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Common Sense for Common Core - Scholastic Inc

Grades
K to 12
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See these free Common Core resources and materials, sample lesson plans, and book lists to help you implement the Common Core Standards with success! English Language Arts, Math, Social...more
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See these free Common Core resources and materials, sample lesson plans, and book lists to help you implement the Common Core Standards with success! English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science lesson plans span K-12. Detailed plans include teaching nonfiction within integrated content areas. Find detailed book lists by grade level, literature titles, or professional development areas. News and Resources include articles describing a variety of concerns teachers face in today's classroom including, using one iPad in a classroom, reaching every reader, math Common Core tips, and much more. Get answers to some frequently asked questions involving Common Core. Get back to the basics of Common Core through the explanatory sites. Expert videos highlight important aspects of using Common Core Standards. The Editor's Corner gives full units that span the range of the grades with titles such as War Stories, Poetry; Explore the Power of Words, and Life, Death, and Stories in Between. Still have a burning question? Submit your question and get an emailed response. Join the conversation with educators discussing different aspects of Common Core. A parent Common Core Area uses the Common Core Basics, News and Resources, and a list of books to use by grade level. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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.
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tag(s): assessment (99), commoncore (92), questioning (31), test prep (96), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site on your computer! Find answers to all of your questions with resources to challenge your students. Share in your professional learning communities with a different area each meeting. Document your professional development growth for your evaluation. Need to explain Common Core to parents? Begin here!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Diabetes Quiz - Diabetes.co.il

Grades
1 to 12
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The Diabetes Quiz is a free educational resource to help you learn about diabetes, healthy bodies, and minds. There are 400 multiple choice questions about diabetes basics, diet and...more
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The Diabetes Quiz is a free educational resource to help you learn about diabetes, healthy bodies, and minds. There are 400 multiple choice questions about diabetes basics, diet and nutrition, fitness and exercise, stress and relaxation, and statistics. Take a quiz and find out what you know. Make a plan for a better you!

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), mental health (26), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

Use the Diabetes Quiz in your unit on health and body, body systems, relaxation and stress, or nutrition. Present on your interactive whiteboard or projector and use this as a model to hook your students. Students then research further and find out other pertinent information to further their studies. Use as a review for a test. Present on your daily announcements to get students thinking of ways to improve their own health. Let this kick off a school-wide study on healthy bodies and minds. Have each student take quizzes and decide on personal goals. When you have a diabetic student, with parent permission, help the class learn about diabetes and gain a better understanding.

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Cubing and Think Dots Strategy - Eulouise Williams

Grades
3 to 12
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This PDF explains the teaching strategies of Cubing and Think Dots. Cubing is an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from different perspectives. Use ideas...more
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This PDF explains the teaching strategies of Cubing and Think Dots. Cubing is an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from different perspectives. Use ideas from the site to understand how to use cubes to differentiate teaching for various groups of students. Similar to cubes, Think Dots incorporates the idea of students constructing the meaning of concepts through the use of activity cards correlated to the roll of a dice. The PDF starts with an overview of Bloom's Taxonomy and its revision.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), differentiation (47), learning styles (19), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this PDF to differentiate and offer a variety of learning opportunities to students. Share this site and the strategies with peers during professional development sessions. Have students create cubes or think dots of their own for use when reviewing material for tests and quizzes.
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WikiWand - Lior Grossman & Ilan Lewin

Grades
5 to 12
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WikiWand is a browser add-on to enhance the look and use of Wikipedia. Follow links to add the extension to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Once installed, WikiWand adds an easy ...more
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WikiWand is a browser add-on to enhance the look and use of Wikipedia. Follow links to add the extension to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Once installed, WikiWand adds an easy to use table of contents to the side of the screen, easier to read typography and a handy preview-on-hover feature. Personalize your screen by changing fonts and size of fonts.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Install WikiWand on classroom computers to improve student viewing of Wikipedia. Share on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate and view features for student use. If you do recommend Wikipedia as a source for research, be sure to have the discussion about its unknown authorship and usefulness as a general information tool but not as a "scholarly" resource. As a challenge to your better writers, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics in simpler English. They will have to analyze their own language and writing style with far greater scrutiny than ever before. Or have the class create a two version wiki glossary of your own on curriculum topics in any discipline, using this as a model for the "easy reading" side.

