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PollCode - Boardhost.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Looking for a way to quickly collect answers or opinions? Use PollCode to quickly create and embed a poll on your website. You can also share it using a simple ...more
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Looking for a way to quickly collect answers or opinions? Use PollCode to quickly create and embed a poll on your website. You can also share it using a simple link. Receive a breakdown of responses. Fill in the question along with up to 30 answer options. Use the code provided to embed the poll on any website. Share the poll also using social media share buttons. Sharing the poll by link allows users to also leave comments. Polls stay online until they have received no responses for 30 days.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Share polls on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit, asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why students would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to check student understanding as a means of formative assessment. Use a class account to have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase reader involvement. Have students create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections, or for critical thinking activities dealing with the interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students on issues and current events that matter to them.

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Brainy Box - Russell Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even ...more
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even iPads and other tablets. Click through the tutorial by clicking the numbers under the cube and learn the details! When you are ready to create your own, click the New button to begin. Edit using standard web tools and click on a different cube face number to continue editing. Save your creation with a password to retrieve later. Be sure to save the url somewhere you can find it! Some of the introductory 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): creativity (111), images (269), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Create a cube with various aspects of information about curriculum content to be shared with students. Even the non-readers could navigate a teacher-created cube if videos (or graphics) are included instead of words. Use a Brainy Box cube to give directions and examples to a specific project assigned to students. Create a cube about a particular person or event from history. Decide on the parameters for each of the sides of the cube before assigning. Create a cube to include specific information from characters in novels. Create a Brainy box to include related images or words. Students can brainstorm how these images or words are related. Assign a Brainy Box with student's favorite artwork and reasons chosen from their work through the year. Use a Brainy Box as a visual aid for student presentations. Challenge students to create their own Brainy Box on nearly any subject. Some additional ideas shared from Brainy Box: Produce a "Who" cube with an image and five key aspects of a character; Summarize a key topic with two facts, two images, and two videos; and Summarize a key event looking at different times in history. The possibilities here are endless! See more ideas in this review of a similar tool (3D Photo Cube) that creates a cube of still images.

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Cacheopedia - Cacheopedia

Grades
4 to 12
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Interested in geocaching (or want to know what it is?) This wiki offers an encyclopedia of geocaching. Cacheopedia indexes everything about geocaching. Learn the basics of geocaching....more
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Interested in geocaching (or want to know what it is?) This wiki offers an encyclopedia of geocaching. Cacheopedia indexes everything about geocaching. Learn the basics of geocaching. Find vocabulary, guides, and even communities. Use GPS units or GPS-enabled smart phones to get started geocaching.

tag(s): latitude (13), longitude (13), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Incorporate geocaching into geography, math, science, history, English, and physical education curricula. Develop understanding of latitude, longitude, and basic geography. Create lessons (or even better, have students do the creating) to learn about the area in which your students live. Encourage students to focus on places they have not been and include local history. Design a scavenger hunt around the school to move students through various caches and information they should gather or items they should see. Have a resource others would like to see? Read the Contribute section of Cacheopedia to write and submit information that others may find useful. Your students could, for example, create a geocache with a token about local history or biological species and help others learn from them! You might even make the "cached" item a QR code that directs to a wiki page your students create telling all about the local historic site or species found at the cache location. Learn more about QR Codes in this archived OK2Ask recording.

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CurriConnects Booklist: Weather, Climate, and Earth's Atmosphere - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 9
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Brace yourself for the weather in these books about storm phenomena, weather disasters, climate change, and weather's causes and effects. These non-fiction selections offer possible...more
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Brace yourself for the weather in these books about storm phenomena, weather disasters, climate change, and weather's causes and effects. These non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills and experience with "close reading." The interest levels for this list are predominantly elementary and middle school but include selections for more able readers. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): atmosphere (26), book lists (131), climate (92), earth (228), independent reading (129), weather (189)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to select from this list for independent reading to support your unit on disasters, weather, or the Earth's atmosphere. Share it with your school library/media specialist or public library, as well, for them to "pull" books in support of your science units. Extend the experience by having students create visual presentations of the concepts they learn. Share projects using one of these reviewed presentation tools from the TeachersFirst Edge.

