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JST Virtual Science Center Mind Lab - Japan Science and Technology Agency

Grades
6 to 12
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Enter the laboratory of the mind and experience visual phenomena and illusions used in psychological experiments. Discover the mysteries of perception and how the brain unconsciously...more
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Enter the laboratory of the mind and experience visual phenomena and illusions used in psychological experiments. Discover the mysteries of perception and how the brain unconsciously interprets the incoming information to construct our visual world. This site is available in Japanese too. This site is slow to open at times.

tag(s): brain (72), optical illusions (11), perspective (11)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, intrigue your students with visual perception experiments. When you study the brain, spend some time looking at how it works. Use on your projector or interactive whiteboard to challenge your students' perceptions. Use in any science class, psychology, physiology, anatomy, or biology as a way to extend the curriculum into real world experiments. In language arts classes, study the concept of perception and how it influences understanding. How do writers use perception to build setting and characterization? Use as a model for science experiments or ways to present research.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Noun Project - The Noun Project

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K to 12
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Find free, scalable vector images created by a community of designers whose goal is to create a universal global language of symbols that everyone can understand. Vector files are images...more
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Find free, scalable vector images created by a community of designers whose goal is to create a universal global language of symbols that everyone can understand. Vector files are images that do not change or become fuzzy when you resize them. Communicating visually is powerful and easy using symbols like these. Move beyond language and cultural barriers in learning and communicating by using these symbols. You must set up a free account to actually download. Note: Many programs cannot use the file format (SVG) but some programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, can. Don't have a program to open the image? Download the image, then upload to the Media Converter (reviewed here) to convert the image. No need to open the file- just convert! Note that the use of these vector images is FREE if the artist(s) attribution is easily viewable and accessible (linked back to the artist's page on the Noun Project site). Many images are in the public domain with no attribution required. Ethical use would still give credit. If you do not want to attribute each time it is used, icons can be purchased for unlimited use instead. Be patient. This site is often SLOW to open and offers slow downloads because of the larger image files.
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tag(s): digital storytelling (144), graphic design (35), images (266), infographics (42), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

The symbols are useful for autistic support, emotional support, ESL/ELL, and even in world languages. Use these vector diagrams for creating infographics and pictograms in any content area. Use a site such as Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Challenge students to tell a rebus-style story using simple symbols only. This is a fun and imaginative way for students to think creatively. Use these symbols to create classroom signs. Teach students digital citizenship along with creativity by learning to give credit for resources used as they explain. Try using icons like these in the navigation area of a wiki or class website instead of words to increase the accessibility to others. Be sure to include this site as a list of resources for students to use on your wiki or class website. Students can access images to tell their story or to relate/teach content to others. Encourage students to create their own symbols for use in telling a story (great if students have access to programs that can create vector images). Special ed teachers may want to use these symbols on communication boards. Note: since file downloads are slow, you may want to download a collection for your specific lesson or project outside of class time and offer the files to students locally in a shared folder or on a class wiki. Teachers of non-readers will find these symbols useful in making classroom rules or signs.

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Crash Course - John and Hank Green

Grades
6 to 12
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Join John and Hank Green on the you Tube channel, Crash Course. Crash Course consists of highly engaging video presentations that explain the basics on many topics: about 10-15 minute...more
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Join John and Hank Green on the you Tube channel, Crash Course. Crash Course consists of highly engaging video presentations that explain the basics on many topics: about 10-15 minute in length, humorous, and engaging! The general topic areas include World History, Literature, and US History. At the time of this review, biology topics include: the carbon cycle, water cycle, molecules, nutrition, animal and plant cells, photosynthesis, heredity, DNA, mitosis, meiosis, natural selection, evolution, genetics, taxonomy, evolution, simple animals, complex animals, animal behavior, various systems of the body, bacteria, protists, and even more. In literature, five videos cover subjects from Romeo and Juliet to The Great Gatsby. There are over forty world history topics: Agricultural revolution, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, The Persians and Greeks, Buddha and Ashoka, Chinese History, Alexander the Great, The Roman Empire, Christianity from Judaism to Constantine, Fall of the Roman Empire, Islam the Quran, and the Five Pillars, Venice and Ottoman Empire, Russia, Columbus, The Spanish Empire, The French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Capitalism, Socialism, Imperialism, and many more. 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.

