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CurriConnects Book List: The Way Things Work - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects list offers books about science applied in the real world. Read about the how and why of the way things work. Some fiction, and some non-fiction, all the ...more
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This CurriConnects list offers books about science applied in the real world. Read about the how and why of the way things work. Some fiction, and some non-fiction, all the books will appeal to your curiosity and inspire young designers and engineers. This list includes books for all grade levels. This is a great match during units on scientific method or scientists or simply as a way to promote STEM. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your school does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (128), engineering (125), scientists (69), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Have students choose a book they can connect to concepts you are studying in science class or have them choose a book of interest and generate a list of the questions they would like to learn about after reading the book. The non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework.

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We Read - WeRead.org

Grades
K to 3
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We Read is a website designed to help adults teach and encourage children to read. Information is presented in a clear and easy to read manner. Choose a topic such ...more
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We Read is a website designed to help adults teach and encourage children to read. Information is presented in a clear and easy to read manner. Choose a topic such as planning reading sessions. View specific plans for sessions with non-readers and early readers for specific times for sessions and appropriate activities. Other interesting topics include the Parents' Corner, Reading Skills, and information on Reading Logs. Although very simple, this site is an excellent resource for anyone beginning to work with early readers. The site includes links to helpful resources from many other places on the web.

tag(s): literacy (103), parents (56), preK (281), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

Share information from this site with classroom volunteers and parents or use information to add to literature you distribute at Meet the Teacher/Back to School night or conferences. The Planning Reading Sessions information may be especially useful to share with parents as a framework for reading at home. Include a link to this site on your class website or blog as a resource for parents to use when reading at home with their child.

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25 Trends - 25Trends

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related...more
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This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related buzzwords and information in a visually appealing way. This site updates information every 10 minutes. Please preview/pretest a few minutes before you share with students or children. Our editors noticed that some keywords pull up vulgar language. (We searched "school.")
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use current trending topics (such as elections or other current events from around the world). Revisit the hashtag or trending topic periodically to see the changes in the topic, including the buzzwords that change over time. Look at news reports or causes for the change in the trend. Twitter trends could be useful in any subject area but especially useful for current events, civics, health, and economics. New to Twitter and hashtags? Find information to help you here.

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PDFmyURL - OpenTracker.net

Grades
K to 12
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Turn any web page into a PDF document instantly with this incredibly easy tool! Simply type or copy and paste the url into the box and click the "P" button. ...more
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Turn any web page into a PDF document instantly with this incredibly easy tool! Simply type or copy and paste the url into the box and click the "P" button. Instantly the page converts to a PDF document and downloads to your computer for immediate use. Drag the site's bookmarklet onto your browser's toolbar for easy use at any time with any page.

In the Classroom

Use this site to print any web page without all of the headings and other extras that generally appear. Make print outs for students to practice highlighting and looking for main ideas in informational texts (especially if you do not have an interactive whiteboard to do this). Upload PDF's to your website for student use of single pages of websites instead of having students go through unneeded pages. Be sure to show students that you must make a note of the DATE when you made the pdf, since you should always include the "date accessed" in a project bibliography entry for a web site. Talk about "fair use" in making web page copies for temporary use as part of research or class activities vs copying web pages to hang them up as locker decorations! This may be a good site to share with parents via your website. (Help them save paper and print only what they need, not an entire website.)
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sleuthing and Snooping: Real and Imagined Mystery Read-alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection...more
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This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of books and activities was created by an experienced elementary library/media specialist for fall read alouds and class discussions as Halloween and "mystery season" bring a chill to the air. The list of books to read aloud and accompanying activities include puzzles and stories that challenge their thinking. Of course we include Lexiles where available.

tag(s): book lists (128), halloween (40), reading lists (75)

In the Classroom

Use mysteries as an opportunity to learn some specialized vocabulary, a new story/text structure, to practice making inferences, and to synthesize information and make predictions. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

