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Kaizena - Kaizena

Grades
1 to 12
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Do you wish you had enough time in your schedule for one-on-one personalized writing conferences with your students or writers you know? Kaizena (previously 121Writing) can make that...more
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Do you wish you had enough time in your schedule for one-on-one personalized writing conferences with your students or writers you know? Kaizena (previously 121Writing) can make that dream a reality. Kaizena allows you to give feedback on writing via an audio recording. Writers often have difficulty reading the margin notes from teachers or other readers, or they need more explanation. An audio recording of the feedback provides a personalized experience to enhance the writing process. Kaizena works best by synching with your Google Drive account. There is an option at the bottom of the page to sign up by sending in your name and email address. However, this can take a while, so plan ahead! Sign in with your Google account to watch a helpful video and learn how to connect to your Google Drive account or school Google Apps account.

Start by highlighting a text selection, hit record, and provide your feedback. Writers will be able to listen to your feedback and revise or edit their writing as though you were face to face. Tag your highlighted text with keywords that can be tracked in a mastery-based rubric. You could tag conventional errors, mistakes, or selections that are amazing. Verbal feedback can be played on an iPad so students can listen in the best learning environment to meet their needs. Writers will progress as you enhance the writing process with explicit audio feedback. Kaizena can enhance feedback for written work for any school subject or even outside of school.

tag(s): editing (66), process writing (45), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Editing and revising are better with audio feedback. Provide explicit details to improve student performance. Students can record peer edits and share audio recordings with classmates. Classroom time is more efficient and effective when students can listen to your feedback before meeting face to face. Have students highlight passages of text and provide their reflections on the selection. World language classes can speak text or respond to questions in their new language. Learning support students will better understand audio feedback on their writing than detailed comments written in "teacher-ese." This is a great tool for students to highlight poetry and record their thoughts and feelings on the text. Students can highlight and record their thought process as they solve math word problems. Highlight and record opinions on current event articles. Highlight an entire passage of text to model reading fluency. Students can listen and read along with the recording to help with phrasing and expression. Highlight text and model fluency for ESL/ELL students. Highlight assessment questions or text for lower-level readers to provide a level playing field in the classroom. Challenge students to provide audio feedback to their peers on passages where they would like to know more, questions they have as readers, and positive feedback on passages they enjoy.

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3D Toad - TechTol Imaging

Grades
5 to 12
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3D Toad offers many images for viewing items in both 3D and 360 degree rotation. The site offers an assortment of categories such as Dissections, Human and Animal Skeletons, Fossils,...more
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3D Toad offers many images for viewing items in both 3D and 360 degree rotation. The site offers an assortment of categories such as Dissections, Human and Animal Skeletons, Fossils, and an extensive listing of Chemicals. There are also categories not typically associated with a "toad" such as: Yoga, Music, Dental Hygiene, History, Ballet Positions, Computer Networking, Emergency Preparedness, and more! The History link is interesting and includes American 1700-1800 and American Civil War: both packed with artifacts. Choose any image then drag your mouse to view or zoom in and out as desired.
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tag(s): 1700s (26), body systems (58), chemicals (43), civil war (144), coral (12), dance (28), dental health (23), dissection (10), elements (37), fossils (46), rocks (50)

