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Census in Schools - US Census Bureau

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K to 12
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The US Census Bureau site provides a collection of materials, lessons, and information designed to teach the nation's students about the importance of the census and focusing on encouraging...more
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The US Census Bureau site provides a collection of materials, lessons, and information designed to teach the nation's students about the importance of the census and focusing on encouraging students to help ensure every child and every household member is counted in 2010. The site includes a copy of the census form, dozens of lesson plans/ideas for various grade levels and subjects, and a few simple interactive activities for both kids and teens.

tag(s): census (19), data (153), population (62), states (164)

In the Classroom

Because of the volume of materials and activities, introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups to put together a Public Service Announcement on participating in the Census 2010. Have students create video advertisements or infomercials. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. Try using the historical census data or the predicted population data for math projects related to statistics.
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Math Maps - Tom Barrett

Grades
K to 6
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This site is an interactive, collaborative project that uses Google maps with you and your students to provide content. You can also see Math maps created by others. By following ...more
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This site is an interactive, collaborative project that uses Google maps with you and your students to provide content. You can also see Math maps created by others. By following the directions, you can create math problems utilizing information from your own city or town. Once the math problems are posted on the map, you can tweet or blog to inform others about them. In addition to creating problems, your students can view the contributions of others and solve real world math problems. Be aware: pop-up messages do appear across the bottom of the screen. These messages are recent posts to the site. Teachers who wish to contribute must submit a Gmail address to be offered access to add their own "Maths Maps." (Note to U.S. educators and students: What you know as "math" is known as "maths" in the UK, Australia, and some other countries. The "s" is NOT a typo!)

tag(s): map skills (81), maps (293), measurement (159)

In the Classroom

What makes this site special is that the content comes directly from educators and students. Use the existing math problems as a challenge activity or to demonstrate how math can be used in the real world. Share the maps and math questions on your interactive whiteboard or projector. The different pin colors represent different age groups so you can choose appropriately leveled math problems. You can easily differentiate for individuals by telling them which color to explore. This site is a great way to get your students to learn more about their community. Have your students research a community spot and create a math problem about it as a class. Enter the information onto the map together or under teacher supervision for other classes all over the world to use. Allow students to explore on their own and keep a math log of all the problems they found and solved on a "trip around the world with math."

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Dare to Compare - Nation Center for Education Statistics

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4 to 12
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Students will enjoy comparing their knowledge with students around the country and the world through the interactive quizzes on this site. Six subject categories are offered (math,...more
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Students will enjoy comparing their knowledge with students around the country and the world through the interactive quizzes on this site. Six subject categories are offered (math, civics, history, geography, science, and economics)at 3 different grade levels (4th, 8th, and 12th). You can also choose 5, 10, 15, or 20 questions. Upon completion of quizzes, scores are shown along with all correct answers. Questions are provided from Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Civic Education Study (CivEd) and National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) - all are institutes which are involved in assessing student achievement and performance. The questions are higher level, and many include diagrams and other visual aids.

tag(s): quiz (88), quizzes (100)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a pre-assessment for a new unit or as a mind bending class challenge. Reinforce and review lessons previously learned with your students. This is a terrific site during the run-up to high stakes testing. Use the questions as classroom conversation starters after taking the quizzes. Print out questions from the quizzes and provide your students with the correct answers and see if they can match them up with the questions. List this link on your class website for students to practice at home. Challenge small groups of students to create their own set of 5 questions about a current unit of study and create a multimedia presentation. Why not have cooperative learning groups create online books (one question per page) using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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Estuaries.gov - NOAA

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K to 12
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Learn about estuaries using this interactive site. Bring to life our nation's estuaries. Participate in field trips to bring these precious coastal environments into the classroom....more
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Learn about estuaries using this interactive site. Bring to life our nation's estuaries. Participate in field trips to bring these precious coastal environments into the classroom. Use technology, data, and inquiry to learn about estuaries and coastal environments. Gain a perspective of the ecological, economic, and other benefits of estuaries. Follow EstuaryLive to experience a field trip to an estuary, compare different estuaries around the United States, and interact with scientists and other resources. Click on EstuaryLive for great interactive resources, Science and Data to read and interpret data, and About Estuaries for some great information.

tag(s): chesapeake bay (4)

