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Epic! For Educators - Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue

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

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (175), ebooks (39), independent reading (127), movies (70), reading lists (79), video (275)

In the Classroom

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

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Wendy, OK, Grades: 2 - 4

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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools: Using Images in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from November 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore three online tools for working with images. Discover the differences...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from November 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore three online tools for working with images. Discover the differences between the three tools. Discuss and learn ways to use images in the classroom. Share ideas for different ways that images could be used in the classroom. Create a project exemplar for use in your classroom. Remember, it's OK2Ask'®. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Learn about and compare 3 different tools for working with images; (2) Evaluate the uses for working with these tools in the classroom; (3) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (4) Start a project using one of the given tools. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

tag(s): images (283)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Computing at School - Barefoot Computing

Grades
K to 6
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Computing at School provides free resources for teaching computer skills. Create an account to access all resources. Although aligned with computing standards in Great Britain, topics...more
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Computing at School provides free resources for teaching computer skills. Create an account to access all resources. Although aligned with computing standards in Great Britain, topics and projects meet the needs of anyone teaching computing. Choose the resource link to find resources sorted by topic, teaching activities, and a category for teaching students with special needs.

tag(s): coding (66), computers (100), learning disability (18), logic (244), resources (106)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free lessons available on Computing at School for use in your classroom. Most include a link to download the lesson and printables in PDF. Use the lessons to create and stock computer centers. Share activities on your class website for students to complete at home. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here. Share the SEN resources with your resource teachers.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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OK2Ask: Introduction to Digital Storytelling - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from October 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Enrich and improve student writing with digital storytelling - giving...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from October 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Enrich and improve student writing with digital storytelling - giving written stories voice, imagery, and power. Learn to promote higher level thinking while students develop creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills to take narratives to the next level. In this session, we will begin by exploring ways to improve writing with story development steps and tools; discover tech tools for editing and sharing student drafts; and finally, discuss strategies for collaborative writing. Our digital storytelling guest expert, author, speaker, writer, Jason Ohler, joins us to help you begin your journey into digital storytelling. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Learn how digital storytelling can enrich narrative writing; (2) Discover ways to improve narrative writing with story development steps and tools; and (3) Explore a variety of web based tools and resources to improve writing. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

tag(s): digital storytelling (154)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Headline Generator - Class Tools

Grades
K to 12
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Create and share a personalized newspaper headline with an image using the Headline Generator. Add a headline, byline, and picture to make an image that looks like it came straight...more
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Create and share a personalized newspaper headline with an image using the Headline Generator. Add a headline, byline, and picture to make an image that looks like it came straight from a major website. When finished, download to your computer or tweet to share on Twitter.

tag(s): images (283), journalism (55), slides (68), writers workshop (34)

In the Classroom

Share the Headline Generator with students for use when creating titles or headlines for projects. Download the image/headline and insert into a Word document or slide presentation. Create a headline for the student of the week, to recognize student achievements, or as an introduction to any new unit. Ask students to use Headline Generator at the beginning of a writing project or research/report to help focus on content for writing. Encourage students to refine their headline as they hone in on their topic, and then have students submit a list of all headlines attempted as part of the final project grade along with the final image. Use the Headline Generator to have students create a simple headline for famous characters in history, story characters, or as part of a biography project.

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Animatron - Dmitry Skavish

Grades
K to 12
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Design, organize, animate, and publish creations using Animatron. Use Animatron's backgrounds and characters, or upload your own. Be sure to take advantage of the Tutorials and Tips,...more
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Design, organize, animate, and publish creations using Animatron. Use Animatron's backgrounds and characters, or upload your own. Be sure to take advantage of the Tutorials and Tips, and the Knowledge Base for a full understanding of the many features available. Registration isn't required to create an Animatron project; however, you will need to register to save and share. Free accounts allow users to create up to five public projects with up to 2GB storage (50Gb/month). The Tutorials are in video format and reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video tutorials may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animation (61), movies (70), multimedia (63), slides (68), video (275)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own Animatrons. Students can use Animatron to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. Flip your classroom using Animatron presentations. Use Animatron to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. Animatron is an excellent way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to prepare information for the class when a substitute is coming. Share Animatron creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use an Animatron video on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use Animatron to create movies or presentations for back-to-school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create Animatron book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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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 (55), quizzes (104)

