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Youcubed - Jo Boaler and Stanford University

Grades
K to 12
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Youcubed is an up and coming mathematics education site for grades K-12. See short video presentations about how to build confident, math-loving students. In addition, the site plans...more
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Youcubed is an up and coming mathematics education site for grades K-12. See short video presentations about how to build confident, math-loving students. In addition, the site plans to include tasks and lessons correlated to Common Core Standards. One interesting feature discusses mathematic tasks used by today's companies such as Google. Another section will feature information, resources, and tools for parents. This site continues to grow. Be sure to sign up with your email to receive site access and all of the latest updates. Browse through a few examples currently on the site for a preview of upcoming features. Search for lesson plans by using the word Tasks. (Don't be shy about adding comments on this TeachersFirst review as new features roll out!). Some videos are hosted on YouTube (others on Vimeo). If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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): professional development (123), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Sign up for email updates as this site continues to grow. Bookmark Youcubed for use as a resource throughout the year for lessons, videos, and parent information. Share videos through your class website or newsletter for students (and parents) to view at home. Share the videos or interactives on a projector or interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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XKCD - XKCD

Grades
8 to 12
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week ...more
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week find comics with stick figures featuring mathematical, scientific, and cultural humor. Dig through the archives to find the perfect one for you! Creative Commons License allows reprinting of the comics. Each comic has an individual URL that can be shared to direct students to that specific comic. Be sure to PREVIEW before you share any comics with your class. Our editors found a few that may be questionable depending on the maturity of your students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), humor (15)

In the Classroom

Add humor to your science, math, language, and current events classes to lighten the mood! Spice up professional presentations with humor, and keep your audience involved. Share the direct URL to any comic that relates to your curriculum or specific topics. Encourage students to create comics with your current content. Have students use one of the tools and ideas included in this collection. Keep your class website humorous with a few comics from XKCD.

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Google Science Fair - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description ...more
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description of the prizes, past winners, key dates, and judges. Students must have a Google Student Account. The Teacher and Parent's section has ideas for involving young participants and how to support them. There are also lesson plans (by grade levels), posters (in PDF format), and more. Get inspired by watching the Google Science Fair Channel on YouTube! Encourage the young inventors you know, and they might win one of the many fabulous prizes. The yearly submission deadline is around mid-May. Regional winners are announced in July. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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): computers (95), engineering (125), science fairs (25), scientific method (64), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Why not take the next step in science fairs? Let Google walk you through this competition! Introduce the project to students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. A particularly useful start for students is the Idea Springboard. Here young innovators can get help generating ideas for a science fair project across all scientific fields! Be sure to post a link to the Google Science Fair on your class webpage for students to share with their parents at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Autodesk Digital STEAM Workshop - Autodesk, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
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Do you want to use STEM with better learning through design? Bring project based learning through design along with science, technology, engineering, math, AND art with this tool. The...more
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Do you want to use STEM with better learning through design? Bring project based learning through design along with science, technology, engineering, math, AND art with this tool. The Digital STEAM Workshop is a curriculum using Autodesk products, such as AutoCAD and Inventor. Worried you do not know how to use the software? Don't fear! The student materials include extensive information about completing the projects. These projects are real world, engaging challenges for students. Teacher resources are extensive and include project briefs, lesson plans, pre/post tests, and extensive materials for students. Be sure to note the available materials includes prerequisites, ideas for differentiation, extension ideas, and STEAM connections. Be sure to check the For Educators section, as well as the How-To videos. Teacher materials are available as a download. Be sure to look over all the information on the site including the free download link for the software found in the upper right corner. Discuss the installation and use of the software with your Administration or Technology departments to see if it will work on school computers. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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): animation (63), architecture (83), engineering (125), STEM (134), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

View the basic information. "Start Here" is a good place to start! Choose from the three different levels of information and projects. Be sure to view the lessons and materials under the Teacher Resources section. Select from projects labeled Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced as appropriate. Use a project from the curriculum in place of one activity normally planned through the year. As you become comfortable with using authentic project-based curriculum, consider adding more. Choose from subjects: Architecture, Animation, Engineering, Manufacturing, Maker, STEAM, or Sustainability. These activities would be wonderful challenges for gifted students. Consider looking at student curriculum and creating a class that fits a STEAM model. Incorporate many of these activities into the curriculum. Use projects such as Urban Planning in a variety of different courses in school.

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Math Puzzles - Transum

Grades
4 to 12
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Math Puzzles offers a large selection of puzzles with mathematical connections. Scroll through the page to find puzzles using geometric shapes, crosswords, number squares, and more....more
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Math Puzzles offers a large selection of puzzles with mathematical connections. Scroll through the page to find puzzles using geometric shapes, crosswords, number squares, and more. Choose any puzzle to view directions and begin to play.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crosswords (18), logic (235), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Share the math puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use as a math center or when you have an extra 5-10 minutes of time. Create a link to the puzzles on classroom computers or your class website. This is a great find for use with gifted students to practice logic and problem-solving skills. Have students create blogs using Throwww ( here) to explain their problem solving process. This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program!

