Ideas and Resources for Substitutes from TeachersFirst

This collection of ideas and reviewed resources is selected to help both substitute teachers and regular teachers leaving instructions for a substitute. The list includes useful time-fillers for when plans are not a perfect fit as well as teacher-friendly suggestions to make subbing a positive learning experience for all. Be sure to check "In the classroom" suggestions for practical tips and ways to use these offerings.

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The Story Starter, Jr. - Joel Heffner

Grades
2 to 6
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If you are looking to satisfy your appetite for creative, meaningful writing prompts to suit any young writer, this is just the place to quickly find over 700 instantly generated ...more
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If you are looking to satisfy your appetite for creative, meaningful writing prompts to suit any young writer, this is just the place to quickly find over 700 instantly generated ideas. All that you have to do is click on the "click here for your story starter" button. If you don't like the one you see, keep clicking for different story starters until you find the one that suits your fancy. Then, start writing!

tag(s): creative writing (170), writing (366), writing prompts (90)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites and link to it from your class webpage. For even quicker access, save this as a favorite on your Teachersfirst membership page to come back to whenever you are planning a pre or post reading/writing assignment. (If you are not already a member, join TeacherFirst for FREE.) These creative ideas are also great to file in your "emergency" lesson plan folder for a substitute teacher or when you are just looking for a spontaneous writing or journal assignment. Students may use it the traditional way by writing the story starter sentence on a piece of paper. With access to a class set of computers students could copy and paste into a word document or class wiki page and start writing their stories, poems, or journal entries. Enhance student learning by challenging them to share their writing aloud on a podcast using a site such as PodOmatic, reviewed here.

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The Learning Network - The New York Times Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student...more
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student opinion section, contests, a daily news quiz, and timely articles connecting current events to thinking questions. Find many opportunities for a quick learning game or to express your opinion. There is even a student crossword. This site is frequently updated and includes a wide variety of subjects.

tag(s): news (258), vocabulary (315), writing prompts (90)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class web page for students to find challenges or activities. Substitute teachers can always find an appropriate current events or vocabulary/writing activity if there are no lesson plans. English, social studies, and gifted teachers will want to explore the many lesson ideas that draw on current news stories. Find many prompts for student opinion blogs at this site. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, replace pen and paper and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.

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NobelPrize.org - Nobel Media AB 2011

Grades
4 to 12
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Nobelprize.org is the official website of the Nobel Prize. Here you find information about Alfred Nobel, the prizewinners, interviews, and photos. Videos of interviews of Nobel peace...more
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Nobelprize.org is the official website of the Nobel Prize. Here you find information about Alfred Nobel, the prizewinners, interviews, and photos. Videos of interviews of Nobel peace prizewinners, speeches, ceremonies, interviews, banquets, lectures, announcements, award ceremonies, and documentaries fill the gamut of all of the prizewinners. The Nobel prizes awards are in literature, chemistry, medicine, peace, economics, and physics. Varieties of educational games/activities help explain many of the Nobel Award winners' work. This site clearly explains and illustrates the purpose of the awards, the award winners, and their ideas. Videos give an insider look at each of the winners.

tag(s): creativity (119), literature (266), medicine (64)

In the Classroom

Inspire your students to strive for excellence! Show students original, creative, thinking. Let students know they can understand the ideas awarded by trying the educational activities offered. Follow each year's announcements and award ceremonies. Use as an inspiration when beginning your own Nobel Prize winning awards competitions. Encourage students to use critical thinking skills to form opinions based on facts. Substitute pen and paper in your class by having students blog about what they are learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. Extend learning by inviting pairs or small groups to use a tool like NoteJoy, reviewed here, to take notes and share links, documents, and images to organize for an interactive poster. Use Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, for the poster. Gifted programs can easily incorporate many of the ideas into the curriculum. Lead your students to Nobel Award winning thinking.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BizKids - American Public Television

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the many facets of the business world on this approachable site. All information is tied in to the T.V. show entitled "BizKids" which was created to teach kids about ...more
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Explore the many facets of the business world on this approachable site. All information is tied in to the T.V. show entitled "BizKids" which was created to teach kids about money and business. The site is divided into several different sections - for teachers and for students. The teacher section includes lesson ideas that tie into videos available on the website. This can be found under the link "Cool Biz Stuff": five lessons are available in both English and Spanish.

