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Papervision 3D Aquarium - Papervision 3D

Grades
K to 12
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View an aquarium through your computer screen. (Note: this site loads SLOWLY!) Easily rotate with your mouse or trackpad to see the fish swimming around you. Change the view by ...more
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View an aquarium through your computer screen. (Note: this site loads SLOWLY!) Easily rotate with your mouse or trackpad to see the fish swimming around you. Change the view by clicking on the fish at the bottom which allows you to follow the shark's movement through the space. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fish (24)

In the Classroom

Use the aquarium on a projector or interactive whiteboard before beginning any unit on animals, classification, behavior, or biomes. Students can make observations about how different fish act, the ecosystem of the fish, adaptations of fish to their environment, or any other information. Use these observations to begin the discussions of the concepts in your unit. Teach Art or English? Use this site for inspiration for writing poetry, stories, or other forms of artwork.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Diffen - Diffen

Grades
2 to 12
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the ...more
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the similarities and differences in a table format. View simple definitions under the information table. Need more information? Wikipedia style entries of information area also available on the page. There is a Top 5 list. At the time of this review, the Top 5 included "Gross vs. Net," "Affected vs. Effected," "Meiosis vs. Mitosis," "DNA vs. RNA," and "Fruit vs. Vegetable. While not ALL topics are included, the variety is impressive. You can add your own comparison of terms to the list. You may want to discuss with your class the fact that the information here is only as reliable as the people who submitted it, and ask them whether they agree with the comparisons you find here. NOTE: If you explore some of the ready-mades or requested topics, there are some topics "compared" that are not school oriented, such as comparisons of popular television characters. Preview before turning students loose or simply direct them to a specific "diffen."

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

The options are endless. Search the differences between two types of soils, mitosis and meiosis, presidents or those running for office, of geometric figures, artists or musicians, places to visit. As a way to build higher order thinking skills, this site is ideal, since comparison of attributes requires analysis.

Try creating some lists of your own as a class after using the ready-made ones here. This activity would be easy to do on an interactive whiteboard, with students hand writing the characteristics and dragging them into Similarities and Differences columns before entering them into Diffen. This site could be used in nearly every subject area. Share this site on your class blog or website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. This is definitely one to save in your favorites.

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Photography - myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for photography. Find interactive vocabulary activities using photography vocabulary...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for photography. Find interactive vocabulary activities using photography vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): light (46), photography (160)

In the Classroom

During your unit on light in science class or your study of photography, have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. This is a powerful way for them to master the vocabulary of photography, light, and lenses. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. And of course, don't miss the interactive word puzzles!

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This I Believe, Inc. - Jay Allison, NPR, et. al.

Grades
7 to 12
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This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site...more
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This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site is an inspiration to students and can serve as an essay starter, a discussion starter, or contemporary information about politics, economics, and the world. On its home page it states that this is "an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives." There are essays from the 1950's when the first incarnation of this idea was heard on the radio from famed journalist Edward R. Murrow. There are essays from those who are famous and those you never heard of. All of the essays are short--usually no more than 400 words. You can hear some of them as they were first broadcast on NPR, and there is a general podcast you can play which defines the site. Anyone can submit their own "This I Believe" essay as long as it follows the guidelines given, and they include essay-writing tips and advanced essay searches to assist anyone interested. The site includes special features which deal with specific topics and there are ideas for educators, students, and community leaders. The printable curricula require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1950s (12), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Searching the "For Educators" page gives you a wide variety of ideas for using this site and these essays. Since students enjoy using first person point of view in their writing, this might be an inspiration for some. You can use some of these essays as conversation starters on topics you are studying in class. (Example: Penn Jillette wrote his essay stating that he believes there is no god. This could be related to many books studied, such as 1984 or Brave New World.) Have students write their essays as blog entries or record them as podcasts using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or as an illustrated essay using ThingLink, reviewed here. Spanish teachers will want to explore the options to listen to or write essays in Spanish, as well.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Geometry Games - Jeff Weeks

Grades
K to 12
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Download free shareware games to encourage thinking and practice identifying geometric shapes. Many of the downloads are games, while others provide opportunities to view computer art...more
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Download free shareware games to encourage thinking and practice identifying geometric shapes. Many of the downloads are games, while others provide opportunities to view computer art and find the hidden geometry or for students to create their own! There are also activities connecting math to physics and astronomy.

