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Articles - Books
All Writing Can Be Better Through Technology

BookMentor Texts helps students become confident, accomplished writers by using literature as their foundation. It's filled with classroom examples, new "Your Turn" lessons, and a completely updated "Treasure Chest" of annotated book suggestions. Preview the entire book!


Digital writing helps elevate student voice and build real-world communication skills
Basic Tools
Synonym finder-You don’t have to use obvious words for all meanings. Sometimes, synonyms kill boredom in written work. They make your work sound great. They also add vocabulary to written work. 
Synonyms-As the name suggests, this resource is about synonyms. It has a rich collection of synonyms, all collected from the internet. You can depend on it to liven your writing.

Visuwords – This is an online graphic dictionary. It helps you draw word meanings, associations and ideas.

Quill is a web-based tool that provides personalized, interactive writing and grammar activities. Quill features over 150 activities for students in grades 3-12. These activities are built from very specific pieces of the Common Core State Standards, such as individual lessons for each conjunction word. Quill's suite of three writing apps (Quill Grammar, Quill Proofreader and Quill Writer) currently focuses on English grammar and writing fundamentals. 

Quill Connect is a new feature on the Quill writing lesson platform. Quill Connect presents to students a collection of short sentences that they then have to combine to create a new sentence with the same meaning. Quill Connect also gives students run-on sentences that they need to correct. Students receive immediate feedback upon completion of each Quill Connect activity. Try a Quill Connect activity here. Video overview of connect and diagnostic

Grammarly - is an excellent tool to help students with proofreading, spelling, and grammar. How many times have your students turned in something that was not proofread?


Noredink
It's hard to make grammar and punctuation stick. For teachers, it's also time-consuming and sometimes grueling to grade students' grammar assignments. NoRedInk allows teachers to provide personalized students diversified practice with commas, capitalization, and run-on sentences, while also being able to track students mastery. The curriculum library has over hundreds of skills to practice that range from identifying parts of speech to using appropriate transition words and phrases. What makes NoRedInk more interesting for students is that when the create their accounts they get to select people and topics that interest them. This includes movies, celebrities, sports stars, and musicians. Students can further customize their account by adding the names of their friends and pets. This personalized information will be used by NoRedInk to create unique assignments for each student.

StoryToolz a set of tools to work on your stories. Story Idea for instance generates starters to use in your stories, Cliche Buster allows you to find the instantiations of cliches in your passages. Other tools that StroyToolz provide include : Readability, Word Count meter, Random Conflicts, and many more.

GradeProof is a service designed to help students improve their writing. GradeProof lets students either import documents or write documents within the GradeProof editor. Either way that the students use, the next step is the same. GradeProof identifies spelling, grammar, and phrasing errors within a student's writing. GradeProof highlights and color codes the errors that it identifies for students. Students can then click on each highlighted error to see a suggested change. Students can click on each suggested change to immediately implement the change.

Refly (IOS app) is an AI-powered smart editor for authors, bloggers, and content marketers. A smart editor that helps proofread your content as you write. We use modern Machine Learning techniques to identify grammar mistakes. A powerful spell checker helps avoid embarrassing mistakes. A goal tracking tool helps develop a habit and stay on the course.

No Red Ink to help improve writing and grammar skills.  NRI uses differentiated learning so it adapts to student's needs and focuses on the areas they need help in.  Also, NRI focuses on a student's content area interest to keep writing interesting and exciting.  Finally, teachers can use NRI for testing and assessing a student's needs as well as generate maps/reports for student/class tracking.

Craft of Writing

Scribophile is a respectful online writing group made up of writers who improve each other's work with thoughtful critiques and by sharing their writing experience. Scribophile is the writing group to join if you want to get the best feedback around, to learn how to get published, and to be a part of the friendliest and most successful writing workshop online.

Typely an online editor that helps you write better. It doesn’t correct grammatical errors but focuses on usage errors. It tends to things suchas ‘redundancy, jargon, illogic, clichés, sexism, misspelling, inconsistency, misuse of symbols, malapropisms, oxymorons, security gaffes, hedging, apologizing, pretension, and more.’

WriteAbout.com an online digital writing platform (1-12) where students can find creative inspiration, write, and publish to a private or public platform.  Teachers can comment on posts and track growth. Free and Paid Upgrade Versions!

Imagine Forest (K - 12) Learn the mechanics of story writing in Free Resources  Where to begin when writing stories? The library of story writing lessons will help you at each step of writing your first story. Everything from finding ideas to drafting and editing your story.  Inspiration, activities and resources to improve your creative writing skills. Improve creative writing skills and imagination and publish stories.   Get feedback on your stories Comment on the stories that you think are amazing. Discuss their plot or the use of characters with tons of other writers who also love writing stories. They say the most crucial part of writing a story is feedback. And with Imagine Forest you can work with other writers to improve your own creative writing skills.

Word Counter Free to use, Word Сounter polishes student writings. It ranks overused words in a text body for an author to revise and therefore improve it.

Cliche Finder  Students tend to use clichés in writings. This tool detects them and substitutes with better word expressions.

Expresso ( gr. 5 - 12) is a little tool to edit texts and improve your writing style. It will teach you to express yourself through writing more efficiently and help make your texts more readable, precise, and engaging.

Specific Guidelines Choose a title in the list  to find detailed scaffolds that make explicit what is expected in many different types of discussion posts and comments Some examples are Agree/Disagree Response  Character Traits and Relationships Developed Response to a Non-Fiction Article over 30 more

The Writer's Workshop Videos is a playlist of twenty-two TED-Ed lessons. The The Writer's Workshop contains lessons on basic topics like how to use punctuation and videos on more complex topics like how to make your writing humorous, how to build a fictional world, What is verbal irony, become a slam poet in 5 steps and more

CommonLit is a free website that helps students develop advanced reading and writing skills. It serves hundreds of thousands of students in classrooms across the United States. CommonLit gives teachers access to a full free digital curriculum that enables teachers to assign texts to students, score written responses, send real-time feedback and collect analytics on student progress.

SAS Writing Reviser is a tool for anyone using Google Docs. I hope it help you and your students to improve your writing. cleverly designed Chrome Add-on to get your students self-assessing and improving their own writing. Once installed you can open a document in Google Docs and then decide what aspects of your writing you would like to improve. Also iPad app

Dream Wakers, author and educator Ruth Culham focuses her love of children’s literature—and her decades of work developing the six traits of writing—on books that celebrate Latino life and culture. She presents a wide variety of ideas to teach writing using some of the richest and most beautiful children’s books available. Dream Wakers provides an annotated list of more than 120 books with do-it-today lesson ideas for teaching the traits of writing—Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, and Conventions. More than half of the books listed are bilingual or available as English or Spanish editions. Dream Wakers also includes 11 original, insightful essays by renowned children’s authors of some of the featured books. A reference chart helps teachers locate books quickly by trait, genre, language, and author/publisher information. Teachers can view the contents and preview the entire book online.

Rewordify - This site allows students to enter text (or copy/paste) and then w/ a click of a button "rewordify" their sentence. This is a great way to learn how to paraphrase or even work on vocabulary by highlighting words.

The Word Doctor - Analyze your writing content and style using various tools, such as a readability score, with this free text editor.

SummarizeThis - Create a summary instantly and automatically using this algorithm-driven online tool.

Cube Creators provide templates designed to break the writing process into six distinct parts. There are templates for writing biographies, mysteries, short stories, and a blank template that you can customize. Students enter the required information into the online template. When the template is completed, it can be printed with lines for cutting and folding to create an actual cube.

aMap is short for ‘argument map’.  The idea’s very simple – to promote the art of arguing by mapping out complex debates in a simple visual format. This can be applied to the classroom by using their site to create student debates on various topics.

Personification Video gr K - 5

Rap Video to Introduce Figurative Language

What is Hyperbole? Video

The Best Videos For Teaching & Learning About Figurative Language

Figurative Language Projects Use these classroom stories and lesson plans as inspiration for figurative language projects with your students. What is Hyperbole? Video

   Lesson: Personification stories

   Lesson: Amazing Animal Alliterations

    Lesson: Symbolism Bookmarks

Websites and Apps for Teaching Digital Writingbrainsorming, documenting sources, crafting collaborative texts, crafting web-based texts,  crafting presentations, crafting audio 

Newspaper Generator helps students summarize articles. Students take an article or a blog post and make decisions as to what to include, what to delete, and what to substitue in order to summarize. Also has the ability to create other clips and animations like a talking tomato, clapboards and more.

