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Opposing Views - Opposing Views, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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This searchable, current website provides information on both sides of a number of controversial topics. Two slight drawbacks to this website are that there are some advertisements,...more
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This searchable, current website provides information on both sides of a number of controversial topics. Two slight drawbacks to this website are that there are some advertisements, however the information is still very good and the ads are not overly distracting. NOTE: some content may be too mature for younger readers. See suggestions below.

tag(s): autism (22), debate (41), persuasive writing (55), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site for debate topics for students to see both sides of the argument either before they choose their topic, or as part of their research for the topic. The issues change regularly and could serve a powerful prompts for persuasive writing. Some readings on this site would also work as texts to use on interactive whiteboard for teaching non-fiction reading skills such as main idea, summarizing, or fact vs opinion. Teachers will want to closely monitor students using this site, since sidebars offer links to other topics, and some comments left by readers may not be classroom-friendly. Be sure to visit the link to Civility 101 at the bottom of the page and share it with your students! Have cooperative learning groups choose a side and create a multimedia presentation defending their choice. Use a site such as Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be uploaded), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
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CareerZone Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania Department of Education

Grades
7 to 12
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This website offers a fairly comprehensive like/dislike work personality profile. Although created in Pennsylvania, the site is universally helpful. (There are other quizzes and occupation...more
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This website offers a fairly comprehensive like/dislike work personality profile. Although created in Pennsylvania, the site is universally helpful. (There are other quizzes and occupation information available at the homepage.) It is a very long survey (180 questions at the time of this review), but it can be saved in process which is a very helpful feature. Students answer simply "like," "dislike," or "not sure." Once the profile is completed, an interest profile is developed and the meanings of the interests can be referenced in the first type of assessment. Jobs that are highly related to the individuals' interest profile are linked here. The specific occupations are linked to information on the career including descriptions, education requirements, experience and skills needed to perform the job. Also, basic career information is also available to search without doing the interest assessment.

tag(s): careers (132)

In the Classroom

This site could be applied to any course. It could be invaluable to guidance classes, family and consumer sciences, and business courses. This would be a great introductory lab for any of those classes as well as others. Demonstrate on an interactive whiteboard or projector and then have students work on individual computers to take the survey. Have students access the site and complete the survey and do a simple research into three different possibilities. Then have students reflect on the careers that surprised them as well as the ones with which they thought they would want to do. Have students create "a day in the life" blog entries related to a day on the job of one of the careers suited for them.
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A Book and A Hug - Barb Langridge

Grades
K to 12
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This well-designed website has books for 8 levels of readers from picture books to adult-level subjects in 17 general categories. Search using the advanced search function or browse...more
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This well-designed website has books for 8 levels of readers from picture books to adult-level subjects in 17 general categories. Search using the advanced search function or browse through the favorites. Look for fiction or non-fiction, parts of series, and best of all books for reluctant readers. All books feature a summary and also an illustration taken from the book. The descriptions of the books are very enticing and often include quotes from the text.

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

This is a great source for finding and showing students how to find independent reading. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Since students often ask for books like Harry Potter, for example, put this link on your class web page. Show students how to click on the keywords once they find a category they like. When students ask for another book in the same series, this is a great place to start looking. Allowing reluctant readers to search and find their own book is a way to build investment in their reading future. Encourage students to write their own reviews of favorite books not found here. Use the site for a lesson in citing sources and punctuating quotations.

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Goosebumps: The Science of Fear - California Science Center

Grades
3 to 10
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Explore the science of fear with this fun and interesting site. Click on "Explore Fear Online." View "Fear and the Brain" to understand how the brain responds to fear. Learn ...more
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Explore the science of fear with this fun and interesting site. Click on "Explore Fear Online." View "Fear and the Brain" to understand how the brain responds to fear. Learn animal responses in "Fear in the Wild." Other links include "Fear and the Media," "The Fun Side of Fear," and "Dealing with Fear." Each link includes several more specific topics. There is also a Parent's Guide with some of the topics.