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Exposure - Luke Beard and Kyle Bragger

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful photo stories with Exposure. Create an account to begin, and then drag and drop photos to begin a narrative. Add headers and body text above and between photos ...more
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Create beautiful photo stories with Exposure. Create an account to begin, and then drag and drop photos to begin a narrative. Add headers and body text above and between photos to tell your story. Follow prompts to add photo groups, full-width pictures, or embed Vimeo or YouTube videos into your narrative. Publish and share your story using the URL or with social networking links; embed into any website or blog using the provided embed code. Free accounts allow users to create up to three Exposure narratives.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Have students create an Exposure account to share poetry, writing projects, or as a student portfolio. Challenge groups of students to create photo stories featuring information about landforms, states, or demonstrating steps of a science experiment. Please remember, it is always best to use caution with image searching. Provide students with clear guidelines and expectations. Use Exposure to share field trips and class activities with parents.

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Natural Selection - Survival - Discovery Communications, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Use these interactives to learn the basics of evolution! Choose Learn About Natural Selection to view the basic principles of evolution and the terminology. ...more
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Use these interactives to learn the basics of evolution! Choose Learn About Natural Selection to view the basic principles of evolution and the terminology.
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tag(s): darwin (11), evolution (100), genetics (90)

In the Classroom

Create a series of questions in the form of a webquest that corresponds to the information found in Learn About Natural Selection. Use an online tool such as Track Star from 4Teachers, reviewed here. After completing the webquest, challenge students to Play the Survival Game and record their results as they play. Be sure to assign a conclusion summary including their results and connecting to the information from Learn About Natural Selection. Use this resource on an interactive whiteboard or projector and complete the interactive as a class. Assign a project to students reporting on the basic principles of evolution, providing the facts for these principles.

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National Invasive Species Information Center - United States Department of Agriculture

Grades
2 to 12
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Find out what an invasive species is and why they are such a problem on this site. Use the links along the left to search by geographical location or by ...more
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Find out what an invasive species is and why they are such a problem on this site. Use the links along the left to search by geographical location or by type of invasive (plants, animals, laws and regulations, etc.). Check out the Spotlights that includes Identification, an Interactive Learning Module, and Education. Use the links found on this page to view a vast array of information about invasive species.

tag(s): animals (276), bacteria (30), conservation (127), ecosystems (88), plants (144), population (60)

In the Classroom

Be sure to place this link on your school website for access by students. When discussing invasive species, consider a project for reporting on individual invasive species with students using the information found here to choose one to create a report or multimedia product using one of the many tools featured on TeachersFirst Edge.

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Get Caught Recycling - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Grades
K to 12
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What is e-waste and what to do with it? Find information about recycling, including e-waste, on this site. Though this site is for the State of Kansas, the information found ...more
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What is e-waste and what to do with it? Find information about recycling, including e-waste, on this site. Though this site is for the State of Kansas, the information found here will be helpful material for anywhere. Find great information on "Why Recycle?" and "How Can I Recycle?" including the often forgotten message about reducing the use of items that need recycling in the first place. Be sure to check the section on e-waste and recycling, and also check out the Earth Day resources found on this site.

tag(s): energy (197), natural resources (59), recycling (57), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Research how to recycle materials including e-waste on this site. Follow with research about recycling in your state. For Earth Day or everyday, use this site to raise awareness about the energy that is used to create items and how energy can be saved by using recycled materials. Encourage students to keep track of what items their family throws away (or make an audit of what is thrown away at school). Students can research statistics about the various items used in the United States and abroad including the most discarded items in landfills. Research why recycling is an important endeavor to combat pollution and energy use. Assign small groups to create a public service announcement for your school or community to learn more about the benefits and encourage recycling. Use one of the many multimedia tools reviewed by TeachersFirst here. Initiate a recycling campaign and create a center for recycling many items from the school including e-waste. Classes can tally the pounds of materials saved for recycling including paper. Have students create informational commercials and share them using a hosting service such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Use the many broadcast and print resources on this site as inspiration.
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What Tree Is It? - Ohio Public Library Information Network

Grades
4 to 12
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Find the name of that unknown tree with this easy to use resource. Choose from prominent characteristics at each step to find the name of the Northeastern US tree. Though ...more
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Find the name of that unknown tree with this easy to use resource. Choose from prominent characteristics at each step to find the name of the Northeastern US tree. Though this site is about the trees in Ohio, many of them can be found throughout Northeastern US. Pictures accompany each characteristic to better make the right choice. Click each correct characteristic to reach the name of the tree. Click on the name to read more about the characteristics of the tree, including leaves and fruit. Continue to read about the history, uses, and environment where the tree grows.