Writing with Writers provides a wide variety of resources, educational materials and workshops to help students learn the craft of writing. They will also get access to a number of interactive tools to practice writing different compositional genres. There are 9 main writing categories to choose from: biography writing, descriptive writing, folktale writing, myth writing, news writing, poetry writing, speech writing, and book review writing.

Writing Navigator A free, online suite of tools with mobile versions that provides guidance and support throughout the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, and publishing. The suite includes four products that guide students through the writing process. Each stage in the process has tons of guiding questions and prompts that support the creation of quality writing products, large and small. It’s available for a variety of platforms: including the web, iPad, and Chromebook

Rough Draft
(IOS app) Ever write your first draft on a notepad? Writing on paper, you let go and just get your idea out. You don't get caught up perfecting the words too early. Rough Draft is like writing with pen and paper, so you can't delete words, only cross them out. Each "edit" reminds you that you're writing a rough draft.’

Word Tamer (gr. 6- 12) Word Tamer has potential to get reluctant writers started on their way to crafting creative stories.It is a site for learning the process of developing characters, settings, and plots in creative writing. Word Tamer is set up as an interactive journey through a carnival of literary devices. As students move through the carnival they develop characters, develop a setting, and develop a plot for their stories.  Along the way there are videos to help students understand the roles of characters, settings, and plot development in crafting a good story.

Google Drive Apps and Templates

Writing Templates - essays, reports, notes letters, resume, project proposals, brochures, and newsletters. Special newspaper templates

Google Docs plagiarism checker add-on that enables users to check their texts directly in their writing environment, without leaving Google Docs. Users can check for similarities, citations, and references, and can review match sources, exclude and include citations, and more. The checker is able to recognize citations and references formatted in most of the academic styles, and accesses billions of web pages in real time. free to try

ProWriting Aid ProWriting Aid is a great tool that provides a variety of features to help students improve their writing. some of these features include: Check your writing for consistency, plagiarism, acronyms, cliches, redundancies, grammar mistakes and more  $.

SAS Reviewer for writing process guidance, Chrome add-on provides students with feedback about their writing and enables them to address a range of potential writing problems, including weak verbs, excess prepositional phrases, dangling modifiers, and faulty sentence structure. By learning to ask questions experienced writers ask automatically, students begin to express themselves with greater precision and power

Writing Mentor This add-on for Google Docs automatically generates feedback on your writing, using natural language processing (NLP). Writing Mentor does a thorough job at checking the quality and consistency of your text, going as far as pointing out missing sources for example. 


JoeZoo Express is a free Google Docs Add-on that could change the way that you grade students' work in Google Documents. JoeZoo enables you to give feedback on students' Google Documents by simply highlighting text then selecting feedback statements from a huge menu of options. For example, in my sample document I highlighted text then choose the category of "structure" within the structure category I then chose to tag the sentence with the comment "awkward." When a student sees the feedback he or she will also see an explanation of "awkward" and how he or she can fix it. JoeZoo Express doesn't limit you to using just feedback phrases that they have listed. You can create your own feedback phrases and explanations. Teachers who want to use rubrics to give feedback and grades can do so within JoeZoo Express. JoeZoo offers a free rubric builder tool. You can customize the rubric to meet your specific needs. The rubrics that you create can be saved and inserted into students' documents when you are grading their work. Using these rubrics you will be able to track students performance in real time and see their level of engagement with your assigned work through generated class charts. You will also get to grade students work right within Google Docs and JoeZoo will calculate the final grade for you and will automatically organize grades per students and save them to your Google Drive.
Another feature from JoeZoo Express is Monkey Checker which helps students fix writing errors. With a single click, Monkey Checker ‘scans a doc, colour codes errors and provides a how to fix tip, without auto-correcting.’ The commenting feature included with this add-on enables you to add colour coded comments to the documents you share with your students. Comments are accessible anywhere anytime and they capture ‘before and after versions of docs so its easy to see how students apply feedback.’ You can also draw on generated tag clouds to see which comments you sent to whom and how often.
Guides 

Kaizena allows you to record your feedback so all you have to do is talk. It also forces students to think further about the ideas you present instead of simply going along with your written suggestions.

Self-Editing Tools for Student Writing in Google Docs

Tag Cloud Generator Add-on will create a word cloud in the right-hand margin of any of your Google Documents that contain more than one hundred words.

MindMeister The MindMeister add-on for Google Docs turns any bullet-point list into a mind map, and automatically inserts it into your document. The first point of your list becomes the root topic of the mind map, while the rest of the first-level points are turned into first-level topics. Second-level points are turned into the equivalent second-level topics and so on.

EasyBib Bibliography Creator. The EasyBib Bibliography Creator makes it easy to properly cite resources and format a bibliography in APA, MLA, or Chicago style 

Cite This for Me Install the Chrome extension. Then simply browse to the page you wish to cite and click the extension button to generate a correctly formatted citation using APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard referencing styles. Then copy-and-paste the citation into your assignment or add it to your online bibliography for safekeeping until later. This is perfect for helping kids keep track of their research.

Four Rubric Tools for Google Docs tutorials included

  • OrangeSlice: Teacher Rubric Easily and quickly make rubric selections and convert the Analysis or Holistic rubric into a percentage or points grade. Teacher Rubric is an add-on that will increase your grading productivity and it professionally presents a scored rubric and grade for your students.

Lucidchart Diagrams Lucidchart is an HTML5-based visual collaboration tool that makes drawing diagrams fast and easy.  Work together with an unlimited number of others to create and edit diagrams in real time, with changes merged and synced instantaneously -- great for team collaboration and working with clients. '

Easy Accents is a Google Docs Add-on that can eliminate that challenge. Easy Accents provides a virtual keyboard that enables students to quickly insert the letters and accents found in French, German, Spanish, Māori, and Sámi.

Yob Graph Editor allows you to plot data and insert graphs into a Google Doc. It provides plotting and regression functionality inside of your documents. A convenient feature for teachers is that Yob Graph will store your work in Google Drive and let you insert the same graph into multiple documents without having to manually recreate it for each document. This could be helpful when you are trying to make multiple variations of an assignment for students

Teacher Rubric is a Google Docs add-on that lets you create quick rubrics. It “increases the teacher’s grading productivity by eliminating repetitive clicks, presenting the rubric selections in an easy to use format and presenting the final grades in a consistent, professional format.

Rhyme Finder Google Add-On  allows you to select words in your document and supplies you with rhyming words in a sidebar. Rhymes can also be approximated with an additional option to find other words that end in the same letters.

Highlight the Music of your Sentences Check the "music" of your writings on Google Docs by automatically highlighting the sentences based on their length. Check the "music" of your writings on Google Docs by automatically highlighting the sentences based on their length.

Based on the quote from Gary Provost:

"This sentence has five words. Here are five more words.
Five word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. 
The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

WriQ
helps teachers score and keep track of students’ spelling, punctuation and grammar errors so you can focus on the things computers can’t score.

Orange Slice Teacher Rubric Add-on for Doc Create more customized writing project rubrics
Concept Maps - Graphic Organizers - Mind Maps

Organization

A Novel Idea ‘A Novel Idea is the premier tool for plotting your story and recording bursts of inspiration. Use its simple interface to create your characters, locations, scenes, and novels and then link them together to create your story's plot. Use the Idea feature to quickly jot down your creative sparks and link them to your story elements. Arrange your scenes by dragging and dropping them into place. Add scene goals and objectives for each character.’

Amazon Storybuilder is a cloud-based writing tool from Amazon Studios that can be used to create stories . Amazon Storybuilder uses “notecards” to represent a single beat or event in a story, just as screenwriters have for years used actual physical notecards to represent story beats on corkboards around the world. Storybuilder notecards can include both text and images. You can string individual cards together into a sequence on a virtual “corkboard” to convey a narrative and tell your story. Unlike physical notecards, it is easy to share Storybuilder projects and it is easy to take them wherever you go with your laptop, phone, tablet or Kindle.

