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Wonder How To - Wonder How To, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to ...more
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to comment on the videos, grade the videos, or submit your own "how to" video. Topics vary; some are appropriate for the classroom - others are definitely NOT appropriate. Some of the general topics that may be useful in the middle school or high school classroom include: alcohol, autos, motorcycles, and planes, business and money, computers and programming, diet and health, education (which features a variety of science experiments and more), film and theater, language (English, Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, Finnish, sign language, Polish, and countless others), music and instruments, travel, and several other topics. Within each of these general topics, there are thousands of specific "how to" videos.

Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aircraft (24), business (58), money (193), russian (26), sign language (8)

In the Classroom

Use these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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Sharp Brains - Sharpbrains

Grades
6 to 12
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Do you see the gorilla? Use the basketball mind stretcher to find out! This site offers some traditional and not so traditional mind stretchers. The general topic areas include How...more
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Do you see the gorilla? Use the basketball mind stretcher to find out! This site offers some traditional and not so traditional mind stretchers. The general topic areas include How Your Brain Works, Attention, Memory, Pattern Recognition and Planning, Visual Workouts, Visual Illusions, Language and Logic, and others. Some of the activities are quick (less than a minute) while others require more time. The activities could be used in many subject areas; there are language activities, math, general logic, and even some for physical education.

Be aware: each mind stretcher activity includes a blog. Some of the blog comments may not be appropriate, so be sure to READ any blogs that you plan to share. You may want to make these activities a group challenge, rather than individual exploration. Many are interactive and require Flash or Java. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): brain (72), logic (235), puzzles (208), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Start your class (any subject area) with a mind stretcher or include this as part of a psychology or biology lesson on how the brain works. Share the puzzle or challenge on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your students to create their own logic activities and create a class "Logic" wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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AAA Math

Grades
K to 8
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Students can practice math skills independently (and in both English and Spanish) with this collection of challenging, interactive practice activities, organized by grade level and...more
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Students can practice math skills independently (and in both English and Spanish) with this collection of challenging, interactive practice activities, organized by grade level and topic. Click Spanish version at the top for your ESL/ELL students to have access to the same valuable resources! The website says the activities are designed for students in grades K through eight. Topics vary greatly and include algebra, statistics, counting, comparing, decimals, basic operations, exponents, fractions, and many others. Nearly every math topic taught in elementary or middle school, will be found at this site. Once you click on the general topic area, be prepared for a HUGE list of specific choices to explore. Each math concept is explained in a simple paragraph and then students are presented with practice activities about the specific concept. The practice activities are timed.

Be aware there are several advertisements at this website (all appropriate). But considering this site is free (and full of ready to go math activities), the advertisements are worth the minor annoyance.

tag(s): estimation (46), exponents (42), measurement (159), mental math (27), money (193), patterns (85), place value (56), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

This site has countless possibilities in the classroom. Use the descriptions and activities as an anticipatory set for a new topic in math class. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Set up a learning station for students and differentiate the activities for your lower and higher level math students. Provide this link on your class website for students to use to review at home.

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Puzzlers Paradise - Shelly Hazard

Grades
2 to 10
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This site offers some fabulous (and addicting) mind stretchers. There are both visual and verbal puzzles. There is also a puzzle archive featuring a variety of puzzles for various grade...more
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This site offers some fabulous (and addicting) mind stretchers. There are both visual and verbal puzzles. There is also a puzzle archive featuring a variety of puzzles for various grade levels. Some of the puzzles are interactive and you complete them online, while others are printable. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites. Use a logic puzzle as a class opener to "warm up" brains. Display the puzzle on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Print out the logic puzzles for students to complete for additional enrichment. Use this site with your gifted students. Provide a link to this site on your class website for students to use at home. Challenge your students to create some puzzlers of their own and share them on a class wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Remember The Milk - Remember the Milk.com

Grades
K to 12
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Your busy life needs a manager. Now you have one: RememberTheMilk.com (also known as RTM). Don't worry about missing a date; any or all of these applications or programs will ...more
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Your busy life needs a manager. Now you have one: RememberTheMilk.com (also known as RTM). Don't worry about missing a date; any or all of these applications or programs will remind you: email, SMS, and instant messenger (AIM, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Skype and Yahoo) are all supported. Set up a free account in minutes. Secondary students will embrace this tool to remind them of tests or assignments or sporting events. List making has made it to a whole new level.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), organizational skills (122), time (144)

In the Classroom

Read the Blog at this site to learn many cool ways to interact with your personal computer an devices using RTM. Learning support teachers and teachers of disorganized gifted students may want to "model" using such an online tool to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Make a demo account for a "mythical" student and organize him/her together so students can see how it works. You will have to check school policies and access to some of the messaging tools, however, since some may be prohibited in your school. Learning support and gifted teachers will welcome this online tool as an engaging way for students to become better-organized. Give students a tech tool, and they just might try it!

