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The White House Tour - Google Maps

Grades
K to 12
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This White House tour uses Google Maps street view tools to "tour" the inside of America's home. Use the circle tool in the upper left corner to rotate around the ...more
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This White House tour uses Google Maps street view tools to "tour" the inside of America's home. Use the circle tool in the upper left corner to rotate around the room, and click on objects to get a closer view.

tag(s): presidents (131), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Take your students on a virtual field trip! This is a great way for kids to "visit" the White House. Include it during inauguration week or any time you are studying U.S. government. Show the website using a projector, and have students write a tour script or a tale of something that might happen in the White House. Younger students might want to write a story from the President's dog's (or other pet's) point of view! Before using the site, you should familiarize yourself with how to use the Google Maps street view tools to navigate through the house. Better yet, have a student operate the tour on the whiteboard or projector.

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Today's Document - Jon White Studio

Grades
6 to 12
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Today's Document is an excellent daily history site based on an RSS feed from the National Archives. This specific page comes up on Constitution Day. Cartoons illustrate the history...more
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Today's Document is an excellent daily history site based on an RSS feed from the National Archives. This specific page comes up on Constitution Day. Cartoons illustrate the history of the document, and link each drawing to the original, primary source document on National Archives with an invitation to dig deeper. Search the archives for previous entries or scroll back through daily cartoons. Explanations often include links to further historical information or click on included tags for similar resources. This site includes documents for several days each month. The site seems to have stopped in 2010, but you can browse back through many valuable documents and explanations, since the "originals" being discussed are historic, not current.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil war (145), constitution (79), jefferson (19), lincoln (86), presidents (131), segregation (15), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Today's Document would make a fantastic discussion starter in any classroom. It is an interesting, visual way for students to acquire background knowledge about American history and/or the Constitution and government. You may want to display a document on your interactive whiteboard as a bell-ringer (opener) activity, or as a story starter in English class. Cover up the cartoon explanation, and ask students to discuss events that they think took place. In U.S.history, government, or civics classes, use the site as an example, then challenge students to create their own comics to explain a topic using comic-creation tools from this TeachersFirst collection.

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Easel.ly

Grades
5 to 12
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Create Infographics - easily! Click the "Start Fresh" gray square to begin using the tools. Simply drag and drop your favorite from a wide selection of customizable themes (layouts),...more
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Create Infographics - easily! Click the "Start Fresh" gray square to begin using the tools. Simply drag and drop your favorite from a wide selection of customizable themes (layouts), or start from a blank canvas. Drag and drop other needed elements or upload graphics to create your own. Enter your text and data to create your own Infographic, displaying and sharing information. Find all the needed elements and prompts along the top navigation bar. This site takes the challenge of using design principles out of the creation of an Infographic. Click Save and you will be prompted to join if you have not already. Once logged in and saved, the prompts will tell you to return to your home page (leaving the "creator" area) to choose settings for your finished infographic. You can choose public or private, share by link, download, or delete.

tag(s): data (148), infographics (42), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Use a whole class account if you are working with students under 13 or if school policies prohibit student accounts. Experiment with Easel.ly on a projector or interactive whiteboard (let the students do it!) using different design "themes," making changes without having to configure the whole Infographic. After creating Infographics as a class, review the other types to show basic design principles. Students can create Infographics of a classroom topic, relationships and definitions of major terms, information from labs, and more. Find data and information that connects your content to the outside world, such as the statistics and causes for endangered species. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand any curriculum content and connect it with the real world. For example, show the many ways electricity is used in the world or the impact of slavery on an economy. Or have students explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Learn about food groups (now displayed as myplate) by dissecting a food, diary, or a typical school lunch in terms of meeting daily requirements (and other nutrition topics).

If your use literature circles in your classroom, making an Infographic about a novel the group read would be a great conclusion for the lit circle project, and it might entice others in the class to read the novel. Post the infographics on your web page for all your students and their parents to enjoy.

To challenge your gifted students, have them research and create infographics depicting the tough issues or "flipsides" related to your curriculum topic: Major court cases and issues involving freedom of speech (during your Constuitution unit), risks and benefits of nuclear power (in a physics class), how an author's experience influences what he/she writes, lead-ups to a current events crisis, etc.