In the Classroom

Use 3D Toad as a visual glossary on classroom computers. Have students visit this "visual glossary" center to explore objects and new vocabulary that they are learning. View and examine objects together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Choose an area/topic that relates to what you are learning about in class. Have each student choose an object from that area to observe and explore to heighten observation skills. Challenge students to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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SoundBible - SoundBible.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find or upload sound clips in wav or MP3 format -- with clear information about digital rights -- at Sound Bible. Thousands of files are available for easy download. Use ...more
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Find or upload sound clips in wav or MP3 format -- with clear information about digital rights -- at Sound Bible. Thousands of files are available for easy download. Use the search bar to locate a specific sound or browse through sound effects or royalty free sounds available on the site. Click the arrow to hear the sound clip, then click on the name to go to the download section. Choose from wav, mp3, or zip file, and click to download. Share your own sounds using the link provided along with a short description of your sound file. The sound file information includes licensing information for the sound. If you search solely in Royalty Free sounds, you are safe to use them, but follow the attribution requirements as explained on the lower portion of the "Royalty Free sounds" page.
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tag(s): listening (92), sound (103), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use Sound Bible to find short sound clips for use in presentations, videos, or interactive whiteboard lessons. In primary grades, play sounds as cues for classroom management, such as bird sounds to gather "at the nest" for circle time. Use sound clips as story or journal starter ideas. Play a clip and have students create a story that incorporates that sound. Take your students on an audio tour of the rainforest as you learn about the various animals and sounds. Use this site during units about weather to share sounds from storms, wind, thunder, and more. Explore ocean sounds, animals sounds, etc. Use in world language classes to spark conversations and build vocabulary. Play background sounds during creative writing class. Challenge students to write about how the sounds make them feel. Challenge gifted or digitally-clever students to use these sounds to create an all-audio story to accompany a drawing or image. Use a tool such as Brainshark, -reviewed here.

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What So Proudly We Hail: Making American Citizens Through Literature - Amy and Leon Kass

Grades
5 to 12
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Be inspired to love American History! Development citizenship and awareness by using this ten-part curriculum of short stories, speeches, and songs. The curriculum consists of three...more
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Be inspired to love American History! Development citizenship and awareness by using this ten-part curriculum of short stories, speeches, and songs. The curriculum consists of three categories. The Meaning of America explores the American character and identity through the "close reading" of classical short stories such as "To Build a Fire" and "Man Without a Country." The American Calendar examines the purpose of the American holiday, proposing the celebrations help to unite us and attach us to our country. Songs for Free Men and Women scrutinizes national songs for meaning and how they emotionally attach us to our nation. All of this curriculum is inquiry based. It also offers suggested discussion questions, study guides, author biographies, and video discussions to model how higher-level-thinking conversations about each text should sound. What So Proudly We Hail uses primary texts, has rigor, is inquiry based, and has many essay topics and writing prompts aligned to the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies. A few of the blog entries include helpful information about the Common Core standards.
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tag(s): democracy (12), guided reading (47), holidays (148), literacy (108), literature (275)

In the Classroom

This comprehensive program can be a bit overwhelming at first look. You might want to pick just one, high interest short story lesson, perhaps Jack London's "To Build a Fire." This lesson and many others lends itself to small group discussion and work. The introduction makes observations and asks questions to encourage active reading and deep discussions that you may want to use as a class. Whether you and your students complete the lesson as a class or in small groups, you may want to use a program like Today's Meet reviewed here to enable all students to have a voice. If using small groups, have students post what the group decided are the answers on Today's Meet so everyone can see all answers. Where answers differ, have students go back into the reading and cite evidence to support their answer on Today's Meet for all to see. Teachers of gifted and music can choose selected ideas from this site, as well. A teaching team could make this site the focus of a year-long effort with so much material available. Upper elementary teachers and higher can make holidays and patriotic songs far more meaningful through close reading and class discussions
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Musical Resources - The National Civil War Field Music School

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover the music of the Civil War as a real musician. This collection of sheet music links, Army guidebooks, and more are intended for re-enactor musicians who plan to "go ...more
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Discover the music of the Civil War as a real musician. This collection of sheet music links, Army guidebooks, and more are intended for re-enactor musicians who plan to "go to school" to become field musicians. See the importance of music as a communication tool before, during, and after a battle. You can even try your own hand at playing a drum cadence. Many of the files are Acrobat scans of original music. These are not "beginner" pieces, but a musician with moderate experience could play at least some of them. Clicking on the link to Other Resources and Links can lead you to some musical re-enactor videos on YouTube. See listings under Civil War Field Music/Fife and Drum Corps. 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): civil war (144)

In the Classroom

Share this resource as a project option for your musical students during a unit on the Civil War. Share the site with your music or band teacher to collaborate on a Civil War Day event.
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Field Musicians of the Civil War - tapsbugler (Jari Villanueva)

Grades
5 to 12
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Experience images of the Civil War musicians accompanied by authentic fife and drum music of the times. As the caption explains, "Fifers drummers and buglers provided the beat to everyday...more
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Experience images of the Civil War musicians accompanied by authentic fife and drum music of the times. As the caption explains, "Fifers drummers and buglers provided the beat to everyday life of the soldier." The creator of this video is a self-described Taps Historian and Bugler. If your district blocks YouTube, then this 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): civil war (144)

In the Classroom

Play the music and video during an intro to your Civil War unit to grab the attention of auditory learners. Inspire students to find out why music was far more than entertainment for soldiers. Challenge students to learn more about music and other communication tools during the Civil War in TeachersFirst's Gettysburg by the Numbers.

