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Penflip - Collaborative Writing and Version Control - Loren Burton

Grades
6 to 12
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Penflip is a collaborative writing tool that allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control. Write together without distractions or ads right in your...more
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Penflip is a collaborative writing tool that allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control. Write together without distractions or ads right in your web browser! Click on "Share" at the bottom of the right menu to copy/paste the address into an email to your collaborators. Clicking on "Contributors" gives options to add users as editors or delete them as contributors. Once revisions are made and submitted, the contributor is notified via email of any future changes to that piece. When reviewing suggested changes, you can delete the changes you don't want and accept others. Accepting changes will merge these into the master (your original project). Penflip calls any writing a "project" whether it's a book, a short story, a poem, or a research paper. The free version makes all projects "public," but you have the choice to refuse pending revisions by clicking on "Contributors" in the right menu and clicking the minus symbol, deleting that contributor.
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tag(s): creative writing (123), process writing (28), writing (310)

In the Classroom

Immerse students in the peer review process by allowing them to collaborate using Penflip! Teachers and students can use Penflip to make comments in a side box or directly in the writing. All suggested revisions are in a different color with the original wording left complete. Penflip is the perfect place for students to put their writing and get feedback. Student peers can suggest different wording and ideas, and all are color-coded so the author knows what has been contributed and what is original. This tool will fulfill the Common Core Standard requirements for using technology for collaborating and writing across the curriculum. Students will save time and learn from each other when working in small groups on projects or research papers in world language classes, science, math, or social studies. The best part of this site: it is EASY to use!

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Fantastic Contraption - KONGREGATE

Grades
1 to 12
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Test out your logic, mechanical understanding, and creativity as you create amazing 2D contraptions! Each contraption uses wheels, wooden stationary logs, and power moving water rods...more
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Test out your logic, mechanical understanding, and creativity as you create amazing 2D contraptions! Each contraption uses wheels, wooden stationary logs, and power moving water rods to create a moving vehicle to push a target to the goal. Get a taste of the challenge by trying your hand at the introduction activity. Then begin your regular contraption. Each level adds more challenge. Use the delete button, and try again until you succeed. Registration is not required to use this site. However, more options are available if you register (FREE). As you progress through a level, earn points and badges. Save your designs and send your best designs to your friends using a specific url. You can turn off the (rather annoying) music by clicking the speaker icon.
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tag(s): creativity (88), energy (162), gifted (65), inventors and inventions (97), logic (198), machines (28), motion (49), problem solving (170), STEM (49)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, develop logic, perseverance, and creativity for not only gifted and high achieving students, but all learners. Use this activity as part of a unit on inventions or as a lead in to a Maker's Faire. Introduce this activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector and you will have all students hooked! Your ESL/ELL students and weaker readers will be on equal footing with their peers since this site requires very little reading after the introduction. Capture the attention of your students by gamifying science and logic. Continue with class discussions of movement, energy, logic, and strategy. Use as a stepping stone to begin a unit on geometry, energy, or motion. In elementary science classes, include this activity for students who have mastered required curriculum to go beyond the basics of simple machines and motion. Have students add a written explanation of the contraption to take sequencing to a new level. (A screenshot would help them illustrate their writing.) After drawing a scaled model, create the contraption using real objects. Discover the types of energy and movement that are in the model. Organize a contraption competition. Share this link on your class website for students (and their parents) to "tinker" with at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tynker - Krishna Vedati

