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Love Your Dog - Janet and Rick Wall

Grades
K to 12
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Enter the world of canine love. Find information on dogs, training, choosing a name, breed information, and more about raising a puppy/dog. Much of the information includes short video...more
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Enter the world of canine love. Find information on dogs, training, choosing a name, breed information, and more about raising a puppy/dog. Much of the information includes short video clips. You will also find poetry, book lists, and lesson plans to accompany books about dogs. Some of the books included: Because of Winn Dixie, Call of the Wild, Old Yellar, The Incredible Journey, Where the Red Fern Grows, Shiloh, Love that Dog, Sounder, and White Fang . Some of the videos require the QuickTime plug-in.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (296)

In the Classroom

Use as a comprehensive resource site for career day, with detailed information on dog care and careers. Use the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard as a way to illustrate a "how to" report. Capture the hearts of your reluctant readers with dog stories and engaging lesson plans. Write poetry and join the dog lovers' community. Use as resource information for science projects. Explore the role of therapy dogs in your career exploration. Use as an example for detailed reports on animals for your class. Have students make their own multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Plagtracker - Plagtracker

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this free online plagiarism checker to make sure your work is unquestionably your own. Depending on the amount of traffic the site is experiencing, results may appear online ...more
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Use this free online plagiarism checker to make sure your work is unquestionably your own. Depending on the amount of traffic the site is experiencing, results may appear online immediately, or they may be emailed within 15 minutes. Our test showed that the email took a little over 15 minutes and included a log-in password to view the results. The report tells how much of the writing is non-unique and how many sources the writing can be found in. By clicking on the highlighted sentences, the report will list all the sources where the highlighted portion can be found. Plagtracker works with six different languages, checks 14 billion web pages, and has access to university databases. It can check over 5 million academic papers. You do not have to sign up for an account to occasionally check written work. However, signing up for a free account allows you to save a report for a week, monitor the status of submitted documents, and review the history of all your plagiarism reports. On the site's blog, you will find true stories about plagiarism. The site does NOT take ownership of your submitted work. They do try to "sell" their services to help you improve your paper.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (51), digital citizenship (67), plagiarism (37)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use this program to check student papers for originality, but why not introduce this program to your students and have them take responsibility to check their work themselves? Share the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. This would work beautifully if the class studied or reviewed copyright and plagiarism before assigning a report. On Plagtracker's blog you can find true stories about people who have plagiarized. It might be a good idea to share the stories with your students. You might even want students to "test" several examples of plagiarized writing in small groups as an exercise for students to check and correct. Ideally this should happen before they copy/paste their way to trouble in a research assignment. Another interesting exercise for researchers is to locate an article on a how-to topic, such as "How to Paint a Room," then see how many sites use the same text. As a class, discuss whether this proliferation is good or bad (is the web spreading misinformation, too?).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Let's Make Compound Words - Ministry of Education, Toronto Canada

Grades
1 to 3
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Let's Make Compound Words provides practice in creating compound words. Use with the sound on or off, then drag images from one of two boxes to create compound words. If ...more
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Let's Make Compound Words provides practice in creating compound words. Use with the sound on or off, then drag images from one of two boxes to create compound words. If the two words correctly create a compound word those images disappear. When all images are used, the next activity appears (dragging compound words to complete sentences.) Click the link next to the sentence to hear the sentence read aloud. When finished, reset to complete activities again. The site originates in Canada, so keep an eye out for spelling variations. Our editors also noticed that creative users may come up with alternative compound words that the site may not "think of," such as shoefly. These less common options do not work.

tag(s): word study (78)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector or allow students to navigate it on their own on classroom computers. Have students use the compound words provided to begin a collection of compound words that they already know and post to a tool such as Padlet, (reviewed here) to create an online bulletin board display compound words.
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TV411 - Vocabulary - Education Development Center, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about dictionaries, thesaurus, and "How Words Work." Each video includes a short description of content and...more
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about dictionaries, thesaurus, and "How Words Work." Each video includes a short description of content and the skills addressed. Most videos are approximately three minutes long and include links to related web lessons and print downloads. This site was originally created for adult basic literacy students. However, many of these lessons could be useful with younger students learning the basics of vocabulary. Preview the video for appropriateness before sharing with younger students.

tag(s): antonyms (25), dictionaries (57), prefixes (17), reading comprehension (121), root words (14), spelling (168), suffixes (14), synonyms (36), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (128), word study (78)

