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Text Compactor - Knowledge by Design Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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This simple, free tool can shorten or summarize an otherwise long passage or text. Simply copy and paste the text passage into the text box. Specify the percentage of summarization...more
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This simple, free tool can shorten or summarize an otherwise long passage or text. Simply copy and paste the text passage into the text box. Specify the percentage of summarization (there is a slider you can drag to the percentage that you want). Text Compactor produces a shortened version below the original. Summarization of text is now easy and fast. Be sure to mention to any student using this site the importance of not plagiarizing and using only original writing. To learn more about how the tool works (and possibly consider some of its "short" comings), see "About."

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44), paragraph writing (17), process writing (42)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when reducing original passages (not plagiarized) to fit a specific number of words or characters. Use this resource when teaching summarization. Paste in a text to summarize and discuss/brainstorm what makes a great summary. Challenge students to look for ways that the tool may have actually missed an important concept through its automated process. Have the class decide whether their own summary or the one offered by this tool is best -- and why. Use this tool as one of many angles on revision during the writing process. Have students paste in their own writing to see what ideas "show" as the most important and to consider revising to emphasize what they really intended to say. If your emails get a bit too wordy, try this tool to shorten them! Shorten your assignment descriptions to make them easier for your ESL/ELL students and lower level readers to understand.

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Educore Tools for Teaching the Common Core - ASCD

Grades
7 to 12
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Ready, set, Common Core! Do you need middle and high school resources for your journey into Common Core? Find current, relevant, evidence based tools and professional development in...more
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Ready, set, Common Core! Do you need middle and high school resources for your journey into Common Core? Find current, relevant, evidence based tools and professional development in three specific areas: About the Common Core, Literacy Tools, and Math Tools. With your free account, find resources and bookmark them to your favorites. A free journaling tool allows you to add relevant notes. This site features the work of the Literacy Design Collaborative, LDC, using the structure of effective and meaningful literacy across the subject areas. Examples are also provided for science and social studies. Various lessons and student handouts are included. LDC is examined in the use of Common Core. Math activities include grades 7-12 and feature concept development, formative assessments, and lessons in action.

tag(s): commoncore (94)

In the Classroom

Find the resources that are right for you, and begin to implement and dig deeper into Common Core. Discover recommended best practices and find practical tools to begin using today. From professional development to ready to use lessons, keep yourself current and stretch your students to go further. Be sure to bookmark this site (or save it in your favorites).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Arctic Theme Page - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Grades
4 to 12
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Stuck out in the cold learning about the Arctic? Vetting information can be like trying to dig in permafrost. The Arctic Theme Page is a cool resource to provide your ...more
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Stuck out in the cold learning about the Arctic? Vetting information can be like trying to dig in permafrost. The Arctic Theme Page is a cool resource to provide your students in-depth information and analysis on the Arctic. The site may have a stark, snowy look, but it is quite useful. The data is from reputable scientific sources, and the information is presented in easy to understand narratives. View data on the Arctic report card page, which provides evidence of the sustained change in the Arctic environmental system. Detailed data is also available on the ice, atmosphere, and the ocean. View detailed information on the vegetation and wildlife of the Arctic. View the North Pole web cam in the gallery as well as vivid images and YouTube videos that make you feel as if you're really there. Use the General Interest tab on the site to access the Education links to explore the Arctic in more detail. Tons of other links are also available to meet any explorer's need. The FAQ page answers many questions about the Arctic and is a great place to start learning. Read the many essays by Arctic experts on key issues in the Arctic. Graphics accompany some of the essays to support understanding. This site meets the needs of diverse learners exploring the Arctic. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): arctic (44), biomes (116)

In the Classroom

The Arctic Theme Page is a great resource for students doing research. Use data on the all of the characteristics of the Arctic to analyze trends. Research information on vegetation, wildlife, atmosphere, geography of the arctic, and the Arctic environment. The gallery of images and videos provide a great visual representation of the Arctic. Use the videos to assist lower-level readers with finding information. The FAQ page is great to guide initial research and basic learning. Ask the Expert essays provide a clear analysis of specific questions about the Arctic. The essays allow students to narrow their focus and learn more in-depth information on the Arctic. Use the photographs for creative writing prompts on adventures that integrate science content on the Arctic. Ask the Expert essays provide great nonfiction support for any science curriculum. The General Interest tab has a ton of links to engage any student.
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Online-Convert - online-convert.com