In the Classroom

Find an unbelievable amount of information on this site. For example, click the Educators tab and then Life Science. Find some incredible activities such as "Survival in an Estuary." View Curriculum Overview for great classroom ideas and suggestions for management. Observe images and data under Science and Data and then under the Visualizations tab. Find data already packaged into Data Lessons as well. Students find games and other interesting activities under the Students tab.
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My Plant ID - MyPlantID

Grades
4 to 12
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Learning about plants and plant names? Use this resource to find names of unidentified plants or help in identifying unknown plants. An account is required to identify or name plants....more
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Learning about plants and plant names? Use this resource to find names of unidentified plants or help in identifying unknown plants. An account is required to identify or name plants. It is probably easiest to create a class account to use this site. Registration requires an email and general location information. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. Take pictures of local plants and upload including location for others to use on the site. View a Google map that shows the location of various plants.

tag(s): classification (25), plants (153)

In the Classroom

View unidentified plants in order to classify, name, and enter information to help others. Create groups to find, photograph, and identify native plants to add to this database as part of a classification, botany, or my community unit. Use this site to determine where many plants are found, which can lead to discussions of climate zones, native and invasive plants, adaptations of plants, as well as uses of various plants in our living spaces.
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Online Basic Skill Games - Jefferson County

Grades
K to 8
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This site provides links to basic skill games for math, language arts, science, and social studies. Although we don't typically review "hotlists" this one really has something to offer...more
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This site provides links to basic skill games for math, language arts, science, and social studies. Although we don't typically review "hotlists" this one really has something to offer anyone teaching elementary or middle school. Each subject area has several topics. Each topic has countless links for more information and/or activities. Language Arts topics include Letter Fun, Working with Words, Go Grammar, Spell It, and Read It. Science highlights Animals, Plants, Physics, Biology, Anatomy, Weather, and Space. Math includes everything from Money to Probability to Graphing to Patterns (and more). At the Social Studies link you will find Maps, 50 States, U.S. Presidents, History, The World, and Flags. The link to interactive websites includes activities for grades pre-K -12.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), fractions (234), integers (41), money (186), patterns (85)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers and use it as a center. Students can focus on areas of strength or weakness on a math game day. Because this site offers multiple levels and activities for many topics, it is easy to differentiate for ability levels within your class. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access for home based skills practice. There is a LOT here to explore.
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Google for Education - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Not sure how to use Google's innovative tools for your classroom activities? Follow lessons which include step by step directions with screenshots and self-check quizzes for many tools...more
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Not sure how to use Google's innovative tools for your classroom activities? Follow lessons which include step by step directions with screenshots and self-check quizzes for many tools including Calendar, Classroom, Google Docs, Google Play, Forms, Maps, Sheets, and much more. Choose from one of the many tools along the left side. View all the lessons available to learn about using the tool. Some of the training videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): maps (293), organizational skills (128), spreadsheets (18)

In the Classroom

Even those familiar with the Google tools will find information and uses they did not know about. Consider posting a link to your class web page for students to access. Your students are also valuable resources. Be sure to point out students who are able to use tools in unique ways that other students can learn from.

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Explore - Annenberg

Grades
3 to 12
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos and live cams, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their...more
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos and live cams, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Search through a wide range of places or causes. View a range of topics from health, animal rights, spiritualism, and education. Explore a variety of global issues to bring cultures and issues into perspective. View videos in HD. Download and embed videos for reuse. Remixing videos is against the acceptable use policy of the site. Read descriptions which provide the necessary background information and view links of related content and materials. This site is a must see! Selected videos can be used with younger elementary classes, depending on the curriculum connections.

tag(s): heroes (24)

In the Classroom

Find photos that speak to students and use them as an activator at the start of class. After viewing the picture, provide time for writing questions about the picture These questions will lead to search terms to find more information about culture, pollution, and socioeconomic problems. Encourage students to create poster or blog campaigns outlining problems and possible solutions. Why not create multimedia posters using a site such as Padlet, reviewed here. Find other areas in the world where similar or related problems are occurring. Identify the historical, economic, or geographical reasons for the problems. Challenge students to create a thematic Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows you to create a map with audio! Students can use this site as inspiration for "I believe..." style essays, photos, or videos. Looking for a FREE video sharing tool? Check out TeacherTube, reviewed here.
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Temperate Oceans - MBGnet