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MediaFire - MediaFire

Grades
6 to 12
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer...more
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer for times when there is no Internet access. MediaFire Desktop keeps your online and locally stored files safe and in sync. View and edit all files and folders privately or share them to collaborate. Find a comprehensive Getting Started PDF manual on the left side menu. Signing up is as easy as typing in your email. MediaFire claims to be "the only online storage solution to offer unlimited downloads, download resuming, zero wait times and more, all for free."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198)

In the Classroom

Use MediaFire to transfer files and images between devices quickly in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Student groups working on projects in class can gather and share data easily from anywhere. Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others. What a great way for students to turn their work into you when completed on their devices! During curriculum development and other professional development activities, members of a department (or even school-wide) can share resources and documents easily with each other.

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Random Name Generator Tool - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. ...more
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. Next, enter a password, display name, and your email address. Either copy and paste the information that comes next or save the email you are sent to retrieve the group and list of names quickly. The Random Name Generator will work with iPads or on any Internet browser.

tag(s): classroom management (135), probability (130)

In the Classroom

Use the Random Name Generator to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator to choose the classmate who comes next. Create your list at the beginning of the year and SAVE it to use throughout the year. Use the Random Name Generator as part of your probability unit to chart how often names appear with random spins.

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Kotobana - Kotobana

Grades
K to 12
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"Draw" a flower from the visual text of a single word using this simple Japanese tool. The basic tools are labeled in English. Browse the Gallery to see examples, including ...more
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"Draw" a flower from the visual text of a single word using this simple Japanese tool. The basic tools are labeled in English. Browse the Gallery to see examples, including this one our editors made using the word "teaching." Click +draw to make your own. Enter a single, short word and choose options such as font and color scheme. Give it a name, and it will be added to the Gallery. There are other sharing options for the designs you make, but many are labeled in Japanese! If you click to open it from the Gallery, you can copy its direct url from your address bar to save as a Favorite or share with others. Turn off autoplay in the Gallery to keep your design on the screen. Roll your mouse over a design (or tap it on a tablet) to make it spin! You can share to Facebook and Pinterest directly. The easiest way to share is by saving the url or by taking a screenshot of your finished design (Printscrn button on Windows or Command+Shift+4 on Mac). You also have the option to actually print. Note that the gallery could have word designs that may be in other languages or possibly be inappropriate for young people. Our editors found nothing objectionable at the time of this review. Preview to be safe. Click the sound on/off option in the footer to turn off the music as you enjoy the site.

tag(s): design (83), graphic design (35), symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate radial symmetry in an art or math class using this tool. As you teach letter shapes in kindergartens, try making a design to help your students see the shape in this colorful format. If you teach about fonts in an art or graphic design class, this tool can spark discussion about the design elements of letter forms. An idea for elementary or middle school teachers: Have students create "flowers" of their own names (or shortened nicknames) as a getting to know you activity during the first week of school. Post the design screenshot images on your class web page or print them to put in the hallway.

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Paperhouses - Paperhouses

Grades
7 to 12
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Peek into the architectural design process or even participate in it via this public sharing site of blueprints from some of the world's best and most innovative and respected architects....more
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Peek into the architectural design process or even participate in it via this public sharing site of blueprints from some of the world's best and most innovative and respected architects. Join for free to access "architecture in open source" to see how new materials are being used, read blog posts by designers, and browse designs and actual blueprints. See how architects are solving challenges of sustainability and more.

tag(s): architecture (83), design (83), engineering (125), environment (317), structures (24)

In the Classroom

Share this site as part of a simple unit on measurement and scale (blueprints!) or in discussions about the environment, engineering, and the impact of human behavior on our world. Include it as a link on your class web page for art classes, gifted classes, or environmental issues. If you teach CAD or tech ed, this site is a wonderful example of drafting put to use in the real world. Have your science students research some of the materials used in the designs or analyze the structures' load bearing properties in a physics class. Share this site as part of career explorations so students can explore what architects say and do. Encourage students to select designs and share their analysis or discussions about them as a blog post or wiki page. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Nautilus - Nautilus