Tip: to watch or share a video without the ads and clutter, use a tool such as ViewPure, reviewed here to watch the video ad-free!
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tag(s): animals (276), bacteria (30), bill of rights (28), body systems (57), chinese (48), constitution (79), declaration of independence (13), evolution (100), genetics (90), greeks (30), literature (275), meiosis (15), mitosis (11), nutrition (154), religions (61), rome (27), romeo and juliet (6), russia (38), shakespeare (131), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Use as a way to introduce new topics or subjects to establish background knowledge. Share these videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard to provide an introduction (or review) on various topics. Use as an alternate way to help motivate your tech savvy students. Use as an example for a group project with the students planning, writing, and producing an informational video in the subject you are studying. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Be sure to point out the steps followed in teaching and learning in the videos. Independent learners and gifted students will love the opportunity to learn on their own using these videos. Instead of "games" for times when student finish work early, why not share the link to this YouTube channel and encourage them to keep a blog about what they discover.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Dream Quest One Poetry and Writing Contest - DREAMQUESTONE.COM.

Grades
4 to 12
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Dream Quest One offers a poetry and writing contest. The contest currently takes place annually in winter and summer. At the main page you can find out the criteria, how ...more
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Dream Quest One offers a poetry and writing contest. The contest currently takes place annually in winter and summer. At the main page you can find out the criteria, how to enter, deadlines, and the prizes! Find a variety of writing ideas by looking at featured past winners and viewing examples of quality writing. Past poetry winners (and their works) can be found at the link Poetry Place. Find past winners and tips at Write This Way!. Visit the link for Free Stuff to view lots of free clipart, poetry Ebooks, writing Ebooks, a 54 page Writers Guide, and more. Be aware: there are nominal competition fees ($5 - poem, $10 - story). You need not actually enter to find great writing ideas.
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tag(s): creative writing (166), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Help students overcome writer's block by exploring this site. Motivate your students with the many writing contests given (for a fee) or do them locally for free. The resources provide a direction for students and teachers to explore in the world of writing and poetry. Explore the many ways to encourage writing using the Internet resources. Use the free ebooks as printed material for your poetry study during poetry month or a unit on poetry. Examine the writing ebook given. Encourage groups to make their own ebook of writing tips. Challenge students to use a site such as Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.
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Pictolang - Michael R. Shaughnessy

Grades
5 to 12
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Pictolang offers four image-based language/culture learning activities. Visual Word Trainer provides flashcards with images and the word it represents from a choice of several languages...more
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Pictolang offers four image-based language/culture learning activities. Visual Word Trainer provides flashcards with images and the word it represents from a choice of several languages (Arabic, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, and more). Choose your language and the type of photos you wish to find. Picture Match offers a word with an assortment of images to match correctly. Word Match is the opposite of Picture Match - one image is offered with several words. Choose the correct word to match the image. Both of these activities also ask you to choose the language. The most difficult game is the Analyst Game. This activity "tests your visual intelligence." One image is presented, you choose the correct culture represented by the image. (Try it - not as easy as it sounds!)

tag(s): arabic (20), chinese (48), cross cultural understanding (115), french (88), german (64), images (266), italian (33), japanese (42), maps (287), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use Pictolang to help students learn and review languages on their own. This is a perfect site for ESL/ELL students, world cultures class, and world language studies. Display the Analyst Game on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and play together as a class or as a small group center. Discuss images featured and why they represent different cultures. Allow ESL/ELL students to explore the site using the ESL (North America) option to match images to the English word. This is a great link to add to your class website for world language (or ESL/ELL) students to use for additional practice.

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Figure This - KnowNet Construction, Inc.

Grades
5 to 10
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Looking for a way to add challenges to your middle school math curriculum or gifted classes? Try Figure This, a site of math challenges developed by the National Council of ...more
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Looking for a way to add challenges to your middle school math curriculum or gifted classes? Try Figure This, a site of math challenges developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Figure This offers a number of challenges in English and Spanish to be used in a classroom or offered to families for math challenges at home. A PowerPoint is included to help increase parent involvement. Learn why most manholes are round, how fast your heart beats, and numerous other interesting topics. At the time of this review, there were 80 "Challenges" to explore. All of high interest and intriguing topics! Although mainly math activity, many border on science topics as well. Each activity offers hints and answers explained in many ways. Finding the answer is rather tricky! Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the link to Answer. Don't miss the Teachers Corner. It includes all beginning materials; PowerPoints, forms, and ideas you need to begin!

