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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 (145), 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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Word Writer - BoomWriter

Grades
2 to 8
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Develop vocabulary through interactive activities with a 21st Century twist! This interactive offered by BoomWriter, reviewed here, offers an exciting...more
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Develop vocabulary through interactive activities with a 21st Century twist! This interactive offered by BoomWriter, reviewed here, offers an exciting vocabulary development application useful in all content areas. Choose specific words to incorporate into a writing project. Specify a word limit and list any other guidelines desired. You can create a story or sentences to submit. WordWriter then tracks the use of selected words and checks off each vocabulary word typed. After submission and approval of all writing projects, WordWriter offers the option for an anonymous peer review portion of the process and members vote for the piece they feel best uses the vocabulary. Another great feature of the program is vocabulary word crowdsourcing. You can see the most popular words for a particular grade added by other teachers from around the world!

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), interactive stories (32), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use this site to excite students as writers while still incorporating classroom goals of vocabulary development. Encourage students to read other students' writing for ideas about what makes a story interesting. Create a friendly competition within your grade level by starting a book and choosing a winner. Create new books in any content area and use for review throughout the year.

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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 (135)

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 (199), 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.
This site includes advertising.

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

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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 (145), 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.
This site includes advertising.

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 (266), 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 (49)

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!
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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 (145)

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.
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Inventor's Workshop - The Museum of Science

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore an Inventor's Workshop through the eyes of Leonardo da Vinci. Choose from different parts of the toolbox to discover elements of machines, gadget anatomy, and play Leonardo's...more
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Explore an Inventor's Workshop through the eyes of Leonardo da Vinci. Choose from different parts of the toolbox to discover elements of machines, gadget anatomy, and play Leonardo's Mysterious Machinery. Other portions of the workshop take viewers deeper into the world of Leonardo by providing perspective on Renaissance times, exploring his special way of writing, and discovering Leonardo's activities in different Italian cities.

tag(s): artists (75), inventors and inventions (101), italy (17), leonardo davinci (4), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard. Explore the different portions together during your studies of the Renaissance, inventors, or artists such as Leonardo da Vinci. Share a link to this site on your class webpage for students to explore at home, or add a link on classroom computers for use during computer centers. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Leonardo da Vinci or other Renaissance artists.

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mySkillBoard - Rob Steller and Josiah Hills

Grades
K to 12
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MySkillBoard is an online tool for managing and tracking student data aligned to Common Core or individual standards. Create student groups and add your activities to match standards....more
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MySkillBoard is an online tool for managing and tracking student data aligned to Common Core or individual standards. Create student groups and add your activities to match standards. Quickly input each score and view data through several different visualization options. This site is optimized for use on any device allowing you to input and track student performance at any time.

tag(s): assessment (100), classroom management (135), DAT device agnostic tool (199), differentiation (47)

In the Classroom

MySkillBoard requires a bit of a learning curve due to a lack of tutorials on using the program. However, it may be useful for differentiating student instruction in any classroom. Add each class or group of students to document. Follow learning goals and mastery of standards. Use mySkillBoard together with other teachers to monitor and document student progress in all learning areas.

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Edcite - 2014 Edcite Inc.

Grades
1 to 8
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Give your students practice and instruction in standardized test style format. Find an easy way to create Common Core assignments using PARCC and Smarter Balanced question types. Passages...more
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Give your students practice and instruction in standardized test style format. Find an easy way to create Common Core assignments using PARCC and Smarter Balanced question types. Passages allow for highlighting, graphs, image labeling, and video sections for background knowledge. Questions include a section for written response to improve evidence-based answers as well as multiple choice. Teachers can share their assignments or use other teacher created assignments. Students receive immediately graded feedback. With a free teacher account, save questions to your library.

tag(s): assessment (100), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use technology to motivate and engage your students. Give these quality text passages personalized to your class needs. Use as a teaching tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Continue to use individually or as small group instruction. Pair a weak reader with a strong reader for independent pair work. You can easily differentiate by creating tiered assignments to meet each students' needs. Share at your next staff meeting to provide collaboration between teachers. Use in a flipped classroom and have students complete the work at home. They will still receive immediate feedback! Use at parent gatherings to provide an example of the grade level expectations. Put on your classroom website as a way to practice at home. Before assigning questions to individual students you might want to check the readability of the questions or supplied readings. Use a tool such as The Readability Test Tool, reviewed here. This reviewer found the articles in some grade levels to be about two years higher in reading level than the grade listed for the question.
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Goodbits - Charles Bergeron, Kalvir Sandhu, Philippe Creux and Godfrey Cha

