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ITSI - SU - Concord Consortium

Grades
6 to 12
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing...more
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing uses an assortment of data collection tools from molecular modeling software and web-based simulations to computer sensors (which would need to be purchased if not already in the classroom). Interactives are standards based, thorough, and created with "backward design" in mind. Each activity begins with an inquiry question and a picture with real world relevance. One of the strengths of this program is that it can be used "as is," however all existing activities can be modified by the teacher using them. Any teacher can create new activities of their own as well. Once these activities are created and saved, they can be accessed by other teachers under the "DIY:Other activities area" of the Activities. This added value is something that is rarely found in online lab software. One warning for using this program: it is Java based so modules have to be downloaded. The download takes time and requires tat you "allow" it. Some school computers may block such downloads.

tag(s): modeling (9), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

There are different levels of use of this site with incremental time and effort. The most basic users will need to create an account. Once the account is created, the user can create classes in the "Home" section of the site. This can be found on the left side of the screen. Beside "My Classes" choose "add a class." Here you will create different sections of students. Name your courses what you wish, but remember the sign-up word. You will give this to students when they create their accounts, and it will automatically enroll them into your class. Once they have signed up, their names will show up in the "My Students" section. Once the class is named, choose the activities you would like to have in your ITSI-SU class. Save your choices and the sign-up word will be shown in green print on the screen. Again, save this word. (You can go back into class information to find it if you forget, but you can save yourself time by remembering it.) From this point, basic users need only to show the site to the students and perhaps make some instructions for signing up for their students. Modules are ready to go. As the teacher, you can view the students' work and answers once they have completed the activity they are assigned. More adventurous users can modify activities by following onscreen instruction or even creating their own.

The only thing that could snag the use of this program is that the Java download may be prevented by your district's web filtering software. Please try this first ("preview activities"). One other concern is that downloading the Java app to every computer in a class of twenty students or more can pull a lot of bandwidth in a network. If your school's internet is not exactly top of the line, try running six computers with students working in groups to accommodate the internet capabilities. Have other students sit at their seat and work on preparing materials, so all students are learning and being productive. This program should be tried for the first time by the teacher to avoid any "tech" complications. Teachers who must request software installation by tech staff may want to try this tool at home so they can explain and convince administration of its educational value.

A great way to use this programing, on the smallest scale, is to share the initial lab question and picture to start a classroom discussion. Have students speculate about the possible answers to the question and possible "whys." Have students ask questions about the picture and attempt to explain its relevance to the question, and coincidentally the activity. From this point, you can have students log into the site and create accounts. Either as individuals or have groups of students create a group log in, name, and password. (Student passwords are available to the teacher at any time from the teachers homepage. Please warn students of this when they are choosing passwords so that they choose something school-appropriate.) Another way to use this portal is to pick a modeling lab as an ongoing science enrichment project for students.

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Student Produced Video Field Trips - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams ...more
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams the video (live and archived) to students, parents, and others unable to attend in person. TeachersFirst shares this how-to and why-to so you and your students will try it. Expand each point within these pages to learn what to do in detail---and skip the steps you already know or that don't apply!

tag(s): video (262)

In the Classroom

Read through the step by step and get started! TeachersFirst offers all the practical advice you need to try this 21st century approach to real world learning.

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ExploreLearning - Explore Learning

Grades
7 to 12
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This is a collection of interactive activities that teach mathematical concepts from algebra up through calculus. Each module includes interactive elements that let students experiment...more
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This is a collection of interactive activities that teach mathematical concepts from algebra up through calculus. Each module includes interactive elements that let students experiment with the topic concept. This content will be challenging for many students, but the presentation and subject matter are excellent.

tag(s): equations (157)

In the Classroom

There are lesson plans associated with many of these modules.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learning to Give - Points of Light Institute

