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Ekopedia - ekopedia.org

Grades
6 to 12
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This free reference is a practical guide to alternatives to mass consumerism. This resource offers ecological or sustainable alternatives to the present methods of manufacturing, maintenance,...more
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This free reference is a practical guide to alternatives to mass consumerism. This resource offers ecological or sustainable alternatives to the present methods of manufacturing, maintenance, management of materials, and recycling. For those interested in respecting nature, the environment, and man while learning techniques that are artisan-derived, this is a great place to start. Don't miss Grandma's Tips for some practical ideas. View the various portals by clicking on the Contents link. This site can also be viewed in French or Spanish. Note that much of the content is user-submitted, so the quality of the writing is uneven; it appears that some articles may have been translated using an automated translation tool.

tag(s): consumers (21), environment (317), natural resources (59)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to find good ideas and to explain the science behind some of the tips offered on this site. Why do they work? Find interesting articles through the Random Article or Ask A Question links. Students can use these resources to identify material that can be added to the various articles. Become a member of the community and add information of your own (when editing is open). Encourage students to identify a change they can make at home. Make a plan for change, follow through, and report the results. Research alternative methods and how our current way of going things evolved. Students can survey the school and community at large for stories and thoughts about the old way of doing things vs. the new. Have students create "free and easy" online polls using Flisti (reviewed here).

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Timelapse - Time Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
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Timelapse, from Time magazine and powered by Google, is an amazing way to see how any part of the world has changed from 1984 through 2012. View incredible animations compiled ...more
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Timelapse, from Time magazine and powered by Google, is an amazing way to see how any part of the world has changed from 1984 through 2012. View incredible animations compiled from millions of satellite images. View the growth of Las Vegas, the shrinking of the Columbia Glacier, or point to any where in the world you desire. Simply type in any world location to view the change over this period of time. Zoom in and out using the tool bar provided to view the bigger (or smaller) picture. Warning: this site includes public comments that may not be appropriate in the classroom. Use the visual portion of the site and avoid the comments with students.

tag(s): climate change (64), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Display the visual portions on your interactive whiteboard. Have students discuss the changes they see. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings from two years using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast differences then and now. Explore and discuss the effects of climate changes and urban expansion using images on Timelapse.

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Depression Quest: An Interactive (non)Fiction Game - Zoe Quinn

Grades
9 to 12
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Depression Quest is an interactive story/game that allows you to play the role of someone living with depression. Features include about 150 unique encounters with five endings demonstrating...more
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Depression Quest is an interactive story/game that allows you to play the role of someone living with depression. Features include about 150 unique encounters with five endings demonstrating how well you deal with your depression. The set up is similar to "Choose Your Own Adventure" type stories. Choose play to begin reading the first scenario. Choose from options offered with each portion of the interactive until reaching the conclusion to find out how you managed your life. There is an option to donate to this site, but the activity is free.

tag(s): mental health (26), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Depression Quest would be excellent for use in high school health classes or even counselor sessions. Treat the topic with sensitivity, since you never know who may be struggling with depression. You will probably want to keep this topic as one of many options for student research and investigation. Try the interactive as a small group option to discuss scenarios and different options. Allow students to complete the activity on individual computers so they can answer individually. Possible have them replay the game to find what would happen if making different choices. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) about depression and other mental health issues as part of a unit in health or psychology class. Share with your school's counselor for use with small groups.

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TeachersFirst's BYOD Dream Tools: Free Tools that Work on ANY device! - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed tools from TeachersFirst includes apps that are available for FREE on iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android, and web devices. Ideal for BYOD classrooms or 1:1 computer/tablet...more
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This collection of reviewed tools from TeachersFirst includes apps that are available for FREE on iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android, and web devices. Ideal for BYOD classrooms or 1:1 computer/tablet programs, these reviewed tools allow users to create and access projects using the same app, no matter what kind of device they have.

tag(s): classroom management (134), DAT device agnostic tool (196)

In the Classroom

Mark this page in your Favorites to use when choosing or recommending tools for your students (or their parents). Be sure to read the "Edge Features" list at the end of each review to know whether you need to create individual accounts, how products can be shared, and other tips on using these DATs safely and within school policies. This is a must-have list for students collaborating on projects using different types of devices! If you teach gifted students working on advanced projects or have students all working on different projects all at the same time, use this collection of tools as a trusted starting point for students to create their products on any device they may bring to class (or work on from home).