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn computer coding using simple and easy activities, lesson plans, and an interface sure to please all ages! Click Schools to access the free school activities, or click on Hour...more
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Learn computer coding using simple and easy activities, lesson plans, and an interface sure to please all ages! Click Schools to access the free school activities, or click on Hour of Code to find ones you can use at home or school. Build an animated character (everyone loves the zombie) and then animate it. Learn to code by dropping blocks of commands into sequence on the left side of the screen and seeing the results along the right. The lessons provide step by step instructions, missions, and other materials to learn to code. Teachers can create a class and add students to the class. Once lessons are assigned, the progress of students can be tracked. Click on student view of each lesson to see the tools and student tasks. Follow the instructions along the right pane. Note the tools that are in the various panes and along the top including undo and redo! This tool also features a question bar along the top. Note: This free portion of the resource offers three units of lessons, a visual programming environment, an art studio to draw and paint you own scenes, and a media gallery. The free units of lessons have unlimited student space.
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tag(s): animation (49), computers (36), STEM (49)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to "tinker" and see what they can make. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Be sure to recommend that students "ask three before me" (the teacher). Have students use a storyboard to write down what they plan to do/draw/say with their creation in order to keep tabs on students and their creations. When finished with these lessons, move to other free tools such as Scratch, reviewed here. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered math or science curriculum. Have them create a creature they can explain to the class or share with gifted peers in other classrooms.

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Eventbrite - Kevin and Julia Hartz

Grades
K to 12
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Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of...more
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Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of the option for creating bar coded tickets to send to participants (choose free tickets for the free account, paid tickets have a small charge to cover credit card costs). Once your event page is ready, get the word out using Eventbrite tools such as emailing personalized invitations or various social media options. Use the mobile features to check attendees in at your event and scan bar coded invitations.
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tag(s): calendars (32)

In the Classroom

Use Eventbrite to increase excitement for any classroom event. Be creative and have students attend an "event" to review for exams (with bar coded tickets they can earn by sharing a student-made review activity). Offer tickets to in class enrichment "events" for those who test out of a unit. Have student groups design "events" instead of giving class presentations. The "event" could be a quiz show or game session that teaches a curriculum topic, such as "World War Wonders." Have your class work together to plan a culminating "event" such as a tea for famous Americans, and issue invitations and tickets to students who play the parts of the people they researched. Invite parents to Open Houses and Conferences. (Perhaps provide a small door prize for those using the Eventbrite app as their admission ticket!) Use Eventbrite to manage events with limited seating or a limited number of participants. If you provide professional development sessions, this is an excellent way to spread the word and manage participation. If you are an advisor for a school club, this tool would make club-sponsored events easier to organize.

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Seriously Amazing - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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Seriously Amazing is a mosaic of unusual questions and answers provided by the Smithsonian Institute. The questions offer a different twist on history, science, and culture, all connected...more
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Seriously Amazing is a mosaic of unusual questions and answers provided by the Smithsonian Institute. The questions offer a different twist on history, science, and culture, all connected by the rich resources of the Smithsonian. Each question sits on a colored background representing a topic such as The Wild, The New, The Storyteller, and others. Scroll through to view questions such as "What Does a Cloud Sound Like?" or "Are Zombies Real?" Click to find the answer along with links to further explorations. Sort questions in categories such as Most Popular, History, Science, or Culture. Simply scroll through the home page to find interesting content. Share any question and answer using social networking options or the Permalink icon.

tag(s): museums (35), presidents (111), questioning (29), trivia (14), writing prompts (76)

In the Classroom

Seriously Amazing is an excellent resource for class conversation starters. These could even be writing prompts for short research pieces. Choose an interesting question to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have student discuss possible responses before displaying the answer. Share a link on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Use as a resource for research project topics. Put your students in charge, and have a student of the week locate an interesting question to share with the class. Use these questions as prompts in your library/media center research classes. Inspire your students to frame engaging questions like these as attention-getters to use in speeches or presentations. Share this site with your gifted students to spark individual inquiry beyond the basics. Be sure they share what they learn, perhaps in a personal blog or online portfolio.