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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ReadWorks Digital - ReadWorks

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

tag(s): classroom management (153), guided reading (47), independent reading (127), reading comprehension (127), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

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

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Kindle Direct Publishing - Amazon Kindle

Grades
K to 12
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"Hey, I could write a book about that!" Kindle Direct Publishing allows you to write and publish a book for use on Kindles. Download the software in PC or Mac ...more
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"Hey, I could write a book about that!" Kindle Direct Publishing allows you to write and publish a book for use on Kindles. Download the software in PC or Mac format to begin, then follow the directions to convert PDF's and add interactive content such as image popups, audio, and video. When finished, publish the book to be included at Amazon's Kindle bookstore (with parental permission, of course).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), ebooks (39)

In the Classroom

If your class uses Kindles, the possibilities are endless. Publish interactive short books for all content areas and set the price to free. Students can then download and view books on their devices. Put together groups of student projects to create a complete book for all to use when reviewing material at the end of any unit. Share with gifted students for creating a book as an in-depth investigation into any area of the curriculum.

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Noplag - Noplag LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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NoPlag is a plagiarism checker that compares your writing to online sources to detect possible cases of plagiarism. Complete five checks for plagiarism a day with up to 500 words ...more
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NoPlag is a plagiarism checker that compares your writing to online sources to detect possible cases of plagiarism. Complete five checks for plagiarism a day with up to 500 words without an account. With a free account complete twenty checks per day with 500 words. You will get a report after pasting samples of work into an interactive box that highlights probable plagiarism along with links to the possible websites. The Noplag Blog has helpful articles on the importance of intellectual property rights and additional teaching ideas. There are premium features available, but this review is only for the free account. Educators and students at public and church schools and colleges can request an account through a contact form. At the time of this review NoPlag wasn't working on Chrome.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (46), evaluating sources (16), plagiarism (36), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Teach students about plagiarism and how to avoid it; it is a critical skill in all the content areas. Noplag is an easy place to introduce the concepts and have students check their writing without registering. Demonstrate how to use the tool to the whole class using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students register for additional options. Emphasize to students that they have the ability and the obligation to check their work for honesty.

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Freepik - Alejandro Blanes, Pablo Blanes, and Joaquin Cuenca

Grades
K to 12
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Use this search engine for graphic resources from around the web. Search for graphics in many file formats such as vector, icons, and photos for use with your websites, presentations,...more
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Use this search engine for graphic resources from around the web. Search for graphics in many file formats such as vector, icons, and photos for use with your websites, presentations, and any other graphic needs. In addition to graphics, Freepik offers templates for flyers, posters, and brochures. Many resources offer options for customizing text and color. Each item includes details for editing and downloading, including information on crediting the author. Note: As with most clipart search engines, there are graphics on this site that are not appropriate for children. TeachersFirst suggests that an adult looks for appropriate graphics to distribute to students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): clip art (9), graphic design (38), images (283), vectors (23)

In the Classroom

These graphics and templates are free to download and use (with appropriate credit). This site is great if you need some clever clipart to jazz up student handouts, classroom bulletin boards, or PowerPoint/Keynote presentations. Special Ed, speech/language, or ESL/ELL teachers may find these images helpful when working with non-readers or non-verbal students. There is also web clipart that you can use for your blog, class webpage, or wiki.

