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Seymour Simon: Award Winning Children's Author - Seymour Simon

Grades
2 to 8
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Seymour Simon's author site is the perfect compliment to his many award-winning non-fiction books (almost 300). Presented in many formats, content appeals to many learners. Use this...more
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Seymour Simon's author site is the perfect compliment to his many award-winning non-fiction books (almost 300). Presented in many formats, content appeals to many learners. Use this site with those who learn from text, images, or hands-on. Free enrollment in the site allows access to many features such as teacher guides and resources, project ideas, and discussion boards. Other areas of the site for adults include videos, an interactive science dictionary, and searches for any science topic. Be sure to check out the Science News area under the kids portion of the site. Labels range from Alana G (their 10-year-old environmental blogger) all the way to Writing Wednesday. Also check out the informational bio of Seymour Simon and the FAQ which answers questions on many of his book topics. If interested, you can also request a school visit or Skype session with the author!

tag(s): animals (289), brain (70), butterflies (13), earth (232), earthquakes (50), environment (321), human body (126), hurricanes (40), insects (71), light (49), oceans (154), planets (126), plants (154), solar system (123), spiders (10), stars (65), sun (72), tornadoes (17), volcanoes (65), weather (195), whales (17)

In the Classroom

Enroll on the site using your email address. Access and use teacher guides along with Seymour Simon books during Guided or Independent Reading. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to learn more about the author and watch ebooks. Share Seymour Simon's bio with students when using his books as part of a non-fiction unit -- perfect for Common Core informational texts! Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain or review any of Seymour Simon's books or articles from the Science blog. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here) to create the avatars. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore items such as the Science Dictionary or read and discuss items from the Science News.
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Playfic - Andy Baio and Cooper McHatton

Grades
4 to 12
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Create interactive, text-based games with this simple tool. Perhaps you remember a text-based game called "Adventure" from back in the early days of computers. Be sure to watch the...more
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Create interactive, text-based games with this simple tool. Perhaps you remember a text-based game called "Adventure" from back in the early days of computers. Be sure to watch the tutorial on the home page that also teaches you how to navigate the stories themselves. By clicking on the "Learn More" when you're signed out, or the "About Us" when you're signed in, you can view the "cheat sheet" that will certainly make your first creative attempt at Playfic more enjoyable. Experiment with Playfic games created by others and time yourself. if you get stuck, you can look at the source code. Create your own Playfic for any topic that interests you, whether it's fiction or not. Note that there is no moderation on games created by others, so preview before sharing with young people.

tag(s): creative writing (169), creativity (119), digital storytelling (155), gamification (74), mysteries (25), puzzles (207)

In the Classroom

"Gamification" of learning is a hot topic in 21st century learning. Use this simple tool to make it happen. Use for any digital storytelling: fact or fiction. In social studies, have students create an interactive game based on life during the Depression or any historic era. Have them create a "Where in the world is ..." for geography. World language students could make a simple game (in the language they are studying) about daily life. Gifted students will love creating games on their favorite topics, so make this a research-and-create-a-game approach for independent projects. Science students could make a game about what might happen in certain weather or life as a fossil. Have your language arts students create mystery or survival stories or even a different ending to a story you've read together. Warning: all stories are PUBLIC and your students will be able to view other's stories. You'll either want to have a class account or monitor this closely.

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Teach Preschool - Promoting Excellence in Early Childhood Education - Deborah J. Stewart

Grades
K to 2
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Teach Preschool is a delightful blog filled with activities for teaching preschoolers (and primary grades). Updated often, the blog articles include activities, classroom images, and...more
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Teach Preschool is a delightful blog filled with activities for teaching preschoolers (and primary grades). Updated often, the blog articles include activities, classroom images, and practical suggestions. Choose from topics for exploration including: Powered by Play, Exploring Books, or Exploring Art. Use the search bar to look for specific content, explore recent posts, or browse monthly archives. Another way to explore is using the icons on the left side of the page. Although geared toward preschool, this site is worth a visit for anyone interested in educating young children.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (90), counting (120), density (21), dental health (23), numbers (201), phonics (72), plants (154), preK (291)

In the Classroom

Search the site for ideas. Save them to your Pinterest account (reviewed here) to find for later use. Bookmark the site as a resource for teaching ideas. Subscribe to this blog via Facebook, Twitter, or email to receive the latest blog updates.