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BookRX - Knight Lab Northwestern University

Grades
K to 12
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BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, ...more
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BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, a suggested book list appears based on information found in your Twitter feed! The site finds books based on hashtags used and other users you follow. Book recommendations appear in several categories such as food, business, or science and technology.

tag(s): book lists (131), independent reading (129), professional development (124)

In the Classroom

Use BookRX as a fun way to find book recommendations you may not otherwise know about. In lower grades, this is likely to be a teacher-only tool. Share with older students who actively use Twitter to help them find new reading material. Use with your classroom Twitter account to find books related to curriculum topics your class has been tweeting about or experts you have been following. Teachers at ANY level who have established a Twitter presence can use it to find professional reading materials. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
 

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Word Counter - Word Counter

Grades
4 to 12
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Word Counter is a powerful, simple tool for anyone who writes. Paste in the text of your own writing (a paper, a blog post, a letter, etc.) and see how ...more
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Word Counter is a powerful, simple tool for anyone who writes. Paste in the text of your own writing (a paper, a blog post, a letter, etc.) and see how many times you repeat a word. Choose to include "small words" (the, it, etc.) in the count or not. Search your writing by roots and choose how many words you want the site to list. Repetition of words is boring for your reader and often shows "lazy" word choice. Try using this program and Big Huge Thesaurus, reviewed here, to spice up your writing. Make revision for word choice one of the steps in your writing process.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): process writing (45), word choice (27), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the use of Word Counter on your Interactive Whiteboard. Once the redundant words have appeared on the program, display the text they came from and have students make suggestions for stating the sentences in a different way, or using synonyms. Post a link to Word Counter on your webpage for parents and students to use at home. Use Word Counter for your own writing in newsletters home, emails to parents, graduate work, and notes to administration. Be sure to share Word Counter with your colleagues.

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Science Unleashed - rte.ie

Grades
4 to 9
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This site, part of Ireland's Junior Certificate Science program, has great science interactives for any science student, whether part of that program or not! View interactives of Ecosystems,...more
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This site, part of Ireland's Junior Certificate Science program, has great science interactives for any science student, whether part of that program or not! View interactives of Ecosystems, States of Matter, Atoms, Hydraulics, and more. Be sure to check out the videos, quizzes, and notes to help introduce and learn science content. Students can also download science graphics for use in their projects.

tag(s): atoms (56), ecosystems (88), electricity (89), forces (45), heat (15), magnetism (36), matter (58), motion (60), reproduction (9), simple machines (37)

In the Classroom

As students work through the interactives, many of them will have to redo their work to get the answers correct. Have them journal (or blog) what path they take through the interactive each time to identify what new material was learned and why they made their original mistakes. Create blogs about the process using Throwww ( here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided, and Throwww is as easy as using a basic Word program!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MakeUseOf Cheat Sheets - makeuseof.com

Grades
K to 12
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for ...more
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, Shortcuts For Special Characters on Windows, Evernote Search Tips & Tricks, Skype Shortcuts for Mac OSX, YouTube Tips, and several others. View by clicking the thumbnail or use the download link to print in PDF format.
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tag(s): computers (92), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Useful both with students or personally, this is a site that you will definitely want to bookmark or save in your favorites. Print the guides for use with classroom computers, in computer labs, and to tape in student notebooks. Create a permanent link to these guides on your class website or blog for students (and parents) to use at home. Encourage students to use these sheets to become "techsperts" at a certain program and to share their expertise during byod activities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Iris the Dragon - Gayle Grass

Grades
K to 6
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Iris the Dragon offers children's books to educate young children on mental health and wellness. The site has several FREE, downloadable e-books. There are other materials and offerings...more
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Iris the Dragon offers children's books to educate young children on mental health and wellness. The site has several FREE, downloadable e-books. There are other materials and offerings advertised on the site, but no purchase is needed to obtain the free e-Books. Topics include ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, School Anxiety, Anger, Worry, and more. A few e-books are also available in French. Fill in the simple form with your name, books desired, and how you plan to use the books. (No email address is necessary, but can be provided if you want email updates from the website.) There is no "wait" period. E-books are available for immediate use.
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tag(s): adhd (28), aspergers (6), autism (22), ebooks (42), mental health (26)

In the Classroom

Download books from Iris the Dragon for use in mental health lessons or to address specific classroom concerns. Use books as a read-aloud and display on your interactive whiteboard or projector during class meetings. Print and laminate books for use in guided reading lessons. Share this site on your class website for students (and parents) to read together at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Haiku Deck - haikudeck.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit...more
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit layouts, and add notes to personalize each slide. Upload your own images or type a phrase to find images included in Haiku Deck's extensive library. Save and share using social networking links or embed code when finished. Finished decks may also be saved as a PDF or exported to SlideShare reviewed here. Set your privacy options as public, restricted to only those with the url, or private. At the time of this review, Haiku was available on the web and iPad platforms only.

tag(s): images (269), slides (64)

In the Classroom

Create slide presentations for any lesson or teach students to create slides for class projects. In lower grades, create a project together on your interactive whiteboard or create them for your students to use. Create a presentation for use during Open Houses, class trips, or school events. Embed the slides on your class blog. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. The possibilities are unlimited. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here. If you are lucky enough to have iPads for use in your classroom, download the app for students to create slide shows on their own.