Students can sign up to receive a newsletter with money tips just for them. Also included is a blog with links to other financial sites for kids. Most resources for students are located under "Cool Biz Stuff," then go to "Tools for Kids." Some of the tools include a financial calculator to determine what it takes to become a millionaire, sample business plans, allowance budgeting, and investment basics. Under "The Show" link, short video segments are available for review. Shows are geared toward increasing student interest through the use of familiar cultural icons such as "The Intern" and a parody of the T.V. show "24."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (57), college (49), financial literacy (108), money (186)

In the Classroom

Watch the video on "How to Hold a Fundraiser" when planning a class economics project or before a school fundraiser event to get ideas on how to boost fundraising income. Watch a few of the short videos for creative ideas before creating classroom presentations of information studied in class. Divide up the online shows between students in your class and have students view and report back on the information presented in the videos. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to substitute paper posters with an online graphic to share using Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Transform technology use by using a multimedia poster maker such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, where students can choose the type of interactive presentation they would like to share. Ask students to create an economic plan using the allowance budget worksheet. Business teachers, family and consumer science classes, and young entrepreneurs will appreciate the many offerings on this site. College counselors will also want to share the college planning information.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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EZSchool - EZSchool

Grades
K to 12
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EZSchool is an educational portal that contains EZ worksheets, interactives, online study tools, and tutorials. Although this site is "busy" with clutter from some related advertisements,...more
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EZSchool is an educational portal that contains EZ worksheets, interactives, online study tools, and tutorials. Although this site is "busy" with clutter from some related advertisements, it is easy to navigate by grade level, subject, or more specific topics such as grammar, writing, and vocabulary for English, or word problems, geometry, and algebra for math, biology and chemistry for science, as well as Spanish, Japanese, and Hindi language activities. There are also SAT/PSAT practice questions with detailed answers. All materials are free to use, print, and distribute for use in the classroom or at home. The website is frequently updated with new activities. Weekly updates to the site are offered on the home page.

tag(s): grammar (208), japan (59), japanese (45), spanish (108), vocabulary (315), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Reinforce learning with these supplemental materials. Your students may practice as much as they want - for free! Print worksheets to leave in a folder for emergency substitute lesson plans or for homework, provide the link on your classroom web page or wiki for students to easily access from any computer, and project the interactives and other learning activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Note that some websites may be blocked.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Writing Bugs - Education World

Grades
3 to 12
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Writing Bugs is an online library of writing prompts organized in a timely fashion by months, (for example: Describe snow to someone who has never seen it), as well as ...more
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Writing Bugs is an online library of writing prompts organized in a timely fashion by months, (for example: Describe snow to someone who has never seen it), as well as "Anytime Writing Bugs," such as: Write about a goal that you would like to achieve this year. Stop racking your brain for new writing ideas and start livening up your resources with this variety of topic and story starters. A huge advantage for these writing prompts is that the subjects are categorized month by month so you can be assured that the topics deal with relevant content, or you may choose from the many that are applicable all year round.

tag(s): writing (366), writing prompts (90)

In the Classroom

You can easily click on the current month and display a particular journal entry starter on your whiteboard or choose to project a few to provide your students with options. They can be used to "get the ball rolling" at the beginning of class, as daily or weekly warm-up activities to practice general writing or skills that you are focusing on, preparing for state assessments, free-writing, or as an "anytime" or "when you're finished with your work" activity. They can be easily printed to use as "emergency" or substitute lesson plans.

