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Million Short - Exponential Labs Inc

Grades
3 to 12
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Add a new dimension to your web search engines. Find information you might never have found without intensive searching. This experimental web search engine takes away the first million,...more
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Add a new dimension to your web search engines. Find information you might never have found without intensive searching. This experimental web search engine takes away the first million, first 100K, first 10K, or first 100 top hits. Sometimes the creators of great sites do not have the tech savvy to "optimize" their results on Google. Not everyone has a paid expert on "search engine optimization" to being them to the top. Find some hidden treasures among remaining results which did not land in the top spots. Listed on the side are the sites that were removed (the top hits). Use this tool directly from the million short site or click at the top to add it to your browser as a search engine.

tag(s): search engines (51)

In the Classroom

Teach your students the value of being inclusive in research and not using just the first results. Lessons about validity of web site information, well rounded viewpoints, and depth of information can automatically come from this site. Use on your interactive whiteboard or projector and screen to model searches, key words, and advanced searches. Use this tool yourself to add extra enrichment or reinforcement of lesson topics using lesser-known sites.

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Anki - Flashcard creator - ankisrs.net

Grades
2 to 12
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Anki is a flashcard creator with a twist. The program is used everyday, and each response is rated as Easy, Very easy, Good, or Again. Very easy questions won't be ...more
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Anki is a flashcard creator with a twist. The program is used everyday, and each response is rated as Easy, Very easy, Good, or Again. Very easy questions won't be shown again for 7 days, Again responses will be shown again during the same session. Choose the number of flashcards to use for each session, time to spend, and number of questions to be offered. Search by topic to find readymade flashcards or create your own. This program needs to be downloaded to your computer following the onsite directions. Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux versions are available.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (136), flash cards (40), test prep (69)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for your classes using Anki -- or have them make their own. Try using them as an introduction to a concept, then again in the practice of the concept, and again as a final review. It is a nice three for one creation deal! This would be great for teaching Latin prefixes and suffixes of words to students. Use this site to learn science terms or for standardized test preparation. Try having students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their own groups. Teach students in higher grades how to create flash cards with multiple blanks to challenge their brain to remember more pieces of the puzzle (even counterexamples). Show them how to carefully read through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards together to review together before tests. Have students create flashcard sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports. Since this program is a download, flashcards may be difficult to share - one suggestion is to download the program onto a USB stick to be shared as needed. Students can also create flashcards for classmates to try after watching peer's presentations.

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LearnClick: Create Gap-Filling Exercises - Learnclick

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create interactive online activities quickly and easily with LearnClick's Create a Gap. Submit any text you'd like to learn and mark the text you want deleted for a fill-in-the-blank...more
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Create interactive online activities quickly and easily with LearnClick's Create a Gap. Submit any text you'd like to learn and mark the text you want deleted for a fill-in-the-blank type of activity. Easily create quizzes or tests for individualized students or your entire class. Create a free account with your email. Follow the simple steps to create tests in minutes with varying options for response style choices; blank boxes, generated drop downs, or drag and drop. Search the quiz bank to save time. The free version allows you to make up to five quizzes, which are published on your public page. Your public page allows a direct link to your quizzes.

tag(s): quiz (62), quizzes (82)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use as a review tool on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Assign as homework for a study aid. Create study aids for ELL/ESL, or learning support students to review and learn with a "techie twist." Let students take control! Have students create the tests, in order to find the main idea or quiz each other. Use in centers for a fun review of current vocabulary, concepts, or even mathematical practice. Divide the class into cooperative learning groups to cover all aspects of one topic. The subject areas are limitless. Use as a "Jeopardy" style competition. Post on your website as a resource for parents to help their students keep motivated to study in a fun way!

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ShowMe - The Online Learning Community - San Kim and Karen Bdoyan

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
ShowMe is an open learning community where you can learn or teach any subject. Explore topics such as math, science, world languages, social studies, art, and more. Explore the links...more
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ShowMe is an open learning community where you can learn or teach any subject. Explore topics such as math, science, world languages, social studies, art, and more. Explore the links on the home page; results are divided into subtopics. Click Learn - teachers may be especially interested in the Common Core Lessons available through a link at the bottom of the page. On that page is where you'll find a search bar, too. Creating a ShowMe of your own requires logging in or a download of the app from the iTunes store (and an iPad). The download is free. If you are worried about students seeing questionable material, you may want to provide the link directly to the video you wish students to view. At the time of this review, all material appeared appropriate.

tag(s): OER (43), test prep (69), tutorials (47), video (245)

In the Classroom

Extend your blended learning classroom by sharing the ShowMe site (or individual videos) with your students to access at home for homework help using the Facebook, Twitter, email, or embed link on each video. List the ShowMe link on your class website. View tutorials on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a whole class. Encourage students to share links to specific videos they find helpful on a "Video Reviews" page of your class wiki. For a very real challenge, have students create their own simple review videos using the ShowMe app on iPads (if available) then embed them on your class wiki for a year-to-year student-made study guide! For examples of sophisticated topics simplified in whiteboard stick figure videos, see Common Craft, reviewed here.

