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The Lincoln Log - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Grades
4 to 10
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by ...more
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by clicking on search this day. Links to supporting documents and additional information is embedded in the entries.

tag(s): lincoln (86), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This site will fit perfectly into any social studies or history class. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. Create a class job for a student called Historian. They can check the website to see what was happening that day and report it to the class. Have students choose an event from the site, find an image of Lincoln and upload it to Blabberize reviewed here They can then have Lincoln "talk" about an important day of his life.

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Polar Bear Plunge - San Diego Zoo

Grades
2 to 6
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Learn about the challenges facing polar bears due to climate change with this interactive site. Keep Walluk, the polar bear, moving by placing floating pieces of ice together to make...more
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Learn about the challenges facing polar bears due to climate change with this interactive site. Keep Walluk, the polar bear, moving by placing floating pieces of ice together to make a path to the end of the path. The activity increases in difficulty throughout the levels. In Chinook's Beat the Heat game, block the heat to bring platforms together, too much heat and they will melt. Tatqiq's Keep it Cool game challenges players to keep the thermometer as cool as possible for the polar bears. Links are also included to San Diego Zoo's polar bear exhibit and polar blogs.

tag(s): animals (276), climate (92), conservation (127), polar (19)

In the Classroom

Use the site as a starting point for a conservation unit and explore the impact of climate change on polar bears. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this site on your classroom website or newsletter to be explored at home. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation such as an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Elephant Odyssey - San Diego Zoo

Grades
2 to 6
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Learn about elephants through this engaging interactive that takes you back to the time of mammoths. Keep your elephant alive by finding food and avoiding dangers such as saber tooth...more
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Learn about elephants through this engaging interactive that takes you back to the time of mammoths. Keep your elephant alive by finding food and avoiding dangers such as saber tooth tigers. In addition, there are links to explore the elephant exhibit at the San Diego Zoo, meet the elephants and watch videos of the elephants in action.

tag(s): animals (276), conservation (127), ecology (135), environment (317), habitats (84)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center during your animal unit. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects on animals and their habitats.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst Hurricane Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand hurricanes and the historic events surrounding major hurricanes. Explore...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand hurricanes and the historic events surrounding major hurricanes. Explore these resources during a unit on weather or disasters and include related projects and classroom activities. Classrooms in hurricane-prone areas may want to stop to observe anniversaries of local hurricane history or even to conduct local history projects in conjunction with some of these starter resources. Turn frightening natural disasters into positive learning using the background on these helpful sites.

tag(s): disasters (39), hurricanes (35), natural disasters (20), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this complete list as a research source for student projects during a unit on weather or choose one or two specific sites to use. These reviews all include ideas for classroom use.

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TeachersFirst's Oil Spill Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused by these environmental disasters. As students read and see images of animals, be aware that younger students may have more questions than they can explain.

tag(s): disasters (39), environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use these resources together with your class to help students find ways they can contribute to a greater good after such a devastating event spreads across the news. Extend the opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to legislators or the editor), careers in environmental science, and more.

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9/11: The Day that Changed America - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
1 to 8
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This site explains the events of 9/11 in kid friendly language and provides ideas for activities and lesson plans. It includes information on how kids and schools in the New ...more
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This site explains the events of 9/11 in kid friendly language and provides ideas for activities and lesson plans. It includes information on how kids and schools in the New York area were affected by the attacks, as well as an understandable summary of the events that transpired.

tag(s): sept11 (21)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use the lesson plans and activities in your classroom during a lesson or unit on 9/11. Use the articles as a reading activity, allowing reading pairs to read the articles after a discussion on the topic. Be sure to pair students, allowing weaker readers a partner to help them. Have students write and record a podcast "news" story about 9/11 using a simple tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here.

