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No Name-Calling Week - GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for some "fresh" ideas to put an end to bullying in your classroom but are not sure where or how to start? Well, you are in the ...more
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Are you looking for some "fresh" ideas to put an end to bullying in your classroom but are not sure where or how to start? Well, you are in the right place. This web site brings attention to No Name-Calling Week: an annual week of realistic educational activities designed to end all types of name-calling. No Name-Calling Week was inspired by the young adult novel, The Misfits, and presents an opportunity to address bullying as an increasingly, ongoing issue. Whether you are a teacher, student, administrator, counselor, or parent, there is an abundance of useful ideas, activities, and materials for elementary, middle, and high schools to promote anti-bullying awareness, and they are all free!

tag(s): bullying (52), sports (96), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Use the resources from this web site to plan and implement lessons that students will relate to, and help to bring an end to harmful name-calling and "dissing." Select some of the many safe Web 2.0 tools reviewed by TeachersFirst Edge, such as Automotivator, reviewed here for designing digital posters that can be printed, or PhotoPeach, reviewed here for creating a digital slideshow that includes music, captions, and more. TeachersFirst also has an entire collection of on line resources to create comic strips, available here to drive home the message that bullying is never a laughing matter.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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KenKen - Nextoy, LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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This site provides tutorials and free puzzles for the game of KenKen. KenKen is similar to Soduku; however, it has the added complication of requiring number combinations (using operations...more
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This site provides tutorials and free puzzles for the game of KenKen. KenKen is similar to Soduku; however, it has the added complication of requiring number combinations (using operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) to fit within bolded boxes. The site has an excellent illustrated tutorial on how to play the game located at the "How to Play" link. Teachers can sign up for the free newsletter and receive free puzzles. There are several free puzzles on the site. Much of the site is devoted to selling puzzle books (so you will notice some advertisements); however, there are many free puzzles and the tutorial makes it worth a visit. Also available is an iphone app that can be downloaded to receive more puzzles.

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), logic (235), multiplication (227), puzzles (208), subtraction (208), vision (87)

In the Classroom

Review the illustrated tutorial on your interactive whiteboard or projector when showing students how to play KenKen. After students understand the game, create a link to the free puzzles on classroom computers or the computer lab for students to solve. After solving puzzles, allow students to discuss their solutions and problem-solving process.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twurdy - twurdy.com

Grades
K to 12
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Twurdy is web search that includes a readability index! Think of the implications: Everyone has different reading abilities. Some people searching the web are seven or eight...more
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Twurdy is web search that includes a readability index! Think of the implications: Everyone has different reading abilities. Some people searching the web are seven or eight year old children, while others are in high school or beyond. Twurdy provides access to search results that suit individuals' reading levels, by providing an easy color coded system to help you quickly determine how simple or hard the page will be to understand. The beauty is that it is not an extra step! Twurdy is powered by Google. Try it right now. It only takes a few seconds. Just go to the Twurdy website (by clicking on the title in this review) and copy/paste the URL - http://www.teachersfirst.com/index.cfm in the search box. Not only will you see Twurdy's value, you will have the added bonus of discovering our TeachersFirst website if you are not already a frequent user. While this site could be independently used by intermediate and secondary students, teachers of the primary grades may also find this site useful as a professional resource.

tag(s): readability (8), search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Twurdy is useful for all grades and subjects. Teachers can spend hours looking for age/grade appropriate websites to display on classroom whiteboards, include in webquests, and recommend for usage with assignments. Save valuable time by finding the information that is most appropriate for your students. This will mean that more time can be spent actually getting the assignment done, rather than clicking through material that is either too difficult or too simplistic to use. Bookmark this site in your favorites and provide the link on your class web page to save yourself and your students a lot of time finding what you are looking for. Remember that you can "organize" recommended sites for students using a tool such as LiveBinders (reviewed here, share them with readability tips using Diigo reviewed here, or even color code them by reading level for younger students using Symbaloo reviewed here.