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NumberQuotes - SWDuncan LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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Ever use a number or statistic in a presentation and see the eyes of audience gloss over in misunderstanding or cluelessness? Perhaps you have trouble making number sense out ...more
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Ever use a number or statistic in a presentation and see the eyes of audience gloss over in misunderstanding or cluelessness? Perhaps you have trouble making number sense out of large figures. Try NumberQuotes! Simplistic and to the point, this tool allows you to enter a number into the search bar, and it will generate a list of quotes related to your number. Follow directions about the number entry format (words or numerals). Find fast, easy comparisons at your fingertips without tedious hours of detailed research.
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tag(s): number sense (95), statistics (124)

In the Classroom

This tool is great when discussing numbers that are difficult for students to assimilate, such as exponents or population growth. In elementary grades, use it for 100th day celebrations! Help students develop number sense about large figures in economics, social studies, or science. Share this site with students on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and type in the number such as the population of a country. It will then generate comparisons that are more student friendly. Keep this reference handy as a link on your class web page to help students comprehend numbers they encounter in informational texts or even in math class.

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PDFescape - Red Software

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this site to be able to edit PDF documents. It is free and easy to use. Upload your PDF document or link to an existing online PDF. Add additional ...more
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Use this site to be able to edit PDF documents. It is free and easy to use. Upload your PDF document or link to an existing online PDF. Add additional text or free hand writing. Create drawings or add images. You can create PDFs, edit PDFs, fill-out existing PDFs, save/print PDFs, and more. When finished, download the final product. No sign up is required to use most features. If you must complete entry forms, applications, or otehr pdf forms, this tool can be a lifesaver.
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In the Classroom

Use to alter documents that may have been saved as a PDF in the past. Save this site in your professional resources. If you work with students who request college recommendations or need to fill out forms for scholarships or jobs, be sure to share this tool with them!
 

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Crickweb Learning Games Grade 3-5 - Crickweb

Grades
2 to 6
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Discover over 100 online interactives for practicing elementary skills from reading, math, and more at Crickweb. Featured offerings are on the main page, including practicing basic...more
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Discover over 100 online interactives for practicing elementary skills from reading, math, and more at Crickweb. Featured offerings are on the main page, including practicing basic math skills of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. Choose additional activities from the bar labeled Key Stage 2 located near the top of the page. This drop-down box provides additional games divided into categories from literacy through French and Spanish. Activities include easy to follow directions and instant feedback for responses. Note that this site uses British spelling!
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tag(s): addition (239), dental health (23), division (169), earth (232), food chains (22), habitats (85), human body (126), life cycles (24), light (49), magnetism (37), map skills (81), matter (60), multiplication (222), parts of speech (67), rivers (22), rocks (50), spelling (166), subtraction (199), sun (72)

In the Classroom

Use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a whole class activity or for a learning center. Create a link to games on classroom computers for students to practice while at centers or during free time. Share this site for at-home practice through your classroom newsletter or blog.
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Moon phases - Calculator Cat

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers a widget that shows the moons phases. Place this widget on your blog, wiki, or site for students and others to see. Find details on the current ...more
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This site offers a widget that shows the moons phases. Place this widget on your blog, wiki, or site for students and others to see. Find details on the current moon phases, such as amount shown and the next full or new moon. Find past moons back to 0 A.D. and future moons through 4999 A.D. The website gives a brief description of the different moon phases.

tag(s): earth (232), moon (74), solar system (123)

In the Classroom

Use to connect students to the night sky and to help them understand why the moon phases change. Use in an Earth Science or Astronomy class when learning about the movement of moons and planets. Have students write information to accompany the widget on your class site, explaining how and why the moon phases change.

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CurriConnects Book List: The Way Things Work - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects list offers books about science applied in the real world. Read about the how and why of the way things work. Some fiction, and some non-fiction, all the ...more
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This CurriConnects list offers books about science applied in the real world. Read about the how and why of the way things work. Some fiction, and some non-fiction, all the books will appeal to your curiosity and inspire young designers and engineers. This list includes books for all grade levels. This is a great match during units on scientific method or scientists or simply as a way to promote STEM. 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. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your school does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (132), engineering (126), scientists (70), STEM (148)

In the Classroom

Have students choose a book they can connect to concepts you are studying in science class or have them choose a book of interest and generate a list of the questions they would like to learn about after reading the book. The non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework.

