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Artifacts & Analysis - Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies

Grades
9 to 12
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Smithsonian's Artifacts & Analysis offers strategies and resources for incorporating historical documents and resources into the teaching of U.S. history, particularly the decades of...more
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Smithsonian's Artifacts & Analysis offers strategies and resources for incorporating historical documents and resources into the teaching of U.S. history, particularly the decades of the 20th century. Use the details of everyday life to help focus understanding of a time period. Choose from the four main sections: Artifacts & Documents, Teaching Guide, Writing Assignments, or Essay. The sample artifacts offered include a Furnace Salesman's Kit (1920s), Fiestaware (1930s-40s), Pennants (1950s-60s), Barbie Doll (1958), Jeans (1970s), and Lunchboxes (1950s-80s).

tag(s): 1930s (13), 1960s (26), 20th century (50), cultures (109), decades (10)

In the Classroom

Start off with a visit to the Teaching Guide to find some great ideas to incorporate in your class. Use materials from this site to enhance and bring historical teaching to life. Print the student guide for writing effective essays for students to include with history notebooks. Use questions from the teaching materials here to add to your current teaching plans or as discussion topics. Create a link on your class website for students to view this site at home. Have students research and find documents and artifacts in your own community or online to share in the classroom. Have them create curated collections in digital form with accompanying writings to explain them. Students could create annotated images including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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What's Up In Finance? - Educational Broadcasting Corporation

Grades
7 to 12
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What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the...more
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What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the show. Explore articles about financial careers. Try interactives to learn about smart financial decisions. Choose from several lesson plans offered (including materials list and national math standards). Please note that although the site does offer links to former shows and segments, those videos are no longer available. The materials on the site are still worth your while!

tag(s): careers (139), financial literacy (87)

In the Classroom

View and modify lesson plans to meet your classroom needs. This site is highly appealing to the older student! Allow students to play the interactive games as part of your financial literacy unit. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Include information from the career portion of your site as part of any career exploration activities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Bean Game - Jana Darrington Utah State University Extension

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn to manage money while having fun living on a 20 "bean" salary using this printable game. Use the directions and discussion questions to play two rounds of the game. ...more
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Learn to manage money while having fun living on a 20 "bean" salary using this printable game. Use the directions and discussion questions to play two rounds of the game. Although it is possible to play with individual players, the site recommends groups of between 2 and 5 players for optimal results. Even though this game is "low tech," it is a great teaching tool!

tag(s): financial literacy (87)

In the Classroom

Use the Bean Game as part of your financial literacy unit as a center activity. When finished, have students create blogs. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Documentary Tube - DocumentaryTube.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Watch full length documentaries online for free. Find your favorites through daily suggestions, browsing the top 100, or searching categories: 9/11, activism, art, aviation, business,...more
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Watch full length documentaries online for free. Find your favorites through daily suggestions, browsing the top 100, or searching categories: 9/11, activism, art, aviation, business, comedy, crime, disaster, drugs, economics, environmental, food/drink, health, media, medicine, music, nature, performing arts, philosophy, political, religion, science, social, sport, strange, technology, travel, and many more. Look at film festivals and films featured in each. If you do not find what you are looking for, submit your request. A link to Amazon brings you to DVD's. Some are free, and others are for sale.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (278)

In the Classroom

Discover the power of documentaries while studying point of view, primary and secondary resources, and debate skills. Examine the aspects shown in documentaries and help students find structure to provide an unbiased research project. Challenge existing knowledge in many areas. Help students become active thinkers and become involved in current events. Sharpen your own understandings.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Documentary Storm - 2013 DocumentaryStorm