Grades
K to 12
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson ...more
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson plans for teachers, parents, and community leaders. Lessons are coded to state standards and can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject, or academic or philanthropy standard. Some lessons are geared toward private or religious schools and are clearly labeled as such. Lessons include subject, key concepts, vocabulary, objectives, materials needed, approximate time, procedures, extensions, handouts, and much more. An example of a grade 3-5 lesson would be Cool Kids Compost which explores responsible use of resources by gathering data about lunchroom waste. Don't let the concept of philanthropy keep you from exploring the site, there are many great classroom lessons available for all subjects.

tag(s): african american (113), animal homes (42), animals (277), charts and graphs (195), colonial america (107), communities (35), data (148), diversity (36), ecology (135), environment (317), heroes (24), money (192), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site.

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iNudge - Hobnox

Grades
3 to 12
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear ...more
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear sound patterns. Add more instruments to get the mix you want. Combine them, change the tempo, and add other effects. Share by URL or using the embed code.

tag(s): musical notation (35), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use the songs in a writing class as a story prompt. In a language class, list the adjectives and adverbs come to mind while listening to the music prompt. Create music to describe a biome or an animal or plant. Use music to represent culture or reactions to an event in history. Use music to add pizazz to a blog or site. Identify various sounds and the mood they create. View the most listened and newest iNudges found on the site.

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Squareleaf - Squareleaf.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color...more
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color coding and different shaped boxes. Separate information from your personal life and daily tasks. Easily manage daily, weekly or monthly tasks by using this simple to use tool. You can review your post-its from any web connected device.

tag(s): note taking (34)

In the Classroom

Students can easily store their notes and share with others. Use this tool to manage projects and schedule tasks. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be done and the intermediate steps to completing projects. Use different colors and shapes to manage different projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers can use this tool to manage and plan short term tasks, longer term units, and graduate class assignments from their busy lives.

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Class Jump - Classjump.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Looking for a free web site to communicate with parents and students? Class Jump is a free educational platform. Determine your learning goals as you set up your "classroom." Post ...more
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Looking for a free web site to communicate with parents and students? Class Jump is a free educational platform. Determine your learning goals as you set up your "classroom." Post homework and upload documents for students to access. Add events to the class calendar. Post articles of interest and links to be viewed. Receive homework and other documents from your students. Create a message board (forum) for use by all the students in your class. Upload photos and create as many albums as needed. Create an account. Creating a school identity requires a paid account. Manage multiple classes with this easy to understand interface.

tag(s): classroom management (137), forum (9), social networking (111)

In the Classroom

Manage your classroom with this resource. Use as a class hub to manage documents, photos, and files. Be sure to define the use of the message board. You may wish to create a practice student account to see what the tool looks like as a student. Be sure to share this link so students and parents can access both in and out of the classroom. Use Class Jump in teacher ed programs to show up and coming teachers how a website can enhance instruction.

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Project Based Learning for the 21st Century - Buck Institute for Education

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of...more
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of free materials. Read about PBL, watch videos, or download word or pdf documents found under the Tools section. Sign up to participate in the forum for more interaction with the content and other educators using PBL. Click the PBL Do-It Yourself bar along the right side for more information and links. Be sure to check out the tweets on the bottom of the front page for great ideas and links to use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (102)

In the Classroom

Use these ideas in any subject area classroom. Aspects of PBL can be used in introductory activities or whole units. Use driving questions to stimulate student curiosity to know more about how curriculum applies to their lives. Use this PBL framework to give students freedom to research aspects of the content or problem of personal interest. Be sure to view the resources to adequately plan for a successful unit project that incorporates 21st century skills utilizing engaging activities and content.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Video: Social Media in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
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What is social media? This video takes you on a journey to "Scoopville," a fictitious town used to demonstrate the many "flavors" of social media. The video is short (4-minutes) ...more
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What is social media? This video takes you on a journey to "Scoopville," a fictitious town used to demonstrate the many "flavors" of social media. The video is short (4-minutes) and very easy to follow. Blogs, podcasts, and videos are highlighted at this site. This site does have a small advertisement at the bottom of the screen, click on the X to remove the advertisements. There is a link provided, along with code to embed the video. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (89), podcasts (52), social networking (111), video (262)