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Fold U.S. Candidate - Adi Marom

Grades
2 to 12
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Fold a US Candidate is a site that has paper foldable puppets of the US candidates for the 2008 election; however, it is still useful as a resource for templates ...more
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Fold a US Candidate is a site that has paper foldable puppets of the US candidates for the 2008 election; however, it is still useful as a resource for templates for President Obama and Mrs. Obama as well as other famous politicians: Biden, Clinton, Palin, McCain, etc.. Choose a person , click on the name, and the template will open in a new window ready to print in PDF format. There are instructions for cutting and folding, or watch a video demonstrating proper cutting and folding.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use the foldable puppets when studying presidents or during your election unit. Share with students who are preparing presentations of political figures. You can also use this idea to create current candidate foldables from photos. If your students have simple movie making software such as iMovie, they could even act out campaign speeches, interviews, or debates and record them on video. Art teachers may want to use the templates as a guide for students who may want to try creating their own foldable puppets.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Spectra Visual Newsreader - MSNBC

Grades
5 to 12
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news ...more
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news categories such as politics, business, entertainment, health, technology, travel, and science. Each general category has up to 12 other choices of a more specific nature. After making those choices, a slideshow style player appears where readers can view a very brief summary of a news article to see if they would like to read the entire text. News videos and blogs are also available with just a click of your mouse. A "newscollector" allows readers to select and save featured stories for later reading.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94), reading comprehension (116), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject. Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wikipedia Race - Wikipedia

Grades
6 to 12
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Concerned that Wikipedia doesn't encourage higher-level thinking or is just the lazy way out? Here is a novel use for Wikipedia that teaches intellectual flexibility and creativity,...more
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Concerned that Wikipedia doesn't encourage higher-level thinking or is just the lazy way out? Here is a novel use for Wikipedia that teaches intellectual flexibility and creativity, and it's a whole lot of fun! While the site does all the set up for you, Wikipedia races require only a couple of computers and the Internet. Here's how it works. Choose as the destination a topic or word that has its own Wikipedia page. Try things like "apple pie" or "quilts" or nearly anything. Each "racer" goes to the Wikipedia main page and chooses "random article," and this page becomes his or her start page. The object of the challenge is to get from the random start page to the destination page by clicking on the hyperlinks within Wikipedia pages. No searching, just clicking. To make it more challenging, make some of the most broadly aggregated pages (like "United States" for example) off limits. First racer to the destination page wins. An example? Imagine your random start page is the biography page of a NASCAR driver, and your destination is "flashlight." One possible pathway might go from driver to automobile to car battery, to C battery, to flashlight.

tag(s): creative fluency (8), creativity (109), trivia (17)

In the Classroom

Wikipedia Races reward thinking that is divergent and flexible. Rather than having to narrowly focus on one right answer, racers win when they can generate lots of different associations among disparate ideas or items. Use Wikipedia Races when you have a little time left at the end of the period. A single race will last only 3 to 5 minutes for older students. It can be an individual competition among two or more racers, or students can work in small teams with one student at the mouse taking suggestions from the team. Consider being strategic with your destination pages, choosing topics related to your unit lesson, so students will need to have a broad understanding of those topics. ESL/ELL teachers can use this as a vocabulary development activity.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Infographics - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a targeted collection of infographic resources including tools for creating them, collections of great infographic examples, and sites with professional information for teachers...more
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Find a targeted collection of infographic resources including tools for creating them, collections of great infographic examples, and sites with professional information for teachers planning to use infographics for student projects and assessments.

tag(s): infographics (42)

In the Classroom

Join the21st century trend of infographics as a way to share a lot of information, quantitative data, and relationships in a compact but effective visual space. Help students learn and construct meaning using infographics. Share this collection on your class web page as a starting point for students.

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With Liberty and Justice for All - The Henry Ford Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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With Liberty and Justice for All is a special exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The focus is on the American quest for equal rights, with a special ...more
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With Liberty and Justice for All is a special exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The focus is on the American quest for equal rights, with a special emphasis on the Women's Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The site includes a video tour of the exhibit and lesson plans with standards for grade levels between fourth grade and twelfth grade. The lesson plans presume a visit to the museum, but could be adapted fairly easily for groups who are unable to visit the museum itself.

tag(s): branches of government (48), civil rights (117), constitution (79), freedom of speech (10), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

While the site is focused on preparing students for a visit to the Henry Ford Museum, the site provides good resources and lesson plans for the study of both the Women's Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The video tour of the exhibit also provides a "virtual field trip" experience.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This is a virtual field trip that groups resources for 6-8 grades and will be extremely useful at all levels towards a discussion of justice through evidence evaluation, pro and con using various issues from our history. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Critical Past Stock Footage Archive - Jim and Andy Erickson