In the Classroom

Any vocabulary development unit needs to include lessons about how dictionaries and thesaurus' work. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of your dictionary/word-study unit. Use on an as-needed basis to address classroom deficiencies in particular areas. Have students complete the web lessons on their own during computer center time. Create links to particular videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Check out the Teachers portion of the site to find activities for specific skills along with ideas for using the videos in the classroom. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to provide suggestions on improving vocabulary and writing skills. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Literacy Design Collaborative - Literacy Design Collaborative

Grades
K to 12
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The Literacy Design Collaborative supports the development of literacy through a series of templates for use with text when writing. There are also templates for other subjects. Most...more
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The Literacy Design Collaborative supports the development of literacy through a series of templates for use with text when writing. There are also templates for other subjects. Most templates address secondary levels; however, other offerings contain some elementary templates. Template tasks allow you to fill in the blank with learning skills addressed. When completed, you create and produce a high-quality assignment. Three collections are available by choosing the tasks link: the template task collection II, Common Core template tasks, and K-2 template tasks. Use links provided to view instructions and download templates in PDF format. Choose the modules link to view and download complete modules for instruction for English, Science, and Social Studies. Also available at the Literacy Design Collaborative is a series of videos demonstrating changing teacher practice and literacy. Most 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 school (or your meeting) "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): american revolution (89), animals (296), biodiversity (35), canada (31), careers (139), china (63), civil rights (122), cold war (30), ecosystems (84), energy (204), evolution (101), gettysburg (27), gettysburg address (18), india (35), industrial revolution (26), lincoln (86), literacy (107), marine biology (32), photosynthesis (33), poetry (221), pollution (65), professional development (162), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent resource for schools implementing Common Core Standards. Share this site during professional development sessions to view and learn how to use the templates and modules in the classroom. Share the videos on an interactive whiteboard and have groups discuss afterwards. View videos from the site during these sessions to understand the framework behind the templates. Download templates and modules for use in your classroom for any content or use templates as a model for creating your own templates.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Simple English News - simpleenglishnews

Grades
4 to 12
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Simple English News is a site that has very short articles about items from all over the world. It also features English in 30-Seconds videos on news topics and ...more
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Simple English News is a site that has very short articles about items from all over the world. It also features English in 30-Seconds videos on news topics and language oddities like slang and idioms. In addition, there are quizzes, participatory polls, written and oral interviews, recipes, and many other selections. This is not a site for breaking or controversial news. Besides appealing to ESL/ELL students, this site would work well with resource classes. Please remember to preview anything you wish to share, to be sure the content is appropriate for your classroom. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (208), news (262), video (278)

In the Classroom

Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Check with this site to see if it has a feature on a grammar or vocabulary lesson you are preparing. Check with your administration about the feasibility of students registering to participate in polls and make comments on news articles. Refer students to the article about five special apps for learning English.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Find a Word You Can't Spell - TV411

Grades
5 to 12
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Students are often in a quandary about finding words in a dictionary they do not know how to spell. Share this video and they will enjoy the humorous banter between ...more
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Students are often in a quandary about finding words in a dictionary they do not know how to spell. Share this video and they will enjoy the humorous banter between two friends while learning to find a word they cannot spell. One needs to find a word he cannot spell, and the other gives several demonstrations of just how to use the dictionary without knowing the exact spelling for a word. Although TV411 was originally created for adult English Language students, this video could be useful in any secondary English classroom.

tag(s): dictionaries (57), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Use this video as an introduction to dictionary skills. ESL/ELL students will benefit from this introduction to puzzling spelling and the use of phonetics, as well. Have students create their own comics to explain other phonetic hints they want to share with classmates such as the "ph" sounds like "f" illustration from the video. Have students create an online or printed comic using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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What's a Thesaurus? - Education Development Center

Grades
5 to 12
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This short video creates a situation where it is necessary to choose synonyms to avoid using the same word repeated times. It goes on to explain how to use a ...more
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This short video creates a situation where it is necessary to choose synonyms to avoid using the same word repeated times. It goes on to explain how to use a conventional thesaurus. It uses the overly repeated word from the first situation to examine a thesaurus entry, and it explains how to know which group of thesaurus words to choose from. Although tv411 was originally created for English language learners (mainly adults), much of the content would be useful with secondary students. Preview the video before you share with your class.

tag(s): dictionaries (57), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Use as an introduction to the thesaurus when teaching dictionary skills. Click on a related, non-video lesson on "Finding New Ways to Say Something" for more ideas about how to teach thesaurus skills.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Laundry Day - Cassandra Erkens