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Surface Languages - Moonface

Grades
3 to 12
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Surface Languages is free site to learn basic survival words and phrases on a variety of topics in 37 different languages. Learn phrases in Afrikaans, Slovak, Arabic, Spanish, Bosnian,...more
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Surface Languages is free site to learn basic survival words and phrases on a variety of topics in 37 different languages. Learn phrases in Afrikaans, Slovak, Arabic, Spanish, Bosnian, Swahili, Bulgarian, Swedish, Catalan, Turkish, Chinese, Ukrainian, Croatian, Urdu, Czech, Welsh, Danish, Yiddish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Russian. Phrases are organized into topics so use is simple. In addition to reading and hearing the words and phrases pronounced, the site has the capability of creating flash cards for each lesson. You choose yes or no to indicate if the card has the correct meaning. It also offers multiple choice items to test listening skills for the language and translating from English to the target language.
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tag(s): arabic (14), chinese (43), cultures (121), french (72), german (46), greek (31), hebrew (16), italian (26), latin (20), phrases (6), portuguese (21), russian (24), spanish (102)

In the Classroom

This site would be very handy in introduction (and level 1) world language classes. Use this site as a learning station or center. Use this site as a reference for checking meanings of foreign words and phrases. Use this site when students are preparing a project about another culture. If you have students in world language, world culture, or even language arts classes who need enrichment - send them to this site to learn the basics of a new language or look for roots that show in English. self-motivated gifted students or those planning a semester abroad can learn language basics on their own here. Be sure to include this site during "Children of the World Day" or family heritage day activities.

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edublogs - edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, PDFs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to blog with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.
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tag(s): blogs (71), communication (135), writing (299)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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Wondermind - Tate Liverpool

Grades
4 to 12
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for...more
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for the interactive video that explains an aspect of the brain, such as how we learn language, how the brain develops from childhood to adulthood, how memory works, how we sense our own location, and how we learn self-control. Wondermind, set to the theme of Alice in Wonderland, will delight you with the quirky, clever, or just plain weird art inspired by Alice in Wonderland and used as part of the designs. The activities can be skipped if you prefer to just view the videos.

tag(s): body systems (41), brain (53), human body (91), logic (164), psychology (65)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for students to try the challenges and then view videos on your interactive whiteboard together. Check out the learning resources link to view a video with additional ideas for visual perception games and activities. Use as part of your Alice in Wonderland or Lewis Carroll units. If you teach psychology, anatomy, or health, this exploration will offer a new angle into how the brain works. Use the game and video about memory during a unit on study skills and discovering how students learn best. Teachers of gifted may also want to explore this site as part of a unit on the gifted mind. Learning support teachers may also want to use portions to help students better understand why their minds operate differently -- not "badly." Bright Asperger's students might be fascinated by the portion on the prefrontal cortex and how we learn self-control.

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Skloog - Skloog, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places...more
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Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places you visit repeatedly. The tiles make it visual and so easy to use! Can't find the logo? Submit a site by clicking on a button at the bottom of the home page. Access and add to your Skloog bookmarks from anywhere using any computer, your mobile phone, or email. Make Skloog one of the tools on your browser's tool bar in order to add to your favorites quickly and easily. Add or change the preset category tabs that show at the top. Search your favorites by tags, URL, or website name. An added feature is the Skloog tab in the upper right corner of the menu on your short cut page. Click to find some of Skloog's favorite sites.

tag(s): bookmarks (48), resources (85)

In the Classroom

This resource is best used as a teacher sharing tool for sharing links, RSS feeds, and other resources for students to use on specific projects or as general course links. Use this site to share with other professionals, team members, or parents. Use the categories to save bookmarks for different units you have in your classroom. Make your Skloog page the homepage for your computer, too.

Consider having a category for student use for webquests, tools you want them to use, and creative commons images, music, etc. Also, create a category where students update with suggestions from class members. Use different colored alphabet tiles on a Skloog for younger, non-reader students. For example, give each subject its own distinctive color. They will also recognize logos well before they read!