Grades
6 to 12
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage....more
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage. The site is in the business of selling these images and clips. "Royalty free" means that purchasing an image/clip will not require additional fees to the photographer, but it does NOT mean that the images/clips are "free" to download and use at will. Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources. All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook. Search the site either by decade, topic, or keyword. Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find "related videos" that correlate to the current search.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (51), afghanistan (7), africa (180), american revolution (86), china (66), europe (75), north america (19), south america (39), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use photos or videos on Critical Past to help illustrate what students are learning in history. Ask students to be "eyewitnesses" of history and watch a video before they have context for it. Students can write or blog about what they think they are witnessing. Afterward they can research the event in more depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the clip. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here to create timelines of topics researched on the site. Use images from public domain sites, such as the collections reviewed here, to illustrate the events.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biographies (87), independent reading (128), interviews (16), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How Our Laws Are Made - Mike Wirth

Grades
6 to 12
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Remember "I'm Just a Bill"? This one screen infographic is today's equivalent. The site, which is zoomable, presents a graphic flowchart of how ideas become laws in the United States....more
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Remember "I'm Just a Bill"? This one screen infographic is today's equivalent. The site, which is zoomable, presents a graphic flowchart of how ideas become laws in the United States. A great, high impact, visual aid to understanding the process by which the US government enacts laws.

tag(s): branches of government (48), congress (33)

In the Classroom

Use the graphic as an introduction to a detailed discussion. Share the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use it to reinforce the process once you've taught the lesson. Encourage students to bookmark it to review or test their understanding. Anyone who teaches civics, government or US history will be able to use this graphic on an interactive whiteboard. For that matter, it should be required viewing for citizens and politicians alike!

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The Learning Network - The New York Times Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student...more
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student opinion section, contests, a daily news quiz, and timely articles connecting current events to thinking questions. Find many opportunities for a quick learning game or to express your opinion. There is even a student crossword. This site is frequently updated and includes a wide variety of subjects.

tag(s): news (261), vocabulary (324), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class web page for students to find challenges or activities. Substitute teachers can always find an appropriate current events or vocabulary/writing activity if there are no lesson plans. English, social studies, and gifted teachers will want to explore the many lesson ideas that draw on current news stories. Find many prompts for student opinion blogs at this site. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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Speechable - Enluminari

Grades
K to 12
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Add a captivating or informative speech bubble to a picture from your computer or that you find (legally) online. Make the picture private and share with others. The public pictures...more
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Add a captivating or informative speech bubble to a picture from your computer or that you find (legally) online. Make the picture private and share with others. The public pictures on the home page change frequently, so be sure to check this just before SHARING with your students. Some of the captions could be considered offensive to some. . Be sure to make all of your pictures private.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (266)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make captions of an animal talking about his habitat or a "community helper" talking about his/her role. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki! Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to show your humorous side to the parents. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night.

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Chartle - Dieter Krachtus

Grades
6 to 12
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the ...more
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the relationships between the data as you play with the graphic. Note: Take (and save) a screen shot of your chart as not all charts have been saved correctly. Once a chart has been published, it can no longer be edited. There is a short video tutorial on the homepage explaining how to use this site. This site uses Java.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195)

In the Classroom

You will want to play with this tool before using it in class. Use anywhere numerical data is collected and is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science, survey, or math class and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. Use for quick creation and sharing of created graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard when introducing the different types. Have students operate the board while others offer instructions on what to do next. Use graphs to portray different sets of data about a topic in a new and unique way. Use this tool to create graphs and charts for presentations and reports. Make quick charts students can share with others such as "How I spend my time" and "Places I have visited." During political campaign seasons, create charts to better visualize what the pollsters are saying.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library - JFK Library

Grades
7 to 12
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information...more
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information about these newly released records, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews. For example, you can now download previously secret audio recordings that were made during White House meetings, transcripts of oral history interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and a rich archive of other materials related to the Kennedy Presidency. This newly released material gives us insight into Kennedy's brief time as President, including his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, his attitudes toward the Cold War relationship with the USSR and the build up of US troops in Vietnam. There are teacher resources and lesson plans that make use of the available archival material.

tag(s): history day (23), kennedy (27), presidents (131), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

