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Online Teacher Tools

Stumped for ideas, templates, or other classroom management tools? We've compiled some of our favorite online teacher tools -- Web sites with interactive templates and other resources for K-12 educators -- to help you when time is short. Find something you can use today. INCLUDED: Included: More than a dozen links to templates, Web site builders, lesson plan resources, and much more!

It's 10:30 p.m. You're sitting at your computer with your slippers on, sipping hot cocoa, and you're stumped. How are you going to teach that concept tomorrow, the one students are struggling with? Or, how are you going to bridge the language barrier between you and the student's parents who are not native English speakers? Or, where can you find worksheets to match your curriculum and student ability level?

We've compiled some of our favorite online teacher tools -- Web sites with interactive templates and other resources for K-12 educators -- to help you when time is short. Check them out and find something you can use today!


Surf Smart

Want one more tool you can use? Why not try a new search engine for yourself or your students? Vivisimo is a clustering search engine, meaning it groups search results by category. Type "pyramids" and students see results for The Great Pyramids, food pyramids, Egyptian pyramids, and more. Dramatically cuts down search time and gets students the information they need faster and with far less frustration. Check it out!

Build A Web Site in 5 Minutes!
Do you wish you had a classroom Web page, but don't think you have the skills or time to create one? Web Poster Wizard is a four-step, point-and-click tool that helps you create a simple, online page for your classroom in five minutes or less. You can include photos, as well as links to educational games and other resources for students to explore. For more ideas and tools on Web site building, check out Share the Pride: Create a School Web Site, Gee Whiz! Great Site-Building Advice from Web Wizards, and Put Your Class on the Web.

Bridge a Language Barrier!
Do you need to send a note home, but the student's family doesn't speak English fluently? Just type your note into AltaVista's Babelfish, then select the languages you're translating to and from, and hit Translate. You can either print out the translated page to send home, or for a more professional look, copy and paste the text into a Word document. Keep your message short and simple, however. This tool does very literal translations, so while the meaning will probably get across, you might get a giggle or two from your reader for the stilted and awkward phrasing.

Praise, Praise, Praise!
Everyone wants praise, and a simple note that says "Job well done!" can make a student's day or week. Why not take just a few more seconds and create that note using a free online tool. CasaNotes allows you to create a variety of notes, with graphics, color, and most importantly, a Spanish version. Although the notes can be as colorful as you choose, color ink can be expensive, so save your money and print the note in black and white. (Make sure to pick a white background.) Also, be sure to check out the award certificates found at Education World's Teacher Templates page. There are many more choices for notes and awards here, all ready to be downloaded, edited, and printed.

The Perfect Worksheet!
Need a crossword puzzle to review parts of speech and can't seem to find one in your textbook resources? Or, are you looking for an age-appropriate diagram of an ant for your first grade class? Try Discovery School's Puzzlemaker. Puzzlemaker lets you create printable crosswords, word searches, and more in just seconds. Why not let students (grades 4-12) use the tool themselves to create educational puzzles for their friends? Students love to create and grade teaching materials, and they take the job very seriously.

Enchanted Learning also offers free worksheets on a variety of topics, including animals, countries, explorers and more. Some resources are fee-based, but plenty of free worksheets also are available. The templates are particularly helpful for grades preK-3.

A Poster Child for Success!
Don't have the money for classroom decorations, or just looking for posters that are specific to a particular unit? Make your own! Half a dozen poster templates are available to download and customize at Education World's Teacher Templates page. Not exactly what you're looking for? Follow the simple steps in Education World's Create Your Own Poster in Excel techtorial!

Assess, Assess, Assess!
Testing is part of teaching, so make that part of the job easier with online tools. QuizStar is a free site where you can create objective (true/false, multiple choice, etc.) tests that students then take online, and then have the site grade them for you. You also can opt to have students immediately see what they missed. Students often test better and are more engaged in the material when testing online -- even students with ADD and ADHD are more focused during online testing. For more suggestions and sites for testing online, see Motivate While You Integrate Technology: Online Assessment.

The Perfect Plan!
Sometimes it's a concept your students never seem to "get." Sometimes it's something you just don't like teaching. Sometimes, you are just brain dead and in need of inspiration. Never fear! Quality lesson plans are just a click away. Check out Education World's Lesson Planning area, filled with dozens of ideas for almost any subject, holiday, or theme. Lessons are added weekly, so be sure to check back frequently to find something you can teach tomorrow!

Those are just a few of the online teacher tools you can use to engage students and save time. Be sure to check out the sidebar and additional resources section for even more. Then let us know about some of your favorites. Happy surfing!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Article by Lorrie Jackson
Education World®
Copyright © 2004 Education World

11/03/2004
Updated 06/05/2007
 

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