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Wonderopolis - National Center for Family Literacy

Grades
2 to 8
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This site provides a daily "wonder" in the form of a question for students to think about. Parents and teachers can choose a topic by category or by day. Each ...more
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This site provides a daily "wonder" in the form of a question for students to think about. Parents and teachers can choose a topic by category or by day. Each question is accompanied by a video, questions to think about, links and activities that students can do. Click on the "Wonders" link to see a list of archived daily "wonders."

tag(s): creativity (109), enrichment (13)

In the Classroom

These daily wonders are perfect to use while students are waiting for homeroom to begin. You could have them projected on a whiteboard for students to work on. Use these for an enrichment/curiosity center. They are perfect for the gifted student who finishes his work early. Use the provided vocabulary in your language arts or science curriculum. Place this link on your webpage for parents to use at home. In addition, this site would be a great place for students to go for science fair ideas or research project ideas. Please note that some videos are on You Tube so be sure to check to see if the videos might be blocked in your district. Consider adding a student-submitted "wonderopolis" page on your class wiki or a bulletin board for students to post their own thoughtful questions and build creativity. Make student questioning a part of your classroom life.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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JamStudio - The Online Music Factory - Chord Studio, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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JamStudio allows for the creation of original music compositions in an easy, time effective manner. It is an easy process. Anyone could play with this website and make music, however...more
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JamStudio allows for the creation of original music compositions in an easy, time effective manner. It is an easy process. Anyone could play with this website and make music, however those that have musical backgrounds and expertise could use this to create compositions that are spectacular. A login does not really enhance the capabilities of the site. The only advantage of a user name is that you can post music publicly and both you and other users can comment on it. Music is not automatically saved, in fact to share music as a mp3, an "All Access" pass is needed. Thus the paid membership to the site. There is a link to apply for a grant to an "All Access" pass. The process is simple and the pass would allow for the saving of files. However, this site could be used without saving music to their server. There is the possibility of using a program such as GarageBand or any sound recording device on the computer to save the composition.

tag(s): composers (21), music theory (42), songs (52), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Musical skills are not a "must" for this site, however would make its use more productive. Beyond listening and clicking ability, the instructions are on screen. It's a great site to creatively "dabble."

If students do create user names, encourage them to use non-identifying names as the posts with their user names are open to the public. Sharing student work may be a safety risk as your students are probably minors.

This tool would be great for independent music studies and/or performance class. Have students compose their own accompaniments to be used as they play for the class. Or, in a less advanced music class or general music class have small groups of students create music using the interactive whiteboard and share with the class. Try using computer programs such as Garage Band or Windows Media Player to record the music to your computer. Students could then share files with each other and listen to a variety of different student created music.

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ccMixter - ArtisTech Media

Grades
K to 12
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This site allows users the opportunity to sample, interact, and mash-up music that is posted as well as upload original works. Users are also given a URL where uploaded works ...more
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This site allows users the opportunity to sample, interact, and mash-up music that is posted as well as upload original works. Users are also given a URL where uploaded works and remixes can be located and shared. Note that the public can submit works, so -- although our editors have not seen any-- the submissions could include lyrics not appropriate for listening in school.

tag(s): podcasts (52), sound (100), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to record music on their own computer, locate files on their computer, and follow onscreen instructions. Parents and family can hear their student's work as long as the student shares the URL with them.

Have musically gifted students use this to create school sound tracks for the school television show or announcements. Have students create their own drama club or musical interludes for performances. In music clubs, have students record their music to their artist page, share the URL with others in the club, and remix each other's work. In music class, use as a submission space. Have students upload work to their artist page and check work digitally.

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21st Century Questions - 21st Century Question

Grades
6 to 12
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21st Century Questions is a collaborative blog designed to pose thoughtful and challenging questions about the impact of technology on society. In partnership with efforts to...more
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21st Century Questions is a collaborative blog designed to pose thoughtful and challenging questions about the impact of technology on society. In partnership with efforts to promote digital literacy skills, teachers, students, and others can use this site either by accessing the questions already posed and exploring them with students, or by posing additional questions themselves. Each post contains a prompt, either in the form of a short video clip, a cartoon, or a short narrative, and then a series of open-ended questions. The rest is up to you!

tag(s): writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

These questions present a wealth of challenging writing prompts, class discussion starters, or extension/enrichment activities for gifted students or high ability writers in science or social students classes, in debate club, or in enrichment programs. Access the site yourself and cherry-pick your favorite questions. Alternatively, provide a link to the site and ask students to explore possible questions they'd like to answer or discuss. Finally, collaborate as a class to develop question prompts of your own as a group project and then post them to the site. Bookmark this site as one of those you go to when you have unexpected time to fill in class, or as a resource for a substitute teacher-led discussion. Science teachers can use technology issues to connect science with real world topics for students who may not otherwise see value in mastering concepts. Assign groups to explore a topic of their choice from this blog and present it in open-ended debate once a month in your science class or as part of a science careers unit.