Webjets is an information management tool. Webjets provides you with an intuitive platform where you can collect, save and organize digital content. Besides content curation, you can also use Webjets to record your notes, set goals, remember tasks, create mind maps, and share your digital libraries with others. You can also utilize it to collaborate with others in creating digital boards. Besides content curation, you can also use Webjets to record your notes, set goals, remember tasks, create mind maps, and share your digital libraries with others. You can also utilize it to collaborate with others in creating digital boards. 

Concept Mapping sites

LitLift has tools to help brainstorming your novel or short story, structuring it, organizing your notes and writing it. You can develop — and write — the whole thing right there online. You can add chapters, scenes, characters, settings…it will help you track where something is, if there’s some detail that you need to track through the book.

Mendeley can be used as a searchable library for students to store and access annotations. Mendeley video tutorial

Storybuilder. Storybuilder is a free service for planning screen plays and other stories. In the testing that I did of it, it is easy to use and could be a great tool for high school and college students. On Storybuilder you can write your stories in a series of virtual sticky notes. Your corkboard can be arranged in columns for each act and scene in your story. If you would like to try some tools that elementary and middle school students can use, take a look the following four options. 

Class Tools Hexagons Generator lets you create an online hexagonal learning activity to share with your students. To use the template just enter a topic then a minimum of five terms related to that topic.

Diamond 9 template has students write text into nine boxes that form a diamond shape. Students have to sort the boxes into order of importance and connection to ideas in other boxes. A space is provided for students to write a justification for placement of each box.

Jigsaw template has students write keywords or phrases into jigsaw pieces. Students then arrange the pieces to show the connections between the keywords in the those pieces. Students can color code each piece in their puzzles.

MindMeister The MindMeister add-on for Google Docs turns any bullet-point list into a mind map, and automatically inserts it into your document. The first point of your list becomes the root topic of the mind map, while the rest of the first-level points are turned into first-level topics. Second-level points are turned into the equivalent second-level topics and so on.

Scrivener Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers designed for composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on getting you to the end of that awkward first draft. Compose your text in any order and in pieces as large or small as you like. View the components of your draft individually or as a whole. Import and refer to research files such as images and PDFs alongside your writing.’

Write Well is a web-based application with interactive templates that help students organize their thoughts and ideas, while writing more effectively. When students are finished with a project, it can be exported to Microsoft Word, Google Drive, or as a PDF. This is an application to help students write because it provides numerous supports and addresses different learning styles. It's drag and drop platform is perfect for tactile or hands-on learners. It interface is good for the students who need to visually see how everything fits together. For the student who is overwhelmed with managing their ideas and time, it provides the ability to focus on one section at a time. It is that it is cloud-based, meaning everything saves on the website and you can access this anywhere you have Internet access.

Animal Inquiry The Animal Inquiry interactive is a versatile tool that can enhance student inquiry in research at the elementary level. The graphic organizer invites students to explore four facets of animals [basic facts, animal babies, interaction with others, and habitats (shown at left)]; the possibilities for extensions or adaptations, moreover, make this a a nice complement with inquiry-based projects.

Hero’s Journey The hero's journey is an ancient story pattern that can be found in texts from thousands of years ago or in newly released Hollywood blockbusters. This interactive tool will provide students with background on the hero's journey and give them a chance to explore several of the journey's key elements. Students can use the tool to record examples from a hero's journey they have read or viewed or to plan out a hero's journey of their own.

Graphic Map
is a graphic organizer students (grades 3-12) can use to help them with the structuring of their writing and reading activities. It can be used for a wide variety of learning actives including, pre-writing tasks, post-reading activities, mapping major events in a story, brainstorming ideas on a particular topic and many more. ‘The organizer focuses on charting the high and low points related to a particular item or group of items, such as chapters in a book, amounts of money spent, events during a day, month, year, or life, or scenes in a play.

ReadWriteThink I-Search Chart 

Graphic Map is a graphic organizer students (grades 3-12) can use to help them with the structuring of their writing and reading activities. It can be used for a wide variety of learning actives including, pre-writing tasks, post-reading activities, mapping major events in a story, brainstorming ideas on a particular topic and many more. ‘The organizer focuses on charting the high and low points related to a particular item or group of items, such as chapters in a book, amounts of money spent, events during a day, month, year, or life, or scenes in a play.

Story Map interactive includes a set of graphic organizers designed to assist teachers and students in prewriting and postreading activities. The organizers are intended to focus on the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution development. Students can develop multiple characters, for example, in preparation for writing their own fiction, or they may reflect on and further develop characters from stories they have read. After completing individual sections or the entire organizer, students have the ability to print out their final versions for feedback and assessment. The versatility of this tool allows it to be used in multiple contexts.

ACMI Storyboard Generator provides templates with video directions for creating a storyboard from scratch. Alternatively, students can build a storyboard without using a template at all. Students needing a little inspiration for a story can consult some of the examples showcased under the "themes" tab and view the showcased videos. 

Plot Diagram  is an organizational tool focusing on a pyramid or triangular shape, which is used to map the events in a story. This mapping of plot structure allows readers and writers to visualize the key features of stories.  The basic triangle-shaped plot structure, representing the beginning, middle, and end of a story, was described by Aristotle. Gustav Freytag modified Aristotle's system by adding a rising action and a falling action to the structure. This interactive version of the graphic organizer supports both Aristotle's and Freytag's conceptualizations of plot structures.


Summary Frames
A strong summary highlights the most important information presented in a logical organization. Often students recall the less-than-important information in an illogical order. Support students to generate stronger writing by explaining that their summaries should match the text structure of the passage. The framework or organization of their writing should include the same transition words as used in the original passage. Here are common transitions sorted by text-structure frame.

Plotagon is a playful new app making stories come to life, with you in the director’s seat. Write your story, choose the characters, and press play iPad | Mac and Windows

Motivation and Creativity

The New York Times Learning Network has introduced a new feature, called Picture Prompts. These short, accessible, image-driven prompts include both photographs and illustrations, and invite a variety of kinds of writing and discussion. Although each of the Picture Prompts will be connected to a related Times article, all that students will need to start writing is the image itself and the fairly short, simple language used to introduce it. The Learning Network will publish at least one new Picture Prompt every Tuesday through Friday. (On Mondays, instead of a Picture Prompt, The Learning Network will continue to post its popular What’s Going On in This Picture? feature, which is a live-moderated visual literacy exercise that invites students to explore and discuss a mysterious image in detail.) The weekly Picture Prompts will encourage personal or narrative writing; invite argumentative or expository writing; draw on international news, issues, or images; or feature an “op-art” illustration, graphic, historical photo or editorial cartoon that demands some interpretation. Any student 13 years of age or older, from anywhere in the world, is welcome to post a comment to any of the prompts. Click Here to Visit Website for using in classroom

Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch (iPad app gr 2 -5) a nice way to get kids thinking imaginatively and acting creatively. The idea that zoo animals become magic at night is likely to captivate kids -- they'll enjoy "taking care" of the animals as they complete each drawing mission. Some missions are mostly creative, while others require some problem solving and critical thinking. Night Zookeeper in 80 seconds


Imagine Forest (K - 12) Learn the mechanics of story writing in Free Resources  Where to begin when writing stories? The library of story writing lessons will help you at each step of writing your first story. Everything from finding ideas to drafting and editing your story.  Inspiration, activities and resources to improve your creative writing skills. Improve creative writing skills and imagination and publish stories.   Get feedback on your stories Comment on the stories that you think are amazing. Discuss their plot or the use of characters with tons of other writers who also love writing stories. They say the most crucial part of writing a story is feedback. And with Imagine Forest you can work with other writers to improve your own creative writing skills.

Flocabulary blending hip hop with learning to engage students in a exciting new way.  This is a nice site to find free educational songs and videos $10/mo

The Week in Rap audio and visual presentations with links to explore current topics in the rap and lyrics. Flocabulary is now going to start charging $5/month to access the videos. (Free Trial) They also are now promising to include some activities and quizzes to go along with the video. CNN Student News provides the same thing (minus the rap music) for free on a daily basis. 