tag(s): plants (144), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Stumped at the naming and identification of trees? This easy to use resource is a great one for students who tend to be confused with conventional dichotomous keys. Find samples of these trees on your school campus, community, or elsewhere. Use this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as a class to demonstrate how to use a dichotomous key and explain how features of a leaf are much like our features (different and useful for identifying). Use the samples to work as lab groups to identify the name of the tree and report about tree uses. Be sure to discuss the importance of tree variety in the environment for all living things. Research the animals that call each of these trees their home or depend upon them for food or shelter. Consider clever projects about the trees. Create a wanted poster for your tree including uses of the tree by humans or other animals. For example, the Butternut Tree would read: "Wanted for imitating the Black Walnut. Last seen in ravines and stream bottoms. Reward of the Butternut's sweet flavored and oily nuts offered by squirrels." Encourage critical thinking of students by bringing a variety of leaves (attached to twigs). Students work as a class to create the characteristics to help identify them, focusing on only two choices at one time. Test their identification key with a leaf not encountered yet.

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Groundwater Adventurers - National Groundwater Association

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources to enhance student understanding of groundwater and issues related to its use. Resources include coloring pages and word puzzles, experiments suitable for primary and...more
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Find resources to enhance student understanding of groundwater and issues related to its use. Resources include coloring pages and word puzzles, experiments suitable for primary and secondary students, and fun facts and activities to use with your class. Be sure to check out the lesson plans found with the experiments for great ideas for young people of all ages.

tag(s): conservation (127), ecology (135), natural resources (59), pollution (66), water (130), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Use the many experiments with your students to understand the importance of water, its use, where it is found on Earth, and problems associated with water resources. Experiments are divided by grade into Pee Wee Adventurers, Junior Adventurers, and Senior Adventurers. Use the Edible Earth parfaits with primary grades to identify water resources. Discuss how we use water and how water is necessary for life. For high school students, the Hydrogeology Experiment on Surface Water is a wonderful experiment in observing water runoff of various surfaces. Use these as inquiry activities before discussing fully in class, drawing on what students observe from the activity as you discuss the important content about water resources. Be sure to connect student understanding about the water cycle to material learned on this site. Identify how water is wasted in the home and at school. Create pledges for students and their families to conserve water resources. In the middle grades, create an Aquifer in a Cup. Create an action campaign, pairing a fact about water learned from the site and a specific recommendation to students and their families that can help reduce water use and pollution. Create posters or announcements that increase the knowledge of the student body. Have students create online posters using Poster My Wall, reviewed here.

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Classmill - Tariq Rauf

Grades
6 to 12
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Classmill allows you to create your own online classes by uploading videos, links, files, and images. Create your account to start your own class or explore classes already online....more
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Classmill allows you to create your own online classes by uploading videos, links, files, and images. Create your account to start your own class or explore classes already online. When creating a class choose from privacy options such as invite only for attendees. Add content within modules for each class using tabs to upload or embed information. Once your content is complete, use the "Ready" toggle switch to make it accessible to users. Use the "Invite" button to invite users using their email address.

tag(s): classroom management (134)

In the Classroom

Create your course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Random.org - Dr. Mads Haahr

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need to choose items in a truly random way? If so, this site is for you! Random.org offers many different categories for receiving randomized information. Choose from the ...more
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Do you need to choose items in a truly random way? If so, this site is for you! Random.org offers many different categories for receiving randomized information. Choose from the links for random lists, coin flippers, dates, passwords, dice rolls, and much more. Follow directions on each page to set the form and receive results. There is also an app for both Android and iOs devices.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), gamification (65), probability (130), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Use Random.org to generate any kind of list you need such as groups for field trips, random dates for history research, and random places on a map. Use the name generator to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator to choose the classmate who comes next. Use the generator tools as part of your probability unit to chart how often names or coins appear with random selections.