Grades
9 to 12
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Explore science through fascinating articles in this episodic monthly magazine. Although you can subscribe for a fee, you can also check out past and current issues online for free....more
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Explore science through fascinating articles in this episodic monthly magazine. Although you can subscribe for a fee, you can also check out past and current issues online for free. As they describe themselves, "We deliver big-picture science by reporting on a single monthly topic from multiple perspectives." The combined perspectives include, "the sciences, culture and philosophy into a single story told by the world's leading thinkers and writers." Each Thursday the site publishes a new "chapter" of that month's thematic issue. Past issue themes include Creativity, Illusions, Genius, Big Bangs, and more. Expect to be fascinated by the many angles. You will want to talk and share about what you learn!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (132), expository writing (44), scientists (69), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Share these articles as part of a broad discussion of the role of science in our world, such as during a unit on scientists or careers. Share Nautilus with your gifted or science-focused students to spark interests in scientific fields that are new to them. Assign gifted students to select an article and research it further when they have tested out of regular curriculum. They can share their discoveries as a multimedia presentation or write a blog post about them. Use articles from the magazine as fodder for class debates in English class or pull excerpts to use as writing prompts for informational or expository writing. The reading levels are high school and up, so be sure to partner weaker readers with a more capable reader if using this for class assignments. Check specific reading levels of an article by pasting its url into the Juicy Studio Readability Test, reviewed here.

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STEAM Education - Sarah Weaver

Grades
4 to 7
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Enhance STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, Math) through great ideas found on the this blog. The ideas demonstrate activities for use including instructions...more
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Enhance STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, Math) through great ideas found on the this blog. The ideas demonstrate activities for use including instructions and images of students completing activities. View archives for additional lessons. Find art, articles, lessons, or resources under the categories link. Add your email for notification of new posts and updates.

tag(s): blogs (88), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this blog or sign up for updates to continue to receive great ideas for incorporating STEAM into your classroom. Collaborate with your school's art teacher to teach lessons found on the site. Share ideas from this blog with parents for entertaining at-home activities. Use ideas from the site for a Math/Science fair at school.

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Travel By Drone - Jan Hiersemenzel

Grades
K to 12
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different ...more
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different views of the area are provided. Search for specific cities, select editors' choices, or see the "Latest" drone footage. As with any Google map there are the usual navigation tools. To see if the area you want to view has footage, scroll through the map. The Drone footage is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): cities (25), countries (76), landforms (45), landmarks (26), news (261), setting (11), video (254)

In the Classroom

This site is continually adding new places to see. If you don't find what you want, check back frequently. Make geography come to life by showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this tool to explore how it looks in the country or city studied in world cultures (or languages). Explore geography concepts, historical locations, famous battle locations, and more. Students creating a multimedia presentation with a setting can look at Travel By Drone to see if there is footage they can use.

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SlideRule - Parul Gupta and Gautam Tambay

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover some of the world's best online courses with SlideRule's search engine. Enter what you want to learn into the search bar. Explore the offerings provided or browse by subject,...more
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Discover some of the world's best online courses with SlideRule's search engine. Enter what you want to learn into the search bar. Explore the offerings provided or browse by subject, university, or providers. Narrow results down by starting date, teaching method, or credentials. Each entry includes a short description of the course, fees (many are free!), start dates, length of course, and skill level required. Many classes also include reviews from other SlideRule users. Click the "Enroll" link to go directly to the course or save to your wish list after creating a free account. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. Most do not require Flash. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): professional development (123), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Share SlideRule with your gifted students as a resource for finding enrichment resources or content not taught by your school. Search for and share free courses for all students to use for review of any topic. Use the SlideRule search engine to find professional development courses for your own personal use.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Comment Bubble - Vivek Agrawal and Jean-Sebastien Legare

Grades
4 to 12
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" ...more
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" colored buttons (without pausing the video). Type in the information you want to know on the button. Viewers click on that button when they see it in the video. Viewers can also comment via text, audio, or video. Share the video with the URL provided or make it public for anyone to see. Comment Bubble will record and graph where in the video the audience reacted. See viewers' names with each comment. The demo video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it 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): assessment (100), video (254)

In the Classroom

Introduce Comment Bubble on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a video you have prepared. It could be a video you use in conjunction with your lesson or a video of you actually giving the lesson. Show students how they can click on the Quick Comment buttons and also make text or verbal comments. Use Comment Bubble for flipping your class lectures. Have buttons for students to click when things are unclear or when they strongly disagree. Record student presentations and upload for self-evaluation or peer and teacher comments and questions. Use this tool for formative assessment. ESL/ELL and resource teachers could record students reading or conversing with a group and create a Comment Bubble for the students to self score their activity.

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Scrim - Basem

Grades
4 to 12
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your ...more
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your email and add a unique ending to the Scrim URL to receive your unique code. Copy and paste the code for use on social networking sites, documents, or forums.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Use Scrim whenever sharing your email address on Twitter or other social networking sites to avoid receiving spam. Share with older students as part of your cyber safety lessons.
 

