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The Wright Experience - The Wright Experience

Grades
5 to 12
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The Wright Experience lets you rediscover the innovation and designs of the Wright brothers. Follow the steps in analyzing photographs, making designs, and running tests to make an...more
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The Wright Experience lets you rediscover the innovation and designs of the Wright brothers. Follow the steps in analyzing photographs, making designs, and running tests to make an actual life sized reproduction of the Wright kites, airplanes, and gliders. In every model, find the design, assembly, control, and flight tests. Follow wind tunnel testing to analyze flight performance and see the reinvention of the Wright Brother's works. Explore the different parts of Orville and Wilbur's planes. The education area features videos showing testing or flights. Find links to many other useful sites. Find the latest news about any flight re-creations. If your district blocks YouTube, 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.

tag(s): flight (31), inventors and inventions (99), wright brothers (23)

In the Classroom

Bring the spirit of invention alive in your classroom. Follow the process, from the earlier designs through each later design, each building upon its predecessor. Discover the many types of testing done to determine limits for each problem. The videos of flight will bring your class on board with Wilbur or Orville! Share the videos on your projector (or interactive whiteboard). Discover the steps to the scientific method or design process to apply in other projects. Include this project in a study of leadership or as a lesson in the perseverance of innovation! Use it as an introduction to your Discovery Fair or Science Night.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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eduXtive - Cool & Free Learning Games for Kids - eduXtive.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Looking for free, educational, Flash-based activities? Go to eduXtive and find a variety of activities from preschool to high school. Categories include: Art, Brain, Financial, Geography,...more
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Looking for free, educational, Flash-based activities? Go to eduXtive and find a variety of activities from preschool to high school. Categories include: Art, Brain, Financial, Geography, Keyboarding, History, Basic Math, Algebra, Fractions, Geometry, Memory, Colors and Shapes, Preschool, Numbers, Responsibilities, Puzzle, Science, Skills, and Strategy. Don't miss the Protein Synthesis Race. Follow the DNA quiz to Amino Acid Match. The great variety in activities will keep you discovering new and exciting material every time you visit. Be sure to look at the extensive tag list at the bottom of the home page to find all "game" categories. Watch out for some advertising links. Some appear to be part of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (56), colors (74), dna (67), energy (168), fractions (216), geology (72), keyboarding (30), numbers (183), preK (236), puzzles (183), rocks (40)

In the Classroom

Find the topic area you are studying to accompany your lessons. The activities provide remediation or enrichment depending on your need. Make a shortcut directly to the actual game page for a classroom center to use with younger students. Expose your students to a variety of topics so they can jump right in when you start the content area study. Use the activities as an extra practice or advanced exploration. Add to your class website for students to practice at home. This site can stay on your website all year to accompany so many different subjects and areas.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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GoClass - GoClass/Learning Mate

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive lessons accessible from mobile devices or computers using GoClass. GoClass uses a "Show" (media elements and videos), "Explain" (notes and examples), and "Ask" (real-time...more
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Create interactive lessons accessible from mobile devices or computers using GoClass. GoClass uses a "Show" (media elements and videos), "Explain" (notes and examples), and "Ask" (real-time assessments) format making it easy to set up your instruction and presentation. The lessons can have images, videos, links to other web pages, and text. There is a broadcast feature where you can project the lesson or send it to student devices. The broadcast feature allows for both projecting and personal devices at the same time so students can follow on their device or a large screen. Start tracking learning in real-time by creating an account with your email or Google ID. Visit the About and How it Works links to learn more about this engaging tool. Some of the introduction videos require YouTube. If YouTube isn't allowed in your school, you may want to view the videos at home.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (87), DAT device agnostic tool (86)

In the Classroom

Set up your account and your classes. Students can be added to a number of "courses," making GoClass a great tool for differentiation! Differentiate the instruction for your gifted students using this tool. Set up mini "courses" for your students so they access the material they need at their level. Use GoClass with your students to introduce whole class instruction for a concept and then assign them the activity through their mini-course to differentiate the instruction. Make your meetings with teachers (grade levels, departments, and professional development) interactive using GoClass. You can create 12 lesson plans for free.