In the Classroom

If you are looking to learn more about various social media, check out this short video. Learn more about the "flavors" you could use in your own classroom. For research projects have students create a blog, wiki, or even a podcast and compare the pros/cons of each in terms of communication and safety. Create podcasts using a tool such as podOmatic (explained here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Webquest 101 - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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Newly revised, TeachersFirst's extensive tutorial explains what a webquest is, why it can be useful in the classroom, and how to create your own webquest on a topic of your ...more
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Newly revised, TeachersFirst's extensive tutorial explains what a webquest is, why it can be useful in the classroom, and how to create your own webquest on a topic of your choosing. Don't miss the section on url detective work and evaluating which sites are best for your students. Fid handy ways to collect resources for webquests and hints for checking reading levels and more. There are lots of examples, tool suggestions, and links to our ever-growing collection of sample webquests.

tag(s): tutorials (46), webquests (29)

In the Classroom

Mark this in your Favorites as a professional reference. You may even want to assign students to create their own webquests following these guidelines. If you mentor new teachers, share this resource when they are designing their first web-based projects.

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Gnowledge - Gnowledge Sdn. Bhd.

Grades
2 to 12
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Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new ...more
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Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new test defining the name, subject, and whether it is your test material or from a third party. Create questions, add images, and include bits of text snippets. Help options are found on the question pages. Enter the questions, answer choices, and actual answer as well as answer explanations will be provided. Be sure to look at all the question type options in the tabs above: Fill in the blanks, Match, Multiple Choice, and True/False. When finished, be sure to click Apply New Changes, Make Visible. Note: All created tests are made public but need not be turned on until needed. Students can take tests and go back later if needed.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a way to practice material and improve students' scores in preparation for an actual test. Use this resource to practice involved questions that like those found on the state tests. Practicing with various question formats builds confidence and improves performance. Create quizzes and tests that students must pass before moving on to other content or other harder tests. Use these as progress steps along the way to help students learn the content as they progress through a unit. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small groups to create their own "practice" quizzes before major tests.

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Everyone can create, publish, share and take tests of any subject or syllabus on this site. Kudos! John, , Grades: 0 - 12

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JA Titan - Junior Achievement

Grades
9 to 12
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This FREE online simulation is designed to give students experience in running a business. Registration is required to participate. Players can take on others in their geographic area,...more
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This FREE online simulation is designed to give students experience in running a business. Registration is required to participate. Players can take on others in their geographic area, or play against the computer. Using variables like price and production quantity, players allocate their money to particular parts of the business, and consider advice from computer generated stakeholders as they compete against other "businesses" to make a profit. The graphics are fairly rudimentary, but there is plenty of complexity here for students to evaluate as they work through the game. You will need to spend a little time yourself in playing a practice game in order to be able to prepare students to get the best learning experience; otherwise they will just randomly click options without thinking about the impact on their business plan.

tag(s): business (58)

In the Classroom

Consider dividing your class into teams, and pit them against each other to design a winning business plan. This is an exercise that could continue over a long period of time, or could be undertaken in a marathon session, but students will need to focus on the variables carefully in order to get the most out of the experience. Have students create a multimedia presentation sharing their business plan and outcome using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Hashtagify - Daniele Mazzini

Grades
9 to 12
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Twitter users and Twitter novices can use this tool to better understand Twitter hashtags. Pull Twitter hashtags into one place to see the relationships among hashtags via mind map....more
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Twitter users and Twitter novices can use this tool to better understand Twitter hashtags. Pull Twitter hashtags into one place to see the relationships among hashtags via mind map. New to Twitter? See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers. To use Hashtagify, enter a hashtag into the search bar and the relationships between related hashtags will be shown. Try it with #edchat, a popular hastag for teachers! Click on a portion of the mind map (one of the related hashtags) and it expands to include other related hashtags. View the actual links that use the hashtag along the right side of the screen. Click on these to go to the actual tweet.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to follow conversations or to find information on tweets and their related tweets. If your class uses Twitter, use Hashtagify to look for tags you can use to narrow your conversations to those in a certain professional field or with a certain special interest.

