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Energy Savvy - Aaron Goldfeder and Leo Shklovskii

Grades
6 to 12
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How energy efficient is your home? Find out here. Save money, save time, and save the environment using EnergySavvy.com. In about ten minutes, you can determine your energy savings...more
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How energy efficient is your home? Find out here. Save money, save time, and save the environment using EnergySavvy.com. In about ten minutes, you can determine your energy savings score and learn ways to save your family money and energy in your home. The questionnaire even has pictures, descriptions, and advice if you are unsure about which options to choose for each question.

tag(s): conservation (128), energy (202), environment (320)

In the Classroom

In environmental science units on conservation, try assigning this website as homework to be done together with parent or guardian help. Have students go through questions with parents and possibly even investigate their own home for evidence of energy losses and good practices. Have students email the report to their parent's address and print a copy to take to school as evidence and for further study. Or, have students' parents forward the email directly to you and print for the students. Have them calculate how much energy they could save as a class, leading them towards discussions of bigger savings overall and how little changes can make huge differences in our environment. Why not keep track of all of the data/results on a class energy saving wiki! Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Science Daily - ScienceDaily LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for collection of current science research articles? This is your one stop shop! Science Daily is current, searchable, and interesting! Encompassing many, if not all, areas...more
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Looking for collection of current science research articles? This is your one stop shop! Science Daily is current, searchable, and interesting! Encompassing many, if not all, areas of science, this site could make your classroom science research easy. The major categories are: Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Plants & Animals, Earth & Climate, Space & Time, Matter & Energy, Computers & Math, and Fossils & Ruins.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (285), brain (71), climate (93), computers (92), data (149), earth (231), energy (202), fossils (46), matter (61), medicine (69), news (261), planets (126), plants (153), space (215), time (141)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a research tool or to provide practice reading informational texts in the content areas. Choose an article relevant to what you are teaching, post it on your website or wiki, and have your students discuss what the article means and how it made them think. Since the articles are heavy with text, you may want to have students work in small groups to read the article you have selected for them, and use a tool such as Mindmeister (reviewed here) or bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create a concept map of the important ideas and their details for the article. Each article has several related links. Have each group choose a different one to explore, and create a concept map to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector so all can benefit from the related articles. Once created, the concept maps can be posted as links or embedded on your teacher website or wiki for review and to share with parents. If the text of the articles is simply too challenging without some "before reading" help, show students how to preview it using WordSift, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Plug Into the Smart Grid - General Electric Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This powerful website is moderately interactive, and offers a ton of great information on alternative energy. With its calming appeal, the sounds and the graphics help increase the...more
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This powerful website is moderately interactive, and offers a ton of great information on alternative energy. With its calming appeal, the sounds and the graphics help increase the interest in the topic of energy conservation.

tag(s): conservation (128), energy (202), environment (320)

In the Classroom

Use this website as part of a project on alternative energy or as a resource for environmental resources. This site could also be a launch pad for a discuss of why humans should make changes in their energy consumption. Try showing it at the beginning of a lecture about alternative energy sources or the start of a conservation unit. Have cooperative learning groups view one portion of this site and create electronic "posters" or word graphics using a tool such as Piclits (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science Buzz - Science Museum of Minnesota

Grades
5 to 9
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Brimming with color and current science information, this site is a great current happenings resource. To post to the blog, students must sign up, but the site promises no spamming...more
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Brimming with color and current science information, this site is a great current happenings resource. To post to the blog, students must sign up, but the site promises no spamming from the sign up. The confirmation email does take some time to arrive, and the buzz requires verification before a user can participate. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

The articles contained in this site are to the point, clear to understand, and in a large font. There are very few distractions going on in the site. It is easy to navigate and has a cool teacher tool in the buzz blog. Click on the Community tab, and the blogs are indexed by standards and grouped into topics such as earth science and physical science with subtopics.

tag(s): animals (285), endangered species (38), news (261), nutrition (155), weather (193)

In the Classroom

This site would be a great resource for current events projects. Students could be assigned a specific article to read, and then post to a discussion forum on the class wiki or another internet discussion board that is acceptable at school. Or have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Renewable Energy Basics - The Pembima Institute