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Knoema - World Data Atlas - Knoema

Grades
6 to 12
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Just the facts, ma'am. Knoema's World Data Atlas provides a dizzying array of data about the countries of the world. Sort either by country (from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe), or by ...more
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Just the facts, ma'am. Knoema's World Data Atlas provides a dizzying array of data about the countries of the world. Sort either by country (from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe), or by topic (agriculture to water). Look at zoomable, color coded maps, and analyze rankings by topic. The interface is simple and direct, so if you are just looking for a statistic, you will find it quickly and easily. If you are looking at masses of authentic data to analyze or compare, you'll find that too. Click to create comparisons among any 2 to 3 countries. There is an introductory video available, hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, you may need to view this video at home.

tag(s): atlas (7), data (143), infographics (41), map skills (76), maps (246), natural resources (50), resources (102), united nations (6)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this for student research, whether it be for individual country data or for comparative data by topic. Use the maps on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to provide a visual representation of the data. This is a great source for authentic data for students to practice their analytic skills, or just to find out what the GDP of Antigua and Barbuda is. This is a resource that will see frequent use. Share it during math units on data, as well, so students have authentic numbers to "play with." Have them write their own data problems and questions for classmates to solve. Challenge your most able student to determine why two countries are so different.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Your Life on Earth - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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We know our own lifetimes are but a tiny hiccup in the long history of the Earth. But what HAS happened since we were born? The BBC will tell you. ...more
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We know our own lifetimes are but a tiny hiccup in the long history of the Earth. But what HAS happened since we were born? The BBC will tell you. Simply enter your date of birth (using the day/month/year format) and some other information (you can choose either metric or Imperial/US measurement), and a wonderful series of charts appears! How many times has your heart beat? How old would you be on Venus? How has the Earth changed since you were born? How has humankind changed the Earth since you were born? How many volcanoes have erupted? What's happened to the sea levels? How many endangered species have become extinct? This site is created by the BBC (United Kingdom). American English speakers may notice some slights spelling differences. It is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 10 and above.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): climate change (50), earth (212), earth day (106), earthquakes (41), planets (106), writing prompts (86)

In the Classroom

Look at the various metrics based on your age to gain perspective on many science and history topics. Look at the impact of human behavior on the environment or at the "big picture" of what one human can do in a lifetime. Consider comparing the changes on Earth based on a student's age versus a teacher's age (if you're brave enough to tell!). You can also dial back the clock 100 years, but choose times in modern history for the comparison. Don't forget to use the dropdown menus on each chart for more information. For example, pick any planet to see how old you'd be there. Small groups of students could discuss and analyze different components of the site and present their findings to the larger class. Include this in math class as a way to apply multiplication formulas or conversions. Use observations on this site to spark blog posts of evidence-based writing. Have students make visual representations of their life on Earth as an infographic. To learn more about infographics in the classroom, see TeachersFirst's Now I See!.
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MathWiki: The Dynamic Mathematis E-Textbook - University of California, Davis - Delmar Larsen

Grades
7 to 12
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Mathwiki is a collaborative, open access math textbook for higher level math. The wiki is constantly updated by university faculty and students to offer an ever-growing resource. Its...more
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Mathwiki is a collaborative, open access math textbook for higher level math. The wiki is constantly updated by university faculty and students to offer an ever-growing resource. Its purpose is to be a supplement to traditional textbooks. Choose the "Mathematics" icon to begin. Choose from several categories such as Algebra or Geometry to continue. Narrow choices within each group to find information by topic. When looking for specific content, use the search bar to find all relevant information. Some content areas contain more information than others.

tag(s): equations (133), probability (110), problem solving (190), statistics (110), STEM (62), wikis (18)

In the Classroom

Provide a link to MathWiki on your class website or blog for student use at home. Share information from the wiki on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to supplement current learning materials. Use the wiki to find questions and student problems for classroom use. Differentiate learning for gifted students using content provided on the wiki.