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Education Closet Lesson Plans - Susan Riley

Grades
K to 12
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Forge connections between the arts and other subjects through resources at Education Closet. Choose the lessons link to find many lessons for grades K-12. Each lesson preview contains...more
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Forge connections between the arts and other subjects through resources at Education Closet. Choose the lessons link to find many lessons for grades K-12. Each lesson preview contains a short description, information about classroom and fine arts content. Many also correlate to Common Core standards. You can search for lessons by grade levels (K-3, 4-8, or 9-12). Choose a lesson for a more complete description. Click to download the complete lesson in PDF format. Each lesson contains a list of materials, complete directions, assessments, and suggestions for extending the lesson.
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tag(s): american revolution (88), bullying (50), charts and graphs (195), civil war (144), dance (28), descriptive writing (42), energy (202), immigration (57), main idea (9), narrative (23), patterns (85), photography (160), poetry (226), ratios (54)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for integrating academic content and fine arts in any grade level. Share this site with your school's art teacher as a resource for collaborative planning. Search lessons by grade level. Bring a little creativity into your classroom and your lessons regardless of what grade or subject you teach!
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360Cities - 360 Cities s.r.o.

Grades
K to 12
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The 360Cities panoramas are a new way to showcase places, businesses, and events from around the world. Looking for a new virtual field trip? 360Cities will have your students spinning...more
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The 360Cities panoramas are a new way to showcase places, businesses, and events from around the world. Looking for a new virtual field trip? 360Cities will have your students spinning in circles with excitement. The pictures are out of this world! View 360 degree panoramic pictures from Mars or under the sea. Travel to snowy mountain tops and many more of the Internet's largest collection of uploaded panoramic images. 360Cities panoramic aerial shots are also available as well as navigable views of cities, natural landscapes, and more. The most popular panoramic pictures are listed for your convenience. This website has panoramic views of all Seven Wonders of the World, which include the Colosseum in Rome, The Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, The Taj Mahal in India, Machu Picchu in Peru, Christ Redeemer in Rio, and Chichen Itza in Mexico. Are you looking for a site to showcase your own panoramic shots or do you want to learn how to take panoramic shots? 360Cities "how to" section offers tools to create and upload your own panoramic pictures. View the existing pictures for free or use an email address to create a free account to upload your own panoramic pictures. Paid upgrades are available. 360Cities also has an app for iOS devices. View the 360Cities blog linked on the site for more information.
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tag(s): images (271), landforms (45), landmarks (26), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

The 360Cities panoramic pictures provide a vivid visual experience to enhance any lesson. Students can search and view the panoramic setting of a reading passage or novel. Need to paint a picture for students about a historical topic? View the image on 360Cities. Activate schema with these vivid images. Bring Science to life as you explore the many natural wonders of our world and even space. Explore these exciting worlds through the panoramic pictures. Visit businesses and famous landmarks around the world for a free virtual tour. Looking for creative writing prompts? Use the images for poems or story starters. Teaching geometry? Have students locate geometric figures in the pictures. Provide students an image and challenge them to create a virtual tour as they explore the image. Use web 2.0 tools or the students' artistic talents to create travel brochures for the panoramic pictures. Record the tours as a screencast or present orally. Use the "how-to" section to have your students create their own panoramic pictures. Take a panoramic shot of your classroom to post on your website or blog. Use DSLR cameras or cell phones to create your panoramic pictures.