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WayBack: Plast-O-Matic - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
3 to 8
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Come to this site to learn more about the fantastic invention: Plastic! Click on M.F.P.P.L. to visit an interactive that challenges students to manufacture pieces of missing...more
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Come to this site to learn more about the fantastic invention: Plastic! Click on M.F.P.P.L. to visit an interactive that challenges students to manufacture pieces of missing plastic. The challenge is to create all eighteen items. The

tag(s): 1950s (12), inventors and inventions (101), plastics (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site to teach your students about the importance of plastics in medicine, cooking, and everyday life. Have students try the interactive challenge with a partner. Use this site for research projects on inventions. Have students brainstorm a list of things that they use that are made from plastics. Try some of the science experience (Slime, Anyone) -- sure to excite your students, and possibly get them a bit messy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TeachersFirst Resources for the Olympics - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame...more
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame in your classroom.

tag(s): china (66), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use these Olympics resources to plan an entire unit during the Olympics or make them available as links from your teacher web page for enrichment if the Olympics fall during school breaks. Not enough time for an Olympics unit? Perhaps students can use these links to generate ideas and projects to share on an Olympics extra credit wiki. Teachers of gifted will find many ways to spark new projects usig these links.

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Math Moves U - Raytheon Company

Grades
4 to 12
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Let math move YOU through different areas of math practice! Choose an animal character and customize the color of the collar, fur, and tail. Choose your grade range prior to ...more
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Let math move YOU through different areas of math practice! Choose an animal character and customize the color of the collar, fur, and tail. Choose your grade range prior to play. Other options include saving your character to begin or registering to create a locker for extra benefits, including access to new characters and monitoring of your progress. . Use the arrows on the keyboard to move along to different math problems. Areas vary by age level, but examples include Music (Pythagorean Pavilion), Sports, Fashion and feature facts, quizzes, polls, flashcards, or a game that can be accessed for learning opportunities. Facts have links that allow students to connect to more knowledge. Tutorial help is available with the quizzes. Background music which is lively can also be turned off for better concentration. Enter Math Moves University for worksheet practice on many math topics downloaded as a pdf document. A math dictionary is also available. Clicking on the navigation along the top can also take you to various areas.

Opportunities to register pop up during play but are not required at this site.
If you choose to have your students register, please be aware of your district's requirements and acceptable use policy for using student user names, passwords, and emails.
This site requires Flash and adobe acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (148), decimals (133), fractions (239), negative numbers (22), numbers (204), percent (82)

In the Classroom

Differentiate your math instruction easily! Use as assigned, independent study for students as needed. Use as a class resource on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work collaboratively in groups to achieve the answers. Assign areas as homework practice; if computers aren't available at home, print off the worksheets for homework practice.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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If You Were President - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Do you think you have what it takes to be the President? Students choose their advisors from profiles offered, balance a budget, propose the budget, and are interviewed by the ...more
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Do you think you have what it takes to be the President? Students choose their advisors from profiles offered, balance a budget, propose the budget, and are interviewed by the press. The final, printable page presents a newspaper highlighting the student's presidency and choices.

tag(s): elections (75), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

If possible, have your students work on individual computers to complete this presidential assignment. Have students print off their newspaper page and share them with the class. Extend the assignment by having them create a newspaper with similar articles about a real presidential candidate and what he/she might do if elected. Use a tool like Printing Press, reviewed here, to create the newspaper.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Open Book Scenarios - Teaching Australia

Grades
K to 12
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This professional resource offers a possible look (scenarios) into the future of education. This site is a good illustration of the fact that teachers all around the world are aware...more
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This professional resource offers a possible look (scenarios) into the future of education. This site is a good illustration of the fact that teachers all around the world are aware of the changes that are necessary in education to respond to new technologies and globalization. The goal of the scenarios is to look at the possible education system in Australia in 2030. The creators narrowed down the futuristic world into four categories/scenarios. The first scenario offers a tolerant and harmonious society. The second scenario depicts a highly competitive world. Scenario three represents the society as polarized. The final scenario shows a world violent and fractured. The seeds of each of the possible societies are visible today. The scenarios demonstrate the importance of engaging with change and how THAT creates your ability to anticipate issues in the future, raise awareness, and create change! Click on Teaching for Uncertain Futures to view the book in its entirety. The links require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): australia (35)

