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Science Fix - Darren Fix

Grades
5 to 12
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ScienceFix is one man's blog to show the world his educational and scientific demonstrations. It is clear, straight forward, and entertaining. These video clips and explanations are...more
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ScienceFix is one man's blog to show the world his educational and scientific demonstrations. It is clear, straight forward, and entertaining. These video clips and explanations are fantastic. The site offers a great variety of topics: What Makes a Planet a Planet, Water Bottle Rockets, Flaming Dollar, Books Smash Eggs, Magnesium Reacts with Oxygen, Isotopes, and much more. At the time of this review, there were eighteen pages worth of science videos (and fun). This is truly a MUST SEE for any science class. The videos are all hosted on YouTube. These demonstrations would be great for science classes, students experimenting at home, or independent science fair projects.

tag(s): blogs (88), density (21), experiments (71), fire (25), motion (59), planets (123), rockets (14), space (205)

In the Classroom

Share demonstration videos classes of students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This helps if funds or time for actual labs are limited. Or they can be used to show students how to carry out an experiment before they are unleashed into the laboratory to do it on their own. Challenge students to create their own science videos (sharing an experiment and explanation.) Share these videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may be blocked at school. You could always view that 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. An additional bonus to doing this is that you know that it will play. Sometimes there are problems with streaming video due to bandwidth issues on school networks.
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Protagonize - Taunt Media

Grades
5 to 12
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories...more
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories are available for others to comment on or add to. You can easily specify two endings like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series or leave the story's ending unfinished. Alternatively, choose to create different "chapters" of a story. Before writing, choose from many different story genres. If you prefer not to have outside input on the story, you can select "solo" writing. It is easy to change solo to collaborative writing, however. There is also an option to digitally link the chapters. The site is very flexible, and you can write poetry, drama, song lyrics, and writing exercises including role plays. Before writing, students set up "story guidelines" so that future contributors can see the parameters of the piece. Students can also view the work of others. Mature content is marked with a "Mature" marker. Students and other writers have an obligation to report inappropriate content. PDF format or RSS feeds allow the created work to be saved to another format.
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tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), expository writing (44), narrative (24), persuasive writing (55), poetry (228), six traits of writing (8), songs (52), stories and storytelling (33), word choice (26), writers workshop (31), writing (359)

In the Classroom

You may wish to set up a group or class account, so that you can keep a careful eye on what outside additions are made (use an RSS feed!) . Students would then need to sign their writing or their comments on other class members writing, with a code known by you. Or you can invite students through email, and then create a group on the program that would include your students; however this group would also be open to the public.

Create groups of students who would like to work together on a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story connected to a science or social studies topic. Have the students create the story guidelines and parameters. Once the students have started the story, have them use your projector and interactive whiteboard and get feedback from class members about the different directions the story could take. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

Have your students create "solo" stories, and then have them switch to "collaborative" to receive comments and input from other members in their writing group or class. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

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CurriConnects Book List - Medicine and Health - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to medicine & health. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to medicine & health. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'''''® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (128), medicine (67), reading lists (75)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about health, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on health. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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CurriConnects Book List - Inventors and Inventions - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Inventions. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Inventions. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'''''''® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (128), inventors and inventions (101), reading lists (75)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about Inventions, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on Inventions. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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Groundhog Day - The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club

Grades
K to 12
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If you are looking for information about Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil, Punxsutawney (location itself), and more - check out this website. There are LIVE webcams setup for February...more
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If you are looking for information about Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil, Punxsutawney (location itself), and more - check out this website. There are LIVE webcams setup for February 2nd, video clips from previous years, a wealth of historical information, fun facts, photos, geographical information, and more. The reading level is a bit high for younger elementary students, but all levels would enjoy the video clips and photographs.
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tag(s): holidays (147), pennsylvania (6)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to investigate a certain facet of this site (for example, Past Predictions) and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students use one of the many TeachersFirst multimedia Edge tools reviewed here. Share the projects on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website for families to explore at home.
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Groundhog Day: (Punxsutawney) Phil Your Day With Fun - Education World

