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Spectra Visual Newsreader - MSNBC

Grades
5 to 12
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news ...more
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news categories such as politics, business, entertainment, health, technology, travel, and science. Each general category has up to 12 other choices of a more specific nature. After making those choices, a slideshow style player appears where readers can view a very brief summary of a news article to see if they would like to read the entire text. News videos and blogs are also available with just a click of your mouse. A "newscollector" allows readers to select and save featured stories for later reading.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94), reading comprehension (116), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject. Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Ottobib - Jonathan Otto

Grades
3 to 12
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Make a free, easy, "ottomatic" bibliography with Ottobib.com. Type in the ISBN number of any book (without the dashes), choose the style, MLA, APA, Chicago, or Bibtex, and create your...more
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Make a free, easy, "ottomatic" bibliography with Ottobib.com. Type in the ISBN number of any book (without the dashes), choose the style, MLA, APA, Chicago, or Bibtex, and create your perfect book citation. You can also enter multiple books by inserting a comma between the ISBN numbers. Select from linking to the bibliography, having a printed page, or finding at your library through a link to Worldcat, an online library catalog.

tag(s): book reports (36), citations (34)

In the Classroom

Use Ottobib.com as a lesson on citing sources and bibliography on your interactive whiteboard. Include Ottobib.com as a saved favorite on all student computers as well as a link on your webpage. Use as a springboard to discuss styles of documentation including MLA, APA, Chicago, and Bibtex. Be sure to use in writing your own professional articles, books, or classes, as well as a reference for your students.

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Now I See! Infographics as content scaffold and creative, formative assessment - TeachersFirst: Candace Hackett Shively and Louise Maine

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover how to use student-created infographics as scaffold or assessment for learning in any middle or high school subject. Many teachers are not "visual" people and struggle to implement...more
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Discover how to use student-created infographics as scaffold or assessment for learning in any middle or high school subject. Many teachers are not "visual" people and struggle to implement infographics because they do not know how to help students. Whether you are a visual person or a "data" person, these pages will help your class get started. See the story of one teacher's journey into using infographics and learn from her experience. Find downloadable files to help: a PowerPoint you can use with students, and a customizable rubric. Don't miss the extensive Resources and Tools page for examples, background articles, and more. These pages grew out of a presentation at ISTE 2012.

tag(s): infographics (42)

In the Classroom

Read through this professional tutorial if you have even considered trying infographics with your students. You will find just the encouragement you need. Mark this one in your Favorites and share the many examples with your students, including student-created examples from a ninth grade class, as you launch your own infographics projects. Let your students "show what they know" in a new way.

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Makerspace - MAKE

Grades
10 to 12
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Join the movement of educators and students who are focusing on making instead of consuming. Students identify an interest and work on a project of their creation to present at ...more
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Join the movement of educators and students who are focusing on making instead of consuming. Students identify an interest and work on a project of their creation to present at a Maker Faire. Unlike Science Fairs which focus mostly on competition, Maker Faires showcase student work and innovation. With focus now on STEM and doing science, Maker Faires are a great way to increase excitement in the STEM areas and careers. The Maker Playbook is an easy way to become familiar with the movement.

tag(s): inquiry (37), science fairs (25), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Increase the amount of DIY learning in your classroom by joining the Maker Faire movement. Not close to an actual Maker Faire? Implement ideas in the playbook to increase the amount of STEM in your class and a new way to learn to engage your students and create excitement in careers they have not thought about. Consider holding an in-school Maker Faire of your own with parent help.
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STEM Curriculum - Dayton Regional - Dayton Regional STEM Center

Grades
K to 12
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The Dayton Regional STEM Center offers lessons, units, and curriculum materials in STEM subjects for grades K-12. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math resources are abundant at...more
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The Dayton Regional STEM Center offers lessons, units, and curriculum materials in STEM subjects for grades K-12. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math resources are abundant at this center for hands-on STEM! Primarily it is a curriculum resource for teaching. Search by grade level, subject, or industry. There are captivating hook videos about power and propulsion, sensors, manufacturing, humans and medicine, and air vehicles. Lesson ideas are complete and well thought out. Some have downloadable activities, some are video clips, some are tangible hands on activities, but all are thought provoking. If your district blocks YouTube, then the video clips may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): aircraft (24), atmosphere (26), aviation (39), data (148), energy (197), engineering (125), equations (155), functions (70), geometric shapes (163), magnetism (35), measurement (159), number sense (97), oil (45), operations (126), ratios (53), robotics (25), scientific method (64), solar energy (38), space (205), statistics (122), STEM (134), teaching strategies (24), water (130)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for STEM lessons in your classroom. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects or differentiating lessons in your classroom. Search this site for some new ideas to implement in your classroom. Share the Student tab on your class website for students to explore several "kid friendly" topic such as Fish-y Gardening, Pirate Race, Slime Time, Engineer Girl, Build a Bot, and more. Students who complete one of the "kid friendly" projects at home could develop a presentation using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to PowerPoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here), or a multimedia presentation to share with the class. For tools and ideas about creating multimedia presentations see one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Venngage - Venngage