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tozzl - Lars Natus

Grades
6 to 12
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Tozzl is a free collaboration tool and digital pinboard. Create your tozzl to add items such as YouTube videos, a Twitter wall, files, pictures, and more. Click on "Create a ...more
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Tozzl is a free collaboration tool and digital pinboard. Create your tozzl to add items such as YouTube videos, a Twitter wall, files, pictures, and more. Click on "Create a new tozzl" to begin and follow the prompts. Once your tozzl is created, use links to edit and add information, add new members, and share. Best of all, tozzl doesn't require registration!

tag(s): brainstorming (23), chat (51), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use tozzl to create public or private, password-protected message boards. Use as a backchannel tool for discussions during lessons. Share with students to create their own message boards when working on group projects. Use tozzl as a message board for each of your classes. Include class notes, handouts, links to videos, and more.

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The Carbon Cycle Game - Windows2Universe

Grades
7 to 12
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To better understand climate change, follow a carbon atom through organisms, the Earth, and the atmosphere. As you go through the interactive, choose the next step for the carbon atom....more
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To better understand climate change, follow a carbon atom through organisms, the Earth, and the atmosphere. As you go through the interactive, choose the next step for the carbon atom. Read the information about how the carbon atom gets there and its various interactions through nature. Be sure to click on For Teachers to find outcomes, standards, background information, best practices for using the interactive, and extension activities.
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tag(s): carbon (21), carbon dioxide (17), carbon footprint (11), climate (92), climate change (64), fossil fuels (18)

In the Classroom

Follow the terrific directions in the For Teachers section including items students should record as they work through the interactive. Review the assessment and extension activities for outstanding ideas. Encourage students to create a paragraph of the journey of their carbon atom or a concept map outlining the stops and science behind the journey. Find many excellent concept mapping tools here. Research climate change and ways to reduce the amount of carbon at specific steps. Research and present to the class various energy alternatives and ways to reduce carbon released into the atmosphere. Identify the carbon footprint of different countries and identify ways to reduce this footprint. Create a public service announcement to raise awareness of small changes everyone can do.
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The Rainforest Concern - Rainforestconcern.org

Grades
K to 12
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Transport yourself to the rainforest, the richest and most important environment on the planet! Use the links in the interactive to find out why the rainforest is important. Become...more
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Transport yourself to the rainforest, the richest and most important environment on the planet! Use the links in the interactive to find out why the rainforest is important. Become acquainted with the plants and animals that call the rainforest their home. Learn ways that everyone can help the rainforest in the Help the Rainforest section. Find out how much rainforest is being depleted in Vanishing Rainforests. Solve the Rainforest Riddle and take a Quiz about the rainforest. Test your knowledge of rainforest life in Sounds of the Rainforest. At the time of this review the directions for installing the e-flet on your PC or printing it were not working. The actual e-flet is working and is beautiful.

tag(s): animals (276), ecology (135), ecosystems (88), environment (317), medicine (67), natural resources (59), plants (144), rainforests (13), resources (112)

In the Classroom

The Rainforest Concern will make a colorful overview introduction to the rainforest. Learn about its features as a class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. As you read about the various animals or plants, discuss what the animals would sound like or what the plants would hear around them. Create a travel brochure about the rainforest with the information that you find on this site. Expand your research to find more information than found on this site. For example, assign a project to find other rainforest plants with the potential for medicinal use. Find other items from the rainforest that are useful to others (and whose harvest does not destroy the rainforest). Create a pledge campaign, informing others and joining in to reduce the purchase of items that destroy the rainforest. Become a plant or animal from the rainforest and write a short story from that organism's point of view including the interaction with other organisms it would encounter. Use one of the many Digital Storytelling tools, reviewed here. Publish the class stories as "Stories from the Rainforest."
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American Rivers: Rivers Connect Us - American Rivers

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover the uses and challenges for rivers throughout the United States! This organization has a record of protecting and restoring rivers. Find your region of the US under My Regions....more
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Discover the uses and challenges for rivers throughout the United States! This organization has a record of protecting and restoring rivers. Find your region of the US under My Regions. Find Regional Projects and News about environmental issues. Click on What We Do to read about initiatives the group works on in the various areas. Find a current Most Endangered Rivers list. Also, see the slide shows for Featured Rivers. There is an engaging three minute video about why one child loves the Northwest's Rivers. It is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): pollution (66), rivers (21), water (130), watersheds (16)

In the Classroom

Waterways are an important resource for wildlife, the economy, and recreation. Find great information about their usefulness on this site when discussing waterways with your class. Compare the various regions in terms of waterway use, conservation issues, and wildlife. Use a tool like Calemeo, reviewed here, and this site to create a recreation pamphlet outlining the highlights of different waterways. Bring a local water expert into the class to talk about water resources. Find inspiration for helping a local waterway. This would be a great activity for an ambitious class, environmental club, gifted students, or those looking for community service. Join in the undertakings of this site or find a local group to take action.

