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Toy Maker

  What it is: Toy Maker is a website full of free paper toy downloads.  While it isn’t directly using technology in the classroom, this is a great site to visit for the free downloads.  Toy Maker has everything from paper animals (origami type), to awesome math and learning toys, to toys that move, and gift boxes.  This site offers really amazing downloads and teaches students how to follow step by step instructions to create their toy.    How to integrate Toy Maker into the classroom:   The math and learning toys on the Toy Maker site are perfect for integrating into your existing curriculum.  Living in Colorado means a lot of indoor recess days in the winter months, these toys offer excellent activities for those indoor days!  The gift boxes are perfect for holiday gifts home (Christmas, Mother’s day, Father’s day, etc.) or for exchanging with learning buddies.   Younger students will enjoy creating one of the animals and writing a story to accompany it.   Tips: Share this site with parents, they will love these printables for rainy days at home!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Toy Maker  in your classroom.

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Claco: United We Teach, build lessons collaboratively

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 19-09-2012

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What it is:  Claco is a new website that makes it simple to build, organize and share lessons. Your lessons can be dynamic including weblinks, embed codes, online videos, files and more.  In addition to creating and uploading your own lessons, you can also search and use lessons that other teachers around the world have built.  There is no better way to stretch and grow professionally than to learn from each other!  Claco makes it easy to work with other educators in a collaborative environment to streamline the lesson planning process.  I love the vision behind Claco, they have even created a movement called “United We Teach” that encourages educators to share and enhance each other’s resources.  I learn SO much from my PLN, creating a place where this is encouraged as part of the process is fantastic!

Another feature I love about Claco: no need to download lessons, you can view and use all lessons directly from your Claco profile.  That means that lessons are available from anywhere (because they are in the cloud) and can be used from computers, iPads, and smartphones…super handy!

How to integrate Claco into your curriculum: Use Claco to save yourself time.  I tend to get lost in the OCEAN of amazing lesson ideas and resources on the web.  I like that Claco can be a one-stop shop for resources and lessons.  The ability to organize all of my findings in one easy-to-use place that can be accessed by all of my devices is also very helpful.

Aside from the time saving, Claco makes it possible to collaborate on lessons with other teachers in the building, or from anywhere in the world.  Lessons can be constructed with teammates and enhanced by anyone.  Lessons can also be easily shared with students, parents and colleagues.

Tips: You may recognize some features of Claco.  Class Connect (which I wrote about here) has morphed into Claco. The genius behind Claco, Eric Simons who created the sites after some frustrations with his own school experience.  Instead of being disenfranchised, he set out to make it better.  You gotta love that!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Claco in your classroom!

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