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Sense and Dollars - Maryland Public Television

Grades
6 to 12
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Plan your dream job, pretend to live on your own, pay bills, and decide what the "important" extras are at this site. There are links to interactives that help you ...more
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Plan your dream job, pretend to live on your own, pay bills, and decide what the "important" extras are at this site. There are links to interactives that help you learn to save, spend, and earn money! You can even plan a "dream prom" budget. Students learn about money and economics as they practice living in the "real world." There is a Teachers' Guide, although it is tricky to find. Click on the GO button and then the Info link. Here you will find a link to a Teachers' Guide and Parents' Guide. The guides provide statistics about students (and adults) knowledge of money, standards, lesson ideas, tutorials, technology tips, and links for more information. You MUST turn off any pop-up blockers to fully access this site!

tag(s): money (186)

In the Classroom

Have students work on individual computers and explore this site. There are many options to print off pages that they complete (for example, the mock budget that they create in Check It Out). Visit the "Teachers' Guide" to get more ideas about how to use this website in your math, social studies, or economics class.

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Bank Rate - bankrate.com

Grades
6 to 12
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This simple site provides a calculator to figure out how long it will take for you to pay off credit card debt. They ask a few simple questions (how much ...more
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This simple site provides a calculator to figure out how long it will take for you to pay off credit card debt. They ask a few simple questions (how much you owe, what percentage rate your card has, current monthly payments, etc). Then they present you with WHEN your debt will be paid in full and how much interest will cost you during that time.

In the Classroom

If your students are starting to use credit cards, share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Practical Money Skills - Practical Money Skills for Life

Grades
4 to 12
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This site offers lots of information on money management for students of all ages, including college students. Click on the Education tab at the top and select your grade level...more
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This site offers lots of information on money management for students of all ages, including college students. Click on the Education tab at the top and select your grade level to find lesson plans, curriculum ideas, classroom resources, and more. The lesson plans include a PowerPoint presentation for the lesson (also in PDF format) and student activities. Though some look gray as if they aren't accessible, they are, so just click or double click on them and they will be downloaded to your computer. Help high school students succeed financially after high school with the 22 free, standards-aligned lessons that this site has revamped for grades 9-12. This section includes student-centered activities, research projects, discussion points, and resources. Clicking on the Games tab will display many games at different grade levels. Especially interesting for high school and college students will be the Financial Football. Only the games require Flash. This site is fully accessible with no registration.

tag(s): financial literacy (81), money (186)

In the Classroom

There are countless options and ideas about how to use this site in your classroom. Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Take advantage of the FREE lesson plans to teach your students about money and the economy. Use the free, standards-aligned lessons in sequence or on an individual basis. If financial literacy is not part of your Common Core Standards for math, think about making the activities and/or games a weekly center or activity on the computers in your classroom or the school computer lab. Also, look through the videos listed to see if there are any that are age appropriate for your students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Consumer Jungle

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a well-structured site targeted to students and teachers, with separate sections for each. The topics include common encounters with credit, financial planning, and budgets...more
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This is a well-structured site targeted to students and teachers, with separate sections for each. The topics include common encounters with credit, financial planning, and budgets that young people are likely to encounter as they complete high school. The presentation is interesting without preaching, though teachers will need to bolster the thin lesson outlines if they use them. There is also a list of 50 Common Financial Pitfalls. There is a neat Money Skills Life Simulation. In addition, students can click to learn about the "Fraud of the Month." Most of these topics include a PowerPoint presentation and brief lesson plan. This could be a good start for a simulation or class activity. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): money (186)

In the Classroom

Share various portions of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students try the simulation on their own. Did they reach their financial goals? The Fraud of the Month would be a good way to share a new topic (about money and the economy) each week. There are at least twenty that are ready to go from previous months. Be sure to visit the Teachers link. You do NOT have to join to use this fabulous tool.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Economic Education Web - University of Omaha

Grades
K to 12
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," we seldom see anything as useful as this one. The site contains an extensive collection of standards-correlated lesson plans for teaching principles...more
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," we seldom see anything as useful as this one. The site contains an extensive collection of standards-correlated lesson plans for teaching principles of economics at all K-12 levels. The content is drawn from a variety of sources, and some of the presentations are in the form of printable PDF files. While a number of the lessons and resources are centered on standards in Nebraska, there are correlations to national standards, and most of the material could be used elsewhere, sometimes with minor adaptations. This is one that every social studies or economics teacher should see.

