when it is convenient for YOU. Use other Twitter applications to search or collect specific hashtags.

As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account to share what you are doing with parents and especially for your class to follow people in topics you study. Studying space? Follow NASA. Studying politics and government? Follow your congressional rep or the White House. Consider using your teacher or class account to send updates to other teachers across the country or across the globe. You can also teach about responsible digital citizenship by modeling and practicing it as a class. A whole-class, teacher account is the most likely way to gain permission to use Twitter in school, especially if you can demonstrate specific projects. That can be as simple as making sure you and that teacher are FOLLOWING each other, then sending a direct message (start the tweet with D and the other teacher's twitter name) or creating a group with your own hashtag for a project such as daily weather updates. Even if you are not "following" someone, you can send them a tweet using @theirtwittername in the body of the message. This is called a "mention" but can be seen by others, too. Compare what your class is observing in today's weather, which topics you will be discussing today, or ask for another class' opinions on a current events issue. Ask for updates about local concerns, such as talking to California schools about wildfires in their area or a Maine school about a blizzard. Challenge another class to tweet the feelings of a literacy character, such as Hamlet, and respond as Ophelia, all in 280 characters or less. Have gifted students? Connect your classroom with the outside world to find greater challenges and connections beyond your regular curriculum.

Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

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Magazine Cover Maker - Big Huge Labs

Grades
3 to 12
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you...more
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you do not even need to join the site. Covers you create can be downloaded as completed images or sent via email and other sharing tools (Facebook, etc). Photos can be uploaded from your files, Flickr, your website, or other photosharing sites. Fill in your desired text for the titles and sub-titles and choose colors for them. It's that simple. Click 'Create' at the bottom and you have a magazine cover that will leave others in awe. For more creative ideas using Big Huge Labs, go to the top of the page and click on Big Huge Labs Blog or Forum. Big Huge Labs offers MANY similar tools, such as Mapmaker, reviewed here. Of course, this site offers advanced options for a fee or with free registration, but neither is necessary.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bulletin boards (15), collages (22), firstday (20), flickr (2), images (264), posters (43)

In the Classroom

Enhance classroom technology use by using this tool with your students. They will need to know how to locate your photos on your computer or photo sharing site. Click the little white boxes to change text colors, etc. as you enter desired text. SAVE your completed cover when done. Be sure to give it a meaningful name if you are creating several covers on the same computer!

Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here. If you and your students simply use the tool without joining the site, there are no problems with email, profiles, etc. You do need to demonstrate the tool and specifically explain which links students should NOT use, including ads and links to social networking sites that are prohibited in your school. These may be blocked, anyway. Make sure you watch and teach copyright issues in snatching photos from the web.

Have students create magazine covers of themselves as a getting to know you activity and classroom bulletin board. Print and laminate magazine covers to make them appear even more authentic. Or share the images (WITHOUT student names) on your class wiki or web page. When doing reports for any subject, have students create magazine covers that mimic the real thing instead of boring plain covers. Make covers about famous Americans, scientists, or historic figures. Make covers about objects, as well. Assign students to research a vegetable and create a cover about its nutrients, recipes, and more as part of your nutrition unit! Guidance teachers or principals can feature exemplary students using this tool. Bulletin board creativity will skyrocket using Big Huge Labs Magazine Cover. Why not offer a rotating PowerPoint slide show of student-made magazine covers for parents to view as they wait in the hallway for conferences?

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Handsonscotland - Playfield Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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This site, designed in Scotland, is primarily for use by adults who have concerns about the behavior or emotional well being of children and teens. There are many topics full ...more
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This site, designed in Scotland, is primarily for use by adults who have concerns about the behavior or emotional well being of children and teens. There are many topics full of helpful advice and ways to respond to encourage children and young people's emotional wellbeing. Find A-Z topics on the right side of the top menu; they include everything from Anger and Anxiety, Depression/Low Mood, to Temper Tantrums. All topics include additional resource links and a few have video clips and activities. This site could also be useful for a high school health class, psychology class, or child development course. The site also offers "Anxiety Resource for education staff" and "Virtual workshop for parents and carer." The site is notable for its straightforward and non-judgmental tone.

tag(s): behavior (43), mental health (29)

In the Classroom

Consider sharing the video clips (relevant to your class) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In health (or psychology) class have students investigate one topic and present their findings to the class in a multimedia format: wiki, blog, podcast, or video. Extend learning by having students create a podcast using Podomatic, reviewed here. They might even role-play some of the scenarios. Some may rather create a video (choice is good), share the videos using a site such as Teachertube, reviewed here.