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Cartoons for the Classroom - The Association for American Editorial Cartoonists

Grades
6 to 12
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A picture is worth a thousand words, and editorial cartoonists have been boiling down the foibles of politicians and public figures throughout history. One needs only to know about...more
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A picture is worth a thousand words, and editorial cartoonists have been boiling down the foibles of politicians and public figures throughout history. One needs only to know about Thomas Nast and his cartoons of Boss Tweed during the 19th century to know that cartoons have a deep impact on political discourse. Cartoons for the Classroom offers over 250 one-page downloadable lessons featuring two or three political cartoons related to current events and several questions for discussion that relate to those cartoons. Alternatively, download the cartoons alone along with space to "draw" your own conclusions.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (73), politics (83), satire (4)

In the Classroom

These one-page discussion starters could help students keep up with current political issues, provide an opening or closing activity, or serve as an enrichment activity for students who move through other assignments more quickly. Available either with or without guiding questions, and covering a wide range of relevant and timely topics, they are perfect to keep as a Plan B or for an emergency substitute teacher activity. Elsewhere on the site are links to other information about political cartooning through history; most of these links connect to outside sites so be sure and preview carefully. In Art class, create a "political" option during a line drawing unit for current events enthusiasts to draw their own political cartoons. Include these cartoons during a unit on humor and satire in an English/Language Arts class or gifted program.
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ShakespeareKids - University of Texas, Austin - Winedale Outreach

Grades
K to 8
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Bring Shakespeare to young people with these K-8 resources and ideas. No matter the age of the young people involved, find everything needed to put on a scene from Shakespeare. ...more
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Bring Shakespeare to young people with these K-8 resources and ideas. No matter the age of the young people involved, find everything needed to put on a scene from Shakespeare. There are scenes from Shakespeare's plays edited for different grade levels. You can also explore the exercises, a resource page that lists films, websites, and books. Give young people the exposure to the dramatic arts and enrichment for their language arts skills. Help them experience an educational boost while developing self-confidence, teamwork, and discipline. At the bottom of the home page find links for parents and teachers. Don't miss how to "do" your own Shakespeare. Texas teachers will appreciate TEKS connections in the Teacher section.

tag(s): literature (218), plays (25), poetry (213), shakespeare (130)

In the Classroom

Start by clicking on the link for your grade level. The text of the page will give the rationale for using Shakespeare with that age group. In the upper right corner find the link for the texts, lines and scenes for you to use with your students. These scenes are in PDF format and have been edited for the grade level. There is plenty of encouragement and advice as you get into this tool. You will also find advice for using and modifying other works from Shakespeare for your age group. Make a video of your successful performance and share it on TeacherTube reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Down the Drain Project - The Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering

Grades
3 to 12
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Down the Drain is a free Internet-based collaborative project that has classes around the world share and compare their water consumption. For a detailed explanation, visit the New...more
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Down the Drain is a free Internet-based collaborative project that has classes around the world share and compare their water consumption. For a detailed explanation, visit the New to the Project link. The project includes a hypothesis, prediction, data collection, and comparing results. The data collection period lasts one week. There is a link for Student Activities. The Teacher Guide link offers an overview of the project, publishing policy information, and extension activities. The project says it is designed for grades 4-8 but can be used in upper grades, as well.

tag(s): environment (287), recycling (51), water (113)

In the Classroom

Bring problem-based learning into your classroom and share the results globally. Encourage multiple classrooms or schools in your area to participate. Extend the project by having collaborative groups find water saving ideas to employ in school, at home, or in the community. Find ways to share results locally in newspapers or news channels to encourage community involvement. Present findings with a variety of multimedia: PowerPoint, Prezi, reviewed here, video, podOmatic podcast, reviewed here, artwork, poetry, or song.

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Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers - Holt

Grades
2 to 12
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Interactive Graphic Organizers help to gather thoughts, visualize, understand, or organize. Find interactive graphic organizers from categories such as identifying/organizing details,...more
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Interactive Graphic Organizers help to gather thoughts, visualize, understand, or organize. Find interactive graphic organizers from categories such as identifying/organizing details, order and sequence, cause and effect, process diagrams, persuasive position support, vocabulary, and many others. The selected organizer will download in PDF format. The features of the form are: interactive form fields, highlighting, adding mark-up, commenting, and saving it all. Find accompanying teaching notes for each organizer by clicking on the link in the paragraph at the top of the page. The teacher guide has detailed lessons and suggested uses.

tag(s): concept mapping (24), graphic organizers (46)

In the Classroom

Mark this site on your class web page, put it on your task bar, and add to all student computers. Demonstrate by using and creating your customized graphic organizer. Turn it into PDF format and save or print. Get students in the habit of using graphic organizers to improve achievement, organization, and details.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Raindrop.io - Mussabekov Rustem