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Daily Writing Prompts - The Teacher's Corner

Grades
2 to 8
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Are you looking for interesting and fun ways to provide practice and inspire students to improve their writing? The "Daily Writing Prompt" page of The Teacher's Corner will make...more
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Are you looking for interesting and fun ways to provide practice and inspire students to improve their writing? The "Daily Writing Prompt" page of The Teacher's Corner will make your life a little easier for as many days as possible, when you are searching for an event to initiate a journal entry or any writing prompt. The ideas are written for various grade levels to meet the needs of both primary and intermediate students. Some of the prompts may not explicitly state that day's event; however you can easily cross reference them with this site's monthly events calendar. Who knows that June 1 is "Donut Day?" Many students consider donuts to be a great breakfast food, which leads to the describe your "perfect breakfast" prompt. However you decide to use "Daily Writing Prompt," you will find them to be a helpful addition to your resources.

tag(s): writing (366), writing prompts (90)

In the Classroom

One advantage to the "Daily Writing Prompt" is that they can easily be displayed on your interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. They can be used in a number of ways to improve your students' writing, including daily warm-up activities, practice in writing for state assessments, journal entries, free-writing, or as an "anytime" or "when you're done" activity. The writing prompts have creative ideas and options for how to implement them. They can be easily printed to use as practical "emergency" or substitute teachers' lesson plans.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kubbu - Soft Glow

Grades
1 to 12
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Use this E-learning tool for teachers to create educational activities, crosswords and quizzes. Create activities for online practice, review, and testing of up to 30 students. Create...more
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Use this E-learning tool for teachers to create educational activities, crosswords and quizzes. Create activities for online practice, review, and testing of up to 30 students. Create class pages, printable activities, improve students' results and check scores for free.

tag(s): puzzles (205), quiz (87)

In the Classroom

Users will need to create a free teacher account. Use this limited free account for 30 students and 15 activities at a time. Note that the account will be deleted after sixty days of inactivity. A Pro and Ultimate paid account is available.

Create student accounts and group profiles. Prepare activities and create permissions for them. Provide login data to students for access. Consider adding links to a website, blog, or wiki page for student access. Alternatively, create a group with anonymous access by creating activities with a web address. Note that statistics of individual student use are not available this way. Publish the web address on a site for access or print the activities for use in a class. The 5 sections of the site control all aspects: Students, Groups, Activities, Files, and Profile. Use the Student section to check results, delete a student, or edit a student account. Click "Add student" at the bottom to create student accounts. Create group access to activities, enable a group forum with the group space icon, or share information under the Group section. Click on "Add group" at the bottom to create a group. Personal access requires students added to your account. Anonymous access creates a class page that students access via URL. Create the group and the kubbu url to save. Create activities and quizzes in the Activities section. View statistics, set permissions, print, review, duplicate, or share activities in this section also. Click on "Add activity" and enter a title and set permissions including time limit, answer revealing, and instructions. Upload pictures and sound files in the Files section. Use these items in with the Composer activities. Change your information including login and password under the Profile section. Hover over any icon you are unsure of to view a description of the function. This is a very helpful resource of this site.

Material can be made public for others outside your class to use. Student information is not available for others to see. As teachers add students or create anonymous groups, this creates an ideal educational environment that is CIPPA compliant. Use a teacher site, blog, or wiki page to share links to created quizzes and other activities.

Create matching activities for many subject areas. Match synonyms, state or country capitals, definitions, terminology, and many others ideas. Create crosswords easily. Consider using student-created words and hints to be entered easily for practice and quizzing. Create student groups with each group working on a separate section of the chapter or unit. At the end, compile these crosswords and quizzes for a file of practice activities for all students. Keep a file of activities to be printed for substitute plans or extension activities.

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Blabberize - Mobouy Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. Upload an image from your computer,...more
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. Upload an image from your computer, select an area to become the talking "mouth," and record sound using your microphone or upload a short .mp4 file from your computer. Make sure to "allow" access to your computer's microphone. Narrate your photo within the allotted 30 seconds, then save when complete. Options include marking your blab "mature" or "private" (not shown on the "latest" pages and other public areas). Share completed blabs via email or embedd in another web page, blog, or wiki. Users unfamiliar with copy/pasting embed code can simple share by the URL of the blab's page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (60), firstday (24), images (277), photography (152)

In the Classroom

If your students have never tried to make a Blabber, share the introduction blab on the home page on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Browse a few examples first to get ideas on how to make a mouth on your photo to move and "talk." Be sure to turn up your sound! Have a student demonstrate uploading an image from a safe and legal source. You may want to use a single, whole-class account you create with your "extra" email account. Be sure to spell out consequences of inappropriate use/content of blabs. Have students enter the site through the "Make" page link provided in this review to steer clear of the "latest" blabs. You may want your students to make their blabs "private" so they do not show on the public areas, depending on school policies.