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STEM @ NCSSM - The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Grades
K to 12
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STEM @ NCSSM contains a large number of activities, animations, videos, and lesson plans for teaching STEM concepts to secondary students. There is also a smaller number of enrichment...more
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STEM @ NCSSM contains a large number of activities, animations, videos, and lesson plans for teaching STEM concepts to secondary students. There is also a smaller number of enrichment activities for K-8. Choose from the Science or Math dropdowns to begin exploring all items available. Each activity includes a short description of concepts included along with a link to the resource. Download lesson plans easily by choosing PDF or Word format. Take a look under the Teacher Resources for Students to find Enrichment Sessions for K-8 students. If your school blocks YouTube, some of the activities 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): area (50), chemicals (31), data (130), dna (67), equations (124), genetics (88), measurement (134), STEM (49)

In the Classroom

Use activities and lessons from the NCSSM site as a supplement to your current classroom lessons. Embed or link videos to your classroom website or blog for students to view at home. This site is perfect for use with gifted students. There are post-secondary resources under both the Science Resources and the Math Resources menus that would be ideal to challenge your gifted high school students. Find advanced lessons for them to complete at their own pace. If you are experimenting with or teaching a "flipped" classroom, resources on this site will fit right in.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lookwork - Ben Pieratt and Eric Jacobsen

Grades
6 to 12
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Lookwork is an RSS Reader displaying images drawn from the "feeds" of over 400 of the world's most creative blogs. Browse by scrolling through images on the home page. Choose ...more
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Lookwork is an RSS Reader displaying images drawn from the "feeds" of over 400 of the world's most creative blogs. Browse by scrolling through images on the home page. Choose from subjects such as Photography or Architecture or Illustration to narrow your search. Create your own personal Lookwork feed after creating an account and choosing topics to include. Note: Content is unmoderated so take precautions when sharing with students.

tag(s): architecture (61), creative writing (123), design (71), graphic design (30), images (201), photography (129), writing prompts (76)

In the Classroom

Use Lookwork as an excellent inspiration for creative writing projects. Find interesting images to display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for students to use as inspiration. Use in Art class as a source for creative artwork and photography to discuss design elements and principles. Have your more advanced art students create their own accounts to "feed" their own artistic appetites.

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The Library of Congress American Memory - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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American Memory provides this digital record of American history and creativity through written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet...more
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American Memory provides this digital record of American history and creativity through written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. Some of the categories are Advertising, Environment and Conservation, Immigration and American Expansion, Performing Arts, Sports and Recreation, and many others. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that make up America.

tag(s): advertising (26), african american (109), architecture (61), branches of government (37), cities (20), conservation (116), cultures (82), environment (279), immigration (47), industrialization (11), literature (218), maps (229), native americans (56), north america (18), presidents (111), religions (43), sports (76), women (89)

In the Classroom

Use American Memory in your study of either state, or United States history providing further primary and secondary resources to bring life into your subject matter. Discover point of view or popular opinion found in the collections. Use on your interactive whiteboard with the class, or even as a resource on projects to give a personal reference. Combine with literature for understanding of a place or time in American history. Look at the year of birth for your students to compare and contrast for today. Use as an example for your year of learning in your subject area or even grade level. Be sure to list as a resource on student computers or your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Made By Milk Carton Construction Contest - Evergreen Packaging

Grades
K to 12
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Enter the Made By Milk Contest (a design and building challenge) for a chance to win up to $5,000 for your school or simply to learn. Offered each spring and ...more
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Enter the Made By Milk Contest (a design and building challenge) for a chance to win up to $5,000 for your school or simply to learn. Offered each spring and fall, this contest is sure to inspire creativity in all participants. Simple rules make it easy to participate. Create a design using 100 or more milk cartons. Take pictures of the completed project, and include a short essay explaining why your school should win. Be sure to check out the Past Winners page for ideas on what it takes to create a winning entry. (Hint: earn extra points if reward money is to be used for green projects.) Even if you do not want to join in the contest, the challenges offer wonderful STEM projects to try within your school or at home.

tag(s): architecture (61), counting (112), grants (17), STEM (49), structures (23)