Examples of topics for the K-5 students include Shortages and Surpluses, Consumers/Consumption, Functions of Money, and countless others. Grade 6-8 topics include Role of the Government, Unemployment, Economic Growth, and many others. Some of the higher level topics for grades 9-12 include Circular Flow, Market Failures, Federal Reserve, and much more! Many of the topics include more than one lesson plan or classroom activity. A few of the topics are "under construction" as new material is constantly added. Some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these ready to go lesson plans at all grade levels. Anyone who teachers social studies or economics can easily find an appropriate lesson plan (linked to standards). Use these lessons to help students understand the economy, learn new vocabulary words, and deepen their understanding on money.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mathematics in Movies - Oliver Knill

Grades
6 to 12
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This site features engaging movie scenes (in Quicktime and Flash formats) that involve Math problems. Beside each clip and title is an explanation of the Math concept in the clip. ...more
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This site features engaging movie scenes (in Quicktime and Flash formats) that involve Math problems. Beside each clip and title is an explanation of the Math concept in the clip. Most are secondary level, but a few are for lower grades. If you click on the TITLE of the movie, you will be lead to a site to purchase, rate, and/or view the movie in its entirety. To avoid this confusion, be sure to click on the "Play the Flash Version or QuickTime" links. These links lead directly to the "math clip." Links at the bottom lead to other movie collections websites.

tag(s): logic (243), movies (72), patterns (88)

In the Classroom

Use the links "Begin of Lectures in College teaching" and "The end of lectures in college teaching" to identify effective and ineffective teaching elements at all levels. Use these clips for anticipatory set or activators at the start of a lesson or introduction of a concept. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss the concepts as a class or have students work in cooperative learning groups. See if students can identify any other movie or television show that has used math concepts. If time permits, have students create their own mini-dramas that include discussion of math concepts within the story.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BigDialog.org - eCitizenship Foundation and MIT eCitizenship Program

Grades
9 to 12
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BigDialog.org has become the premier site for Americans to voice their concerns to President Obama. Your government or civics students will enjoy listening to and reading statements...more
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BigDialog.org has become the premier site for Americans to voice their concerns to President Obama. Your government or civics students will enjoy listening to and reading statements from the citizens of the USA as they relate to current hot topics. Because President Obama's savvy use of the internet during his campaign, this website promises that he will be checking here to take the pulse of America's heart beat. The opinions expressed are genuine and may be inappropriate in the classroom, so preview. As with any site with a public forum, you will need to check your school's Acceptable Use Policy for security reasons. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): matter (59)

In the Classroom

Imagine this site as the neighbors next door, who are voicing their concern over civic matters. This site gives a substantial voice of concern and can give your students bountiful ideas for research topics. Share the videos (previewed, of course!) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create their own videos voicing their concerns. Send a few of the videos to BigDialog. (Be sure to obtain parental permission first)!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Breathing Earth - David Bleja

Grades
3 to 12
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SEE the relative contributions to carbon dioxide emissions country by country. Students roll the mouse over countries on a flattened world map to see what the carbon dioxide emission...more
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SEE the relative contributions to carbon dioxide emissions country by country. Students roll the mouse over countries on a flattened world map to see what the carbon dioxide emission of each. The featured country's pertinent facts pop up, including emissions, populations, and birth/death rates. Countries are color-coded to indicate rates of carbon dioxide emissions. The pop-ups of births and deaths are fascinating (they occur in real-time). The bottom of the site includes a detailed legend; be sure to check it out. Note that spelling is Australian ("tonnes" vs "tons"). You can turn off the audio at the lower left. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): carbon (21), carbon dioxide (15), carbon footprint (11), earth (231), earth day (113), environment (319)