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Szoter - szoter.com

Grades
K to 12
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Szoter is an online tool for annotating images stored on your computer or screenshots from your computer. Use this site directly on the web or download the Adobe Air version ...more
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Szoter is an online tool for annotating images stored on your computer or screenshots from your computer. Use this site directly on the web or download the Adobe Air version that runs on your desktop. Launch then choose from options to annotate such as load local image, capture camera image, make screenshot, or load image url. After your image loads, choose from editing options such as scaling image, drawing tools such as lines, arrows, and circles, and add text. When finished, save to your computer or publish and share to Twitter, Facebook, or copy the url provided.

tag(s): digital storytelling (152), images (271)

In the Classroom

Capture a screenshot of websites or software and annotate with directions for student use. Have students label and identify objects in an image. Label parts of a plant, continents, landforms, etc. Practice new words in a different language by asking students to label and identify objects in that language. Create a storyboard using several annotated images as a story starter. Art students can annotate images to point out design elements or annotate images of their own work to talk about the creative decisions they made. Share annotated Szoter images on your class website or blog to tell about a field trip or class event.

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Whyville - Mundeon

Grades
4 to 10
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Enter the engaging virtual world of Whyville filled with math, science, art, and literature activities. Create an avatar and join in constructive educational activities that...more
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Enter the engaging virtual world of Whyville filled with math, science, art, and literature activities. Create an avatar and join in constructive educational activities that promote socially responsible behavior. There are many activities to explore, and you can chat with other users. The Zero Gravity Chamber features angles and the principle of Newton's 3rd Law. In the Rocket Design Lab simulate rockets to test parameters such as nozzle size and pay load. The Engine Lab has 3 games that teach about electric charges and ion engines. Citizens must be aware of infectious illnesses and plagues that infect the citizens of Whyville. Join in the hot air balloon race to analyze vector fields to navigate hot air balloons. Go on an art treasure hunt around the world. At the dance studio design and choreograph your own dances. Visit the beach, the climate center, take a swim, or meet your friends at the playground or waterfall. Simulations change every time you enter Whyville. Earn clams, a salary, manage a bank account, get a pet, and read the daily news. Log-in (with email) is required to fully participate in this site. However, most of the site is accessible without registration. Don't miss this award winning website!

tag(s): aircraft (24), animals (284), dance (28), diseases (68), logic (236), money (190), motion (62), puzzles (206), recycling (57), social skills (20), vectors (25)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, join as a teacher and manage each students account. Reinforce safe online behavior as your students explore opportunities for learning.The chat feature is a perfect opportunity practice safe interactions. Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use as a reward in your classroom or as a way to extend and enrich concepts learned in math and science. Offer Whyville as a safe enrichment tool for students to use at home. Encourage all students to join in the educational activities. Design a simplified version of this site for younger children with your class. Use one of the many animation tools available at the TeachersFirst Edge.
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Hooktheory - Hooktheory, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Hooked on music theory? Hooktheory satisfies your musical needs. Lend Hooktheory your ear and it will train it. The ear training tool challenges you to figure out a chord progression...more
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Hooked on music theory? Hooktheory satisfies your musical needs. Lend Hooktheory your ear and it will train it. The ear training tool challenges you to figure out a chord progression and melody by ear. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels meet the needs of any ear. Try to best the top score or play for fun. Write chord progressions and melodies using the music editor. Type the numbers 1-7 to enter your melody. Can't read music? No worries. Each scale degree is assigned a color to help reinforce the note's sound in your mind to enhance recognition. The editor uses a relative scale so accidentals aren't possible in your melody. Create separate harmony and melody and export your song into a midi file. Import your midi into GarageBand or export your song as a guitar tab or sheet music.

Explore analyses of popular songs through an appetizer of the full song or contribute your own. Listen through YouTube or to the piano version. (If your district blocks YouTube, 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.) Change the key or the tempo of the track for over 1300 songs archived in this format. The ability to quickly explore visually how chords are used in different songs opens up a huge potential for discovery and learning. Hooktheory Chapter 1 is free, the remaining chapters are for a fee. This review is only based on the free portions of the site.
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tag(s): music theory (41), musical notation (37)

In the Classroom

Hooktheory is a great site for computer stations in music class as you work with ensembles or individual students. Support music theory instruction with the interactive tools available. Students can analyze songs before creating their own. Download students' creations as guitar tab, sheet music, or as a midi file. Ensembles, solos, or duets can play the tunes students create. Import the midi file into GarageBand to add background music or to enhance the selection. Have students create their own music to reflect the tone or mood of a poem or piece of writing. Don't have Garageband or aren't familiar with a midi file? Why not simply create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Teachers of gifted students seeking to do individual music projects will appreciate this site, especially if the teacher is not a music expert!