Grades
4 to 10
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This colorful and informative site provides information about oceans. Specific topics include "How the Ocean Refreshes Itself," "Ocean Animals," "Food from the Ocean," and several others....more
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This colorful and informative site provides information about oceans. Specific topics include "How the Ocean Refreshes Itself," "Ocean Animals," "Food from the Ocean," and several others. Many of the topics include interactive presentations. There is also a link to find more "Ocean Links."

tag(s): animals (288), oceans (150)

In the Classroom

If your class is learning about the oceans of the world, delve even "deeper" by sharing this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have cooperative learning groups explore specific areas of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create a UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows for narrating and adding text to a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be uploaded), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Or, bring even more geography skills into the project by having groups create a Zeemaps, reviewed here, sharing exactly WHERE the oceans are located (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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International Kids Club - Planet Pals

Grades
2 to 10
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks,...more
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks, religions, customs, organizations, and art. Specific links include "I" Kids, "I" Share, "I" Shop, "I" Learn, "I" Craft, and "I" Play. One fun part is finding out how speakers of different languages think animals sound. What is "meow" in an Asian language, for example? Sound files give examples of the sounds of many languages, as well. Some of the links are slow to open at times, so you may want to open them before you are ready to use them in class.

tag(s): flags (22), maps (293), tolerance (9)

In the Classroom

Use parts of this site when doing units on prejudice, diversity, and discrimination. Refer students to do research in some of the books listed here on those subjects. Have students interview people from other cultures to check the information given here on aspects of their cultures. Do they agree with what is said here? Even younger students will enjoy learning about flags and peace symbols. Make the craft links available for students doing reports on different countries or preparing for an International Day. Have students copy flags or other country symbols. Ask them to create their own "country" from these models. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific topic at this site and prepare a podcast to share with the class using PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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Tramline Virtual Field Trips - Tramline

Grades
1 to 12
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This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson...more
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This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson plans linked in the Teacher Resource section of the page, and extra information on the topic. The trips themselves are a lot like guided web quests. The websites that are used in the field trips show good variety. And standards are even provided! The trips include grade levels. Examples of topics include hurricanes, dinosaurs, deserts, natural wonders, dark ages, and American Presidency.

tag(s): field trips (12), investing (8), mars (42), oceans (150), shakespeare (112), virtual field trips (50)

In the Classroom

Virtual field trips from this website could be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a whole class activity. A better use could be to create a question sheet that mirrors the trip and have students work through the field trip at their own pace in lab, either with partners or individually. Follow up by challenging student groups to create an interactive guidebook to their topic using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. With younger students, make a class book together.
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ScribbleMaps - Scribble Maps

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map ...more
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map with added scribbles and labels. Add your choice of placemarker labels for geology locations, people, etc. There are even little icons available to use. Your drawing or "Scribble Map" is then available to share by URL, email, or print. Slightly more savvy users can download, save as a kml file (readable in Google Maps or Google Earth), or embed the map in another site. The tools include sharing the map on Facebook and Twitter, as well. Add images by pasting in their urls. Drawing tools include lines, circles, place pointers, text labels, and color/size/transparency controls for all tools. Place pointers can be edited by selecting them (arrow tool), then clicking the small pencil. This site does include Google Ads and all the normal controls of Google maps, including satellite, map, terrain, hybrid views and Night Sky. See a sample Scribble Map created by the TeachersFirst editors (drag the map with your mouse!). Explore the tools and MENU options at the top left when you start out. Try the different Maps views (lower right) and zoom controls. Search for a starter location using the search at the top left, just below the tools. There is no help available, but it is easy to do basic maps. Share, save, etc. by clicking Menu (top left). When you first save a map, it will ask you to create a password for that map to use to edit it later. Note that if you SAVE a map and share it by URL, those accessing it will be able to use the tools and change the map. If you want them to see it without changing it, you will need to embed it in a blog, wiki, or other web site. The map ID can be changed and customized by simply typing in your own choice of ID when you are saving the map.
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tag(s): directions (19), geology (81), landforms (47), landmarks (27), map skills (81), maps (293), space (218)