Grades
K to 12
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This site features five "ready to go" lesson plans related to Groundhog's Day, nearly all include standards, objectives, and even technology options! Lessons designed for grades K-5...more
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This site features five "ready to go" lesson plans related to Groundhog's Day, nearly all include standards, objectives, and even technology options! Lessons designed for grades K-5 include "Where Is Punxsutawney Phil? - A Groundhog Day Tag Game" and "A Shadow of Yourself." Grades K-8 will find the lessons "Find the Hidden Hibernators" and "Graphing Groundhog Predictions." And finally designed for grades 3-12 is "Marmots (Groundhogs) of the World."
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tag(s): animals (276), charts and graphs (195), holidays (147), light (46)

In the Classroom

These FREE lesson plans are ready to go for you on Groundhog's Day. Connect your students with current events, science, research skill, math, and more using these fabulous lessons.
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Groundhogs Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Groundhog's Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Groundhog's Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Groundhog's day related vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): holidays (147), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Try these thematic puzzles as your vocabulary of the week in early February. Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.) Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki or create their own interactive whiteboard activities to challenge classmates to match words and definitions. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!

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Amelia Earhart - The Official Website - Family of Amelia Earhart

Grades
6 to 12
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The Official website of Amelia Earhart is an informational website intended to honor the life, the legend, and the career of Amelia Earhart. It contains a vast amount of information...more
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The Official website of Amelia Earhart is an informational website intended to honor the life, the legend, and the career of Amelia Earhart. It contains a vast amount of information about her life and career. The most extensive part of the site is the "About" portion that contains her biography, achievements, quotes, photos, videos, and fast facts each in their own section. Another interesting portion of the site is the News section which contains links to recent stories and news articles about Amelia Earhart. There is a preview on this website pertaining to the movie Amelia, you may want to share this with your class - or not. Preview beforehand.
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tag(s): aviation (39), careers (132), famous people (19), flight (36), women (101)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students when researching famous Americans, women, flight, or careers. Have students use a mapping tool such as Google Earth (reviewed here) to create an audio (and visual) tour of Amelia Earhart's journeys. Her story could also offer a powerful writing prompt for an essay about people who take on formidable challenges/adventures.
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Documentary Heaven - Documentary Heaven

Grades
6 to 12
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the...more
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the videos via several methods: browse the library, most popular, recent videos, or by categories. The categories vary greatly and include the bullying of those with disabilities, 9/11, aftermath of the Japan Tsunami, import and export of oil, and countless other topics. Each video comes with a short explanation and ratings (out of 10 stars). Viewers can also leave their own rating. Many include suggestions for related videos. Be aware: some of topics may not be suitable for the classroom. Please preview before (or IF) you choose to allow students to peruse on their own. You may want to share only specific videos with the class. It has been noted that this website opens rather slowly at the busy times of the day. But it is WELL worth the wait. Note that videos are recommended for inclusion by the video creators, so there could be very strong bias in documentary presentations. What better way to challenge students to stop and ask, "What is the source of this information and can I trust it fully?"
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tag(s): archeology (32), biographies (87), bullying (52), disabilities (20), psychology (64), senses (28), sexuality (14), tsunamis (16)

In the Classroom

View videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector to correspond with classroom lessons. Be sure to discuss the source and possible bias of any documentary. "Documentary" does not necessarily mean "trustworthy" or "unbiased"! Link to specific videos on your classroom computer, website, or blog for students to view on their own. Assign different topics and allow students to choose a documentary to use as part of their research. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Learning Objects - Wisconsin Technical College System

Grades
7 to 12
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Looking for review materials for a variety of classes? Use Learning Objects for a wide range of curriculum topics. (A "learning object" is any kind interactive activity, animation,...more
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Looking for review materials for a variety of classes? Use Learning Objects for a wide range of curriculum topics. (A "learning object" is any kind interactive activity, animation, video, audio file, etc, that can be used for learning.) This site is great for introductory, reinforcement, or review materials. Find most of the relevant topics under "General Education." Choose from many subjects such as biology, biochemistry, chemistry, math, sociology, world languages, and written communication, among others. Gifted students or those who learn well independently can study Chinese and other topics not easily available in their school using these learning objects.

