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Open Learning Initiative - Carnegie Mellon University

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6 to 12
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Teach or learn through high-quality online courses offered by the Open Learning Initiative. Choose from available courses in a variety of subjects for full course information including...more
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Teach or learn through high-quality online courses offered by the Open Learning Initiative. Choose from available courses in a variety of subjects for full course information including topics covered, estimated completion time, and software required. Classes are free for independent learning. Set up and teach your own course by registering for an instructor account. Instructor accounts allow members to access tools to assess student learning and provide credit for course completion.

tag(s): chinese (51), design (83), engineering (127), french (90), logic (239), probability (131), psychology (65), statistics (124), STEM (151)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of content in courses to supplement your current lessons. No registration is required to access and view course information. Share this site with gifted students or students with interests in specific academic areas not covered in your current curriculum. Create a course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field. The Open Learning Initiative would also be perfect for setting up directions and steps for any projects you require students to do for your class. The program will integrate with some learning management systems.

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zipTrips - Purdue University

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6 to 12
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Introduce your students to science careers, research, and scientific inquiry with zipTrips from Purdue University. Each electronic field trip features a live webcast offering science...more
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Introduce your students to science careers, research, and scientific inquiry with zipTrips from Purdue University. Each electronic field trip features a live webcast offering science in an entertaining format. Register to create your free account and watch archived zipTrips featuring topics including Disease Detectives and The Science of Nutrition. Teacher's Guides for each trip provide background information and questions for discussion. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (290), diseases (70), genetics (95), nutrition (158), plants (155), virtual field trips (51)

In the Classroom

View zipTrips together with your class on your interactive whiteboard, or have students view on their own. Share this site with students interested in careers in the sciences and/or animals. Have students create blogs using Throwww, reviewed here, to discuss content from zipTrips. Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided and Throwww is as easy as using a basic Word program! Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here, for younger or less experienced technology users, or WordItOut, reviewed here, for more experienced technology users.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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SciJinks: Its All About Weather! - NOAA/NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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SciJinks offers informative articles and games geared toward middle school students as they learn about weather, satellite meteorology, and Earth science. Use the list on the left side...more
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SciJinks offers informative articles and games geared toward middle school students as they learn about weather, satellite meteorology, and Earth science. Use the list on the left side of the page to choose from topics, answers, find games, learn about people, and much more. Select the Topics section to find many ideas for use in science classrooms including content aligned to Next Generation Science Standards.

tag(s): atmosphere (29), careers (137), hurricanes (40), oceans (154), science fairs (26), scientific method (67), scientists (70), seasons (39), space (217), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Although geared toward middle school students and educators, anyone who teaches weather will want to take the time to explore this site for student and teacher resources. Use the educators section to find activities, science fair ideas, and content aligned to standards. Share the people portion of the site during your career exploration activities. Share a link to games and activities on classroom computers and your class website. Upon completing activities, have students create an online or printed comic about an element of weather, climate, meteorology, or any aspect of Earth science. Use a tool such as Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, for a nontech rough and final draft. If you're new to using technology with your students, or teach younger students you may want to use Comic Creator, reviewed here, for their final drafts. For more experienced, older students try Write Comics, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wildfinder - World Wildlife Fund

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K to 12
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Wildfinder is an interactive tool to find and learn about the thousands of species of animals located around the earth. Currently, the site contains information on mammals, amphibians,...more
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Wildfinder is an interactive tool to find and learn about the thousands of species of animals located around the earth. Currently, the site contains information on mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds with plans to expand to all species. Begin your search by choosing species or a place. Once the map loads, use the search bar or select an area to start. Additional options allow users to personalize the look of the map with transparency levels, eco-themes, and more. Species descriptions include images and information about the location and animal described.

tag(s): amphibians (21), animal homes (44), animals (290), birds (54), mammals (34), maps (293), reptiles (14), species (30)

In the Classroom

Wildfinder is a must-add bookmark for all classroom computers. Allow students to explore on their own to learn about animals and locations of their choosing and add information for what they learned on an online bulletin board using Padlet, reviewed here. When ready, challenge students to create a simple poster or web page sharing their findings using Tackk, reviewed here, or for a different project, try Sway, reviewed here, to create a newsletter or brochure. Pull up Wildfinder on your interactive whiteboard when discussing any location to learn about native animals. Share a link on your class web page for students to explore at home. If your class library doesn't include enough books about animals, Wildfinder is an excellent option for facts and information!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Get Your Hands Dirty Guide - Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens