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How To Make Digital Flashcards With Google Docs Spreadsheets - MakeUseOf

Grades
4 to 12
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Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making...more
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Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making the process much easier. You need a Google Doc account and some familiarity with using spreadsheets. This site does include comments. At the time of this review, all comments were appropriate for classroom use.
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tag(s): flash cards (40)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards to share with your students. Students can run them from a computer or download an app that can read the two column format of a spreadsheet to view on the go. All information for using the flashcards is explained in this resource. Use for any subject matter for any age. Challenge students to create their own flashcards to use to study for the big test! This tool can be used in ALL subject areas.

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Draw.io - JGraph, Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows...more
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows that graphic organizers promote strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Draw.io is a simple, free online tool for creating mind maps -- or diagrams for any purpose -- using shapes and arrows. Just drop and drag the shapes (or nodes) you want to the panel, connect the nodes by dragging the arrow, and double-click in the shape to add text. Use the simple toolbar at the top to insert images, change, bold, color and enlarge text, etc. Printing and exporting is also an option. If you click on the "Help" tab at the top, you will see "Video Tutorial" which uses flash. Draw.io uses JavaScript, not Flash, so it works on iOS devices.

tag(s): brainstorming (16), concept mapping (16), graphic organizers (46), mind map (25), venn diagrams (14), visual thinking (6)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate creating a mind map or other diagram on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use Draw.io to create family trees or flow charts. Learning support students could team up to map out the important concepts from a unit visually as a review activity. Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature, social studies, or science. Have students demonstrate their understanding by creating a graphic organizer about the main points or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle). Be sure they name their organizer BEFORE they start work with their name --or code name-- so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in. Anonymously share and compare different students' "views" of a unit so students can "see it through someone else's eyes."

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Dib Dab Doo and Dilly too... A smarter safer way to search the Internet - Dibdabdoo.com

Grades
K to 7
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Here you will find a "kid-appropriate" search tool featuring countless general topics: Facts & Reference, Computers/The Internet, The Arts, Strange & Mysterious, Hot Topics, The World,...more
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Here you will find a "kid-appropriate" search tool featuring countless general topics: Facts & Reference, Computers/The Internet, The Arts, Strange & Mysterious, Hot Topics, The World, Science & Math, Reading, Writing, Speaking, Nature, and several others. Within each of the main topics are subtopics. For example, in the Classroom section you will find English, Foreign Langauges, Math, History, Reference Tools, Shapes, Woodwork, Colors, Art, Religion, Philosophy, Social Studies, and Homework Help. There is a ton here to explore! The information includes articles and images/photos.

tag(s): alphabet (49), animals (265), animation (63), clip art (10), colors (60), comics and cartoons (47), cooking (30), crafts (48), creative writing (119), cross cultural understanding (149), cultures (121), dance (25), dinosaurs (38), disabilities (26), diseases (67), drawing (60), fitness (49), flags (17), folktales (33), geometric shapes (132), grammar (137), homework (33), insects (59), journalism (69), measurement (128), museums (42), mysteries (18), numbers (120), nutrition (133), oceans (135), operations (75), origami (15), painting (56), photography (129), poetry (185), psychology (65), rainforests (16), religions (69), search engines (51), seasons (32), sign language (10), social networking (79), spelling (92), sports (77), trivia (17), vocabulary (232), weather (155)

In the Classroom

Help students learn about narrowing and refining research by demonstrating this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. As you start a project, take the time to SHOW how to use this tool to save time and find appropriate resources. Allow students to explore this site on their own finding relevant information from the various topics. If time permits, have students research a specific topic and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, Vevox, Animatron, Renderforest, and Canva Inforgraphic Maker.

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Festisite Playing Cards - Festisite

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own "Face card" playing cards, inserting a different face on each card. Simply upload your image using the link at the bottom of the page, adjust the size ...more
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Create your own "Face card" playing cards, inserting a different face on each card. Simply upload your image using the link at the bottom of the page, adjust the size and location of the picture with the included tools, then save to your own computer to reprint as needed. With a little instruction, students can help. Add fun and personalization to playing cards using this card generator tool!
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tag(s): images (251)

In the Classroom

Upload images of famous historic figures and places to use as flash cards. Have students use these to learn dates and events. Create a deck of cards with your students' images and use to pull a card and call on students. Make a deck of cards with your students' images, laminate, then use for any FACE CARD ONLY card games played in the classroom. Create large format "cards" to make a start of the school year bulletin board with student faces. Use a set of laminated "student" cards to draw groups for small group projects. Make famous person cards to use in a review game where you must tell three facts about the person pictured.

