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IBM: The Smarter City - IBM

Grades
6 to 12
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IBM asks us to imagine what a "smarter" city would be like, looking at various aspects of city life: education, business, transportation, energy, public safety and so on. The site ...more
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IBM asks us to imagine what a "smarter" city would be like, looking at various aspects of city life: education, business, transportation, energy, public safety and so on. The site is interactive and graphically interesting and attractive. There is an introductory video, and each of the aspects examined has links to subcategories to explore.

tag(s): cities (25), computers (95), energy (198), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Students love to imagine what the future might be like. This site can help frame some of the questions that can start the discussion. What might schools be like in the future? How can technology help make cities "smarter"? How can transportation problems be solved using computers? The site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and could be helpful in a civics/government discussion on the allocation of resources, or on a unit on consumer awareness. The site would also be perfect for a discovery unit in a pull out program for gifted students. Another plus? Each of the individual sections can be downloaded so bandwidth issues won't disrupt the flow of your presentation.
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Big Think - Big Think

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7 to 12
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News and information from top thinkers and doers around the world, screened so that it is condensed to that which is significant, relevant, and applicable, that is Big Think. This ...more
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News and information from top thinkers and doers around the world, screened so that it is condensed to that which is significant, relevant, and applicable, that is Big Think. This website is a phenomenal source for information and news. The philosophy of Big Think is that as we "move to the knowledge era" that you will be able to better function if you know more and understand what you know. This website was awarded one of TIME magazine's best websites of 2011 for news and information. Please screen any articles that you wish to share BEFORE sharing with your students. Some content is NOT appropriate for the classroom. This is not a site you want to send students off to explore on their own.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (72), business (58), cross cultural understanding (115), environment (317), news (261), politics (99), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Choose a story that relates to your topic that you are teaching such as science or even music with a story such as "How Music is Good for Your Brain." Share the story with your students. Discuss the writings, and then use it as a platform on how students should approach the things that they are learning in class. This way they develop critical thinking skills and extract the most important information and leave the accessory facts to the side. Assign specific articles to cooperative learning groups to read and explore together. Then have students create a multimedia project to share with the class using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Marshmallow Challenge - Tom Wujec

Grades
K to 12
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Use a marshmallow challenge to motivate your students! The concept of this project is to have teams of people work together to create a free standing structure that supports a ...more
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Use a marshmallow challenge to motivate your students! The concept of this project is to have teams of people work together to create a free standing structure that supports a marshmallow. Sounds overly simple? Well, not always. The given materials for each team are simple, inexpensive, and require creative thinking and problem solving skills to use! All in all this adds up to a fun, interesting, and entertaining activity for young to older students, business people, and any group that needs to learn how to work and think together. Spaghetti, string, marshmallows and masking tape are all the supplies that you will need. Have fun with this, your students are sure to do so! The site recommends giving your class one hour to complete the project and activities. They also mention this project would work for smaller groups (4 students) up to larger groups (800), divided into groups of 2 or 4 and working together. There is a typo in the opening paragraph of the site. However the activity content was worth looking over the typo.

tag(s): creativity (109), design (84), engineering (125), problem solving (272), structures (24)

In the Classroom

This engineering challenge would be great during a unit on structures. However, in ANY classroom it would be a solid and creative way to teach design process, group skills, and creative problem solving. This activity is so versatile that it could be use in any grade, even at the college or business level. Of course in younger elementary grades, more instruction would be necessary and possibly some parent volunteers. Its lessons are multiple, from fluency, flexibility, possibility thinking, and promoting originality. In science classes, try including this activity in a lesson on gravity or forces. Prior to implementing this lesson, watch the TED talks video link for yourself. (These links are available at this site.) It is a worthwhile investment of seven minutes, and download and read the adobe acrobat file on the project. It may be a good idea, depending on the age of your students to create a short PowerPoint with the rules and instructions. Also, a visual timer and musical timer would be a great idea for this challenge. Use a site such as the Online Countdown Timer (reviewed here). Show the timer on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) so students are aware of how much time remains. The materials are best given to teams in a small brown bag so that there is an element of surprise and suspense during the instructional period. Another idea is to share this with your administrators, it would make a great challenge for a interactive faculty meeting especially if team building and thinking skills are trying to be built by the administration between faculty members.
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Virtual Field Trip - Utah Education Network