Grades
7 to 12
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Integrate clean air technology into your physical science units. Re-Energy.ca highlights five basic forms of renewable energy; solar electricity and heat, wind power and energy, and...more
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Integrate clean air technology into your physical science units. Re-Energy.ca highlights five basic forms of renewable energy; solar electricity and heat, wind power and energy, and biomass energy. All the necessary background information needed to better understand renewable energy and with a list of valuable links, resources and videos. Included are detailed construction plans for renewable energy models such as a solar oven or wind turbine. The site also addresses larger environmental issues such as global climate change and is dedicated to educating the public on ways to reduce the consumption of natural resources.

tag(s): climate change (66), design (83), electricity (90), energy (202), engineering (125), heat (15), natural resources (60), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

The projects outlined are in simple steps to show students how to create their own renewable energy technologies. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get hands on experience with engineering, design, and sustainable energy technologies. It also could be a resource for science fair projects.

If you live in Canada, you can participate in a solar oven design challenge. Teachers from other countries may want to have their class host an on-line collaborative project to compare and contrast the performance of their home made solar ovens

The website provides a unit plan meant to be completed in 11 class periods. You can download free complete lesson plans with detailed instructions. A student planning worksheet outlines research procedures, project guidelines, timeline for completion dates and evaluation criteria they are expected to meet.
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Kidnetic - IFIC Foundation

Grades
4 to 7
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Learn about the body, food, fun, and nutrition with this great site! Take quizzes, find recipes under "Eat," games under "Move," and read bits of information through the "bright papers"...more
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Learn about the body, food, fun, and nutrition with this great site! Take quizzes, find recipes under "Eat," games under "Move," and read bits of information through the "bright papers" under "Learn."

tag(s): cooking (35), fitness (50), nutrition (155)

In the Classroom

Use the Leader's Guide for lessons that educators can use in the classroom. Assign different students or groups of students different bright papers to read in order to glean bits of material worth sharing. Give time for mini presentations, creation of conventional or multimedia projects, create a wiki of essential information and more. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Assign a food journal to students to maintain and have other students analyze the diaries and make suggestions for improvements and deficiencies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Body Zone - Science Bob - Steve Galgas

Grades
6 to 9
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This interactive site shows how different parts of the body function. Click your way through the brain, digestive system, muscles, senses, lungs and skeleton on this body information...more
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This interactive site shows how different parts of the body function. Click your way through the brain, digestive system, muscles, senses, lungs and skeleton on this body information resource. All information parts of the site are printable which may be handy if computer access is limited. At the time of this review, the link to "senses" was not working properly .

tag(s): body systems (58), brain (71), heart (44), human body (125), senses (29)

In the Classroom

Try using this site multiple times in a life science class or a health class as you have students work their way through the body systems. It would make a great addition to any health or life science class where the human body is being taught. Encourage students to ask their own questions about the human body, and write to Science Bob Q & A reviewed here to get the answers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science Bob Experiments - Steve Galgas

Grades
6 to 11
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This website has a list of exciting and simple experiments. The instructions are clear, concise, and printable! Topics include Newton's Law, making a film canister rocket, a levitating...more
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This website has a list of exciting and simple experiments. The instructions are clear, concise, and printable! Topics include Newton's Law, making a film canister rocket, a levitating orb, how to make Slime, optical illusions, bend water with static electricity, and many more for a variety of different sciences. Experiments make good use of cheap, recyclable and other easy to find items. Many experiments have video clips of people doing the experiments.

tag(s): chemicals (42), electricity (90), experiments (73), magnetism (38), newton (26), optical illusions (13), rockets (14), sounds (68), volcanoes (65)

In the Classroom

Print out instructions and have student work through the experiments when relevant to topics. Also, some experiments could be used as demonstrations. Assign cooperative learning groups specific experiments to try out and create a video to share with the class. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
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Science Bob Q&A - Steve Galgas

Grades
3 to 9
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer. ...more
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer.

tag(s): questioning (32)

In the Classroom

Use questions as a good bank of "hooks" to start classroom discussions on various topics. Allow students time to expand the question and arrive at their own answers, and then have them view the actual given answer. From here, students can accept or reject the answer by finding more information on the topic.
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Science Master Learning Galleries - The KGM Group, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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This site is a categorized collection of scientific pictures (and descriptions) to enhance understanding of specific science concepts. This specific page is this site's jump-start for...more
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This site is a categorized collection of scientific pictures (and descriptions) to enhance understanding of specific science concepts. This specific page is this site's jump-start for Earth science. There are also jump start pages for space science, life science, and physical science.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acid rain (5), carbon (21), climate (93), earth (231), earthquakes (50), fire (26), fossils (46), glaciers (15), hurricanes (38), images (274), natural disasters (20), natural resources (60), rocks (51), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (65), water cycle (34), wetlands (10)

In the Classroom

For a quick use, add images from this site to a PowerPoint. For a more in-depth use of the site, either choose several pictures/topics that would enhance your unit, or allow students to choose a topic they would like to investigate further. Have pairs or small groups of students brainstorm questions they have about the topic. Many of the questions they come up with will be answered when they click on the picture. For the questions that aren't answered on that page, have the student research the answer using the Internet as a resource.