Inkle Writer is a tool for writing interactive stories. Inkle Writer provides a platform on which you can write "choose your own adventure" style stories. On Inkle Writer you write each paragraph (or less) as an independent piece that you can connect to other pieces of your story. You can take the story into many directions then piece them together from your menu of paragraphs.

Write About provides many images with writing prompts. Students can write their response and do an audio recording of it. Teachers can create virtual classrooms and provide individual written feedback to student writing. Student creations can be shared publicly or just with their classmates. Teachers can change prompts or upload their own photos.
There is a Digital Writing Starter Kit Teacher Guide which includes tutorials for teachers new to these digitally-based lessons.
There are also writing tools available to authors in the Writing Center including help with word choice, vocabulary and figurative language. Free version limited to 40 students

Imagination Prompt Generator and the Creativity Portal are good resources for teachers looking for fictional writing ideas or classroom projects. Sometimes the hardest part of teaching creative writing or starting a creative writing assignment, is generating a story idea.

Trading cards Use for biographies http://bighugelabs.com/deck.php

Trading Card Creator offered by Read Write Think. The Trading Card Creator allows students to create trading cards about people, places, and events both real and fictional. It is available as a browser-based toolas an iPad app, and as an Android app.

StoryWars Classroom is an excellent web tool and Chrome extension you can use to engage students in creative writing projects. It provides students with a distraction free platform where they can express their thoughts and collaborate on writing stories. You can either start a story from scratch and have others help you finish it or work on others stories. ‘Different users can write a chapter to a story that they like and want to contribute to. The twist is that for your chapter to be official, it has to be voted in. By going up against different authors, you actually have to try. Because of that, you slowly start to become a better writer.

Chalkmotion is an intriguing free tool that lets you either draw or choose “hand-drawn” illustrations to use in a slideshow (you can also add text). The intriguing part comes in when you publish your show – instead of just showing the images, it shows the the process of actually drawing the picture.

Story Maker is a free tool on which students can draw pictures then write text to support their pictures. Story Maker provides lots of drawing tools for students to pick from. After drawing a picture students can click the text icon to type. Stories can be one page or multiple pages. When students have finished writing they can print their stories and or save them as PDFs.

Booktrack Classroom Enhances reading and writing by taking a story and adding a soundtrack.  It generates creativity, increases Reading Comprehension, and helps spark that love of learning.  Use in different ways such as adding sound effects and tracks to book reports, poems, stories, and more.  Booktrack is simple to use and allows users to seamlessly sync audio w/ their writing.

Novlet - Collaborative non linear story writing

The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories

Nanoogo designed to get kids interested in creative writing projects. On Nanoogo students can write stories and add pictures and other clipart to their stories. The writing takes place on a blank canvas that students decorate. Teachers can create class groups and distribute writing prompts to students. Teachers have the power to create student accounts. Teachers can log into their accounts to see what their students have created.  video overview

ACMI Generator - This is a great place to find or creating writing prompts to build a story. 

Wonderopolis  Wonderopolis offers nearly 900 "wonder" prompts. The prompts cover topics in science, social studies, mathematics, and language arts. Each of the prompts includes a short article, a video, an image or two, and links to additional readings. 

5 Tools Students Can Use to Create Alternative Book Reports

WritingFix -See writing prompts on the navigation frame. More than traditional writing prompts because they have interactivity

 
COLLABORATIVE GROWTH

Teachers can use cloud-based tools to provide ongoing support throughout the writing process.
Formative assessment tools allow students to share their writing anonymously for review as a class or by the teacher. Students can submit anything from a thesis statement to a paragraph draft to share with the class, without the pressure of signing their name to work in progress. Written feedback from teachers and students matters, but sometimes it’s actual discussion that helps drive student growth. Sharing student models and examples with a formative tool—or even shared documents—allows students to learn from each other’s mistakes and triumphs and to grow together

Formative Assessment - Feedback

Unlike summative assessment whose goal is to assess students overall learning outcomes at the end of an instructional unit, formative assessment aims at identifying students learning gaps and design remedial work to move learning forward. The information collected from formative assessment is usually translated into operational steps to inform instructional models and lesson planning.

Strategies

Assessment, and specifically self-assessment, allows us to tap into student differences in order to see how our teaching can respond to their needs. Several simple, transferable methods can be used at any point in a unit in order to promote reflection on learning and inform our instruction.

  • Student Created Rubrics: Ask students to contribute to the creation of a rubric that defines success. A reading response task, a multi-modal presentation, or a group discussion leads to higher levels of learning when students are included in defining success. 

  • Learning Contract: Ask students to create and agree to a learning contract at the beginning of a unit. The learning contract can define the learning goals, the "photo album" of evidence of learning, and agreed upon activities. At numerous times during the unit, ask students to revisit the contract, record new learning or muddy points and to get feedback from you or other peers. 

  • Muddy Point Board: Designate an area in the room or a board for students to pin questions, muddy points, or topics they'd like the class to revisit. Asking students to periodically pick a question or comment from the board to discuss can build student ownership of learning. 

  • Nameless Voice: Ask students to anonymously submit sample work to share with the class. Sample paragraphs on the overhead, a visual vocabulary card, or a ticket out the door quick write can all be samples of student work that the class or individual students can use. Ask students to write or discuss how the nameless voice is similar or different to their understanding. 

  • Letter to a Future Student: At the conclusion of a unit, ask students to write a letter to a future student in the class explaining what they've learned in a unit or what to do when a text is difficult or what I've learned about my own learning that might help you, etc. Regardless of the topic, the medium provides useful feedback on student thinking and learning while promoting reflection on learning.

Hemingway is a free tool designed to help you analyze your writing. Hemingway offers a bunch of information about the passage you've written or copied and pasted into the site. Hemingway highlights the parts of your writing that use passive voice, adverbs, and overly complex sentences. All of those factors are accounted for in generating a general readability score for your passage.  Hemingway students can use the tool before exchanging papers with classmates for peer editing. Hemingway acts as a kind of "virtual peer" before the peer editing process. I would also have students use Hemingway before turning in their final drafts for a grade.

Crio Create Interactive lessons with student feedback option. You can add images, video, audio, Google drive files, and questions. Tutorial - go to the Help link and then FAQ

Google Docs Assessment features and Ad-ons

Checklist of Focus Correction Areas  Create your own checklist. Choose from a menu or correction areas or create your own. http://pblchecklist.4teachers.org

Peergrade First, the teacher creates an assignment with a rubric. Then, students hand in their work. Next, assignments are randomly and anonymously distributed to other students for evaluation and feedback using the teacher’s rubric. Once this feedback loop is complete, students can rate the feedback they receive as helpful or not, and flag content for the teacher to see. video overview

The Writing Navigator (gr. 6  - 12) is a free, online suite of tools that provides guidance and support throughout the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, and publishing. Launch any of the four tools to begin and follow prompts to upload or create your work. Account creation is required using Google+ or email. This tool works with Windows, Mac, and the Chrome browser. There is also free apps for IOS and Chromebook. Quick Tutorial  

Essay Tagger allows you to easily create Common Core-aligned rubrics. You can select the elements you want to include in your custom rubric. All along the way, Essay Tagger provides you with clear instructions on how to proceed in each stage in your rubric creation.

SideVibe Turning Websites into Lesson Plans. SideVibe is basically a browser extension (wouldn't work in Google Chrome though) that enables teachers to comment on a web pages and ask students questions about the content on web pages. To use SideVibe you have to have the SideVibe extension installed, but your students do not because you're essentially just sharing your screen image with them when you ask them questions or share your comments. 

Write The World  lets teachers set-up virtual classrooms for free where they can monitor student writing progress and, if they wish, let classmates use it for a peer review process.

Slick Write is a free tool that helps you analyze your writing or that of others.  Slick Write will provide you with an analysis of your writing. That analysis will include typical things like a word count, a readability score, and an estimated reading time for your document. Slick Write will also analyze your use of adverbs and prepositional phrases throughout your document.

Voicepods is a neat service that will create voice recordings based on the text that you write. Voicepods offers eight voices in which you can have your text read-aloud. The voice recording that is generated from your text can be listened to online, embed on a website, and you can download it as an MP3 video 
Applications for Educatiobe a great tool for students to use to hear their written words read aloud. All they would need to do is copy and paste the text of their papers into Voicepods to hear their work read aloud. www.freetech4teachers

 
CubertsCube
- This is a fun site that allows students to polish their writing skills by working and getting feedback from others.