All of these topics are of interest to students doing research into 20th century US and international history, and might be particularly useful to students working on in depth projects for National History Day. After researching a specific topic, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TES Teaching Resources - TSL Education

Grades
K to 12
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose...more
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose a grade range to search for activities. Note that terminology for lessons is from the UK, so you may need to "translate" for U.S. curriculum topics and spelling. Choose subjects then further categorized into topics. Many links include complete lessons plans with items such as PowerPoint lessons, videos, quizzes, worksheets, and much more. Other options on the site allows you to save items as favorites, follow other users, save searches, and upload materials. Another offering is the "Whole School" category that includes resources for school needs such as behavior and assemblies.

tag(s): bullying (52), business (58), creativity (109), preK (281), psychology (64), religions (61), sociology (22), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite to use as a resource when searching for lesson plans and classroom activities. Why reinvent the wheel? Take advantage of these ready to go resources!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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New Math - Craig Damrauer

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper ...more
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper again, unicycle = bicycle + oddness, among many others. Some of the concepts relate to life, government, and current events, not "math." Slides can be viewed in several different ways: choose random to view a random slide from the selections, or change the view to scrolling to go down the catalog of slides offered. Each slide contains a link so you can share it in through Facebook, Twitter, email, and more. The SHARE button is on the bottom left side of the screen.
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tag(s): creativity (109), logic (235), puzzles (208), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Display a new slide on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) weekly as a conversation-starter in a math class, social studies class, or gifted classroom. Ask students to explain what the equation might mean. Challenge students to create their own new math word equations and share them using a talking avatar using a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced). Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Much of the vocabulary used with the equations is very advanced. Use this in English class for vocabulary development. Then challenge students to create some of their own "equations" with other new vocabulary words.

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Game Up: Brain Pop Games - Game Up Brainpop games

Grades
K to 12
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources....more
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources. Game Up, a free area of Brain Pop, is a collection of free online games that are linked to Common Core and State Standards. Science, math, social studies, and health activities provide challenge for every learner. This free gem also includes activities for grades K-3 and ESL/ELL students. Some of the topics (at the time of this review) included: Drake Equation, Court Quest, Cell Command, Blood Typing, Make Me Sick, The Diabetic Dog Game, and Food Fight.
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tag(s): branches of government (48), cells (102), debate (41), diseases (66), fractions (239), game based learning (103), logic (235), matter (58), myplate (28), nutrition (154), oceans (148), planets (123), plants (145), puzzles (208), solar system (119), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Use Game Up to introduce, illustrate, review, or assess concepts. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to operate as a class activity. Use one of the activities as a learning center. Be sure to put this as a link on your website to allow students a great way to reinforce learning both in and out of your class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Running for Office--Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman - The National Archives

Grades
7 to 12
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th...more
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th century and US Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Harry Truman. This site profiles both the cartoons themselves, and the issues and personalities behind the cartoons. Visually attractive, the site also permits downloading cartoons so they can be printed and studied.

As an important primary source, political cartoons provide an important insight into the issues and controversies of their time period. More than simply who did what, and what happened where, these drawings show us the emotions and conflict involved in the ugly and messy business of politics.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), elections (75), politics (99), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Students can gain insight into the events of the first half of the 20th century as well as draw parallels between the issues of that time and today. How are Presidential campaigns different and how are they similar? Challenge students to create their own political comics using one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.

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Payscale Cost of Living Calculator - Payscale, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Try this excellent tool when teaching budgeting, comparing salaries and cost of living in different areas, and money management. Enter two locations and a salary and occupation. Graphs...more
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Try this excellent tool when teaching budgeting, comparing salaries and cost of living in different areas, and money management. Enter two locations and a salary and occupation. Graphs show the difference between cost of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care in the two places. A comparison shows how much salary you would need to maintain the present standard of living in the other location. You can also compare the cost of living to other major cities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (132), money (193)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to determine how far a dollar goes in various locations. Allow students the opportunity to play with a standard salary and occupation to look at the differences in costs of living. Report on trends for cities in different areas of the country. Create a list locally of the various items that would be found in each category and the salary for that occupation where you live. Create a budget that allows for savings and vacation or large purchases. Use the data for practice with graphing and creating infographics. In government classes, use this tool and census data to make hypotheses or draw conclusions about patterns of population movement and economic trends in various areas of the country, especially in connection with political trends and election data.

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