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ClipChoose - ClipChoose.com

Grades
3 to 12
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ClipChoose makes polls based on YouTube videos -- not your typical polling/survey site. Create an account with only your email and password. Enter a question, then enter the URLs of...more
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ClipChoose makes polls based on YouTube videos -- not your typical polling/survey site. Create an account with only your email and password. Enter a question, then enter the URLs of up to eight YouTube videos. Share your poll by url or via Twitter or Facebook. The rest is up to your audience to make choices. The total votes for each choice show under the video clip. Not sure you want to make your own poll? Browse the site for polls already created. Be sure to choose before sharing with young people. This is a public site and content isn't moderated. Currently all polls are public; however, private polls and more management features will be available soon. View an example poll created here in less than 10 minutes. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to create their own polls then search for YouTube videos to support or explain each response. Create a ClipChoose poll as a teacher or whole class. Have students respond then write a response using quotes from videos to back up their choice. Administer a poll, then use the data for graphing practice. Display sample polls (made by you or the class) and data for practice with interpreting graphs. Collect parent or student opinions about any topic. Take a poll at back to school night to find out what parents' greatest concerns or misconceptions are. Obtain quick feedback from students about which curriculum topics are confusing them. Allow students to create polls as part of critical thinking exercises such as how poll wording may bias the results. Encourage students to include polls in oral presentations to increase audience engagement. Teach students about types of propaganda using up to 8 example videos in ClipChoose. Ask students to select the one that demonstrates the use of a particular propaganda technique.

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Language Games - Don Quijote Spanish Language Courses

Grades
2 to 12
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Find three types of language games for students of English as a Second Language, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Spanish. Activities include Hangman, Crosswords, and Wordsearch....more
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Find three types of language games for students of English as a Second Language, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Spanish. Activities include Hangman, Crosswords, and Wordsearch. The site also includes links to information about the educational effects of playing games while learning Spanish (since the site producer is a Spanish language school). All the activities are preset, that is, this is not a site where you can make their own puzzles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crosswords (18), french (88), german (64), italian (33), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Provide a link to this on classroom computers for language and vocabulary review time for any language learning class. Challenge students to create a word cloud of terms learned on this site using a tool such as Wordle reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Crickweb Games Just For Fun! - Crickweb

Grades
K to 6
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Although the title of the site is "Games Just For Fun," these activities provide practice with logic, prediction, time management, mouse control, and many other skills. The main page...more
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Although the title of the site is "Games Just For Fun," these activities provide practice with logic, prediction, time management, mouse control, and many other skills. The main page features the latest games. Find the others by choosing the Fun Games link on the blue bar at the top of the page. Each activity includes a short description on the main page and instructions before beginning play. Because this site was created in the United Kingdoms, American English speaking students will find slight spelling differences.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): geometric shapes (163), grammar (216), logic (235), matching (24), organizational skills (122), probability (130)

In the Classroom

Use these activities on a student-operated interactive whiteboard center for enrichment. Create a classroom chart with activity scores, and challenge students to record and increase totals. Share this site with parents on your classroom blog or website as a site with educational value.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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3D Photo Cube - Hame

Grades
K to 12
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Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how ...more
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Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how it spins. Copy the html code into your MySpace, blog, or website.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (109), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

This tool is obviously too complicated for your elementary students to use independently. However, it could be used as a whole group/teacher led activity with any grade level. Visualize photo cubes with pictures of special class events, field trips, or just the usual day! Change the cube daily, to feature different activities, subjects, or kids. Bring into subject area content and add public domain images to add visual information for the content you are studying. For vocabulary words, add images to explain. Use photo cubes to show the main idea of historical events, literature, or even math concepts. Make a photo cube with related or unrelated images and use as a writing prompt. Use photo cubes for sequencing practice. Have fun with extra curricular clubs and highlighting events. Begin your school news show featuring the cube from different places in your school during the day. Have older students create their own photo cubes to accompany poetry in an online literary magazine (using Creative Commons or their own images). Art students can create a cube with images of their own work as an opener to a portfolio web site. Share this tool as an option for a "visual aid" during speech units pr to present images as art of a research report. Embed cubes on your class wiki to support conepts such as environmental concerns or local history. Challenge gifted students to create visual "puzzles" where viewers must guess the word or concept that the images have in common. Teach creative flexibility!