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Copyright - New York Online

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the complex topics of copyright and plagiarism. Find information on identifying plagiarism, ethical concerns, and ways to avoid stealing others' material. Explore essential...more
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Explore the complex topics of copyright and plagiarism. Find information on identifying plagiarism, ethical concerns, and ways to avoid stealing others' material. Explore essential questions such as Why Should I Care?, What Does it Look Like?, and How Can I Use My Own Brain? Student tools offer tips for avoiding plagiarism such as correctly citing sources and learning proper phrasing. Teacher tools include videos and posters to help students explore this topic and understand copyright issues. View several videos in the digital ethics portion of the site that discuss the fine line between plagiarism and mashups, downloading, and music use. Some of 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): copyright (50), digital citizenship (63), ethics (17), plagiarism (37)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-have in the toolbox for all secondary teachers. Bookmark and save this site to use for discussion questions and factual information on plagiarism. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. View a video each week and discuss contents. View specific videos addressing concerns that arise in your classroom. Share this site with parents at meet the teacher (Back to School) night for their use at home. Share a link to the site on a prominent place on your class website or blog for student reference at any time.
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Art Lessons and Lesson Plans - Ken Rohrer

Grades
K to 12
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FInd an extensive collection of art and drama lesson plans for use in all grade levels. Choose a grade level from categories on the left side of the page. Pick ...more
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FInd an extensive collection of art and drama lesson plans for use in all grade levels. Choose a grade level from categories on the left side of the page. Pick from sub-categories such as type of medium, art period, or artist. One particularly useful category is by integration: ideas you can choose for lessons in subjects such as health, science, or language arts. Once you choose a lesson title, specific details include materials used, appropriate age levels, instructions, and images of projects. Many, but not all lessons also include correlation to national standards. Click on the printer friendly link to print lessons without all the clutter on the page.
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tag(s): animals (284), artists (76), colors (80), geometric shapes (163), insects (70), japan (61), native americans (78), origami (17), painting (66), preK (284), recycling (57), symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for art projects throughout the year, especially if budget cuts have taken away your art teacher! Be sure to check out the link to Sub Lessons. Print and save a couple of these to have in your substitute folder for use if necessary. Share with your art teacher (if you have one) as a resource.

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Sound Maps -- British Library - The British Library

Grades
K to 12
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Find over 50,000 sounds of music, nature sounds, spoken words/poetry and human environments. Click dots on a map to see the location and play the sound. Search by keyword or ...more
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Find over 50,000 sounds of music, nature sounds, spoken words/poetry and human environments. Click dots on a map to see the location and play the sound. Search by keyword or by category and save to your playlist for future use once you create a free account.

tag(s): cultures (106), multimedia (61), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

This site is a great addition to any world language, history, music, English, or science class. Use the oral history section to hear stories from Holocaust survivors. Listen to accents from around the world. Have you ever wanted to know what a cicada sounds like? Use the recordings from the nature and environment section. Science and music teachers can use the site to show how sound waves look. Use the site to demonstrate how to create an oral history. Then have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of a particular topic you are studying. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). In world language classes, have students explore locations to learn more about the sound of that country. Then have them create a recording that uses recorded sounds as background to their own spoken words in their new language.