In the Classroom

This project is perfect for individual classroom participation, Art Clubs, or after school clubs. Incorporate this project into your math class and have students count the number of cartons used, estimate how many cartons needed, or calculate how long it will take to gather the number of needed cartons. Join in the challenge in conjunction with a science unit on structures or a physics unit at much higher levels. Include as part of your nutrition unit to help students understand the importance of dairy in a healthy diet. Share this information with your PTO/PTA as a possible "makers movement" idea for an evening of fun and learning, even if you never enter the official contest. Let your gifted students (or a school service club) organize and plan a mini-version of the contest within your school, perhaps using the smaller milk cartons from the cafeteria. Make re-using milk cartons a creative event for Earth Day.

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TenMarks - Rohit Agarwal and Andrew Joseph

Grades
1 to 12
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TenMarks is an online support program for math instruction in grades 1-12. All instruction is correlated to Common Core Standards for use as a supplement to classroom instruction. Create...more
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TenMarks is an online support program for math instruction in grades 1-12. All instruction is correlated to Common Core Standards for use as a supplement to classroom instruction. Create your free account to begin. (One grade level is included with a free subscription.) Follow prompts to add your class roster. Create your curriculum using the drag and drop feature that allows 3 additional folders from other grade levels for additional support or enrichment. Assign topics to your whole class or individual students. When students complete assignments receive instant feedback through automatic grading and analysis of their most common mistakes. Videos and hints assist students throughout the assignments providing feedback and support along the way. Some of the video clips require 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.
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tag(s): differentiation (20), gifted (65)

In the Classroom

Create a class account and provide login information to students. Share a link on your class website or newsletter for students to practice on their own. Use TenMarks as a great resource for differentiating needs among your students. Create a link on classroom or computer lab computers for in-school use. Share with other teachers in your building to supplement Common Core lessons. TenMarks isn't only for students needing extra support. Use with gifted students to supplement and enrich learning. Use TenMarks for homework assignments. Be sure to set the due date of the assignment.

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Math Talks - Fawn Nguyen

Grades
5 to 9
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Math Talks is a blog that shares student and teacher conversations on various problem solving situations. Each week the author shares a problem presented to her 6th or 8th grade ...more
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Math Talks is a blog that shares student and teacher conversations on various problem solving situations. Each week the author shares a problem presented to her 6th or 8th grade students. She then lists several student responses including their approach to solving the problem. Be sure to take a look at the "How We Do Math Talks" section for a full explanation of the use of Math Talks in this classroom. Visit the sections "What I don't do" and "Stuff I often say during math talks." Enter your email to subscribe and receive weekly updates.

tag(s): logic (198), mental math (19), order of operations (30), patterns (70), problem solving (170), visual thinking (12)

In the Classroom

Subscribe to this blog and search the archives for problem solving activities to use in your classroom. Challenge students to create videos about related math topics you discover on the blog. Share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here demonstrating their approach to problem solving. Share this blog during professional development sessions or with student teachers as an example of how to promote Math Talks and problem solving discussions in a Mathematics classroom. Share it as a possible way to use blogging in your math class, with students taking turns writing the posts for the class. Want to know more about blogs? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

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This Day in History Game - Shockwave

Grades
6 to 12
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Test your knowledge of history by placing eight events in order of occurrence. Drag each event to the correct order on the timeline then view your results. Change any incorrect ...more
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Test your knowledge of history by placing eight events in order of occurrence. Drag each event to the correct order on the timeline then view your results. Change any incorrect answers until all are in the correct order. Move on to the bonus round to guess the exact year each event occurred. Try your hand at the challenge of the day or games for the previous two weeks for free. Premium membership is required for any other dates. If you like learning more detail about historic events and why they matter, check out TeachersFirst's Dates that Matter.
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tag(s): logic (198), problem solving (170), trivia (14)

In the Classroom

This is a challenging activity to sneak in some problem solving and logic lessons! Use the "This Day in History Game" as a fun class warmup activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to problem solve dates of events with as much accuracy as possible. Choose items of interest for students to research. Then have students upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles to explain what they learned using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here.
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DropTask - Think Productivity