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Mix Book - Andrew Laffoon

Grades
K to 12
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously...more
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously insert photos, text, and edit from separate computers. Authors can select from a wide variety of thematic designs, layout options, stickers, and backgrounds or design their own. Upload personal photos, scanned illustrations, or free public domain images directly into the image library. Inserting photos is a simple, intuitive process that requires a click and drag. The text comes in a variety of font options, and sizes. A complete transcript of the writing appears below the book. Viewers can enjoy the reading the book without needless advertising or redirection to another site. It is also possible to copy a book and easily create a customized edition for individual students. There is always the option to purchase books directly from the Mixbook. Go directly to this site and immediately create your masterpiece.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), ebooks (41)

In the Classroom

Use Mixbook to create collaborative projects, yearbooks, or to give writers workshop publishing a professional flare. History teachers may enjoy letting students photograph a re-enactment of a scene from the past and then write accompanying text. Combine yearly research reports with this multimedia option. Have students create collaborative projects that access fantastic photography collections from sites such as the Library of Congress . Primary school teachers can photograph student illustrations of familiar songs, poems, or rhymes and create "class" books. Project these books onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and revolutionize shared reading. Create parent education books that communicate how to help with their student's reading at home, or explain the stages of project-based learning. Students can also author books in a foreign language. Mixbook is useful for all areas of the school curriculum. Remember to embed student books into the school website for family and friends at home to enjoy.

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WinkBall - WinkBall

Grades
K to 12
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to ...more
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to email or post on video blogs and walls. Choose to communicate with the general public, set groups, or speak to only one person. Winkball supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files and imports videos directly from YouTube. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. There are no ads except for a very short Winkball ad that appears at the end of each video clip. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. You will want to check to be sure that all portions you plan to use in class will be available using your school's network.

tag(s): journalism (46)

In the Classroom

Winkball requires the use of a webcam or video camera. Simply adjust the camera for a good shot and click record. The preview feature allows users to clear away initial takes and start again. Download video camera footage onto the computer and then directly upload it to Winkball. The site supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files. Enter a title and description for each video clip. Students can also embed videos from Youtube onto video blogs or walls. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. The site is intuitive and involves little more than point and click abilities. Create a single class account using your "extra" email address, so you can monitor and submit student work.

Winkball has the potential to extend learning beyond the confines of your school. It can provide learning opportunities for students physically unable to attend class or who need to receive coursework from another school. Students can film various features of a field trip and share them on a video wall. Video chat will allow students to record interviews with people outside of the local community. Coordinate collaborative learning projects by having students share resources on video blog. The video blog could also serve as an on-line journal for phases of a long-term unit of study, experiment, or class project. Record the stages of a student's thinking process when engaging in creative problem solving activities. Share the value of this learning process with parents and family by posting a video wall on the class website. Create a broadcasting club and post regular news reports about school events on the school website. Upload a film clip about a historic event onto a class video blog and include a probing question that asks students take a stand on an issue, express their opinion, or debate one another on-line. Provide homework help by recording step-by step procedures to solve a particular type of math problem at home. Model ways parents can help their student with their reading. Post live coverage of class plays, concerts, and school performances so that parents at work can still be in the audience. Make language learning more authentic by using video messaging to communicate with students across the globe.

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Common Core State Standards - Common Core State Standards Initiative Team

Grades
K to 12
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set...more
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set of educational standards which aligns benchmarks and expectations across state lines. This system builds on what states are already doing by providing an opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and lessons, while maintaining high expectations that insure the quality of education across America to enable our students to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy.

Visit this website to find out exactly what the national K-12 standards are for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technology, as well as mathematics, and to find out if your state is one many states (at the time of this review) that have already committed to adopt the Common Core State Standards. Watch videos and the recorded webinar, and read about the key points and rigorous curriculum standards, including the content and skills related to the use of media and technology for critical analysis and production.