tag(s): brain (72), emotions (35), psychology (64), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Brainstorm situations that cause fear and identify how the brain processes this information. Explore the similarities of fear responses with the feelings when riding thrill rides. Identify as a class how people respond to fear and ways fear can help you. Creative writing students can explore different ways that people show fear so their writing can describe what fear LOOKS like instead of simply saying, "he was afraid." Why not include this site when studying Poe's tales of terror or as a curriculum-related activity during Halloween season? Check out the "Dealing with Fear" section to help students struggling with anxieties and worry. Emotional or autistic support teachers and school counselors may also find this site helpful in allowing students to understand their body's reactions to fear. Health and psychology classes can use this site to explore the physiology of fear.
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H1N1 (Swine Flu) - What You and Your Family Need to Know - Children's National Medical Center

Grades
K to 12
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This informative site (also available in Spanish) is a great resource for families (or classrooms) all about the Swine Flu. Topics include: Can people catch swine flu from eating pork?...more
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This informative site (also available in Spanish) is a great resource for families (or classrooms) all about the Swine Flu. Topics include: Can people catch swine flu from eating pork? What about the current swine flu outbreak? Can people catch swine flu? What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans? There are several other topics. This is a simple questions/answer site with a lot of helpful information.

tag(s): h1n1 (13)

In the Classroom

Most of this site would be useful in Swine Flu research in the classroom. Make your class a healthier environment by sharing how the flu is spread. Share this link on your class website for parents to view.

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What It Is and What to Do: Primer - Jacob Goldstein

Grades
6 to 12
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers a lot of information about the swine flu. The site is set-up in question/answer format. Examples of questions include, "What is swine...more
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers a lot of information about the swine flu. The site is set-up in question/answer format. Examples of questions include, "What is swine flu," "Is the disease the same in Mexico and the U.S.," "What are the Symptoms," "Does my flu shot protect against the swine flu," and several others. Be aware this site has advertisements and students are able to comment on the article. You may want to preview the comments and advise students to stick with the content, not the comments.

tag(s): h1n1 (13)

In the Classroom

Take a few minutes and go through this site one question at a time. Possibly, address the class with the specific question and have them brainstorm possible answers with a partner. Share this site to encourage your class or school to maintain healthy habits, dispel incorrect information, and avoid spread of flu.

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Novel H1N1 flu (swine flu) - Children's Memorial Hospital

Grades
K to 12
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This frequently updating site, offers a simple (yet thorough) explanation of the H1N1 flu. This helpful information on the Swine Flu is useful for all levels of students. Help students...more
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This frequently updating site, offers a simple (yet thorough) explanation of the H1N1 flu. This helpful information on the Swine Flu is useful for all levels of students. Help students to better understand the virus and how to prevent its spread.

tag(s): h1n1 (13)

In the Classroom

Be sure to list this link on your class website for families to explore at home. If your students have any questions about the Swine Flu, send them to this explanatory website.

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Free Music Archive - WFMU

Grades
5 to 12
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This site provides a clearing house for legal, copyright-safe, free music available for download and podcast use. Students looking for pod-safe audio, music remixes, and background...more
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This site provides a clearing house for legal, copyright-safe, free music available for download and podcast use. Students looking for pod-safe audio, music remixes, and background music will be relieved to find this marvelous library of recordings. Students or teachers do not need to join to listen and/or download the MP3 files, but they can join if they'd like to submit their own legal files. We recommend that teachers be the only ones to upload music (with parent permission if you are sharing music performed or written by students). Students who have serious musical ambitions and repertoire may want to join at home.

NOTE: Music on this site is submitted by the general musical public and may include lyrics inappropriate for school. The "Hip Hop" genre includes some inappropriate offerings, so teachers will want to decide the best way to handle use of this site by students. Each genre has its own URL, so it is possible to make only certain areas available. The "classical," "jazz" and other instrumental areas are safer. Depending on the maturity and trustworthiness of students, teachers may want to directly supervise use of this site.