Grades
4 to 12
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DropTask is a visual task management organizer for individuals and groups. Create tasks by dragging and dropping items, and assign priorities for completion. View tasks in List View...more
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DropTask is a visual task management organizer for individuals and groups. Create tasks by dragging and dropping items, and assign priorities for completion. View tasks in List View or a Venn Diagram style presentation. Share projects through email with friends, add files, and view changes in real-time. Short tutorials demonstrate how to start and create projects, add people to groups, and choose priorities for tasks. Sort tasks by priorities or due dates. Change settings to receive email notifications of upcoming tasks or completion dates. The FREE version includes collaboration for two members and up to five projects.There are iPhone and iPad apps with an Android version on the way.
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tag(s): calendars (32), graphic organizers (44), organizational skills (76)

In the Classroom

Use DropTask to schedule staff meetings, PTA events, Science or Math fairs, club or student council events, parent volunteer meetings, and more. Student groups of busy high schoolers may want to use it to schedule work sessions. This is a great tool for teams of teachers to stay on the same page! Secondary learning support and gifted teachers can share this tool with their less organized students. This program will help them develop coping/organizational skills, and they can set intermediate deadlines with reminders for long term projects.

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Next Exit History - Historical Research Associates, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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Travel the United States and the world on your computer, tablet, or smartphone using Next Exit History, powered by Google Maps. Apps are available for iOS and Android. High quality...more
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Travel the United States and the world on your computer, tablet, or smartphone using Next Exit History, powered by Google Maps. Apps are available for iOS and Android. High quality historical information educates you as you visit and click the historical landscape of over 55,000 sites around the world. Join and save your information to "backpacks." Use the embedded links for easy reference. Discover culture, history, and tourism information all at your fingertips.

tag(s): cultures (82), DAT device agnostic tool (48), maps (229), primary sources (69), virtual field trips (34)

In the Classroom

Use Next Exit History for either primary or secondary information on any location for social studies, history, or even literature study. Use this tool as an example for a multimedia presentation or map drawing of state history or study about any geographic location. After reading The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney, discover the wonders of your school, community, or state. Plan culminating projects where students create their own Google Earth Map (reviewed here). Create placemarker guides to your community using Next Exit History as an example. Be sure to share this link on your class website for instant reference.
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Space Facts - Space Facts 2014

Grades
4 to 10
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Travel to Space Facts to see a growing collection of interesting facts about planets, the solar system, space explorations, and more. Information includes planet profiles, planet size...more
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Travel to Space Facts to see a growing collection of interesting facts about planets, the solar system, space explorations, and more. Information includes planet profiles, planet size compared to Earth, and basic facts about the planet. The blog area provides updates on current discoveries and space related features. The Gallery includes images available for use in other projects. Read the terms of use, but most are NASA images that are permissible for download and use in your own projects. Although this site is rather text heavy, it is full of great content! There are rather annoying advertisements, so readers who are easily distracted may find it disruptive.
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tag(s): earth (211), mars (38), planets (104), solar system (105), space (167)

In the Classroom

Deepen your study of the planets through further reading and beautiful graphics. Focus on the use of nonfiction text in your classroom, combined with literature studies of space or planet fiction, such as Jules Verne's, "From the Earth to the Moon," or Roald Dahl's, "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator." Find useful information, graphics, and diagrams for PowerPoints, Screencasts or Prezi's reviewed here. Include on your list of resources for science units on space on your classroom webpage. Be sure to show this tool on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce space. Visit before your trip to the planetarium or science museum. Use to inspire artwork inspired by space. Deepen your students' background knowledge in writing about space travel, future, or creativity.
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Futility Closet - Greg Ross