Grades
4 to 12
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Dive into Documentary Storm to discover 100% free documentary films. The goal of the website is to share knowledge spread ideas, and have fun. Search the different channels to find...more
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Dive into Documentary Storm to discover 100% free documentary films. The goal of the website is to share knowledge spread ideas, and have fun. Search the different channels to find exactly what you are seeking. Topics included are art, biography, conspiracy, culture, drugs, environment, health, indie films, lifestyle, mockumentaries, money, nature, politics, psychology, religion, science, society, sports, technology, war, and many more. Search in the top 100 documentaries, or click use"surprise me." Connect with Facebook, RSS, Twitter, or email.

tag(s): video (278)

In the Classroom

With documentaries challenge your students' understanding of food, history, politics, or people. Use to provide another point of view which might not be available in traditional text books. Use to explain primary and secondary sources, as well as an example of a way to extend thinking. Provide a documentary as an example for your students to do an in depth research project. Use documentaries to challenge knowledge, create new knowledge, and learn.
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Hands On Banking - Wells Fargo

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn about basic money tools, entrepreneurship, and other financial matters with Hands On Banking. Courses are provided for kids through adults with topics such as using credit, budgeting,...more
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Learn about basic money tools, entrepreneurship, and other financial matters with Hands On Banking. Courses are provided for kids through adults with topics such as using credit, budgeting, and smart investing. The interactives (especially for the younger ages) are highly engaging. In addition to the online activities, instructor guides are available for PDF download for all age ranges. Courses are also available for use on mobile devices.

tag(s): financial literacy (87), money (185)

In the Classroom

Create a link to the course for your students on classroom computers or view together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). This is a great tool to share with families (for both student or parent use). Share this site on your class wiki, blog, or website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Faculty Project - FacultyProject.org

Grades
9 to 12
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Take free online courses offered by outstanding professors from prestigious schools like Dartmouth, Vassar, Duke, and Northwestern. Choose from dozens of courses and lectures covering...more
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Take free online courses offered by outstanding professors from prestigious schools like Dartmouth, Vassar, Duke, and Northwestern. Choose from dozens of courses and lectures covering a broad spectrum of topics. Learn through video, PDF, PowerPoint, discussion boards, and educational articles. Scroll down the site to view course titles and click enroll to begin.

tag(s): china (63), constitution (88), greece (27), greek (41), poetry (219), religions (68), russia (36), sports (99), water (134)

In the Classroom

Allow gifted or advanced students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share this program with others in your building as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself 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.
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40 Maps That Explain the World - The Washington Post

Grades
5 to 12
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The Washington Post offers this interesting variety of maps illustrating many different viewpoints and realities around the world. Topics include best and worst place to be born, child...more
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The Washington Post offers this interesting variety of maps illustrating many different viewpoints and realities around the world. Topics include best and worst place to be born, child poverty in the developed world, and the world seen from space over a 12 month time-lapse. Click to enlarge any of the maps. Several include links for further information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): agriculture (60), cross cultural understanding (123), cultures (109), ecology (138), inferencing (5), maps (298), religions (68)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use with many social studies, reading, and higher level thinking topics. Use them to teach about interpreting graphical information in texts. Display on your interactive whiteboard and explore with your students. Use these maps to ask deep questions about meaning in maps. What inferences/conclusions can you draw based on this map? These maps are a perfect starting point for research projects on many subjects. Have students brainstorm questions they wonder about or collect ideas for possible projects on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Smarterer - Dave Balter, Michael Kowalchik, and Jennifer Fremont-Smith

Grades
8 to 12
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Smarterer helps identify what you know about many subjects and helps identify your weaknesses in others. Explore tests by categories such as games, language and writing, or math and...more
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Smarterer helps identify what you know about many subjects and helps identify your weaknesses in others. Explore tests by categories such as games, language and writing, or math and finance to begin. Choose a test and take a practice question which will not count on your score. Take complete tests after signing in using your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account. You can also use your email. View scores at the end of each test and your ranking on a scale from beginner to master based on comparisons to other test takers. Create your own tests easily using step by step directions provided on Smarterer. Give your test a title, then add questions and multiple choice responses. Choose to let others add questions to your test or not. Tests will appear on Smarterer after approval from the site moderators. The site continues to add new tests, many user-created.