Listeners can find their favorite music by browsing through the many genre categories or trying some of the daily featured artists.Besides music files, there are artist and album profiles, and listeners can star favorites.

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

Students can use files from this site when preparing multimedia class presentations that require music or background sounds. Use this site when preparing lessons on plagiarism, copyright, and the open source software concept. If your students are mature enough, share the link to this site via your class web page (with a disclaimer about possibly inappropriate lyrics). Music teachers with talented composer/performer students may want to share the site as a potential place for students to share their work (with parent permission).

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H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu): General Information - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Grades
K to 12
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This site, created by the CDC, offers general information about the H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu). Learn what to do if you get flu-like symptoms, how to take care of a ...more
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This site, created by the CDC, offers general information about the H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu). Learn what to do if you get flu-like symptoms, how to take care of a sick person in your home, facemask and respirator use, and more. This site also includes audio and video resources.

tag(s): h1n1 (13)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website for students and parents to access to learn more about the Swine Flu. Have cooperative learning groups investigate one of the articles/topics presented at this site and create a multimedia project to share with the class. How about creating a class wiki to discuss the groups' findings? Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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Teaching Tolerance - Southern Poverty Law Center

Grades
K to 12
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Teaching Tolerance is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center and seeks to provide educators with tools to reduce prejudice of all kinds. You might already be familiar with ...more
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Teaching Tolerance is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center and seeks to provide educators with tools to reduce prejudice of all kinds. You might already be familiar with this group's "Mix it Up" initiative which seeks to get middle school and high school students to sit with someone new for one day during lunch at the cafeteria. This site contains lesson plans, links for teachers, parents, teens, and kids, current topics related to prejudice, an on-line version of the Teaching Tolerance magazine, an order form for free curriculum materials, and links to other resources.

The teacher's link offers classroom activities (many interactive) that tie in with the lesson plans. There is also a link to receive FREE kits and handbooks! The "Parents" link offers activities and ideas for ages 2-17! There are online activities, recommended books, "talking points" for parents, and more. The "For Teens" link includes a wealth of resources: video clips, lessons, 10 steps to take action, downloadable posters, essays, and true stories. The Kid's link offers "read," "Explore," and "Play" options for elementary (and younger middle school) students. A "sign up" box appears when you first enter the site, click on the X to remove the box.

tag(s): bullying (52), diversity (36), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Of course, the obvious uses for this site include preparing for Black History Month or Women's History Month, consult this site for more than that! Don't just visit the Teacher's link, but check out the kids and teens links for videos and interactive that you can share on your projector or interactive whiteboard. If you are unsure of how to approach a touchy subject with your students--either a subject from the news like the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rules, or something that is happening in your school or community, this site can provide resources for you and your students. Subscribe to Tolerance.org's emailed newsletter, or order one of the curriculum kits; the newest one is Viva la Causa about Cesar Chavez and the struggle for justice for farmworkers in the 1960s. This is a great addition to your school's bully program! Take advantage of the free lesson plans, class activities, interactive, and book recommendations. This is definitely one to list on your class website!
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This houses a WEALTH of resources! Thank you, Teaching TOLERANCE. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Swine Flu: What you Need to Know - Nemours

Grades
K to 12
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Nemours' balanced approach makes this explanation of swine flu very helpful for parents, teachers, and kids alike. Not only does the article share the basic facts and simple strategies...more
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Nemours' balanced approach makes this explanation of swine flu very helpful for parents, teachers, and kids alike. Not only does the article share the basic facts and simple strategies fo staying healthy. Included are links to related articles for kids and for teens. In the lower area of the page (just below the clickable page numbers), look for "More on this topic" and click on the tab "For Kids" or "For Teens." The common-sense approach will help prevent spread of the disease and reassure frightened students in terms they can understand.

In the Classroom

Share this resource with your building principal and with parents to help control any panic about a possible pandemic.