Grades
1 to 12
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Save hundreds of dollars spicing up your curriculum with virtual field trips! This site has "field trips" to take, instructions for creating, and resources for other virtual field trip...more
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Save hundreds of dollars spicing up your curriculum with virtual field trips! This site has "field trips" to take, instructions for creating, and resources for other virtual field trip sites. Field trips for; Career, fine arts, foreign language, health and PE, language arts, math, library, media, professional development, science, social studies, and technology are given. There is a plethora of topics - perfect for research and "virtual" travel. The topics are too broad to list all of them, but some include tessellations, dinosaurs, water cycle, medieval times, Civil War, oil painting, and much more! Receive a detailed tutorial for finding instructions on asking permission for field trips, creating virtual field trips, and evaluating the experience. No bus required! At the time of this review, three of the links under "Visit Related Sites" were not working.

tag(s): animals (276), baseball (36), biomes (116), business (58), charts and graphs (195), civil war (145), dinosaurs (57), egypt (67), field trips (12), immigrants (20), immigration (58), japan (61), maps (287), mayans (12), medieval (27), mexico (34), multiple intelligences (11), musical instruments (48), nutrition (154), olympics (47), painting (66), probability (130), religions (61), rocks (49), russia (38), sports (97), statistics (122), tessellations (6), test prep (96), virtual field trips (48), volcanoes (61), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Immerse your students into your studies with a close up in depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Create a personalized field trip to meet your every need with the detailed tutorials given. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global!

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Calculator - Athera Corporation

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K to 12
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Use Calculator.com to access a variety of calculators to use in a classroom or as a reference tool. Choose from standard, fraction, scientific, percent, mortgage, area, units converter,...more
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Use Calculator.com to access a variety of calculators to use in a classroom or as a reference tool. Choose from standard, fraction, scientific, percent, mortgage, area, units converter, as well as other calculators. Note: This site has many ads as calculators are chosen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calculators (41)

In the Classroom

Use these tools whenever calculators are needed in class. Share this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.

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NobelPrize.org - Nobel Media AB 2011

Grades
4 to 12
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Nobelprize.org is the official website of the Nobel Prize. Here you find information about Alfred Nobel, the prizewinners, interviews, and photos. Videos of interviews of Nobel peace...more
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Nobelprize.org is the official website of the Nobel Prize. Here you find information about Alfred Nobel, the prizewinners, interviews, and photos. Videos of interviews of Nobel peace prizewinners, speeches, ceremonies, interviews, banquets, lectures, announcements, award ceremonies, and documentaries fill the gamut of all of the prizewinners. The Nobel prizes awards are in literature, chemistry, medicine, peace, economics, and physics. Varieties of educational games/activities help explain many of the Nobel Award winners' work. This site clearly explains and illustrates the purpose of the awards, the award winners, and their ideas. Videos give an insider look at each of the winners.

tag(s): creativity (109), literature (275), medicine (67)

In the Classroom

Inspire your students to strive for excellence! Show students original, creative, thinking. Let students know they can understand the ideas awarded by trying the educational activities offered. Follow each year's announcements and award ceremonies. Use as an inspiration when beginning your own Nobel Prize winning awards competitions. Encourage students to use critical thinking skills to form opinions based on facts. Gifted programs can easily incorporate many of the ideas into the curriculum. Lead your students to Nobel Award winning thinking.
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Space, NASA Information and News - Tech Media Network