Analyze My Writing and it will generate information about your writing. Analyze My Writing will give you a break-down of the readability of your writing on five indices. The analysis will include listings of the most common words and most common word pairs in your writing. A listing of how frequently you use punctuation and punctuation types is included in the analysis provided by Analyze My Writing. Finally, a word cloud is included at the end of the analysis of your writing. The word cloud and the graphs of you

NowComment - Turn any document into a class discussion with a commenting system that appears right next to the text.


Write Lab Once students upload their essay, its software provides a lot of critical feedback. The problem was there was way too much of it, and that will be a problem for students — to be able separate the really important stuff from the little stuff.


Writing Reviser – Check out this free writing adviser that students can use to get instant feedback on their writing. Students can type in the tool itself or upload a document. Awesome formative tool. Students are  allowed  to focus on their purpose and audience, essay structure, and use of written language (sentence economy, variety, power, and clarity). You will see your students learning to ask questions experienced writers ask automatically.


121writing (pronounced "one-to-one writing") makes it easy for teachers to give high quality, one-to-one feedback on writing. For editing, teachers simply highlight text, hit record, and speak. No more pen marks and scribbling in the margins. Teachers can tag highlights with whatever they want to track at a micro level. Specific data on student performance is critical for all parties involved - students, teachers, and administrators.

StoryToolz offers a few tools to help you edit your work. The Cliché Buster analyzes your work to find clichés that you have used in your writing. The Readability tool analyzes your text to estimate a reading level on several scales. www.freetech4teachers

Revision Revision makes it easy for students' assignments to be teacher or peer reviewed, and allows students to collaboratively work on assignments.

JoeZoo Express is a free Google Docs Add-on that could change the way that you grade students' work in Google Documents. JoeZoo enables you to give feedback on students' Google Documents by simply highlighting text then selecting feedback statements from a huge menu of options. For example, in my sample document I highlighted text then chose the category of "structure" within the structure category I then chose to tag the sentence with the comment "awkward." When a student sees the feedback he or she will also see an explanation of "awkward" and how he or she can fix it.


PaperRater.com a paper grading and feedback resource that is free.PaperRater.com provides helpful feedback on grammar, spelling, word choice, and style, but not the author's arguments, logic, organization, and ideas.It’s often helpful for students to get instant feedback on their writing. For teachers who are grading student work, it is terrific to have your students get this sort of feedback before handing in their papers.


STEAM journals in your classroom - without a lot of teacher prep.  Includes a single-point rubric you can use for student self-reflection and a list of mentor texts and resources for students. Provides examples, of famous scientist journals.

Publishing for Authentic audiences
Joomag Creative multimedia interactive magazines

Formatpixel.com – Create online applications like magazines, brochures and portfolios and customize them by adding text, images etc.


Flip Book  for iPad, for Android, and for use in your web browser (Chrome or Firefox is recommended).
RWT Flip Book lets students create books by typing or by drawing on the pages in their books. There is a variety of page templates that students can choose to use within their books. Some templates are text-only, some are drawing-only, and some are a mix of drawing and text templates. To use RWT Flip Book students simply open the app, enter their first names, then start creating their first pages.

The Art of Storytelling Students can pick a painting, or create their own artwork, and then write a story about it at It’s a site from the Delaware Art Museum.It allows you to not only do either one of those activities, but you can also  record your story with your computer microphone.  Plus, you can read and listen to stories written and spoken by others.  No registration is required.

Printing Press is a web tool from ReadWriteThink that you can use with students in class to easily create beautiful newspapers, flyers and brochures.

Google Docs Newspaper Templates Special newspaper templates

Playbuzz Contemporary storytelling that includes multimedia, social media and interactivity. Also TextingStory (IOS and Android) Write stories in texting format.

Book Creator 

  • New Book Creator Features
  • Printing You can now send books to your printer or save them to PDF. Just click on the share icon to grab that paper copy and stick it on the wall!
  • Speech to text students can now speak into the text box using the microphone.

Imagine Forest (K - 12) Learn the mechanics of story writing in Free Resources  Where to begin when writing stories? The library of story writing lessons will help you at each step of writing your first story. Everything from finding ideas to drafting and editing your story.  Inspiration, activities and resources to improve your creative writing skills. Improve creative writing skills and imagination and publish stories.   Get feedback on your stories Comment on the stories that you think are amazing. Discuss their plot or the use of characters with tons of other writers who also love writing stories. They say the most crucial part of writing a story is feedback. And with Imagine Forest you can work with other writers to improve your own creative writing skills.

Lucidpress Newspaper or newsletter application. Register for free upgrade. Through Lucidpress you and your students can create documents that incorporate videos and images. There are options for layering images with differing amounts of transparency, image cropping tools, and font customization options in each Lucidpress template.

Newspaper Templates

The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”

Student Opinion “to create a “safe space” on NYTimes.com – and on the Internet overall – for students 13 and older to voice their views on the news.” You can read a much fuller explanation about the feature here

Web of Fate, users can write predictions of events and explain their reasons why.

“My Immigration Story” is designed for immigrants to share their story in 200 words or less. It’s specifically designed to:Let other Americans know how the current generation of immigrants is helping enrich this land of opportunity.

Essay Writing

The Writing Navigator (gr. 6  - 12) is a free, online suite of tools that provides guidance and support throughout the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, and publishing. Launch any of the four tools to begin and follow prompts to upload or create your work. Account creation is required using Google+ or email. This tool works with Windows, Mac, and the Chrome browser. There is also free apps for IOS and Chromebook. Quick Tutorial          

Argumentative Online Writing Tool gr. 7 - 12 designed to scaffold how students plan, locate, organize, evaluate, and integrate evidence for and against relevant claims around a controversial issue, and ultimately craft an argumentative source-based essay. Best used in Chrome. 

Strategies For Essay Writing This resource from Harvard College Writing Center will help students learn the fundamental elements of academic writing and understand what's the catch in high grades for an essay.

Thesis Builder A problem most students have while writing is a thesis statement. This web resource will assist them and also help to outline an essay online.

Teen Ink This web tool will provide students with dozens of essay samples written by their peers. Your mentees will learn different essay structures and get inspiration for crafting own works.

EssayTagger is a web-based tool that helps you grade your essays faster by eliminating the repetitive and inefficient aspects of grading papers. You’ll be able to speed up your grading process without sacrificing the quality of the feedback you give to your students. EssayTagger is not an auto-grader. You still do all the grading yourself, but now you can do it faster!

Persuasive, - Interactive Writing Workshops

Essay Map is a handy tool from the folks at Read Write Think. Essay Mapprovides students with step by step guidance in the construction of an informational essay. Some of my students seem to struggle most with constructing an introduction and conclusion to their essays. Essay Map is particularly good for helping students visualize the steps needed to construct good introductory and conclusion paragraphs. 

Read Write Think 
e.g., 
The Compare & Contrast Map is a template for creating a comparative essay. Using the template students are guided through writing three styles of comparison essays. To get started students identify two things that they wish to compare and or contrast. Then they choose if they want to write a "whole to whole" essay, a "similarities to differences" essay, or a "point to point" essay. 

The Best Online Resources For Helping Students Learn To Write Persuasive Essays



aMap is short for ‘argument map’.  The idea’s very simple – to promote the art of arguing by mapping out complex debates in a simple visual format. This can be applied to the classroom by using their site to create student debates on various topics.

Drafting Board online tool that helps students meet Common Core Standards for English Language Arts in History and the Social Studies. It engages students in a clear, step-by-step process of crafting a polished argumentative essay while providing teachers with tools to assess their students’ progress.

Mootup - Set up debate writing assignments within your class or across the school to teach CCSS-aligned argumentative writing using this website.

SCAN - A web-based tool that empowers students with critical thinking skills to help them make well-developed arguments and solve complex problems. It is a collaborative tool the offers scenarios based on current topics and historical issues.

MixedInk is an online collaborative learning platform that is designed to improve students writing outcomes. The platform guides students through a fun and immersive process of writing original essays and evaluating peers.