Grades
K to 12
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Raindrop.io is a smart bookmarking tool to "collect" online and media content. It is available as a mobile app, as a web tool, and as a browser extension for Safari, ...more
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Raindrop.io is a smart bookmarking tool to "collect" online and media content. It is available as a mobile app, as a web tool, and as a browser extension for Safari, Chrome, Opera, or Firefox. After adding the extension to your browser, a couple of clicks saves and organizes content into thematic collections. Collections can include videos and other content. Watch the tour videos to see how it works. Add tags, and drag and drop bookmarks between collections as you wish. Browse your collections using the search bar and keywords. Use Raindrop's social networking feature to create and share collections or find and subscribe to others' collections. Receive a weekly email digest of your bookmarks, or turn that feature off.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (55), DAT device agnostic tool (86), organizational skills (98)

In the Classroom

Use Raindrop.io to create a bank of resources to use for each content unit within your subject or Use Raindrop.io to create a bank of resources for each content unit within your subject or class. Have students download and use the materials you provide via Raindrop to make their own projects, complete webquests, or to learn independently. Create a separate class account for students to curate their own lists of bookmarks and resources. Use this tool to compile web treasure hunts to learn or introduce any topic within your content area. Collect links to informational texts for students to read "closely" a la CCSS. With younger students, create collections of audio books for children to view and listen to. Share simple interactives teaching colors, numbers and more for a computer center. Have students create their own Raindrop as a place to store links for a project. Share a link to your Raindrop on your class webpage. Save pictures of class activities with a Raindrop collection to share with parents. Encourage your gifted students to curate collections of media and articles above the level of current curriculum or for individual research on related topics they are interested in. Share these "advanced" collections with all students to spark personal learning.

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Patatap - Jono Brandel and Lullatone

Grades
K to 12
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Create music and animation by tapping the keys on your keyboard with Patatap. Choose any letter from A to Z to bring your screen to life with sounds, lasers, and ...more
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Create music and animation by tapping the keys on your keyboard with Patatap. Choose any letter from A to Z to bring your screen to life with sounds, lasers, and motion. Press the space bar to change everything up including sounds, background colors, animations, and motions. Be careful...creating interesting mixes may become addictive with Patatap! There is an app version, but only the web version is free.

tag(s): animation (51), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Patatap is perfect for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Just bring up the on-screen keyboard and play away! Use sounds and animations to refocus student attention or as a short brain break. Allow students to explore and experiment with sounds and animations during indoor recess or free time. Challenge students to create their own short mix of sounds to accompany multimedia projects. Students who find themselves "musically challenged" will find success in creating short mixes using Patatap. This site is prefect to teach sound and rhythm in music class! Use Patatap as a memory game: create any sequence and challenge students to come recreate the same sequence on your interactive whiteboard. Discuss the various background colors and "themes." Do different colors elicit different forms of sound or emotion? Have students write a journal entry about their favorite color scheme and animations. Small groups of students on individual laptops with speakers could create an actual "band" together! Record the band's sounds using an iTouch or even a mobile phone. As a classroom management tool, create certain sound sequences as cues for activities or transitions. Challenge your gifted students to create a system of musical notation for Patatap that includes both the keyboard symbols/letters and a way to indicate the rhythm. Use Patatap during poetry units to help students hear poetic meter, such as iambic pentameter. Use Patatap as an accompaniment/study aid for auditory learners to memorize spelling, states and capitals, and more.

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Ba Ba Dum - Aleksandra MizieliA...

Grades
K to 12
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Use these interactives to learn up to thirteen new languages (English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Lithuanian, and more). Choose from various...more
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Use these interactives to learn up to thirteen new languages (English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Lithuanian, and more). Choose from various options: match images to a spoken word, fill in the blanks, or multiple choice. Audio options are available for non-readers. No registration is required. Registration allows you to save your progress and compete to earn the highest scores in each activity.

tag(s): arabic (17), chinese (47), french (84), german (61), italian (32), portuguese (16), spanish (98)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce this site in your world language class, ESL/ELL class, or young elementary classroom. Make a shortcut to Ba Ba Dum on classroom computers for use as a center in a language class or world cultures. Use this tool with young students just learning the English language to build up their vocabulary. The website offers audio options on many of the interactives, making this site ideal for non-readers (even kindergartners). Share this site with your gifted students looking for individual challenge. Why not learn Lithuanian or Chinese? Be sure to share a link to this site on your class website or blog for students (and possibly parents) to use at home. Have cooperative learning groups create online picture or ABC books featuring a different language using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Bea is for Business - Jamie Brown and Meg Seitz