Grades
6 to 12
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Futility Closet is a large collection of entertaining and interesting tidbits from history, language arts, literature, and more. There are mind-stretching puzzles and many thought provoking,...more
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Futility Closet is a large collection of entertaining and interesting tidbits from history, language arts, literature, and more. There are mind-stretching puzzles and many thought provoking, true tales. The collection contains close to 8,000 tidbits (some with photos or video clips). More are added daily. Choose from categories such as hoaxes, poems, puzzles, or technology to narrow your search. Scroll through the site to find items by date added. This entertaining site will have you returning over and over to explore and find new bits of trivia! Some of the 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.
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tag(s): logic (198), poetry (209), puzzles (175), trivia (14)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save Futility Closet as a resource for thought provoking trivia throughout the year. Share one item on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) at the beginning of each class for class discussion. Allow your gifted students to explore this site independently, and perhaps even start their own blog collections. Allow students to explore the site and find interesting items to research and explore further. Use the search tool on Futility Closet to search for trivia on current lessons such as Shakespeare, angles, or any key word - you will be surprised at your findings! Some of the "curiosities" would be great writing prompts for students to take a position and research/support with evidence. Have students share one item they find interesting and create a project using a tool such as Padlet, (reviewed here). Subscribe to Futility Closet using your RSS Feed Reader. Teacher-librarians would love to use these as research prompts. Include one during your school newscast or PTO newsletter (with proper credit to the source, of course).
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Build with Chrome - Google Chrome and LEGO

Grades
K to 12
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A worldwide virtual LEGO playground, Build with Chrome offers online LEGO bricks to capture your creativity. Jump right in or take some lessons in the Build Academy from master...more
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A worldwide virtual LEGO playground, Build with Chrome offers online LEGO bricks to capture your creativity. Jump right in or take some lessons in the Build Academy from master builder, Vitruvius. Vitruvius guides you through a series of increasingly complex tasks as you unlock more bricks along the way. You must sign in to Google Chrome to publish your completed projects. You will also receive a URL to share your creation! If you do not have a Chrome account, you can take screenshots of the different views to save what you built. Explore other builds through a clickable Google Map. Choose a plot anywhere in the world to build! At the time of this review, Build with Chrome works only on the Chrome web browser and up-to-date Firefox browsers. It also works well on Android mobile devices. iOS mobile devices using the Chrome Browser do NOT support Build with Chrome. (Apple and Google are in competition, remember.) Piece together your ideas using Build with Chrome's collection of colorful bricks.

tag(s): creative writing (123), creativity (88), engineering (75), geometric shapes (110), structures (23), tessellations (6)

In the Classroom

Allow your students to explore a virtual LEGO playground without having to keep the plastic bins organized! Create a whole class account if your students do not have their own emails or use the Gmail sub account trick explained here. Challenge them to see how large a building they can build with only a limited number of bricks. Have your students build two dimensional tessellations or something that represents a geometric shape. Teach basic math concepts such as volume or multiplication by counting brick units. Your students can select a place in the world to build and research the architectural designs associated with that location. Challenge your students to build a design to fit that geographic environment. Encourage your students to locate and research different historical monuments or buildings around the world and recreate them using the virtual LEGO bricks. Have your students research the ecology and climate of where they are building. Your students can construct creations for humans or animals that live in that ecosystem. Integrate writing with your students Build with Chrome creations. Have them write descriptions and explanations of their designs. Your students can also write stories about events that may have occurred at the building they created. Assign your students different regions around the world and challenge them to build a cultural center for the area. Use the Google Maps interface to travel around the world as students use Prezi (reviewed here) to present information of their Build with Chrome building and the culture. Create your own town with the buildings created by your students. Create a newspaper for your town using a site such as Zinepal (reviewed here). Click to "Start with a blank e-Book." This is a great tool for cross-grade activities in a gifted program or sharing among students in several schools.