While this site might be useful as a resource for a high school health, psychology, or child development class, its main benefit is for teachers, parents, and other adults who care for and work with children and teens. Consider adding this link to your class web page as a resource for parents or sharing specific ideas with parents at conferences.

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Helping Children Cope in Unsettling Times:The Economic Crisis; Tips for Parents and Teachers - NASP

Grades
K to 12
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This informative and friendly article from the National Association of School Psychologists provides easy-to-implement suggestions for teacher and parents in helping children and teens...more
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This informative and friendly article from the National Association of School Psychologists provides easy-to-implement suggestions for teacher and parents in helping children and teens cope tough economic times. Many of the tips are similar to what we may already know about helping students in times of stress, but this article refocuses adults to tune into the economic crisis from the point of view of the child/teen.

tag(s): recession (3), stress (9)

In the Classroom

Take the time to read and implement the classroom suggestions for all ages, including taking time to note any signs of students "at risk." Share this printable pdf with your colleagues and with parents via a link from your teacher web page or as an insert in a school or classroom newsletter. If you have an information table at PTO/PTA functions or in your conference waiting area, this is a good handout to include.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lexile - MetaMetrics, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Whether or not your school uses the Lexile system to measure reading levels, you will want to become familiar with it as one way to measure the reading level ...more
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Whether or not your school uses the Lexile system to measure reading levels, you will want to become familiar with it as one way to measure the reading level of a book. Lexile level information, along with the student's own participation in the choice, can make book selection a positive experience for any reader. Many publishers are now offering Lexiles to measure the reading levels of their materials. Many schools use Lexile measuring to determine the precise reading level of their students. Explore "About Lexiles" menu for more information on 'how' the measuring is done. On the homepage, click on the Tools menu to find a Lexile Analyzer that allows you to cut and paste text into an entry box to determine its Lexile readability level. (You will need to register for the free use of the Analyzer.) Choose English (or another language) book database to find the Lexile level of your classroom books. The Lexile Calculator lets you figure out the rate of comprehension based upon Lexile scores. Lexile leveling is also available for Spanish text. Explore the variety of tools to help analyze and match books for your students.

Registration is free. An email address is required, as is some other information. Some materials on this site require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

Another helpful resource in understanding Lexile levels is this pdf comparison chart from Harcourt (opens in Acrobat Reader).

tag(s): readability (5)

In the Classroom

Make Lexiles one of the tools you use to make reading a positive experience for your students. The more you know about the student and the actual content of the books, the more helpful the Lexiles can be in assisting a match. If your school reports data to parents using Lexile scoring, download the white papers to give to them at conferences to explain Lexile scores in 'parent friendly' language. Include this link on your classroom web page. If your students know their Lexile level, you will want Lexile levels on your classroom library materials so students can match a book to both their reading level and their interests. As an FYI, SOME books listed on Barnes and Noble's online site include Lexile levels in the descriptions (just after age level). Lexile connects to Barnes and Noble directly from this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Physics Facts - Introduction to Physics - Space, Light, Motion - Kidipede

Grades
5 to 10
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, highlights the basic foundations of physics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also appropriate...more
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, highlights the basic foundations of physics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also appropriate for high school students studying the subject areas. It is mainly a "text" site, without interactives. However, this is a great resource for explaining complex topics, researching specific topics in science, and much more. Each general area (i.e. Laws of Motion, Electricity, and more), includes several sub-topics. There are also links to for students for project and activities. There are two caveats: there are some advertisements -- nothing too distracting -- AND some of the suggested activities include "buying" a book from Amazon. You do NOT need to purchase anything to take advantage of this free resource!

tag(s): earth (195), electricity (77), light (52), mass (25), motion (56), newton (24), simple machines (26), sound (86), space (222), time (117), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use portions of this site as an anticipatory set in your science class. The information is simple to understand and would be useful for students struggling with a topic. Use the site for research about specific topics. Have teams of students explore each of the "sub-topics" within the main topic. Ask them to record their findings in a digital portfolio of resources using PorfolioVillage, reviewed here. Portfolio Village includes free resources for creating and sharing online portfolios that include images, written work, and video making it perfect to use for sharing student work during parent conferences and when submitting college applications. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create informational videos sharing their research using a tool like Adobe Spark Video Creator, reviewed here. Then share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Why not list this link on your class website, so students can access the page both in and out of the classroom.