Be sure to check with your technology department about the ability to download these applications to school computers. Many districts have restrictions on the ability to download. Click on each game icon to read a description of the games included and some uses. Games are Mac and Windows compatible. Read their FAQ link with each set of games for the most asked questions about the shareware. Once downloaded, to "stop" a program, click Esc. If you are not allowed to install software on your own, share these powerful games with your math or art supervisors so they can advocate for you with the tech folks.

tag(s): geometric shapes (163), symmetry (55), tessellations (6)

In the Classroom

Use many of the images as an introductory inquiry activity to get students thinking about shapes and space. In art class, use the tiling activity and others on a projector before having student create their own on paper. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide images to groups to explore and identify the underlying math concepts present in the artwork. Provide an opportunity for some groups to create their own work with a geometric shape that they are investigating. Follow up with student projects of the geometric shape or photographs of geometric shapes in nature and man-made structures.

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Padlet - Padlet

Grades
2 to 12
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Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is a free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a ...more
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Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) is a free application to create an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a new board. You can add images, links, videos, and more. You can return to add more later. Installing Padlet Mini in your browser allows you to add the page you are browsing to your Padlet and gives you a shortcut to view your Padlets. Settings allow you to make your wall completely open for public contributions, completely private, or moderated by you (you approve all contributions before they show). This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), DAT device agnostic tool (199), gamification (65), images (266)

In the Classroom

Use a Padlet to collaborate in collecting ideas, brainstorming, and more. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Padlet does not show which work is attributable to which student, so you may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If allowing all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences. Making the setting private again will prohibit content from later being replaced by classmate "vandalism."

Use a Padlet to collect webquest links and information to share with students. By leaving the wall open to comments, solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute other sources they find. Color code resources to indicate different reading levels or "high challenge" sources for your more able students. Assign a student project where students choose their theme and design a wall around it. For example, have students create a wall about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, audio or video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the Padlet site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. Embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Lino here. Decide which one you prefer! Unfortunately, the Padlet embedded viewer is very small but can be scrolled in both directions.

Use Padlet as a class space during snow days and school breaks. Share the link to a teacher-created, public wall where students can share notes about what they did during the snow day or respond to a thought-provoking question.

Encourage creativity and organization by having your gifted students (or anyone doing independent projects) create Padlets to collect ideas, images, quotes, and more in an "idea bin." Require them to share a brainstorming Padlet to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and later sort/color code) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Padlet as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

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Video: Online Photo Sharing in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
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This short video (less than 3-minutes) about the subject of online photo sharing. This site refers to Flickr, reviewed here), but other services...more
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This short video (less than 3-minutes) about the subject of online photo sharing. This site refers to Flickr, reviewed here), but other services are also named. Learn how online photo sharing keeps your photos safe from fire (and even computer crashes). Learn ways to share and enhance your photos. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): photography (160)

In the Classroom

This site could be used in many capacities: sharing students' work online (with parental consent, of course), sharing this video clip at in-service trainings for teachers to use both professionally and personally, providing the link on your website for families to view and use at home, and many other possibilities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mother's Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
2 to 10
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Mother's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Mother's Day...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Mother's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Mother's Day vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): mothers day (13), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.

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CLEO: Draw the Buddha's Face - Cumbria and Lancashire Education Online

Grades
4 to 12
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Come along on this drawing adventure with Andy Weber, artist extraordinaire. This site presents a detailed Flash presentation showing students how to draw Buddha's face using a grid....more
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Come along on this drawing adventure with Andy Weber, artist extraordinaire. This site presents a detailed Flash presentation showing students how to draw Buddha's face using a grid. At this site you can print off drawing sheets (Word documents) of a blank grid or a grid with Buddha's face. Other links allow you to watch the artist's technique, learn how to add color, an "About the Buddha's Face" link to learn more about the characteristics of the face, and more! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): drawing (78)

In the Classroom

Share certain links on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Print off the drawing sheets for students to try on their own. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to research various "themes" about Buddha or Buddhism in general. Have them draw a picture to narrate (and share what they learned) using a site such as UtellStory, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook...more
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ESL/ELL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Our editors made a sample for you to see.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click to Enter The Site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. The link for Writer Prompts can be found on the bottom right side of the site. The Writer Prompts link will lead you to the creator's blog, with many writing prompts (with new prompts added often). This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (144), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This one is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless.

The site creators tell us that Makebeliefscomix accepts accent marks and characters from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, in addition to English, they hope soon to add Chinese and Japanese.

Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Visit often, as new prompts are added weekly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Teachers' Corner - The Teachers' Corner

Grades
K to 12
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This is a great site to mine for quick lesson plans, ideas on thematic units, or simply daily writing prompts. There are detailed lesson plans available for math, arts and ...more
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This is a great site to mine for quick lesson plans, ideas on thematic units, or simply daily writing prompts. There are detailed lesson plans available for math, arts and crafts, nutrition, health, music, math, reading, physical education, technology, writing, science, and social studies. Visit the Seasonal Items link to find even MORE resources related to Read Across America, 100th Day ideas, Daily seasonal writing prompts, and much more! Many of the links will take you to other sites, but the onsite printable worksheets and calendars make it worth a visit. Note: the site is laden with advertising, something TeachersFirst users may not appreciate! This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fractions (239), nutrition (154), parts of speech (68), phonics (75), speech (92), themes (12), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Although this site has a TON to explore, one of the best places on this site is the daily writing prompt section (find seasonal prompts at the Seasonal Items link). You can share them on your interactive whiteboard or projector with a picture and fact about the day and a question requiring a written answer. This is a great discussion starter or activating strategy with any grade level and it can already be posted when the kids enter the room or used as a prompt for blogging. Whatever subject area you teach, if you are looking for some new strategies to reach your students, check out this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Befuddlr - Erik Kastner and Amy Hoy