Blab the homework directions on your teacher web page. Have your students use photos or digital drawings to "blab"! Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then make it "speak." Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters tell about themselves. This tool is great for gifted students to go above and beyond the basics with an independent project. Create entire conversation sequences of blabs between people in world language or ESL/ELL classes (with students speaking in the language, of course), then embed them in a wiki. Have speech/language students make blabs to practice articulation and document progress over time. Promote oral reading fluency with student-read blabs. Create book "commercials." Have students blab what the author may have been thinking as he/she wrote a poem or literary selection or as an artist painted. Blab politicians' major platform planks during campaigns for current events. Blab the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make an animal blab about his habitat if you set up the blab as a center. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?) Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then blab the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class blabs on your class web page or wiki! Give directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parents' attention for important information.

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The Science of Cooking - Edinformatics.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Interested in the chemical changes that occur during cooking? Have food related cooking questions? Find your answer here on this free site. Learn proper food cooking techniques and...more
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Interested in the chemical changes that occur during cooking? Have food related cooking questions? Find your answer here on this free site. Learn proper food cooking techniques and identify the science behind them. Teachers should caution students to ignore the ads along the margin of the site.

tag(s): cooking (34)

In the Classroom

Identify the various techniques and science behind them. For example, browning meat is called the Malliard reaction. Understanding why this brings out the best flavor in the meat is interesting. Learn about sugar substitutes, its use in cooking, and relationship to flavor. Identify taste and how we are able to sense tastes at the molecular level. Follow discussion of techniques with actual use of the technique and resultant taste tests. During a cooking lesson, why not have cooperative learning groups try something they learned? Video their "experiment" and share with the class (and parents) using a tool such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Voki - Oddcast

Grades
K to 12
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Create a free, animated speaking character that represents yourself for a blog, wiki, or any website. Voki can also be emailed to others and downloaded to phones. Appropriate for student...more
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Create a free, animated speaking character that represents yourself for a blog, wiki, or any website. Voki can also be emailed to others and downloaded to phones. Appropriate for student use in grades 6-12 but for teachers at all levels.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): speaking (24)

In the Classroom

Access to a microphone is required to record a voice. There is an option to use text to voice (however, it does not have great sound.) Import audio from a file or use a cell phone instead to capture audio. Only one minute of audio can be recorded so be brief. Students need to carefully think of their narrative before recording. Users must be able to copy and paste html code for use in an external site.

Use the controls to create your character's style, click customization to further refine your character, change your background, and add your voice. Keep in mind that animated backgrounds may take longer to load on your site. When done, click publish to view and copy the embed code which can then be used on a blog, wiki, or web pages.

Monitor all aspects of student production and use for appropriateness and copyright. If concerned about using student email, consider creating a class account for students to use. Be sure that students understand not to change the Voki of other students if using a class account. Check your school district policy about using emails or identifying student information on the Internet.

Introduce and share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this free site to record a greeting for students that can be seen on the start page of your blog, wiki, or website. Record online assignment information that is spoken by the Voki (always more pleasing to look at than the teacher!). Use this to share homework assignments, a message from you (via a substitute), and more. Use a character that is interesting or matches the assignment you may be leaving. Use Voki to record two different opinions or viewpoints and create a poll of students to view reactions. Use the Voki in Math by posing possible solutions to problems and create a class discussion or poll to determine which one is the actual answer. As students are working on projects, create a Voki that provides hints and tips for students. Allow students to use Voki to provide peer assessment to others. Consider using Voki in place of other assignments such as "What I did this summer vacation..." or "Here is information about me..." Use in any language class to record narratives or translations. Students can create a variety of Voki recordings over time which can show their learning of a language over time. Create classroom newscasts using student(s) on a rotating basis. Use Voki for vocabulary exercises which can be created by students or the teacher. The possibilities for this tool are endless. The quick and engaging nature of this tool offers unlimited uses.