Comments

This is a treasure trove of prompts to ponder and spur editorial/argument writing. I LOVE THIS! Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Fuel the Brain

Grades
K to 5
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Check out this highly interactive site that offers a wealth of math activities, printables, and more for elementary students of all ages. Students will enjoy the many different Math...more
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Check out this highly interactive site that offers a wealth of math activities, printables, and more for elementary students of all ages. Students will enjoy the many different Math games such as Fact Worms (basic facts), A Lucky Place (place value), and Jelly Golf (fractions). Main topics include: Counting & Cardinality, Number & Operations, Operations & Algebraic Thinking, Measurement & Data, and Geometry. Interactives may be used without registering on the site; however, registration allows scores to be compiled and posted against other players. Be sure to check out the interactives such as Venn Diagrams as well as printables, teacher's guides, articles and seasonal resources. Activities have also been matched up to North Carolina Mathematics Standards.

tag(s): fractions (239), money (193), numbers (204), preK (279), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

The interactives are perfect to use on interactive whiteboards or projectors. Use activities as an introduction to new units such as making change, counting on the number line, or recognizing numbers shown with base 10 blocks. Save this on your desktop on all of your classroom computers. List this link on your classroom website or blog. This is excellent enrichment and/or advancement for gifted students. It could also be used for extra practice for struggling students. This site is definitely one to save and revisit often.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Games - FPS Networks Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Word Games has compiled many of the web's best word games into one resource. Games are categorized in several different ways such as typing, word search, puzzles, and others. In ...more
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Word Games has compiled many of the web's best word games into one resource. Games are categorized in several different ways such as typing, word search, puzzles, and others. In addition, the newest and most popular games are identified for easy access. Facebook users can "like" the site and receive daily games to play. This site provides varied activities to help increase word skills at many different levels.

Navigate carefully as this site has many advertisements! But the great interactives make it worth the hassle.

tag(s): logic (235), puzzles (208), sudoku (18)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Provide a link to these activities on your class website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Poetry through the Ages: An Expressive Journey - J. Romano, R. Yehling & Curator of WebExhibit: M. Douma

Grades
8 to 12
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This web exhibit uses multimedia elements that provide an enjoyable, informative exploration of poetic forms, history, and evolution from ancient to modern times. You may browse by...more
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This web exhibit uses multimedia elements that provide an enjoyable, informative exploration of poetic forms, history, and evolution from ancient to modern times. You may browse by region or era to broaden learning about the development of poetry and methods for how to read a poem to understand it better. You can easily zoom into images, use the technology elements to map a course through early poetry to the renaissance period and beyond, create your own poetry, and print pages. WebExhibits, an interactive means and innovative approach for teaching science, humanities, and culture, presents Poetry through the Ages designed to serve as an ideal tool for learning about poetic forms, their influences in their eras, and their relevance today.

tag(s): poetry (227)

In the Classroom

Introduce this online exhibit on your classroom whiteboard to bring the love of studying and writing poetry to your students. Enable your class to research and relate history through the great poetic forms. Individual or group assignments could range from choosing any of the forms featured in Poetry through the Ages and focusing on its style, structure, era, and practicing poets. Broaden the scope by comparing and contrasting the culture, history, environment, people, and poets from different eras. Write essays, and then analyze their strengths and drawbacks. Determine which era would best suit your poetic flair, and then write poems in that form. Ask your school librarian to become involved to generate excitement by hosting an "Open Mic" or poetry slam at the culmination of this unit. Use an online tool such as Bookemon reviewed here, Or PodOMatic, (reviewed here), to create a multimedia class poetry volume and link it to your web page to show how students interpret and express their world through verse. Parents would love to receive an audio file as a gift that they can easily download.
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Congress.org - C-Q Roll Call, Inc

Grades
9 to 12
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Congress.org is a product of the larger group of news publications that include Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call, both long-time sources of news about Washington politics. The...more
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Congress.org is a product of the larger group of news publications that include Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call, both long-time sources of news about Washington politics. The site collects news stories, letters to congress and statements from political advocacy groups in one place for the reader to survey. The site is as non-partisan as possible, and it's possible you will find links to statements from the National Rifle Association next to those from the the Society of Friends. There is also a running accounting of recent votes in Congress for those trying to keep up with current legislation. Be aware, however, that one portion of the site includes letters to Members of Congress written by subscribers; previewing in advance is advised.

tag(s): congress (33), elections (75), house of representatives (9), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Consider placing this site on your class web page for students to use in researching political viewpoints, both in relation to upcoming elections and in ongoing political debate. It's a site for true politics junkies, but will be useful for those who are looking for concise information collected in a readable, easy-to-access format. Use the site during your study of the legislative branch and have groups follow congressional groups of individuals, creating a timeline of their activities using a tool such as XTimeline, reviewed here or Dipity, reviewed here. Embed the congressional timelines in your class wiki for students to compare and critique or to trace an incumbent's activities during an election cycle.