Grades
K to 12
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as ...more
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as "Patterns," "Hello kitty," "Water drops," and many others. Choose a picture you wish to "befuddlr." Pieces of the original picture are moved around in a new order. Continue to choose a different combination, change the lines that divide segments of the picture, and even drag a button to your toolbar to "befuddlr" any picture. Once done, use the snapshot function of your computer to take a picture. In Mac, use apple-shift-four to take a snapshot. In PC, use the print screen (Prt Sc key) function to "copy" the picture and then paste it into a document or elsewhere. You are able to submit your own photos to the site (found on Flickr, of course). Learn more about flickr, a photo storage and sharing site, in the TeachersFirst review here.

tag(s): images (266), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

To use the pictures provided, simply chose a "group" title, such as water drops, and click to befuddlr it. If you wish to befuddlr your own pictures, you must first upload them to Flickr, so you will need to learn that simple tool. Be sure to TAG your pictures so you can FIND them again! No membership or saving are available on befuddlr. Its is an on-the-spot tool. Be sure to use your own images or copyright free images and images that are available to be built upon. If students click to choose other pictures from Flickr, they could encounter ANYTHING that someone has uploaded, so be sure to guide them to the pictures you want them to use and have a stated policy and consequence for those who wander off into inappropriate places. Flickr does have anti-porn policies, but girls in bikinis, for example, are still available! Use snapshots of animals, numbers, letters, or other pictures and have students scramble the pieces. Befuddlr a picture on your interactive whiteboard to start a language lesson! Students can create their own and provide hints using a variety of constraints such as no more than 5 words, a poem, using adjectives only, etc. in order to help those guessing the original picture. In Art, create new patterns for analysis. Use befuddled pictures to practice new vocabulary for young ones or for ESL and world language students. Accompany student poetry with befuddled pictures
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures.

NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.

"Learn It" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Advanced lesson plans for teachers are viewed in the "Learn It" tab as well. "View the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Note: Advertisements run alongside the PicLits screen. Caution students to ignore these. Here is an example:
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), images (266), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Users of PicLits must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URL's and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. Help also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits for a curriculum topic or as a literary magazine online. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

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NASA Digital Learning Network - NASA

Grades
K to 12
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Learn firsthand from experts and specialists at NASA! Join free and interactive video-conferencing events or view podcasts for use in classrooms. Use the "Event Catalog" to find events...more
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Learn firsthand from experts and specialists at NASA! Join free and interactive video-conferencing events or view podcasts for use in classrooms. Use the "Event Catalog" to find events for specific grade levels, science subjects, or topics. View the event's focus and description as well as downloading Adobe pdf files of introductory activities and complete educator guides for different grade levels. A variety of webcasts are available. For example, in 2009, NASA's offerings include "Exploring Other Worlds," "The Earth System," and "Global Warming, Causes and Consequences." Educators must create a login and register for events. Access to video conferencing hardware is necessary for the live video-conferencing events. Download applications needed for viewing the webcasts from the "Tools and Plug Ins" page. The tools are also available at the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), earth (228), environment (317), nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Educators can view professional development webcasts from NASA's education experts. Download the pdf documents for use in class, and introduce concepts for students and formulate questions in class. Use several students to record fine points of the lectures, collect the most requested questions prior to the video-conference, and begin discussions following the event either in class or using web 2.0 tools such as a blog or a wiki. In lower grades, use the webcasts to introduce science concepts visually on a projector or interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visions of Christmas - American Antiquarian Society

Grades
2 to 12
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees,...more
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees, and evolution of Santa, this site will suit your purpose well. The four main topics include: Origins of Christmas, Evolution of Santa, The Christmas Tree, and Twas the Night Before Christmas. Students researching old customs will appreciate the simple approach.

tag(s): christmas (64), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Art teachers, enlarge the antique photos and engravings by double clicking on the small picture. The enlarged image can be printed to be included in a vast choice of art projects. Around the holidays, project one of the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to use as a writing prompt, as they write a story about what they feel the picture portrays.