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Questioning Toolkit - From Now On

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual...more
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual explanation of how questions work together, choose the Essential Questions link and scroll down to the diagram showing that this is center of all questions, then all other types of question serve to illuminating the Essential Questions. Links are included to additional information on each of the topics.

tag(s): critical thinking (110), questioning (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a guide when lesson planning. Demonstrate to older students how different types of questions will lead to further learning and strengthen critical thinking skills. Display the diagrams and information on the site on your interactive whiteboard to help students explore different questioning techniques. When studying a particular unit, challenge cooperative groups to create their own essential questions (and other types of questions) and create electronic "posters" or word graphics using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here).

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Quilting Techniques: Math Lesson Plans - Quilting Assistant

Grades
2 to 12
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The primary purpose of this site is to offer information and techniques for quilters; however, they also offer 3 lesson plans that can be used in elementary, middle, or high ...more
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The primary purpose of this site is to offer information and techniques for quilters; however, they also offer 3 lesson plans that can be used in elementary, middle, or high school classrooms. The elementary lesson focuses on learning fractions through dividing up quilt squares including basic and advanced activities. The middle school lesson focuses on proportions. The high school activity is based upon polynomials. These would be fun activities for students to apply these math concepts through hands-on activities.

tag(s): angles (88), fractions (239), polynomials (32), symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

During Black History month or when learning about western expansion or colonial days, students may enjoy making quilts from fabric or paper and learning about the different patterns used in quilt making. Introduce this activity and have students label the different fractional amounts in the quilt squares. Practice adding fractions by writing the equations generated by making different quilt squares. Hang completed quilts in the classroom or hallway for an interesting display of work with fractions and proportion.

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Fotobabble - Fotobabble

Grades
K to 12
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Add voice to your pictures easily and effortlessly with this free site. Add your picture easily to Twitter, Facebook, and an unbelievable number of other sites. Don't see your site?...more
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Add voice to your pictures easily and effortlessly with this free site. Add your picture easily to Twitter, Facebook, and an unbelievable number of other sites. Don't see your site? Use the URL link or embed code to add your Fotobabble where you see fit. How easy is it? Upload your picture (you can choose whether it is public or remains private.) Add your voice and review quality. Share by clicking on the option you require or copy the embed code or URL to share.

tag(s): images (269), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to locate and upload pictures. Use an attached or internal microphone to add voice to the picture. Manage the final product by email, adding to the vast array of services listed, or using the embed code.

Consider the use of a class account that is shared by all instead of using individual accounts.

Be sure that students understand to use appropriate and copyright free pictures. Check with your district policies about using pictures of or by students as well as using this service.

Use in any curriculum area. Use to show and tell about a favorite animal, historical figure, place, or event, artists or musicians, scientists or technologies, characters from fiction, or how to play a specific sport (as told by the ball!) to name a few. Take pictures during a science demo and have students upload and speak as the science concept - or as Sir Isaac Newton or Louis Pasteur! Have students write stories and upload a photo of their story's setting, reading their story aloud as viewers take in the setting. Try different options of storytelling: first person as an inanimate object, flashback, etc. Art teachers can have students upload a photo of recent artworks and narrate their technique or thoughts in creating the work. Speech/language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will find that photos can promote oral language practice (and preserve a recording to demonstrate progress). A picture can SPEAK a thousand (or more) words!