Grades
3 to 12
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Space.com is your one stop extraterrestrial resource! Featuring current information and articles about all things out of this world, Space.com is a resource full of images, videos,...more
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Space.com is your one stop extraterrestrial resource! Featuring current information and articles about all things out of this world, Space.com is a resource full of images, videos, and interactives. Images here are brilliant and beautiful. Articles are professional and meaningful.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): moon (72), nasa (39), space (205), stars (61), sun (71)

In the Classroom

Share the videos and activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Try using this website as a resource in art class to have students find a picture and recreate it though their own interpretation. Have students in a language arts class choose a photograph and create a story about how it came to be as a creative writing exercise. Have students in science class use it as a research resource for adding great images to their presentations. Or assign a particular article that relates to an astronomy class, have the whole class read it as homework, and then have them post reactions on a class wiki page. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
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Biotechnology Institute - Biotechnology Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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Use this site to engage and excite students about the field of life science and biotechnology. Students can use the student resources to learn about biotechnology, prepare for exciting...more
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Use this site to engage and excite students about the field of life science and biotechnology. Students can use the student resources to learn about biotechnology, prepare for exciting careers, or view a variety of resources. Teachers can find great resources for engaging students in inquiry and topics that have applications for their lives. Find lesson plans and biotechnology facts.

tag(s): biodiversity (38), genetics (90)

In the Classroom

Use the many lessons available to pique curiosity in students. For example, the Beano activity brings to life the role of enzymes on various types of canned and dried beans. Find great lesson plans that can be used as is or in portions to add to existing activities to create interest.
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CIESE Tele-Collaborative Classroom Projects - The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education

Grades
1 to 12
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This site provides several collaborative science and engineering projects with various start dates. Projects are available for a full range of grade levels. The target grade level is...more
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This site provides several collaborative science and engineering projects with various start dates. Projects are available for a full range of grade levels. The target grade level is listed with the project. Some projects at the time of this review included: The Global Sun (grades 5-8), Bucket Buddies (grades 1-5), Human Genetics (grades 6-12), Home Lighting in Developing Countries (grades 9-12), and several others.

tag(s): animals (276), engineering (125), genetics (90), light (46), plants (145), scientists (69), sun (71), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use these collaborative projects to teach students more about science and engineering. Even though some of the start dates have passed, teachers can still access the information and lessons. Many projects offer the future dates. If you choose to participate during the time frame or not, you can use the materials to collaborate with a class in the same school or in another state.

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PBS Learning Media - PBS

Grades
K to 12
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This PBS site is a reorganized collection of over 16,000+ public media offerings (including radio and photographs), arranged specifically for preK-12 teachers. You can search by subject...more
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This PBS site is a reorganized collection of over 16,000+ public media offerings (including radio and photographs), arranged specifically for preK-12 teachers. You can search by subject and grade level across many subjects. After viewing three offerings, you must join (for free) to continue. Membership includes the option of saving favorites. You can also find correlations to state standards. The site is still in development, so material is being added frequently.

tag(s): alphabet (92), careers (132), dance (28), data (148), decimals (133), diseases (66), human body (121), mark twain (10), multimedia (57), music theory (43), percent (82), probability (130), problem solving (272), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Find more details and teacher information under "Customization for States and District" to align the offerings here with your state's standards. Check this site for an introduction to a curriculum topic or unit or when looking for support activities to reinforce concepts. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Share the interactives as a learning center or on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is one that you want to save in your favorites.
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Explania - explania.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Watch hundreds of animated explanations, tutorials, and videos on a variety of questions. Learn about the myth of Santa, the flu, migraines, history of football, how to avoid stomach...more
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Watch hundreds of animated explanations, tutorials, and videos on a variety of questions. Learn about the myth of Santa, the flu, migraines, history of football, how to avoid stomach aches, what is Twitter, and other topics. General subjects include Health, Sports, Software, Work, Technology, and Companies (advertising.) This site is designed for secondary students (and adults). However, many of the topics would be relevant with older elementary students (for example, "How to Avoid Stomach Aches"). Be sure to peruse and preview before sharing the video in an elementary classroom.

