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7 Things All New Teachers Need to Know - Adam Gordon/USC Rossier School of Education

Grades
K to 12
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Although fairly short and simple, this article offers advice to brand new teachers as they begin their first day of school. These practical tips provide common sense information for...more
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Although fairly short and simple, this article offers advice to brand new teachers as they begin their first day of school. These practical tips provide common sense information for helping to ease jitters for the new school year and beyond.

tag(s): back to school (58), newbies (18), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Share with all teachers, not just new teachers, as part of back to school planning and activities. Create your own list of advice for new teachers in your school and district. Share with student teachers as a starting point for discussing how to handle different situations they will face as new teachers.

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Left Brain Craft Brain - Anne Carey

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K to 6
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Left Brain Craft Brain is a blog created by a former chemical engineer combining her interests in engineering with her love of crafts. Browsing through the blog, you'll find many ...more
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Left Brain Craft Brain is a blog created by a former chemical engineer combining her interests in engineering with her love of crafts. Browsing through the blog, you'll find many crafty STEM (and STEAM) activities. The categories include Projects, 5 Minute Crafts and What? Why? How? all with extensive offerings of inexpensive and free activities to teach science and technology to young students. Find the most popular posts and pages on the right side of the page as you browse through the site. Be sure to subscribe to the weekly newsletter with updates on new crafts featured on the blog.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (83), blogs (88), coding (47), cooking (34), crafts (40), earth day (112), engineering (125), human body (120), magnetism (35), oceans (148), rockets (14), senses (28), stars (61), STEM (134), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use when implementing STEAM activities. Use the search bar on the site to find activities for specific content. Have students create an online or printed comic demonstrating their activities using one of these tools Write Comics, reviewed here, or Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos of activities using their photos uploaded to Moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Left Brain Craft Brain offers some excellent activities to use in conjunction with your Earth Day and Thanksgiving lessons.

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Study Jams - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Study Jam offers engaging instruction and review activities in both math and science. Some sample science topics include plants, human body, the solar system, weather, matter, and more....more
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Study Jam offers engaging instruction and review activities in both math and science. Some sample science topics include plants, human body, the solar system, weather, matter, and more. Math topics include numbers (place value, number lines, estimation), algebra, addition/subtraction, problem solving, and others. Don't miss the "Jams" sure to excite your students to learn new skills in a musical and entertaining manner. Key vocabulary is presented along with a short video explanation of each topic. In addition to the video, there is an option to test your own ability. Each topic can also be printed to use in the classroom and there is a link to related "jams."

tag(s): addition (251), animals (276), climate (92), decimals (133), differentiation (47), division (172), ecosystems (88), energy (197), estimation (46), forces (44), fractions (239), game based learning (103), human body (120), landforms (45), light (46), matter (56), measurement (159), minerals (17), multiplication (227), number lines (22), percent (82), place value (56), plants (144), probability (130), problem solving (272), rocks (49), solar system (119), sound (100), subtraction (208), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Excite your students with the Jams! Share the Jam videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students sing along and learn more about science and math. Especially younger students will enjoy this feature. Create a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for students to use for review and practice at home. Use the many topics available to differentiate for all students in your classroom. Create learning centers using this site or use it in on individual laptops. Print out the quizzes for students to take as an assessment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask: Mapping Across Content Areas with Google Maps - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Have you ever used Google Maps to find directions? Sure you have! However,...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Have you ever used Google Maps to find directions? Sure you have! However, there are so many more things you can do with it, even in the classroom. Learn how to make lit trips, tour famous buildings, create scavenger hunts using coordinates and so much more. In this session, educators will be taken on a journey through the world of Google Maps. This session is appropriate for teachers at Intermediate to advanced technology levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Explore the difference between Google Maps and My Maps; Discover how to make literacy trips in My Maps; Explore Google Map gallery; Create a map; and Plan a way to incorporate maps into an upcoming lesson.