tag(s): assessment (114), business (58), computers (102), quizzes (105), test prep (98)

In the Classroom

Use Smarterer to help students identify areas to improve in different skills. Use some of the tests for students to "test out" of curriculum such as email etiquette in computer class or to motivate students to learn about real world skills they will need in the job market. Share this site with students to use at home for quick assessments in many subjects. Create your own tests to use for review and share with students to take and identify areas for further study. Demonstrate how students can track progress through retaking tests (students will need their own account).

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Saylor - Free Online Courses Built by Professors - Michael J Saylor

Grades
8 to 12
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common...more
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common Core information (for teachers or parents), test prep, and English lessons. Explore a specific area of study to find courses or choose the course list to view all offerings. Some courses include a full textbook and/or a full set of video lectures and are listed on the content matrix. Each course lists learning outcomes, course requirements, and a course overview. Create your own eportfolio to enroll in courses, track progress, download transcripts, and engage with the online community. Pass the final exam of each course to receive a certificate of completion.

tag(s): professional development (164)

In the Classroom

Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others in your building as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself 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.

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Story Maps - Esri

Grades
5 to 12
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Story Maps takes learning in a new direction. Interactive maps tell a story through videos, images, audio, and links. Learn more about the topics in text that accompanies each map....more
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Story Maps takes learning in a new direction. Interactive maps tell a story through videos, images, audio, and links. Learn more about the topics in text that accompanies each map. A timeline of "dots" allows you to move through the story step by step. A satellite view is available on some maps, and legends give you important information to read the map accurately. A wide variety of topics are available to inform and educate. Use the search bar to find a map to meet your needs. Travel to the most visited National Parks or explore an interactive map of the three days and decisive moments of the battle of Gettysburg. It is important to pay as much attention to the text pop-ups as the cartography and other aspects of the map. New stories are added every two weeks. so come back often! This review was for the free area of the site that allows you to view the map stories. There are extensive directions on how to create your own maps, but these suggest purchase of maps, etc. from ArcGIS, an affiliate of Esri. Some of the map storytelling ideas could be used with other free mapping tools, however.

tag(s): gettysburg (26), map skills (84), maps (298), measurement (175)

In the Classroom

Map out interactive virtual field trips on Story Maps. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have a team competition as students navigate the site on an interactive whiteboard to complete a scavenger hunt. Students can find geometric shapes in real life objects on the images with the maps. Calculate distances or time if the map is a timeline of events. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting them on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Have students create online posters to summarize what they learned from the map, individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Ask students to write informational essays on the topics or use the maps to write creative stories. Challenge your most tech-savvy or gifted students to explore the step by step map storytelling directions and try their hand using google Maps or other map tools. The advice in these directions is excellent.

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Documentary Wire - DocumentaryWire

Grades
4 to 12
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Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and...more
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Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and follow Documentary Wire on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. No membership is required to watch the videos or receive their newsletter with the latest documentaries. Videos are actually hosted on YouTube and other video sharing services. 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. Enjoy blogging with others by being a member, individually or within a group to discuss your latest ideas on a documentary. Be aware: some of the content on this site may not be appropriate for all ages. Always remember to preview!

tag(s): primary sources (93), video (278)

In the Classroom

Documentary Wire provides documentaries for all your classes. Not sure what topics are available? Search the documentary list. Use a documentary to help students understand primary (such as interviews) and secondary sources. Consider examining point of view through many different choices of films. Study industry and government regulations. Research to discover if any documentary caused a change in the law. Look at the persuasive techniques used to convey a strong message. Study the formatting of the documentary to use as a framework for your own student research projects. Look at documentaries in your study of ethics. Challenge gifted learners in the search for new information.
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Boundless - Ariel Diaz