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PDF Converter - pdfconverter.com

Grades
K to 12
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Quickly and easily convert PDF to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Create a PDF from almost any file using the converter. To use, select the type of conversion. Locate the PDF ...more
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Quickly and easily convert PDF to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Create a PDF from almost any file using the converter. To use, select the type of conversion. Locate the PDF file you want to convert on your computer (even if it is only in your download folder). Enter your email address. You will receive an email with a link to your converted file. Be sure to check your "junk filter" on your email in case it does not show up directly in your inbox. Click on the attachment and download your brand new Word file! Maximum file size of an uploaded file is 2MB.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): worksheets (60)

In the Classroom

Ever find really neat activity sheets, but they need to be tweaked a little to make them work for your classes? This tool helps you save time by allowing you to edit PDF files in Word to avoid reinventing the wheel. (Beware of copyrighted materials, however). Science teachers can take lab activities and refine questions or add instructions as needed for their classrooms. English teachers can add standardized test prompts to preexisting general worksheets to tailor the activity to suit their state's test needs. This is a helpful utility for students entering contests or completing applications offered only in pdf form.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ScootPad - Bharat Kumar and Maya Gadde

Grades
K to 5
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Practice the Common Core standards for math and reading in grades K-5 at Scootpad. Change proficiency settings to meet desired targets and goals. Modify content to meet the needs ...more
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Practice the Common Core standards for math and reading in grades K-5 at Scootpad. Change proficiency settings to meet desired targets and goals. Modify content to meet the needs of specific students by choosing topics from any grade level. View classroom data quickly on your dashboard, or see individual progress with one click. Assign, view and grade homework online through ScootPad, and provide feedback using the comments area. Use your class wall on the site to engage and inform students, post notes, and engage in conversations. Lively interactives with rewards such as coins, certificates, badges, and more keep students engaged and returning for more. Be sure to watch ScootPad's 2 minute video to get a comprehensive overview of the features and how to use the site. Download and use available apps for any tablet or smart phone.

tag(s): addition (251), alphabet (92), alphabetical order (19), charts and graphs (195), division (172), fractions (239), game based learning (103), geometric shapes (163), grammar (216), literacy (103), multiplication (227), phonics (75), preK (281), subtraction (208), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Share this site with parents to view homework information or as a resource to practice Common Core skills at home. Create a link on classroom computers and use as a center for when students complete work or as a Guided Reading or Math center. Create a link on your classroom website or blog for students to complete ScootPad activities at home. Are you lucky enough to have tablets in your classroom? Download the free apps for student use during any free time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sub Hub - Rachel Friedrich

Grades
K to 12
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This blog offers ideas and resources to help substitute teachers make the most out of every day. It includes practical ideas such as what to bring to school as a ...more
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This blog offers ideas and resources to help substitute teachers make the most out of every day. It includes practical ideas such as what to bring to school as a substitute (who would have thought to bring your own "teacher-friendly" pencil sharpener?). There are also free k-5 lesson plans. The best part is all of the tips, support, and stories provided for substitute teachers "in the trenches." Although geared toward elementary teachers, ideas and suggestions are appropriate for any grade level.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (135), newbies (18), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Regular classroom teachers might want to share this in their emergency lesson plans for subs. Substitutes, don't go into the classroom empty handed. Bookmark this useful website (or make it a TeachersFirst Favorite so you can find it anytime) and be prepared for the unexpected! New teachers and student teachers can learn from the many tips. If you are mentoring or working with a student teacher, share some of these ideas. For even more, be sure to check out Teachers First's Ideas and Resources for Substitutes here.

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Promethean Planet - Promethean, Inc

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Looking for resources to use on your interactive whiteboard? If so, this site is a tremendous resource for all whiteboard users, not just those with a Promethean Board. View, search,...more
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Looking for resources to use on your interactive whiteboard? If so, this site is a tremendous resource for all whiteboard users, not just those with a Promethean Board. View, search, and download from over 60,000 resources in all subject areas and grade levels. Use the Resources tab to search by state standard, content, grade level, or resource type. Register on the site to enable download ability as well as many other features such as saving favorites, reviewing resources, asking questions on the technical forum, following specific users, and uploading your own resources. Each resource includes a short description, grade level recommendation, file format, and size. Another great feature is the slide show included with each download for previewing different pages used on each chart.

tag(s): iwb (31), numbers (204), preK (281), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Before you try any of these activities, think about how you can make the lesson more student-centered. Find ideas in TeachersFirst's Hands off, Vanna! Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning . Browse the site for interactive whiteboard resources to download for classroom use. Bookmark and save favorites for later use. Download any resource, then tweak it to your individual needs. Have questions about creating Promethean Flipcharts? Post your question on the technical board to receive helpful replies. If you have a SmartBoard, be sure to check out the SmartBoard lessons and resources page located here. You will need to download the ActivInspire software (free).