Have student groups make an online Stixy (reviewed here) of things they discover about their picture/topic, and later rearrange the items to "explain" their topic to classmates visually.
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Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary - University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a vast array of lessons and resources on plant and growing technologies on this diverse site. Lessons include Case Studies that can be examined as an introduction to many ...more
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Find a vast array of lessons and resources on plant and growing technologies on this diverse site. Lessons include Case Studies that can be examined as an introduction to many Biology and Ecology topics.

tag(s): agriculture (56), ecology (135), erosion (17), plants (153)

In the Classroom

Find specific lessons on a topic such as Erosion. Use the simple and effective lesson plans and activities to learn about the processes and effects of erosion on the land. Research additional information such as losses attributed to erosion, natural events that disrupt human and other animal populations, and other related environmental problems. Use Google Maps or Google Earth (reviewed here) to map out the case studies presented in the resource. Create placemarks in either application that provide information about erosion, the causes, and the problems created. Research additional items to include in maps or Earth such as images, videos, or news articles that can be viewed to understand the problems. You might consider having students use a tool such as Middlespot, reviewed here, an innovative website for bookmarking in a unique, visual way. Add search material from anywhere on the web by dragging and dropping elements around the screen. Students would use this to help them keep track of their findings. Use with food and fiber activities that identify how many grown products are used not only as food but for building and other materials.

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Central Park Conservancy - Central Park Conservancy

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There...more
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There is tour and event information, so whether you're planning a virtual field trip or an actual field trip to Central park, this site is worth your viewing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (285), environment (320), national parks (18), plants (153), trees (30), virtual field trips (49)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan a trip to the park. Or, create a virtual field trip by designating specific places on the website that students have to visit. Have students locate different buildings, art, and trees in the park. It could be a great way to do a virtual leaf collection (in this case - tree collection) with the site's tree database. Have students find at least ten different trees and then create a presentation providing different information about those trees, including their locations in the park. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use the site to help teach geography content such as latitude and longitude by having the students create a map to "escape the park."
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Life Sciences Learning Center: Animations - University of Rochster Medical Center

Grades
7 to 12
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View animations about complex cellular processes either online or by downloading to your computer. Click on the picture to view and follow the simulation. Click on "Download movie"...more
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View animations about complex cellular processes either online or by downloading to your computer. Click on the picture to view and follow the simulation. Click on "Download movie" to download the movie for MAC or PC. There are several topics, some of which include "Bacterial Homeostasis and Tooth Decay," "DNA and Genetic Disorders," "Cellular Respiration," and others.

tag(s): animation (65), cells (104), dna (68), genetics (92), photosynthesis (32), respiration (17)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to review concepts that have been learned in a biology class such as photosynthesis, cellular respiration, protein synthesis, or electrophoresis. Give students time to view the animations and create study notes for each part of the process that is happening. For example, have teams of students create the script for the scene unfolding in each slide of the movie. Team members could share the work using a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here to create the script. Create a glossary of terms that need to be known to understand the process. Create a concept map either using conventional or digital means to outline the major points of the process and the similarities or differences that occur between each of the processes. Use a tool such as bubbl.us reviewed here).