tag(s): animals (276), business (58), cells (102), chinese (48), grammar (216), grammar review (37), life cycles (25), microscopes (13), plants (145), psychology (64), sentences (52), sociology (22), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Find a variety of topics for each subject area. For example, use learning objects in biology topics: How to use a Microscope, Life Cycles of Animals and Plants, and Cell Division. Choose from many others. Use as an introduction to a new unit. Additionally, these learning objects can be used for reinforcement or as a review. Under the Written Communication subject you will find 50 Learning Objects from parts of speech, commonly confused words, to how to summarize, brainstorm, and many others. Share direct urls to specific review activities to help students who need extra practice or as links on a class web page or wiki for all students to access outside of class. Encourage students to comment on your wiki about the learning objects they found most helpful in explaining tough concepts (use the discussion tab).
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Dvolver - Movie Maker - Ben Rigby

Grades
7 to 12
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Dvolver creates animated movies online. In no time at all, there is an animation of your topic. No membership is needed to create movies. Membership is free. Some content choices ...more
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Dvolver creates animated movies online. In no time at all, there is an animation of your topic. No membership is needed to create movies. Membership is free. Some content choices may be inappropriate for the classroom. The scene descriptions include things like "freeze your butt off" at the mountain scene, so less mature students will not manage this tool well. Always preview or use under supervision, depending on your teaching situation and students' maturity level. Here is a sample Dvolver movie made by our review team. Tip: email the finished movie to yourself to obtain the url or find it amid the embed code, if you are enough of a "geek."

Devolvr content may be problematic in some middle school/junior high settings, depending on community standards and student maturity levels. Teachers should preview to determine suitability at their own school or use only in a teacher-supervised setting.
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tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), video (254)

In the Classroom

Model how to use this site safely on your projector or interactive whiteboard so students can learn how to act wisely online. Doing this also provides you with the ability to point out specific features students should not use and to spell out consequences. Some districts may filter this site. Follow district policy to see if you can request it be unblocked for educational purposes. Have students create commercials for any or all content areas. The videos are short and limited in the number of characters for text. This means they take very little time to create which makes the tool very versatile. Use this to create beginning of the year "do's and dont's" for your classes instead of rule lectures. Try one for open house to let parents know quickly what is going on in your class. Embedding results in a class wiki or web page will avoid issues with students venturing into undesirable areas of the site. Primary teachers could make quick "movies" as a class using sight words in the speech bubbles so students can practice reading them at a center.

Comments

Not appropriate for elementary or middle school students. Options suggest or lend themselves to inappropriate content. Characters are overtly sexual and scantily clad. Editors Note: Thank you for your comment. We have raised the grade level and added a strong warning. Dwight, , Grades: 3 - 7

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EasyDefine - Prabbav Jain

Grades
4 to 12
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Create definition lists easily and completely. Simply enter the terms, and click "generate" to create a list of words with definitions. View synonyms, download as a document, or email...more
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Create definition lists easily and completely. Simply enter the terms, and click "generate" to create a list of words with definitions. View synonyms, download as a document, or email your list to others. Be aware: there are no filters on this definition site, so ANY word (appropriate or not) can easily be searched by students. Use under teacher supervision with students likely to enter inappropriate terms for immature reactions.
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tag(s): dictionaries (56), synonyms (38), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

You must know where you are saving downloads on your computer to save the list as a document. Pay attention and name files with meaningful file names, such as "chapter17vocab." Enter your list with one term per line or separated by commas, etc. Click on advanced options to add other options to the search: number or alphabetize the definition results, maximum definitions, and hiding parts of speech.

Create definitions easily for word lists in any subject area. Have students enter a series of similar words to see variations in connotations. For example, enter various words that mean "fat" and discover the variability in positive and negative connotations. Follow up with a ranking or sorting activity with the same words on interactive whiteboard to build word choice options. Have students generate individualized reading vocabulary lists for content are reading chapters or literature. Click on the synonyms tab to find related words. Save as a document for easy sharing in groups. Advise students to collect definitions and compare to those they write in their own words. As with any other reference, students should be cautioned to be sure these are accurate definitions needed for the context in which they are studying the words.