In the Classroom

This site has countless uses in the classroom of various grade levels. Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. With younger classes, use this map to teach about map legends. Use this when studying ecosystems, environmental issues, economics, current events, world birth and death rates, pollution problems, and conservation. Leave the site open for a few hours for students to see the changes. This site is an excellent resource for research projects on countries throughout the world.
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All of Inflation's Little Parts - The New York Times

Grades
7 to 12
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As the saying goes, "It's the economy, stupid." The US economy continues to be an important talking point. Some report that the country is already slipping into recession, but what...more
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As the saying goes, "It's the economy, stupid." The US economy continues to be an important talking point. Some report that the country is already slipping into recession, but what does that mean? This graphic, designed by the New York Times, is the kind of visual presentation that can really help put this discussion into perspective. Presented as an amped-up version of the traditional pie chart, the chart shows what percentage of the average consumer's spending is devoted to everything from cable TV to gas to fast food to postage. The graphic also shows the relative increase or decrease in that cost over the past year. For example, students may enjoy seeing the comparison between money spent on men's clothing versus that spent on women's clothing, with additional comparative data on shoes, accessories, and children's clothes! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

This relatively simple graphic has a very wide variety of possible applications. If you teach personal finance and budgeting, students can use this chart to compare the average American's spending with their own. If you teach economics, the fact that the items that have increased the most in the past year are gasoline, fuel oil, firewood, and eggs (OK, eggs?) will bear out the impact of the rise in the cost of crude oil and the chaos in the middle east. If you teach civics or government, you can show how the changes in the economy affect what citizens want from their politicians. If you teach math, the graphic's real-life data could be used as a basis for computation and problem solving. Because it's Flash-enabled, the "mouse over" effects and the ability to zoom in and out to see greater detail (how much does the average American spends on ham versus turkey? It's on there!). This site would work well on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
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Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index - MSNBC

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

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

tag(s): comics and cartoons (69), politics (99)

In the Classroom

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

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JA Titan--The Ultimate Business Simulation - Junior Achievement

Grades
9 to 12
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Junior Achievement presents this on-line simulation game for students interested in business and entrepreneurship. The simulation permits students to design a budget for their business...more
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Junior Achievement presents this on-line simulation game for students interested in business and entrepreneurship. The simulation permits students to design a budget for their business that includes setting the unit price, production levels, marketing expenses, research and development costs, capital investment level, and charitable giving. Players can consult with the "virtual vice-presidents" of the company in making their decisions and can play against the computer or against other teams on-line. The site also indicates that there is a school-based version of the simulation available from local Junior Achievement offices, including lesson plans and other teacher resources. Overall, the simulation is fairly formulaic and the interface is dated compared to current video games your students may play. The concepts might be useful, though, even if students may find the process of applying them through this simulation unexciting.

To fully use this site, you must register. Registration requires your name and email address. Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using their own names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): business (58)

In the Classroom

Business or economic students can participate in this simulation either in groups or individually. There is the option to extend play across several sessions, and to compete against other groups on-line. Time might be allotted during class for teams to log on and play or the simulation might be assigned as a long-term homework project. If you combine this activity with extensions, such as creating spreadsheets for the mythical business or an advertising plan and multimedia materials, the project could take on a life of its own.
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The Mint: Fun Financial Literacy Activities for Kids, Teens, Parents and Teachers - Northwestern Mutual Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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Economics and the stock market have taken center stage since the crises of 2008. This site provides a nice overview of the world of personal investment including sections on earning,...more
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Economics and the stock market have taken center stage since the crises of 2008. This site provides a nice overview of the world of personal investment including sections on earning, saving, spending, investing, giving, owing, safeguarding, and tracking. There are also a number of interactive features that can provide insight into the student's attitudes toward money. Online calculators help students understand how finance charges affect the "bottom line" for purchases bought on credit, and how saving in interest-bearing accounts can increase assets. The "Ideas for Teachers" link includes lesson plans and other tips for using the site in an educational setting. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): business (58), money (186)