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Math Solutions - Math Solutions

Grades
K to 12
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This site provides many resources for math teachers of all grades and includes lesson plans, articles, classroom and administrator questions and answers, and helpful links - all located...more
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This site provides many resources for math teachers of all grades and includes lesson plans, articles, classroom and administrator questions and answers, and helpful links - all located under the "helpful tool" tab at the top of the site. Click to find elementary resources, algebra, calculus, and other "basic math." Free webinars are also available within the site. Math Solutions was founded by Marilyn Burns, who is known as one of the foremost experts in elementary math instruction. Although much of the website is devoted to materials and Professional Development for sale, there are many resources available for free that are extremely helpful for classroom teachers. One such resource is the classroom lessons portion. Lessons are in ready to print PDF format making them easy to review and use for planning. Sample classroom conversations are often included along with samples of student work and suggestions for use in the classroom. This site also sells many resource materials, so links to these materials are included for alternative resources within the lesson. No need to buy, however! Teachers can sign up to receive the free monthly newsletter containing information about new materials on the Math Solutions site.

tag(s): problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans; also search for plans in grades higher and lower that can be modified to meet your students' needs. Display student work included with the lesson plans on your interactive whiteboard or projector as conversation starters in your classroom - allow students to discuss other students' work to increase understanding of concepts.

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Ice Ice Maybe - Manga High

Grades
2 to 6
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Guide penguins across the ice with this logic and estimation game. Reach the target level and move on to a higher level. Teachers can create a free account and register ...more
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Guide penguins across the ice with this logic and estimation game. Reach the target level and move on to a higher level. Teachers can create a free account and register students to save high scores, although it isn't necessary to play the game.

tag(s): estimation (46), logic (235), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Save as a shortcut on classroom computers to use as a center. Encourage students to problem solve to get the penguins further along the ice and achieve higher levels. Share this link on your class website so students can practice logic and estimation while at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Fire: Estimating Percent - Shodor

Grades
6 to 8
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Practice estimating skills with number and percent on this website. After inputting a fractional probability of the "burn," click on the forest for the fire to take place. Based on...more
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Practice estimating skills with number and percent on this website. After inputting a fractional probability of the "burn," click on the forest for the fire to take place. Based on the number of trees burned, input the estimate of number or percent of trees burned. Choices are also available for how close the estimate should be - close, really close, or almost perfect. Be sure to check on the link for instructors that provides an exploration worksheet, links to standards, items for classroom discussion, and links to similar resources.

tag(s): estimation (46), fractions (239), percent (82), probability (130), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Print out the exploration worksheet for students to complete, then discuss using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Using the interactive whiteboard, discuss why the probability of burn doesn't always equal the actual burn amount. Create a link on your classroom website, wiki, or blog for students to practice at home.
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Snappy Words-Free Visual Online Dictionary - Snappy Words.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws...more
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws connections to associated words. Simply type a word in the search box and click "GO." A word map is instantaneously created. An extra built in feature is that the words in the visual interactive display are automatically color coded according to parts of speech. Look up as many words as you need anytime; there is no limit on the number of searches and no registration is required.
As with most online tools, teacher monitoring is strongly advised.

tag(s): maps (288), parts of speech (68), speech (92), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students on all grade levels will love usingSnappy Words for all subjects. Demonstrate it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, bookmark it in your favorites, and make it directly available to students from your class webpage. Elementary students will enjoy defining their spelling words or content area vocabulary. They can categorize their words by parts of speech or create a list of synonyms. Students can then create their own word "maps" for new vocabulary words using drawing tools or online graphic organizers like bubbl.us reviewed here or webspiration reviewed here. Middle school, high school and adult learners can use it as a valuable tool for vocabulary specific to a literary work or subject area, preparing for a standardized test, or while reading assigned material or a book, poem, or article of choice. Whether you are writing content for an article, a blog, a letter, or any assignment, minimize this website and play with words to avoid repetition, choose precise meanings and kick your vocabulary up a notch! Share this one on your class web page, for sure.
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National History Day - National History Day