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Word Hippo - Wordhippo.com

Grades
2 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
Word Hippo is a word study tool for synonyms, antonyms, and more. Look for rhyming words, opposites, translations to a variety of languages, plurals, definitions and uses for the word,...more
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Word Hippo is a word study tool for synonyms, antonyms, and more. Look for rhyming words, opposites, translations to a variety of languages, plurals, definitions and uses for the word, etc. The site also makes suggestions for other words in case you might have made a typo or do not know the spelling. As with any other reference, students should be cautioned to be sure these are accurate definitions needed for the context in which they are studying the words. You will want to spell out consequences and/or supervise to be sure students are not searching for inappropriate words, but the most egregious words of bad taste do not appear to be available for search at this site.
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tag(s): antonyms (13), dictionaries (48), spelling (92), synonyms (16), vocabulary (232), vocabulary development (90), word study (58)

In the Classroom

Use this site for vocabulary development and word study assignments, such as writing sentences, paragraphs, or essays using new words. Since the site permits translation, this would be a valuable tool in world language classes, ESL/ELL classes, and more. Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard and elicit examples to show the class how quickly it works. Have students create their own word walls with synonyms, antonyms, sentences, and more for their latest vocabulary words. Try a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, for each student to create an online "wall" with words aligned to color coded stickies for synonyms. antonyms, etc. Alternatively, have students create class challenges for their peers with color coded matching activities for the interactive whiteboard matching words to synonyms, antonyms, and an appropriate fill in the blank sentence. Share this as a favorite on your teacher public page for handy reference any time students encounter an unknown word. Even subject area teachers such as science and social studies will find this tool handy for students with weaker vocabulary levels.

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Brain Metrix - BrainMetrix.com

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Improve brain functioning with this challenge. A series of 21 different "brain games" gets your brain thinking. Activities focus on different areas of brain training. Compete against...more
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Improve brain functioning with this challenge. A series of 21 different "brain games" gets your brain thinking. Activities focus on different areas of brain training. Compete against yourself to improve. While most of this site is free, full access requires membership.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (164), multiple intelligences (8), puzzles (142)

In the Classroom

Enjoy your new workout routine! Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your gifted students (or ANY student) to strive for tiptop "brain shape." Use as a way to prove to struggling students they can improve with practice to gain confidence. Provide this link on your class website as an enrichment site.

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Wridea - Octeth Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Wridea is an idea management, brainstorming, and collaboration tool. It's a place to organize and categorize your ideas, share them with others for input, and store them. To collaborate...more
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Wridea is an idea management, brainstorming, and collaboration tool. It's a place to organize and categorize your ideas, share them with others for input, and store them. To collaborate using this tool, you must have individual memberships (email required). Note that maps that are shared can be seen by the public, but not altered. You specify the members who may collaborate and make alterations. At this time, this site does not work properly in Internet Explorer. However, it is a great tool to use in Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or other browsers.

tag(s): brainstorming (16), concept mapping (16), graphic organizers (46), mind map (25), organizational skills (91)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to create their own Wridea tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group study guides or review charts before a test. Have students use Wridea as a study guide by brainstorming all the important concepts they remember about the unit being studied in history or science, and then have them share their Wridea with another student who will add concepts that were left out. Build student creative fluency by having them use Wridea to create categories of wonder, question, and answers for research; map out a story or plot line, or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings based on pivotal points.

Comments

This resources looks like it has a wide variety of applications suitable to upper elementary and secondary classrooms. Sign up was quick and easy, but I received a message upon completing those steps that Wridea doesn't support Internet Explorer. It "suggested" using Mozilla Firefox instead. I'm a strong advocate for being comfortable with using several browsers, so, this doesn't throw up any huge roadblocks to me, but if you do not have or use Firefox, you will need to take that extra step as well before actually making use of this tool.

