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Max My Dream - Johnson and Johnson

Grades
K to 8
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Use 140 words about a dream beginning with, "I dreamed that..." When finished, click Play. This tool creates a visual representation of the dream in a surreal and ...more
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Use 140 words about a dream beginning with, "I dreamed that..." When finished, click Play. This tool creates a visual representation of the dream in a surreal and certainly not literal interpretation! Though not like an actual video, the elements of the dream do appear. Replay the dream, send by Twitter or Facebook, or embed in a blog, wiki, or site. The actual tool is an advertisement for a sleep aid, but you can ignore the ads!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), parts of speech (68), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Practice writing skills. Share an example on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Embed the dream in a blog or site and challenge others to guess the dream by trying to rewrite it. Create visual representations of writing. Or create visual prompts to spark others to write their own interpretations or "what would come next?" Ask students to guess what words the tool focuses in on. Does it pick up verbs or nouns? Your more inquisitive students will enjoy experimenting to figure out how it works.

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BrainBashers - Kevin Stone

Grades
3 to 12
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BrainBashers offers many different types of puzzles, riddles, brain teasers, and optical illusions. The site is updated daily so new material is always readily available. Each time...more
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BrainBashers offers many different types of puzzles, riddles, brain teasers, and optical illusions. The site is updated daily so new material is always readily available. Each time you open the site, find a new fun fact along with an odd word and its definition. The site is organized into puzzles, games, illusions, fun stuff, and logic games. Sudoku puzzles of different difficulty levels are also available. The link for teachers includes puzzles for schools and useful pages including optical illusions, memory tests, and logic puzzles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), puzzles (208), riddles (15)

In the Classroom

Use the odd words daily for students to learn new vocabulary. Share the fun fact on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter. Print and share Sudoku and other puzzles as challenge activities. Use logic puzzles in class for practice with problem solving skills. Share the site on your classroom website or blog for students to access at home.

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Student Produced Video Field Trips - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams ...more
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams the video (live and archived) to students, parents, and others unable to attend in person. TeachersFirst shares this how-to and why-to so you and your students will try it. Expand each point within these pages to learn what to do in detail---and skip the steps you already know or that don't apply!

tag(s): video (254)

In the Classroom

Read through the step by step and get started! TeachersFirst offers all the practical advice you need to try this 21st century approach to real world learning.

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Writer's Workshop Introduction - Teachersfirst

Grades
1 to 6
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Good writing skills are essential for secondary students. Writer's Workshop is an interdisciplinary writing technique which can build elementary students' fluency in writing through...more
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Good writing skills are essential for secondary students. Writer's Workshop is an interdisciplinary writing technique which can build elementary students' fluency in writing through continuous, repeated exposure to the process of writing. Teachers can introduce elements of Writer's Workshop at any elementary grade. Ideally, however, the process begins in Kindergarten.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use this introduction to introduce Writer's Workshop elements in a variety of curriculum situations and classroom settings.

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Plagiarism Checker - Darren Horn

Grades
6 to 12
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This site allows users to check a document or web page for evidence of plagiarism for free. Type or copy/paste text from parts of the document or website and click ...more
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This site allows users to check a document or web page for evidence of plagiarism for free. Type or copy/paste text from parts of the document or website and click search. Of course, you will need electronic copies of student work to easily copy/paste! Plagiarism Checker provides links to web-based text similar to that being searched. Note that this tool does not check against print material, such as books. It searches only the web for similar passages.

tag(s): plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

Students can use this plagiarism checker to be sure they are turning in original work. Teachers can use this service to check the work of students (submitted electronically). Students should create accounts with their parents to check their work at home. Model this site to explain what plagiarism IS and how students can avoid it. The hands-on experience will help them understand this challenging concept. You might even want to provide several examples of plagiarized writing as an exercise for student to check and correct before they copy/paste their way to trouble in a research assignment. Another interesting exercise for researchers is to locate an article on a how-to topic, such as "How to Paint a Room," then see how many sites use the exact same text. As a class, discuss whether this proliferation is good or bad (is the web spreading misinformation, too?).