Grades
6 to 12
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No national social studies competition carries more respect than National History Day. Each year a new theme leads students to delve into primary research on local, regional, or national...more
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No national social studies competition carries more respect than National History Day. Each year a new theme leads students to delve into primary research on local, regional, or national issues and events. This site is the home page for the competition, complete with all materials and information needed to participate. Whether you choose to hold a History Day event within your school or to compete against others, this site will get you started. Use this site in combination with TeachersFirst's collection of History Day Resources.

tag(s): history day (23)

In the Classroom

Whether you choose to hold a History Day event within your school or to compete against others, this site will get you started. Make this a permanent link on your class web page or share it with your gifted enrichment specialist for a curriculum connection to challenge any student.

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Online-Calculator - Online-calculator.com

Grades
K to 12
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific ...more
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific or BMI calculator. There is also a stopwatch tool available. If you speak a language other than English, simply click to change to the language of your choice - it's that easy.

Be aware: this site does include advertisements.

tag(s): latin (22)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool, beyond the obvious ones for math class. Bookmark this site on your own computer for projection on an interactive whiteboard and make the link available on your class web page for students to access from individual computers. You can shrink the calculator window in the corner of your interactive whiteboard to use as needed. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. The stopwatch tool can be useful for any in-class, timed assignment.
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Houghton Mifflin's Math Expressions - Houghton Mifflin

Grades
K to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site, created by Houghton Mifflin, goes along with their Math Expressions series. The home page offers links for teachers, students, and families. The links for teachers...more
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This site, created by Houghton Mifflin, goes along with their Math Expressions series. The home page offers links for teachers, students, and families. The links for teachers and families offer PDF printables, lesson ideas, unit by unit information, a glossary (with audio) and more. The link for students offers online manipulatives, math glossary, interactive challenges, and much more. This is a great addition to your math program whether you use Math Expressions or not. Topics depend on grade level (K-5). Some topics include counters, base ten, fractions, decimals, money, and countless others. The Math Lingo game in the student area for each grade reinforces math vocabulary.

tag(s): decimals (133), fractions (239), manipulatives (41), money (193)

In the Classroom

If using this series, check your grade level for additional ideas to help struggling students or ones who need an extra challenge. List this link on your class website for parents and students to access both in and out of class. Even if you don't use this series, you will find a plethora of math interactives by clicking on the link for Students. Make a shortcut on your computers to the student activities for your grade level. Share some of the activities (and how to USE them) on your interactive whiteboard or projector before assigning students to work independently.
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Ask Philosophers - Ask Philosophers

Grades
9 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Sometimes, right in the middle of an ordinary lesson, a student asks a question that is so profound, so abstract, that it brings the entire class to a screeching halt. ...more
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Sometimes, right in the middle of an ordinary lesson, a student asks a question that is so profound, so abstract, that it brings the entire class to a screeching halt. It's so tempting to say to the student, "We don't have time for that right now..." This site is about those big questions, and it's really very simple. Ordinary people send questions to a panel of philosophers, and the philosophers answer the questions. There are over 3000 questions answered on the site, all indexed by topic or keyword, and be aware that one of the topics is "sex." It's not pornographic, but the questions are direct.

In the Classroom

If you're looking for meaty writing prompts, this site is full of interesting and open-ended questions. The questions might also serve as a good data base for a class learning debate. It may also be helpful for students to see that philosophers use formal rules of thinking in answering their questions; they don't just say what they "feel" is right. Understanding that moral and ethical decision making is based on a set of predetermined principles is a concept that many students struggle with. This site would be useful for teaching ethical decision making with students whose thinking has progressed to the point where they are able to think more abstractly and philosophically: a gifted class perhaps? Have a class wiki dedicated to philosophy and profound questions. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Mindcipher

Grades
3 to 12
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Mindcipher provides riddles and mind puzzles in various subject areas including math, logic, physics, computer science, and lateral thinking. Puzzles are categorized based on easy,...more
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Mindcipher provides riddles and mind puzzles in various subject areas including math, logic, physics, computer science, and lateral thinking. Puzzles are categorized based on easy, hard, most liked, and most commented on. Advertisements can be distracting. May work better as a resource for elementary teachers.

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

In the Classroom

Allow older students to sift through puzzles and identify one they want to solve. Have students present their problem solving strategies to the class by creating an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here that showcases their thinking. Identify puzzles that younger students have the knowledge to solve, and then have them solve the puzzles with a partner. They can then showcase strategies in a glog.

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