Grades
7 to 12
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Like the looks of Infographics but wish it were as easy as creating a Powerpoint? This website aims to empower you to easily create infographics in a short time. It ...more
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Like the looks of Infographics but wish it were as easy as creating a Powerpoint? This website aims to empower you to easily create infographics in a short time. It is worth the free registration to gain access. Create beautiful Infographics by creating a title and then choosing a template or color scheme. Create your own templates using a range of color, label, and font choices. Click on the elements on the template to change the words, add widgets, create charts, and more. Use the slider along the top right to move between edit mode and preview mode. Go beyond traditional charts by including word clouds, treemaps, bubble charts, and more. Click Save as Template (helpful in creating labels and examples for students to follow) to save your style for later. Click Publish to make the Infographic public or private. You can save the Infographic as an image, share via URL, or use an embed code to place on a wiki, site, or blog. Click on your dashboard to view additional templates shared by creators and to find your Infographics.

tag(s): data (148), infographics (42), posters (36), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Consider creating Infographics of material learned in class and for better understanding and connection with other topics and the "real world." Make curriculum content more real with infographics that students can relate to. Have students create their own infographics with this site to display what they have learned from a unit of study, how vocabulary words are related to the unit content, or as a review before a test. It could even be a replacement for the test! Connect data found on the Internet to information needed to understand that data. (Consider looking at different ways to show the data which can generate bias.) Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to allow student groups to present an Infographic about a book they've read, related news article, etc. Create Infographics about events such as Earth Day, D-Day, Take Your Child to Work Day, and other observances.

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What on Earth Made This - Website ''''''© 1996-2012 WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore a super sized volcano, the Scablands, the Magafloods, and beautiful and bizarre natural formations made from forces on our planet. Discover an interactive or printable version...more
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Explore a super sized volcano, the Scablands, the Magafloods, and beautiful and bizarre natural formations made from forces on our planet. Discover an interactive or printable version of each topic brimming with information. Use text, video, audio, or multimedia resources to accompany each topic.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earth (228), geology (81), landforms (45), landmarks (26)

In the Classroom

Make earth geology come alive in each of these captivating subjects. The resources deepen understanding. Open on an interactive whiteboard or projector to begin your earth study or include in a center for individual exploration. Add to your classroom website for enrichment purposes. Use as an example for a classroom wiki on any science subject. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
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Medical Animation Library - Penn Medicine

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this site to view animated videos about medical disorders and interventions. Browse categories such as Allergy and Immunology, Cancer, Fitness, Neurology, and more. Browse topics...more
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Use this site to view animated videos about medical disorders and interventions. Browse categories such as Allergy and Immunology, Cancer, Fitness, Neurology, and more. Browse topics in the categories to learn about specific disorders, interventions, and treatments, and other helpful information. Find a description beneath each video. Note: A link to create an appointment is also found on these pages.
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tag(s): brain (72), diseases (66), fitness (49), medicine (67)

In the Classroom

Use this site for easy to understand information about diseases and disorders. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have groups of students investigate specific medical disorders (using this site and others). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Grand Challenges for Engineering - National Academy of Engineering

Grades
9 to 12
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Grand Challenges for Engineering shares information on several engineering problems that are just waiting for 21st century solutions. Engineering challenge information is presented...more
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Grand Challenges for Engineering shares information on several engineering problems that are just waiting for 21st century solutions. Engineering challenge information is presented and followed by a moderated response forum. Anyone may submit ideas, and no registration is required. Share your name and location on the planet, and your comments may be featured in the forum. There are video clips, interactives, ready to go activities, and more. Information about world needs and next steps towards solutions are available. These topics can be controversial, so preview before you share with the class.

tag(s): carbon (21), critical thinking (108), engineering (125), mars (41), medicine (67), nuclear energy (24), problem solving (272), scientific method (64), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use Grand Challenges for Engineering topics as class conversation starters in science, biology, and engineering classes and an inspiration to make STEM a possible career choice. Stimulate a rich discussion by previewing the topic to students at the beginning of a week and discussing at the end of the week. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Encourage them to research the idea outside of class, and provide this website as a major source. Have students summarize the concept and the new things that they have learned through the discussion on an exit slip before they leave for the week. Challenge your students to think of other Grand Challenges that we face. In a gifted program these challenges could serve as themes for extended investigations or individual projects.
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Nova Science Now Education - WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based...more
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based on programs from Nova and other PBS programs. There are teacher guides, teacher interactives, and teacher videos. Topics include anthropology, archaeology, earth science, engineering, environmental science, forensic science, geography, health science, history, life science, math, paleontology, physical science, science and society, space science, and technology. At the time of this review, the website is still in BETA version and is not all inclusive in each subject. Find a TV programming schedule to help planning and resource gathering.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (32), engineering (125), environment (317), forensics (27), paleontology (41), space (205)