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K to 12
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Get Your Hands Dirty is a guide to growing plants and keeping animals at school. Download this packet for specific information on enhancing learning opportunities through the nurturing...more
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Get Your Hands Dirty is a guide to growing plants and keeping animals at school. Download this packet for specific information on enhancing learning opportunities through the nurturing of growing things. Also, this guide provides tips and directions for getting started in many different situations including those with little or no land. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): animals (290), nutrition (158), plants (155)

In the Classroom

Download this guide as a resource for starting "growing" opportunities at school, or for suggestions on keeping animals in the classroom. If your school has a gardening club, this guide is perfect as a resource for new ideas. If you don't have a gardening club, use the guide as a starting point. Perhaps find a parent volunteer to get your club going!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Beach Chair Scientist - Ann McElhatton

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5 to 12
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Discover science while enjoying the beach and the outdoors with Beach Chair Scientist's blog. Read the latest posts on the site's homepage featuring titles such as "Seven silly science...more
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Discover science while enjoying the beach and the outdoors with Beach Chair Scientist's blog. Read the latest posts on the site's homepage featuring titles such as "Seven silly science sea words." To find specific topics, scroll down the page to find links to archives and categories including Citizen Science and Environmental Education.

tag(s): animal homes (44), birds (54), environment (321), fish (27), oceans (154), reptiles (14)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as part of your study of biomes or the ocean. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, or for those new to integrating tecnology try PicFont, reviewed here, to share information about ocean animals or conservation of the oceans. Be sure to check out the Resources & More section for lesson plans and links to other resources about the ocean.

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Project BudBurst - Chicago Botanic Garden

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K to 12
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Collect data about plants, learn about climate change, and participate by posting your findings for both with Project Budburst. Join Project Budburst and become part of a community...more
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Collect data about plants, learn about climate change, and participate by posting your findings for both with Project Budburst. Join Project Budburst and become part of a community of citizen scientists! Record the observations of first leafing, first flower, etc. (especially for native plant species), and have them reported to a national database. Under the education tab at the top find a grade level (K-12, Informal Education, Higher Education, Buddies, and more). For K-12 there are lists for National Science Education Standards (NSES) and Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Under each level find helpful guides for using the site, supplemental activities, and videos. There is no need to register to enjoy these features. However, registration allows for reporting data and becoming a citizen scientist. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): environment (321), plants (155), scientific method (67)

In the Classroom

Bring your science class to life and the "real world" for students using Project BudBurst's free resources. Captivate student interest by having them discover the importance of nature and our interactions with it. Participants must be 13 years of age to set up an account. Be sure to click the "I am an Educator" option to facilitate the participation of younger students, by creating a teacher account. Younger students do not require an email or personal information this way. Add to the growing database and document plant phenology as seen in your area. As you discuss various types of plants, assign students to take pictures of the stages observed, make observations about the stages, and create an infographic sharing their findings using Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here.

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Educators Guides to Lyme Disease - Bay Area Lyme Foundation

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers a free mini-unit on tick bite prevention and Lyme disease. Download the teacher overview (correlated to Next Generation Science Standards), PowerPoint, and student...more
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This site offers a free mini-unit on tick bite prevention and Lyme disease. Download the teacher overview (correlated to Next Generation Science Standards), PowerPoint, and student packet for use in any classroom. The full-color presentations include easy to understand information and activities including a graph, crossword puzzle, wordsearch, fill-in-the-blank worksheet, and a design your own brochure assignment.

tag(s): diseases (70), insects (71)

In the Classroom

Explore these free materials when teaching about insects or disease. Are you integrating technology in your class? Instead of the traditional brochure suggested use Lucidpress, reviewed here. As a follow-up, you could assign students to investigate and create reports on other insect-born diseases, then use Flipsnack, reviewed here, to turn their Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book. Have students create an annotated image describing ticks and Lyme disease including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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JuxtaposeJS - Knight Lab