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Koshland Science Museum Challenges - Koshland Museum of Science

Grades
4 to 12
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Empower your students to get involved and solve some of the world's pressing problems. Join Koshland's Museum of Science Challenges. Join in by learning new skills, thinking critically,...more
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Empower your students to get involved and solve some of the world's pressing problems. Join Koshland's Museum of Science Challenges. Join in by learning new skills, thinking critically, and solving a problem. Challenges include background information. Look at the past challenges and discover the critical thinking and unique problem solving that won. Peek into future challenges to lead your students in new directions. Find resources, lesson plans, activities, virtual field trips, and web quests. Share your challenges and solutions on Facebook.

tag(s): brain (70), climate change (65), critical thinking (110), diseases (69), dna (68), energy (203), light (49), pollution (67), problem solving (272), space (216), water (130)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, offer challenges first as a problem based learning situation. Have students discover the background information and thought processes involved. Using these skills, apply to your own community. Start challenges at your school, community, state, or country level. Create a challenges competition at your school. Explore the teacher resources that apply to your classes.
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25 Trends - 25Trends

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related...more
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This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related buzzwords and information in a visually appealing way. This site updates information every 10 minutes. Please preview/pretest a few minutes before you share with students or children. Our editors noticed that some keywords pull up vulgar language. (We searched "school.")
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tag(s): twitter (49)

In the Classroom

Use current trending topics (such as elections or other current events from around the world). Revisit the hashtag or trending topic periodically to see the changes in the topic, including the buzzwords that change over time. Look at news reports or causes for the change in the trend. Twitter trends could be useful in any subject area but especially useful for current events, civics, health, and economics. New to Twitter and hashtags? Find information to help you here.

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PDFmyURL - OpenTracker.net

Grades
K to 12
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Turn any web page into a PDF document instantly with this incredibly easy tool! Simply type or copy and paste the url into the box and click the "P" button. ...more
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Turn any web page into a PDF document instantly with this incredibly easy tool! Simply type or copy and paste the url into the box and click the "P" button. Instantly the page converts to a PDF document and downloads to your computer for immediate use. Drag the site's bookmarklet onto your browser's toolbar for easy use at any time with any page.

In the Classroom

Use this site to print any web page without all of the headings and other extras that generally appear. Make print outs for students to practice highlighting and looking for main ideas in informational texts (especially if you do not have an interactive whiteboard to do this). Upload PDF's to your website for student use of single pages of websites instead of having students go through unneeded pages. Be sure to show students that you must make a note of the DATE when you made the pdf, since you should always include the "date accessed" in a project bibliography entry for a web site. Talk about "fair use" in making web page copies for temporary use as part of research or class activities vs copying web pages to hang them up as locker decorations! This may be a good site to share with parents via your website. (Help them save paper and print only what they need, not an entire website.)
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ClipChoose - ClipChoose.com

Grades
3 to 12
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ClipChoose makes polls based on YouTube videos -- not your typical polling/survey site. Create an account with only your email and password. Enter a question, then enter the URLs of...more
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ClipChoose makes polls based on YouTube videos -- not your typical polling/survey site. Create an account with only your email and password. Enter a question, then enter the URLs of up to eight YouTube videos. Share your poll by url or via Twitter or Facebook. The rest is up to your audience to make choices. The total votes for each choice show under the video clip. Not sure you want to make your own poll? Browse the site for polls already created. Be sure to choose before sharing with young people. This is a public site and content isn't moderated. Currently all polls are public; however, private polls and more management features will be available soon. View an example poll created here in less than 10 minutes. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): polls and surveys (55)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to create their own polls then search for YouTube videos to support or explain each response. Create a ClipChoose poll as a teacher or whole class. Have students respond then write a response using quotes from videos to back up their choice. Administer a poll, then use the data for graphing practice. Display sample polls (made by you or the class) and data for practice with interpreting graphs. Collect parent or student opinions about any topic. Take a poll at back to school night to find out what parents' greatest concerns or misconceptions are. Obtain quick feedback from students about which curriculum topics are confusing them. Allow students to create polls as part of critical thinking exercises such as how poll wording may bias the results. Encourage students to include polls in oral presentations to increase audience engagement. Teach students about types of propaganda using up to 8 example videos in ClipChoose. Ask students to select the one that demonstrates the use of a particular propaganda technique.