Provide time for students to generate questions from the information they still do not understand or to create quiz questions to check for understanding following the viewing of the resource. You might want them to use Quiz Snack (reviewed here) to create online polls or surveys with their classmates to see who has the answers to the questions they still have.
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Discover Life - The Polistes Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Use the free online tools at this site to identify species and view album pictures of a variety of living things. Search by keyword or by browsing through the categories. ...more
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Use the free online tools at this site to identify species and view album pictures of a variety of living things. Search by keyword or by browsing through the categories. Check out all living things, where a group of organisms can be selected and a variety of categories chosen from there (such as overview, divisions, phylogeny, links to other sites, and references.) Use the ID Nature guide to identify and categorize organisms based upon observable characteristics. Click on a pattern and then "Search" to change the possible organisms, links, and scientific names. Use the global mapper to locate species

tag(s): animals (285), classification (25), species (29)

In the Classroom

Need information on a vast array of animal species? Look no further. Use as a research guide, for identification purposes, and to view great quality images on a variety of species. This resource is a great tool for any environmental unit. Consider using information to appreciate the diversity of a specific genus in a variety of areas around the world, using as an initial resource in learning about animals and then further identifying habitat issues using other resources. Use as an initial activity in the unit to identify the common characteristics of a specific classification group to begin class discussions. Students can identify the characteristics of a species, identify then those that belong to a specific genus, etc. Continue backwards for a greater understanding of classification in general. Create a concept map of the progress and be sure to link the specific pages of the site for reference. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share the concept maps.
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Earth Pulse: State of the Earth 2010 - National Geographic

Grades
5 to 12
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What exactly is the state of the Earth now (well, 2010)? Learn from topics such as "Crowding Our Planet," "Satisfying Our Demands," and "Straining Our Resources." Read about focus stories,...more
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What exactly is the state of the Earth now (well, 2010)? Learn from topics such as "Crowding Our Planet," "Satisfying Our Demands," and "Straining Our Resources." Read about focus stories, take an EarthPulse quiz, or view Vital Statistics. View impressive photos, read essays, and view a multitude of resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), population (61), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Use photos for students to develop their own point of view essays or suggestions to make the planet better for the future. Use focus stories to ask questions about sustainability, resources, and population. Search other areas of the web for better understanding of issues and our involvement in them (even if they are far removed from where we live.) Create conventional or multimedia presentations of the material for discussions and engagement of others within or outside the school community. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Create an awareness plan to teach other classes or members of the community about local and global issues.
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Science Friday Kids' Connection - NPR

Grades
6 to 12
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Science Friday includes a live science show, chat rooms, and a science desk for questions. Science links and mentors are also available. There are experiments to try, and an online...more
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Science Friday includes a live science show, chat rooms, and a science desk for questions. Science links and mentors are also available. There are experiments to try, and an online library for users. The site features podcasts of broadcasts of the PRN Science Friday shows, and a weekly video. They can be listened to on the site or downloaded through iTunes. Broadcasts can also be listened to live from links on the site. This hands-on site was designed for the user to have a science experience like no other.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): agriculture (56), air (163), animals (285), anthropology (11), archeology (32), chemicals (42), child development (25), climate (93), climate change (66), computers (92), ecology (135), ecosystems (89), electricity (90), energy (202), engineering (125), environment (320), experiments (73), genetics (92), habitats (85), insects (70), light (49), magnetism (38), medicine (69), mental health (26), nuclear energy (24), nutrition (155), oceans (152), paleontology (42), planets (126), plants (153), podcasts (54), psychology (64), radio (27), reproduction (9), sociology (22), space (215), stars (66), transportation (41), water (131), weather (193)

In the Classroom

Use Science Friday as a springboard and resource for research projects, or as an end of the week fun discussion. Play a podcast, and have students discuss the meaning and any possible misunderstandings. You could set up a computer in your classroom with a Science Friday podcast or video set up and ready to go for students to cycle through or for those who finsh their work early.
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How To SMILE - National Science Digital Library

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site...more
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site is constantly growing. There are several ways to use the site both as a registered user or without registration. Without registering for the site you can search and access lessons and information through the different search methods such as keywords, subjects, source institution, and more. Free registration allows the site to become much more personalized. After registering, you can make lists of resources for any different topic, share lists or searches with others, add comments, or add your own resources. Most activities on the site are free; however, there are some searches that deliver lessons that are paid - these are clearly indicated and not frequent enough to discourage use of this site. Searches can also filter out any paid activities and return only free items. Teachers may also want to subscribe to the site's blog and newsletter to receive updated information as it is added to the site.