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Photos for Class - Clever Prototypes, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Here is an excellent site for finding images for non-commercial use that will have the proper citation downloaded with it. Find a photo you want to use. Click the download ...more
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Here is an excellent site for finding images for non-commercial use that will have the proper citation downloaded with it. Find a photo you want to use. Click the download link under the picture. The downloaded image will have the appropriate attribution information with it. Note: right clicking on the photo will not produce the attribution information. Our editors found all photos to be "class appropriate." However, it is always best to use caution with image searching. Provide students with clear guidelines and expectations.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Have students use this site for Creative Common images for any report, newsletter, or project. The images from this site are all supposed to be G-Rated for classroom use. The search engine uses Flickr safe search, and other built-in filtering so all images produced should be appropriate for school use. Have students create an annotated image or build a story including text boxes and related links using images found on this tool and a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Be sure to keep a link to this site on your wiki, blog, or web page for students to use whenever they are working on a project.

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US States & Cities With the Best Summer Weather on Cool Maps - Honolulu HI5

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore two interactive maps to find the number of "ideal" summer days per month (70F -90F degrees) or Temperature & Rain averages in over a thousand cities in the United ...more
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Explore two interactive maps to find the number of "ideal" summer days per month (70F -90F degrees) or Temperature & Rain averages in over a thousand cities in the United States. Click on any state and choose a city to view graphs displaying monthly averages of summer days for each place. Select the Temperature & Rain Averages map to see a graph of any city displaying average high and low temperatures, as well as inches of rain per month. Remember, if the temperature is above 90F, the amount of "ideal" summer days may be less in that state. Comments from this site can be shared on Facebook.

tag(s): seasons (37), temperature (29), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Include these maps for use with any weather unit to find data for your location and compare to others across the country. Ask students to use data from the maps when researching states for reports. Have students explore on their own and choose the places they would and would not like to live. Use the information in a persuasive writing project. Use the provided embed code to put information directly on your class website or blog for students to access at home. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast two different locations.

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Antarctica: The Frozen Continent of the South Pole - Enchanted Learning

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for great information on Antarctica? This site offers a variety of information about explorers, views from space, dinosaur fossils, surviving the cold, and more. ...more
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Looking for great information on Antarctica? This site offers a variety of information about explorers, views from space, dinosaur fossils, surviving the cold, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), antarctica (29), continents (50)

In the Classroom

Provide this link to students on your class page. Provide time to view various pages of the site to gather general information to discuss as a class. Be sure to share the view from space and the map/geography on an interactive whiteboard or projector to the whole class. Identify the various Antarctic visitors (both human and other animals that come and go). Students can write a letter home and pretend to be one of the many visitors using information from this site in their creation. Consider using Throwww, reviewed here, for the letter. Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blog to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Evolution - WGBH/NOVA Science Unit and Clear Blue Sky Productions

Grades
6 to 12
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This is the ultimate site for finding out about Evolution! Find excellent information in the Evolution Library where there is an unbelievable amount of resources about Darwin, History...more
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This is the ultimate site for finding out about Evolution! Find excellent information in the Evolution Library where there is an unbelievable amount of resources about Darwin, History of Life, Evolution of Diversity, Why Evolution Matters, and more. Find online courses in the For Teachers section. View the various lessons, resources, and online material about evolution found in the For Students section of this site. Find even more resources by clicking on the icon for various evolution topics: Darwin, Change, Survival, Sex, Extinction, Humans, and Religion.

tag(s): animals (276), evolution (100), fossils (44), geologic time (9), plants (144)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class page for students to access. Provide time in class for students to view specific links as groups and report their findings in a class discussion. Be sure to check out the case studies found in the For Teachers section for great advice on teaching evolution to students and overcoming misconceptions and misunderstandings. Use the activities in the downloadable Teacher's Guide. Rather than debate evolution, encourage students to identify the misconceptions of evolution and identify the scientific evidence against these misconceptions. To help students, discuss the reasons why understanding evolution is important.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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