Grades
K to 12
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Online-Convert is your one stop shop for converting media files from one format to another. It is similar to Zamzar (reviewed here), with one advantage....more
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Online-Convert is your one stop shop for converting media files from one format to another. It is similar to Zamzar (reviewed here), with one advantage. There is no email requirement for converting files. Choose your converter to begin: Audio, Video, Ebook, Image, Document, Archive, or Hash. Use the drop box to choose the target format for your file. Upload or add the url for conversion. Also choose from options such as image quality, size, color, and enhancements. Click convert file, then wait for completion. Online-Convert stores your file for 24 hours and up to 10 downloads.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Mark this tool in your favorites (or bookmark) for easy access and professional use, no matter what grade you teach. Model ethical use of electronic resources (other people's work) for students. Making a "derivative work" from someone else's pdf handout should include a printed credit within the new document, giving credit for the original source, Ex. "Adapted from a handout by xxx available at www.theoriginalhandout.pdf." Such derivative use should only be done when the original copyright permits it, such as using materials that grant permission for classroom use. Be sure to give proper credit for videos and other files you save locally. Have students practice giving proper credit to their converted files.
 

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Our very own star: The Sun - NASA

Grades
2 to 8
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Use this interactive to learn about the Sun. Learn how far the Sun is from Earth, about solar flares, solar wind, and more. Follow through to the end to find ...more
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Use this interactive to learn about the Sun. Learn how far the Sun is from Earth, about solar flares, solar wind, and more. Follow through to the end to find links for more information.

tag(s): solar system (119), sun (71)

In the Classroom

Use this Interactive to share basic information about the Sun that students can discuss in groups or in a class discussion. This Interactive can be used on an Interactive Whiteboard or on individual computers. After using this resource, brainstorm additional questions for research. Students can create presentations to share the information that they research and learn. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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DropShots - WebMinds, Inc

Grades
K to 12
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DropShots is a free video/photo storage and sharing host. Create your membership using email or your Google or Facebook account. Drag and drop files from your computer to upload. Videos...more
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DropShots is a free video/photo storage and sharing host. Create your membership using email or your Google or Facebook account. Drag and drop files from your computer to upload. Videos and images are automatically sorted by date taken. Add a password so that only those who know your unique url and the password can view and access your page. Use links to easily share with social networking sites or embed onto any website. The free (basic) plan allows for up to 500 photos, 20 videos (each with a 2-minute video limit), password protection, and NO ads!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (266), video (254)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom DropShots account for students to upload video projects or images for projects. Share raw materials for student multimedia projects, such as photos of lab experiments or local historic sites. Share classroom projects privately and easily from your DropShots account. In elementary classrooms, teacher can use this tool to share photos from field trips, assemblies, project presentations, and other special events. Share the password with parents only. Have older students create their own DropShots account for collaborating on multimedia projects. Consider having your students sign up using a Gmail account. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

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Blood - e-learning for kids

Grades
4 to 10
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Take a closer look at the blood flowing in your body with this interesting interactive. Click on each of the cells to learn a little more about the types of ...more
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Take a closer look at the blood flowing in your body with this interesting interactive. Click on each of the cells to learn a little more about the types of cells and their functions. Choose from several options at the bottom of the page to get more information. Yukky Bits provides information on some of the yuckier aspects of blood. Find out how much blood you have and all about different blood types by choosing other links.

tag(s): body systems (57), cells (102), human body (121)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and explore together as a class during a unit on body systems or the circulatory system. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash (reviewed here). Use terms provided to help students remember different types of cells and their functions. Before viewing the site have students brainstorm or collect ideas on what they know about blood on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!)
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NBC Sochi 2014 - NBC