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Little Bird Tales - Little Wings

Grades
K to 8
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It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so ...more
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It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so you don't have to scan and upload drawings; you can create the drawings in the program. Little Bird Tales has a short video explaining each step on the home page. Once the stories are complete, you can place a link to the story on a web page or wiki, or email it to parents, students, etc. This is a great way to publish student writing. This program is free and was created specifically for ages 3 to 14 as a safe, advertisement free web environment.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), digital storytelling (144), expository writing (44), narrative (24), persuasive writing (55), preK (281), stories and storytelling (33), writing (359)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using this program are limitless. Choose a story from the public section of the program, or create your own. Use your interactive whiteboard and projector to show students the story and how easy it is to put their story on this program. Little Bird can be used in science and math for students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit learned, by explaining it in three ways: verbally, drawing, and using text. Create myths and stories in language arts classes, or students can review a book they've read. In social studies, students can create reports on a country, time period, or famous person. Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups. You might want to have this program open on a computer in your classroom for students to use when they are finished with other work. Share the urls of student reports and stories on your web page or wiki.

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iNudge - Hobnox

Grades
3 to 12
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear ...more
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear sound patterns. Add more instruments to get the mix you want. Combine them, change the tempo, and add other effects. Share by URL or using the embed code.

tag(s): musical notation (35), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use the songs in a writing class as a story prompt. In a language class, list the adjectives and adverbs come to mind while listening to the music prompt. Create music to describe a biome or an animal or plant. Use music to represent culture or reactions to an event in history. Use music to add pizazz to a blog or site. Identify various sounds and the mood they create. View the most listened and newest iNudges found on the site.

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Squareleaf - Squareleaf.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color...more
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color coding and different shaped boxes. Separate information from your personal life and daily tasks. Easily manage daily, weekly or monthly tasks by using this simple to use tool. You can review your post-its from any web connected device.

tag(s): note taking (32)

In the Classroom

Students can easily store their notes and share with others. Use this tool to manage projects and schedule tasks. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be done and the intermediate steps to completing projects. Use different colors and shapes to manage different projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers can use this tool to manage and plan short term tasks, longer term units, and graduate class assignments from their busy lives.

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Class Jump - Classjump.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Looking for a free web site to communicate with parents and students? Class Jump is a free educational platform. Determine your learning goals as you set up your "classroom." Post ...more
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Looking for a free web site to communicate with parents and students? Class Jump is a free educational platform. Determine your learning goals as you set up your "classroom." Post homework and upload documents for students to access. Add events to the class calendar. Post articles of interest and links to be viewed. Receive homework and other documents from your students. Create a message board (forum) for use by all the students in your class. Upload photos and create as many albums as needed. Create an account. Creating a school identity requires a paid account. Manage multiple classes with this easy to understand interface.

tag(s): classroom management (135), forum (9), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Manage your classroom with this resource. Use as a class hub to manage documents, photos, and files. Be sure to define the use of the message board. You may wish to create a practice student account to see what the tool looks like as a student. Be sure to share this link so students and parents can access both in and out of the classroom. Use Class Jump in teacher ed programs to show up and coming teachers how a website can enhance instruction.

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Project Based Learning for the 21st Century - Buck Institute for Education

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of...more
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of free materials. Read about PBL, watch videos, or download word or pdf documents found under the Tools section. Sign up to participate in the forum for more interaction with the content and other educators using PBL. Click the PBL Do-It Yourself bar along the right side for more information and links. Be sure to check out the tweets on the bottom of the front page for great ideas and links to use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (100)

In the Classroom

Use these ideas in any subject area classroom. Aspects of PBL can be used in introductory activities or whole units. Use driving questions to stimulate student curiosity to know more about how curriculum applies to their lives. Use this PBL framework to give students freedom to research aspects of the content or problem of personal interest. Be sure to view the resources to adequately plan for a successful unit project that incorporates 21st century skills utilizing engaging activities and content.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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5 Minute Mystery - Mystery Competition, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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This mystery reading game helps increase reading comprehension and critical thinking skills in an innovative way. The basic game is free. You can sign up to have two mysteries a ...more
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This mystery reading game helps increase reading comprehension and critical thinking skills in an innovative way. The basic game is free. You can sign up to have two mysteries a week sent to you, or you can use their archive. There is a "How to Play" section where you can view a video, open pdf instructions, or look at the instructions online. After reading a mystery you select the correct sentences that are clues, and select a character that the clue either exonerates or implicates. Points are awarded for each clue you get correct. For a fee, you can get a premium account that has graphic organizers, questions, and writing suggestions, however, this review is for the free, basic version. Even with the basic program, you can look under lesson plans and find objectives and ideas for your classroom and for creating leagues.