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

Take a look at exemplars and sample performance tasks and students' writing to consider how you can integrate these ideas into your own planning to prepare students for the growing challenges of today's world. You can also sign up to receive updates via email. For more information about the Common Core and implementing it in your classes, see TeachersFirst's Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction, a Q/A article for elementary teachers, and TeachersFirst's resources tagged Common Core for many helpful sites.
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September 11 Teacher Awards - Tribute World Trade Center Organization

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York ...more
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York City presents awards to honor teachers who have created exemplary educational projects for students to express and sustain the memory of September 11th. This site shares their projects from the globe and involving all aspects of the arts and humanities, including history, language arts, visual, media and performing arts. Although this site is mainly designed for grades 5-12, there are some activities for younger elementary students found in the "Resources for Your Classroom" section of the site.

tag(s): sept11 (21), terrorism (49), terrorist (16), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Use these award winning ideas to commemorate September 11 in a lesson to demonstrate unity or build worldwide understanding. Use the concepts as a springboard to a collaborative project. Ideas vary from sending chains of origami cranes as a wish for peace, composing and singing a song for unity with an online tool such as Woices (beta) reviewed here), writing letters to local politicians, creating poems and transforming them into digital videos or multimedia presentations using ThingLink, reviewed here, or taking responsibility for the environment while creating a sense of community by planting gardens. Choose from many ways to inspire students to recognize the importance of September 11 and to involve them in working together to become a more tolerant society. You might be so amazed with the results that you will want to submit your students' projects to be considered for next year's Tribute Center September 11th Teacher Awards. The annual award ceremony takes place on February 26, to commemorate the 1993 first attack on the World Trade Center.
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September 11 Timeline of Events - Tribute World Trade Center Organization

Grades
4 to 12
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This tribute to 9/11 is a series of interactive photographs that highlights the episodes that transpired from shortly after 8:00 a.m. when the American Airlines flight was hijacked...more
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This tribute to 9/11 is a series of interactive photographs that highlights the episodes that transpired from shortly after 8:00 a.m. when the American Airlines flight was hijacked and struck the first tower of the World Trade Center, to the aftermath when the pile of debris that was once the Twin Towers became flooded with volunteer rescue workers doing the indescribable heroic work of helping the surviving victims and recovering the remains of the human lives that were destroyed. Move your curser over the photographs to read actual descriptions from flight attendants, survivors, firefighters, family members and others who were part of tragic history in the making. This is an opportunity to "relive" that day, almost minute by minute, as if you were actually there.

tag(s): sept11 (21), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Display this pictorial interactive September 11th timeline of the attack on the World Trade Center on your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard. After reading real accounts of what happened, have students work with a partner to create podcasts (news broadcasts, mock interviews with survivors and others involved, or even a student perspective of how that day changed the United States forever). Have students create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Alternatively, have them narrate an image using ThingLink, reviewed here.
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TeachersFirst's September 11 Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can see the events of September 11 in connection with history, current events, and the challenges and balances of national security. Whether you stop to observe September 11 separately from your regular curriculum or include it through curricular connections to writing and social studies topics, these resources can help today's students imagine the events of a day before their memory but ever present in the American consciousness.

tag(s): terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Include one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.

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NEN Gallery - National Education Network

Grades
K to 12
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having...more
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having to register or create an account. Registration is necessary for the uploading of files. Moderators review all content on the site before posting. Registered users can store content in separate online albums. Search the site's resources by keyword, subject, instructional age, or phrase. The site originates from the United Kingdom so you may notice some spelling differences from American English. The gallery files reflect this particular geographic location, history, culture and language. The rights and permissions say they "may be downloaded and used for Educational Purposes only. This includes the editing and repurposing of these resources for use in education" (NOT commercial use). (See Teachers >> Further info to learn more.)

tag(s): animals (276), architecture (83), england (57), fashion (10), medieval (27), plants (144), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Bring history lessons about the 20th century alive by reviewing World War II photographs, videos, and interviews with survivors from the United Kingdom. Then ask your class to upload photographs of artifacts, people, film clips or conduct interviewers with survivors in their own community. Record the interview with a site such as Vocaroo reviewed here. Compare and contrast the experiences of both groups during the War. Have students in family and consumer science research fashion, clothing, food, and/or drink from various locations and time periods. Enrich an anticipatory set about William Shakespeare with photographs of his birthplace, Macduff's castle, the Globe Theatre, and his cottage in Stratford. Younger children will enjoy the numerous digital images of animals and antique toys. Prepare a series of topic albums for students to access and use for research by using the sites "My Album" feature.