Grades
3 to 12
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If you are looking for a general informational site about the 2014 Olympics, this is the site for you! Learn about the sports (alpine skiing, curling, freestyle skiing, snowboarding,...more
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If you are looking for a general informational site about the 2014 Olympics, this is the site for you! Learn about the sports (alpine skiing, curling, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, and more), view video clips, watch a countdown (with days, hours, minutes and seconds), and more. Read and follow the information on athletes to watch as the games begin.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): olympics (47), sports (97)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to use for research about the 2014 Olympics. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have individual students view different video clips and then write about what they learned on your class Olympic Wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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The Science Behind Fall Colors - Explore Asheville

Grades
3 to 12
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Take a look at the science behind changing leaf colors with this interesting site from Explore Asheville. View a time lapse video of changing colors, learn about the early Greek's ...more
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Take a look at the science behind changing leaf colors with this interesting site from Explore Asheville. View a time lapse video of changing colors, learn about the early Greek's theories on why colors change, and find out about changing colors around the world. Information is presented in videos, Google Earth files, and slides. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): plants (145), seasons (37), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare changing leaf colors in North Carolina with those in your area. Challenge students to create online montages about fall colors using images, slideshows, or comic strips using a site such as Infinite Canvas (reviewed here). Set up a Twitter exchange with another classroom around the country to compare changing leaf colors in your communities. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Find additional fall color sites on TeachersFirst to explore other locations.
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Cube Creator - Read Write Think

Grades
2 to 12
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own...more
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own Cube. Follow prompts to create the cube. The planning sheets help you collect information before making the actual printable cube. Once you have entered all your information, print and follow directions to assemble the paper cube. Follow links to find lessons that use this interactive as well as suggestions for other uses. There are lessons for grades 3-4 up through grades 11-12. Note: Read Write Think has added the capability for students to save their work to continue later. In the last paragraph of the Overview, there is a link to watch the video: Saving Work With the Student Interactives.

tag(s): biographies (87), mysteries (25), printables (38), summarizing (13), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use the Cube Creator for virtually any lesson or activity. Try printing on heavier card stock so cubes are durable. Create a cube to practice math problems, describe habitats, outline important story events, and much more. Have students create a cube and share with other students to practice retelling, summarizing, adding synonyms, or review for tests. Have each of your students create an All About Me cube for parents to view at Open House or to get to know each other during the first week of school. Have others guess which cube belongs to which classmate. Create a cube review game where others must answer the question that comes up when you "roll" the cube. The possibilities are endless. Challenge your gifted student(s) to create a "Who Am I?" cube about a famous person they research. Use the Bio Cube option with one variation: DO NOT include the person's real name. Share the cube as a game for the rest of the class to guess (and then create their own similar cubes). Your gifted students may also come up with new ways to Create Your Own Cube that could become a class game! Invite them to try their creativity.
 
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Fur.ly - khell.net

Grades
K to 12
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Shorten multiple urls into one easy-to-share url using fur.ly. Enter all urls into the box (one per line). Add a custom name, if desired. Then enter the Captcha numbers to ...more
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Shorten multiple urls into one easy-to-share url using fur.ly. Enter all urls into the box (one per line). Add a custom name, if desired. Then enter the Captcha numbers to prove you are human and to receive the single url for all links. Click the link to view the first site. Navigate to the other sites using the little bar that shows at the top of the first page. Registration isn't necessary; however, it eliminates the need for entering Captcha numbers when using the site. Although we recommend this site for all ages, in the primary grades this would be strictly a professional tool for teachers to share site lists with parents, students, or even colleagues.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

Use this site to combine the url's of online class projects into one group (one url). Create a group of recommended resources for students or parents on a specific subject or topic and share that url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a single url to all reading resources or math resources for students to explore at home. Create a url for each unit. Create a group with videos on a specific area of classroom content. Create a classroom account where students add resources they have found to share with others. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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History's Heroes - E2BN

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions,...more
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions, listen/view audio stories with more information, then decide for yourself if each person is really a hero using the interactive activity. There are also links to Encode a Message or Record Your Own Speech. Explore the teacher resources for lesson ideas and curriculum links. Heroes range from Anne Askew to Elizabeth Fry to Allen Turing and many others.