Embed the videos easily into your blog, wiki, or site for use with students. This site does allow users to submit their own videos, but this appears to be for a fee and mainly for businesses looking to advertise or promote a service.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): advertising (33), animation (63), myths and legends (25), sports (97), twitter (50), video (254)

In the Classroom

Share these short videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Find videos related to the content you are teaching. For example, the "What is the flu?" animation gives a great amount of information about colds and flu. Begin your lesson by asking students common statements or questions about what they understand about the cold or the flu. Show the results on a board and then share the video. (Embedding it in a site that you already have is a really great idea.) Identify the actual information to counter the common misconceptions. Find great animations related to technology and using computer and Web 2.0 tools. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them report information learned to the others. Challenge groups to create an animated explanation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge animation tools here.

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Electrocity - Genesis Energy

Grades
4 to 9
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Design and run your own city to balance energy needs, sustainability, and environmental concerns. Be sure to click "How To Play" for an overview of the game. Look at "Finished ...more
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Design and run your own city to balance energy needs, sustainability, and environmental concerns. Be sure to click "How To Play" for an overview of the game. Look at "Finished Cities" to view completed cities for an idea or design. Start a New Game to design and manage the use and production of electricity on your city. Through building choices, understand the various factors that increase or decrease both electricity use and environmental concerns. You can register classes to keep track of your students' cities. Click on Teacher Resources for information and fact sheets on various types of power. There are also downloadable links for a limited form of the game to be installed on a classroom computer if Internet access is limited.

tag(s): conservation (127), electricity (89), energy (198), environment (317), nuclear energy (24), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

Try this activity at the start or at the end of a unit on energy. Students can use different power sources and identify which created more power and caused more environmental problems. Share findings with the class and identify the advantages and disadvantages of each type of power source. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use as a springboard for class discussions and further research. Compare the use of each of these power sources in various countries around the world.
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Eco Zoo - Enjin, Inc.

Grades
K to 4
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Visit the Ecozoo: a colorful, content-rich website! Click on the critter icons along the top to learn how to live in the environment and have good habits. Each critter has ...more
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Visit the Ecozoo: a colorful, content-rich website! Click on the critter icons along the top to learn how to live in the environment and have good habits. Each critter has a pop up book to learn new habits. The site is in both English and Japanese, making it even more intriguing to younger readers!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), ecology (135), ecosystems (88), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Allow students to explore the site and share information with one another about what they have learned. Bring these ideas together into a class discussion. Students can research other methods to create a more sustainable society and create flyers, posters, or blog posts to share information with others. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here or make one together as a class, with each student contributing a portion.
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JASON Science - Home - The JASON Project

Grades
7 to 12
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The JASON Project home page is a portal to a huge number of scientifically significant activities, video clips, curricula packages, lesson plans, and more! While you could create an...more
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The JASON Project home page is a portal to a huge number of scientifically significant activities, video clips, curricula packages, lesson plans, and more! While you could create an account to use one of the current curriculum pieces individually, it is a far more valuable resource if you register and join the website for FREE! Once registered, you can easily access all of the interactive content and archived activities. In fact, to fully access all archived curriculum you MUST register for a free account. Once inside the "member only" Jason site, simply click on the Curricula tab on the left side to see all current and past missions still available on the site. This could turn into your next "go-to" resource for online interactive science in the classroom. This is a MUST-SEE site with a ton of high interest topics for students. It is definitely worth the 1-2 minute FREE registration. Looking for some examples of topics? There are lessons/activities about Mysteries of Earth & Mars, Humpback whales, Monster Storms, Rainforests, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Great Lakes, Measurement, Forces, Velocity, and many, many more. It appears that they update this site frequently, so check back often.

tag(s): ecology (135), energy (198), geology (81), video (254), weather (188)

In the Classroom

With the array of information, lesson plans, and modules for learning this website can be used in so many different ways! If you are searching for a video clip that is relevant to your current topic, perform a search of their digital library. Looking for an entire lesson plan or a single assignment? Click on the Teacher Tools bar to quickly find something suitable. Share the video clip on your interactive whiteboard. If several topics relate to your current subject matter, challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate different portions of this site. (This would only work with older/more independent students.) Then have student create projects to share with the class and "teach" about their topic. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here).