tag(s): critical thinking (108), geometric shapes (163), logic (235), percent (82), probability (130), problem solving (272), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use Figure This to help differentiate instruction for all levels, especially the high-achievers and gifted students. Allow students to work independently, or work in pairs to solve challenges. Introduce the challenge on your interactive whiteboard projector. Then allow students to dive into the challenge! Use for gifted enrichment, or even a Math Challenge Day for a reward. Offer extra credit for the number of challenges solved. Use as a model to allow students to create their own challenges. Add to your website as a fun resource for students and families.
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Logic and Values: Critical Thinking - TechNyou

Grades
7 to 12
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TechNyou created this resource explaining critical thinking. Especially good are the six videos and five lessons explaining the valuable argument and broken logic. Besides the videos,...more
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TechNyou created this resource explaining critical thinking. Especially good are the six videos and five lessons explaining the valuable argument and broken logic. Besides the videos, there is a teacher's guide and PowerPoint presentations for each lesson.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), debate (41), logic (235), persuasive writing (55), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

Use the Critical Thinking videos as a stand alone, or use them in conjunction with other units. When teaching debate or persuasive writing this will be an invaluable resource. You might also consider using "Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies" reviewed here. Share critical thinking strategies with students, and have the students create lists of how and when these strategies are used in the classroom. Create a bulletin board with critical thinking strategies for your classroom. Use the lessons included on the site as a resource for lessons in your classroom. Bookmark this site and save it in your favorites as a professional resource. Share suggested activities and resources with other staff members. If your school blocks YouTube, use one of these two programs to download videos at home and bring to school on a mini USB drive: KeepVid reviewed here or HD Downloader reviewed here.
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Gone Google Story Builder - Google

Grades
2 to 12
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Enjoy creating original stories on Story Builder. Then watch them come to life. Enter character names and begin writing. Choose a character from the dropdown list, and enter some dialogue....more
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Enjoy creating original stories on Story Builder. Then watch them come to life. Enter character names and begin writing. Choose a character from the dropdown list, and enter some dialogue. Continue to choose different characters and dialogue until your story is complete. Not happy with what you wrote? No problem, edit stories at any time in the process. When finished, add music from the list of choices offered or continue without music. Preview your creation at any time using the preview link on each page. When the story is complete enter a title and your name to receive a unique url to share your story. Check out our example Story Builder) created in less than 5 minutes! Note that you cannot return to change your "story" once it is complete.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), expository writing (44), paragraph writing (17)

In the Classroom

Use Story Builder to retell a moment in history or a social studies or science concept. Share some samples on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students or groups of students create their own Story Builder to retell a story or tell a story from a single character's point of view. Assign student groups to tell a story related to your curriculum. Create a Story Builder at the beginning of a unit with what I want to know questions, or use for the end of a unit as a review. Share student Story Builders with a link on your website or blog. In math class have students explain a procedure using Story Builder. Use Story Builder to create drama scripts or to demonstrate writing skills. Have "Annie Adjective" add colorful words to a draft while "Pete Punctuation" proofs for errors. Have students collaborate to create their own "live" edit sessions using an anonymous student draft you provide or from their OWN writing. By naming the character who is making changes, they can show what they are emphasizing, such as Sam Support adding supporting details when writing informational texts. Teachers of gifted could challenge students to create "epistolary" tales using this tool. Once they discover it, your gifted students will come up with new ways to share projects using this tool (and a little humor).

Engage student and parent attention about important announcements by giving a link to s Story Builder where you explain a project or plans for a special PTA event. Write it as a Q/A session, and they will watch the whole thing!

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Sound Around You - University of Salford

Grades
2 to 12
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Listen to soundscapes recorded all over the world. Find a place of interest on the map, listen to the recording, and read the information about the location. Upload your own ...more
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Listen to soundscapes recorded all over the world. Find a place of interest on the map, listen to the recording, and read the information about the location. Upload your own soundscapes using the site or through the iPhone/iPad app.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), listening (91), maps (287), senses (28), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Those who teach geography and world cultures will like this! Use this resource to get your students thinking about the sounds around them. Include it when studying sound or the human ear in science class. Connect with other subjects by envisioning smells that would be there or craft a story inspired by the sounds heard at a specific location. Play sounds for your younger students and ask what they hear. Create sound stories together -- or as a creative project --by playing a series of sounds to tell the tale! Use your imagination to add this resource to other location projects used throughout the year. World language teachers could assign students to create a sound and word story about a cultural location. Use these sounds as background and add the dialog!