Grades
2 to 12
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Are you looking to clean up your formative assessment process in your classroom? Laundry Day is a formative assessment strategy where students "clean up" what they don't know about...more
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Are you looking to clean up your formative assessment process in your classroom? Laundry Day is a formative assessment strategy where students "clean up" what they don't know about a topic. Students select a laundry detergent (Tide, Gain, Bold, and Cheer). These will be their cooperative learning groups to improve, reinforce, or enrich their understanding of the lesson. Students select the Tide detergent if they feel the information is a tidal wave coming down on them. Gain is the detergent selected by students who understand the basics, but need more assistance. Students select the Bold detergent if they are confident with the material, but they have a few questions. Cheer represents the students needing enrichment activities for the unit of instruction. Each detergent is scaffolded for student success and represents a readiness level for the assessment. Students use their homework and previous assessments/activities to determine which detergent has the appropriate activities.

tag(s): assessment (109), classroom management (155), differentiation (48)

In the Classroom

Laundry day allows your students to take ownership of their learning. It also allows the teacher to move around the classroom to assist students and monitor engagement. Post the activities on your learning management site, blog, wiki, or website for students to easily navigate the different "detergents." Provide the learning opportunities online to allow the students to navigate through the different levels. They can work alone, in pairs, or in groups to promote collaboration. Link videos and resources for the students to access to enrich or support the material. For best results, you will want to use this strategy over and over so students become conversant with the terms and strategies.

Use laundry day as an activity to pre-assess your students as well. What detergent did they chose at the beginning of the unit? Students could write a blog post or send an email on the detergent they selected at the of the unit. Have students create blogs. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.

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Exobrain - Colin Dunn and Nick Gauthier

Grades
1 to 12
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Exobrain is an easy to use brainstorming and mind mapping tool. Register using email and a password to begin creating a board with "nodes." Give the central node a name ...more
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Exobrain is an easy to use brainstorming and mind mapping tool. Register using email and a password to begin creating a board with "nodes." Give the central node a name then drag your mouse to create additional nodes. Create links between nodes by dragging a line between them or remove links by hovering over the line and clicking the scissors. Free accounts allow for three cloud-based maps. Access using the unique url generated for each mind map. The introductory video requires Flash, the remainder of the site does not. Be aware: maps can be viewed publicly. Be sure to check your district policy on publishing student work online.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to map out a poem, story, or novel students are reading. Use in managing (and even color-coding) information in any content area. Assess prior knowledge with a class brainstorm. Use as a plan for projects to show all information and all steps for its completion. This would also be a great tool for group projects for your students or even in YOUR grad classes! Teachers in lower grades can create whole class maps together. Share the maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Since you can only create three maps for free, you might want to compare with other mind-mapping tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge.

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Good.is - GOOD Worldwide, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
Would you like to read about GOOD news for a change? That is exactly what you will get if you subscribe to this news aggregator. At Good.is, read about conservation ...more
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Would you like to read about GOOD news for a change? That is exactly what you will get if you subscribe to this news aggregator. At Good.is, read about conservation success stories, educating farmers in remote rural villages to increase their crop yield, creating entrepreneurs who design change, inspiring stories about pets, and so much more. What a refreshing way to start the day! Don't misinterpret that description: you will also be updated on current news stories. The choice is yours. Create a free account, choose topics of interest, and sign up for the daily free newsletter to read what's new (and positive) for those topics. If you find something you are truly passionate about you can follow people, and you can contribute articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): enrichment (12), news (262), newspapers (96), politics (98), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Good.is is perfect for enrichment, research, or a current events class. Include it on your class web page (if you are comfortable with the description: a community of people who give a d---) for students to access both in and out of class. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. For students who enjoy current events, Good.is is a terrific source of up-to-the-minute positive stories from across the web. There is advertising, but it is not too intrusive. Use this site as one of several current event options when asking students to find real world connections to curriculum topics. You can always send students directly to the full articles on their original sites to avoid displaying the Good.is frame at the top. Use articles as writing prompts for blog posts or practice writing informational texts or persuasive writing.