In the Classroom

Enjoy the interactives, videos, and text together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use selected activities as a center (station). Include as resources for your curriculum. Use as a model to make a wiki for your current topic of study for a group project or classroom project. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Use this format to spice up your classroom blog.
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Steve Spangler Science Videos - Steve Spangler

Grades
K to 12
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Steve Spangler has brought his fun and educational science experiments to his YouTube page. At the time of this review, the channel had over 400 science experiments in short (approx....more
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Steve Spangler has brought his fun and educational science experiments to his YouTube page. At the time of this review, the channel had over 400 science experiments in short (approx. one minute) videos. Each video demonstrates step by step how to conduct the experiment but leaves it up to the you to decide the science involved. Choose from the featured playlist, browse through uploaded videos, view by fan favorites, or search the channel using a keyword or term to find experiments. Videos can also be sorted by newest or oldest additions. Subscribe to the channel (using your YouTube login) to receive updates when new videos are added. Many include links to further detail and experiment how-tos on Steve's regular web site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): experiments (71), optical illusions (11), solar energy (38), water (130)

In the Classroom

Show a video on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as an introduction before conducting an experiment in class. Stop the video before the ending and have students predict what will happen. Have students journal their thoughts to the science at work in the video. Have students create their own comics to explain a topic using comic-creation tools from this collection. Share this site as a resource for science fair projects or for a school science night. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
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Floating Junkyard - Scholastic

Grades
5 to 12
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Floating Junkyard is a great Scholastic lesson plan for introducing plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean. Here you will find an article from Science World, discussion starter...more
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Floating Junkyard is a great Scholastic lesson plan for introducing plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean. Here you will find an article from Science World, discussion starter questions, a video (which uses Flash), and worksheets. You can also download the teachers edition for Science World Magazine that will give you more information and ideas for activities.
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tag(s): environment (317), oceans (148), plastics (9), pollution (66)

In the Classroom

The video and activities on this site make it the perfect introduction to the plastic pollution problem in the North Pacific. Be sure to click on the picture of the seal and enlarge it to make it readable. Once you've completed the video and worksheets, consider challenging your students with one of the activities suggested in the teachers edition either under project based learning or additional resources. For older and gifted students you may want to continue this unit by taking a virtual journey on one of the ships that measures and keeps track of marine pollution. You will find this site, Ship-2-Shore Education/ Mapping Plastic Marine Pollution, reviewed here. Set up an RSS feed or Google News search for news of the debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami to add to the discussion.
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Genographic Project - National Geographic Society

Grades
8 to 12
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This tool provides videos, interactives, and lesson plans to understand the genetics of humans and to explain migration, genetic markers, and more. Use these lessons to understand more...more
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This tool provides videos, interactives, and lesson plans to understand the genetics of humans and to explain migration, genetic markers, and more. Use these lessons to understand more about genetics across many disciplines. Suggested test kits are not required for the activities, though they might add interest if your school permits.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): genealogy (7), genetics (90)

In the Classroom

Bring many genetic topics to light and answer the question "Where do I come from?" The lesson plans are an important means to understand the scientific, political, and social impact of how we are all interconnected.
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NASA eClips - NASA

Grades
K to 12
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This NASA site showcases vast educational resources. eClips videos are arranged by grade level: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Be sure to check out the general public section. The short video...more
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This NASA site showcases vast educational resources. eClips videos are arranged by grade level: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Be sure to check out the general public section. The short video clips are designed to showcase NASA work and its importance and impact on everyday life here on Earth. The clip lengths make them perfect for classroom use or for young people to view on their own. Each age range has a different focus. K-5 videos show students how NASA research provides information about the Earth and our solar system. 6-8 videos focus on real-world problem solving. Problem solving is the central theme for 9-12 videos. View the videos online or download onto a computer. The entire eClips library is also available on YouTube here for those who want to use YouTube tools with the videos. There is closed captioning available from the CC button on all the videos.