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iRubric - Reazon Systems, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own rubric for multimedia and other projects or search the gallery from many that already exist for all grade levels. (Also use the gallery to get great ...more
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Create your own rubric for multimedia and other projects or search the gallery from many that already exist for all grade levels. (Also use the gallery to get great project ideas!) Search the type of rubric or project to find a related rubric. Use the buttons at the bottom to preview, edit (customize and save your own version from existing ones), or copy. Share by URL or embed code in a wiki, blog, or site. Keep bookmarked rubrics in your account on the site. Create free personal or group accounts (for educators). Create classes, join educator groups, and more.

tag(s): assessment (100), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

To save rubrics and modify existing ones, educators must create an account. Find great project ideas, rubric examples and criteria. Build on the expertise of others to create excellent rubrics. Consider creating categories and using the advice of students to help identify criteria that is important to the project. You might even want to create differentiated rubrics to match multiple intelligences, learning styles, or varied ability levels. With such easy adaptations, you can start alter different versions very easily.

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Coal Cares Site a Brilliant Hoax - Fast Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This blog post calls our attention to a hoax site called "Coal Cares" which, on first sight, appears to be an educational outreach site maintained by a coal company. Coal ...more
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This blog post calls our attention to a hoax site called "Coal Cares" which, on first sight, appears to be an educational outreach site maintained by a coal company. Coal Cares is actually a parody site poking fun at Big Business and its attempts to put a positive spin on the dangerous side effects of its products.

tag(s): consumers (21), energy (198), environment (317), propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an example of how important it is to question what we find on the internet. Who is the author? What is the author's perspective? How believable is the information on the site? Is it influenced by a particular point of view? Help students question the information they find online and become good information consumers.

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Coal Cares - Coal Cares

Grades
6 to 12
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As teachers, we often look for ways to help students sift through the enormous amount of information on the Internet, and to help them discriminate among those that are reliable ...more
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As teachers, we often look for ways to help students sift through the enormous amount of information on the Internet, and to help them discriminate among those that are reliable and those that are not. The site "Coal Cares" might be a wonderful tool to use in this effort. First, coalcares.org is a spoof, a site purposely written to deceive. Although it looks perfectly legitimate on the surface--professionally created, and full of "facts"--a close reading of it soon reveals that it is designed to make fun of sites which try to put a positive spin on a negative issue.

tag(s): consumers (21), energy (198), environment (317), propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Consider using this site to teach students to read carefully and evaluate the claims made on websites. You might divide the class into teams and have each group examine one of the page links from the site. One link provides paper and pencil games for kids. What can they find in these games that is ironic or reveals that the site is a spoof? (Hint: look for words in the word search that are not listed in the word bank!). Another link offers free inhalers for kids. Where do the links lead? Do students find anything strange about "baby's first inhaler"?

After students have dissected the site and discovered all the misleading statements and "propaganda," encourage them to read the blog post at Coal Cares Site a Brilliant Hoax, reviewed here, for more information about the hoax, and how it was devised. Then, discuss the implications of this example. How can it make them better internet consumers? Challenge groups to create multimedia projects sharing their finding. Have students use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Bridge Ocean Education - Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program

Grades
2 to 12
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Advertised as "An ocean of teacher-approved marine education resources", this site offers resources, lesson plans, and data that teachers can take and use in their classrooms. Resources...more
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Advertised as "An ocean of teacher-approved marine education resources", this site offers resources, lesson plans, and data that teachers can take and use in their classrooms. Resources can be accessed in several ways according to the your needs. Choose Ocean Science topics to sort by type such as biology, chemistry, physics, and more. There are even subtopics within these categories to refine searches further to specific needs such as vertebrates/invertebrates or plants. Another link goes directly to lesson plans with choices for data activities, secondary/middle, or elementary level plans sorted by grade level. Note: Some lessons are offered through other sites and will open in a new page. If you are open to any ideas, you may want to try the Teacher Top Pick or Featured site to find lessons for classroom use.

tag(s): animals (276), geology (81), habitats (84), marine biology (33), oceans (148), plants (145)