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Chrome experiments - Google

Grades
6 to 12
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Share or view creative web experiments with this website. The projects on this site show what can be done with Google Chrome and the "latest open technologies, including HTML5, Canvas,...more
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Share or view creative web experiments with this website. The projects on this site show what can be done with Google Chrome and the "latest open technologies, including HTML5, Canvas, SVG, and WebGL." There is a gallery full of over 300 examples of innovative programming ideas from artists and programmers across the globe. You can also participate in chats about computer design and rate submitted creations. Students who are interested in video games, web design, and programming will love this site.

tag(s): animation (63), computers (95), design (84), graphic design (35)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for computer design and programming coursework. Each programmer has tagged their project with the name of technology they used to create their project. Consider showing examples of these technologies on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students develop their own experiment that uses Java Script and Google Chrome and then submit their work to the site. Make sure students understand not to share the link with anyone they do not trust or want contributing. Be sure to review the content in the chat session before using it with students. It is necessary to have an email in order to participate in online discussions. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. It is essential that permissible use and consequences are set before introducing the site.
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Sophia - Sophia Learning, LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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Join a community of online learners, teachers, experts, and parents, which provides variety and creativity in teaching and learning. Different areas of focus include Applied Sciences,...more
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Join a community of online learners, teachers, experts, and parents, which provides variety and creativity in teaching and learning. Different areas of focus include Applied Sciences, English/literature, Humanities, Learning Strategies, Mathematics, Sciences, Social/Behavioral Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages. Within the subject matter, learning packets focusing on specific educational objects is presented through a number of medias including; audio, video, PowerPoints, or written text. Opportunity to ask the creator of the packet specific questions follows the information. Suggested grade levels are included. By getting a free account, you may contribute learning packets, questions, or rate a packet.

tag(s): anthropology (11), arabic (20), archeology (32), architecture (84), business (58), chinese (48), dance (28), design (84), environment (317), greek (41), literature (275), organizational skills (122), portuguese (18), probability (130), psychology (64), religions (61), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Provide your students with reinforcement or challenge into the many different areas listed. Allow time for students to choose their area of interest to study. Create an account and contribute your teaching materials. Be sure to list this site on your class website as a resource. Encourage parents to visit this site to brush up on their skills. Challenge students to create your own learning packets based on your areas of study. Include your own personalized packets on your class blog. You can create a private group, so only your students may access your materials.
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Curriki - EnterpriseDB Postgre SQL company

Grades
K to 12
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Curriki is a nonprofit organization that encourages collaboration of teachers and learners in a global community of 211 different countries. Find resources by grade level, subject area,...more
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Curriki is a nonprofit organization that encourages collaboration of teachers and learners in a global community of 211 different countries. Find resources by grade level, subject area, or resource type (interactive, video, or podcast.) Usage type, or exercise, unit, lesson plan, or game, is another option for searching. Use the professional webinars for a better understanding of Curriki. Onsite training is another option listed. Join different groups for a more involved way to explore new areas in online learning, subject area interests, or focus questions. Be a peer reviewer offering comments or suggestions on submitted lessons, units, games, or exercises and give your input. Create collections of your resources to keep privately or share with others. Easily make lesson plans or web quests with the easy to use templates, which include graphic organizer and rubric options. Try a problem based learning unit. Join the challenge to create a video lesson for a chance at winning $5000. The focus of this site is to provide access to teachers, schools, students, or parents to many new creative ideas in a global community. Free membership includes monthly newsletters. Follow Curriki on Facebook, twitter, or blogs.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), literacy (103), operations (126), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Curriki has a number of ways to benefit teachers and students. Use Curriki as a resource listed on your website for parents and students to have extra opportunities for additional practice or enrichment. Use as a way to organize your digital resources. The lesson plan and webquest templates are user friendly and promote best practices. While growing in your professional development by connecting with teachers worldwide, let your class learn with other classes worldwide. Curriki encourages you to think critically of your own lessons, but also lessons suggested.