In the Classroom

This site provides some great tools for use by students in a personal finance or "Real World" class, as well as information to supplement a discussion of economics or current events. You could also use it as a real world application of many math concepts or team teach middle school math and social studies together. Consider assigning the interactive quizzes as independent work, and using the topical overviews to accompany a lecture or class discussion. One drawback: the "sounds" that accompany mousing over your choices are very distracting. Consider turning down the sound (or hitting mute) on your computer if you use this site on an interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to write "financial" blogs offering advice, based on the information learned at this site. Or assign them to demonstrate competence with concepts such as per cent and interest by creating a financial advice column for a student online newspaper.
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Mashable: 50+ Places to Buy Groceries Online - Sean P. Aune

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for a way to teach real shopping lessons without actually going to a store? This blog post includes links to online grocery shopping from all over the U.S. Since ...more
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Looking for a way to teach real shopping lessons without actually going to a store? This blog post includes links to online grocery shopping from all over the U.S. Since the stores are in business to make money they will, of course, include advertisements on their sites. Teachers will want to discuss advertising links and why students should avoid them to stay on task.

In the Classroom

Use these virtual stores to teach real-world lessons in math, FCS, ESL, ELL, and economics lessons. Special Ed teachers may also want to use these sites to help students with life skills. Have students compare pricing in online venues vs. bricks-and-mortar stores. Use the pricing to teach unit pricing, comparison shopping, percent, and more.

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Foreign Languages and Literature - MIT Open Courseware

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers free comprehensive, interactive language and literature courses developed by MIT staff as part of their open course ware program. All courses include a regular syllabus...more
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This site offers free comprehensive, interactive language and literature courses developed by MIT staff as part of their open course ware program. All courses include a regular syllabus that features assignments, interactive activities, and other resources such as videos and slideshows. There is a wide range of language offerings; the cultural courses complement the language instruction and include topics such as popular culture, history, economics, media , and thinking skills. There are courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): chinese (52), french (92), german (67), india (37), japan (61), japanese (44), latin (22), spanish (110)

In the Classroom

AP history, language, and economics students may find MIT's online course materials useful. MIT has committed to putting its entire curriculum on the web, and these early offerings include syllabi, reading materials, and a variety of subject-specific class notes. Before using these pages, students and parents should all be aware of what Open Courseware is and is not. Teachers at smaller schools may welcome the availability of language alternatives. Teachers of gifted who are looking for acceleration options will also find these courses valuable, though you will need to develop a means of doing assessment if your students are to earn credit for them.
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The Online NewsHour Extra: Video Clipboard - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students excited about current events and the news? This site (a new feature of the PBS NewsHour) provides daily (Monday ...more
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students excited about current events and the news? This site (a new feature of the PBS NewsHour) provides daily (Monday - Friday) video blogs. The blogs come complete with a video clip, summary, quotes, thinking questions, and more. (Don't miss the link to "How to Use this" with tips for downloading veido in advance of your class and how to use it). Video topics relate to current events but extend back into background that lead up to today's events. Some of the "extras" include transcripts, printables, and the ability to post comments. If you post a comment, you must provide your name, city, state, and email address. BE CERTAIN to check your school's Acceptable Use Policy and obtain parental permission before allowing students to comment on the video blogs.

Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. The videos require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): news (264)

In the Classroom

Share these video blogs with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector as you discuss current events and related issues. Share this link on your class web page as an option for weekly current events articles you require from students. Take advantage of the free resources (quotes, warm up questions, discussion questions, printables, and other resources). If you teach reading or are working to help learning support students build comprehension, you will find terrific passages for teaching comprehension, inferencing, summarizing, and more, all with meaningful news stories as the focus. If your school's Acceptable Use Policy allows, have students post their own comments to the video blogs. Another idea: have your students create their own wiki about current events in local and/or national news. Invite students to create their own multimedia packages using video clips and their own text to explain an issue and its history.
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Consumer Reports Blogs - Consumer Reports

