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SAT Preparation Center - The College Board

7 to 12
For students approaching that ever-important College Board test, this site is an invaluable resource. Features include a "question of the day," a series of practice questions that address...more
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For students approaching that ever-important College Board test, this site is an invaluable resource. Features include a "question of the day," a series of practice questions that address math, critical reading, and writing skills, a review of the dreaded essay question, and a full-length practice test that can be downloaded and printed after completing free registration.

tag(s): college (49), test prep (97)

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Coin Problem - Utah State University

9 to 12
This virtual manipulative challenges students to use deductive reasoning to find which of the eight coins is counterfeit. A virtual balance scale is provided, and students must complete...more
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This virtual manipulative challenges students to use deductive reasoning to find which of the eight coins is counterfeit. A virtual balance scale is provided, and students must complete the mission with a minimum number of weighings. Increase the number of coins for an added challenge.

tag(s): logic (248)

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Illusions - The Exploratory

4 to 12
These ten interactive optical illusions demonstrate how the eye can be easily deceived and give students a chance to question and analyze what they're actually seeing. Plug this into...more
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These ten interactive optical illusions demonstrate how the eye can be easily deceived and give students a chance to question and analyze what they're actually seeing. Plug this into a science or psychology lesson and let the discussions begin.

tag(s): eyes (6), optical illusions (13)

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Thinking Machine 4 - Martin Wattenberg

8 to 12
Experience an unforgettable game of chess with this interactive site that pits visitors against an artificial intelligence program. After moving your chess piece, watch your opponent's...more
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Experience an unforgettable game of chess with this interactive site that pits visitors against an artificial intelligence program. After moving your chess piece, watch your opponent's thought processes evolve as a visible network on the board. This is an awesome activity for students that truly enjoy a challenge.

tag(s): chess (2), logic (248)

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Hangman

4 to 12
Whether your students are learning how to spell the fifty states, reviewing chemistry terms, or trying out their foreign language skills, this collection of thematic hang-man games...more
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Whether your students are learning how to spell the fifty states, reviewing chemistry terms, or trying out their foreign language skills, this collection of thematic hang-man games can provide a fun way to practice! Select a topic (most are curriculum-related, a few are just for fun) and try the interactive games, or print out the blank hang-man worksheets and create your own.

tag(s): grammar review (42)

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Nrich - Cambridge University

1 to 12
This collection of interactive games, and articles is designed to challenge students to use their problem solving skills. Activities are organized according to UK education system levels,...more
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This collection of interactive games, and articles is designed to challenge students to use their problem solving skills. Activities are organized according to UK education system levels, but click on Help for an easy conversion guide. Each problem includes a question, related pictures or diagrams, a form for students to submit their solution, and helpful hints and notes for parents and teachers. A weekly challenge is also offered. Complete the free registration to participate in a discussion forum, pose questions online, or post messages. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): problem solving (294)

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NPR Weekly Puzzle - National Public Radio

6 to 45
The weekly word puzzle from National Public Radio is not specifically designed for students, but these puzzles can help build vocabulary and word analysis skills in secondary students....more
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The weekly word puzzle from National Public Radio is not specifically designed for students, but these puzzles can help build vocabulary and word analysis skills in secondary students. The site presents recent puzzles, along with their answers.

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Historical Ciphers - Trinity College, Hartford

6 to 12
This presentation by students and faculty at Trinity College, Hartford includes discussions of some of history's more famous cipher and encryption machines, including the infamous German...more
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This presentation by students and faculty at Trinity College, Hartford includes discussions of some of history's more famous cipher and encryption machines, including the infamous German enigma machines. Along the way, there's a presentation on some of the basics of encryption. Students interested in math or computer security will find this one an interesting introduction to a hugely complex topic.

In the Classroom

Use this site as a quick lesson during a history or statistics class, in an attempt to teach students about how some ciphers were solved and how it affected history. Peruse a few of the ciphers as a class on the interactive whiteboard, as a challenge have students try to make or solve one on their own! Students can present their ciphers on the interactive whiteboard, and try to stump their peers!

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Anyday

6 to 12
This one is tough to categorize. Enter a day of the year, and this site will tell you about important events, births, and deaths that have happened on that day. ...more
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This one is tough to categorize. Enter a day of the year, and this site will tell you about important events, births, and deaths that have happened on that day. Try using this one to create a list of important events - covering a variety of subject areas - for an entire week.

tag(s): quiz (86)

In the Classroom

This site would make for a great creative writing project for students in a high school english class. Have students search for their birth date, and find one person on that list that they can focus their paper on. Have students research their historical person, eventually writing a analytical paper about the similarities and differences between their own life and that of their selected person. Teachers can focus more on similarities to make it more difficult and interesting - but it is a great way to get students thinking about comparing and contrasting.