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Vidtionary - vidtionary.com

Grades
K to 12
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in...more
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in the background. Browse entries using the search bar or view featured collections. Browse alphabetically or explore collections. Because of the wide range of topics and difficulty levels, these vocabulary words could be used with any age. Video lengths run less than one minute per definition, many as short as 10-15 seconds. Originally designed to teach English to speakers of Korean and Japanese, the visual nature of the site appeals to all language learners.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

While this site is ideal for any student learning new vocabulary, it is especially useful for ESL/ELL students or speech/language students with vocabulary deficits. Share selected videos in primary grades to help students see how new words are defined and spelled. Challenge your gifted students to find new vocabulary words to share with the class. Use in any classroom as a model (sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Then assign cooperative learning groups to create Vidtionary inspired videos of their own to explain curriculum terms, world language vocabulary, or SAT words. Use a tool like Moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Free Online Science Games - Sheppard Software

Grades
K to 8
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Enjoy science interactives ideal for elementary children through middle grades. Topics include Life Cycles, Seasons, Dinosaurs, Cells, Consumers, Nutrition, Digestion, Skeletal system,...more
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Enjoy science interactives ideal for elementary children through middle grades. Topics include Life Cycles, Seasons, Dinosaurs, Cells, Consumers, Nutrition, Digestion, Skeletal system, and many others. Most resources indicate the appropriate level for their use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animal homes (42), animals (277), body systems (57), cells (102), dinosaurs (57), life cycles (25), nutrition (153), oceans (149), periodic table (50), preK (283), seasons (37)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year with science lessons. Nearly all activities would work well on your projector or interactive whiteboard. For Example, use the Cell Games (including animal, plant, and bacterial cells) to introduce and explore parts of cells. Create a link on classroom computers or use on laptop carts for students to explore on their own. Simple online coloring science activities require no reading. Share this site with parents for exploration and reinforcement at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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GIFMaker - GIFmaker.me

Grades
K to 12
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and...more
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and upload the images that you want to use (in PNG, GIF, or JPG format). Choose your animation speed and image size. You can even choose an image from your smartphone. Animations can be run backwards to create another different animation. Download the finished creation to your desktop.

tag(s): animation (65), images (269), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Create animations of any image! Animate inanimate objects such as a leaf or other object by taking two different pictures of it so it can "change." Use your animations as a focus for story creation or free writing. Animate images used by students for their individual web pages to set the scene for their "About Me" introductions. Design and shoot images to animate as an introduction to a project or report. Challenge older students to create their own animated GIF images. (No registration is required.) Photograph and create GIFs to show two stages of insect development, the growth of a plant, or other scientific concepts.
 
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Class Messenger - Learn Anything, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting...more
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting up an account takes you about 30 seconds! Create an account and a class. Students and/or parents create accounts as well. Parents (or students) then search for teacher name, class, or username to join. You can choose messages to be received through the app, by text message, or via email. Requests to join must first be approved by the teacher before receiving any messages. From the teacher dashboard, compose the type of message you wish to send, choose the recipients of the message, and type the body of the message. Messages are sent to each of the recipients using their chosen method. If students choose the SMS option, be sure they obtain parental permission FIRST, as standard messaging rates apply.

tag(s): classroom management (137), DAT device agnostic tool (159), homework (45), polls and surveys (52)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a Snow Day. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. Don't forget any extracurricular activities. You could also use this to communicate with parents. (Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page.) Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Learning Support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add your own messages to help parents know how to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Class Messenger. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.

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Science and Engineering of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games - NBC Learn

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore ten dynamic videos all related to the winter Olympics. This site, updated in 2014, was created in partnership by NBC Learn, NBC Sports, and the National Science Foundation....more
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Explore ten dynamic videos all related to the winter Olympics. This site, updated in 2014, was created in partnership by NBC Learn, NBC Sports, and the National Science Foundation. View the free videos and explore the engineering, science, technology, and math behind many of your favorite Olympic events. Topics vary from Science of Snow to Physics of Figure Skating to Olympic Movement and Robotic Design. Most videos are 5-6 minutes in length.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): olympics (47), STEM (135)

In the Classroom

Use these video clips to bring the Olympics alive in your science or math classes. Great for current events and STEM lessons, these clips are quick and simple - yet full of information. Share the clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or better yet, challenge cooperative learning groups to view one of the videos and create a project to share with the class demonstrating the science (or math) concepts highlighted in the video. For quick projects, create electronic graphics of important words using a tool such as Typogenerator (reviewed here) or Wordle (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Most Severe Weather: Hail - FEMA.gov