tag(s): american revolution (86), england (57), heroes (24), holocaust (39), slavery (72), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use History's Heroes as a resource for teaching about unsung or little known heroes. Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight a "Hero of the Week" from this website. Have students view activities on their own. Challenge cooperative learning groups to use the information to write a story persuading others that this person is or is not a real hero. (Common Core asks for evidence in supporting written opinions!) This site is excellent for enrichment or for gifted. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any person featured on this site. Challenge students to "find" and create projects to share about other unsung heroes. Looking for some engaging presentation tools? Check out the TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools reviewed here. As you study local history, have students discover and describe the unsung heroes of your community. In higher level literature discussions, talk about the definition of "hero" and how these real life heroes compare to those in literature.
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I want to be... - The Ad Council

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn about recycling and the vast array of products that are made out of recycled materials. Use the Recycling 101 section to learn about the various types of materials that...more
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Learn about recycling and the vast array of products that are made out of recycled materials. Use the Recycling 101 section to learn about the various types of materials that are recycled, how to recycle them, and the new items they become. In Recycling Journey, follow an item from curbside pickup to the new item it becomes. Visit Do Your Part and share information about recycling with others you know via social media. Put in your local zip code to find opportunities to recycle in your local area.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), natural resources (59), plastics (9), recycling (57), resources (112)

In the Classroom

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. Students can research statistics about the various items used in the United States and abroad. Discover why recycling is an important endeavor to combat pollution and energy use. Create a public service announcement for your school or community to learn more about the benefits of recycling. Initiate a recycling campaign and create a center for recycling many items from the school including paper. Classes can tally the pounds of materials saved for recycling. Have students create informational commercials and share them using a hosting service such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Hurricanes - Curriculumbits

Grades
4 to 8
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This simple website explains how hurricanes form. Each screen contains just one sentence which the you can read and also listen to. One of the most interesting parts of this ...more
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This simple website explains how hurricanes form. Each screen contains just one sentence which the you can read and also listen to. One of the most interesting parts of this short explanation is the page that shows inside a hurricane. The language and vocabulary used is scientifically correct but easy to understand. It also explains how the Safifir-Simpson scale measures the strength of hurricanes. Finally, an interactive screen allows students to see the effects of different levels of hurricane devastation.

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Have students do a comparison of two famous American hurricanes using Pinwords reviewed here. Challenge students to upload a copyright-safe photo, and then detail the effects of the storm as if it were a news report.
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Tsunamis - Curriculumbits

Grades
4 to 12
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This informative but simple website describes the formation of tsunamis. It combines drawings with real photos of the Sri Lankan tsunami of 2004. Although each page of the site contains...more
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This informative but simple website describes the formation of tsunamis. It combines drawings with real photos of the Sri Lankan tsunami of 2004. Although each page of the site contains only one oral and text sentence, the vocabulary used is accurate and scientific. The map of possible tsunami locations based on the presence of plates deep in the earth's surface provides a vivid picture of the original of the powerful waves.

tag(s): geology (81), tsunamis (16), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Have students, working in groups, create a project using a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here) to provide a comparison of the devastation of previous tsunamis using photos, drawings, and maps.
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Volcanoes - Curriculumbits

Grades
4 to 12
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This simple, but very informative site shows how volcanoes form. Each screen contains only one sentence, which is both text and oral. It shows the three different types of volcanoes...more
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This simple, but very informative site shows how volcanoes form. Each screen contains only one sentence, which is both text and oral. It shows the three different types of volcanoes and contrasts their characteristics. One of the most interesting pages in the site is the map which shows where most of the world's volcanoes are including the infamous Ring of Fire.

tag(s): geology (81), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Have students make mock volcanoes from papier-mache. Have different groups of students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of volcanic activity in various areas in the world. They can even include audio "stories" and pictures.
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Earthquakes - Curriculumbits