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Math Monday - National Museum of Mathematics

Grades
6 to 12
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Math Monday is a weekly column discussing fun, experiential, and puzzling topics in mathematics. Each article takes a math idea, explains the concept, and uses images (and/or videos)...more
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Math Monday is a weekly column discussing fun, experiential, and puzzling topics in mathematics. Each article takes a math idea, explains the concept, and uses images (and/or videos) to put the concept into action. Sample topics include hula hoop geometry, large stars, mathematical quilting, and much more. Subscribe to the RSS feed to view new topics each Monday using the link at the top of the page. (Or add the feed to your Flipboard account if you have a tablet.) There is also a very long list of archives to explore and try!

tag(s): colors (79), fractions (239), geometric shapes (163), origami (17), pi (22), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Share articles with students and replicate activities included in the article. Share the video demonstrations on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos after reading articles and attempting activities. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Use activities in the article as inspiration for Math night activities or Math Fair projects.
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Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks - RichBlocksPoorBlocks

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this tool to find the median household income of the US by each Census tract. Search by city or state. Or click the "little orange man" and drag him ...more
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Use this tool to find the median household income of the US by each Census tract. Search by city or state. Or click the "little orange man" and drag him to the location you want to view on the US map. You will be taken to "Street View" (see the street up close) to view the income for that exact block. Find the median income by color blocks.

tag(s): census (19), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Propose reasons for the differences in median income in a particular area or state. Research industry, agriculture, level of education, and other factors to determine the reasons. Investigate at the nearby ports and natural resources. Why do certain parts of the country have higher incomes and/or costs of living? How is income connected to education level? Students can identify patterns that exist among the data. They can form hypotheses about why. Create a campaign to bridge the wage gap by suggesting ideas to increase salaries in areas. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Teachers of gifted will find "rich" possibilities for discussion from this site.

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Cyberchase - PBS KIDS

Grades
3 to 7
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Join Jackie, Matt, and Inez in the PBS world of Cyberchase, using the magical powers of math and science to take adventures. The "Motherboard" heads the team against the evils ...more
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Join Jackie, Matt, and Inez in the PBS world of Cyberchase, using the magical powers of math and science to take adventures. The "Motherboard" heads the team against the evils of the universe, Hacker. Visit "Games" to find interactives. There are printables found at the "Activities" link. And finally, watch different episodes (see Video) of Cyberchase to practice various math skills. After the show, find links to the math presented in the show. Examples of content topics include: fractions, geometry, math, weather, money, problem solving, using data, using numbers, science and engineering, pre-algebra, measurement, math and sports, and geometry.

tag(s): data (148), engineering (125), fractions (239), money (193), problem solving (272), sports (97), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Introduce math concepts in a unique way, using Cyberchase adventures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site at your centers/stations to practice, use, and apply math and science skills. Put a link on your class website for students to use for review, reinforcement, and enrichment.
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Fetch - PBS Kids

Grades
2 to 8
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Join Ruff Ruffman in the PBS Kids Game show, Fetch. Learn about animal science as you view (and participate) on this educational game show including 5 contestants ages 10-14. "Ruff"...more
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Join Ruff Ruffman in the PBS Kids Game show, Fetch. Learn about animal science as you view (and participate) on this educational game show including 5 contestants ages 10-14. "Ruff" hosts the game show, reality style with children contestants, learning about science and also crazy challenges. Topics include (but are not limited to) animals, engineering, deserted islands, dinosaur footprints, hover crafts, mummies, song birds, and more. There are past episodes and games available.

tag(s): animal homes (41), birds (50), dinosaurs (57), diseases (66), literacy (103), machines (30), simple machines (37), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Invite Ruff Ruffman into your classroom to add spice to your science, language arts, and math curriculum. Although contestants are ages 10-14, younger students would benefit by watching the activities. Some may be too challenging for younger students to complete on their own. Students will identify with the contestants as they learn and laugh along with Ruff. Add a Ruff adventure or interview as an anticipatory guide for a unit. Share a clip or experiment on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use as a way to enrich during your unit on mammals, motion, or problem solving. Have older elementary students (or middle school) become familiar with the show's format, and create an "episode" based on your unit of study. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos to share using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Create a writing experience from episodes given. Use an episode as a spark to begin a further area of inquiry. Add to your computers as a center time activity, or even as a special earned award. Share on your website as an enrichment source, or a great place for educational learning.
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Thirty Something and Fabulous: Using Marzano Question Stems in a High School Classroom - Stacy

