What it is: Power Proofreading is a fun, interactive site by Houghton Mifflin that builds students proofreading skills. Students are introduced into a real-world situation where proofreading skills are needed. HME-TV’s power has gone out and they need students help to fix TV scripts, memos, and other writings at the station. Students proofread level appropriate material by selecting their grade level before the game begins.
How to integrate Power Proofreading into the classroom: Mix up the proofreading practice and use this site in place of standard DOL worksheets. Students will appreciate the interactivity and ease of use of this site.
Tips: Instead of bookmarking the home page of this site, bookmark the correct grade level.
What it is: Rhymer is a free online rhyming dictionary from Write Express. Students can find end rhymes, last syllable rhymes, double rhymes, beginning rhymes and first syllable rhymes.
How to integrate Rhymer into your classroom: Set up an inspiration center during a poetry unit. Students can stop by the center when they need a little poetic inspiration.
Tips: Bookmark this site for easy access.
What it is: Social networking is now school networking! Imbee allows teachers to extend their classroom beyond four walls and onto the Internet. Establish class blogs and promote online interaction and collaboration. Teachers and Parents can work together closely to guide and teach about social responsibility online while increasing classroom learning.
How to integrate imbee.com into your classroom: Use imbee as a platform for your students to publish their work. This will give students a sense of audience and act as a motivator for students. Students can collaborate on projects and help edit each others work. This is a wonderful tool for teaching students Internet safety and responsibility in a safe, controlled environment.
Tips: Visit imbee.com/teacher for lesson plans, a teacher tour, and to find answers to questions you may have about imbee. The creators of imbee are very open and willing to take teacher suggestions and implement them in new imbee versions.
What it is: Canvastic is a great student focused graphics and text publishing tool for kindergarten through eighth grade. It has easy to use tools and options. You won’t find any of the “toy” features that you find in Kid Pix type applications. The control given to teachers is wonderful. Teachers can give students access to tools gradually so that as they learn more, they can use more. It actually grows with the user. It has the best spell checking feature for students I have seen. You can try Canvastic for free in your classroom for as long as you like but the print, export, and save features are disabled. For $39 you can purchase Canvastic.
How to integrate Canvastic into your classroom: Use Canvastic as part of your publishing center. Students can publish written stories complete with illustrations. Students can create their own graphic organizers on any subject using the Canvastic software.
Tips: Join the Canvastic community to contribute ideas for improvement of the software, how you are using it in your classroom, and to foster an atmosphere of communication and exchange. In the Community you will find example lesson plans that are tied to state and national standards.
What it is: Ed Heads has various interactive science activities including Simple Machines where students learn about simple and compound machines (lever, pulley, wedge, screw, inclined plane, wheel, axle, and gear); Ed Heads Weather activities where students learn how to report and predict weather; Ed Head Compound Machine where students learn how forces and simple machines work together; and Ed Heads Virtual Knee Surgery.
How to integrate Ed Heads into your science curriculum: Use these interactive activities as a lab in your science class. Ed Heads will create unique, education web experiences that make hard to teach concepts understandable using the interactivity of the Internet.
Tips: Use the Ed Heads teacher guides and lesson plans to enhance your science curriculum.
What it is: The popular children’s series, Berenstain Bears goes 21st century with their very own website. Students can visit the art gallery, read biographies of each of the bears, print out activities, read interactive story books, visit Barn theater for some Berenstain Bear videos, write an email to the Bears at the post office and more.
How to integrate Berenstain Bears into your classroom: Allow students to explore the Berenstain Bear site as part of their reading time. The site is sure to motivate students to read. This is a great site to have on hand for indoor recess days!
Tips: Make sure you have the most current Java and Quicktime players for the interactive books and videos.
What it is: Author and illustrator Jan Brett has a wonderful website full of useful tools for teachers and fun activities for students.
How to integrate Jan Brett into your classroom: Use Jan Brett’s printable Classroom Help-a-longs to decorate bulletin boards, print name tags, and more. Print Jan Brett’s games for students to play when they finish an assignment early. Use the On Screen Computer Games during a unit on Jan Brett. There are so many printables and activities on this site, it will keep you busy all year!
Tips: Sign up for Jan Brett’s newsletter to receive an email when there are updates and additions to the site.
What it is: Zoho is a free office productivity suite. Zoho Writer is an online word processor with collaboration features. There is no download or install, just sign up to start creating documents. Zoho Sheet is an online spreadsheet application where students can create and share spreadsheets on the web. Zoho Show is an online presentation tool to create, edit, publish and show presentations. Zoho Notebook allows you to create, aggregate, and collaborate on content online. Zoho Planner is an online organizer to maintain your todo’s, reminders, notes, and attachments. Zoho Meeting allows for desktop sharing, web conferencing, online meetings, and remote assistance.
How to integrate Zoho into your classroom: Zoho is an amazing tool. Use in place of office suites that require expensive licensing. What is helpful for the classroom is the ability for students to collaborate on projects. Students can begin a project at school and easily access it later at home.
Tips: Sign up requires an email address, if your students do not have an email address, set up a special email account just for Zoho (you can set up one email address that all students use, as long as they have different usernames this shouldn’t be a problem.)
What it is: The Doodle Bops website is fun learning for pre-kindergarten through first grade students. Students can write a letter, play virtual hide and go seek, paint pictures, play games that encourage following oral directions, virtual dot to dots for counting practice, and other games to help build computer mouse skills.
How to integrate Doodle Bops into your classroom: Allow kids to interact with the Doodle Bops site during center time. The site is easy to navigate and very kid friendly. Use the site to build computer skills before introducing more complex sites.
Tips: Visit the Printables page at the bottom of the site for coloring sheets that coordinate with the Website. These would be nice to have on hand for indoor recess days.
What it is: Try Science is an interactive websites where students can explore science through various online experiments, field trips, and adventures. There are so many units covered by this site (too many to list here!)
How to integrate Try Science into the science curriculum: Use Try Science to perform one of the activities as a demonstration or in a group. Use the ready made presentations with your whole class (this works well with a projection system). Make science fun with a Try Science game of Survivor. Expand your science curriculum with Try Science online experiments.
Tips: Be sure to visit this teacher page for a wealth of information and ideas for integrating Try Science into your classroom. Try Science also offers wonderful ideas for connecting with parents for more science at home.