May 16, 2010

Time-saving resources that make teaching & learning FUN!

Filed under: May 2010 — mbrown @ 9:51 am

For nearly 20 years, has been committed to creating FREE user-friendly online resources that teachers can use to enhance the learning experience in their classrooms. We are committed to providing resources that are simple to use and make learning fun. Here are just a few things you can do with our online tools: create a rubric, an online lesson, design a classroom, create a Web page, manage student research, improve test scores, create, grade, and manage quizzes, post assignments online, create take-home notes and awards,  and more. If you want to incorporate more technology into your classroom next year but have a limited budget, is the site you’ve been searching for. All you need is an Internet connection and you are ready to go!


Improve test scores with educational games – Learn to use Arcademic Skillbuilders
 Arcademic Skillbuilders is a free collection of researched-based and standards-aligned educational math and language arts games designed to teach basic math and language arts skills. Students are highly motivated to improve and learn in a video game environment and Arcademic Skillbuilders is a safe way to do just that. Teachers all over the world are having success improving test scores using Arcademic Skillbuilders in their classrooms. Visit the site and you’ll find yourself actively engaged in this fun learning environment. You can also read teacher success stories and the research behind the creation of this valuable resource.

Create a classroom calendar – Learn to use Assign-A-Day
Assign-A-Day is a great way to improve teacher-student communication by posting class assignments and activities online. Students can access their class calendar from any Internet-connected computer. If a student misses a class or would like to work ahead they can access the calendar by searching by the teacher’s name, calendar ID, or subject. Summer is a terrific time to create your class calendars and plan ahead for the upcoming school year.

Create a rubric ­– Learn to use RubiStar
Creating rubrics can be time-consuming and tedious. RubiStar allows you to create high-quality rubrics in just a few minutes. To create a rubric, first choose from over fifty rubric templates that are available. Then in a format similar to a word processing document, customize the rubric to meet your specific needs. Once you’re finished customizing, you can print the rubric or even create a free RubiStar account and save it for future use. You can also search RubiStar’s database of more than 100,000 rubrics already created by teachers. Many teachers use this feature to get started on their own rubric or gather ideas for new projects. Lastly, you can create your own rubrics from scratch in your free RubiStar account using a blank template. Visit to get started.

Create an online lesson – Learn to use TrackStar with TrackPack
TrackStar is used by thousands of educators each year. It’s a simple way to create an online lesson. First you gather a list of Web sites you would like your students to visit and answer questions about. You enter the Web addresses and annotations for each site. TrackStar then creates a Web lesson called a track for you to assign to your students. Each track has a unique Web address that you can bookmark and a track ID that you can enter at to access your track. Currently, there are more than 100,000 tracks in TrackStar that are searchable by grade level, subject, and author. Feel free to use an existing track or create your own. Many avid users of TrackStar also use TrackPack, a feature that allows you to automatically save links to your TrackStar account anytime you search the Web for easy access later when you are creating lessons.

Here is what teachers are saying about TrackStar:
“TrackStar is an invaluable resource that helps my students stay focused on their assignments. The frames format of the lesson keeps them from getting distracted on the Internet. I thought I would need to learn html to create an online lesson. With TrackStar, I can create a lesson in minutes using Websites I already have bookmarked on my browser.” Mrs. Kendall, high school teacher.”

Create online quizzes – Learn to use QuizStar
QuizStar is the extremely popular online quiz creator that allows teachers to easily create, manage, grade, and administer quizzes complete with multimedia files, audio, graphics, and video. QuizStar gives teachers the flexibility to administer weekly quizzes to reinforce subject matter, review material, quizzes in multiple languages, and analyze results to determine areas in which students need additional instruction. As with all tools, QuizStar is a completely free resource.

What instructors are saying about QuizStar:
I’ve been using QuizStar for 7-8 years and it has changed the way I approach the courses I teach. I love your site.” Paul J. Birdsall, Jr. high teacher.

Create an online project page – Learn to use Web Poster Wizard
 Create online webquests, worksheets, class pages, newsletters, and projects in minutes using this user-friendly resource. If you have a class project that requires online research you can create a project page complete with links and graphics. There is also a section in Web Poster Wizard that is specifically for student use. If a student would like to create a Web page to display information about a class project or create an online newsletter or project page to enhance a project they can do so in minutes. This tool was updated to include a central login for students and teachers, ability to create an archive page of student projects and the ability for teachers to access each student’s information from one account. This summer, try creating a page with one of your existing class assignments to see how simple it is. You may find it a valuable resource next school year!

Design the perfect classroom – Learn to use Classroom Architect
Creating the right learning environment can be challenging and time consuming. Rearranging furniture and choosing the right pieces for your classroom is important. Classroom Architect was designed to eliminate the heavy lifting and give you the tools to design your classroom online and print the floor plan when you’re finished. Just select the basic dimensions of your classroom, drag objects to the grid such as tables, chairs, shelves, desks, or draw in your own items. When your finished you can print your design and arrange your classroom.

Help students learn to organize online research – Learn to use NoteStar
Properly citing sources during online research is challenging. Research for projects or papers is much easier with NoteStar which allows students to create sub-topics for research topics, take notes online then print them, and collect source information in the appropriate format all in one place. Teachers can then manage student research projects, check sources for authenticity, send messages to students, track group progress, and help students organize their notes through one administrative account.

Create printable awards and certificates online – Learn to use CasaNotes
Create full color awards and certificates complete with graphics in both English and Spanish. Create field trip permissions, parent-teacher conference notices, student progress reports, student contracts, weekly homework assignments, and awards. Simply choose the type of note you want to create, choose colors and graphics, type in specifics, preview, then print! The preview page allows you to quickly switch to the Spanish version of the note for easy printing.

Watch great online tutorials – Visit the 4Teachers Video Channel
Watch short 1-3 minute video tutorials that give you tips and tricks for using RubiStar, QuizStar, Inspiration, and more! Visit the 4Teachers Video Channel on YouTube.

We hope these suggestions will motivate you to try a few of our time saving resources this summer. Visit for links to all of the free resources listed in this article.

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