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Favorite Websites: 4Teachers.org

By Marilyn Pongracz

4Teachers.org, http://www.4teachers.org/, is a website that can enable teachers to successfully integrate technology into their classrooms through a wide array of tools and resources.  There are also tools for student activities and resources for professional development.  It also links to other sites such as Academic Skill Builders, http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/, providing additional activities.

Among the “Family of Tools,” the “Teacher’s Tacklebox” is the most useful.  Using this tool, it is easy to find online sources and lesson plans.  Searching follows a series of steps.  The first is to choose the topic, such as science, math, art, or language arts.  Next, from within that topic, for example from science, a teacher could choose from seven different themes: earth science, chemistry, technology or others.  The third choice is from about ten different topics, some of which are also in Spanish.  These include links for the topic; Webquests, which involves problem-based learning using Internet resources; TracStar for teachers to set up links for their students; and Thinkquests, an online program with which students can create educational websites for other K-12 students and win prizes. 

The Poster Wizard, http://poster.4teachers.org/ is also one of the best in this collection.  Teachers can use it for making online worksheets, lessons, or student projects.  Only the teacher’s e-mail address is required; classes and individual students are identified only by a code.  In addition, the site is monitored so that no personal or identifying information is permitted.

If you create your own quizzes for the classes you teach and would like your students to be able to take quizzes online, then Quizstar, http://quizstar.4teachers.org/, is a tool to be considered.  You can create quizzes and copy and edit them for different classes or for differentiated instruction.  You can also share quizzes with other instructors.  There is also an option for printing your quizzes with or without an answer key.  This tool is recommended for children in grade three and higher.

Kids Vid, http://kidsvid.4teachers.org/, is a good, secure, video creator if you would like to motivate your students with this type of project.  However, there are many steps involved and it would take some time and dedication to use successfully.

Another tool that could help your students in grades 5-12, is Persuade Star, http://persuadestar.4teachers.org/.  It can be used to introduce persuasive writing through analysis of examples and to guide students as they follow the writing process with planning the essay, spelling help, and citations.  It also tracks students’ use of each of the options.

4Teachers.org   has fifteen different tools, all of which are described briefly on the first page of each link.  Some may be useful and worth exploring depending on your needs.

You may also want to visit the parallel site, http://www.4kids.org/.

Marilyn Pongracz is the Technology Coordinator for NJTESOL/NJBE and the English Language Resource Center Supervisor at Bergen Community College.