tag(s): maps (288)

In the Classroom

Understand how to create a Google My Maps and use all the many built-in features of the traditional Google Maps and related map tools and treks to support classroom instruction. Watch this recording together with a few of your teaching colleagues to collect new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Very fun to experience. Maria, CA, Grades: 9 - 12

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OK2Ask: 3 Ways to Put Content in Digital Storytelling - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Once upon a time, teachers wanted to make content meaningful and relevant...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Once upon a time, teachers wanted to make content meaningful and relevant to their students' lives...Come to this TeachersFirst Ok2Ask webinar and see digital storytelling as a formative, summative, and effective way to learn content. Learn how to successfully implement a digital storytelling project in your science, social studies, health, or other content area classes. Choose one of the programs we will feature, and follow a few steps to successful implementation. Make a sample project showing your students what you would like them to achieve. After attending, you will be armed with a sample and resources to to start tomorrow... And all of the teachers who followed the path to digital storytelling experienced success and they and their students lived happily ever after. This session is appropriate for teachers at Intermediate to Advanced technology levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Discover ways to integrate digital storytelling into any content area; Understand steps for successful implementation of a digital storytelling project; Review resources for healthy digital citizenship; Explore three web based tools and resources to support digital storytelling; and Plan a project that integrates digital storytelling into science, social studies, or math curriculum.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Inspire your lessons with new ways to incorporate digital storytelling in your classroom. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mindset - Carol Dweck

Grades
K to 12
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Mindset is the accompanying website to the book of the same name and offers guidance on achieving a growth mindset. Learn about How Mindset Affects Success with specific information...more
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Mindset is the accompanying website to the book of the same name and offers guidance on achieving a growth mindset. Learn about How Mindset Affects Success with specific information for parents, teachers, and coaches. Other links allow you to Test Your Mindset; find out how to Change Your Mindset through four simple steps.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (72), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use information from this site to help change negative mindsets and promote growth mindsets. Share ideas with parents through your class website or newsletter. Take one of the four ideas for changing mindsets to use as a focus for a month at a time school-wide. Share information with peers during professional development sessions.

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Tarr's Toolbox - Russel Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text...more
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text box for a complete description of activities. Some of the descriptions have suggestions for use of the tools found on Classtools, reviewed here. Be sure to subscribe to Tarr's Toolbox blog to receive updates as new ideas are added.

tag(s): classroom management (134), differentiation (47), game based learning (103), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this excellent resource to use when looking for new ideas for your classroom. Choose from ideas such as "Hands up if you DON'T know" or "Sock puppets in the secondary classroom" to inspire and motivate your students. Look to this blog to differentiate for students of all levels. Divide students into cooperative learning groups using different ideas found on Tarr's Toolbox.

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Today I Learned - National Geographic

Grades
3 to 12
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Do you love to learn crazy facts and obscure information? The Today I Learned YouTube playlist from National Geographic is perfect for you! Each video is under three minutes, ideal...more
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Do you love to learn crazy facts and obscure information? The Today I Learned YouTube playlist from National Geographic is perfect for you! Each video is under three minutes, ideal for quick bits of information. Learn why the brain is wrinkly or why the ocean is salty and much more. This playlist is frequently updated, so be sure to return to continue adding to your knowledge of obscure facts! 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): animals (276), archeology (32), birds (50), dinosaurs (57), moon (72), oceans (148), video (253)

In the Classroom

Create a link to this playlist on classroom computers for students to view during center time or share a video of the week on your interactive whiteboard. Use these for journal prompts, quick writes, or topics to research. Have students create an annotated image of information learned including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the SafeShare page directly on the desktop.

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Space - Time - Time Inc.