Grades
5 to 12
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Compare and contrast two images with JuxtaposeJS photo slider, no registration required. Begin with links to your two images, JuxtaposeJS recommends using two pictures of the same size....more
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Compare and contrast two images with JuxtaposeJS photo slider, no registration required. Begin with links to your two images, JuxtaposeJS recommends using two pictures of the same size. Add labels and photo credits and choose from personalization options. Once uploaded, use the slider bar to adjust the viewing portions of the two images. Embed your finished image using the code provided after publication.

tag(s): history day (24), images (275), local history (14), photography (162)

In the Classroom

Use JuxtaposeJS to highlight then and now images of any location or building. Compare current cities to images taken many years ago. Compare and contrast pictures of major war battles to how they look in the present. Highlight changes in photographs over time. Compare and contrast changes in plants or animals. It may take some practice getting images to align properly; however, it is worth the time to create the visual presentation provided by this tool. Upload finished images to your class or student's websites. If you don't have a website, try a simple web page creator like Carrd, reviewed here, or newhive, reviewed here.

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Interactive Games: Science Lives Here - The Royal Institution

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4 to 12
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Learn about science, engineering, and the natural world with this large variety of interactive games. Scroll through to view all game topics, or use the drop-down box to limit your...more
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Learn about science, engineering, and the natural world with this large variety of interactive games. Scroll through to view all game topics, or use the drop-down box to limit your search by subject. Content offers a broad range of choices including animals, genetics, and space.

tag(s): animals (290), biodiversity (39), cells (104), genetics (95), gravity (50), human body (126), insects (71), medicine (70), nutrition (158), periodic table (52), plants (155), ponds (7), rainforests (15), solar system (122), space (217), stars (65), STEM (151)

In the Classroom

Introduce a new concept through games offered on this site. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, then allow students to play on their own. Have students create blogs using Throwww, reviewed here, to share information learned. Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blog to be used one time only; a unique URL is provided, and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Google Earth Showcase - Google Earth

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5 to 12
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Google Earth presents this showcase library of tours, videos, and imagery from planet Earth and beyond. Choose from diverse topics including the Hubble Telescope, Mars, Hereos of Google...more
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Google Earth presents this showcase library of tours, videos, and imagery from planet Earth and beyond. Choose from diverse topics including the Hubble Telescope, Mars, Hereos of Google Earth, and 3D imagery to begin your journey. Each category leads to several video presentations sharing the world with us. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): climate (92), explorers (65), heroes (26), landmarks (27), mars (42), moon (74), oceans (154), space (217), stars (65)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use throughout the year with lessons on climate change, oceans, explorers, and much more. As an end of the year project, allow students to choose their area of interest from this showcase. Then, have students watch videos, and create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. In language arts, during a study of heroes, use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast features of Heroes of Google Earth against cartoon heroes.

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Google Earth - Oceans - Google Maps/Google Earth

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5 to 12
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Explore the world's oceans with Google Earth. Watch videos sharing life below the surface of the world's oceans. Select from videos with topics including the Titanic, ocean floor, deep...more
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Explore the world's oceans with Google Earth. Watch videos sharing life below the surface of the world's oceans. Select from videos with topics including the Titanic, ocean floor, deep sea vents, or whale protected areas. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): explorers (65), oceans (154), whales (17)

In the Classroom

Benefit from the many free videos to learn more about the world's oceans and explorations. Have students select one of the videos to use as a starting point for further research. Ask students make a multimedia presentation to present their findings using Acclaim, reviewed here, that allows annotation of video, or Zeetings, reviewed here. Zeetings allows adding polls, videos, embeds, web links, PowerPoint, and PDFs.

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Reactions - American Chemical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Reactions is a YouTube Channel from the American Chemical Society exploring chemistry in our everyday lives. Watch these short videos and learn answers to questions such as why onions...more
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Reactions is a YouTube Channel from the American Chemical Society exploring chemistry in our everyday lives. Watch these short videos and learn answers to questions such as why onions make us cry and the chemistry of poison ivy. Be sure to check out the various playlists offered with topics including superhero science and hair chemistry. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chemicals (41), diseases (70), nutrition (158), seasons (39), space (217)

In the Classroom

Share a video with students once a week to help all of you learn about the chemistry in our everyday lives. Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. Or, use a tool like playposit (formerly eduCanon), reviewed here, for students to pause videos and ask or answer questions right on the video. These activities can help uncover student misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length.