Grades
9 to 12
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Save money, learn faster with free digital textbooks from Boundless. Boundless creates interactive textbooks including flashcards, interactive searches, and highlighting options. It...more
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Save money, learn faster with free digital textbooks from Boundless. Boundless creates interactive textbooks including flashcards, interactive searches, and highlighting options. It includes 18 college level subjects from Accounting through Writing. Choose any subject to begin. Create a free account enabling access to a search engine and additional study tools.

tag(s): art history (77), business (58), ebooks (43), microorganisms (15), politics (97), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Although geared toward college textbooks, Boundless is an excellent resource for many high school classrooms. Choose sections of books to use as lessons on your interactive whiteboard or assign for students to read on their own. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) demonstrating concepts learned. Use flashcards and quizzes embedded in Boundless books to review concepts. Boundless is an excellent resource for gifted or AP students. Use as a source for enrichment of your current curriculum.

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CommonCore Sheets - Common Core Sheets

Grades
2 to 8
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Find downloadable worksheets correlated to Common Core curriculum. Visit the math link for practice with all operations and many topic areas (balancing equations, many forms of graphs,...more
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Find downloadable worksheets correlated to Common Core curriculum. Visit the math link for practice with all operations and many topic areas (balancing equations, many forms of graphs, fractions, grids, lines, line plots, geometry, measurement, money, negative numbers, time, and SO much more)! In social studies find worksheets on geography, primary and secondary sources, and timelines. Language arts includes parts of speech and sentence types. Under each subject choose easy, medium, or hard worksheets. In Create a Review, choose your topic area and create your own worksheet. Also included are brain teasers, bingo games, and multiplication mazes.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (198), decimals (125), fractions (228), measurement (175), money (185), negative numbers (21), operations (123), order of operations (40), parts of speech (67), primary sources (93), probability (141), sentences (51), time (141), timelines (59), variables (20)

In the Classroom

Find worksheets for every subject to better prepare your students for Common Core standards and testing. Use the sheets to make a formative or even summative assessment for many different topics in math. Use as a review or even practice. Provide this link on your class website for students (and parents) to find extra practice. Printable answer keys come with the worksheets. Allow students to create their own quizzes. Easy to use, grade, and share. Use for gifted students needing some acceleration. Use for extra practice with students struggling with new concepts.
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360Cities - 360 Cities s.r.o.

Grades
K to 12
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The 360Cities panoramas are a new way to showcase places, businesses, and events from around the world. Looking for a new virtual field trip? 360Cities will have your students spinning...more
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The 360Cities panoramas are a new way to showcase places, businesses, and events from around the world. Looking for a new virtual field trip? 360Cities will have your students spinning in circles with excitement. The pictures are out of this world! View 360 degree panoramic pictures from Mars or under the sea. Travel to snowy mountain tops and many more of the Internet's largest collection of uploaded panoramic images. 360Cities panoramic aerial shots are also available as well as navigable views of cities, natural landscapes, and more. The most popular panoramic pictures are listed for your convenience. This website has panoramic views of all Seven Wonders of the World, which include the Colosseum in Rome, The Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, The Taj Mahal in India, Machu Picchu in Peru, Christ Redeemer in Rio, and Chichen Itza in Mexico. Are you looking for a site to showcase your own panoramic shots or do you want to learn how to take panoramic shots? 360Cities "how to" section offers tools to create and upload your own panoramic pictures. View the existing pictures for free or use an email address to create a free account to upload your own panoramic pictures. Paid upgrades are available. 360Cities also has an app for iOS devices. View the 360Cities blog linked on the site for more information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (278), landforms (49), landmarks (27), virtual field trips (55)