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Johns Hopkins University CTY Program - The Johns Hopkins University

Grades
2 to 12
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Created by the Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth at the Johns Hopkins University, this site contains comprehensive information for teachers of gifted students in upper...more
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Created by the Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth at the Johns Hopkins University, this site contains comprehensive information for teachers of gifted students in upper elementary grades through middle school. Highlights include information about summer programs for students in grades 2-12, summer employment opportunities for elementary and middle school teachers interested in becoming involved in CTY summer programs, the CTY talent search, student application information, ability and achievement testing, recommended publications and resources, and available services for interested schools and teachers.

tag(s): gifted (96)

In the Classroom

Share this link with your parents of gifted students.

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Handsonscotland - Playfield Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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This site, designed in Scotland, is primarily for use by adults who have concerns about the behavior or emotional well being of children and teens. As it describes itself, it ...more
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This site, designed in Scotland, is primarily for use by adults who have concerns about the behavior or emotional well being of children and teens. As it describes itself, it is a "Toolkit of helpful responses to encourage children and young people's emotional wellbeing." It could also be useful for a high school health class, psychology class, or child development course. A newer section includes strategies to help children "flourish," specifically to "Learn how to: Build confidence; encourage gratitude; promote optimism; nurture good relationships; foster a sense of purpose; develop emotional balance...and much more!" This area is organized by specific positive characteristics and skills parents and others want to develop in children.

The "Troubling Behaviors" area follows a problem-solution format: first describing the behavior, pointing out things to consider, questions for further self-understanding, ways to help, and signals that a mental health professional ought to be involved. There are video clips with many of the topics. The site is notable for its straightforward and non-judgmental tone.

tag(s): behavior (46), mental health (26)

In the Classroom

Consider sharing the video clips (relevant to your class) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In health (or psychology) class have students investigate one topic and present their findings to the class in a multimedia format: wiki, blog, podcast, or video. How about having students create a podcast using Podomatic (reviewed here). They might even role-play some of the scenarios. If students create a video, share the videos using a site such as Teachertube (explained here).

While this site might be useful as a resource for a high school health, psychology, or child development class, its main benefit is for teachers, parents, and other adults who care for and work with children and teens. Consider adding this link to your class web page as a resource for parents or sharing specific ideas with parents at conferences.

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Autism Society of America - ASA

Grades
K to 12
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About...more
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About Autism, Life with Autism, Research & Programs, Autism Communities, and more! You can also sign up to receive e-newsletters, learn about fundraising opportunities, and find many tips for parents and teachers. This site is recommended in articles by the National Association of School Psychologists, a helpful endorsement in distinguishing among many web sites dealing with autism.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22), behavior (46)

In the Classroom

Use this site to learn the basics about autism. No classroom teacher can be expected to be an expert on autism, but this site may help you understand some of what you see and some of the more recent information about autism, especially since few teachers receive much training about this in their teacher-ed programs. If you have students in your classes with autism, ask your principal if you can spend part of an inservice day reading and exploring this and other TeachersFirst resources listings on autism. This independent study may save your sanity and benefit students who really need our understanding. This is a great resource to provide to parents!

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Autism4teachers - Autism4teachers.com

Grades
K to 12
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This comprehensive website, written by four teachers, offers an excellent starting point and whets the appetite for anyone seriously looking into autism. Autism4teachers offers a snapshot...more
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This comprehensive website, written by four teachers, offers an excellent starting point and whets the appetite for anyone seriously looking into autism. Autism4teachers offers a snapshot of many of the current and research-based concepts in the area of autism. The information provides enough information to enable you to research even further. There are numerous specific topics highlighted at this website including Communication, Social Skills, Classroom Structure, TEACCH, Inclusion, Behavioral Support, Parent Support, Visual Support, Community Support, Autism Awareness, Assistive Technology, Sensory Based Activity Room, Thematic Units, Data Sheets, & several others. Don't miss the MANY lesson ideas and activities provided with the topics. This website requires Windows Media Player. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): autism (22), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Use this free website (and the many tips) to help your autistic students succeed, whether you are in a regular classroom or special ed. Share this link in your class newsletter and on your class website. Be sure to provide this link to any colleagues helping autistic students in and out of the classroom.