Comments

This is the go-to site for Promethean flipchart downloads. Most files were created by teachers. The only downside is that the files are hit-or-miss. There are many gems, but you might have to browse some not-so-great files to find them. Tim, , Grades: 0 - 6

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RoohIt: Instant Web Highlighter - RoohIt, Inc

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Highlight and share specific information within web pages with this application. Roohit is an instant highlighter for highlighting information on web pages while web surfing. Automatically...more
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Highlight and share specific information within web pages with this application. Roohit is an instant highlighter for highlighting information on web pages while web surfing. Automatically clip, collect, bookmark, and share online content via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and more with just one click. Create highlights using several different methods. Install the bookmarklet on your browser's tool bar then click the bookmarklet before highlighting information. You can also try entering rooh.it/ before the http of any webpage url and your cursor turns into a highlighter. It is actually easiest to simply enter the site url in the box on the main rooh.it page. Here is a sample highlighted page.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

Consider using this tool as a way to direct students to specific points of web pages. Include directions in your notes. Assign specific tasks, such as pre-reading questions using the notes feature. Even without "sharing" a URL, use this resource to keep track of specific points for discussion later. Have students use this tool for research papers and other projects. Share current events with others. Simply paste the highlighted URLs into a word doc to save and reopen later. Use this resource as an organizational tool for content found on the web. Have students annotate their own pages including their own pre-reading questions, main idea sentences, or summaries using highlighting and notes on a text-based page. Have them explicate poetry, annotate motifs in online literary works, point out fallacies in arguments used in blog posts, or highlight evidence of bias in web page content. They can "turn in" their assignments to you or share them with classmates by URL.

Keep a word document with the URLs to your annotated pages and notes about what they are if you plan to assign them to students. If you plan to use this as a TEACHER only, there are no safety/security concerns at all. Be sure to check with your IT department about installing bookmarklets and using this site on district computers. No registration is required. Encourage students to use this responsibly and not highlight information considered inappropriate for school.

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Arcoiris, Educational Games - juegosarcoiris.com

Grades
K to 2
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Arcoiris offers online educational games for 3 to 10 year olds in English and Spanish. Activity topics include shapes, numbers, letters, and more. They are relatively simple but extremely...more
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Arcoiris offers online educational games for 3 to 10 year olds in English and Spanish. Activity topics include shapes, numbers, letters, and more. They are relatively simple but extremely useful. Conversion between Spanish and English is simple using the buttons near the top right-hand corner of the home page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), colors (79), geometric shapes (163), numbers (204), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning station on individual computers or your Interactive Whiteboard. Leave the language set to Spanish for students to practice learning Spanish on their own. Share with parents through your classroom website or blog for students to practice early learning skills. Use this site as a resource for Spanish speaking students. There is quite a bit of advertising on the site, so you may want to take the time to show younger students how to stay within the site without clicking on external links.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sound and Fury - PBS.org

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore a world without sound, based on the Academy award-winning documentary, Sound and Fury. Explore one controversial option for breaking the silence: the cochlear implant. Click...more
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Explore a world without sound, based on the Academy award-winning documentary, Sound and Fury. Explore one controversial option for breaking the silence: the cochlear implant. Click on the link "Deaf Culture" to learn about the history, sign language, finger spelling, and living with being hearing impaired. Discover how cochlear implants work and why there is controversy about them. Uncover the world of hearing aids. Lesson plans include the science of sound as well as deafness and diversity. There are several video clips provided that require RealPlayer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): hearing impaired (6), sign language (8), sound (101)

In the Classroom

Include Sound and Fury as a resource in your unit on sound, diversity, or differences. Use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector), or at a center. Provide as a resource for students to explore at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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365 ESL Short Stories - eslyes.com