Grades
4 to 10
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This simple, but very informative site shows how earthquakes form. Although each screen contains only one sentence, which is both text and oral, the correct scientific vocabulary used...more
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This simple, but very informative site shows how earthquakes form. Although each screen contains only one sentence, which is both text and oral, the correct scientific vocabulary used makes it a valuable site for geography buffs.

tag(s): earthquakes (48), geology (81), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this site in an introductory lesson on weather disasters or geographic oddities. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create simple Infographic comparing different famous earthquakes using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.
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Tornadoes - Curriculumbits

Grades
2 to 8
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This simple site describes the development of a tornado. Both vocal and written sentences show exactly what happens when a tornado forms. The most interesting part is the last screen...more
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This simple site describes the development of a tornado. Both vocal and written sentences show exactly what happens when a tornado forms. The most interesting part is the last screen where you can click the different levels of tornadoes (from F0 to F5) to see what happens to a typical scene. This site will be great for ESL/ELL or resource students since each screen is very simple, easy to read, and vocally backed up.

tag(s): tornadoes (16), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this as an introduction to a lesson on different kinds of severe weather or in the aftermath of a severe tornado strike. Have students make dioramas of a typical neighborhood scene and then, following the illustration of the tornado devastation from this site, take down whatever parts of the neighborhood will disappear, depending on the severity of the storm.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Backpack Practice - Backpack Practice

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
Backpack Practice, available only via Google Chrome, offers practice with skills from preK number recognition through Algebra and ACT/SAT test prep. Choose from topics such as math,...more
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Backpack Practice, available only via Google Chrome, offers practice with skills from preK number recognition through Algebra and ACT/SAT test prep. Choose from topics such as math, science, history, or languages to begin. Be sure to allow the program to access your computer microphone when prompted. Some answers are given as a spoken response. View the image and respond to the prompt: identify the president, say the number of dots on the dice, etc. If unsure, you can pass. Your number of correct responses and passes display on the left of the screen throughout the task. Be sure to speak clearly for Backpack Practice to recognize your response. Our editors did notice that the program sometimes gets behind in "hearing" your response, and we also noticed an occasional typo.

tag(s): addition (251), animals (276), continents (49), countries (76), division (172), grammar (216), map skills (79), money (193), multiplication (227), numbers (204), phonics (75), preK (281), presidents (131), speech (92), sports (97), states (162), subtraction (208), test prep (95), time (144), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Share Backpack Practice with students for a quick practice of math facts, continents, presidents, and much more. Explore the various topics available for your grade level/subject area. Challenge students to improve their time or score for completing activities. Since many of the activities require speaking, not typing, this site is useful for all ages and abilities. Provide this link on your class website for students to access at home (if they have Google Chrome).

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Earth Engine - Google

Grades
7 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
This free collection uses satellite imagery to show changes in land use across the Earth since 1984. This landing page explains the time lapse project and showcases a group of ...more
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This free collection uses satellite imagery to show changes in land use across the Earth since 1984. This landing page explains the time lapse project and showcases a group of Featured Sites using time lapse satellite imagery. Enter a city in the search bar at the top to find data from other areas. Note: Keep in mind that imagery may not be available in all areas since the year 1984. This tool however shows exactly how areas have changed in many key areas such as the Amazon Rainforest, Dubai, and Las Vegas. Look at other natural areas such as the Aral Sea or the Columbia Glacier. This site uses Google Maps and/or the Google Earth browser plugin, so pretest it to be sure it works on the computer(s) you want to use in a classroom.

tag(s): biomes (116), ecosystems (88), environment (317), geology (81)

In the Classroom

Use on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector to see the land use changes in various locations "happen" in an instant. Discuss the reasons for the changes or brainstorm possible reasons. Use this as an introductory activity to various ecology or environmental topics. Research the native plants and animals displaced by human expansion in these locations. What environmental impacts are occurring in these areas? How have other locations changed in response to new uses such as Marcellus shale drilling, mountaintop removal for coal, etc? Discuss the possible changes and search out time lapse images that show changes. Have students create a "wanted" poster naming the "villains" who caused lasting damage to the environment, using a tool such as Poster My Wall, reviewed here.

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