Grades
1 to 7
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Though designed for children, all age groups can create a business plan using this educational platform. Learn basic business concepts including teamwork, strategic planning, assembly...more
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Though designed for children, all age groups can create a business plan using this educational platform. Learn basic business concepts including teamwork, strategic planning, assembly line production, competition, revenue, and investment. All the learning resources and themes are available here, so start thinking like an entrepreneur. The lessons are downloadable in PDF format. Each of the lessons includes a discussion of a book. It is not necessary to have read the book to complete the lessons successfully. There are short videos about different business concepts hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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): business (55), stock market (12), vocabulary (308), vocabulary development (104)

In the Classroom

Though these lessons are for first through fifth grade, they can easily be adapted for older students. You really don't need the suggested book for these lessons. Your students will learn plenty about collaboration, teamwork, vocabulary, and math. They will also learn many business concepts (a product vs. a service business). Explore the Bear & Bull Markets and investments, copyright, factories, loans, merchandise, pricing, and much more! Each of the six lessons is 50 to 60 minutes long. Click on the Learn tab at the top to find a glossary. There is also a Kids Business Plan template and other worksheets, Quick Ideas, and Do-it-at-Home ideas, videos, and more. Share this site with gifted students for enrichment in your classroom. The lesson can be used once a week for six weeks, twice a week for three weeks, or however you want to configure them. The "finale" is a "Business Fair" with plenty of ideas from which to choose.
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OK2Ask'®: Differentiating for ALL students - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from September 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn ways to differentiate your teaching for all of your students using...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from September 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn ways to differentiate your teaching for all of your students using TeachersFirst resources. Participants will view and explore tools to help differentiate in all subject areas and at all levels. Participants will explore the differentiation section on TeachersFirst. Use exploration time to discover and discuss how selected resources can be utilized in your classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Gather ideas by exploring at least 10 differentiation resources on TeachersFirst. Explore the differentiation pages and resources offered on TeachersFirst. Explore and practice with selected resources. Investigate and discuss lesson ideas offered in reviews and by other participants. (Follow-up) Implement one of the provided resources into an upcoming teaching unit or lesson. Applicable ISTE-T standards (2008)*: 1a, b, c; 2a, b, c, d; 3b, c, d; 4c. ISTE's standards page.

tag(s): differentiation (27)

In the Classroom

Find new strategies and techniques to differentiate for all of the students in your classroom. Explore various tools for language skills, focus, organization, differentiation, and more. Share some of your favorite sites on your class wiki or website. Take a look at the resource page full of GREAT ideas! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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Basecamp - Jason Fried

Grades
7 to 12
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Basecamp is an online tool for organizing and managing collaborative projects. This site includes many features such as file storage, progress tracking, and to-do lists. Create your...more
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Basecamp is an online tool for organizing and managing collaborative projects. This site includes many features such as file storage, progress tracking, and to-do lists. Create your class account, paying special attention to the directions to make it a FREE teacher account. Then add projects to work on. Invite others to join your Basecamp. Begin adding files, to-do lists, documents, and whatever else you wish to share. As others accept your invitation to your Basecamp, they have access to all files and can add, share, and comment as needed. Regular accounts for non-teachers are not free. Click on Support to view FAQ and Help Guides to learn about the many features included with a Basecamp account.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (86), organizational skills (98)

In the Classroom

Use your teacher/class account with students as a tool for organizing and collaborating on group projects. As the account owner, you will be able to see what each group is doing. Set up projects for each small group working on a project. Demonstrate the different tools and functions on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use Basecamp to help students remain on track with project deadlines. Keep track of projects with your students by having mini-conferences and using Basecamp as your guide. Use this tool to collaborate with colleagues for use with professional projects such as unit planning and long term scheduling. You may also want to use it with your grad school group projects.