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A Soft Murmur - Gabriel Martin

Grades
4 to 12
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Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds...more
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Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that sooth and relax while promoting creative productivity. These sounds are much better than plain, white noise. Classic sounds for relaxation include thunder, rain, waves, summer night, forest, white noise, and more. Use the slider bar at the top of the page to adjust sound levels as needed.

tag(s): creative writing (166), learning styles (19)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students (and their parents) looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Does your class have silent reading time, or are you reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use a background sound as mood music to set the stage for your story. Use the sounds during creative writing exercises. Why not listen to waves or water while studying them?! Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Consider using as background sounds for student presentations. If you talk with students about discovering their own learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support (and autistic support) teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students. Some students may find them over stimulating while others may find the sounds very helpful.

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Becoming a Common Core Ninja - Rich Clark and CoreStand

Grades
K to 12
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Becoming a Common Core Ninja is a free e-book that offers advice for mastering Common Core Standards. There are three chapters: New Standards, New Challenges, Creating a C.O.R.E. Classroom,...more
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Becoming a Common Core Ninja is a free e-book that offers advice for mastering Common Core Standards. There are three chapters: New Standards, New Challenges, Creating a C.O.R.E. Classroom, and C.O.R.E Classrooms in Practice. The e-book also features many excellent templates for use in Common Core classrooms (pages 21-25).

tag(s): commoncore (94), ebooks (42)

In the Classroom

Use Becoming a Common Core Ninja as part of your ongoing professional development with Common Core Standards. Enlist other teachers to download the book and discuss by chapters as part of a book club. Share information from this book with coworkers and administrators as you work toward understanding and teaching Common Core Standards.
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MATHCOUNTS Foundation - mathcounts.org

Grades
6 to 9
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The MATHCOUNTS Foundation is a non-profit organization striving to engage middle school students of all ability and interest levels in enjoyable and challenging math programs. This...more
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The MATHCOUNTS Foundation is a non-profit organization striving to engage middle school students of all ability and interest levels in enjoyable and challenging math programs. This site offers a large variety of resources for both students and educators. View programs to find information about The National Math Club, Math Video Challenge, and the MATHCOUNTS competition series. Discover the Solve-a-Thon fundraising program to create fundraising pages for your program and school. Be sure to explore the Resources portion of the site. Find a Problem of the Week including extensive archives, an electronic school handbook featuring 300 problems correlated to NCTM grade 6-8 standards, and MATHCOUNTS minis - a series of short video explanations of MATHCOUNTS problems. This site includes YouTube videos. 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): competitions (16), problem solving (272), video (254)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this site for use throughout the school year. Share with the head of the math department and other math teachers as a valuable resource. Consider creating a fundraising page using the Solve-a-Thon program to raise funds for manipulatives and classroom resources. Include the problem of the week on your class webpage or blog as homework or extra credit. Include links to video explanations of problems on your class webpage to reinforce current learning concepts.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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30 Hands - Cloud - Eric Braun & Carmen Ferrara

Grades
4 to 12
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30 Hands offers both social learning and a Learning Management System. They call it a learning studio. Use this tool to present all your lessons and store all the materials ...more
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30 Hands offers both social learning and a Learning Management System. They call it a learning studio. Use this tool to present all your lessons and store all the materials you will use for the lesson. In order to see all 30 Hands offers, click on "Take the Tour." Sign up for this tool with your email and create a course. Be sure to look on the right menu to find the course code to give to students when they sign up. In the creation of your course, you can include presentations, videos, assignments, a blog, student portfolios, surveys, discussion forums, groups within a class roster, and more. There are plenty of step by step directions for every aspect of setting up your course. Students can access 30 Hands on any device.

tag(s): assessment (100), classroom management (135), multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Once you create the course you will have access to a home page that can include multimedia. Your courses can also include a calendar, digital bookshelves to organize content, a presentation showcase, a timeline and forum for discussions, a blog for students, student portfolios, small group collaboration, and interactive assignments. This tool can easily be your classroom online!

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slides - Whim, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides...more
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Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides uses html5 to accommodate iOS. Sharing slides is a cinch with all the features offered to creators, and this site accommodates your presentation preferences. Send a Slides presentation through email, print as a .pdf, present offline, or sync with your DropBox account (reviewed here). Collaborate with a teammate or keep your work secure and private. Custom CSS is available for your own themes or tweak slides templates provided for your convenience. Slides offers other fantastic features such as math formulas to insert in your presentations as well as a revision history. The many style options make slides a slick site to create presentations. Premium options are available for purchase. However, this review only highlights the free features of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): slides (63)

In the Classroom

Use slides to support presentations in the classroom. Challenge your writers to create short stories that include their artwork, and publish with slides. Search for Creative Commons licensed images related to classroom content using Compfight reviewed here to create a slideshow. Slides is a great resource for your BYOD classroom. Create supporting presentations for lessons and take advantage of the math formula feature. Encourage students to create presentations to support book talks and share them on a library website. Slides is your collaboration destination for students to work together on assignments.

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