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Absorb Learning - Crocodile Clips, Ltd.

Grades
10 to 12
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This site was written to be a series of online, interactive courses for Chemistry, Electronics, and Physics. Although much of the site contains lessons to be purchased, there is still...more
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This site was written to be a series of online, interactive courses for Chemistry, Electronics, and Physics. Although much of the site contains lessons to be purchased, there is still a lot of free material available that would make this a valuable resource for content information. Each lesson contains an introduction, explanation of the topic, questions to correspond with the material presented, a summary of information provided, then follow-up review questions.

tag(s): test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Provide a link on classroom computers or in the computer lab for students to review this material at the end of the unit. Place the link on your wiki, site, or blog for homework help. Differentiate for students by providing this link to students struggling with the topics. Use the site as an example, then challenge students to create their own activities on different concepts for classmates to use for review.

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Sqworl - Caleb Brown

Grades
K to 12
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and ...more
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and it is done. After registering, a personal homepage is created, this is where the magic can begin! The homepage is where groups will be created to combine url's. Then adding some groups of link begins the process of creating groups. At this point a title is given to the group being created (examples might be Math sites, American History, etc.). The final step is to add a short description. After choosing start, simply copy and paste the url you want to use and add a short description and click finish. Once a group is created, it can be shared through the url shown on the page. Sqworl also has a bookmarklet that can be added to the browser toolbar making it easier to add items to your groups without having to open the homepage. There is also a mobile app for iPhone.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

In the classroom use this site to combine url's of online class projects into one group. Create a group of resources for students or parents for different subjects and share the url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a group with videos relating to classroom content. Create a classroom account and let students add resources they have found to groups to share with others. Show students how to follow other groups on Sqworl and share resources by creating their own groups. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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YoungZine - Deepa Gopal

Grades
3 to 10
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Youngzine is news and more for the young. Enjoy the different articles, comics, videos, etc. without signing up, or you can sign up to have full access to everything ...more
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Youngzine is news and more for the young. Enjoy the different articles, comics, videos, etc. without signing up, or you can sign up to have full access to everything on this safe site, including teacher tools. General subjects include World News, Science & Technology, Our Earth, Society & Arts. For each class, teachers get a blog where they can post assignments and have students respond. Teachers can register their class for free. You can include specific articles and quizzes for each assignment. Comments are moderated to prevent inappropriate classroom content.

For each of your classes, you see a full report of each student's activities by going to your classroom tab. Youngzine also provides a safe "blog" environment for classrooms - a constructive, creative, and controlled way for teachers to create classroom assignments and foster discussions about current events! The blog can be completely private so outsiders cannot see student comments. Teachers control these settings.

tag(s): blogs (88), communities (35), news (261), service projects (25), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Have your students make comments on articles (public comments), take quizzes, rate articles, and participate in contests. You can create custom assignments and have students respond and discuss, right on Youngzine! This is a great way to assess student's understanding and create an arena for a discussion/debate between class students. Or, ask your students to summarize an article, as a way to encourage them to think and write.

There is also a tab for "U Write." This section appears to allow students to write about issues in their community, or programs they've heard about to help a suffering communities. You might consider having your students look at the different articles and decide on a community to help. Have them vote on the community they would like to help by using Thinkmeter reviewed here.

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