Grades
4 to 9
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Stay up to date with the latest news from Space with this resource from Time. Scroll down the page to view articles organized by date. Click to see any article ...more
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Stay up to date with the latest news from Space with this resource from Time. Scroll down the page to view articles organized by date. Click to see any article with included images. Explore topics further by clicking links to additional information found within the articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): explorers (61), nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Include a link to this site on classroom computers as a non-fiction resource for reading material. This site will be especially helpful for students with a high interest in space exploration. If you want to remove distracting advertisements, use a site such as Readability, reviewed here. Use this site on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector as you explore the latest news from space.

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Limnu - David Debry and David Hart

Grades
K to 12
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Sketch, collaborate, and brainstorm without having to register or sign up using Limnu's online whiteboard. Follow links to open your whiteboard. You may want to complete the tour to...more
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Sketch, collaborate, and brainstorm without having to register or sign up using Limnu's online whiteboard. Follow links to open your whiteboard. You may want to complete the tour to learn about features before use. Options allow you to add images, change text colors, and add notes. Limnu also offers a chat feature with a video room (available with Chrome, Fox, and Opera browsers). Free accounts get three boards with a seven-day expiration; however, educators receive free premium time after signing up and contacting Limnu through the educator form. Under Limnu's Privacy Policy it is stated that this site is designed for ages 13+. If using this in younger classrooms, it should remain a teacher-led activity only.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), drawing (78), iwb (31), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings as responses to literature. They can map out the plot or themes, add labels, create character studies, and more. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, so another group can use it as a writing prompt. Use a Limnu board as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups (or the class) share ideas for a major project or for solving a real world problem. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is read aloud. As an assessment idea, have students draw out a simple cartoon with stick figures to explain a more complex process such as how democracy works. If you are lucky enough to teach in a BYOD setting, use Limnu to demonstrate and illustrate any concept while students use the chat and drawing tools to interact in real time. If you are studying weather, have students diagram the layers of the atmosphere and what happens during a thunderstorm, for example. Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Alternatively, have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a problem by typing it on their board.

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Badge List - Knowledgestreem

Grades
K to 12
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share ...more
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Build your own digital badges to award and share. Badge List offers the ability to design a badge using their built-in badge designer. You can also upload your own. Share with those seeking to earn the badge; they upload evidence of accomplishment using one of the five supported formats. Once achieved, awarded badges are displayed on an individual's profile and can easily be shared online. Since the free portion of Badge List is public, it is important for teachers to keep student identities anonymous. Use a code for the student name that is only known by the teacher. Also, be sure to obtain parent permission before using this tool with students. At the time of this review, stated by Badge List: "Badge List is currently developing simpler privacy settings to help K12 teachers protect student data. Until these features are released, teachers will need to take extra precautions to make sure that student data is safe."

tag(s): behavior (46), classroom management (134), game based learning (103), gamification (65), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Badges are the "stickers' of today and much more. Use Badge List to keep track of student progress with large assignments, rewarding badges for each completed step. Present awards using badges such as Student of the Month, Math Hero, Perfect Attendance, and more. Share this site the first week of school as you set up your classroom expectations. Autistic support and behavior support teachers will find this tool useful and easy to use for reinforcement and tracking. Gamify your class using badges as reward levels. Challenge students to progress through different achievement levels by providing badges along the way. Share student login information with parents so they can track progress and accomplishments at home. (Be sure to keep the login information yourself, just in case students misplace their login). Keep track of mastery of various topics or skills, much like a sticker chart! Students can embed their class badges in other sites, such as personal blogs, using the embed code.

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TinyTap - Yogev Shelly

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows...more
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Create interactive games, books, and presentations with TinyTap. Choose the Activities link to access resources made by teachers. Sort by category, age, and language. TinyTap allows creators to include drag and drop activities, videos, quizzes, and more - all in one activity. Create groups to assign activities to different students. Most games are free; however, some games by professional authors are not free. Play games and activities on any device; however, creation of games requires you to download the free iPad app. At the time of this review, TinyTap worked well on most browsers (except Safari). The free version is public and comments are permitted. Be sure to preview anything before you share with students.

tag(s): assessment (99), DAT device agnostic tool (196), game based learning (103), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Use the embed code provided with activities to embed activities on your class website for play at home. Create a link to activities on classroom computers. Create your own activities (or have older students create review materials) to include with lessons. Be sure to watch the demo video for information about creating your own games.