In the Classroom

Students and teachers will want to keep a written record or map URLS and passwords for future reference. Model this for students so they do not lose hours of work! Teachers can prepare partially-made maps or maps for students to make corrections and changes by giving the students the URL, then having them SAVE the map with a NEW ID. To SAVE the map with a new name and URL, click "Save map" in the menu, then enter your OWN map ID. Students could use a code including their initials, such as SJ12-3-09 for a map made by Sally Jones on Dec 3, 2009. Teachers should PASSWORD protect their originals so changes can only be saved under a new name. Similarly, if a student saves the map with a map password, they don't have to worry about other students vandalizing their work. But they DO need to remember the password! Wise teachers will keep a class list of maps and passwords for forgetful students! In primary grades, make maps of your local community together on your interactive whiteboard as you teach basic map skills. Create your own "key" with symbols you choose for playgrounds, etc. Have students help map locations of favorite playgrounds, grandparents' houses, stores, etc. as they gain basic understanding of map skills. Make sure you allow students to operate the tools! Save the map and share it as a link from your class web site (or embed it there). Keep names generic so it is "safe." Other ideas to challenge gifted student beyond the curriculum or elevate challenge for small groups include: natural resource maps, immigration maps, maps of civil war battles day by day, maps of key sites in the life of a famous person, artist, or author, maps of the settings in a novel, landform maps of a continent or state, "My life" maps of places important to an elementary student's family, annotated watershed maps of pollution sources, maps of the water cycle, maps of constellations in the night sky created by students to demonstrate understanding, maps of a dream community to be built in a vacant area (desert), including the water sources, etc. that will be needed, maps of a redesigned city/town on top of its current map. Teachers can provide map challenges or templates to be completed or corrected, including maps where students must label distances and cardinal directions between points (using map scale and skills). Or provide a teacher-created map with labels in the wrong places for students to correct the landforms, resources, etc. What will YOU do with Scribble Maps?
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One minute wonders - BBC

Grades
K to 8
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View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a ...more
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View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a Northern Oriole that can eat 17 caterpillars in a minute, music in the 16th century, or vehicles in the world. Videos are entertaining and sure to capture student attention. After viewing videos, click on quizzes to check understanding.

tag(s): animals (288), engineering (127), inventors and inventions (95)

In the Classroom

Use these minute-length videos to introduce a topic on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These would also make a great introduction to writing prompts or blog posts. Consider using these as examples for one minute projects for students to demonstrate understanding for any topic or content area (and make accompanying quizzes for their peers to try). Have cooperative learning groups view videos of their choice and add their findings to your class "One Minute Wonder Wiki." Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. In lower grades, have students plan and act out their own one minute wonder plays to explain something they have learned or simply share the videos as humorous but accurate portrayals of science topics. American students will need to grow accustomed to the British accents.
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WordSearchFun.com - WordSearchFun.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you ...more
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you can't find one, make your OWN ONLINE word search. What a fantastic tool to use and/or create in any subject!

tag(s): photography (161), puzzles (207)

In the Classroom

Share the relevant word searches on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups practice spelling or vocabulary words by creating their own word search. List this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. This is a great one for those word search lovers in your class. Why not have students use a whole-class account to make their own word searches to challenge each other with new vocabulary and terms?

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Go For The Gold - Scholastic

Grades
K to 10
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This website (originally created for the 2004 Olympics, and updated in 2008and 2010) offers a great deal of information on the Olympics. Specific highlights include "In my Backyard,"...more
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This website (originally created for the 2004 Olympics, and updated in 2008and 2010) offers a great deal of information on the Olympics. Specific highlights include "In my Backyard," "History of the Games," "More to Explore," and "Get in the Game." There are also links to a Teachers Guide (with lesson plans for grades K-10 and standards), related booklists, interactive activities, and more. Although this site is slightly dated, it does contain some excellent information on the origin and history of the Olympics. Also, the "In The News" section is no longer updated.

tag(s): china (67), olympics (49)

In the Classroom

If you are bringing the Olympics into your classroom, incorporate the many ideas at this website into your lessons. There are lesson plans ready to go (and divided by grade level). Try the interactive "It's All Greek To Me" together on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about the history of the Olympics, politics and the Olympics, and other pertinent topics.
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Going for the Gold - 2009 United States Olympic Committee