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TeachersFirst's Resources for the Sochi Olympics - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources to help you learn more about the Sochi Olympics, 2014. Explore the curriculum-related projects and classroom activities centered around the Olympic winter games in Sochi....more
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Find resources to help you learn more about the Sochi Olympics, 2014. Explore the curriculum-related projects and classroom activities centered around the Olympic winter games in Sochi.

tag(s): olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to plan a special lesson or unit within your curriculum during the Olympics. Share articles for practice with informational text. Include the Olympics in study of world cultures, lessons on health and fitness, or discussions about personal goal setting and persistence. Share the link on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class for enrichment or individual projects.

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Pinstamatic - Pinstamatic.com

Grades
K to 12
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Love to use Pinterest but wish you could pin text, links, and other non-image items? Enter Pinstamatic. This site can...more
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Love to use Pinterest but wish you could pin text, links, and other non-image items? Enter Pinstamatic. This site can jazz up more than images. Add quotes, links, and more with this simple tool. It is also helpful for the graphically challenged. Be sure you are logged into Pinterest, and then go to Pinstamatic. Choose from Sticky, Spotify, Quote, Twitter, Calendar, or Location. Enter text, URL, or other information and click preview. When you like the way it looks, click Pin.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

Expand classroom use of Pinterest to include Twitter items, quotes, and more. Make pinboards for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. In lower grades, pinboard make links more accessible for non-readers. Share your pinboards with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Create pinboards highlighting topics being studied in class for use as study guides. Challenge your older students to curate their own pinboards as a research project. Use Pinterest to show their hobbies/passions, wise quotes, healthy recipes, art/lyrics, or travel Itinerary. Need your students to register for email to use Pinterest? Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

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Word Sense - codeLily LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Word Sense is a dictionary and thesaurus presented in a unique, interactive display. Enter your word in the search box and view the definition. Click on any of the related ...more
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Word Sense is a dictionary and thesaurus presented in a unique, interactive display. Enter your word in the search box and view the definition. Click on any of the related terms to view definitions and connections from the associated words. Use links to go directly to the definition of any associated word or term to continue exploring and understanding terms. There is a link to "Learn How it Works" to learn more about the possibilities at this site. We strongly recommend that you explore how it works first! Note: This is a full service dictionary, so ANY word is available for search, including those not appropriate at school. Use caution with less mature students searching independently. Be certain to set clear expectations and consequences for inappropriate searches.

tag(s): antonyms (26), dictionaries (56), synonyms (38), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site. Explore word meanings, connotations, and antonyms. Use a word cloud maker to create clouds of new words learned: Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Use Word Sense to understand and explore vocabulary words of the day or week. Share with students as a resource for preparing for standardized testing, such as the SAT/ACT.

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Text Compactor - Knowledge by Design Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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This simple, free tool can shorten or summarize an otherwise long passage or text. Simply copy and paste the text passage into the text box. Specify the percentage of summarization...more
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This simple, free tool can shorten or summarize an otherwise long passage or text. Simply copy and paste the text passage into the text box. Specify the percentage of summarization (there is a slider you can drag to the percentage that you want). Text Compactor produces a shortened version below the original. Summarization of text is now easy and fast. Be sure to mention to any student using this site the importance of not plagiarizing and using only original writing. To learn more about how the tool works (and possibly consider some of its "short" comings), see "About."

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44), paragraph writing (17), process writing (42)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when reducing original passages (not plagiarized) to fit a specific number of words or characters. Use this resource when teaching summarization. Paste in a text to summarize and discuss/brainstorm what makes a great summary. Challenge students to look for ways that the tool may have actually missed an important concept through its automated process. Have the class decide whether their own summary or the one offered by this tool is best -- and why. Use this tool as one of many angles on revision during the writing process. Have students paste in their own writing to see what ideas "show" as the most important and to consider revising to emphasize what they really intended to say. If your emails get a bit too wordy, try this tool to shorten them! Shorten your assignment descriptions to make them easier for your ESL/ELL students and lower level readers to understand.