Grades
6 to 12
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Teens spend a lot of money. And they influence the spending of a lot more. Marketing companies know this and pitch their products mercilessly to the teen age demographic. With ...more
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Teens spend a lot of money. And they influence the spending of a lot more. Marketing companies know this and pitch their products mercilessly to the teen age demographic. With their high need for acceptance and affiliation, teens are also very susceptible to these marketing pitches. This site, part of the well-respected Consumer Reports site, offers commentary in several areas of interest to teens: electronics, cars, money, and shopping. Each topic area includes a full post and a blog. There are also links to news, forums, and videos. Offered without the hype, these reviews and observations may help teens cut through the marketing to learn to make intelligent consumer decisions, and learn to manage their money responsibly.

In order to comment on the blog, you must enter your name and email address. Rather than using your personal or work email, consider creating a Gmail account. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): advertising (34), business (58), safety (93)

In the Classroom

Family and consumer science, business, or "Life 101" classes might ask students to research common teen purchases using this site as a resource. Similarly, economics or psychology classes might consider the impact of marketing on purchasing, and how advertisers target and influence their audience. Follow up by having students generate their own blog entry on a product comparison they do as a project.
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25+ Tools for Accounting and Budgeting - Sean P. Aune

Grades
7 to 12
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This blog, created by Sean P. Aune, offers a collection of Web 2.0 tools which could be useful in business education, math, family and consumer science, or economics classes. Some ...more
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This blog, created by Sean P. Aune, offers a collection of Web 2.0 tools which could be useful in business education, math, family and consumer science, or economics classes. Some of the sites offer ways to save money, create a budget, analyze your expenses, find hidden fees, and more. The four main areas of the site include Business Accounting, Personal Accounting, Personal Budgeting, and Shared Accounting. Each link on the blog includes a brief description of the site.

Be certain to consider your school's Acceptable Use Policy before creating any STUDENT accounts on any of the tools. There are comments (students can both read or add comments), so be sure to supervise their navigating or do this as a class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. For tips on using Web 2.0 sites in your class visit the TeachersFirst Edge Tips. Some of these tools require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): business (58), counting (120), money (186)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help your students learn how to budget their money and expenses. Read through the descriptions of the 25+ tools and find out which ones may be useful in your subject area. Have students choose one of the tools to create a monthly budget a week or so prior to the start of the month. Have students keep calculations (using the site) throughout their "budgeted month" and see how well they can stick to their own budget. You may want to include this link on your class website so students can access the tools at home. You could also assign students to try more than one tool and compare them. Since students are used to using web tools for everything, challenge them to make the decision about which tool is best.
 
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Zunal WebQuest Maker - FREE - Zafer Unal, PhD

Grades
2 to 12
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Have you been pining to include pertinent webquests in your curriculum? This site allows you to view already created webquests and/or use their online tool to create your own webquest...more
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Have you been pining to include pertinent webquests in your curriculum? This site allows you to view already created webquests and/or use their online tool to create your own webquest without HTML code or web editor software. This site walks you through a tutorial on creating your own webquest for the parameters YOU want. The tutorial includes planning, building, and getting your webquest published. Best of all-- it is free. This site also includes ready-made webquests in nearly every subject area (math, art, music, social studies, science, etc.) submitted by others like you. There are webquests for all grade level. The webquests are free to use and many include reviews by other educators. An easy to follow webquest matrix is available, with all of the subjects and grade levels. You are also able to do a webquest search for a specific topic. Nearly all of the webquests are in English, but a few are in other languages. Note: the quality of webquests is completely determined by others using the site to create webquests, so PREVIEW before using any webquest in class.

tag(s): calories (9), colors (81), money (186), presidents (132), pyramids (29)

In the Classroom

Search the multitude of webquests that are "ready to go" at this site. If you are looking for a more personal touch, you can create your own webquest for each class, tailored to what you want to cover or want students to research. This site also provides a place to post a personal portfolio of your work (if you choose to include any student work, you must have written permission to do so from the student and his or her parent). You might also want students to create webquests as final products of group research projects. Be sure to provide a meaningful rubric for the essential features.