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NASA Math Trax - NASA

Grades
7 to 12
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Create graphs by entering an equation or selecting an equation from the drop-down and watch what happens!. Try entering raw data for analysis. MathTrax graphs the equations and provides...more
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Create graphs by entering an equation or selecting an equation from the drop-down and watch what happens!. Try entering raw data for analysis. MathTrax graphs the equations and provides descriptions of those graphs using both text and sound, which is great for those with limited vision, weaker readers, or who need auditory cues. The text descriptions can be read by Java-capable screen readers such as Jaws for Windows, or can be inputted into speech synthesizing software to create self-voicing applications. MathTrax provides color and line settings for drawing graphs to aid users with different vision-impairments.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), equations (157), functions (70)

In the Classroom

Download the program and provide opportunities to play and understand the relationships between graphs and equations. Have students work on individual laptops after a class demonstration on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Facts for Features: Thanksgiving Day 2010 - U.S. Census Bureau

Grades
3 to 12
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The Census Bureau offers lots of Thanksgiving statistics, from the total weight of all the turkeys raised in the US to the total amount of food consumed on Thanksgiving. You ...more
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The Census Bureau offers lots of Thanksgiving statistics, from the total weight of all the turkeys raised in the US to the total amount of food consumed on Thanksgiving. You can plan a huge party with this one!

tag(s): thanksgiving (36)

In the Classroom

Choose a statistic your students can estimate then use this site to help develop estimation and number sense--all in a holiday spirit. Gobble, Gobble! Perhaps create an infographic to display your favorite data. An interesting question to ask: what other data would you like to learn from the U.S. census the next time they do one?

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Math Machines - Robert Chaney

Grades
8 to 12
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If you are looking for ideas to incorporate mathematical problem solving with fun, hands-on activities this site is for you! Well over 20 activities are offered covering Algebra, Trigonometry,...more
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If you are looking for ideas to incorporate mathematical problem solving with fun, hands-on activities this site is for you! Well over 20 activities are offered covering Algebra, Trigonometry, Science/Physics, General Math, and Technology concepts. Choose a category, then select the activity and view all the materials offered. Titles include Color Sines, Right Triangle SAM, and Binary Signals. Each activity includes facilitator notes including 11 items from overview, setup, discussion questions, and troubleshooting. Most also include participant handouts in MS Word format and software needed for calculator programs.

tag(s): angles (88), critical thinking (110), electricity (89), light (46), logic (236), magnetism (36), stars (61)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students and preview each of the activities, then allow students to choose an activity for a math project. Several activities on the site are perfect for use as cross-curricular projects with the Science or Technology departments. Use this site as a resource for math or technology fairs. This site is perfect to use as a resource with gifted students - allow them to choose a project that coincides with their interests.

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National Assn for Sports and Physical Education Teacher Toolbox - National Assn for Sports and Physical Education

Grades
K to 12
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Finding fun and varied activities to keep students moving isn't always easy. The Teacher Toolbox on this site is the perfect find for quick and easy daily activities. After finding...more
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Finding fun and varied activities to keep students moving isn't always easy. The Teacher Toolbox on this site is the perfect find for quick and easy daily activities. After finding the toolbox, click on the black bar near the top of the page with the link to calendars. Here is where you will find monthly calendars (in English and Spanish) and divided by age levels - Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary - with a quick and easy physical activity to accomplish for the day. Calendars are also archived back to 2009 so there are several options for each month.

tag(s): calendars (45), fitness (50)

In the Classroom

Plan with the Physical Education teacher to incorporate suggested activities into the curriculum. Use the calendars during math class when teaching calendar skills such as days of the week, elapsed time, and more. Have students graph how many activities they completed each month and challenge students to improve each month. Use on online graphing tool using a site like Statistic - Johnnie's Math Page reviewed here. Practice fractions by comparing activities completed to activities performed each month, compare different students' calendars and fractional representations. Share on your classroom webpage or blog with parents as examples of fun, simple activities to improve student's healthy and decrease obesity.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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