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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators - USC Rossier/Leah Anne Levy

Grades
K to 12
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into...more
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into eight sections this handbook discusses the basics of pinning, organization, collaboration, and more. Each section is short and simple to read, making this an outstanding guide for using Pinterest as part of your professional planning and teaching tools.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), professional development (123), social media (16)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to understand how to use Pinterest for your personal and professional use and also for student collaboration. Share ideas with other staff members to collaborate on shared interests. Discuss one section a month with your PLN (Professional Learning Network) and reflect together how to make the most of Pinterest in your educational setting.

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Go! Ask, Act, Achieve - INFOhio, http://www.infohio.org

Grades
4 to 10
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Go! Ask, Act, Achieve is a free online interactive and engaging tool for students to learn the formal research process. There is no registration required. The information is divided...more
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Go! Ask, Act, Achieve is a free online interactive and engaging tool for students to learn the formal research process. There is no registration required. The information is divided into three modules, introduced by teenage Voki avatars, reviewed here. Each module links to resources and materials from various reliable sources. Modules may include text, video, and/or audio. Through these activities, students work through each section learning how to select a topic, evaluate, use and cite information, and create a final product. Don't miss the helpful LiveBinder Teachers Guide linked on the right of the menu bar at the very top.

tag(s): citations (34), digital citizenship (58), evaluating sources (13), inquiry (37), media literacy (58), organizational skills (122), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Go! Ask, Act, Achieve is an easy-to-use introduction which demystifies and simplifies teaching the research process. Use this to meet the Common Core standards for research in a content area. Have students work through the site in sequence or pull out areas to teach skills, as needed. Don't forget to refer to the LiveBinder Teachers Guide for more fabulous ideas for the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National Robotics Week - iRobot Corporation

Grades
3 to 12
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The U.S. is a leader in robotics technology development! Join the yearly celebration by participating in some of the events and activities found at this National Robotics Week site....more
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The U.S. is a leader in robotics technology development! Join the yearly celebration by participating in some of the events and activities found at this National Robotics Week site. Use the activities on this site to inspire students to pursue careers in robotics and other STEM-related fields. Download robot trading cards featuring 10 of the most famous robots. Cards include their stats, coaches, and fun facts. Read about the Instuctables contest where you can enter to share your robot projects with the world and even win some cool prizes. Clicking on Bleaker the Rechargeable Dog will take you to comics that include robots. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find a map showing events by state. Once you get the map, scroll down the page and find the Filter Events By State and a list of all events.

tag(s): engineering (125), robotics (25), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Start a discussion about what students know about robots. Introduce them to the National Robotics Week celebration and get them involved in one of the events or the Instructables contest. Not sure where to start? Check out the resources on this page. Alternatively, try a robotics simulation at Wonderville Robot Factory, reviewed here. Give small teams of students a choice to use Mindmeister, reviewed here, and create a mind map for the steps they have to take to build a robot. Have students create a comic strip about building a robot or something the robot will do using Cartoonist, reviewed here.

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Classtools Countdown Timer - Classtools.net

Grades
K to 12
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Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to...more
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Spice up any countdown with this versatile, yet easy to use, countdown timer from Classtools. Options include running multiple timers, adding music or video, and saving a web link to your timer. Choose the Get Started button to begin and follow prompts to choose included music or select your own from any YouTube video. Click the save icon to receive a personalized URL for sharing.

tag(s): classroom management (134), counting (120), time (144)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. Get out your interactive whiteboard or projection screen (or even the classroom desktop computer) and make sure the speakers are turned up. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit the time for a quiz or spelling test. Use the countdown feature for timing the rotations from center to center. You can even use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups! A clever classroom management tool would be to start the visible count-down on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Select calming music for quiet times. Students may even want to use this tool for themselves. Kindergarten students can practice counting along with the watch!