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Play the News Game - Impact Games

Grades
9 to 12
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In this current events activity, students (or all members of your class working together) choose current news events and assume character roles. After viewing the latest hot event in...more
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In this current events activity, students (or all members of your class working together) choose current news events and assume character roles. After viewing the latest hot event in the particular news item and reading some background, students (or your class) assume one of the characters' roles. They must make decisions, consult advisers, hone predictions, and make choices to steer tomorrow's news today. They can come back later to compare their predictions to what happened with the situation in the real news. Thus current events are no longer isolated factoids but become dynamic processes. News topics vary greatly and can include violence and other ugliness happening in the world today. Preview carefully before recommending a game to students, depending on the standards of your school community. Some topics include actual violence occurring in the world. Topics cover world news, U.S. politics, technology, and even entertainment. At one time, there are up to 20 news "games" going on. Players can see what other players have decided. Some games are closed; that is, their decisions are final. Members (your class as a whole?) also gain rank and opinion rating depending on how active they are on the website and how their opinions compare to those of the mainstream. As of this review, this site is still in "beta." This site requires Flash 9 or newer. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

To use many features of the site, you must create a membership (requires email). There are many "social" features within the site that make it a potential safety issue if all students are allowed to use it on their own. See ideas for handling these concerns below.

tag(s): news (264)

In the Classroom

Try this site as a regular part of your secondary discussions on current events or choose selected "games" that connect with your current curriculum topic. For example, explore stories from African nations as you study world cultures in Africa.

Classroom teachers will want to start by conducting this activity using a whole-class account (use your "extra" email account to create a single account, monitored by you). Use the game to facilitate discussion and build students' global citizenship by allowing them to make choices and see the results. Be sure to talk about the line between fantasy and reality: which parts of these games have actually happened and which are part of the "game" hypotheses. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class if you believe they are ready to handle it on their own. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in online decision making and sharing, and obtain written parent permission before individual students are allowed to log on. As an alternative for students who may not have permission, you can pose some of the same questions and provide newspaper and news magazine articles for background. But you know which tool your students will prefer!
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ZIPskinny - ZIPskinny

Grades
6 to 12
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A useful little site for research or idle curiosity, this site offers some basic demographic data about the communities that make up each U.S. ZIP code. The ZIP code, first ...more
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A useful little site for research or idle curiosity, this site offers some basic demographic data about the communities that make up each U.S. ZIP code. The ZIP code, first developed in 1963 to assist the U.S. Postal Service with automated mail delivery, has become a powerful demographic symbol and is frequently used by researchers to compare U.S. communities. This site, which ties its data to information gathered in the 2000 census, offers no commentary--just the facts ma'am--and includes statistics on education, income, population, race, gender, and marital status. There is a utility for comparing any ZIP code with up to 20 other ZIP codes. Students may be interested in the specific data provided for each public school within a given ZIP code. Our reviewers did notice that some ZIP codes are not included at this time. Serious researchers are cautioned, the data comes from the 2000 census, and may be outdated. This historical census data may provide a good comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends. There is a lot of advertising on the site, although the majority of it is in the form of text links rather than annoying pictures or dancing silhouettes.

tag(s): census (19), demographics (19)

In the Classroom

Teachers or students seeking some basic demographic data about their own town or city, or wishing to compare it with another location, will find this site useful. Civics, government, or economics lessons could be enriched with local data which might be compared to the more general information offered by textbooks in answer to the question "How do we compare to this?" Math teachers and reading teachers who teach graphical data analysis might get some mileage out of using the graphs and tables from their own towns or communities for computations rather than using generic information from a textbook. Project the graphs on a whiteboard and have students manipulate to explain the meaning of changes in the visuals. Think of the higher level thinking questions you could generate during a political year! Of course, the terminally curious can probably waste a good hour or two just noodling with the data.

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