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Catch the Science Bug - Catch the Science Bug Foundation, Inc

Grades
2 to 6
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Solve science puzzles, do scientific investigations, or learn more about what scientists do on the job with this lively and entertaining site. Based on the PBS science series of the...more
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Solve science puzzles, do scientific investigations, or learn more about what scientists do on the job with this lively and entertaining site. Based on the PBS science series of the same name, the goal of this site is to get children, especially girls and minorities, excited about science. Choose from different components of the site such as the Science Files. Here you will find adventures include engineering enigmas, great pumpkins, and several other topics. Topics include a short explanation, video, and several activities including worksheets with investigation logs. Scibug Investigators offers several activities to complete in your backyard. View videos and read about scientists connected with the series. Be sure to check out the Reading Bug link with an extensive list of books listed by topic. There is a teacher's guide for the site but it is a little hard to find. Go to the About Us section. Scroll down to Parents and Teachers. Here you will find links to the teacher's guide with a complete list of activities included on the site along with a short description, topics taught, and topics activities can supplement.

tag(s): animals (289), birds (54), data (148), engineering (126), environment (321), plants (154), solar energy (40), trees (30), water (130)

In the Classroom

Although the standards listed are for grades K-4, much of the material has far higher reading levels. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a class when introducing a science unit. Then complete activities provided on the site. The text passages on this site are at upper elementary to middle school level, so you may need to read them aloud or have weaker and stronger readers work together. The visual materials are quite useful for elementary and up. View videos and read biographies of the scientists during a career unit. Share this site as a resource for fun science activities to do at home and with gifted students for self-exploration. Add this to your list of recommended sites to prevent "summer slide." The teacher's guide on the site is an excellent resource for finding activities. Bookmark this on your computer or print and include in your lesson planning guide to use when planning lessons and units. Choose books from the reading list to include with guided reading instruction. For more science reading selections, check out TeachersFirst's CurriConnects lists for various science topics.
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Water Table - ees.as.uky.edu

Grades
4 to 8
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This interactive presentation explains terms and vocabulary associated with the water table. At each screen, click Model to bring up choices. Advance to different screens to learn more...more
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This interactive presentation explains terms and vocabulary associated with the water table. At each screen, click Model to bring up choices. Advance to different screens to learn more concepts about the water table. Click Terms to learn the vocabulary associated with the topic. At the time of this review, ONLY the arrows shown when you click "terms" will advance to the next screen. Use each screen to learn how water amount varies in the water table due to various events. For example, on the Groundwater screen, clicking Model brings up choices for wet season and dry season. As each is clicked, a level shows the amount of water available in the water table.

tag(s): water (130), water cycle (33), watersheds (16), weather (195)

In the Classroom

Use as an introductory activity to determine patterns about the water cycle and the water table. As students click through the screen, record the changes in water availability to report back to the class. After working their way through this activity, have students use local weather data and river levels from the past year (try Weather.com) to find the different points in your local water cycle.
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Crickweb Games Just For Fun! - Crickweb

Grades
K to 6
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Although the title of the site is "Games Just For Fun," these activities provide practice with logic, prediction, time management, mouse control, and many other skills. The main page...more
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Although the title of the site is "Games Just For Fun," these activities provide practice with logic, prediction, time management, mouse control, and many other skills. The main page features the latest games. Find the others by choosing the Fun Games link on the blue bar at the top of the page. Each activity includes a short description on the main page and instructions before beginning play. Because this site was created in the United Kingdoms, American English speaking students will find slight spelling differences.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): geometric shapes (165), grammar (214), logic (237), matching (24), organizational skills (129), probability (130)

In the Classroom

Use these activities on a student-operated interactive whiteboard center for enrichment. Create a classroom chart with activity scores, and challenge students to record and increase totals. Share this site with parents on your classroom blog or website as a site with educational value.
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What is nano? - Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network

Grades
K to 12
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Interested in learning more about the vast nano-sized world? Easy to understand, basic information coupled with current advances give you a taste of what is possible with nanotechnology....more
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Interested in learning more about the vast nano-sized world? Easy to understand, basic information coupled with current advances give you a taste of what is possible with nanotechnology. Be sure to navigate near the bottom right side of the page where there is a tab labeled DIY Nano. Here are some sensational activities to assist in visualizing and experimenting with nano-scale! Thoughts will charge as you think, learn, and wonder about nano-science! The site includes activity and classroom ideas for grades K-12.

tag(s): atoms (57), engineering (126), gravity (50), matter (60), measurement (160)

