Favorite Resources

Below are a few of my favorite resources I use as a teacher:

 

Kidspiration is a powerful visual learning tool, which allows teachers and students to create graphic organizer in order to see, organize and develop ideas. Teacher can use Kidspiration for webbing, concept mapping, brainstorming, planning, organizing, and diagramming. We introduce Kidspiration in our first lesson to allow students to generate ideas, organize their thoughts, explore new information, and most importantly see how their ideas can be grouped and what general topics they want to explore.  This software can be purchased. A free trial is also available at the website: http://www.inspiration.com/Kidspiration.

RubiStar is simple web-based tool to help the teacher create sophisticated, polished rubrics using which can be saved as a Microsoft Word document or as an Excel spreadsheet. The U.S. Department of Education developed RubiStar in order to provide teachers a free and convenient way to create rubrics.  RubiStar gives you the option to choose from a variety of generic rubrics or customize your own which include deciding on a scale, choosing categories, and writing prompts to better meet your project needs.   It can be accessed at http://rubistar.4teacher.org

KidPix is a drawing program aimed at children.  Students can use tools to draw lines and shapes and change colors. There are also special drawing tools like rubber stamp pictures. There are also tools to insert text into the on-screen picture.  Different versions have extra special features.  It has an English/Spanish bilingual feature.  This software must be purchased.

Voice Thread is a unique educational tool allows teachers and students to easily record audio commentary about ideas and experiences on a drawing, document, project or photo and share them with others. Students can add comments by typing, recording an audio or video, or drawing on the image itself. In the lesson we introduce Voice Thread allow students to record a comment on their own picture and share their stories with the class.  For more information, visit: http://voicethread.com.

Edutopia provides many interesting resources that can enhance and improve classroom practice.  I’ve included a few videos that show project-based learning in action.