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Educore Tools for Teaching the Common Core - ASCD

Grades
7 to 12
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Ready, set, Common Core! Do you need middle and high school resources for your journey into Common Core? Find current, relevant, evidence based tools and professional development in...more
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Ready, set, Common Core! Do you need middle and high school resources for your journey into Common Core? Find current, relevant, evidence based tools and professional development in three specific areas: About the Common Core, Literacy Tools, and Math Tools. With your free account, find resources and bookmark them to your favorites. A free journaling tool allows you to add relevant notes. This site features the work of the Literacy Design Collaborative, LDC, using the structure of effective and meaningful literacy across the subject areas. Examples are also provided for science and social studies. Various lessons and student handouts are included. LDC is examined in the use of Common Core. Math activities include grades 7-12 and feature concept development, formative assessments, and lessons in action.

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

Find the resources that are right for you, and begin to implement and dig deeper into Common Core. Discover recommended best practices and find practical tools to begin using today. From professional development to ready to use lessons, keep yourself current and stretch your students to go further. Be sure to bookmark this site (or save it in your favorites).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Brilliant - Sue Khim

Grades
8 to 12
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Brilliant provides challenges for anyone with a passion for mathematics or physics. Create an account, enter your interests, and take a short diagnostic test to receive an assigned...more
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Brilliant provides challenges for anyone with a passion for mathematics or physics. Create an account, enter your interests, and take a short diagnostic test to receive an assigned level in either subject. You must create an account using an email address or Facebook. Each week, you will receive new problem sets based on your assigned level. If you answer correctly within three attempts, you receive points toward prizes or academic opportunities. Warning: This site can get addictive.

tag(s): problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use when differentiating in the classroom or as a resource for gifted students. Allow students to create their own account, take placement tests, and problem-solve the challenges each week. Have students share problems and their problem solving process with classmates via podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Create your own account; then share problems on your website or blog using the share feature offered on the site. If you plan to have students register using their own email accounts, read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

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Arctic Theme Page - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Grades
4 to 12
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Stuck out in the cold learning about the Arctic? Vetting information can be like trying to dig in permafrost. The Arctic Theme Page is a cool resource to provide your ...more
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Stuck out in the cold learning about the Arctic? Vetting information can be like trying to dig in permafrost. The Arctic Theme Page is a cool resource to provide your students in-depth information and analysis on the Arctic. The site may have a stark, snowy look, but it is quite useful. The data is from reputable scientific sources, and the information is presented in easy to understand narratives. View data on the Arctic report card page, which provides evidence of the sustained change in the Arctic environmental system. Detailed data is also available on the ice, atmosphere, and the ocean. View detailed information on the vegetation and wildlife of the Arctic. View the North Pole web cam in the gallery as well as vivid images and YouTube videos that make you feel as if you're really there. Use the General Interest tab on the site to access the Education links to explore the Arctic in more detail. Tons of other links are also available to meet any explorer's need. The FAQ page answers many questions about the Arctic and is a great place to start learning. Read the many essays by Arctic experts on key issues in the Arctic. Graphics accompany some of the essays to support understanding. This site meets the needs of diverse learners exploring the Arctic. If your district 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): arctic (44), biomes (116)

In the Classroom

The Arctic Theme Page is a great resource for students doing research. Use data on the all of the characteristics of the Arctic to analyze trends. Research information on vegetation, wildlife, atmosphere, geography of the arctic, and the Arctic environment. The gallery of images and videos provide a great visual representation of the Arctic. Use the videos to assist lower-level readers with finding information. The FAQ page is great to guide initial research and basic learning. Ask the Expert essays provide a clear analysis of specific questions about the Arctic. The essays allow students to narrow their focus and learn more in-depth information on the Arctic. Use the photographs for creative writing prompts on adventures that integrate science content on the Arctic. Ask the Expert essays provide great nonfiction support for any science curriculum. The General Interest tab has a ton of links to engage any student.
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Online-Convert - online-convert.com

Grades
K to 12
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Online-Convert is your one stop shop for converting media files from one format to another. It is similar to Zamzar (reviewed here), with one advantage....more
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Online-Convert is your one stop shop for converting media files from one format to another. It is similar to Zamzar (reviewed here), with one advantage. There is no email requirement for converting files. Choose your converter to begin: Audio, Video, Ebook, Image, Document, Archive, or Hash. Use the drop box to choose the target format for your file. Upload or add the url for conversion. Also choose from options such as image quality, size, color, and enhancements. Click convert file, then wait for completion. Online-Convert stores your file for 24 hours and up to 10 downloads.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Mark this tool in your favorites (or bookmark) for easy access and professional use, no matter what grade you teach. Model ethical use of electronic resources (other people's work) for students. Making a "derivative work" from someone else's pdf handout should include a printed credit within the new document, giving credit for the original source, Ex. "Adapted from a handout by xxx available at www.theoriginalhandout.pdf." Such derivative use should only be done when the original copyright permits it, such as using materials that grant permission for classroom use. Be sure to give proper credit for videos and other files you save locally. Have students practice giving proper credit to their converted files.
 