In the Classroom

Teacher ed institutions and graduate classes you are taking on contemporary issues in education may want to explore these scenarios for discussion. Even high school classes exploring careers or trends in current events may discuss the reshaping of education over the next 20+ years as today's high schoolers become tomorrow's teachers. Teachers of Gifted working with forecasting and futures will find this an interesting model.

Any teacher planing to remain in the profession will want to think about how these scenarios might affect YOUR classroom in some way in the near future.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kids Memory - kidsknowitnetwork

Grades
1 to 8
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers,...more
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers, one in which you click on bulbs that light up after the lights turn off, and one that has you click on parts of faces to improve sequential memory. Most of the games have several levels so these activities can easily be differentiated for your students. The site provides specific ideas for ways teachers can use the activities.

There are some minor advertisements included at this website. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or computer station for higher scores or better times than another team. Learning support teachers may want to try it as a memory improvement tool. Our editors really do not know if it works or not. Leave a comment on this review if you try it(TF members can do this)!

Save this site in your favorites. Use the site for enrichment, or test it out as a memory tool as you try out different study skills. You may want to list this site in your class newsletter and on your class website for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Digital Vaults - National Archives

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers digitized National Archives of the U.S. organized according to general category. You can finally explore and share primary source documents interactively through this...more
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This site offers digitized National Archives of the U.S. organized according to general category. You can finally explore and share primary source documents interactively through this Flash site. Start from eight featured topics. For a more in depth look at each subject and its associated categories, click on What's Interesting. A search feature is also available. An added feature at the bottom of the opening page is the "Pathways" tab. Students can participate in a "challenge" (in different levels) to find links between certain historical items. Students can also create their own pathways, writing about connections they find between certain archived items. In another section, students can create their own historical posters and movies from the archives. You can create a collection of items from the archives to retrieve or look at later, as well. This feature requires a free membership created by email address. There are also extensive lesson ideas and information for teachers at the small link, "Educators and Students," at the bottom of the page. Roll your mouse down to find it against the dark background. Note: the entire site is done in Flash (an HTML version is available from a small link at the bottom of the page). Get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set for a unit in history or on inventions. Share a collection of images or invention drawings on a projector or whiteboard and ask what the invention will do. Or use the site as the starting point for individual or group projects. After demonstrating on an interactive whiteboard or projector, have students use laptops or lab computers to "collect" resources related to their assigned inventor, decade, or era in American history. Check your school policy regarding accessing student email. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.Students can use their log-ins to collect resources.

Since the documents are in the public domain (are not copyrighted), students may also download and use the files as part of other projects, such as video compilations, Powerpoint presentations, or multimedia of any sort. To access the resources in non-Flash format, click the small link to "research this record in ARC" in the detailed view of the item. You can then view and Save As for use elsewhere. Be sure you teach students about copying the URL and relevant information from this ARC page to cite the source and give credit in any presentation they make. This site is excellent for enrichment or projects for the gifted, as well. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class for students who are working in History Day projects or other assignments for your class.

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Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles - Alexander Bogomolny

Grades
3 to 12
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Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). ...more
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Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). The activities are divided up into the following categories: Arithmetic, Math Games & Puzzles, Logic, Fractals & Chaos, Fallacies, Calculus, Combinatorial Games, Algebra, Visual Illusions, Computer Math Magic, Combinatorics, Geometry, Eye Opener Series, Social Science, Mathematical Droodles, and Analog Devices. Each category has numerous interactive activities included. The site is frequently updated. There are some small advertisements at the site. This site is simple to use and offers a wealth of options for many grade levels. The activities are not time-consuming and offer simple explanations with the applets.

tag(s): angles (88), logic (235), money (193), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Use these applets on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a lesson in math class. Have students work independently on the logic and puzzle activities. These activities are ideal for gifted students (for advancement and/or enrichment) or extra practice for struggling students. Provide this link on your class website, so students can explore at home or as review.