Bonus: There's an app for that! For the iphone, of course!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), mysteries (25), reading comprehension (116), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Use your projector and interactive whiteboard to show your students the directions for getting points by selecting the correct clues and solving the mystery. To begin with, as a class, read a mystery and discuss what the clues might be and whether they implicate or exonerate each suspect. Once the students have volunteered their ideas for which sentences are clues, submit them to see the score. The program will highlight the answers you should have had, if you got any wrong. Model for your students a discussion about why those are the correct answers and why the ones they submitted weren't. Eventually have this disscussion by themselves in small groups. Those of you with multiple classes will want to create a league for each class.

Eventually you can have small groups of students compete against each other by creating leagues. Have your students come to consensus about the clue sentences and who the real perpetrator is by voting using Thinkmeter reviewed here.

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Online Writing Resources - Red River College

Grades
5 to 12
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Get ready made, 'downloadable' PowerPoints, Word documents, and online interactive exercises for plagiarism, MLA format, works cited, and grammar. The grammar collection includes such...more
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Get ready made, 'downloadable' PowerPoints, Word documents, and online interactive exercises for plagiarism, MLA format, works cited, and grammar. The grammar collection includes such topics as run-on and fragment sentences, active and passive voice, pronoun case, punctuation, and more. The interactive exercises allow students to practice concepts on their own as the program will tell them which answer is correct.

tag(s): capitalization (19), copyright (47), grammar (216), homonyms (12), homophones (17), parts of speech (68), plagiarism (35), proofreading (19), punctuation (43), sentences (52), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Online Writing Resources allows you to introduce a concept with the PowerPoint projected on your whiteboard or projector, then, you can choose to have the students practice online with the interactive exercise(s). As a follow up you can use the Word document as class work, homework, or a quiz. Another idea would be to use the Word document or interactive exercises with the entire class where you can annotate the concept you're explaining with your projector and interactive whiteboard. Assign individual students to complete a specific module for an area of writing where they need extra practice.

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Of Mice and Men: The Student Survival Guide - Nancy Louise Rutherford

Grades
9 to 12
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This great site is dedicated to the novel, Of Mice and Men and could be useful to any student struggling with the literature. Designed to help any student (even ESL/ELL) ...more
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This great site is dedicated to the novel, Of Mice and Men and could be useful to any student struggling with the literature. Designed to help any student (even ESL/ELL) having difficulty with this challenging novel, the site contains chapter synopses, definitions for all difficult words, allusions, and idioms also organized by chapter. Links provide opportunities to delve into the historical and cultural features of the time period of this novel as well as information about the author John Steinbeck. Although the last update to the site was LONG ago, the content is still quite useful.

tag(s): literature (275), novels (24)

In the Classroom

Promote independent reading habits among your advanced ESL/ELL students! Include this link on your class web page for ESL/ELL students and others who may need the extra help.

While reading this novel with your class, assign cooperative learning groups one chapter to create a project. Of course, the entire class will be reading the entire text. However, each group could create a review activity for their own chapter, such as a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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The Interactive Raven - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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Here's TeachersFirst's famous on-line presentation of Poe's classic poem, with notations explaining definitions and literary devices. Roll over words for definitions, literary devices,...more
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Here's TeachersFirst's famous on-line presentation of Poe's classic poem, with notations explaining definitions and literary devices. Roll over words for definitions, literary devices, and more.

tag(s): halloween (40), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

This is a great on-line independent study for students who need additional help with either vocabulary or poetic devices. Introduce the site on your projector (rollovers will not work on an interactive whiteboard), then have students work alone or with a partner to become acquainted with the full text of Poe's masterpiece, accessing definitions and literary devices on their own. Challenge students to create their own dramatic readings of the poem using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or accompany their reading with illustrations using Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Carol after Edgar Allen Poe - J.H. McNulty