Comments

Great reading resource on current events! Ladisha, VA, Grades: 0 - 12

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Population Pyramid - Martin DeWulf

Grades
6 to 12
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View population demographics from 1950 to the present including predictions upwards to 2100. Click on a country, region, or the entire world. Search by country by clicking on the first...more
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View population demographics from 1950 to the present including predictions upwards to 2100. Click on a country, region, or the entire world. Search by country by clicking on the first letter of its name. The population pyramid is broken into male vs. female and by age groupings of every 5 years from birth to 100+. Hovering over each bar (age grouping) pops up the percentage of the population in that age group and gender. A URL is provided so you can link directly to the specific graphic that you wish to share.

tag(s): charts and graphs (193), population (63)

In the Classroom

At a very simple level, this site is great for teaching about reading charts and graphs or math lessons about how to display data. In social studies or science, view and compare the demographics of various countries. Discuss the religious, economic, and health reasons for the shape of the population pyramids. Discuss demographic transitions, developed vs. developing countries, and emerging issues. Use the information when preparing presentations about health and welfare, world cultures, and biological issues concerning the environments and population demographics. Hypothesize reasons for differences, then have students research to test their hypotheses. Research and discuss the issue of population by searching articles from different countries that show a different perspective from ours.

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Longform - longform.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Longform recommends new and classic fiction and non-fiction from around the web. Read articles on a browser or save to read later with Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. Articles...more
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Longform recommends new and classic fiction and non-fiction from around the web. Read articles on a browser or save to read later with Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. Articles include every imaginable topic. There are publications as "well-known" as New York magazine and as "low-profile" as the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. Search for a topic using the search bar or scroll through current offerings on the home page. Narrow down choices by method of reading such as Instapaper or Kindle format. You can also find podcasts about featured publications and articles. Click on an article's title to read online or print using links provided. Choose the read later button to save to your Longform account. Registration using an email address and password is required for this option.

tag(s): expository writing (43), independent reading (129), poetry (221), reading lists (78), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account and save articles to use with classroom topics or for independent student reading. Find informational texts to use for Common Core practice. Share this site with students to create their own account to find articles to read. This is definitely a site that you want to list on your class wiki, blog, or website. Teachers of writing can use these articles as examples of different writing styles and of writing with audience and voice in mind. Select more controversial articles to use as writing prompts.

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Quick Picture Tools - QuickPictureTools.com

Grades
K to 12
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Quick Picture Tools offers 12 tools for editing and enhancing pictures. Choose from embossed text, frames, combining images, add text, blur, and more. Click on the editing tool you...more
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Quick Picture Tools offers 12 tools for editing and enhancing pictures. Choose from embossed text, frames, combining images, add text, blur, and more. Click on the editing tool you desire, then choose from options offered to edit pictures. When finished, click "generate image" to save to your computer. No registration needed!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): firstday (25), images (273)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for easy image editing for you and your students for any classroom projects. No registration is required, and images are saved directly to your computer for immediate use. Make simple reminder posters or classroom signs using the text emboss tool. Invite students to create image/text combinations for bulletin boards, such as types of leaves or insects. Make introductions of students as a first day of school activity using digital pictures and the text tool.

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Spelling with the Spellits - BBC

Grades
2 to 6
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Improve your spelling with these engaging activities. Enter by choosing flash or non-flash for content. The non-flash version contains printable versions of all spelling activities....more
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Improve your spelling with these engaging activities. Enter by choosing flash or non-flash for content. The non-flash version contains printable versions of all spelling activities. The beginning of each activity lists skills addressed: plural nouns, homophones, apostrophes, prefixes, suffixes, etc. Be sure to check out the sections for Teachers and Parents with suggestions for using the site. This site was created in the United Kingdom so you may find different spellings and pronunciations from those in American English.

tag(s): grammar (208), homophones (14), parts of speech (66), phonics (71), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for use on classroom computers for spelling practice. It would also be ideal on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a student-run center. Have students work alone or in pairs to play games and complete activities. Share a link to the site on your classroom website for students to practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MeeGenius - David Park

Grades
K to 6
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MeeGenius has a free collection of on-line (audio) classic picture books for children. Listen to the stories read aloud or read them independently. The audio playback and word highlighting...more
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MeeGenius has a free collection of on-line (audio) classic picture books for children. Listen to the stories read aloud or read them independently. The audio playback and word highlighting makes these books perfect for the beginning reader. The currently available platforms for this online library include the Web, the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, and Google TV. MeeGenius invites aspiring authors and illustrators to submit their own stories. Older students can use this site as a way to create books themselves.

