TeachersFirst Edge - Utilities

 

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Loose Canon - Julia Franks

Grades
K to 12
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Create excitement about books and promote the love of reading with Loose Canon. This site provides over 9000 book recommendations to view by subject or grade level. Create a free ...more
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Create excitement about books and promote the love of reading with Loose Canon. This site provides over 9000 book recommendations to view by subject or grade level. Create a free classroom account to add your books and recommendations by your students. Free accounts allow up to 60 participants to share and compare texts. Be sure also to view the resources provided by Loose Canon. This portion of the site shares assessment, classroom activities, and reading research to viewers without requiring registration. Included is approximately a five minute video explaining reading workshop and features of Loose Cannon. This 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): book lists (132), book reports (39)

In the Classroom

Share Loose Canon with your students as an extensive resource for finding and comparing books to read. Use materials found on this site to create collaborative Literature Circles in your classroom. If you create an account with Loose Canon, ask students to share their thoughts on books read in school and at home by reviewing and rating it on Loose Canon. These reviews can be made public, or students can keep them private. Take your reading reflections a step further and ask students to share their thoughts through a multimedia presentation using an interactive tool like Sway, reviewed here, that allows users to include images, links, and videos.

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KingCitation - KingCitation

Grades
5 to 12
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Let's face it, creating proper citations is difficult due to the many different formats and the variety of sources cited. KingCitation helps with this problem with its citation generator....more
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Let's face it, creating proper citations is difficult due to the many different formats and the variety of sources cited. KingCitation helps with this problem with its citation generator. The three step procedure begins with choosing the type of work that is cited then moves on to adding requested information to the form generator. Click "Generate Citation" to complete your citation ready to copy and paste into any document.

tag(s): citations (38), plagiarism (37)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard and projector to show students how to use this tool for citing their sources. Share this website for all of your projects using research so students know the correct procedure for citations. Be sure to add it on your class web site as a useful reference.
 

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ChartAccent - Donghao Ren, Matthew Brehmer, and others

Grades
8 to 12
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Add comments and annotations to your online charts with ChartAccent. Upload your CSV file to begin and follow the steps to choose the best type of chart for your dataset. ...more
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Add comments and annotations to your online charts with ChartAccent. Upload your CSV file to begin and follow the steps to choose the best type of chart for your dataset. Options include bar, line, or scatter plots. Follow additional steps to label and annotate your chart. When finished, save your work as a PNG, SVG, or animated GIF. Be sure to watch the included video with directions for annotating and exporting charts.

tag(s): charts and graphs (192)

In the Classroom

Collect data in your classroom and quickly create a graph to represent it. Share through links or adding images to blogs, wikis, or websites. Share graphs on an interactive whiteboard or projector for better analysis of data by the class, then add comments and notes. Graph results of a test, answers from students, favorite foods, fictitious budgets, class schedules, and whatever else is applicable in your classroom. Use an informational text, and have students create a pie chart to understand how to read charts that accompany the informational texts. Have cooperative learning groups create graphs to share with the class on the class wiki. Create quick pie charts on your interactive whiteboard whenever you count class votes or encounter other data so students "see" data visualized on a regular basis; visual students will have another way to absorb the information. Keep the link handy on your web page to access it quickly in or out of class. Assess students' understanding of any chart by uploading one and having the student annotate the information.
 

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ClassroomScreen - Laurens Koppers

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
ClassroomScreen is a background utility for use with interactive whiteboards or projector screens. Choose from circles at the bottom of the screen to add features including a random...more
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ClassroomScreen is a background utility for use with interactive whiteboards or projector screens. Choose from circles at the bottom of the screen to add features including a random name picker, text, timer, and clock. Drag items to place them on the screen as desired.

tag(s): classroom management (155), functions (70), iwb (32), time (137)

In the Classroom

Use ClassroomScreen on your interactive whiteboard for quick access to many commonly used tools. Add to student computers for access to a calculator and text box for notes. ESL/ELL teachers will enjoy the multi-language feature. Use the different backgrounds as inspiration for creative writing projects.
 