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Crunchzilla - Crunchzilla

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn basic computer coding skills using this tool. There are three difficulty levels: Code Monster for preteens (or even younger), Code Maven for teens and young adults, or Game Maven...more
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Learn basic computer coding skills using this tool. There are three difficulty levels: Code Monster for preteens (or even younger), Code Maven for teens and young adults, or Game Maven for ages 16+. Code Monster prompts younger students to change various parameters of an already given code. As they enter different parts to the code, the changes in the object can be seen immediately. Simply click on the dialogue bubble and a new lesson will appear. Unfortunately, creations cannot be saved. (Students can screenshot their creations.) Use Code Maven with older teens, though it appears to have the same lessons as Code Monster. Game Maven is the third and most advanced programming tutorial in this series. Use this to teach a little about programming by creating easy games. In all three tools, skip to further lessons by clicking on the dialogue balloons. Use the back button to return to previous lessons. It is also easy to undo a lesson and start a code over with the reset button. In all tools, if you return to the same browser on the same machine, it will return to the last lesson you were on. Note: Be sure to have played with Code Maven prior to using Game Maven as those lessons are needed to understand how to program (unless there is prior coding experience).

tag(s): computers (36)

In the Classroom

When discussing computer science and how technology touches all of our lives, be sure to discuss coding and that it is a language that everyone can learn. Show the HTML markup of a page to show what the computer "reads" to form what websites look like. Use these tools to show basics in coding. When students are working, be sure to not rescue them with answers. Encourage learning by telling them to ask three other students first before asking the teacher AND that it is okay if we learn it together. Use other coding programs such as Scratch, reviewed here. Have students create a tutorial or a quick reference guide for using coding. Create a class wiki to share your reference guide. If you want to learn more about wikis, check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Share this site with your young gamers to lure them into the logical world of coding -- and actually build STEM skills in the process.

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Imendi - David Filip

Grades
3 to 12
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Practice and learn basic words and vocabulary in Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, German, Czech, and Russian. Imendi is a flash card type activity featuring various languages...more
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Practice and learn basic words and vocabulary in Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, German, Czech, and Russian. Imendi is a flash card type activity featuring various languages in a drag and drop format. Choose your language to begin. You can also choose between a random lesson or use the "all words" option. Match new language terms to the English word then quickly view results and start over with a new set of cards. These are quick and easy reviews. Use the non-English speaking option to translate from any included language back to English.
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tag(s): arabic (16), french (83), german (60), italian (31), portuguese (15), russian (24), spanish (97)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with your ESL/ELL students. If you teach world languages, this site is a great review of various languages. Looking for some enrichment for your gifted students? Share this site and help them to learn a new language (or at least several key vocabulary words). Have students compare the words for the same thing across various languages to notice relationships among the languages. Make simple posters of words for different themes, such as foods, in several different languages using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here). Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center.

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Primitives Application - Alec McEachran and Ptolomey.co.uk

Grades
2 to 8
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Primitives Application is an interesting applet that generates graphical representations of numbers. Start with the number one and continue to add numbers to view them in different...more
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Primitives Application is an interesting applet that generates graphical representations of numbers. Start with the number one and continue to add numbers to view them in different group formations. Personalize the applet by choosing from commands on the left side such as automatic movement, adding rotating discs, or moving points. Choose full screen for best viewing of information (ESC to go leave full screen). Be sure to read the comments below the applet for some additional ways to modify and use it.

tag(s): multiplication (188), number sense (75), numbers (176), prime numbers (27)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for your interactive whiteboard. View together as a class and discuss different groupings of numbers. Use the visuals to demonstrate prime numbers. Try to predict the next grouping before moving ahead. Have students draw different number representations to use on a class bulletin board. Challenge students to find as many ways as possible to represent each different number. Share this site with your art teacher as a bridge into curriculum. He/She may want to use simple printing materials, such as styrofoam and tempura, for students to create their own visual representations of numbers, an excellent exercise in repeating visual patterns! Teachers of gifted can challenge students to create their own number-visual system or simply to present your students with this applet without explanation for them to "figure out" the patterns and what they mean!
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