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Educational Videos for kids - NeoK12

Grades
K to 12
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This incredible site is a database of videos on an abundance of topics! They are arranged by topic and very easy to access. The general subjects include physical science, life ...more
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This incredible site is a database of videos on an abundance of topics! They are arranged by topic and very easy to access. The general subjects include physical science, life science, earth and space, social studies, math, English, and the human body. Each of the subjects includes 10+ topics. And each of the topics includes countless videos. You truly have to see this collection to believe it! There are lessons "ready to go" on video: Civil Rights Movement, Ice Age, Allergies, Subtracting Negative Numbers, Electricity, and MANY others.

NOTE: Although the videos are listed on this site, they actually "live" elsewhere on the Internet, so some videos may be blocked in your school (those on YouTube, for example). Always pretest to be sure the video you hope to use is accessible at school!

tag(s): ecosystems (90), insects (72), phonics (68), probability (136), solar system (121), speaking (24), statistics (129), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is a great site to use when planning for substitute teachers, as an introduction to a new unit, or even as additional information on a specific topic.

Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos about topics being studied in social studies, science, math, or nearly any other topic. Include this link on your class web page for students to access outside of schools for reinforcement and further exploration of concepts.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Frontline: Breaking the Bank - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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A website connected to an episode of Frontline, this site looks at the 2008-2009 collapse of several large "superbanks," and how the bank failures were connected to the general economic...more
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A website connected to an episode of Frontline, this site looks at the 2008-2009 collapse of several large "superbanks," and how the bank failures were connected to the general economic downturn. Many PBS shows' sites are built around the concept of having students "watch the show and discuss"; these require teachers to buy or find a copy of episode. However, this site includes access to the full episode (requires Flash), which can be viewed as a whole or in sections. The resource list is very comprehensive and would give students who are researching national or global economics many good sources. Finally, there is analysis, set up in Q&A format that stands alone, and could be used if you don't want to use class time to view the video episode.

tag(s): banks (10), financial literacy (108), money (186), recession (3)

In the Classroom

Although this site deals with the 2008-2009 banking crisis at a level that is probably more in-depth than most teachers have the opportunity to deal with, it would be useful for an economics class or a recent American history class. You might consider some portions of it during a discussion of the Great Depression in the 1930s, to help students connect that economic time with the present. Finally, this might be a good resource site for students who are interested or who are working on more comprehensive projects. Transform classroom technology use and have students create a multimedia presentation of demonstrating their understanding of the connection between the bank failures and the economic downturn. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to substitute paper posters with an online graphic to share using Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Transform technology use by using a multimedia poster maker such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, where students can choose the type of interactive presentation they would like to share. Have students create (and respond) on class wikis. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Brain Breaks - Dave Sladkey

Grades
4 to 12
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Here is a useful blog created by a high school teacher who saw the value of "Brain Breaks" in his own classroom. Many of the activities could be used with ...more
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Here is a useful blog created by a high school teacher who saw the value of "Brain Breaks" in his own classroom. Many of the activities could be used with older elementary and middle school students. The blog contains postings from several teachers. Each posting consists of a write-up of the activity as well as a video of the actual activity. The link provides practical uses and allows you to add your own as well. Breaks are archived so you can look at previous months. You can also download them. There are some great "breaks" at this site.

tag(s): back to school (61)

In the Classroom

"Brain Breaks" is a Learning Focused Schools buzzword, but we all know students sometimes just need a 5-minute break with a built-in way to refocus at the end. Brain Breaks can be especially helpful when teaching on block schedule with longer classes. Here are some ideas to do that. Share one of the examples on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take a 5-minute "brain break" and have cooperative learning groups brainstorm additional "brain break" ideas to use within your classroom.
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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share, for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share, for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (87)

In the Classroom

You need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on your computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Vocaroo has a wide variety of applications in any type of classroom! For basic technology integration extend and enhance learning with this tool. Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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101 Ideas for a Great Start - Iowa State University

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers 101 ideas for a Great Start to your school year, semester, or even January doldrums. (Okay, actually there are 111 with the 10 bonus ideas). The ideas ...more
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This site offers 101 ideas for a Great Start to your school year, semester, or even January doldrums. (Okay, actually there are 111 with the 10 bonus ideas). The ideas are broken down into sections: Creating a Welcoming Atmosphere, Set a Positive Tone, Encourage Active Learning, Encourage Students to Keep Up and Do Well, Provide Support for Students, Be Efficient and Effective with Your Time, Gather Feedback on Teaching, and the Bonus 10. Some of the tips are more suitable for college professors, but teachers of all levels can find numerous ideas at this site. There are a few links to other sites (at Iowa State University). Some of the sites are relevant; others are not. Some require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): firstday (24), newbies (15), substitutes (18)