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Every Child Ready to Read - American Library Association

Grades
K to 2
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The resourcea on this site suggests behaviors and activities that can assist parents, preschool teachers, and early elementary teachers in getting children ready to read. Available...more
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The resourcea on this site suggests behaviors and activities that can assist parents, preschool teachers, and early elementary teachers in getting children ready to read. Available in both color and black and white formats, the brochures are also downloadable in Spanish. The brochures encourage people to use books, songs, stories, and word games to reinforce the importance of reading in education.

tag(s): literacy (89)

In the Classroom

Make these aticles, videos, etc. available to parents of the very young. The added bonus of having some of the brochures available in Spanish makes the development of good readers a task shared by parents and educators alike. PLace some on the table in your conference waiting area or send them home in backpacks!

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Ed Pubs - US Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures,...more
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures, posters, videotapes, newsletters, and more). The intended audiences include students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Many publications and also site information come in Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (89)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class website so parents can learn about this free resource. Include links to specific publications tha fit your class' needs. Or choose helpful information with your particular parents/students and share the pdf files as print-outs at conferences or via email to help parents.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kids' Vid - Mike Keating

Grades
3 to 8
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Leap into video production with help from the Kids' Vid site! Kids' Vid steps you and your students through the process with tips on scripting, storyboarding, shooting video, and editing...more
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Leap into video production with help from the Kids' Vid site! Kids' Vid steps you and your students through the process with tips on scripting, storyboarding, shooting video, and editing it into a visual masterpiece. The site has classroom ideas, short exercises for story writing and learning video shots, an online storyboard creator, and lots of useful help from experts and kids on how to make the whole process an exciting educational experience. Some of the activities require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): tutorials (44)

In the Classroom

Start the activity by showing the student-produced videos on the web site. Use the resources on the site for a whole class jig-saw exercise. Assign small groups the task of learning one aspect of the process and then reporting and showing it to the rest of the class. Share the knowledge by creating working groups, which contain an expert from each aspect of the process. Use one of the many class ideas as practice activities for students to learn the finer points of video production before they start their masterpieces.

Video is a great tool for authentic assessment - especially for ESL, ELL, and Special Education students. Think about letting each of your students create a short video about what they know for their parent conference meeting or Open House. Explore the realm of possibilities by having students develop and ask peers a "Question of the Week" and document the responses on video. Let students produce a walking tour of the school and key personnel as an introduction for new students. Post this video on the school website, but check the district and students' Acceptable Use Policies before videoing any student faces. You may want to ask your school's funding sources to consider purchasing a few USB plug-in "flip" video cameras that cost about $100 each so students can do these projects with an "indestructible" tool.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English for All - US Department of Education

Grades
7 to 12
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This multimedia online program allows teachers to set up English classes for ESL/ELL students from all language groups. The website includes online stories, accompanying print materials,...more
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This multimedia online program allows teachers to set up English classes for ESL/ELL students from all language groups. The website includes online stories, accompanying print materials, videos, and optional videos and CDs for purchase. Teachers can set up this FREE program (including 20 lessons) for unlimited classes. Each lesson has vocabulary, a video, support work, listening requirements, grammar, and a test. Students go through a series of activities; results are reported back to the teacher. Videos are available as downloads or podcasts. Teacher guides are provided. This site requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): pronunciation (38)

In the Classroom

Be sure to take advantage of this FREE website to help your ESL/ELL students improve their English. For older students, this program can help them prepare for the world of work. Some parents of ESL/ELL students may even appreciate the resource for their own learning. ESL teachers may want to share the site at an open house or conferences as a non-invasive way of drawing parents into the process.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mem Fox: Teaching, Learning, Living - Mem Fox

Grades
K to 7
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This author page features plenty of ideas about how to help kids enjoy reading and includes many stories. Hear Mem Fox reading her own stories (click Hear Mem Read ...more
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This author page features plenty of ideas about how to help kids enjoy reading and includes many stories. Hear Mem Fox reading her own stories (click Hear Mem Read Aloud). She gives advice on how to read to children and gives great examples. This author page has many good suggestions for promoting literacy and love of reading. There is also a section of advice on writing your own picture book for children, an excellent writing activity for upper elementary and middle school students. Parts of this site require Quick Time. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): authors (97), literacy (89)

In the Classroom

Create shortcut to Mem reading aloud on your classroom computer for a center activity for primary grades, and place a copy of Mem's book there for students to follow along. Print out Mem's suggestions for reading aloud to give to parents at conferences or share this site on your teacher home page for parent and students to access from home. For older students, this site is an excellent resource for planning cross-grade reading activities for Read Across America or other special times, including having middle school students write picture books for young students, then share them at an in-person visit or on a podcast recording.PowerPoint slides are an easy way to "create" and share large format picture books electronically.

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