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iExploreSTEM - University of Iowa

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4 to 12
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iExloreSTEM is a volunteer community dedicated to bringing STEM activities and festivals to local communities in and near Iowa; the ideas and resources can apply to any state. The site...more
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iExloreSTEM is a volunteer community dedicated to bringing STEM activities and festivals to local communities in and near Iowa; the ideas and resources can apply to any state. The site includes information and resources for planning STEM festivals and creating safe activities. Scroll down the page to find several sample activities listed by discipline including architecture, engineering, and more. Other useful resources include links to STEM career information and STEM links to specific states.

tag(s): animals (290), architecture (85), engineering (127), environment (321), plants (155), STEM (151)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free activities, videos, and other resources throughout the year. Be sure to bookmark this site to search for resources for any lesson. Share a link to specific lessons and activities on your class website for use at home. Include STEM career information with any career exploration unit. After completing STEM activities, challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here, to share their results and learning process.

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Brains On! - Minnesota Public Radio/Southern California Public Radio

Grades
K to 8
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Brains On! is a science podcast for kids. Hosted by different kid hosts, podcasts explore a variety of topics such as animals, space, and volcanoes. Most podcasts run in length ...more
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Brains On! is a science podcast for kids. Hosted by different kid hosts, podcasts explore a variety of topics such as animals, space, and volcanoes. Most podcasts run in length from approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Click the "extras" link to find many supplemental materials including scientist interviews, music, experiments, and mystery sounds.

tag(s): animals (290), earth (231), plants (155), podcasts (55), space (217), tides (8), volcanoes (65), waves (24), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Use Brains On! for your students to listen to in classroom centers. Use for curious students to explore subjects you do not always teach, such as biology, chemistry, or even all about hair! Watch together on your interactive whiteboard (don't forget to share the extras!). Use the podcasts as a model when studying other subjects, giving students structure and ideas for making their own podcasts. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of any concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic, reviewed here.

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Smithsonian Science How Webcasts - Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Grades
5 to 12
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Bring a Smithsonian scientist to class through live webcasts including the ability to respond to questions in real-time. Choose the link to the schedule to view and register for upcoming...more
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Bring a Smithsonian scientist to class through live webcasts including the ability to respond to questions in real-time. Choose the link to the schedule to view and register for upcoming webcasts. No worries if you missed a session, go to the archives to see all previous sessions and view corresponding teaching resources. Resources include videos, lessons, online activities, rubrics, and more. Each webcast also provides correlation to Next Generation Science Standards.

tag(s): agriculture (57), arctic (45), birds (54), dinosaurs (57), environment (321), fish (27), fossils (46), human body (126), insects (71), mammals (34), minerals (17), paleontology (42), plants (155), rocks (50), solar system (122), space (217), volcanoes (65)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free resources on this site to use in your classroom. Watch webcasts together on an interactive whiteboard, or have students view at home and bring their questions and comments to class. Use this site for enrichment for gifted learners to dig deeper into science concepts. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own science videos using a tool like Stupeflix, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Have students make a multimedia presentation demonstrating science concepts using Zeetings, reviewed here. Zeetings' features allow for audience participation, polls, video, embeds, web links, and more.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science Alive! - Mr. Truss's Science Classes

Grades
6 to 9
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Science Alive! is a wiki project created by two middle school classes to share information on science topics of their choosing. After choosing a topic, students created their wiki page...more
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Science Alive! is a wiki project created by two middle school classes to share information on science topics of their choosing. After choosing a topic, students created their wiki page to demonstrate understanding including higher-order thinking skills based on Blooms Taxonomy. View pages by topics on the left side menu bar. Other links include student evaluations of the project along with the teacher's very in-depth reflection of the wiki project and experience.