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Our very own star: The Sun - NASA

Grades
2 to 8
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Use this interactive to learn about the Sun. Learn how far the Sun is from Earth, about solar flares, solar wind, and more. Follow through to the end to find ...more
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Use this interactive to learn about the Sun. Learn how far the Sun is from Earth, about solar flares, solar wind, and more. Follow through to the end to find links for more information.

tag(s): solar system (119), sun (71)

In the Classroom

Use this Interactive to share basic information about the Sun that students can discuss in groups or in a class discussion. This Interactive can be used on an Interactive Whiteboard or on individual computers. After using this resource, brainstorm additional questions for research. Students can create presentations to share the information that they research and learn. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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DropShots - WebMinds, Inc

Grades
K to 12
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DropShots is a free video/photo storage and sharing host. Create your membership using email or your Google or Facebook account. Drag and drop files from your computer to upload. Videos...more
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DropShots is a free video/photo storage and sharing host. Create your membership using email or your Google or Facebook account. Drag and drop files from your computer to upload. Videos and images are automatically sorted by date taken. Add a password so that only those who know your unique url and the password can view and access your page. Use links to easily share with social networking sites or embed onto any website. The free (basic) plan allows for up to 500 photos, 20 videos (each with a 2-minute video limit), password protection, and NO ads!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (265), video (253)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom DropShots account for students to upload video projects or images for projects. Share raw materials for student multimedia projects, such as photos of lab experiments or local historic sites. Share classroom projects privately and easily from your DropShots account. In elementary classrooms, teacher can use this tool to share photos from field trips, assemblies, project presentations, and other special events. Share the password with parents only. Have older students create their own DropShots account for collaborating on multimedia projects. Consider having your students sign up using a Gmail account. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

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Blood - e-learning for kids

Grades
4 to 10
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Take a closer look at the blood flowing in your body with this interesting interactive. Click on each of the cells to learn a little more about the types of ...more
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Take a closer look at the blood flowing in your body with this interesting interactive. Click on each of the cells to learn a little more about the types of cells and their functions. Choose from several options at the bottom of the page to get more information. Yukky Bits provides information on some of the yuckier aspects of blood. Find out how much blood you have and all about different blood types by choosing other links.

tag(s): body systems (57), cells (102), human body (120)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and explore together as a class during a unit on body systems or the circulatory system. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash (reviewed here). Use terms provided to help students remember different types of cells and their functions. Before viewing the site have students brainstorm or collect ideas on what they know about blood on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!)
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NBC Sochi 2014 - NBC

Grades
3 to 12
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If you are looking for a general informational site about the 2014 Olympics, this is the site for you! Learn about the sports (alpine skiing, curling, freestyle skiing, snowboarding,...more
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If you are looking for a general informational site about the 2014 Olympics, this is the site for you! Learn about the sports (alpine skiing, curling, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, and more), view video clips, watch a countdown (with days, hours, minutes and seconds), and more. Read and follow the information on athletes to watch as the games begin.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): olympics (47), sports (96)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to use for research about the 2014 Olympics. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have individual students view different video clips and then write about what they learned on your class Olympic Wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Sail the Book - Sail the Book

Grades
8 to 12
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Sail the Book does what we all wish we had time to do: it pulls together works of literature--all of which are focused on maritime themes--and uses Google Earth technology ...more
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Sail the Book does what we all wish we had time to do: it pulls together works of literature--all of which are focused on maritime themes--and uses Google Earth technology to bring them to life. With so many online resources out there, it's great to encounter a truly well-integrated interdisciplinary site that draws on the strength of 21st century technology to transform classic literature. Each of six books, including Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, is presented in full text form, chapter by chapter. Each chapter is accompanied by a "tour" linked to Google Earth, and here is where the fun begins! The tours include a number of Points of Interest that open in Google Earth as well as questions and activities that link to passages within the text. Taken as a whole, this is an interdisciplinary approach at its best, combining geography, history, science, art and literature into one tidy package. If you aren't sure where to get started, visit the Video Tutorials to learn more! The video clips 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): literature (275), marine biology (33), oceans (148)