Be aware: There are books for sale at this site. This review is for the "Free Books" only.

tag(s): literacy (107), preK (293)

In the Classroom

Expand your classroom library with MeeGenius digital books. Make a shortcut to MeeGenius on classroom computers and use the site as a listening and reading center. Let students practice reading independently while simultaneously building fluency skills. If you teach a world language, have your class listen to a story and then translate it into the language they are learning. Ask your students to visit the site and create their own personal versions of these classic tales. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice and enjoyment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Voices of Youth - UNICEF

Grades
6 to 12
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Voices of Youth is UNICEF's online home for young people to know more, learn more, and do more about our world. Read articles, view videos, and share thoughts and opinions ...more
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Voices of Youth is UNICEF's online home for young people to know more, learn more, and do more about our world. Read articles, view videos, and share thoughts and opinions with others around the world on global topics. Topics include poverty, education, human rights, health issues, and much more. Choose from links on the home page to find information on specific topics. Scroll through the page to read the latest posts. Click on tags at the bottom of each article to find related articles. Easily view the site in French or Spanish using links provided at the top of each page. Create your own posts or add comments after registration on the site -- with email or using a Facebook or Twitter account. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, 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): dental health (23), disabilities (21), environment (322), hiv/aids (19), inequalities (25), mental health (26), school violence (13)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent resource to bookmark and use throughout the year when discussing current events, specific countries or geographic areas, or for non-fiction reading. Find informational texts that matter to your students. Spark informational writing, as well. Allow students to browse the site to find interesting articles. Have students create magazine covers of information found on this site using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here. Challenge students to create a newspaper article using articles found on this site as a model using the Newspaper Clipping Generator. World language teachers will find this useful when viewing articles in French or Spanish to practice translation skills.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Groups in Action - Video Vignettes for Triggering Discussion - Problem Based Learning at University of Delaware

Grades
6 to 12
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Groups in Action shares 13 video vignettes to help understand and address problems faced during collaborative projects. Topics address common problems: someone being constantly late,...more
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Groups in Action shares 13 video vignettes to help understand and address problems faced during collaborative projects. Topics address common problems: someone being constantly late, someone dominating conversations, disinterest in projects, and more. The videos also offer solutions to the common problems. Since collaboration is a much-touted job skill for the 21st century, this resource can help anyone improve their skills-- even adults!

tag(s): problem solving (287), social skills (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource when beginning group projects. Most videos are under 3 minutes (even around one minute). It would be feasible to show nearly all videos prior to starting group projects. Show videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to display suggested approaches to problems within groups. Use throughout projects as needed to address specific problems that have arisen with groups in your classroom. Make the link available for students to access as needed when frustrations crop up. Counselors and support teachers may also want to use these videos to help students improve interpersonal "smarts" for group work.

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Persuasion Across Time and Space Lesson Plan - Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Grades
6 to 12
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Stanford's Understanding Language offers this free five-lesson unit plan for English Language Learners on persuasive writing. Although geared towards middle school students, it could...more
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Stanford's Understanding Language offers this free five-lesson unit plan for English Language Learners on persuasive writing. Although geared towards middle school students, it could be useful with high schoolers as well. Each lesson includes an overview of content and goals for the end of lesson. Download the introduction and each of the five lessons using the PDF links provided. All lessons include correlations to Common Core standards and take approximately 4 to 5 days to complete. Each lesson includes all necessary handouts and assessment suggestions. Lesson topics relate to important events and people from American history: Gettysburg Address, civil rights, and others.

tag(s): advertising (34), civil rights (122), gettysburg address (18), martin luther king (36), persuasive writing (55), speeches (18)

In the Classroom

Print and use lessons (or portions of lessons) in your classroom. Although geared toward middle school ESL/ELL students, these materials can be adapted and used for any middle and high school students. Challenge your students to write their own persuasive writing pieces. Use this site to teach about historical events in America's past (Gettysburg Address, civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr, and more).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Curious George - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 1
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Join Curious George in his adventures with the Man in the Yellow Hat. Enjoy the antics of Curious George through online games, printables, and videos. Games feature matching, numbers,...more
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Join Curious George in his adventures with the Man in the Yellow Hat. Enjoy the antics of Curious George through online games, printables, and videos. Games feature matching, numbers, sounds, categorizing, shapes, Spanish, movement/dance, and animal sounds. Earn stickers with successful completion of each game. In the teacher section, there are 16 "ready to go" activities. Each activity includes a description, topic, and tips!

tag(s): animals (296), dance (28), geometric shapes (170), matching (23), numbers (195), preK (293)

In the Classroom

Use the video clips or activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site at centers to reinforce skills (counting, matching, learning shapes, and more). Share this link on your class website for students to access at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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