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Duck Soup - Robert Boyett and Andrew McAfee

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Is a paperless classroom your goal? Duck Soup is for you! Instead of making copies of papers to hand out and then grade, upload any PDF or Word document to ...more
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Is a paperless classroom your goal? Duck Soup is for you! Instead of making copies of papers to hand out and then grade, upload any PDF or Word document to your Duck Soup account to quickly turn it into an e-sheet gradable activity. Receive feedback in real time as students complete work. Duck Soup also offers the ability for students to "write" on documents as they would with pencil and paper. Options include setting times to submit responses, set number of retries for incorrect responses, and set values of questions. This site fully integrates with Google Drive making it a "must have" for any Google Classroom.

tag(s): Google (25)

In the Classroom

Save time and paper using Duck Soup. Start out slowly, perhaps with one or two papers the first week. Choose a paper that is familiar to both you and your students and explore together how to use e-sheets and settings that work best for your classroom. Once familiar with the site, the possibilities are unlimited. Use Duck Soup for homework, centers, and ongoing projects. Instead of sending paperwork home to be completed by parents, create digital versions for quick response and compilation of information.

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Expresso - Mikhail Panko

Grades
6 to 12
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Expresso is a tool to improve and analyze writing through providing data to enhance your writing style. Paste your work into Expresso to analyze your sample. Expresso's analysis provides...more
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Expresso is a tool to improve and analyze writing through providing data to enhance your writing style. Paste your work into Expresso to analyze your sample. Expresso's analysis provides a significant amount of data including the number of weak verbs in your writing, frequently used words, and readability statistics. Take full advantage of the power of this site by exploring how to use the sections in the metrics information menu and the site's tutorial.

tag(s): editing (69), grammar (208), proofreading (25), spelling (168), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and demonstrate how to use it with your students. Instead of having students turn in a final draft of writing assignments, ask them to paste their writing project into Expresso and make improvements before turning it in for grading. Ask students to submit their original work along with the final project and highlight changes made using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. After making changes, ask students to post their work on Comments4Kids, reviewed here. This site offers interactive peer feedback of student writing under specific guidelines to promote positive interactions. Ongoing use of Expresso helps students identify common writing errors made. After using this site for some time, have students create a podcast using a site such as Podcast Generator, reviewed here, to share tips and helpful information for improving writing.

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Write - Krish Dholakiya

Grades
5 to 12
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Write. That is all you do with this minimalistic program. Choose a length of time to write from options on the screen, then start writing. Stop for more than 5 ...more
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Write. That is all you do with this minimalistic program. Choose a length of time to write from options on the screen, then start writing. Stop for more than 5 seconds, and your writing disappears. When time runs out, your writing saves with an option to download as a text file to your computor, or upload to a file of your choice.

tag(s): process writing (46), writers workshop (32)

In the Classroom

If you have students who struggle with putting words down due to distractions or other reasons, Write is a good option for developing stamina. This tool allows writers to just write without worrying about content, grammar, or spelling. Stress that the editing process allows writers to go back and rework basic thoughts. If you do journals in content areas such as math or science, Write is a perfect tool to strongly encourage students to get their thoughts down in a short amount time. Have students save their work to include with their final writing projects.
 

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QuoteItWithMe - Prolific Labs LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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Quickly create and add quotations to any writing assignment with QuoteItWithMe. Copy and paste your quote and choose a formatting style (MLA, APA, Chicago). Follow the four steps to...more
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Quickly create and add quotations to any writing assignment with QuoteItWithMe. Copy and paste your quote and choose a formatting style (MLA, APA, Chicago). Follow the four steps to add information on who said the quote, where it came from, and dates. Upon completion, QuoteItWithMe provides your quotation in four different versions for copying and pasting into your writing project. This site even reads your quotation out loud when finished!

tag(s): citations (38), plagiarism (37), quotations (25)

In the Classroom

Use QuoteItWithMe to teach students formatting for quotations and during lessons on plagiarism. Share the final quotes as examples for different ways to present quotes in writing. Ask students to create their own quotes, then check their work by using this tool. To either teach about or give students a review of plagiarism and citing sources, use a tool like Plagiarism.org, reviewed here.
 