In case you are wondering about the title, SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).

tag(s): resources (112), social networking (114), STEM (144), video (269)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect way to organize and sort lessons by topic or age range for future classroom use or to share with fellow teachers. Create a community list of lessons to use within your district. Share this site with other teachers in your building or district as a resource for STEM lessons. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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ITSI - SU - Concord Consortium

Grades
6 to 12
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing...more
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing uses an assortment of data collection tools from molecular modeling software and web-based simulations to computer sensors (which would need to be purchased if not already in the classroom). Interactives are standards based, thorough, and created with "backward design" in mind. Each activity begins with an inquiry question and a picture with real world relevance. One of the strengths of this program is that it can be used "as is," however all existing activities can be modified by the teacher using them. Any teacher can create new activities of their own as well. Once these activities are created and saved, they can be accessed by other teachers under the "DIY:Other activities area" of the Activities. This added value is something that is rarely found in online lab software. One warning for using this program: it is Java based so modules have to be downloaded. The download takes time and requires tat you "allow" it. Some school computers may block such downloads.

tag(s): modeling (10), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

There are different levels of use of this site with incremental time and effort. The most basic users will need to create an account. Once the account is created, the user can create classes in the "Home" section of the site. This can be found on the left side of the screen. Beside "My Classes" choose "add a class." Here you will create different sections of students. Name your courses what you wish, but remember the sign-up word. You will give this to students when they create their accounts, and it will automatically enroll them into your class. Once they have signed up, their names will show up in the "My Students" section. Once the class is named, choose the activities you would like to have in your ITSI-SU class. Save your choices and the sign-up word will be shown in green print on the screen. Again, save this word. (You can go back into class information to find it if you forget, but you can save yourself time by remembering it.) From this point, basic users need only to show the site to the students and perhaps make some instructions for signing up for their students. Modules are ready to go. As the teacher, you can view the students' work and answers once they have completed the activity they are assigned. More adventurous users can modify activities by following onscreen instruction or even creating their own.

The only thing that could snag the use of this program is that the Java download may be prevented by your district's web filtering software. Please try this first ("preview activities"). One other concern is that downloading the Java app to every computer in a class of twenty students or more can pull a lot of bandwidth in a network. If your school's internet is not exactly top of the line, try running six computers with students working in groups to accommodate the internet capabilities. Have other students sit at their seat and work on preparing materials, so all students are learning and being productive. This program should be tried for the first time by the teacher to avoid any "tech" complications. Teachers who must request software installation by tech staff may want to try this tool at home so they can explain and convince administration of its educational value.

A great way to use this programing, on the smallest scale, is to share the initial lab question and picture to start a classroom discussion. Have students speculate about the possible answers to the question and possible "whys." Have students ask questions about the picture and attempt to explain its relevance to the question, and coincidentally the activity. From this point, you can have students log into the site and create accounts. Either as individuals or have groups of students create a group log in, name, and password. (Student passwords are available to the teacher at any time from the teachers homepage. Please warn students of this when they are choosing passwords so that they choose something school-appropriate.) Another way to use this portal is to pick a modeling lab as an ongoing science enrichment project for students.

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Virtual Visit to a School Garden - TeachersFirst/Meriwether Lewis Elementary

Grades
3 to 8
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Watch the archived version of a live webcast from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School garden on Earth Day 2009, a cooperative project with TeachersFirst. See students explain concepts...more
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Watch the archived version of a live webcast from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School garden on Earth Day 2009, a cooperative project with TeachersFirst. See students explain concepts of organic vegetable gardening, natural building with cob, composting, rainwater collection, planting their new bioswale, Pacific Northwest native plants, and more. TeachersFirst's complete how-to information for making your own video field trips is linked from this page, as well.

tag(s): earth day (111), environment (320)

In the Classroom

Scroll down to a list of suggestions for using this archived webcast in your classroom. Talk about local sites where you might be able to take a team of students to create a local student created "video field trip" to share with other classes both in and outside of your school. See TeachersFirst's complete how-to information to try one of your own.

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Environmental Graffiti - Chris Ingraham Brook

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for interesting stories and tidbits about the environment and its inhabitants? Find information and facts at this blog. Click "Submit Your News" if you have interesting information...more
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Looking for interesting stories and tidbits about the environment and its inhabitants? Find information and facts at this blog. Click "Submit Your News" if you have interesting information that would be a good story. Find stories that can easily apply to any science subject.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), environment (320)

In the Classroom

Use these stories as writing prompts, prompts for further research, or sparks to learn about something new. Consider assigning students to find and share related information to share with the rest of their class. One idea for students to show they understand the consequences or implications of an article would be to have students write diary entries, in the first person, much the same as Diary of a Worm reviewed here. Have students publish their diary with Simplebooklet, reviewed here,to share with classmates and parents.
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