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Experience the Planets - Greg Martin

Grades
5 to 12
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Experience The Planets is an ongoing art project that visualizes our solar system through the eyes of artists. Click on each image to read an explanation of the art. Choose ...more
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Experience The Planets is an ongoing art project that visualizes our solar system through the eyes of artists. Click on each image to read an explanation of the art. Choose the download link to save each image as HD wallpaper. Although the number of images is limited, the artwork is beautiful and is sure to be a great inspiration for any viewer. Many pieces have accompanying music and/or sounds. Be aware: there are icons to purchase the artwork. So discuss with students NOT to click on the icon.
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tag(s): planets (126), solar system (122)

In the Classroom

Explore this site with your students on your projector or interactive whiteboard (turn up the speakers). Share with your art teacher as examples of beautiful artwork. Allow students to explore the site before creating their own solar system art. Use artwork as inspiration for creative writing projects. Discuss the music and/or sounds included, what emotions does the music create? How can science become inspiration for art?
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Wolfram Demonstrations Project - Wolfram Mathematica

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover a huge collection of interactive illustrations to help explain complex concepts in science, technology, art, math, and a range of other topics. The activities also give you...more
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Discover a huge collection of interactive illustrations to help explain complex concepts in science, technology, art, math, and a range of other topics. The activities also give you the power to create interactive visualizations. There are thousands of Mathematica Demonstrations. A demonstration is a Mathematica notebook that takes advantage of Mathematica's manipulate command. Use the manipulate command to create sliders or buttons or check boxes to change the values of parameters in the displays in the demonstration. The result is you control the animation. View demonstrations on topics ranging from odd and even numbers to odd and even functions, fractions to fractals, and from linear functions to linear algebra and linear programming. In addition to mathematical topics, there are demonstrations illustrating the time in different cities around the world, global demographic information, the solar system, and art and music concepts. You need to download the Wolfram CDF player to use and interact with the demonstrations.
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tag(s): addition (238), animals (284), architecture (84), computers (92), division (167), fractions (235), geometric shapes (163), gravity (49), logic (236), maps (289), money (190), multiples (36), multiplication (221), plants (152), psychology (64), statistics (123), subtraction (198), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Explain how to use the Demonstrations on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Allow students to explore on their own classroom computers. (Remember to download the CDF player onto each computer or request it in advance from your tech department.) Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted for reproduction). Use avatars to explain activities performed using a Demonstration. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). The beauty of the demonstrations is that it allows students to manipulate and "play" to view the impact of changes made, allowing many opportunities for classroom discussion. Ask students to predict the impact of changes using the manipulate command; then discuss the actual impact as it occurs.
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Find the Data - FindTheBest.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Find interesting facts and comparisons to almost anything with this site, perfect for trivia fans everywhere! Using data from public records, manufacturer websites, and public records,...more
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Find interesting facts and comparisons to almost anything with this site, perfect for trivia fans everywhere! Using data from public records, manufacturer websites, and public records, you can view and sort information to meet your needs. Choose from main topics including economics, education, government, and more. Choose a subcategory. Refine and sort searches using filters included with each category. Change results to sort by desired results. For example, choose job salaries then sort by job title, total employment, average annual salary, or mean hourly pay. Site registration is available but not necessary.

tag(s): countries (77), data (148), ecology (135), politics (99), sports (97), transportation (41), trivia (18)

In the Classroom

Find and compare data for almost anything your class needs! Compare salaries or life spans between countries. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Find and compare economic data for your state, look for the biggest meteor to hit the earth, or find the earliest recorded sighting of a meteor. Share with students to use when completing research projects. Have students share the information by creating a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Bookmark this site to use to find data or interesting facts at anytime.

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Fakebook - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
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Create a "fake" Facebook-style page for anyone or anything! No membership required! Give your page a title and add an image from your computer. (They insert an image for you ...more
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Create a "fake" Facebook-style page for anyone or anything! No membership required! Give your page a title and add an image from your computer. (They insert an image for you if you do not select one.) Of course you will need to use a Creative Commons or other copyright-safe image. You can also use autoselect from a websearch, edit the profile, and your page is almost ready. You must add at least one post and one friend to save work. Choose "save" from the options on top right side of the page, enter a password, and your unique url for your Fakebook page appears. Be sure to copy and save this link as it is the only time it is given in the setup process. Here is an example created in less than a minute. Page creation is quick and easy with a small learning curve. Flash is needed only to watch the introduction video, not use the site/tool. There is a downloadable Word doc "startup guide" for those who prefer written, illustrated directions.
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tag(s): book reports (36), creative writing (168), social networking (113)