Grades
K to 12
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Finally! A tool to create a professional looking email newsletter in minutes! Goodbits has simplified the task of designing a newsletter by having sections and changing the layout easily....more
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Finally! A tool to create a professional looking email newsletter in minutes! Goodbits has simplified the task of designing a newsletter by having sections and changing the layout easily. You can also crop images where necessary. Just find and collect your content, plug it into Goodbits, and they will make it beautiful. You can read the newsletter on most browsers and mobile devices. You can add links via mobile devices; however, they recommend creating and sending newsletters on a computer. Goodbits uses Mail Chimp, reviewed here, but plans on using other email programs in the future. The sign up is quick, just your name and email, and you are set to go.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44)

In the Classroom

Consider using Goodbits to create a daily newsletter about what students learned in class, and then present it as a recap at the beginning of the next day. Be sure to add images and charts where possible for visual students. Eventually, students could do this on their own at the end of the class. A newsletter would build an excellent learning journal and could be used to study for a test, or as a source for writing a final essay. Writing for digital publication is an important element of Common Core writing. In science and math classes, students can design a newsletter about a famous scientist or mathematician. In science class, students can develop a newsletter to explain to a younger student about cells, life cycles, or any science topic. Do an author study with the end project being a newsletter. For literature circle end projects have the group create a newsletter about the plot and characters. Create digital magazines for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats. With the Goodbits newsletter tool, it will almost seem effortless to send home a weekly or monthly newsletter to parents with ongoing news of class activities, announcements, schedules, and more.

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Aurora Alive - Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Grades
6 to 12
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Not sure about the Northern Lights? Find incredible information and activities to better understand the beautiful phenomenon. Be sure to look at the Student Materials. Looking for more...more
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Not sure about the Northern Lights? Find incredible information and activities to better understand the beautiful phenomenon. Be sure to look at the Student Materials. Looking for more information? Click on See Advanced Lessons or Multimedia Lessons for even more! The Multimedia Lessons are ready to use in class. Though the DVD has a price, the lesson plans are free to unzip and download.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): arctic (44), atmosphere (26), light (46), space (205), stars (61)

In the Classroom

Use the various materials in class with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the materials to learn about the Northern Lights and how and why they exist. Activities include vocabulary and scavenger hunts. Students can view many of the modules independently and teach others in the class about what they learned.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Energy Efficient - Houseplans.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Apply math or science in the real world using these free house plans. Imagine teaching measurement or the concept of scale using free house plans downloaded from the Internet. What...more
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Apply math or science in the real world using these free house plans. Imagine teaching measurement or the concept of scale using free house plans downloaded from the Internet. What about a study of energy and environmental issues? Use this simple site to download house plans for green houses. Use these plans as a great way to discuss many issues related to energy conservation and environmental issues. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to the blog featuring the essentials of green building.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (84), area (66), energy (198), homes (12), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Teach the concept of energy conservation, scale, square footage, and volume. In a business class, discuss the costs of building and create budgets or cost estimates for the building of the house or renovation of a house. Use in a computer or drafting class as inspiration for other projects. Continue the designs outside with the design of landscaping to fit the house in various areas around the country using local fauna and focusing on water and soil conservation. Identify features of design best for energy conservation and how to alter various designs for energy savings. Consider uploading plans from this site to a tool such as Mapwing, reviewed here, to label changes for an energy efficient home.

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The Great Backyard Bird Count - Cornell University

Grades
3 to 12
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Join the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count every February anywhere in the world. Help scientists collect data to get an annual snapshot of ...more
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Join the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count every February anywhere in the world. Help scientists collect data to get an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. Detailed information contains a tool kit with instructions and a how to video, data forms, bird lists, and an online bird guide. Submit your observations and explore the data that was submitted by area, range, and submission map. Count birds any time of the year by clicking on the ebird link on the home page.

tag(s): birds (50), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Involve your class in discovering the world of birds, the environments, and how they effect ecosystems. Determine the birds in your area and ways to attract birds. As a class or at home, have students participate in Project Feeder Watch and analyze their own data. Compare with other places in the country or world. Have students create a multimedia presentation to share their results. Use one of the many multimedia tools reviewed by TeachersFirst here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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