In the Classroom

Use lesson plans offered on the site during your science units. Allow older students to explore the site to gather specific information about marine explorations and share through multi-media projects. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Teachers of gifted students may want to use the site as a supplemental resource for students to do self-study projects geared toward individual interests.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Alabama Learning Exchange Lesson Plans - Alabama Learning Exchange

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a searchable database of lesson plans in all subjects and grade levels. Searches can be performed by subject area, grade level, and/or keywords. A short summary of...more
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This site offers a searchable database of lesson plans in all subjects and grade levels. Searches can be performed by subject area, grade level, and/or keywords. A short summary of each lesson is offered with the search results, lessons contain an overview, content standards (state and national), learning objectives, materials needed, procedures, and assessments. Remediation and Extension activities are also included. Some lessons also include variations added by site users.

tag(s): resources (112)

In the Classroom

This site is a great resource when looking for lessons by subject. Try including a grade level above and below your current level to find additional activities that can be modified to meet your needs. Save this site in your personal favorites to visit throughout the year!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Your Weight in Other Worlds - Ron Hipschman

Grades
3 to 12
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Did you ever wonder what you weigh on other planets? This site offers the opportunity to compare the effect of gravity across our universe in a personal way. Simply input ...more
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Did you ever wonder what you weigh on other planets? This site offers the opportunity to compare the effect of gravity across our universe in a personal way. Simply input your weight to find out what you would weigh on other planets, moons, and even stars. Be sure to check out the explanations and information provided below the weight calculations. Information is provided on mass, weight, gravity, and distance, and the formula for calculating the weights are provided.

tag(s): density (21), gravity (46), mass (23), planets (123)

In the Classroom

Younger students will enjoy inputting their weight to find the differences on other planets. Challenge older students to do the calculations before inputting weights on the site. Create a graph outlining the change in weight based on distance from the sun.

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Exam General - Examgeneral.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Create and administer tests easily with this resource. ExamGeneral is free to use (unless you decide to sell your tests). ExamGeneral receives a portion of the revenue as well as ...more
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Create and administer tests easily with this resource. ExamGeneral is free to use (unless you decide to sell your tests). ExamGeneral receives a portion of the revenue as well as a nominal up-front fee if you do sell. Follow the detailed tutorial for help in using the site. Create a class and even define whether students require a subscription. Use the class ID for students to use to join your class. Create test templates, tests, schedule tests, and view results from your dashboard. Secret URL's are generated for each exam. Choose to auto grade your exam, create a time limit, and other parameters of the exam.

tag(s): quizzes (97), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Create an easy way to enter tests and grade them. Create pre- and post- assessment tests as well as unit tests. Create practice rest for end of the year type exams. Be sure to save this site in your favorites! Students could also create peer "tests" as review activities or as follow up after student presentations.

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Portfoliovillage - Site Maker Software Company

Grades
4 to 12
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and ...more
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and drop editor makes it easy. There are also editable flash widgets and the thousands of stock images and animations. You can create a flash portfolio website with media rich components: videos, audio, a play list, create forms, chats, and blogs. Be sure to watch the introduction video and read about the features provided.

PortfolioVillage must be updated every six months to stay free. Your portfolio will be deleted if not updated.

For those of you with iPads, this Flash site won't work for you. However, you might try Google Swiffy reviewed here. Google Swiffy is a tool that lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone.

tag(s): creativity (109), portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

There are a gazillion ways to use an eportfolio! Have your students upload their current and past work that they think they might want to showcase. They can have an area for all their different talents whether it is drawing, writing, acting, creating games or codes, designing anything, or athletic prowess. Students could create an online presence to share in college or job applications.

You may want to start out slowly, allowing your students to choose a talent that may fit within traditional curriculum. Have students select several pieces to demonstrate their talent and upload it to a working portfolio. You can then have the students reflect on each piece in writing. Students should then choose one artifact to showcase; have them write about why that was their choice. The eportfolio can be presented in class by students using a projector or an interactive whiteboard. Teachers who have students for more than one year (such as in a gifted program or Art classes) can encourage students to show growth in their talents.

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