In the Classroom

Teaching nanotechnology theory can be hard. Make the abstract idea concrete with the activities in the DIY Nano section of this website. Use the activities in the lab. In no time at all, students will be wrapping their minds around the tiny world of nanometers and nanotechnology. Encourage students to download the application if they have a smart phone and experiment further at home with their parents. (It's FREE!) This could really ignite a worthwhile career for aspiring scientists!
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3D Photo Cube - Hame

Grades
K to 12
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Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how ...more
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Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how it spins. Copy the html code into your MySpace, blog, or website.
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tag(s): creativity (119), images (276), photography (162)

In the Classroom

This tool is obviously too complicated for your elementary students to use independently. However, it could be used as a whole group/teacher led activity with any grade level. Visualize photo cubes with pictures of special class events, field trips, or just the usual day! Change the cube daily, to feature different activities, subjects, or kids. Bring into subject area content and add public domain images to add visual information for the content you are studying. For vocabulary words, add images to explain. Use photo cubes to show the main idea of historical events, literature, or even math concepts. Make a photo cube with related or unrelated images and use as a writing prompt. Use photo cubes for sequencing practice. Have fun with extra curricular clubs and highlighting events. Begin your school news show featuring the cube from different places in your school during the day. Have older students create their own photo cubes to accompany poetry in an online literary magazine (using Creative Commons or their own images). Art students can create a cube with images of their own work as an opener to a portfolio web site. Share this tool as an option for a "visual aid" during speech units pr to present images as art of a research report. Embed cubes on your class wiki to support conepts such as environmental concerns or local history. Challenge gifted students to create visual "puzzles" where viewers must guess the word or concept that the images have in common. Teach creative flexibility!

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PDF Converter - pdfconverter.com

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Quickly and easily convert PDF to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Create a PDF from almost any file using the converter. To use, select the type of conversion. Locate the PDF ...more
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Quickly and easily convert PDF to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Create a PDF from almost any file using the converter. To use, select the type of conversion. Locate the PDF file you want to convert on your computer (even if it is only in your download folder). Enter your email address. You will receive an email with a link to your converted file. Be sure to check your "junk filter" on your email in case it does not show up directly in your inbox. Click on the attachment and download your brand new Word file! Maximum file size of an uploaded file is 2MB.
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tag(s): worksheets (61)

In the Classroom

Ever find really neat activity sheets, but they need to be tweaked a little to make them work for your classes? This tool helps you save time by allowing you to edit PDF files in Word to avoid reinventing the wheel. (Beware of copyrighted materials, however). Science teachers can take lab activities and refine questions or add instructions as needed for their classrooms. English teachers can add standardized test prompts to preexisting general worksheets to tailor the activity to suit their state's test needs. This is a helpful utility for students entering contests or completing applications offered only in pdf form.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Projectile Motion Game - Math Playground

Grades
3 to 7
8 Favorites 0  Comments
Practice angle and velocity with this interactive that takes you on a mission to send supplies to a village under siege. Once you have mastered a skill, the next task ...more
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Practice angle and velocity with this interactive that takes you on a mission to send supplies to a village under siege. Once you have mastered a skill, the next task will be more difficult. Adjust the missile using settings for angle and velocity to launch the object over a wall and into the village. Options are available for setting a grid over the image as well as displaying data. Accuracy and timing will determine your score.
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tag(s): angles (87), motion (61)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard as well as on classroom computers. Demonstrate on your interactive whiteboard, and allow students to discuss the effect of making changes to angles and velocity. Use the game as a prompt for math journals. Have students write about their efforts in launching the object over the wall and their thought process as they made changes.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sub Hub - Rachel Friedrich

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This blog offers ideas and resources to help substitute teachers make the most out of every day. It includes practical ideas such as what to bring to school as a ...more
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This blog offers ideas and resources to help substitute teachers make the most out of every day. It includes practical ideas such as what to bring to school as a substitute (who would have thought to bring your own "teacher-friendly" pencil sharpener?). There are also free k-5 lesson plans. The best part is all of the tips, support, and stories provided for substitute teachers "in the trenches." Although geared toward elementary teachers, ideas and suggestions are appropriate for any grade level.
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tag(s): classroom management (149), newbies (18), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Regular classroom teachers might want to share this in their emergency lesson plans for subs. Substitutes, don't go into the classroom empty handed. Bookmark this useful website (or make it a TeachersFirst Favorite so you can find it anytime) and be prepared for the unexpected! New teachers and student teachers can learn from the many tips. If you are mentoring or working with a student teacher, share some of these ideas. For even more, be sure to check out Teachers First's Ideas and Resources for Substitutes here.

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