tag(s): earth (228), nasa (39), problem solving (272), solar system (119), space (205), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Find viewing guides and project ideas to use in the classroom. Use the YouTube versions to embed a video in your class wiki and have students respond to questions there. As a STEM career exploration, have students watch a video of their choice and write a plan for how they might become a scientist involved in such a project.
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BioMedia - BioMEDIA Associates, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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This site features unbelievable microscope images and videos to engage you in tiny life you cannot see with your eye alone. Though a commercial site that actually sells images and ...more
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This site features unbelievable microscope images and videos to engage you in tiny life you cannot see with your eye alone. Though a commercial site that actually sells images and footage, several tabs are worth a close look. The "Micronaturalist Notebook" tells a story about the organisms with detailed and labeled pictures. Use the information to learn about the intricacies of microscopic life. Find specific organisms in the "Biogalleries." Many of the pictures showcase the larva and the adult forms of these organisms.
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tag(s): animals (276), microorganisms (14), microscopes (13)

In the Classroom

Use these organisms to discuss various Phyla or Classes of organisms to identify the similarity and differences among them. Use the Micronaturalist Notebook as a template for students to create information pages about what they see in their class lab. Create pages on a blog, wiki, or site to share with others. Use these images on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) and make them larger than life! Ask stimulating questions such as "How do these organisms show that they are indeed living?" or "Which of these organisms are most like another?" Share the responses to identify the characteristics of living things or discuss the similarity of structure and function among them.
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101 Questions - Dan Myer

Grades
2 to 12
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to ...more
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to skip a picture. Submit your own picture or video, and get points for the perplexity it inspires, or even join the top 10 lists. Save images to your favorites and classify by tags using your membership. Note that the public can participate so some responses may not be appropriate for younger viewers. Preview and monitor or have an adult operate the site together.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), images (265), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Creative fluency begins here! Set up a whole class account. Use this site in language arts: discover main idea, details, cause and effect, or even an inspirational writing prompt. Find ways to group images together based on characteristics or attributes. Use in gifted or enrichment situations, for inspiration for problem-based learning. Sequence the images to find ways to form a logical plot. Find ways to make Perplexors out of the given image. In math, write short word problems to accompany images or videos. Find ways to illustrate vocabulary definitions with examples and non-examples. As a morning work challenge, find questions, details, or even other questions. As a writing challenge, look for the image that conveys the mood or feeling you are trying to convey. In science, submit examples to illustrate scientific concepts. Use to generate scientific method style questions based on the given image. In social studies, find images to convey feelings represented by the time being studied. Challenge students to make a historical statement or political statement by finding and adding to an appropriate image. ESL/ELL students can use this site to help acquire conversation/questioning skills. In world language class, have students generate questions in their new language, even if they do not post them. In art, find mood, theme, style, or self expression images. Be sure to monitor the blog content. Put similar content on your own classroom blog. Challenge students to create their own 101 question images or videos to share on your class blog, inviting viewers to respond with questions in the comments.

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Edublog - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, pdfs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to log with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . 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.
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tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. ) 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. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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In-sites to Einstein - Jen Farr

Grades
7 to 12
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories,...more
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories, and even quotes he has made. A vast array of sites is listed in each section, and much of the information is actually located elsewhere on the web.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), scientists (68)

In the Classroom

Have groups of students spend time perusing the topics and taking time to collect information. Share information learned with other members of the class to get a great background on the life and works of Einstein. Use to understand the theories he developed and discuss the difference between laws and theories. Have students (or groups) explore a specific part of this site and write a blog post about what they learn. Use a site such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Use this site as part of a unit for the gifted on Great Minds.

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Cellular Visions - Harvard University

Grades
9 to 12
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Find great videos of animations (including narration) of the inner life of the cell, the mitochondria, and other topics. Each video opens in a new window, and the web address ...more
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Find great videos of animations (including narration) of the inner life of the cell, the mitochondria, and other topics. Each video opens in a new window, and the web address can be copied to be shared on a blog, wiki, or website. The inner life videos also can be found without audio. Some of the videos require Flash; others require QuickTime.

tag(s): cells (102)

In the Classroom

Use the animations without audio as an introduction to cell biology. Allow time for students to note what they observe and to guess which cell parts that these may be. Show the video with audio to marvel at what we now know about the internal working of the cell and the cell parts. Follow the video with activities that allow for modeling of the cell on a larger scale to learn the parts.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Metro: Sustainable Living - Metro

Grades
6 to 12
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality...more
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality life for you, your family, and the planet.
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tag(s): environment (317), natural resources (59), recycling (57), resources (112), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Though originally for residents of Portland, Oregon, anyone, anywhere can use this resource. Use as a start for good ideas and search for additional information for better understanding. Create blog posts, websites, posters, or other media to share ideas with others to create community involvement in sustainable living. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. When researching and discussing environmental issues, be sure to add practical ways for others to DO something. Challenge your students to create their own community of young people at your school to become involved in sustainable living. Use this site for ideas to launch Earth Day initiatives and public service announcements.

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