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JoeZoo - Carl Mascarenhas and Rakesh Kamath

Grades
K to 12
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JoeZoo is a Google Docs add-on for creating rubrics, providing feedback, and a grading tool optimized for use on Chrome and Safari browsers. JoeZoo is available in two forms, as ...more
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JoeZoo is a Google Docs add-on for creating rubrics, providing feedback, and a grading tool optimized for use on Chrome and Safari browsers. JoeZoo is available in two forms, as an add-on best for use by individual teachers or as an app requiring Google domain installation. The feedback tool provides many resources including highlighting text, pre-loaded feedback, and pie charts demonstrating feedback from different categories. Create and edit customized rubrics using the rubric creator. Be sure to watch the tutorial videos for full information on using JoeZoo in your classroom.

tag(s): Google (25), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Give your students timely feedback and save valuable time grading by adding JoeZoo to your toolbox. Click to input grades without leaving the document, students receive instant feedback through their JoeZoo add-on. Import your Google Classroom information into JoeZoo to further simplify and enhance your grading process.

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LanguageTool - LanguageTool.org

Grades
K to 12
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LanguageTool is a spelling and language checker for English, French, and more than 20 other languages. Copy and paste your text to check for spelling and grammatical errors. Use the...more
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LanguageTool is a spelling and language checker for English, French, and more than 20 other languages. Copy and paste your text to check for spelling and grammatical errors. Use the drop-down boxes to change language preferences. LanguageTool also offers browser add-ons for installation on Chrome and Firefox, and add-ons for Google Docs, LibreOffice, and OpenOffice.

tag(s): editing (69), grammar (208), spelling (168), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Use this visual revision program with students who are ready to refine and improve their writing. Have students copy and paste writing projects into the text editor for a final check for spelling and grammar mistakes after making their last revisions. Continued use of a language checking tool helps students correct writing on their own after seeing common errors in their writing. Never send out a newsletter or post to your web page with spelling or grammar errors again! Use LanguageTool to spell check and suggest corrections for any published writing projects.
 

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Open Learning Initiative - Carnegie Mellon University

Grades
6 to 12
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Teach or learn through high-quality online courses offered by the Open Learning Initiative. Choose from available courses in a variety of subjects for full course information including...more
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Teach or learn through high-quality online courses offered by the Open Learning Initiative. Choose from available courses in a variety of subjects for full course information including topics covered, estimated completion time, and software required. Classes are free for independent learning. Set up and teach your own course by registering for an instructor account. Instructor accounts allow members to access tools to assess student learning and provide credit for course completion.

tag(s): chinese (50), design (93), engineering (129), french (91), logic (234), probability (130), psychology (66), statistics (124), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of content in courses to supplement your current lessons. No registration is required to access and view course information. Share this site with gifted students or students with interests in specific academic areas not covered in your current curriculum. Create a course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field. The Open Learning Initiative would also be perfect for setting up directions and steps for any projects you require students to do for your class. The program will integrate with some learning management systems.

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Speechnotes - Speechlogger & TTSReader

Grades
K to 12
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Speechnotes provides a distraction-free, easy to use speech to text notepad for use with Chrome browsers. Just click on the microphone to begin speaking. Be sure to view the hints ...more
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Speechnotes provides a distraction-free, easy to use speech to text notepad for use with Chrome browsers. Just click on the microphone to begin speaking. Be sure to view the hints for inserting punctuation. When finished, email or print your document. Saving options allow you to upload files to Google Drive or download as a text file. This tool is for speech to text, not text to speech.