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Earth Day Groceries Project - The Earth Day Groceries Project

Grades
K to 8
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Have your students decorate paper grocery bags for Earth Day! The "Earth Day Groceries Project" is cost-free and one of the largest and oldest projects on the Internet. The project,...more
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Have your students decorate paper grocery bags for Earth Day! The "Earth Day Groceries Project" is cost-free and one of the largest and oldest projects on the Internet. The project, managed by Mark Ahlness (a third grade teacher in Seattle, Washington), challenges students to decorate paper grocery bags for Earth Day featuring environmentally friendly messages. There are four steps to the project, all well-explained on the site. Be sure to visit the Project Starter Kit link. This link includes a PowerPoint presentation about the project, screensavers, project details, and more.

tag(s): creativity (109), earth (228), earth day (112)

In the Classroom

Use this interdisciplinary activity to integrate art, creativity, community service, science, and Earth Day events. Share the PowerPoint presentation with your class on a projector or interactive whiteboard to get students motivated about the project.

Display pictures of some of the bags on your class website. Provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website; challenge parents to make this a family activity.

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Clevr - Clevr Ltd.

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a panoramic photo without a special camera! Use a normal camera to take the photos. The CleVR Stitcher is the easiest photo stitcher available. Just drag and drop your ...more
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Create a panoramic photo without a special camera! Use a normal camera to take the photos. The CleVR Stitcher is the easiest photo stitcher available. Just drag and drop your pictures, click the button, and the application "stitches" them together for you. By joining your pictures, create a stunning panoramic picture. Clevr enables you to embed the image into your website or blog, share the images on various social networking sites, and more.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to log in to the website, upload and manage pictures from their computer, and use simple tools.

As an alternative, you can create a "class account" that all students can access. Share your panorama on the web in the interactive viewer. Embed it into your blog or website using the embed code.

Possible uses: Create panoramic pictures for blog headers on a classroom blog. Students can plan and take pictures representing their town, area, school, or classroom. Use the pictures to create a panorama for the top of the page. Social Studies teachers may assign students to create panoramas of local history. Art teachers can also assign a design challenge for students to create fictitious panoramas from diverse images. Literature teachers can offer an option of creating a "setting panorama" or "thematic panorama" as a project for visual/spatial students. Of course you will want them to explain their design choices in terms of the literary work.

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Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index - MSNBC

Grades
6 to 12
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We know that today's students are far more accustomed to learning through images than students of the past. This site is a collection of the work of dozens of political ...more
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We know that today's students are far more accustomed to learning through images than students of the past. This site is a collection of the work of dozens of political cartoonists and is constantly updated to provide fresh content tied to the news of the day. The site is surprisingly deep, however, and has cartoon galleries that go back at least five years.

Teachers should be aware of several cautions however: Preview the cartoons collections for age-appropriateness; understand that the site does contain advertisements; and recognize that the images are copyright protected. Teachers are advised to post links to specific cartoons rather than trying to "cut and paste" the cartoons into websites or other documents.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use the political cartoons on this site to introduce a class discussion on current events, civics, or government. Try using a cartoon as a writing prompt either for individual students or for collaborative work. Post a link to a particular cartoon or cartoon series on your classroom blog for discussion. Have students try to create a cartoon (either drawing or using computer generated images) depicting current events in the news.

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Paper Critters - JR Fabito

Grades
3 to 8
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Paper Critters helps you create various styles of small creatures using body templates, art tools, and accessories. Paper Critters is a creative site that can be pulled into many classroom...more
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Paper Critters helps you create various styles of small creatures using body templates, art tools, and accessories. Paper Critters is a creative site that can be pulled into many classroom activities. Students can create people, animals or robots, to name a few.

The gallery, coined The Colony, should be previewed by a teacher for appropriate content. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): animation (63), design (84), sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Designs can become intricate and detailed, so consider setting guidelines if completing during class time. Students can create "creatures" with adaptations, describe them in written form and justify the adaptations in accordance with a science unit. Create or present critters on an interactive whiteboard or projector while discussing features. Critters can be designed as writing prompts, to create story characters, or to represent famous people for book reports. Try creating a class pet for everyone to take care of! Have students save their critters by placing their initials somewhere in the critter name and then download them to a class file or e-mail them to a teacher account. Work together with the art teacher to support curriculum concepts in this creative endeavor!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln Bicentennial: 1809-2009 - Library of Congress

Grades
K to 12
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there ...more
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there is an interactive timeline, online quiz, podcasts, detailed lesson plans for all grades K-12 (with standards), printable pages, research information, suggested literature for all ages, information about the Civil War, Gettysburg, and more! Much of the site requires Flash; some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites! Share the interactive timeline, online quiz, and podcasts using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about our 16th President. Have students create a blog from Lincoln's point of view (or from a slave's point of view AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation). Use the lesson plans designed for the grades that you teach. (Don't miss the history, language arts and writing, and art lessons).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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