Grades
2 to 12
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Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video...more
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Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video clips, explore the articles, and more. Click on "Resources" and then "U.S. Olympic Education" to find some lesson ideas to use in your classroom. There are some minor advertisements at this website.

tag(s): china (67), olympics (49)

In the Classroom

Use this site to research American athletes. Share the video clips, read the blogs, and view the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Don't miss the lesson ideas (in the "Resources" section). Share this site on your class website, so families can follow the U.S. Olympians.
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Olympic Sports - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 10
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for the Olympics. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Olympics-related...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for the Olympics. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Olympics-related vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): olympics (49), sports (98), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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The Museum of Underwater Archaeology - The Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Grades
4 to 12
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Many museum sites are little more than a set of on-line directions to get to the brick-and-mortar museum and a few promotional photographs. This site, however, is designed to be ...more
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Many museum sites are little more than a set of on-line directions to get to the brick-and-mortar museum and a few promotional photographs. This site, however, is designed to be used as an online museum. You can start by searching the museum by geographic location or keyword. You can also search by time period from the "Teaching Kit" area. Or click on one of the featured exhibits which range from excavations of the CSS Alabama, the remains of an 18th century fleet sunk in New York's Lake George, to the HMS Serapis. A link to a "teachers' kit" gives information about ordering (free with the exception of shipping costs) a hands-on set of materials to keep and get free updates for as long as they would like to use it. For younger students, there is a slide show that introduces the concepts of underwater archaeology in an interactive whiteboard-friendly format (see featured exhibit: A Children's Introduction).

tag(s): oceans (150)

In the Classroom

Who isn't fascinated by treasure buried under the seas? This site will help you sneak in history lessons by engaging students in the process of underwater archaeology. The site also makes a strong effort to integrate various curriculum areas from art to biology along with the historical importance of various excavations. Students might also want to follow one of the underwater blogs with information about ongoing projects. Have cooperative learning groups create a multimedia project related to one of the blog stories. For visual students, use an online poster creator such as Padlet (reviewed here). Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Equal Exchange's Fair Trade Curriculum & Educational Resources - Equal Exchange

Grades
4 to 10
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This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops ...more
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This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops are. The complete curriculum is downloadable and printable, and the daily lessons at this site offer support and extra activities. One lesson, translated for Spanish teachers, offers students an activity so they can understand "What's Fair?" One of the most exciting parts of the website is a collection of videos of Dominican children talking in Spanish about cocoa production! The lesson plans include a variety of activities for students and include projects in math, writing, civics, research, geography, art, music, and international culture.

tag(s): air (151)

In the Classroom

Use these lessons as part of a unit in social studies, Family and Consumer Science, or several other subjects. Take your students on a visit to a local food coop or invite one of their members to speak to your class live or via Skype (explained here.). Have students do a project comparing coop grocery sales with the more commercial establishments. Maybe even have student groups create an online Venn Diagram comparing the two using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). If you have international students from the Dominican Republic or other cocoa producing countries, share this site with them and allow them to compare what the students say on the video to their own experiences. Create your own videotaped interviews with food growers or their families. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
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Google Earth in the Classroom - Joe Wood

Grades
K to 12
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This teacher-created wiki supplements it with Google Earth Resources galore. Find links...more
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This teacher-created wiki supplements it with Google Earth Resources galore. Find links to lesson plans and files for using Google Earth in your classroom for many subjects. See a tutorial video on Google Earth, find directions for making files, and more. Ideas for using Google Earth by subject even include links to ready-made files so you need not start out by creating from scratch. See what other teachers have done and let it inspire you and your students to do more. Learn how to make kmz (placemarker) files.

tag(s): globe (15), landforms (47), landmarks (27), maps (293)

In the Classroom

Make this site part of your personal professional development or pair up with a teaching buddy to learn more about Google Earth (GE) and plan activities for your classrooms. Share the link with your students, as well, so your class can become GE experts together. Even if your access to GE is limited to a single class computer, work together with a small team of student "GEniuses" to prepare class placemarker files, then have the team teach other students, as well. If your school has personal professional development plans or allows teacher to suggest topics for professional workshops, include this link, along with other GE resources from TeachersFirst, as your inservice day agenda.
 
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