In the Classroom

Developed by a teacher, Sail the Book is exactly what all good teachers wish they had time to do: create imaginative, integrated units that take advantage of today's technology. Sail the Book could be used in conjunction with a regular classroom study of one of the works of literature included. However, a reasonably self-directed student could undertake an independent reading of any of the books, using Sail the Book to gain further insight. Alternatively, the "tours" might help struggling readers or non-native readers get the most out of these works, helping the words come to life through more visual terms. The site seems uniquely suited to a multi-disciplinary setting like a gifted enrichment class, where students are free to pull from a variety of curricula--science, literature, geography, and history--to add value and rigor to the traditional classroom. The site is easily adaptable. Use one chapter. Use one full book. Do the tours with the activities or without the activities. And once your students have done a tour, ask them how THEY might construct a tour of their own related to some other work of literature they love. Creating their own could be an ideal unit for a gifted classroom or for gifted students going above and beyond the "regular" unit.

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The Science Behind Fall Colors - Explore Asheville

Grades
3 to 12
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Take a look at the science behind changing leaf colors with this interesting site from Explore Asheville. View a time lapse video of changing colors, learn about the early Greek's ...more
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Take a look at the science behind changing leaf colors with this interesting site from Explore Asheville. View a time lapse video of changing colors, learn about the early Greek's theories on why colors change, and find out about changing colors around the world. Information is presented in videos, Google Earth files, and slides. 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): plants (144), seasons (37), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare changing leaf colors in North Carolina with those in your area. Challenge students to create online montages about fall colors using images, slideshows, or comic strips using a site such as Infinite Canvas (reviewed here). Set up a Twitter exchange with another classroom around the country to compare changing leaf colors in your communities. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Find additional fall color sites on TeachersFirst to explore other locations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cube Creator - Read Write Think

Grades
2 to 12
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own...more
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own Cube. Follow prompts to create the cube. The planning sheets help you collect information before making the actual printable cube. Once you have entered all your information, print and follow directions to assemble the paper cube. Follow links to find lessons that use this interactive as well as suggestions for other uses. There are lessons for grades 3-4 up through grades 11-12. Note: Read Write Think has added the capability for students to save their work to continue later. In the last paragraph of the Overview, there is a link to watch the video: Saving Work With the Student Interactives.

tag(s): biographies (86), mysteries (25), printables (38), summarizing (13), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use the Cube Creator for virtually any lesson or activity. Try printing on heavier card stock so cubes are durable. Create a cube to practice math problems, describe habitats, outline important story events, and much more. Have students create a cube and share with other students to practice retelling, summarizing, adding synonyms, or review for tests. Have each of your students create an All About Me cube for parents to view at Open House or to get to know each other during the first week of school. Have others guess which cube belongs to which classmate. Create a cube review game where others must answer the question that comes up when you "roll" the cube. The possibilities are endless. Challenge your gifted student(s) to create a "Who Am I?" cube about a famous person they research. Use the Bio Cube option with one variation: DO NOT include the person's real name. Share the cube as a game for the rest of the class to guess (and then create their own similar cubes). Your gifted students may also come up with new ways to Create Your Own Cube that could become a class game! Invite them to try their creativity.
 
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fur.ly - khell.net

Grades
K to 12
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Shorten multiple urls into one easy-to-share url using fur.ly. Enter all urls into the box (one per line). Add a custom name, if desired. Then enter the Captcha numbers to ...more
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Shorten multiple urls into one easy-to-share url using fur.ly. Enter all urls into the box (one per line). Add a custom name, if desired. Then enter the Captcha numbers to prove you are human and to receive the single url for all links. Click the link to view the first site. Navigate to the other sites using the little bar that shows at the top of the first page. Registration isn't necessary; however, it eliminates the need for entering Captcha numbers when using the site. Although we recommend this site for all ages, in the primary grades this would be strictly a professional tool for teachers to share site lists with parents, students, or even colleagues.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

Use this site to combine the url's of online class projects into one group (one url). Create a group of recommended resources for students or parents on a specific subject or topic and share that url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a single url to all reading resources or math resources for students to explore at home. Create a url for each unit. Create a group with videos on a specific area of classroom content. Create a classroom account where students add resources they have found to share with others. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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