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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. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (117), classroom management (153), multimedia (63), portfolios (30)

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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Airtable - Emmett Nicholas, Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad

Grades
K to 12
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Airtable is an online database for collaboration incorporating many different online platforms. Attach files from services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote to share. Collaborators...more
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Airtable is an online database for collaboration incorporating many different online platforms. Attach files from services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote to share. Collaborators can view the change history, link data, and engage in chat. Free templates offer options for creating study guides, book lists, and more. Free accounts offer unlimited databases with storage of up to 1200 records each and a 2GB attachment limit.

tag(s): bookmarks (68), collaboration (30), DAT device agnostic tool (175)

In the Classroom

Use Airtable to collaborate on lessons with other teachers, both local and across the world. Share with students to use when collaborating on projects or to create study guides. Use the provided templates to catalog your books or share study guides with students.

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Splash - Ben Hindman and Brett Boskoff

Grades
K to 12
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Create and share custom online event invitations using Splash. Choose from the many templates to design and add information, RSVP questions, confirmations, and event settings. Splash...more
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Create and share custom online event invitations using Splash. Choose from the many templates to design and add information, RSVP questions, confirmations, and event settings. Splash even automatically creates a custom hashtag for use with your event. Be sure to follow the tutorials to get a good overview of Splash's capabilities.
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tag(s): classroom management (153), organizational skills (122), parent conferences (23)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using Splash seem endless. Use this for planning parties, bringing in materials for projects, and any other activity that requires coordination. If you have limited technology availability, this is a great way for teachers or students to sign up for time slots to use laptops, iPads, cameras, or a podcast recording station. Go paperless with signups! Organize your parent/teacher conferences. Plan student research of class projects using this resource. Help students build organizational skills by having them "plan" a mythical (or actual) event such as a museum opening for their Famous Americans exhibit. Use this tool for any middle or high school club, career day, or sports team to organize their own events. Share with your school's parent organization to help them plan the next school event.

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PicFont - Picfont.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Create a poster (meme), postcard, or add captions to a photo. Also, resize and crop images. Save in medium or best quality to your device or download as a PDF ...more
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Create a poster (meme), postcard, or add captions to a photo. Also, resize and crop images. Save in medium or best quality to your device or download as a PDF or Word doc easily with Picfont. No registration is required. Choose images from your computer or device or select a picture from the gallery. Change not just the color and size of the font, but add an outline in any color and size, place it anywhere on the photo, and many more effects. Use Picfont to spice up social media postings; select to create a Facebook header, and a post with photos, a Twitter header and an In-stream, an Instagram Post, a LinkedIn cover, or select from several ad sizes. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click features for directions about how to use the different features of Picfont.
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tag(s): digital storytelling (154), editing (74), images (283)

In the Classroom

Use this easy tool to add captions to images, create memes, or posters for your bulletin boards. Use this easy tool with students during back to school time as a way for them to get to know each other. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyrics?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back-to-school bulletin board. Use after a field trip for students to write captions on the photos they took. Be sure to share the photos on your class web page, blog, or wiki. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with a picture that explains it.

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Thought Plan - Max Schmitt

Grades
K to 12
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Write down your thoughts in an organized, structured way with Thought Plan. The simplicity of the features allows for easy use with flexible editing for personalized use. Register for...more
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Write down your thoughts in an organized, structured way with Thought Plan. The simplicity of the features allows for easy use with flexible editing for personalized use. Register for an account to begin creating your first Thought Plan. Add a title, then begin creating a list of your main ideas. Share or download to your computer with the provided links. The introductory video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): gifted (82), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use Thought Plan to plan and organize your yearly schedule. All students will appreciate having an online time management account, but learning support students and disorganized gifted students need one. This is also a great tool for ESL/ELL students to help learn organization skills with very simple features. You may want to model using this online tool to help middle and high school students learn personal organization. Share this site the first week of school to get students started on the right foot! Make a demo account for a mythical student and organize his/her daily schedule together so students can see how it works. Share the steps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Alternately, this idea will work with group projects where students need to learn to manage their project time.