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School by Fire - Museum of Glass

Grades
4 to 12
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Let your class transform hot molten glass into art without having to call the fire department. School by Fire is a virtual interactive glassblowing activity that demonstrates the process...more
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Let your class transform hot molten glass into art without having to call the fire department. School by Fire is a virtual interactive glassblowing activity that demonstrates the process of creating "macchia" glass. Students experience the complete sequence of steps while keeping a close eye on the temperature of the fire. When students finish their glass project, they can print it out. The Museum of Glass has other interactive features such as "Spontaneous Design," videos, and live Hot Shop viewing of glassmaking. There is also a "Museum of Glass" YouTube channel full of interviews and glassblowing demonstrations.

tag(s): artists (75), sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and then let students explore the site alone. Art and science teachers could use this interactive technology to demonstrate the interconnected nature of the two disciplines. Art teachers can use this interactive to give students a chance to understand an art form not available at school. Science teachers could use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on heat and molecules. Science and Chemistry students may enjoy the "Science and Glass" page found under the "Learn" tab. World history courses studying ancient Rome, Middle Ages and Renaissance could use this fun interactive and their video "Fire Gods" to launch a comparative study development of how glassblowing (art) effect the social and economic influence of a region. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Schools in the Tacoma Washington area can take advantage of the Science and Art curriculum, schedule field trips, or look into having the Mobile Hot Spot come to your school.
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Wikimedia Commons - Wkimedia Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using ...more
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using the same technology as Wikipedia, you can edit, upload, and embed media file projects into any Wikimedia project. Every media file comes with a description, name of the author and complete licensing details. Search for videos, images, or sound media by keyword, content categories, nature, science, or society. This is an amazing resource to use when searching for any multimedia content.

tag(s): creative commons (21)

In the Classroom

Address the needs of the visual learner and include media files as part of the research process. Wikipedia Commons offers a way for students to gain an understanding of content through images, sounds, and video. Give students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge by narrating a slideshow of images found on Wikipedia Commons or create multimedia presentations on a site such as Glogster (reviewed here). These free media files will also help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. This site is a valuable resource for imagery useful when creating presentations, lectures, digital stories, reports or to include on a class websites. Students learning a foreign language may benefit from using Wikipedia Commons to learn about more about the culture and lifestyle of the country whose language they are studying.

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Primary History - BBC Schools

Grades
K to 6
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The style in which BBC Schools presents history on this site will spark any young student's interest. The site covers the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Children of...more
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The style in which BBC Schools presents history on this site will spark any young student's interest. The site covers the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Children of Victorian Britain, and World War 2. An interactive time-line, links all five historic periods together and allows students to contribute new events. The cartoon graphics are visually appealing and the familiar format of the interactive activities entertaining. Each time period has it's own page. The subject index on each page organizes information into topic groups. Click on a topic and sub-sections appear. Each section contains easy to read text that is informative but not too complex. Scroll over key terms and a definition appears. Various fun facts are educational and humorous. There are digital photographs and videos for each sub-section. Unfortunately, it appears BBC blocks the videos for viewers outside the United Kingdom. Each page has an interactive quiz, activities for enrichment, additional links, and free teacher resources. The site is from the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): enrichment (13)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study on any of the five time periods. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. It might help to create a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and remember to have students use headphones. Take advantage of the free lesson plans and enrichment activities to help design curriculum. Download the fun activities and let students choose an extension activity that interests them. Ask students to research various aspects of a given time period in cooperative groups. Present student learning by piecing together their findings into a class online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Share student learning with the parent community by posting this project on the class website. The site traces periods in time mostly relevant to the United Kingdom. Have students' research what was happening at the same time in other parts of the globe and enter this history on the timeline. This is also a great find for gifted students to access and use to lead them to more in-depth investigation.
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Tooth Tally - Lynda Smith