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NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover at Namib Dune (360 view) - NASA

Grades
4 to 12
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This video offers a fascinating 360-degree view of Mars from Bagnold Dunes taken on December 18, 2015. Use the arrows or your cursor to move the image around and view ...more
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This video offers a fascinating 360-degree view of Mars from Bagnold Dunes taken on December 18, 2015. Use the arrows or your cursor to move the image around and view from different angles. The 360-degree playback is currently only supported using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera browsers. If your district blocks YouTube or your browser does not support 360, a static view of this same panorama image is available here.

tag(s): explorers (61), mars (41), space (205)

In the Classroom

Share this video (or the images) with students using your projector or an interactive whiteboard as you explore the surface of Mars together. Have students use Twitter Fictional Account Template, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Twitter about an astronaut traveling to Mars. Create a newspaper using a site such as Zinepal, reviewed here, with all the latest news on the exploration of Mars. Click to "Start with a blank e-Book." Be sure to check out the NASA YouTube channel for additional videos from Mars and the Curiosity Rover.

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MarvellousMe - MarvellousMe

Grades
K to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Promote parent interaction and information about classroom activities with MarvellousMe. Sign up to begin sharing daily classroom events and information with parents and promote positive...more
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Promote parent interaction and information about classroom activities with MarvellousMe. Sign up to begin sharing daily classroom events and information with parents and promote positive behaviors through award badges. Quickly upload images, videos, or record a message to share using the dashboard tools. Adjust the settings to send messages to all parents or for private messages. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. MarvellousMe offers apps for all mobile devices and suggests using the Chrome browser for online use.

Please be aware that MarvellousMe falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use MarvellousMe with their child. Be sure to click the Privacy Center or Terms of Use link at the bottom of any page and read more about FERPA and MarvellousMe.

tag(s): behavior (46), classroom management (134), DAT device agnostic tool (196)

In the Classroom

Are you a regular education teacher with special education students mainstreamed into your classroom? Use MarvellousMe to privately keep track of student behaviors and send a report to teachers or parents of special needs students. This tool could be invaluable for a life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP/GIEP. Alternative ed programs may find this tool very useful, as well, even up through high school.

Consider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participation, helping others, creativity, hard work, or create your own categories. Use this tool to help your unfocused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom.

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Games & Facts from Canadian Museum of Nature Galleries - Canadian Museum of Nature

Grades
3 to 6
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Expand your knowledge of fossils, birds, and mammals with these interactive activities. Choose one of the topics to see all items on the list. Interactives include matching, listening,...more
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Expand your knowledge of fossils, birds, and mammals with these interactive activities. Choose one of the topics to see all items on the list. Interactives include matching, listening, and 3D animations. Videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): birds (50), fossils (44), mammals (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. After sharing, create a link on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to share information about animals or habitats. Use this site as inspiration for finding and identifying animals native to your location.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Zukeeni - Debbie Kristofferson

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Zukeeni offers information and support for new and master gardeners. Features of the site include set up tools for garden planning, a plant database, garden guides, and harvest schedules....more
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Zukeeni offers information and support for new and master gardeners. Features of the site include set up tools for garden planning, a plant database, garden guides, and harvest schedules. Some of these have explanatory videos. Sign up to create your personalized garden based on recommendations for your growing area. Once your garden design is complete, Zukeeni provides week by week planting suggestions that you check off as you finish the tasks. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): nutrition (154), plants (144)

In the Classroom

Use information from Zukeeni to enhance or begin your school's garden. If your school doesn't have an area for planting a garden, be creative! Plant a small garden in a wagon to roll in and out each day! Create a class wiki and update your garden's growth through pictures and words each week. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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