Grades
6 to 12
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Stacy at "Thirty Something and Fabulous" has taken Marzano's rework of Bloom's Taxonomy and created questions that "address all the literary elements as well as purpose and style" for...more
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Stacy at "Thirty Something and Fabulous" has taken Marzano's rework of Bloom's Taxonomy and created questions that "address all the literary elements as well as purpose and style" for all levels and categories on the taxonomy. Use these questions with any type of reading. They are downloadable (with credit) from her blog. With Common Core and its emphasis on critical thinking and reading nonfiction, these questions are helpful. This review is for the May 17, 2012 blog entry only. TeachersFirst feels this blog post was valuable for teaching. The remainder of the blog is off topic and not a part of this review.
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tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), critical thinking (108), independent reading (128), literature (275), reading strategies (45), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

If you like to compare fiction or poetry with nonfiction, you can choose a few of these questions for students to answer for both pieces. Then ask students to compare which answers are similar and different for both pieces, and why that happens. If you would like to start pairing fiction with nonfiction you can start by using a site such as Earth Care reviewed here. You will find a link for Focus on Books that has lessons for The Lorax, Diary of a Worm, and several others.

If your students write in reading journals, you may want to assign a few of these questions as prompts for reflection. Challenge your students to think of additional writing prompts following this same pattern.
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Dance, Factors, Dance - Stephen Von Worley

Grades
4 to 10
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Dance, Factors, Dance is a wonderful visual display of numbers and factors. The numbers begin at 0 and continue through 10,000. Each number displays as a visual image sorted by ...more
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Dance, Factors, Dance is a wonderful visual display of numbers and factors. The numbers begin at 0 and continue through 10,000. Each number displays as a visual image sorted by factors, or in one large group if prime. At the top of the screen, the actual digits show along with the factorization represented. For example, 10,000 displays as 5X5X5X5X2X2X2X2 with a beautiful star-like image. Speed up the dance or stop at any given point using icons (at the bottom of the page) or go backwards to watch numbers unfold.

tag(s): factoring (31), factors (42), number sense (97), prime numbers (31)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent visualization tool for demonstrating factors and prime numbers. View as a class on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and explore the different patterns displayed. Have students watch for patterns as numbers grow, or question what happens when numbers are odd or even. Have students explore the site on their own; then use as a journal prompt for students to discuss their exploration of numbers. Ask students how they visualize numbers in their own heads. You may be surprised to learn that some students have visual images of number concepts! Teachers of gifted or visually talented students may want to ask them to create their own "visualizations" of numbers using an animation tool from the Edge.

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I Fake Text - iFakeText.com

Grades
2 to 12
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iFakeText is a tool to create fake screenshots of a series of iPhone text messages. Write a name, then choose an operator and write text in the provided box. Click ...more
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iFakeText is a tool to create fake screenshots of a series of iPhone text messages. Write a name, then choose an operator and write text in the provided box. Click the link "Create your Screenshot" to view the picture. Have the operator READ the text message (great for non-readers). Take a screenshot or share via different social networking platforms or via a link.
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tag(s): creative writing (166), text to speech (16), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have two characters from a book or two famous people text each other. Create short poetry using this tool. Provide some opening text and ask students to write their guesses of the other person's answers. Have students practice a dialogue or questions and answers. Create a fake text of a conversation and have students use inference skills to state what happened before and after the conversation. You could even use it as a writing prompt. Teach important texting etiquette using this tool. Use a fake text on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to display word definitions in a fun way. Use this site with your ESL/ELL students (or those learning to read) and have the site READ the text to the students. The ability to use the "text to speech" makes this an easy tool for any age student to try! Tear down the boundaries of delayed reading. Create fake texts of homework or project reminders and post them on your class wiki or web page.

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Murder at the Met: An American Art Mystery - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
5 to 12
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Find a mystery in art, and use art to solve the mystery. Tour American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts that reside at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to solve the ...more
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Find a mystery in art, and use art to solve the mystery. Tour American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts that reside at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to solve the murder of Virginie Gautreau AKA Madame X, painted by John Singer Sargent. The scenario is an evening gala in 1899, and you put clues together using either your mobile devices or a computer. Players must examine the art work since you are witnesses. There are weapons and possible crime scenes. There are three possible avenues to take to reach the solution, so the game can be played multiple times.

tag(s): art history (70), artists (75), critical thinking (108), interactive stories (32), mysteries (25), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

Whether teaching art history or a unit on mysteries and deductive reasoning, students will learn from using this program. Though there is a place for students to keep notes, they should also keep their own notes about the clues, especially why they choose the ones they mark "highly suspicious." If you and your students liked this site you might also enjoy "Mysterious Places: Ancient Civilizations Modern Mysteries" reviewed here with its lovely photographs to go along with the mysteries. A natural follow up would be to have your students write their own mysteries. "Mystery Writing Lesson Plans" reviewed here is just the place to give you some ideas! Challenge gifted students to create similar mysteries using subject matter in any science or social studies class.