In the Classroom

Engage and create interest in classroom learning with Fakebook. This site is wonderful for creating interest in many subjects. In social studies, instead of a typical biographical report have students create a Fakebook page about their famous person. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artist, a civil war soldier, and much more. Have students create a timeline of any historical event (the page should be named for the event). Use Fakebook to outline the plot of a book, play, or film, then share with students while studying the material. To use Fakebook to study literature, create a page for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. For a unique twist is science class, create a Fakebook page for a periodic element or another science topic. Use the page to describe "the life" of that atom or element. In world language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the second language they are learning. Create a Fakebook page for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. Challenge students to create and share a page about themselves during the first week of school. Share a Fakebook page with students to demonstrate proper netiquette and social sharing. Be sure to share a rubric with students for all expectations of what should be included on their page. Make Fakebook one of the options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum. With no membership required, this tool is simple enough for younger gifted students who have parent permission to post work to the web. We could pretend that they do not know what Facebook looks like, but we would be deluding ourselves!

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HD Downloader - hddownloader.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use the HD Downloader to easily download videos and music from YouTube. Paste your YouTube URL to the space provided on HD Downloader. Then select whether to copy as a ...more
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Use the HD Downloader to easily download videos and music from YouTube. Paste your YouTube URL to the space provided on HD Downloader. Then select whether to copy as a video or an MP3 music file (selecting the quality), convert to a RingTone, or scan the MP3 to a Mobile Phone. When selecting to download a video there are several choices of formats: 3GP medium and high quality, FLV low and medium quality, and MP4 high quality. The MP4 high quality seemed to download the fastest, and the resulting download is viewable in full screen mode. All the selections work on both PC and MAC computers. At the time of this review, HD Downloader seems to download best using Internet Explorer (I.E.) on a Windows computer, and Safari on a MAC computer. When using I.E. on the Windows computer, a box might appear that says: "the digital signature cannot be verified" and will ask if you want to run the application anyway. Click on RUN. Once you've downloaded the video, you can copy it to a USB stick, and it will also play on a MAC computer. Be aware: there are MANY advertisements at this site, so this may not be a site that you want students to explore independently.
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tag(s): video (268)

In the Classroom

Mark this tool in your favorites for easy access, and as a "work-around" when YouTube is blocked at your school. Use this tool at home to save YouTube videos on a stick and take them to school. Teachers should model ethical use of electronic resources (other people's work) for students. Be sure to give proper credit for videos and other files you save locally under Fair Use.

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Pandora - Pandora Media, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Pandora is a customizable popular music streaming service based on the Music Genome Project. Enter the name of a musician or group to find a "channel" made up of singe ...more
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Pandora is a customizable popular music streaming service based on the Music Genome Project. Enter the name of a musician or group to find a "channel" made up of singe by that artist/group and other songs that have similar characteristics: lyrics, rhythm, style, etc. The "genome" sorts and matches the musical characteristics of the artist or of a particular song. Register for free (requires email). Then as you listen, click "like" to teach Pandora your preferences. Read more about the Music Genome Project under "About" in the footer of the page. There is a paid version of Pandora, but the few commercials in the free version are tolerable. Pandora also has free apps versions to use on mobile devices, and your account is accessible from all devices.
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tag(s): lyrics (20), music theory (41), poetry (226)

In the Classroom

In music classes, use Pandora to open discussion about elements and styles of music. Play a channel long enough for students to hear a few selections, then ask them to figure out what the different songs have in common, perhaps besides an artist. Why does the work of another artist show in the same "channel"? While studying lyrics as poetry in an English/Language Arts class, compare lyrics of songs from the same channel. How are they similar? What other song lyrics might you add to this channel?

Use a Pandora channel as background during a discussion of certain decades of the 20th century or have students find/create channels that represent an era such as the Civil War period. Have them explain their "mix" and why it is representative. Play a Pandora channel as a writing prompt or during art activities to promote creative expression. During a unit on how to study, be sure to offer Pandora as a customizable way for students to create an auditory "study environment." World language teachers can find artists whose lyrics use the language they are teaching to build listening skills. Elementary teachers and ESL/ELL teachers can use channels with children's songs for vocabulary or other class activities.

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