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OASIS: Tips For Teaching High Functioning People With Autism - Susan Moreno and Carol O'Neal

Grades
K to 12
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O.A.S.I.S. (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) presents this simple list of strategies that work with students who have Asperger's or Autism Spectrum disorders. These...more
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O.A.S.I.S. (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) presents this simple list of strategies that work with students who have Asperger's or Autism Spectrum disorders. These explanations and strategies are understandable and practical for classroom teachers and anyone who works with these students, including cafeteria workers or Sunday School teachers! Take the time to help yourself help these enigmatic kids. It will help you understand WHY they do some of the things they do and WHY you should approach tasks a certain way.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

If you have students with autism, ask for some time to review this set of strategies during your next inservice day and brainstorm with other teachers on ways your school building can incorporate some of these more systematically, especially since recent reports have shown drastic increases in autism spectrum disorders in our schools. Special ed teachers will want to share this page with the other adults in their building as an "FYI." Why not provide the link on your class or school website?

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Cindy, KY, Grades: 0 - 12

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Autism Spectrum Disorders: Primer for Parents and Educators - National Association of School Psychologists

Grades
K to 12
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This introductory article explains basic characteristics of autism and Asperger's, major treatment considerations, and IEP suggestions. Tough ostensibly for parents, the language is...more
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This introductory article explains basic characteristics of autism and Asperger's, major treatment considerations, and IEP suggestions. Tough ostensibly for parents, the language is mostly that of educators and psychologists, so some interpretation may be needed for many parents to fully understand. The article includes a few resource links at the end. Note that this article dates form 2004 and does not reflect the 2007 release of new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on autism prevalence. The file requires Acrobat Reader. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

No classroom teacher can be expected to be an expert on autism, but this site may help you understand some of what you see and some of the more recent information about autism, especially since few teachers receive much training about this in their teacher-ed programs. If you have students in your classes with autism, ask your principal if you can spend part of an inservice day reading and exploring this and other TeachersFirst resources listings on autism. This independent study may save your sanity and benefit students who really need our understanding.
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Autism Reveals Social Roots of Language - NPR- Jon Hamilton

Grades
K to 12
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This article (or online broadcast) from NPR explains new research about autism, language, and social functioning. The article is from 2006. The brain-based approach explains the research...more
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This article (or online broadcast) from NPR explains new research about autism, language, and social functioning. The article is from 2006. The brain-based approach explains the research in layman's terms. This could be a very helpful article as you struggle to understand an autistic child in your classroom or try to help your teaching peers understand your students, if you are a special ed teacher. There is an attention-grabbing interactive to help you visualize. This site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): autism (22)

In the Classroom

Be sure to list this link on your class website. The interactive would be ideal for an in-service (or independent) exploration.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Organization for Autism Research - Organization for Autism Research

Grades
K to 12
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If you are looking for information on autism or Asperger's Syndrome, this organization's resources and information will be very helpful. You can find general background information,...more
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If you are looking for information on autism or Asperger's Syndrome, this organization's resources and information will be very helpful. You can find general background information, downloadable "guides" and worksheets for parents and educators, and current research. The guides include advice on how to "be a savvy customer of autism sources of information," a wise idea when investigating a topic with such emotion and so much in the forefront at this time. Some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

Look under "Resources" for Recommended Reading. The "Education and Service Providers" section offers a great starting point for teachers! These downloadable files can be read only or printed out to share with concerned parties. Share this link on your class website, for parents to easily find and investigate.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kidscamps.com

Grades
K to 12
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This comprehensive directory lists thousands of summer learning opportunities for kids of all ages. Day and overnight camp choices include those focusing on sports, special needs, family,...more
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This comprehensive directory lists thousands of summer learning opportunities for kids of all ages. Day and overnight camp choices include those focusing on sports, special needs, family, self-improvement, arts, adventure, and academics. The site also includes advice for parents about selecting, paying, and packing for summer camp.

tag(s): summer (12)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website during the Spring.

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