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Engineering Brain Ticklers -Tau Beta Pi - Tau Beta Pi

9 to 12
Find yourself some serious puzzlers before heading off to solve the problems on this site maintained by an engineering honor society. While several of the problems at least appear to...more
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Find yourself some serious puzzlers before heading off to solve the problems on this site maintained by an engineering honor society. While several of the problems at least appear to be solvable by mere mortals, others are clearly targeted to the pros. We offer these for secondary teachers who may be working with students interested in advanced math, logic, and physics. The site is drawn from a print publication, and answers are posted quarterly.

tag(s): puzzles (203)

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Archimedes' Laboratory Puzzles

6 to 12
With puzzles to make, puzzles to solve, and optical illusions to observe, this interactive site puts brains and eyes to the test. The site also has a maze maker, math ...more
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With puzzles to make, puzzles to solve, and optical illusions to observe, this interactive site puts brains and eyes to the test. The site also has a maze maker, math games, word games, and tricks to perform. The "Puzzles to make" section has detailed directions and printable instructions for using these puzzles in the classroom.

tag(s): puzzles (203)

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Online Etch-A-Sketch - Ohio Art

K to 12
OK, this one's mostly for fun, and we're showing our age. Still, the online version of the famous drawing toy performs much as the original did. Try this one on ...more
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OK, this one's mostly for fun, and we're showing our age. Still, the online version of the famous drawing toy performs much as the original did. Try this one on your students as an example of what high tech was thirty years ago. Just don't try to clear your screen by turning it upside down and shaking it! Operate the game using the arrow keys on your keyboard.

tag(s): drawing (78)

In the Classroom

Have young ones practice left and right by working with a partner at classroom computers, with one partner directing "left" or "right, "up" or "down" while the other operates the keys. Together they can make a drawing! Older students will be amused by the simplicity. See what they can create with just one continuous line.

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More

4 to 12
This is an online tool that lets users experiment with lines, fills, and color to create their own kaleidoscope. There are lots of possible imaging, color, and mathematical connections...more
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This is an online tool that lets users experiment with lines, fills, and color to create their own kaleidoscope. There are lots of possible imaging, color, and mathematical connections that one might draw from this one. It's also just plain fun to try. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): animation (63)

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SciZone - Ontario Science Centre

4 to 12
The Ontario Science Centre's student web page offers several collections of resources, including a set of games and puzzles done with just the right touch of student-level humor. Each...more
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The Ontario Science Centre's student web page offers several collections of resources, including a set of games and puzzles done with just the right touch of student-level humor. Each of these offers an intriguing introduction to some sort of scientific phenomenon. This would be a good site to add to your list of "exploring" sites, since it offers a broad collection of content that changes periodically.

tag(s): puzzles (203)

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10Ticks

6 to 12
This is an unusual "maths" site geared to British standards. American users will be particularly interested in the games and oddities sections, both of which offer collections of number-related...more
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This is an unusual "maths" site geared to British standards. American users will be particularly interested in the games and oddities sections, both of which offer collections of number-related activities ranging from a biorhythm calculator to a prime number identifier and more. This is a great site for those who like to play with numbers.

tag(s): numbers (197), quiz (86), quizzes (105)

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International High IQ Society

6 to 12
Among other elements, this site offers an intriguing set of "IQ tests" that your especially clever students might enjoy tackling. There is also a small collection of puzzles in the...more
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Among other elements, this site offers an intriguing set of "IQ tests" that your especially clever students might enjoy tackling. There is also a small collection of puzzles in the non-member section.

tag(s): logic (248), puzzles (203)

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MathsChallenge

6 to 12
Here's a British site offering a steady diet of math problems for several different age groups. There are also regular "code" puzzles that challenge students to decrypt a message or...more
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Here's a British site offering a steady diet of math problems for several different age groups. There are also regular "code" puzzles that challenge students to decrypt a message or hidden phrase.

tag(s): cryptography (4)

In the Classroom

These problems could be used in class as extra challenges or online rewards for completed assignments.

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Math Problem of the Week - Macalester College

9 to 12
Macalester College offers this weekly math challenge, suitable for advanced high school students. These problems are "stumpers" that will challenge some students while leaving others...more
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Macalester College offers this weekly math challenge, suitable for advanced high school students. These problems are "stumpers" that will challenge some students while leaving others scratching their heads. The archives of these problems offer a great resource for creating your own weekly challenge. Well worth a look.

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Capsule Pipelines

9 to 12
Try this site, which introduces the concept of moving people or freight in capsules, on the inventors in your classroom. Could this concept work? What might it cost, and how ...more
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Try this site, which introduces the concept of moving people or freight in capsules, on the inventors in your classroom. Could this concept work? What might it cost, and how would it work. What principles of physics would come into play? Interesting possibilities abound

tag(s): transportation (43)

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History of Recording Technology

6 to 12
The design of this privately developed site shows its age, but users will find abundant content and visuals here. It just takes a little work. The site covers the evolution ...more
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The design of this privately developed site shows its age, but users will find abundant content and visuals here. It just takes a little work. The site covers the evolution of technologies ranging from the earliest wax recordings to today's DVDs. Along the way, users can learn about the people and processes that have helped sound and video recording develop.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (92)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to guide their students' use of this site. This site is a little text-heavy, but would be a great way to show the progression of the music industry over the modern era. Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to this unit or as review.