Grades
8 to 12
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Tie together two well-known 19th Century masterworks with this adaptation of A Christmas Carol set to the meter and rhyme of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." This creative twist on ...more
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Tie together two well-known 19th Century masterworks with this adaptation of A Christmas Carol set to the meter and rhyme of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." This creative twist on Dickens holiday tale can serve as a summarization of the novel for your students, or as a springboard to a creative writing activity on Victorian poets and novelists. Composed by J. H. McNulty.

tag(s): dickens (13), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a tool during a unit about the Christmas Carol or as part of creative writing unit. Gifted students will especially enjoy the combination of two works into an original. Have them try their own, perhaps more contemporary combination of style from one work with substance from another for a creative synthesis extraordinaire.

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Dickens and Christmas - David Perdue

Grades
7 to 12
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to...more
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to many Dickens' novels, and explains several significant themes evident in A Christmas Carol.

tag(s): christmas (64), dickens (13), victorian (21)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a tool during a unit on Christmas or Charles Dickens. Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation around a theme from Dickens using one of the TeachersFirst Edge reviewed multimedia tools.

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Fraboom Online Children's Museum - Flying Rhinoceros

Grades
K to 8
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Inspire the cartoonist in your class. Fraboom free Daily Doodle live page provides online art teachers, learning communities, video tutorials, and interactive activities. Fraboom TV...more
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Inspire the cartoonist in your class. Fraboom free Daily Doodle live page provides online art teachers, learning communities, video tutorials, and interactive activities. Fraboom TV has videos on how to draw faces, noses and mouths as well as educational videos about dinosaurs, ants, outer space and much more. There are also engaging interactive books to listen to and view.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (63), artists (74), comics and cartoons (74), creative writing (166), drawing (77)

In the Classroom

Inspire expressive writing with cartooning. Play the video lessons about drawing cartoon faces as part of a writing mini-lesson. Encourage students to incorporate evocative facial features in their story illustrations. Afterward, prompt students to include expressive language in their writing that supports their drawings. Be sure to preview the online learning space before allowing students to participate. Fraboom monitors all chats and content before posting. An adult needs to enroll students in order for them to participate in the online drawing classes. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in online discussions. Spell out permissible use and consequences in advance. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. Be sure to screen all portions of the site before implementing it in class and check if it is available when using your school's network.

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Video: Social Media in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
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What is social media? This video takes you on a journey to "Scoopville," a fictitious town used to demonstrate the many "flavors" of social media. The video is short (4-minutes) ...more
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What is social media? This video takes you on a journey to "Scoopville," a fictitious town used to demonstrate the many "flavors" of social media. The video is short (4-minutes) and very easy to follow. Blogs, podcasts, and videos are highlighted at this site. This site does have a small advertisement at the bottom of the screen, click on the X to remove the advertisements. There is a link provided, along with code to embed the video. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88), podcasts (52), social networking (112), video (254)

In the Classroom

If you are looking to learn more about various social media, check out this short video. Learn more about the "flavors" you could use in your own classroom. For research projects have students create a blog, wiki, or even a podcast and compare the pros/cons of each in terms of communication and safety. Create podcasts using a tool such as podOmatic (explained here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club - Privately Published

Grades
4 to 12
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The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club has more information about the Harry Potter books and the world of Harry Potter. You can even find the rules for Quidditch! ...more
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The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club has more information about the Harry Potter books and the world of Harry Potter. You can even find the rules for Quidditch!

tag(s): harry potter (12)

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Harry Potter's Page - Scholastic Books

Grades
4 to 12
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Harry Potter's all the rage, and the web doesn't disappoint. There are lots of resources about Harry and author J.K. Rowling. Scholatic Books has an entire Harry Potter site. It ...more
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Harry Potter's all the rage, and the web doesn't disappoint. There are lots of resources about Harry and author J.K. Rowling. Scholatic Books has an entire Harry Potter site. It features information on the books, discussion and author sections, even a Harry Potter screensaver.

tag(s): harry potter (12)

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