In the Classroom

The 360Cities panoramic pictures provide a vivid visual experience to enhance any lesson. Students can search and view the panoramic setting of a reading passage or novel. Need to paint a picture for students about a historical topic? View the image on 360Cities. Activate schema with these vivid images. Bring Science to life as you explore the many natural wonders of our world and even space. Explore these exciting worlds through the panoramic pictures. Visit businesses and famous landmarks around the world for a free virtual tour. Looking for creative writing prompts? Use the images for poems or story starters. Teaching geometry? Have students locate geometric figures in the pictures. Provide students an image and challenge them to create a virtual tour as they explore the image. Use web 2.0 tools or the students' artistic talents to create travel brochures for the panoramic pictures. Record the tours as a screencast or present orally. Use the "how-to" section to have your students create their own panoramic pictures. Take a panoramic shot of your classroom to post on your website or blog. Use DSLR cameras or cell phones to create your panoramic pictures.

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Szoter - szoter.com

Grades
K to 12
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Szoter is an online tool for annotating images stored on your computer or screenshots from your computer. Use this site directly on the web or download the Adobe Air version ...more
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Szoter is an online tool for annotating images stored on your computer or screenshots from your computer. Use this site directly on the web or download the Adobe Air version that runs on your desktop. Launch then choose from options to annotate such as load local image, capture camera image, make screenshot, or load image url. After your image loads, choose from editing options such as scaling image, drawing tools such as lines, arrows, and circles, and add text. When finished, save to your computer or publish and share to Twitter, Facebook, or copy the url provided.

tag(s): digital storytelling (155), images (278)

In the Classroom

Capture a screenshot of websites or software and annotate with directions for student use. Have students label and identify objects in an image. Label parts of a plant, continents, landforms, etc. Practice new words in a different language by asking students to label and identify objects in that language. Create a storyboard using several annotated images as a story starter. Art students can annotate images to point out design elements or annotate images of their own work to talk about the creative decisions they made. Share annotated Szoter images on your class website or blog to tell about a field trip or class event.

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Math Celebrity - Math Celebrity LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Math Celebrity is an automatic math tutor and problem/solution generator. Enter any math problem or search term into the search bar. The answer is generated including each line of work...more
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Math Celebrity is an automatic math tutor and problem/solution generator. Enter any math problem or search term into the search bar. The answer is generated including each line of work required to solve the problem. Many science topics are also available. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the many topics. Hover your mouse over the lesson features on the left side of the screen to view additional options on the site such as subjects, calculator, and instructions. Click on the calculator in the search bar to view a list of problems and tutorials to explore. The video tutorial is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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.

tag(s): angles (87), charts and graphs (198), conversions (27), coordinates (30), decimals (125), energy (207), equations (151), exponents (43), factoring (30), factors (39), fractions (228), functions (69), multiples (32), number lines (32), percent (82), polynomials (28), prime numbers (31), probability (141), problem solving (294), pythagorean theorem (33), quadratics (31), ratios (63), rounding (19), square roots (22), vectors (24)

In the Classroom

Create a bookmark for Math Celebrity as an additional way to view problem solving steps. Share this site with students to use at home to review problem solving methods. Embed any specific page or topic into your website or blog for student use at home. The embed code can be found at the bottom of each page. Use this site as a model for step-by-step problem solving demonstrations. Have students use an online poster creator, such as Padlet, (reviewed here) to display their own problem solving work.

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Whyville - Mundeon

Grades
4 to 10
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Enter the engaging virtual world of Whyville filled with math, science, art, and literature activities. Create an avatar and join in constructive educational activities that...more
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Enter the engaging virtual world of Whyville filled with math, science, art, and literature activities. Create an avatar and join in constructive educational activities that promote socially responsible behavior. There are many activities to explore, and you can chat with other users. The Zero Gravity Chamber features angles and the principle of Newton's 3rd Law. In the Rocket Design Lab simulate rockets to test parameters such as nozzle size and pay load. The Engine Lab has 3 games that teach about electric charges and ion engines. Citizens must be aware of infectious illnesses and plagues that infect the citizens of Whyville. Join in the hot air balloon race to analyze vector fields to navigate hot air balloons. Go on an art treasure hunt around the world. At the dance studio design and choreograph your own dances. Visit the beach, the climate center, take a swim, or meet your friends at the playground or waterfall. Simulations change every time you enter Whyville. Earn clams, a salary, manage a bank account, get a pet, and read the daily news. Log-in (with email) is required to fully participate in this site. However, most of the site is accessible without registration. Don't miss this award winning website!