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

Speechnotes is a very versatile tool, for students, parents, and teachers alike. Bypass poor typing skills, dysgraphia, dyslexia, and physical disabilities. Use this tool to create emails, documents, or anything requiring typed text. Use in your writing class so students can get their thoughts into text without having to also think about typing. Be sure they edit their work. Use when you are in a hurry with emails requiring long text. Use for your newsletters or family emails. Share this on your class website and at Back to School Night. Emerging literacy students will enjoy the success they have with their oral language into written word. Improve content and forget about mechanics of writing or typing. Focus in on grammar and mechanics after seeing the recognized mistakes. Include this website on every toolbar and as a favorite on your class web page. ESL/ELL students can speak English, play it back, and correct it until it "sounds right" and expresses their ideas correctly.

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Google Forms - Google

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

tag(s): polls and surveys (54), spreadsheets (18)

In the Classroom

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

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Name Picker Ninja - Zack Vogel

Grades
K to 12
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Randomly select a name for any activity with Name Picker Ninja. Add your list of names, and Go! The Name Picker Ninja will scroll through the list and stop on ...more
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Randomly select a name for any activity with Name Picker Ninja. Add your list of names, and Go! The Name Picker Ninja will scroll through the list and stop on a random name. Delete that name and continue. Alternatively, if you want to keep all names active, click Go! again.

tag(s): classroom management (155), gamification (77), preK (291)

In the Classroom

The obvious use for this tool is for selecting students to answer a question or do an activity. Other uses could include forming groups/pairs or creating seating charts. Allow students to use it when it's time to choose the next student. Instead of names, enter activities for P.E., rainy day recess activities, the next book your class will read together, or anything where you need to make a choice. Save your lists as a template with a Word doc or PDF so you can copy and paste them for reuse later.
 

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QR Wild - QR Wild LLC

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
QR Wild is a QR code generator for scavenger hunt games. Create your game by adding text, images, and information. Print out your codes and place in your desired location. ...more
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QR Wild is a QR code generator for scavenger hunt games. Create your game by adding text, images, and information. Print out your codes and place in your desired location. As players find and scan codes using QR readers on mobile devices they earn points and unlock digital badges. Register with a username and password. Look through the FAQs to learn how to use QR Wild and enjoy the colorful cartoon examples!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (120), gamification (77), qr codes (22), webquests (20)

In the Classroom

Use QR Wild to make any class content into a treasure hunt for knowledge. Keep students engaged by creating learning centers or webquests that have a question requiring an answer and perhaps another activity at the center before going on to the next. Have students learn and answer questions about mystery objects, art prints, or books/authors with accompanying QR codes. Identify trees by creating a QR code with a question about the tree and perhaps another link taking them to specific information. Create a scavenger hunt around the school asking questions about activities in the school or certain student projects found in showcases. (The first QR code could be printed in the school newsletter.) Create a treasure hunt with books in the library to test library search skills or to find a specific book and answer questions from the index, table of contents, etc. Use QR codes on objects in Geometry to ask questions about the shapes or solve a problem based on a physical object. Any subject area and content could find a use for this Treasure Hunt Generator. Challenge students to create their own QR treasure hunts as a way to "present" research projects. Use in social studies for the entire class to create a QR code hunt around your community to bring local history to life for all residents. Create a scavenger hunt for parents to find important classroom information during Open Houses or Meet the Teacher events.

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SMMRY - smmry.com

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Did you ever wish for a website that would summarize long articles of text? SMMRY grants your wish! Copy and paste text, PDF's, websites, or online articles into the text ...more
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Did you ever wish for a website that would summarize long articles of text? SMMRY grants your wish! Copy and paste text, PDF's, websites, or online articles into the text box, upload a PDF file or paste a URL to begin. Choose the number of sentences for the summary, then click the summarize box and view your summary.

tag(s): summarizing (16)

In the Classroom

Introduce SMMRY to students working on research projects as a way to quickly determine content and viability of using websites. Use to differentiate instruction with students. Use with learning support students as a resource to make content easier to understand (and shorter to read). Use SMMRY summaries when teaching how to summarize in an ELA class. Compare the summary you create as a class or in small groups with the "automated" one. Are there subtleties or important distinctions that this tool misses? As a challenge for your more critical thinkers, have them try to figure out what signals the tool uses to create its summary.