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Spacehopper - visualised.io

Grades
5 to 12
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Test geography skills with Spacehopper (powered by Google Maps). After viewing a Google Street View interactive image of a location, your goal is to pinpoint the location on the world...more
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Test geography skills with Spacehopper (powered by Google Maps). After viewing a Google Street View interactive image of a location, your goal is to pinpoint the location on the world map. Look around using Street View tools to find information that can help determine where you are. Click to receive up to three clues to narrow down the correct answer. Then click the correct dot showing the location of the image. Check your answer. Receive the answer and location after three incorrect guesses. You can also click the clue button a fourth time and you move on to the next location. Choose specific continents rather than the entire world, if too challenging.

tag(s): cities (21), landmarks (23), map skills (76)

In the Classroom

Display Spacehopper on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to practice problem-solving skills along with geography and map skills. First review how Street View tools work. (Why not allow a student emcee to operate it?) Have students research locations and create an annotated map image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create their own location mysteries and associated questions to put on their Thinglink map image. Or have theme simply "drop" a placemarker in Google Maps and write clues and questions to accompany the placemarker url so classmates can figure out why the location is important. Mysteries could include home ports of explorers, locations of major landforms, environmental disaster sites, author homes, or any location that places your curriculum "on the map." In world language classes, have students write the hints in their new language as they introduce cultural locations related to the language.

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Educators New to Twitter - Kyle Calderwod

Grades
K to 12
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Learn what you need to do and know to start using Twitter. Sign up to get a Twitter mentor or BE a mentor! Find out what to do before creating ...more
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Learn what you need to do and know to start using Twitter. Sign up to get a Twitter mentor or BE a mentor! Find out what to do before creating a Twitter account, get advice about whom to follow, explore programs to use to help you manage your Twitter account, and read how to keep track of everything. Learn about all the terms needed to be successful using Twitter as a teacher. This site is clean, simple, and very helpful!

tag(s): chat (38), microblogging (30), social networking (94), twitter (43)

In the Classroom

After creating an account, look at the page for what else you can start doing. Find other educators to follow on the Before You Begin page, and also look at participating in a Twitter Chat. Find a list of chats to join, and the day and time they meet at the Twitter Chat Schedule. As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account for your class to follow people who work in fields and topics you study. Even primary grades can connect with other classes or "follow" many learning experiences via Twitter. Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

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Pencil Inventions - Duen Hsi Yen

Grades
4 to 12
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Inspire creativity and the inventive spirit through this activity challenging students to invent a new pencil. Begin with a pencil that needs improvement to gather ideas for making...more
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Inspire creativity and the inventive spirit through this activity challenging students to invent a new pencil. Begin with a pencil that needs improvement to gather ideas for making a better pencil as you explore the creative thought processes and critical thinking skills involved in designing new projects. Although very simple in concept, this site offers simple instructions for looking at everyday objects and the process involved in improving them. This is the Maker Movement in a very simple form!

tag(s): creativity (94), gifted (82), inventors and inventions (99)

In the Classroom

Explore Pencil Inventions on your interactive whiteboard with your class as you discuss inventors and inventions. Have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!) Challenge cooperative groups to create their own invention then upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles to explain what they created using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. This is a great activity for gifted students, to help them "think outside the box." What other items (besides a pencil) could you use for the same sort of activity in your classroom to encourage creative fluency and flexibility?

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The Square of Life - The Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering

Grades
1 to 12
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Become a part of a local and global Internet based collaborative project studying your square meter of life. This project may look "plain vanilla," but the hands-on, real world learning...more
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Become a part of a local and global Internet based collaborative project studying your square meter of life. This project may look "plain vanilla," but the hands-on, real world learning is terrific. Once you choose your square meter, document and record data of all the living and nonliving things within your square. While sharing findings look for similarities. This project takes place multiple times a year. The guide offers lesson plans, extension activities, and worksheets. Also find assessment ideas, standards, and information for urban teachers. After creating an account, submit data, view data, and participate in the discussion area. Resources include student galleries, reference materials, ask an expert, project leader, and more. Some past student contributions are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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.

tag(s): ecology (130), environment (287), scientific method (49)

In the Classroom

Bring a heightened awareness to your local and global environmental education. In lower elementary grades, do the project together as a class. Teach scientific observation using a hands-on project. You could also include this as part of a civics or government class discussing the environment and public policy. This well-defined project is ready made for you. Integrate observations, documentation, measurements, deeper inspection, and ways to identify living and nonliving materials. Take photographs and record written accounts. Create presentations in PowerPoint, Prezi, reviewed here, Google presentations, reviewed here, or other presentation tools to draw in language arts standards. Expand the project to each student's backyard. Are any squares in your school or local area severely damaged environments? Brainstorm with students to find a way to change them back to their original state.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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