tag(s): brain (71), experiments (73), fish (27), heart (44), optical illusions (13), optics (15), reptiles (14), senses (29), space (217), stress (15), tsunamis (18), wikis (21)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this wiki to use as a model for creating a wiki with your students. Be sure to read Mr. Truss's reflections on the wiki project if considering doing a wiki with your students. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Wall of Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Grades
2 to 12
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Wall of Birds is a cool interactive map from Cornell's Bird Academy based on an epic mural Found at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The site features species found around ...more
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Wall of Birds is a cool interactive map from Cornell's Bird Academy based on an epic mural Found at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The site features species found around the world spanning 375 million years using content from the All About Birds website, reviewed here. The colorful world map depicts 243 birds, one from each taxonomic family, showing where to find each on the globe. Find extinct species on the mural in black-and-white, and you can zoom in and out and pan to see the progression of evolution that led to modern birds. Click on each bird picture and a window opens with its name, family name, natural history, a sound file of its call, and a map showing where to observe it. A social media aspect lets you vote for favorites and check out a leaderboard.

tag(s): birds (54), evolution (102), map skills (82), maps (293)

In the Classroom

This enticing and engaging site will stimulate interest in birds at any level and works on any device. Explore the world of birds on an interactive whiteboard or projector with your whole class or have small groups or individuals research particular species. The lower right-hand navigational buttons, help explore the map and lead to other content about it. Using the map as an example, have students create their own maps featuring local, national, or international animals using Google Maps, reviewed here, or on paper. Research birds online using Audubon Adventures, reviewed here, or with bird guidebooks. Using a mobile device, have students collect their own bird pictures and calls to share in an online presentation, using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here, or on a Google Map. After watching the "Behind the Scenes" video whose link is in the right-hand corner of the Wall, have students work collaboratively to create a class mural of local birds or other topics.

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bioGraphic - California Academy of Science

Grades
4 to 12
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bioGraphic is a stunning multimedia magazine showcasing nature and solutions to sustaining life on earth. Scroll down the home page to browse through the latest articles and be prepared...more
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bioGraphic is a stunning multimedia magazine showcasing nature and solutions to sustaining life on earth. Scroll down the home page to browse through the latest articles and be prepared to be drawn in through the beautiful imagery included! Browse by specific topics such as wildlife, places, or people, or use the keyword search. Be sure to click on the three dots next to the search icon that enables you to choose from specific types of content such as videos, photos, or immersive experiences.

tag(s): animal homes (44), animals (290), deserts (11), habitats (85), multimedia (64), natural resources (60), oceans (154), rainforests (15)

In the Classroom

Even if you don't teach science, you and your students will love this magazine because of the beautiful images shared! Use bioGraphic for informational reading in your Language Arts classroom. Include a link on classroom computers for students to read on their own. In science class share bioGraphic articles as a starting point for any unit on animals, for social studies, use bioGraphic to learn more about places around the world and the people that live there. Have cooperative learning groups create online books about information learned on this site using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Don't forget to subscribe to bioGraphic to receive updates as new articles are added to the magazine.

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NASA SciFiles - Knowitall.org - South Carolina ETV Commission

Grades
3 to 7
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The NASA SciFiles provides award-winning, inquiry-based and standards-based videos promoting STEM learning for students in grades 3-5. This section of Knowitall.org is designed to introduce...more
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The NASA SciFiles provides award-winning, inquiry-based and standards-based videos promoting STEM learning for students in grades 3-5. This section of Knowitall.org is designed to introduce students to NASA through the use of problem-based learning. Each series (topic) has four 15 minute videos, starring the Tree House Detectives solving problems and searching out answers using the scientific method. Find every area of STEM included in the series from environmental issues to space travel, energy to physical fitness, and everything else you can think of for STEM. Some specific sample topics include Case of the Shaky Quake, Case of the Galactic Vacation, Case of the Mysterious Material, Case of the "Wright" Invention, and too many more to name here.

tag(s): earthquakes (50), electricity (90), energy (203), fitness (50), flight (36), habitats (85), oceans (154), planets (127), plants (155), soil (19), sound (105), space (217), water cycle (33), weather (194)

In the Classroom

The video lengths make these perfect for classroom use or for young people to view on their own. Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. Or, use a tool like playposit (formerly eduCanon), reviewed here, for students to pause videos and ask or answer questions right on the video. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. Consider giving all students a chance to voice their opinions (even the shyest and quiet ones) by using a backchannel tool like TodaysMeet, reviewed here, during the discussion.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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