Grades
K to 2
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Are your students loosing the same number of teeth as children in other parts of the world? Seize the moment and embark on a global collaborative tooth tally project. Students ...more
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Are your students loosing the same number of teeth as children in other parts of the world? Seize the moment and embark on a global collaborative tooth tally project. Students will learn how to gather data and share their findings with an international community of peers. This project intertwines math skills, storytelling, geography, and descriptive writing. The creator Lynda Smith requires that teachers join her wiki and register for the project by February 1. The wiki is where participants post all class work, photos, data, and comments.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (148), dental health (23)

In the Classroom

This site is a good way to embark on global collaborative projects with your class. Lynda Smith provides lesson ideas, clear directions, newsletter updates, handouts, and links for further enrichment. All participants collaborate on a small group of set activities such as keeping personal lost tooth tally, creating a class graph of lost teeth and drawing a tooth fairy. In addition to this, the "Teachers" page lists other possible activities and posts free resources. Consider integrating how to use Google Earth reviewed here. Have students locate where other participants go to school. Compare and contrast how their environment looks similar or different from your own school. This is a perfect unit Dental Health Month (February). Be sure to get parent permission before posting any student work on this sharing site.
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Quiznator - Quiznator

Grades
2 to 12
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access ...more
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access your creations online from anywhere! Email is required to join, however, verification is not required. Add your documents, test questions, and worksheets and let Quiznator organize and update them for you. This makes creating multiple version of the same exam quick and painless. This is a great way to back up files on the web for school!

tag(s): worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

Upload your test questions during the summer and feel free to add more as your school year progresses, but use this tool to save a bundle of time on test and quiz creation. Put your worksheet or activity sheet questions into the program and use the questions on quizzes.
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A New Way to Lecture - Michael Zimmer

Grades
4 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you ...more
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you and your students? Take a look at this online slide show, and choose one of fourteen different programs to convert just one of your PowerPoint lectures. Not only is each program explained, but many have suggestions for integrating your lectures with the program. Take a look. Learn about some great web 2.0 sites (Glogster, Prezi, TypeWith.me, Animoto, ToonDoo, and many others). Note that many of the tools mentioned are also reviewed on TeachersFirst in greater detail if you want to learn more.

tag(s): chat (51), comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (142)

In the Classroom

Surprise your students and yourself with how effective any one of these programs can be with your material or THEIR presentations. Create a comic strip to replace a traditional grammar lesson. Use a class wiki to discuss and debate topics in history class. Create an online poster "glog" on using Glogster to demonstrate a new math concept. Once you see a tool that sounds interesting, read its full review on TeachersFirst to find even more ways to use it.
 
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PWSRCAC - PWSRCAC

Grades
K to 12
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Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council provides a free curriculum that is geared toward teaching about oil and oil spills. While this curriculum is about Alaska's...more
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Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council provides a free curriculum that is geared toward teaching about oil and oil spills. While this curriculum is about Alaska's Exxon Valdez oil spill, the information would be very helpful in teaching about other oil spills in recent news. It would be a great place to help develop lessons where students compare and contrast two spills, their magnitude and their effects on the environment.

tag(s): environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use the whole curriculum in environmental science classes or pick and choose pieces that you want to incorporate into your curriculum. Have students research and understand about oil spills in general using this tool, and then have students expand by comparing and contrasting the Exxon spill to the BP spill in 2010. Have students create Venn Diagrams using a tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare these two spills or other oil spills.

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