CreativityGames.net is a site designed to promote creative thinking.  The site provides weekly Creativity Games and Challenges, along with other resources that will hopefully open students’ minds to creative thinking.  In a world in which there is such high emphasis placed on test scores, activities like the ones available on this website are more important than ever.

Evernote is an online tool that helps you organize your resources.  I mostly use it to save links to good articles or sites and good quotes that I find, but you can also upload images and files to your Evernote account.  Evernote allows you to tag your notes to make them easier to find.  I especially like the fact that I can access my Evernote account from my phone and tablet as well as from a computer.

Four Reads:  Learning to Read Primary Documents is a post on the teachinghistory.org website that outlines a four-step process for guiding students in reading primary documents.  With all the emphasis on using primary documents to help students better understand historical concepts, it’s nice to have a post like this that clearly describes how to help students reading primary documents as though they were historians.

The Library of Congress website has a wide variety of online primary resources that can be used with students.  These resources include newspapers, comic books, maps, and more.  The Teachers page includes lesson plans for using primary sources in grades kindergarten and up.  The site has recently added references to the Common Core standards.  It also contains professional development opportunities for teachers.

Lingro is an amazing tool that helps readers easily look up word definitions when reading a web page.  It works like this — you find a page that you want to read, copy the URL, then paste it in the box at the top of the Lingro page.  Click on the arrow, and you will be taken to the page you want to read, but now you can click on any word on that page and the definition of the word will appear in a small box (it takes a little while for the page to load but it’s worth the wait).  I love this tool because I don’t have to toggle between the page that I’m reading and an online dictionary.

Misunderstood Minds is sponsored by the Public Broadcasting System and contains much information about learning differences and disabilities. Be sure to click on the Reading link, which is designed to give parents and teachers a better understanding of the reading processes, insights into reading difficulties and strategies for helping students.

Share My Lesson is a site created by the AFT and the TES (a worldwide network of teachers).  The site allows you to use its over 200,000 lesson plans and other teaching resources at no cost (free registration is required to download lessons).  It also allows you to upload lessons that you have created and want to share.  In addition, Share My Lesson also contains resources related to the Common Core Standards.

Skype in the Classroom is a site designed to help classrooms connect with professionals and other classrooms.  Teachers can log on to Skype in the Classroom and find classrooms with similar interests that they might want to connect with.

Teaching Kids News is a site created by a mom and her son’s teacher to help elementary aged students access and understand the news.  The articles/stories on the site, written in kid-friendly language, are designed for students in grades 2-8.  Each day a new article is added that relates to some news story of the day.  There is also a page that includes ideas for using the articles in a classroom.

TED:  Ideas Worth Spreading is a fabulous collection of presentations given by top-notch speakers with the intent to spread knowledge and new ideas,  inspire thinking and spark creativity and curiosity.  While many of the TED videos are more advanced for our students, there are some that can be shared with students of all ages.  In addition to providing content for students, the videos can be used to model good speaking techniques.

The Differentiator is an online utility for helping teachers visually create differentiated lessons based on Bloom’s taxonomy.

Twitter is a great place to find resources for teaching, current events, hobbies, etc.  You never have to tweet to benefit from Twitter.  In fact you don’t even need to have a Twitter account to benefit from it, although having an account makes it easier to keep current.

Thinkfinity is a site sponsored by Verizon that offers free resources for educators.  The site is actually a combination of the following sites:

    • ArtsEdge is part of Thinkfinity.org, a site supported by the Verizon Foundatin that offers free resources for teachers and students. ArtsEdge was established under a cooperative agreement between the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the U.S. Department of Education. The site offers quality teaching materials and professional resources which are aimed at helping teachers integrate the arts into all areas of the curriculum.
    • EconEdLink is part of Thinkfinity.org, a site supported by the Verizon Foundatin that offers free resources for teachers and students. The site is a program of the National Council on Economic Education, and is designed to provide resources based on curriculum standards and the essential principles of economics. K-12 teachers will find lesson materials for “real-world” issues which make learning economics relevant and fun.
    • EDSITEment is part of Thinkfinity.org, a site supported by the Verizon Foundation that offers free resources for teachers and students. The site is designed by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council of the Great City Schools, WorldCom Foundation and the National Trust for the Humanities to offer quality materials for teaching literature and language arts, foreign languages, the arts, world cultures, history and social studies.Links to top websites, lesson plan, teacher resources and learning activities are available on this site.
    • Illuminations is associated with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is part of the prestigious Verizon Thinkfinity.org program. It is designed to provide Standards-based resources to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics for all students. Illuminations provides many resources for teachers, teachers and parents that promote the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.
    • National Geographic Xpeditions is part of Thinkfinity.org, a site supported by the Verizon Foundatin that offers free resources for teachers and students. The site, created by the National Geographic Society and WotldCom, is designed to provide activities based on the U.S. National Geography Standards. Included in the site are maps of places all over the world, multidimensional activities and lesson plans.
    • ReadWriteThink is part of Thinkfinity.org, a site supported by the Verizon Foundatin that offers free resources for teachers and students. The site invites students to compose their own comic strips for prewriting, pre- and postreading activities, and as a form of literature response.
    • Science NetLinks is part of Thinkfinity.org, a site supported by the Verizon Foundatin that offers free resources for teachers and students. Science NetLinks is the result of a partnership between the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the WorldCom Foundation. Science NetLinks provides current resources for K-12 science educators including lessons, websites, news, and forums.
    • Smithsonian’s History Explorer is one of the newer additions to Thinkfinity.  The site is developed by the National Museum of American History along with the Verizon Foundation, and offers free online resources for teaching and learning about American history.  The resources include lesson plans, activities, online exhibitions, and more, along with suggestions for using primary source documents in the classroom.  You can search for the resources by grade level, time period, and resource format.
    • Wonderopolis is one of the latest editions to Thinkfinity.org, a site supported by the Verizon Foundation that offers free resources for teachers and students.  I was made aware of this new edition to the Thinkfinity suite of online tools by Pam Gruzynski.  Wonderopolis is maintained by the National Center for Family Literacy to help promote discovery, creativity and imagination for students of all ages.  The Wonder of the Day relates to the real world and is designed to promote thinking and discussion.

Photo Prompts is a site that can be used to support creative writing.  The site offers many different writing starters that include a picture and a writing prompt.  These can be used or altered to use with students of all ages, and in different subject areas.  If you click on the “i” icon on the top of the page, you can search through the images by subject.  If you click on the “Archives” link, you can see thumbnails of the images on the site.

WatchKnowLearn is a site created for teachers and students by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, to provide a place for them to go to access free, quality educational videos.  WatchKnow has indexed over 15, 000 educational videos from all over the Internet and organized them by age and subject.  WatchKnow doesn’t host the videos, but rather is a directory of links to short, online educational videos.  The site’s search feature makes it easy to find videos on a particular topic.

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