Grades
4 to 10
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find a story a day (365, at the time of this review) to practice English and reading. Follow up with using the free vocabulary definitions, yes/no questions, cloze activities, crosswords,...more
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Find a story a day (365, at the time of this review) to practice English and reading. Follow up with using the free vocabulary definitions, yes/no questions, cloze activities, crosswords, and dictation. Most stories take place in New York City. The stories do provide audio, but some of the clips aren't completely clear - so preview! You can set the pace to faster or slower. Although this site's design is plain vanilla, the variety of stories and review activities is good.
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tag(s): reading comprehension (116), short stories (25), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use these short stories for your reluctant readers and students reading below grade level. Share this site with your ESL/ELL students for additional practice with reading. Reading these stories would work well for an individual or group of students in a lab or on laptops. Or print out some of the stories and have a supply ready to send home for those without online access. After using the main stories with the activities, have students write their own questions and quizzes about New York City or your own hometown. Share their stories on a blogging tool such as 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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Research Webquest - Anne Brusca

Grades
3 to 5
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Take a trip on a webquest to fly high with research. Become trained pilots as you complete the flight plan with various checkpoints about Internet safety, media center, and reference...more
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Take a trip on a webquest to fly high with research. Become trained pilots as you complete the flight plan with various checkpoints about Internet safety, media center, and reference materials. Find an introduction, task, process, and graduation. Flying High with Research uses wikispaces as their supporting platform. This webquest, created by a school library/media specialist, is designed for third graders is up to date and complete. It would adapt easily to any upper elementary grade.

tag(s): internet safety (109), webquests (29)

In the Classroom

Flying High with Research webquest is a creative example of a web quest on information literacy/research skills. Adapt the webquest to fit your own needs. Use as an example of a webquest when challenging students with the task of creating their own webquest in any subject.
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Duplichecker - Duplichecker

Grades
4 to 12
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Take advantage of this FREE online plagiarism checker. Scroll down slightly to find the text entry boxes. Copy and paste your text to be checked or upload the file as ...more
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Take advantage of this FREE online plagiarism checker. Scroll down slightly to find the text entry boxes. Copy and paste your text to be checked or upload the file as a .txt file (maximum 1000 words) . Choose whether the quotes will be checked as a group of words (Without Quotes) or as a quote by clicking the appropriate button. Choose your choice of search engine: Google, Yahoo, MSN, or other. When choosing between the Advanced search option and New Version, the New Version option appears to provide the best results.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

Students can use this plagiarism checker to be sure they are turning in original work. Teachers can use this service to check the work of students (if submitted electronically). Model this site to explain what plagiarism IS and how students can avoid it. Share this site at the beginning of the school year. The hands-on experience will help them understand this challenging concept. You might even want to provide several examples of plagiarized writing as an exercise for student to check and correct before they copy/paste their way to trouble in a research assignment. Another interesting exercise for researchers is to locate an article on a how-to topic, such as "How to Paint a Room," then see how many sites use the exact same text. As a class, discuss whether this proliferation is good or bad (is the web spreading misinformation, too?).

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qFlick - Flickr image search - qflick.com

Grades
4 to 12
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qFlick is an easy to use Flickr image search presented in an appealing slideshow format. Search in many ways, such as most interesting images of the day or archived images ...more
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qFlick is an easy to use Flickr image search presented in an appealing slideshow format. Search in many ways, such as most interesting images of the day or archived images of the day. Search for specific images using the search box at the top of the page by text or user. Enhance learning about copyright issues by using the advanced search to filter for no known copyright issues, United States government work, and more. The advanced search can also be used to filter images by date. Images can be shared via Facebook and Twitter, or choose the icon taking the user to the item's original Flickr page. NOTE: Since Flickr is a public photo sharing site, photos are not filtered for appropriateness for young people. This search tool should be used under direct adult supervision or after very clear discussion about what types of searches are appropriate. As with a dictionary, what you find depends on what you "look up."

tag(s): creative commons (21), images (266)

In the Classroom

Use the site to search for images to use with classroom projects. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate use. Choose an interesting image to display on your interactive whiteboard as a creative story starter to to begin class discussion of any topic. Share through your classroom website or newsletter for use at home.
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