Debate Graph is a resource that students can use to evaluate the many arguments in hot-button global topics. By providing webbed diagrams of arguments students can see and explore the many facets of debate. To find a  debate, visit the gallery of debates on Debate Graph. There are seven formats in which you can view the parts of a debate. If you want to create your own debate diagram or contribute to one that is already started register for free on Debate Graph. Rarely are debates a simple two-sided matter. Debate Graph provides students with a great tool for exploring the many facets of debates. 
Share and reuse debates on and offline


The Compare & Contrast Map is a template for creating a comparative essay. Using the template students are guided through writing three styles of comparison essays.

The Best Resources To Help Students Write Research Essays

The “Best” Sites For Helping Students Write Autobiographical Incident Essays

The Best Resources For Learning How To Write Response To Literature Essays

OuiWrite  OW is a very innovative site that students use to create a paper. While they are typing their paper OQ automatically searches for content they are typing about and find them sources.  These sources can then be cited or added as a bibliography automatically. Also, OuiWrite has other great features such as a: genius button (w/ a very cool counter point feature), built in dictionary/thesaurus, as well as the ability to check for plagiarism. Finally, OuiWrite has built in templates for creating different types of papers and bibliographies, as well as saving everything on the web  

Primary Access A suite of free online tools that allows students and teachers to use primary source documents to complete meaningful and compelling learning activities with digital movies, storyboards, rebus stories and other online tools.


Blogging
Blogging Page

STEAM journals in your classroom - without a lot of teacher prep.  Includes a single-point rubric you can use for student self-reflection and a list of mentor texts and resources for students. Provides examples, of famous scientist journals.
Word Clouds

Tag Cloud Generator Add-on for Google Documents.  for creating Word Clouds. video tutorial

When you have a Google Document open, open the Add-ons menu and search for "tag cloud generator.

WorditOut Plethora pf options Does not require a sign up. You can use it to create word clouds from sentences, entire documents or tables. You can also tweak the look of your word clouds by selecting a layout, applying different colours, adding  fonts and sizes. When you are done, you can share your finished product with others through an embed code or download and make a copy of it as an image file The feature of Word It Out that I like the best is that you can choose to have Word It Out ignore any word or words you choose. Ignoring words keeps them out of the word cloud.

Tagul A free word cloud generator that offers the option to link every word in your word cloud to a Google search. Click on any word in your word cloud to be taken directly to a Google search results page for that word. Tagul creates a word cloud from text you copy into your Tagul account. Tagul will also generate a word cloud from any url you specify. Just as you can with other word cloud generators, Tagul allows you to specify words to ignore in creating your word clouds. Once your word cloud is created Tagul provides you with an embed code to put your cloud on your blog or website 

Tagxedo makes it very easy to customize the design of your word clouds. You can select from a variety of shapes in which to display words or you can design your shape for your word cloud. You can enter text into the word cloud generator manually or simply enter a url from which Tagxedo will generate a word cloud. As with other word cloud generators you also have options for excluding words from your word clouds.101 ways to use Taxedo

WordClouds.com. new upcoming site with diverse shape options and a word list is also generated.  Video

TagCrowd offers three ways to create word clouds. You can create a word cloud by copying and pasting text into TagCrowd, you can upload a plain text file, or you can copy and paste a web address into TagCrowd. After using one of those three methods you can specify how many words you want to display, you can select to show the word count in your word cloud, and  you specify words to exclude common words like "the" are automatically ignored. TagCrowd supports fifteen languages.

WordSift
A tag cloud creator which, when putting your text in the box, also brings up Google Images, the Visual Thesaurus, and pulls out the most relevant parts of the text from the tag cloud

VocabGrabber - Wonderful site that generates color coded clouds

Tag Galaxy Innovative site that visually represents words in a galaxy format

APPS iPad

Tagcloud IPad

WordClouds by ABCya   Word Clouds by ABCya.com is an easy-to-use app to create and share beautiful word clouds...Million of students have used ABCya.com's Word Cloud app online. ABCYA  Suited for primary grades 

Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch (iPad app gr 2 -5) a nice way to get kids thinking imaginatively and acting creatively. The idea that zoo animals become magic at night is likely to captivate kids -- they'll enjoy "taking care" of the animals as they complete each drawing mission. Some missions are mostly creative, while others require some problem solving and critical thinking. Night Zookeeper in 80 seconds

SAS Students select  what aspect of writing they want to focus on like cliches, verbs, sentence structure

TextingStory (IOS and Android) Write stories in texting format.

Draw and Tell iOS app completely FREE. With Draw and Tell, young students can easily create an animated screencast complete with voice, drawings, images, and objects. As a result, it's simple for emerging learners to create digital stories or presentations on any number of topics.
With Draw and Tell, students can draw, color, and insert stickers or stencils onto a scene. They can do so on a blank scene, or a formatted coloring scene, and have a wide variety of colors, objects, and backgrounds from which to choose. Students can even record themselves while they move objects on the screen and the end result is an animated screencast. Once complete, students can save their screencast as a video file to the iPad’s Camera Roll. From here, the video can now be “app smashed” (inserted into another app) into Book Creator, iMovie, or any number of apps. More instructions

Refly (IOS app) is an AI-powered smart editor for authors, bloggers, and content marketers. A smart editor that helps proofread your content as you write. We use modern Machine Learning techniques to identify grammar mistakes. A powerful spell checker helps avoid embarrassing mistakes. A goal tracking tool helps develop a habit and stay on the course.

WordWanderer attempts to be different from other word cloud creation tools by letting you drag and drop words to rearrange the look of your word clouds. Additionally, WordWanderer includes a search tool that you can use to find a word. The context of your chosen word is shown below the word cloud itself.

Answer Garden 
A minimalistic feedback tool. Teachers and students can use it as a tool for online brainstorming or embed it on their classroom blog or personal website as a poll or guest book. It is an easy way to brainstorm with a class all at the same time and creates interesting word clouds from these brainstorming sessions.

Word Collage
Simply give Cloudart some text from a web page or paste some into the app and it will automatically create a gorgeous word cloud for you in seconds. Next, get busy with the intuitive sliders to customise your cloud to your heart's content

Wordsalad Make great wordsalads out of documents that matter (or not) to you! With WordSalad you can make beautiful word clouds, super customized with different fonts, colors and words layouts.

Visual Poetry ($) Visual Poetry lets you make beautiful text collages.Type your text or phrase and watch it instantly arranged as a mosaic in a variety of shapes and styles. 24 symbols are included or you can draw you own shapes. Pinch and drag to resize and rotate individual words. 

Comics
Noteboards
Padlet  allows you to easily share thoughts, notes, ideas, etc... on digital post-it. You can use for brainstorming, sharing ideas, lectures, and presentations.
  • Padlet rolled out a new feature You can now allow students to comment on individual notes added to a Padlet wall. The new comments feature can be turned on or turned off by the creator of a Padlet wall (use the modification settings to do that). Comments can be made anonymously or you can require users to sign-in to comment. As the creator of a Padlet wall you can delete any comments written by others.Video tutorial
  • Padlet has added a couple of new features that bring it even closer to being an all-in-one formative assessment tool. Padlet now lets you vote on the notes added to a wall and grade the notes added to a wall. This is all done through the new "reactions" setting in Padlet.
Option for creators of Padlet walls to receive notifications on their desktops or mobile devices. Notifications on desktops come through the Chrome or Firefox browsers. Notifications can be enabled in the Padlet iOS and Android apps. 
Ideas for the classroom (Wallshisher is the former name for Padlet)

Webjets is an information management tool. Webjets provides you with an intuitive platform where you can collect, save and organize digital content. Besides content curation, you can also use Webjets to record your notes, set goals, remember tasks, create mind maps, and share your digital libraries with others. You can also utilize it to collaborate with others in creating digital boards. Besides content curation, you can also use Webjets to record your notes, set goals, remember tasks, create mind maps, and share your digital libraries with others. You can also utilize it to collaborate with others in creating digital boards. 

Dotstorming you can create a space for people to post digital sticky notes. Those notes can contain text and or images. That part of Dotstorming is just like Padlet. What makes Dotstorming different is that once the notes are posted, you can have people vote for their favorite notes. As the creator of a Dotstorming space you can restrict the number of votes that each person can cast.