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Sprat's Adventures - BBC

Grades
4 to 7
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Sprat's Adventures offers age-appropriate exciting activities in math, language arts, science, music, and more. The language arts activities all center around a group of kids being...more
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Sprat's Adventures offers age-appropriate exciting activities in math, language arts, science, music, and more. The language arts activities all center around a group of kids being on a vacation (called a holiday, at this BBC site). While at a museum a statue is stolen. Students complete three interactive challenges to find the missing statue. In the math section, Sprat and his friends visit a circus to go quad biking and they get stuck in a strange tent. Students must complete various math activities to help them get out of the tent. The science link takes students on a rocky adventure into outer space. In addition to the numerous interactive activities, there are also printable pages, comics, songs, e-cards, and more. Attention Teachers - there is a link with lesson plans, printable pages, lesson ideas, and more available if you click on Home and then Teachers . Be aware, since this site was created by the BBC, you may notice some slight spelling and language differences. Nearly all of these activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), grammar (216), probability (130), solar system (119), sound (101)

In the Classroom

This website is geared towards ages 9 to 11; however there are links to similar activities for ages 7 to 9 on the left side of the site. Use this feature to differentiate for your special education, ESL, or ELL students.

Be sure to visit the Teachers Link for some excellent ideas. All of the activities are perfect for learning stations, individual computers, or on an interactive whiteboard or projection screen. The offerings available are so diverse, that this website could be used throughout several language arts, math, science, art, and music lessons. Feature this website in your class newsletter or on your website so students can practice these educational activities at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive whiteboard Resources for Teachers - Teacher LED

Grades
K to 12
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This site has great simulations in Math that can be used with an Interactive Whiteboard. Math categories include "Algebra," "Data Handling," "Number," "Shape, Space, and Measure," and...more
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This site has great simulations in Math that can be used with an Interactive Whiteboard. Math categories include "Algebra," "Data Handling," "Number," "Shape, Space, and Measure," and "General Maths." Specific topics include "Reading Scales," "Rotational Symmetry," "Shop Addition," "Prime Snakes," and "Number Cylinder." Information and ideas for use on each Interactive can be found both on the site and as an Adobe PDF download. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): addition (251), data (148), division (172), multiplication (227), numbers (204), prime numbers (31), subtraction (208), symmetry (55), vision (87)

In the Classroom

Show difficult-to-understand concepts on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these Interactives by having students predict outcomes and then carry out the experiment, such as in rolling die to determine probabilities. Students can then apply the information to a new set of problems. Use many of the interactives as a class game. Though perfect for the whiteboard, they can also be used on individual computers or as a computer learning station.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visual Ranking: Analyzing and Evaluating Information - Intel Education

Grades
3 to 12
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Engage your students in higher-order thinking skills with a collaborative activity using Intel Education's free Visual Ranking Tool. Visual ranking leads students though focusing, identifying,...more
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Engage your students in higher-order thinking skills with a collaborative activity using Intel Education's free Visual Ranking Tool. Visual ranking leads students though focusing, identifying, and refining criteria as they assign order or ranking to a list presented as a visual diagram. Students use a simple click and drag to organize ideas, explain their reasoning, debate differences, and reach consensus with each other. This web-based tool is accompanied by project ideas, instructional strategies, assessment tips, and research. There are also detailed lesson plans for grades 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12. Registration is free and creates a teacher workspace in which to build the class project. The password-protected workspace is accessed through the Internet where students log on with the teacher-created ID, team ID, and password.

Teachers can use the comprehensive tutorial to learn the features of the tool. The Try the Tool section has a demonstration workspace for teachers to practice with ranking a sample list and then comparing it to other lists. Take advantage of the experiences of other teachers in six detailed unit plans that provide usable handouts and student work samples.

Be sure to disable your popup blocker as the site needs to show popup windows during the project. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get these tools from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): careers (132), inventors and inventions (101), migration (59), sorting (10)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on your desktop and student computers for easy access or simply add it to the Favorites on your teacher web page for access from there

. Use the Visual Ranking tool to explore themes such as the role of friends, human migration, the impact of inventions, what's fair, and career choices with your students. Have student teams show and explain their diagrams to the whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector.