In the Classroom

Use these activities at the beginning of the year (and throughout) to help your students acclimate to the new classroom. These tips are also very useful for substitutes or for teachers presenting at professional meetings.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ten Creative Writing Activities - Traci Gradner

Grades
4 to 12
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This site offers ten widely-varied creative writing activities that range in level from upper elementary grades through high school. In some way, they all help the students be invested...more
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This site offers ten widely-varied creative writing activities that range in level from upper elementary grades through high school. In some way, they all help the students be invested in their writing by making the topic personal, from "found treasures" to "show and tell" which works as well (although differently) with high school students as elementary ones.

tag(s): creative writing (170), writing (366)

In the Classroom

These are great activities to have at the tip of your fingers for days when inspiration just runs dry or you are looking for a new approach to creative writing. You might have each student bring in one thing for your "found treasures" bag and then pull them out at random for a class story. The "jumble story" idea is also great because you can substitute current events or topical characters or settings.

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HippoCampus - Monterey Institute for Technology and Education

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for...more
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Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for selected high school courses, a way to differentiate instruction, or materials to reinforce challenging topics, this site has it. The current subjects include Algebra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Religion, and U.S. History. The subjects extend through high school and into AP and college level material. Open a course at the left and browse the topics, especially the multimedia offerings. A free instructor account allows you to select the modules you want your students to see and share them via a unique URL for assignments or at-home review. Since the content is offered collaboratively from multiple sources, the courses each have their own "look." The ones our review team explored all included audio-- a real plus for ESL/ELL or low level readers. Requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): environment (321)

In the Classroom

Explore the curriculum topics for your subject area and select some options for students to use in class or for review. This is also an excellent option for leaving plans for a substitute who may have no expertise in your subject area! Many of the multimedia modules are well-suited for interactive whiteboard or projector (or for students to navigate at an individual pace on laptops). Have gifted students? Allow them to "compact" new content and extend into higher levels using this site. Be sure to share a link from your teacher web page for students who need an alternate presentation of material or for absentees. Share this site at the beginning of the school year for students wanting more of a challenge.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Icebreakers, Games, and Fun Group Activities - icebreakers.ws

Grades
K to 12
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Start the first day of school or a new marking period with a getting-to-know you activity from this great, searchable collection. The activities are designed for all ages, so some ...more
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Start the first day of school or a new marking period with a getting-to-know you activity from this great, searchable collection. The activities are designed for all ages, so some will not work well with very young ones (such as writing things on slips of paper). The site is easy to navigate and sorts ideas by group size and activity level for easy retrieval. You are also invited to submit your own ideas. Since the site is designed for general use, not for schools, some ideas may be impractical in a classroom setting but could be easily adapted.

tag(s): newbies (15)

In the Classroom

New or veteran teachers who want students to get to know each other as they enter a new school (starting middle school, for example), want to observe them so YOU get to know them, or need to build better team skills with a challenging class or club, will find ideas to try. Mark this one as a Favorite so you can find it again, since "first day" activities tend to get lost in the flurry ---and in the fading memory-- during the year.

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Educator's Reference Desk of Lesson Plans - Information Institute of Syracuse

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Over 2000 lesson plans are at your fingertips when you visit this site. Find lesson plans on these topics: Arts, Computer Science, Foreign Language, Health, Information Literacy,...more
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Over 2000 lesson plans are at your fingertips when you visit this site. Find lesson plans on these topics: Arts, Computer Science, Foreign Language, Health, Information Literacy, Interdisciplinary, Language Arts, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, and Vocational Education.

tag(s): resources (104)

In the Classroom

Some of the lesson plans are actually units designed for a week or more of study. The site allows for printer-friendly versions of the plans to make printing them a neat option. When you need quick plans for the substitute--or if you are a substitute-- this site is a must-have.

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