More Note Walls Options

Popplet is a service that combines the best of online sticky note services like Padlet with collaborative mind mapping functions. Popplet allows you to create a wall of multimedia sticky notes that you can share with others. Your stickies can include videos and images that you pull from other online services. You can also upload media from your desktop to your sticky notes. Popplet offers a browser bookmarklet that you can use to add content from other webpages to your Popplet pages. Invite others via email to collaborate on your wall of sticky notes.

Spaaze is an online sticky note service that offers some handy functions for teachers and students. Spaaze allows you to write notes, edit notes and reorder your notes. Your notes can be simple text notes or you can create notes that contain videos, images, or links. Use the Spaaze browser bookmarklet to add a note to your collection anytime you come across an interesting find on the web. Spaaze is iPad friendly. video

Linoit Good versatile stickyboard

Wiffiti is a service that allows you to receive text messages and display them on a screen. Get feedback from students and display that feedback in a manner similar to sticking Post It notes. You can collect feedback from text messages or from Tweets on the web. You can also collect images that your audience sends to your Wiffiti board. Wiffiti is kind of like Wallwisher for collecting and posting messages from a variety of devices. Students can quickly share what they know about a topic or ask questions about material from class. You could also use Wiffiti to have your students vote on a question similar voting option in Socrative

Primary Wall.  is designed with elementary school students in mind. To use it students just have to go to the url for the wall you've created and click "add a note" or double click on the wall to start writing notes. Students can title their notes and attach their names (first name only please) to a note. Learn more about Primary Wall in the video

Corkboard Does not have the bells and whistles of Wallwisher and Edistorm, but very simple to use.

Voxopop  talkgroups are an engaging and easy-to-use way to help students develop their speaking skills. They're a bit like message boards, but use voice rather than text and a have a specialised user interface. No longer confined to a physical classroom, teachers and students of oral skills can interact from home, or even from opposite sides of the planet!

Scrumblr is a new site that provides an online space to create and share sticky notes with a group. Scrumblr can be used by anyone to quickly create an online space for sharing stickies. To get started just enter a name for your space. The name you choose will be a part of the url for your sticky note space. To add notes just click the "+" symbol in the bottom left corner of the screen. Then double click to edit your notes.

Stormboard is a super beautiful virtual sticky note brainstorming and collaboration application that lets classrooms or teams share online whiteboard space. In addition to virtual sticky notes, Stormboard makes it simple to add quality and usefulness to your shared space with photos and video. Each idea that gets added to a Stormboard has a comment thread attached to it, this ensures that everyone’s voice gets heard and conversations about specific ideas don’t get lost. Users can also vote on ideas, this is a quick way to get feedback. Stormboard lets you instantly generate “innovation” reports so that all ideas can be easily captured and saved as a spreadsheet or pdf. Shared space is flexible, you can share both synchronously or asynchronously. Stormboard works on any internet connected device making it ideal for a BYOD (bring your own device) classroom, and seamless regardless of what platforms your school uses.

Post-it Plus With this free app installed on your iPad you can snap a picture of a collection of physical sticky notes and have them quickly digitized. Once your notes are digitized you can re-arrange them, share them with collaborators, or send them to another application like Dropbox. If you have multiple sets of notes you can combine the best notes into one board through the Post-it Plus iPad app. Watch the video below for a short overview of the app. 

Stixy  tool that lets users create their own notes and stick them to a clipboard and also share them with others. You can also share documents, photos and to-do-lists.

Lecture with Noteboards

  • Have students post what they felt were the top3-5 most important point from your lecture.
  • Post your lecture notes on the wall ahead of time and for homework have students place notes in chronological order and then print off when completed. You might also have students place lecture notes in order of what they feel are most important.
  • Have students find an article that relates to your lecture and post a link to it on a wall
  • Have students find a website that relates to your lecture and have students post it on a wall
  • Have students find a video and embed it or post a link to the video on your wall.
  • Create a discussion about your lecture notes providing an area for students to ask questions (Similar to Back-Channel Chat)
  • Have students discuss ways to turn your lecture into a project.
  • Create video tasks for students to post responses to.

Brainstorming

  • Can be used to elicit things students might not want to express in front of the class – they can post anonymously.
  • Brainstorming writing topics – Add a comment to each later.
  • Brainstorm ideas for what to do in tomorrow’s class / that ten minutes last thing on a Friday / as the next project…
  • “Five things each please” – Wallwisher means all students can have time to contribute five things each (or whatever number the teacher decides) to a brainstorming session. This could take a day or two and means quieter students contribute equally.
  • Picture ideas – Students could post images instead of words as part of the brainstorming session.
  • Images – students write about images the teacher posts on the wall.
Book reviews
  • Writing activitiesWallwisher has a 160 character limit for each comment/post that you leave on the wall. Which is, in a way, a good thing! It allows for short story/collaborative projects, essay plans, note-taking, memos, poems, etc… the writing possibilities are endless!
  • Brainstorming activities – This is a great ice breaker for the beginning of class! And better yet, it’s a great way to post a homework assignment/food for thought for that evening and then discuss it the next day.

Annotating Web Pages and PDFs
Hypothesis This is a tool for collaborative annotations. It lets you annotate the web in groups and collaborate privately with others.

Scribble Provides you with a number of tools to save, manage, annotate and share web content. You can mark-up  web pages right in your browser and share your annotated content with others.

Diigo Web Collector This is another tool that allows you to annotate webpages and PDFs directly from your browser. You can ‘bookmark links to archive webpages or to read later; attach highlights & stickies to a webpage as a reminder; create groups to pool findings, share resources or curate content… and many more.’

Read&Write for Google Chrome Gives you access to a number of powerful tools to do much more than just web annotations. You can use it to ‘ collect highlights from text in documents or the web for summarizing and research; create and listen to voice notes directly inside of Google Docs; simplify and summarize text on web pages to remove ads and other copy that can be distracting’…and many more.

Evernote Web Clipper
You can use this one to quickly clip web pages and save them to your Evernote account. Some of the annotative features it provides include the ability to add text and callouts and highlight key text from any website or article. Clipped content can be shared though email or URL.

Take Webpage Screenshots Entirely. This Chrome extension lets you make whole web page screenshots which you can edit and save in PDF, JPEG, GIF or PNG format.You can annotate your screenshots with text, shapes, arrows, add blurs and apply several other effects.
Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the enemy of creative thinking. Students who plagiarize often do so because they don't want to bother thinking hard to come up with their own ideas, With the uptake of digital media and the widespread of mobile handheld devices, plagiarism becomes a serious threat in the face of productive scholarly achievement.   Click Here for resources


Google Docs plagiarism checker add-on that enables users to check their texts directly in their writing environment, without leaving Google Docs.

Paper Rater is a free online tool to correct grammar and spelling errors. Simply upload or copy and paste your text in the site. Then answer a few questions about the type of paper you are writing and the education level at which you are writing. Paper Rater will analyze your paper for common errors and suggest improvements to your writing. There is even a proofreading feature available on the Pro Version. I love the fact that you can use this tool online, it gives you a suggested "grade," and even provides resources for improving your writing.

 After the Deadline a free tool to enhance your writing abilities. I like the fact that this particular free tool is simplistic, yet very effective. Just like Paper Rater, you will copy and paste your writing into the website. The tool scans your document and color codes spelling errors (red), grammar suggestion (green), and style suggestion (blue). I like that this tool provides you with suggestions for your writing style. You can make corrections or get an explanation on how to improve the suggestion, simply by clicking on the underlined word.

Social Networking

Fake Facebooks Creating a fake Facebook profile could be a fun way for students to organize information that they know and or find about a famous person. You could also have students create profiles for characters in a novel that they are reading for your literature course. Take a look at the Fakebook profile gallery for more ideas about using Fakebook in your classroom. 