The Visual Ranking Tool can be used at any stage of a learning project. As a pre-activity or pre-assessment, it can help students discuss their prior knowledge and identify the things that they need to research or study further. As a mid-unit activity, it can help put new learning in a context that will be more useful in the next activity. At the end of a unit, Visual Ranking may be used to assess or reflect on learning. Students can access the project workspace from home or through other Internet access points such as the public library.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Explore a Pyramid - National Geographic

Grades
2 to 8
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Students use an online "robot" to explore a pyramid in Egypt. They must decipher codes using hieroglyphs. The ride into the pyramid's chambers is quite exciting since the screen shows...more
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Students use an online "robot" to explore a pyramid in Egypt. They must decipher codes using hieroglyphs. The ride into the pyramid's chambers is quite exciting since the screen shows what the robot sees as it travels down the passageways. Students can manipulate the robot's light in order to see all around the room he arrives in and to locate the hidden hieroglyph. After finding four hieroglyphs, he puts them in order to try and find a hidden room. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): egypt (67), pyramids (29)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site as a preview before a museum visit or to begin a unit on ancient Egypt. Review the objects you've seen with hieroglyphs by playing this game. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students on computers. Have students design their own set of hieroglyphs with meanings and write short notes to each other.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bunyips - National Library of Australia

Grades
2 to 8
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This entrancing graphic site portrays the cultural and literary history of the fictional Australian characters, the Bunyips. Students and teachers will enjoy learning about all the...more
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This entrancing graphic site portrays the cultural and literary history of the fictional Australian characters, the Bunyips. Students and teachers will enjoy learning about all the manifestations of its appearance on stamps, in books, and in folk lore. There are links for Education, Aboriginal Stories, Imagination, Evidence, and Fun & Games. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Although, a non-flash version is also available.

tag(s): australia (35), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Use this when doing a unit on Australian history, folk lore, or creatures of fantasy like the Loch Ness monster or the Wisconsin hodag. To encourage children to read books about the bunyip, show them this site projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask ELL and ESL students in your class to share similar legendary characters from their cultures. Conclude your folklore unit by having students write their own tales of fantasy creatures that lurk in the corners of your school.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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What's Special About This Number - Erich Friedman

Grades
4 to 12
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This unusual website shares the "uniqueness" of a multitude of numbers. The numbers range from 0 - 9,999. This website teaches you what the only even prime number is, what ...more
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This unusual website shares the "uniqueness" of a multitude of numbers. The numbers range from 0 - 9,999. This website teaches you what the only even prime number is, what a narcissistic number is, what the smallest number with 14 divisors is, and a LOT of other interesting mind-stretching information. The highlight of this website is the ability to click on math terms to learn more about the topic.

tag(s): angles (88), median (22), numbers (204), roman numerals (9), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This is one of those sites that you have see to appreciate. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard. In more advanced classes, project a number on the screen as students walk in. Have students try to figure out what might make this number "special." Have students share their responses. This is a great "number of the day/mind-stretcher of the day" activity.

Or have students work on individual computers. Choose several of the numbers that relate to a topic that you are teaching (such as the square root), and have individual students learn about the number and then teach the class what they learned. Extend the idea by having students create "what's special" PowerPoint slides or wiki pages about favorite numbers. What better way to develop true number sense and excitement about math as a mental game.

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Mysterious Places: Ancient Civilizations Modern Mysteries - Mysterious Places

Grades
4 to 12
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Students are always fascinated by the mysteries of the past, and wondering how those in ancient history managed feats of construction that would be difficult even today. Perhaps nothing...more
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Students are always fascinated by the mysteries of the past, and wondering how those in ancient history managed feats of construction that would be difficult even today. Perhaps nothing sparks student interest more than the phrase, "no one knows". This site seeks to explore several "mysterious places" in the world--places whose origins or purposes are lost to antiquity. In addition, the sponsors of the site hope to raise money to ensure these monuments are not endangered in the future. Currently, the featured locations include Easter Island, Stonehenge, the dwellings of the Tellem people of Mali, West Africa, and the Mayan cities of Mexico (still under construction). Each section contains stunning photography, and a variety of resources on the history and mystery of the site. A section entitled "educator link" promises lesson plans and other teachers' resources, but is not finished. The site offers great potential, some of which has already been realized. It's worth checking out now, and perhaps in the future when more of its resources are up and running. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (180), easter (21), mayans (12), mysteries (25)

In the Classroom

This site might be offered to students doing independent research or included as "real" mysteries during a reading or literature unit on mysteries. The information could augment a lesson plan from a standard text with its lovely photos. It could be an option for exploration by accelerated students who have completed a unit on ancient history. Teachers should be aware that there is an on-line forum as a part of this site which requires registration. Its content is completely peripheral to the site, and students should simply be instructed to avoid it.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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