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Edulastic - Snapwiz

Grades
K to 12
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Edulastic provides free assessment tools to track learning and mastery of Common Core Standards and state standards. The program contains more than 2000 customizable assessments with...more
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Edulastic provides free assessment tools to track learning and mastery of Common Core Standards and state standards. The program contains more than 2000 customizable assessments with automatic grading capability. Register to create an account, then begin using the assessment library and adding students to your class using a code, emails, or upload a data sheet. Be sure to take advantage of Edulastic's articles, training, and free webinar videos to learn about all the features included with this program. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (117), commoncore (89)

In the Classroom

Create and use short quizzes to track mastery of concepts by all students in your class. Use this site to pretest gifted students. If the gifted students already know the material, allow them to advance to another topic. The quick feedback allows greater opportunity to focus on students who need additional help. Use Edulastic to monitor your teaching of Common Core Standards as well as focusing on student proficiency of content. Since student registration is via email, for young students consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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National Geographic Kids - National Geographic

Grades
K to 7
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National Geographic offers this kid-centric site as a companion to National Geographic Kids and Little Kids magazines. The focus is on information about animals, geography, and the...more
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National Geographic offers this kid-centric site as a companion to National Geographic Kids and Little Kids magazines. The focus is on information about animals, geography, and the natural world presented in a fun and engaging format. Use this busy interactive site for free, register to gain access to more content. Buttons on the home page lead to short videos, images, stories, polls, news bites, games, and activities. The site includes heavy advertising for the magazine subscriptions. A search box at the top right allows for exploration of the extensive content. Students may submit photos or comments to the "My Shot" picture gallery all of which are selected to be posted by site administrators.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (319), countries (82), endangered species (40), environment (321), plants (176), reading comprehension (127)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the site on your whiteboard to use as a learning center for students. Select videos for lesson introductions for flipped or blended learning activities. For language arts, practice finding the main idea or summarizing stories using these interesting informational texts. ESL/ELL learners can also find accessible news stories here. Choose words from stories to include with weekly spelling tests or as vocabulary builders. Assign different stories to groups of students to summarize and present to the class. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos about any article on the site. Upload images (use Creative Commons or other copyright-safe pictures) and use Moovly, reviewed here, for this project. Then share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Use the site for learning games that will appeal more to younger students. Preview all video since some feature animals hunting which may upset some students.

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OK2Ask: 10 Chrome Apps/Extensions I Can't Live Without - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Chrome apps and extensions run in the Chrome browser, providing you or your...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Chrome apps and extensions run in the Chrome browser, providing you or your students many great tools with ease. In this session, participants will explore apps and extensions useful in your classroom. You will learn how to find apps and extensions and install them in your Chrome browser. We will explore as many apps and extensions as possible. Your life will never be the same! Note: You must have the Chrome browser installed prior to the start of the session. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: 1. Learn the difference between an app and an extension; 2. Explore a variety of apps and extensions that increase functionality of the classroom and student learning; and 3. Find, install, and use apps or extensions for their use. Remember, it is OK2Ask'® questions at any time! This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Google (32)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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HTML 5 Crossword Generator - Class Tools

Grades
3 to 12
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Create personalized crossword puzzles to embed on your blog or website with this easy puzzle creator. View the help for the directions and examples. It is as simple as typing ...more
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Create personalized crossword puzzles to embed on your blog or website with this easy puzzle creator. View the help for the directions and examples. It is as simple as typing a question on each line followed by an asterisk, then the correct answer. When complete, submit to view your puzzle online and choose from different options for sharing. Also, you can download puzzles as PDF documents.

tag(s): crosswords (20), puzzles (204)

In the Classroom

Create puzzles for any subject or topic for review or introduction to new materials. Allow students to create puzzles for other students to solve. Add a puzzle to the classroom newsletter or blog to create interest. Share puzzles on an interactive whiteboard for students to solve together.

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