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ReadWorks - ReadWorks.org

Grades
K to 12
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ReadWorks provides a free, research-based, and Common Core-aligned reading comprehension curriculum for grades K-6. Search through hundreds of lesson plans organized by grade level,...more
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ReadWorks provides a free, research-based, and Common Core-aligned reading comprehension curriculum for grades K-6. Search through hundreds of lesson plans organized by grade level, topic, or book titles. Register to download materials and save lessons to your folder. (A valid email and password is required). Other areas of the site provide information about using and teaching the provided lessons and differentiation. Choose the non-fiction portion of the site to obtain over 1,000 reading passages along with question sets to support learning activities for grades K-12. Click on the skill/strategy link located by a passage to find other material addressing that skill.

tag(s): characterization (16), context clues (8), figurative language (16), guided reading (47), independent reading (128), main idea (9), parts of speech (68), plot (10), point of view (9), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45), sequencing (31), themes (12), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This site is a must. Bookmark ReadWorks for access throughout the year. Search for lessons addressing specific skills to use in your classroom. Share with others in your building, and be sure to check out the 5th and 6th grade novel study units for classroom use, perhaps with gifted 3rd and 4th graders too!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Urgent Evoke - A Crash Course in Changing the World - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Grades
7 to 12
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Urgent Evoke is an online video game designed to help individuals across the world develop innovative, creative solutions to the globe's most pressing social problems. It also helps...more
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Urgent Evoke is an online video game designed to help individuals across the world develop innovative, creative solutions to the globe's most pressing social problems. It also helps to develop ten much-needed skills: collaboration, courage, creativity, entrepreneurship, local insight, knowledge sharing, resourcefulness, spark/example setting, sustainability, and vision. Unlike most typical online video games, accepting the mission on Urgent Evoke does not bring players to a new, simulated world within which to complete that mission. Rather, players act on the mission within their own communities and document efforts with video, photos, or a blog post. Be sure to watch the "How to Play" videos to get a full overview of the concept and how to play games.

tag(s): creativity (109), problem solving (272), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Use Urgent Evoke to stimulate innovation and creativity among students. Have students work in teams or individually to move through the ten-week game and complete missions. Provide context for the game and supplement with real-life encounters with activists, business people, and creative thinkers who are working to address these same problems in their own lives. Students don't have to play the whole game, choose missions that are appropriate to your classroom learning goals to present as problem solving and creative thinking activities. Teachers of gifted could use this game as a basis for a semester of intense projects.

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Thought Questions - Marc and Angel Hack Life

Grades
5 to 12
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How do you know when you're happy? What's one bad habit that makes you miserable? Find open-ended questions on Thought Questions daily. A gorgeous photograph complements each...more
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How do you know when you're happy? What's one bad habit that makes you miserable? Find open-ended questions on Thought Questions daily. A gorgeous photograph complements each question. The site provides a space for you to answer these questions online or not. Maximize the benefits of self-reflection by taking the time to think! Visit this site daily, weekly, or monthly. There are over 900 questions and photos to contemplate, and they post a new one daily. There are advertisements between pictures, but their arrangement is such that they are not visible on the screen unless you are scrolling through the pictures. The public is able to answer the questions on the site, so you may want to only use this on an adult's computer.
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tag(s): critical thinking (108), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This is the perfect site to start your students' day or end your day with them. Use these questions as writing prompts or quick writes. You may want to ask students to choose their favorite and form small groups to discuss their answers. Post some of the same questions on bulletin boards. Discussing or debating these questions would be a powerful community builder at the beginning of the year or when forming new small groups. To avoid the advertising, have your question on the screen before projecting it on your screen or whiteboard. IF your class includes gifted students, they may react well to such thought-provokers. Encourage them to collect favorite prompts and responses in a writing journal or "idea bin" to use at times when they are ahead of the class or need extra writing challenges.

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