tag(s): aircraft (25), animals (322), dance (27), diseases (72), logic (248), money (185), motion (69), puzzles (203), recycling (60), social skills (21), vectors (24)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, join as a teacher and manage each students account. Reinforce safe online behavior as your students explore opportunities for learning.The chat feature is a perfect opportunity practice safe interactions. Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use as a reward in your classroom or as a way to extend and enrich concepts learned in math and science. Offer Whyville as a safe enrichment tool for students to use at home. Encourage all students to join in the educational activities. Design a simplified version of this site for younger children with your class. Use one of the many animation tools available at the TeachersFirst Edge.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learning Edge - Wellington County Learning Center

Grades
3 to 12
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This online newspaper, designed for ELL/ESL students and adult learners, offers stories on a variety of topics. Topics in the issues include sports, heroes, current events, health,...more
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This online newspaper, designed for ELL/ESL students and adult learners, offers stories on a variety of topics. Topics in the issues include sports, heroes, current events, health, computer usage, and writing. The twelve available issues let you to hear the chosen story read aloud as it highlights words. There are also word work exercises and interactives related to each story. Listen again to any portion of the story as many times as you wish. Difficult words are highlighted and underlined. A click leads to a pronouncing dictionary so you can see the definition and hear the word pronounced. Some of the issues are appropriate for those pursuing vocational careers. Find them under Workplace. This site also offers you practice in writing and the option to submit your own writing for future issues.

tag(s): careers (139), descriptive writing (41), newspapers (96)

In the Classroom

If you work with ESL/ELL students, this is definitely a site to bookmark or save in your favorites! It would also work well with learning support students who need support reading informational texts. Share various segments of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to peruse on their own (using earbuds). This is a great tool to use to differentiate for your ESL/ELL students' various levels. Spend some time exploring this site to find articles/activities applicable to your students. Be sure to check school policies to see if students can submit their own articles. Use this newspaper as a model for ESL/ELL students to create their own class newspaper. Have students collaborate on an online newspaper following the model of the site. Use a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Plan It Green - National Geographic Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Plan It Green is a free tool to create a city and add ecological, "green" improvements. The main task is to construct various buildings in four different categories: residential,...more
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Plan It Green is a free tool to create a city and add ecological, "green" improvements. The main task is to construct various buildings in four different categories: residential, commercial, recreation, and facilities. As the city is built, you must manage happiness, finances, pollution, energy, and employed workers. The residential and commercial buildings provide daily taxes and energy credits. Energy credits can be sold for money that you can use for materials. Upgrades for the buildings and the environment are also included in the game. Use the tutorial to walk through the tools and read accompanying information. Register by naming your city and activating through email. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, you may want to view the video at home to learn more about this simulation.

tag(s): coal (14), energy (207), environment (325), fossil fuels (18), solar energy (39)

In the Classroom

Use this activity to show how certain buildings can change aspects of happiness, health, and other factors. Brainstorm ways to improve aspects of a city prior to playing the game. Groups of students can even collaborate on a specific city. Students can report on various ways they improved their city including starting with smaller homes, green houses, or by improving large, older homes. Enter screenshots and specific information about the game play on a wiki or other site and research various communities that have achieved those changes. To take a screenshot simply Shift+ Command +4 on a Mac (saves to your Downloads) or Prtscrn key and PASTE on Windows. Propose similar changes in your own community at the end of the play and research. This would be an ideal activity leading up to Earth Day or during an environmental unit. Teachers of gifted could build an entire long term unit around it.

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