Grades
2 to 10
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This interactive site shows citizens everything they need to know about hail including basics, facts, frequency, size, and formation. In addition, you can see a slideshow about what...more
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This interactive site shows citizens everything they need to know about hail including basics, facts, frequency, size, and formation. In addition, you can see a slideshow about what hail looks like in its vast variety of sizes! Finally, get tips about what to do during a hailstorm.

tag(s): weather (189)

In the Classroom

Have students comb newspaper archives to collect pictures of historical hail storms. Challenge students to move past PowerPoint and create an online Prezi presentation, reviewed here, or another reviewed tool from the TeachersFirst Edge Presentations to explain the formation and incidence of hail events.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Most Severe Weather: Tornado - FEMA.gov

Grades
2 to 10
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This detailed site shows a map of past tornadoes, state by state. There is also an explanation of the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale (measuring tornado strength). Find information on how...more
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This detailed site shows a map of past tornadoes, state by state. There is also an explanation of the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale (measuring tornado strength). Find information on how tornadoes form and how to survive one. Details are provided about the most significant tornadoes to strike the U.S., and data about where and when they strike. Additionally, there are photographs showing what the different levels of the EF scale look like.

tag(s): natural disasters (20), tornadoes (16), weather (189)

In the Classroom

Show pictures of the different levels of devastation before preparing students in your school for the tornado drill and preparation. Have students comb newspaper archives for similar images of tornadoes that have hit your state, if applicable. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of when the tornadoes hit. Students could create an online presentation about local tornadoes using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from TeachersFirst Edge.
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PledgeCents - pledgecents.com

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need funds for a classroom project or equipment? PledgeCents is a quick and easy solution to classroom and school fundraising. Begin with a fundraising idea and a goal. ...more
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Do you need funds for a classroom project or equipment? PledgeCents is a quick and easy solution to classroom and school fundraising. Begin with a fundraising idea and a goal. Create your class page with a project description, pictures, videos, and other relevant information. Share your page through social media links to Facebook, Twitter, and more. More simply, share the link on your class web page. Donors click to "invest" in your cause and are guided through a simple process to donate either by name or anonymously. After the project deadline, collect funds easily and safely for use with your project.

tag(s): grants (19), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a potential funding source or make a donation. Join the site (free). Then take the time to write up a clearly-worded project proposal along with pictures and video. You can even make the project a challenge to your school community, if you wish. If you are a student council or Key Club adviser, make one or more of the projects on this site your targeted service project for the year. Or use this venue to collect funds to purchase materials for your own school or club service projects. Encourage philanthropy to support good causes: kids helping kids! Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a fundraising tool for any and all projects. Don't forget to send the project descriptions with local media such as small town newspapers, local TV, or service groups who might make a donation.

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If All The Ice Melted - National Geographic

Grades
4 to 12
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View a map showing what the world could look like in 5,000 years. Despite contradictory information from non-scientists, present warming trends are predicted to raise the ocean's sea...more
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View a map showing what the world could look like in 5,000 years. Despite contradictory information from non-scientists, present warming trends are predicted to raise the ocean's sea level drastically, changing the coastline of every continent. Toggle the city names to get a really good idea of the land that will be lost. Choose the various continents to compare the loss of land.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): climate change (64), continents (49)

In the Classroom

Compare different continents and brainstorm why some continents lose more land than others. Predict the areas that will be the hardest hit socially, politically, and economically. Research the population of these coastal areas to fully realize the enormity of the problem. Discuss the time frame needed to see these changes and begin looking for information that shows land loss is already occurring. (Note: There is research of land loss and reclamation efforts in Scandinavia and in Virginia.) How will this alter ecosystems and how humans depend upon the living things around them? Challenge cooperative learning groups to create simple infographic sharing their findings or predictions using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.

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Zidbits - Zidbits media

Grades
3 to 12
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This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do...more
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This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do trees die from old age?" or "What is the most lethal poison?" Find facts for history, science, health, entertainment, and news on this site as well as fun facts. This site doesn't provide just a quick tidbit, but also gives background information and additional details.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): infographics (42), questioning (32), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

This resource is useful to hook your students at the beginning of your lessons or simply to get them reading non-fiction text. Use these as hooks to get your students thinking about content that will be introduced in the lesson. Students can find a Zidbit they are interested in. Poll students about possible answers and then report the actual answer and content needed in order to understand and explain it. Learn a new Zidbit yourself every week. If you teach public speaking skills, have students use these stories as inspiration or "hooks" for informational speeches, as well.

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