Editor's Note: the review has been updated to reflect this new information.
Rita, WA, Grades: 6 - 12

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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 (64), black history (101), bullying (53), child development (24), crafts (48), parent conferences (22), parents (61), psychology (65), science fairs (21)

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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Word Talk - CALL Scotland

Grades
K to 12
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Enter the world of assisted learning with Word Talk, a free plugin for use with Microsoft Word. This software downloads onto unlimited computers for educational use. A talking dictionary...more
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Enter the world of assisted learning with Word Talk, a free plugin for use with Microsoft Word. This software downloads onto unlimited computers for educational use. A talking dictionary assists with definition and spelling. The ability to turn the words into MP3 format is available. This plugin has won the Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award.

tag(s): dictionaries (48), Microsoft (74), text to speech (17)

In the Classroom

Include Word Talk as your classroom helper for FREE! Offer assisted learning for struggling readers or writers to provide success. Provide study guides or notes in an MP3 file to include on your website. Offer as a way to encourage independence and confidence in all learners. Incorporate into writer's workshop to help with editing and proofreading. Help your ESL/ELL and special needs students find more success. This helps you achieve the technology goal of assisted learning in IEP students. Offer all directions with the text to speech option.

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Busy Teacher - busyteacher.org

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers ESL/ELL worksheets for a wide range of subjects, including pronunciation, grammar, reading, listening, writing, and speaking. With a free registration, you can search...more
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This site offers ESL/ELL worksheets for a wide range of subjects, including pronunciation, grammar, reading, listening, writing, and speaking. With a free registration, you can search for the type of worksheet you desire, including review, crosswords, games, etc. You can also submit your own worksheets for inclusion on the site. In the creative writing section of the site, there are also "ready to go" writing prompts (in addition to worksheets).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (119), descriptive writing (37), grammar review (30), listening (66), pronunciation (34), reading comprehension (125), speaking (21)

In the Classroom

This site offers multiple levels and themes, so it is easy to differentiate for ability levels and interests within your class. Peruse the many printable pages available and determine which are useful for your students. Provide this URL on your class website for students to access (for practice) at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Readability Test Tool - David Simpson

Grades
1 to 12
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Test any website's readability using The Readability Test Tool. Test readability by URL or direct text input from any source (such as copy/paste of student writing). Simply enter...more
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Test any website's readability using The Readability Test Tool. Test readability by URL or direct text input from any source (such as copy/paste of student writing). Simply enter the web address (URL) and get the readability of the site on several scales. You can also check your own webpages by using the "referer" section. You will get a score for the most used readability indicators: Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease and Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, Coleman Liau Index, and Automated Readability Index (ARI). These tell much more than a simple "grade level." View sentence info such as total characters, number of words, average word length, percentage of short and long sentences, and more. View word usage of types of verbs, conjunctions, and other parts of speech as well as type of words used to begin sentences. Click the link provided to view an explanation of each type of score.
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tag(s): independent reading (105), readability (5), writing (299)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to offer differentiated resources for the different reading levels in your class. At the beginning of the year, as you learn your students' capabilities, use this tool to find reading at the appropriate level to eliminate frustration. This is perfect for finding the "just right" level for your highly advanced/gifted students and those needing extra remediation. If you do discover that a website you want to use is over your students' independent reading level, you can still use it, just open Lingro, reviewed here, first; then enter the URL you want them to read. Lingro is a study aid and open content dictionary that makes all of the words (on a particular website) clickable for definitions and translation. Of course, if the sentence length or complexity is at a much higher reading level, simple word definitions will not make it "readable" for struggling readers. View readability levels of websites before sharing with students to find appropriate reading levels for differentiation. On an interactive whiteboard or with a projector, test passages of public domain texts from sites like Project Gutenberg, reviewed here, by famous authors to see how their writing ranks when discussing their writing style.

Why not have students put in the URL for their blog or wiki (or simply paste in a writing sample) to see the level at which they are writing? This is one way to encourage writing as a craft and challenge students to include more varied vocabulary and sentence structure in their writing.

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PBS Learning Media - PBS

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This PBS site is a reorganized collection of over 16,000+ public media offerings (including radio and photographs), arranged specifically for preK-12 teachers. You can search by subject...more
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This PBS site is a reorganized collection of over 16,000+ public media offerings (including radio and photographs), arranged specifically for preK-12 teachers. You can search by subject and grade level across many subjects. After viewing three offerings, you must join (for free) to continue. Membership includes the option of saving favorites. You can also find correlations to state standards. The site is still in development, so material is being added frequently.

tag(s): alphabet (49), careers (132), dance (25), data (133), decimals (89), diseases (67), fitness (49), human body (91), mark twain (8), multimedia (40), music theory (46), percent (58), probability (95), problem solving (219), psychology (65)

In the Classroom

Find more details and teacher information under "Customization for States and District" to align the offerings here with your state's standards. Check this site for an introduction to a curriculum topic or unit or when looking for support activities to reinforce concepts. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Share the interactives as a learning center or on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is one that you want to save in your favorites.

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