  • Fakebook Allows users to create unreal Facebook profiles. Fakebook can be used  to chart the plot of a book, the development of a character, a series of historical events, the debates and relationships between people, and so on. To start using Fakebook, you simply need to enter a name at the top of the page, then proceed to add friends, posts, comments and profile information. You can also save your work and edit it later.
Fakebook Animated is a free tool that students can use to create and share fake facebook pages. The ninety second video here provides a good overview of how it works. Fakebook Animated allows you to watch the timeline of your fake Facebook profiles unfold over time. For an example, click here to watch Harry Truman's Fakebook profile unfold over time. Another example, What if Lincoln Had a Facebook? The gallery of Fakebook profiles features some of the many Fakebook profiles that students have created over the years.This site cdan be used to create pages for historical characters or literary characters.

Playbuzz Contemporary storytelling that includes multimedia, social media and interactivity. Write stories in texting format.


TextingStory Chat Story Maker ( IOS | Android ) write stories and save as videos. Write a text conversation in TextingStory Create a video from your story

Fake SMS Generator. Watch the following video to learn how to use the SMS Generator on ClassTools.
You could have students use the Classtools SMS Generator to create simple conversations between historical characters as way to get them to think about those peoples' lives and the conversations that they might have had. Another way to use the SMS Generator is have students create exchanges based on characters in a favorite book. (freetech4teachers.com )


Literary Character Google docs template (click on the Use template button and use test tool to fill in. You can change directions on the right) Historical Character (click on the Use template button and use test tool to fill in. You can change directions on the right)

Profile Publisher is an excellent tool from ReadWriteThink. It allows students to create fake profiles on social networking websites and online newspapers and magazines. Students can use this tool for a wide variety of educational purposes including creating profiles for historical figures, or use it in digital storytelling projects to draft profiles for fictional characters. It an also be used ‘for profiles of nonhuman living creatures, inanimate objects or abstract concepts (e.g., profile of an amoeba, an historical monument, or friendship).’ Profile Publisher is similar to Fakebook Google Docs templates we reviewed last year and which enable students to design fake Facebook profiles.

Classtools SMS Generator is free to use and does not require students to log-in. To use the SMS Generator just click the left speech bubble icon and enter a message. Then to create a reply just click the right speech bubble icon and enter a new message. You can make the exchange as long as you like. To share the conversation click the sprocket icon and grab the embed code, direct link, or QR code for the exchange. You could have students use the Classtools SMS Generator to create simple conversations between historical characters as way to get them to think about those peoples' lives and the conversations that they might have had. 

Prism – measures the wisdom of the crowd in reference to a particular reading. This powerful tools allows the teacher to provide students s selected reading on their device. While reading, and reflecting on the text of the reading, students are able to highlight the text in different colors representing their thoughts and understanding. In this process, teacher and students are able to view the entire groups thinking process in relationship to the reading and their understanding. It is a wonderful tool allowing a teacher to gauge understanding while also facilitating high level discussion. It really has the ability to bring group thinking and collaboration to a whole new level.
Script Writing

My Simpleshow is a free tool for creating Common Craft style explanatory videos. The best aspect of My Simpleshow is the emphasis that the developers have placed on storyline planing and development. As is demonstrated in my tutorial below, students have to write a script on My Simpleshow before they can begin to use the video editing tools. video tutorial

5 Ways to Write Screenplays Using Microsoft Word 

Celtx is a fully-featured, cloud-based screenwriting software that can also be used for storyboarding and production. Celtx offers a few subscription choices, one of which is the option for a free subscription.

Writer Duet: A fantastic free screenwriting software program that allows real-time collaborative work in which the writers immediately see all edits.

Story Touch: There’s a free version of this professional screenwriting software for. Allows you to write and analyze your screenplay at the same time.

Adobe Story: An online collaborative screenwriting suite by Adobe that won’t cost you a dime.

DramaQueen: Also available as free and paid version.

DubScript: A mobile based free script writing software reader and writer for Android operating systems.

Page 2 Stage: An open-source free screenplay software designed specifically for Windows users.

Plotbot: A browser-based free screenplay software that’s great for collaboration with another writer.

Trelby: Another open source free screenplay software currently only available for Microsoft Windows and Linux, but a Mac version is said to be on the wa

BPC-Screenplay: A free screenwriting software developed in Berlin for Microsoft Windows.

Poetry
Poetry Idea Engine. The Poetry Idea Engine is a simple, interactive tool that helps students create four types of poems; haiku, limerick, cinquain, and free verse. To create poem on Poetry Idea Engine students select one of the four formats. If they pick one of the first three format students will be given a short explanation of the pattern before completing the template to create their poems. Not work on iPad

Tranquillity is a tool for those who like writing poetry. it provides a clean interface for poetry writing, syllable count, comprehends rhyme scheme, and suggests rhyming words.

poets.org - Inspire a new generation of poets with essays and lesson plans for teaching poetry at the primary, secondary, and university levels.

Thumb Scribes is a platform for collaboratively creating poems and short stories. Thumb Scribes can be used in two ways. First, you can contribute to story or poem that someone else has started and placed in the public gallery. Second, you can start your own story or poem and either place it in the public gallery or invite others to collaborate with you. If you put your poem or story in the public gallery anyone can add to it. If you don't want the whole world adding to your poem or story you can mark it as "private" and invite individuals to add to it

Visual Poetry ($) Visual Poetry lets you make beautiful text collages.Type your text or phrase and watch it instantly arranged as a mosaic in a variety of shapes and styles. 24 symbols are included or you can draw you own shapes. Pinch and drag to resize and rotate individual words.


RWT's Theme Poems interactive
provides students with 32 pictures to use as the basis for writing short poems. To write a poem students launch the interactive then choose a theme. Within each of the five themes students will find related images. Once they choose an image students are prompted to write the words that come to mind as they look at the image. Students then create poems from those words. The finished product can be saved as a PDF and or emailed to a teacher from the RWT site. ( freetech4teachers.com )


Diamente Poems In this online tool, students can learn about and write diamante poems, which are diamond-shaped poems that use nouns, adjectives, and gerunds to describe either one central topic or two opposing topics (for example, night/day or winter/spring).

Word Mover ( IOS app) Word Mover allows children and teens to create "found poetry" by choosing from word banks and existing famous works; additionally, users can add new words to create a piece of poetry by moving/manipulating the text.


Instant Poetry Forms http://ettcweb.lr.k12.nj.us/forms/newpoem.htm Instant Poetry Forms consists of more than sixty interactive literacy activities. Students can point, click and add words to the frame of a poem. With a quick click on the button below the form, the writer's words are magically added, completing each line. At that point, poets are invited to export their draft into a word processor for further revision and editing. An interactive poetry form finder on the website categorizes the forms by topic (or language skill

Magnetry - Craft poems using this iPad version of word magnets, then spruce them up with customizable colors, backgrounds, and digital stickers.


Poetry Zone: How to Write Poems This is the complete text of Roger Stevens' 1997 children's book "How To Write Poems." It is directed to chldren 8-12 years old. http://www.poetryzone.ndirect.co.uk/howto.htm

Write Rhymes is a site that is perfect for students who are starting to write poetry that rhymes. The site is simple to use and allows teachers or students to write any word (or series of words) and then click on the word to find every rhyming possibility broken up into categories (nouns, verbs, etc.) http://www.writerhymes.com/

Poetry Zone: How to Write Poems This is the complete text of Roger Stevens' 1997 children's book "How To Write Poems." It is directed to chldren 8-12 years old. http://www.poetryzone.ndirect.co.uk/howto.htm


Tranquillity is a tool for those who like writing poetry. it provides a clean interface for poetry writing, syllable count, comprehends rhyme scheme, and suggests rhyming words.

Rhymes - find rhyming words http://www.rhymes.net/


Poetry Writing Unit: Lessons with examples. Scroll down to the middle of the page to see the lessons. http://volweb.utk.edu/school/bedford/harrisms/spotlight.htm

Scholastic: Writing with Writers: Poetry Writing Join Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin and Jean Marzollo as they share poetry writing tips and techniques in three Scholastic workshops. Each poet's workshop includes samples of their work, warm-up exercises, the poet's biography and the opportunity for students to submit poems for possible publication online. Prelutsky's lessons are geared to students in grades one to four. Marzaollo's riddle writing project targets grades two to five. Kuskin's tips are for older writers between the grades of four and eight. http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/


World Class Poetry: Poetry writing Portal http://www.world-class-poetry.com/How-To-Write-A-Poem.html


Videos


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