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WeLearned.It - eduClipper

Grades
K to 12
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WeLearned.It is a digital portfolio and classroom management tool for students and educators. The free pricing plan allows users to create student portfolios, manage unlimited classes,...more
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WeLearned.It is a digital portfolio and classroom management tool for students and educators. The free pricing plan allows users to create student portfolios, manage unlimited classes, provide feedback in several different formats, and distribute class assignments. Attach documents or websites to tasks from Google Drive, your computer, and more. Students receive a digital code to join, and then their work saves to their personalized portfolio.

tag(s): classroom management (155), portfolios (33)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of WeLearned.It's features in your 1:1 classroom for project-based learning assignments. Motivate students through feedback provided on this site in the form of badges, video or audio recordings, or text. Encourage students to support classmates through providing feedback to peers on the site. Science teachers could have students write up their lab reports, take photos of their labs and label them in a portfolio. History teachers could set up portfolios for student report writing or digital storytelling projects. WeLearned.It is a perfect tool to use during parent conferences.

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Peergrade - David Kofoed Wind, Malthe Jorgensen & Simon Lind

Grades
8 to 12
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Save time grading papers and encourage peer interaction with Peergrade. Create your assignment and a rubric for grading to begin. Students upload their work to the site. Upon reaching...more
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Save time grading papers and encourage peer interaction with Peergrade. Create your assignment and a rubric for grading to begin. Students upload their work to the site. Upon reaching the deadline for completing tasks, Peergrade automatically distributes work to other students for peer review. Using the associated rubric, students evaluate peer's work and provide feedback. Peergrade provides teachers reports with rubric scores, information on rubric questions providing difficulty for students, and the amount of time spent by each student providing feedback. Teachers have the option to provide their feedback on student work.

tag(s): assessment (109), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of Peergrade to teach students how to provide meaningful feedback to peers. Be sure to check out the site's Rubric Library for use with students as you teach them about rubrics, how to provide feedback that is fair and relevant, and encourage critical thinking as part of any assignment. If you are hesitant to begin with peer reviews, upload example assignments for students to practice working with rubrics and reviews. After completing peer reviews have students create blogs. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. Ask them to reflect on their peer reviews and how completing this activity will help with future assignments.

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Common Core Lesson Plans Template - FormSwift

Grades
K to 12
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Common Core Lesson Plans offers three easy to use templates for designing professional looking lesson plans with language correlated to Common Core Standards. Begin by choosing the...more
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Common Core Lesson Plans offers three easy to use templates for designing professional looking lesson plans with language correlated to Common Core Standards. Begin by choosing the content from Math, Science, or English links. Click the link to start creating your lesson plan. Use the template to add lesson planning information within the template. When finished, print or save as a PDF or Word document. Create a free account to save finished products directly on FormSwift. You must provide the actual standards for your lesson plan.

tag(s): commoncore (96), professional development (162)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these lesson plan templates for lesson planning using Common Core Standards. If you don't teach using Common Core, these templates are still useful for lesson planning. Change the portion with standards to meet your goals and objectives for individual lessons. Use these templates when collaborating on lessons with other educators as a way to maintain consistency in planning. Share these templates with other teachers during professional development sessions.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mahara - New Zealand's Tertiary Education Commission

Grades
8 to 12
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Mahara is an open source e-portfolio creator. Download the Mahara software to begin creating your e-portfolio including journals, social media resources, and uploading files. Once created,...more
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Mahara is an open source e-portfolio creator. Download the Mahara software to begin creating your e-portfolio including journals, social media resources, and uploading files. Once created, share your portfolio using access permissions, allowing members to determine who can view their work. Other features include a resume builder and social networking system connecting members to online learning communities. Scroll to the bottom to find Mahara Support which includes links to a User Manual and Wiki. There is even a demo for you to use for the day to preview Mahara.

tag(s): assessment (109), classroom management (155), portfolios (33)

In the Classroom

Record classroom activities and student learning with photos or videos. Show students how to create a portfolio, then document their learning and make comments in their portfolio. Share portfolios with parents, not just at conference time, but any time the student portfolio is updated to keep parents in the loop.

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