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Digital Footlocker: The Home Fires--Montana in WWII - Thinking Through American History

Grades
4 to 12
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Footlockers beckon to be opened. Likewise, a digital footlocker such as this site begs the visitor to click on its links to discover what being a Montana citizen was ...more
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Footlockers beckon to be opened. Likewise, a digital footlocker such as this site begs the visitor to click on its links to discover what being a Montana citizen was like during WWII. Open the footlocker and discover pdf versions of war bonds, listen to songs from the '40s, or imagine yourself in the clothing from that era. Not only is this site a glimpse into Montana during the 1940s, but you will find a little bit of your own region's history there, too. The site also includes history-oriented lesson plans available from the 1940s. More importantly, you may glean ideas from this site on how to create your own digital footlocker, an electronic collection of artifacts on a common topic.

tag(s): montana (4)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students "feel" the realities of life during world war II. As you finish studying an era or concept, consider putting together a digital footlocker of your own on a wiki.

Want to know more about wikis? See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. You may also want to google 'digital footlocker' to see other online footlockers assembled by teachers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change - The King Center

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring ...more
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring him, his wife and family, and more. There are video and audio inserts, PDF printables, excellent research information, and a very inspiring Flash enabled speech. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), martin luther king (37)

In the Classroom

Share the video and/or audio clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use this site for research projects. Challenge students to write a blog from King's perspective. Have students pretend that he could write a blog for people to read in the 2000s. What would he say? Has his dream come true?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The War in Europe - History Place

Grades
6 to 12
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Chronology & photos from The History Place. ...more
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Chronology & photos from The History Place.

tag(s): europe (75), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them look at the timeline, and then in groups select 5 events on the timeline that the site failed to go into detail on. Have the students create their own excerpts of those events, including what they think is the most important information. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Trenches on the Web

Grades
6 to 12
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Information and links on W.W.I. The site offers reference materials, thematic tours, poster reproductions, discussion groups, and more. ...more
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Information and links on W.W.I. The site offers reference materials, thematic tours, poster reproductions, discussion groups, and more.

tag(s): world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

This site has a treasure trove of information about World War I! Use it as a reference point for standards terms, and to find information to supplement the textbook. One activity for the classroom is to access the section on the web site dedicated to displaying the posters from various countries. Assign cooperative learning groups a country and allow them to browse through that nation's war posters on classroom computers. Once students have looked through them all, have them create a contemporary poster for the country based on general trends they observed and using their knowledge about the conflict. We recommend using a site such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students share their end products with the class via interactive whiteboard or projector.

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We Shall Overcome - Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement - National Park Service

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4 to 12
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This is the National Park Service's guide to American sites that were important in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. It includes travel information as well as ...more
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This is the National Park Service's guide to American sites that were important in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. It includes travel information as well as background on the sites and their significance.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil rights (117)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them explore the site with the intention of picking three to research further. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Have students pick the three the think are most significant or symbolic, which will be presented in poster form. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). This activity will teach students about some of the major events of the Civil rights movements in a way that provides relief from lectures.

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2000 Census Data On-line - US Government

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K to 12
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets,...more
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets, and more. General categories include "People & Households," "Business & Industry," "Geography," "Newsroom," and "Special Topics." Each category has several topics. This historical census data is ideal for comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends.

tag(s): census (19), data (148), states (163)

In the Classroom

This data would be great material for a US government or history class. Teachers can find all sorts of demograhic information for use during lessons on the political make-up of the country as well as representative numbers, migration trends, etc. There is a LOT here so be sure to give yourself time to search through it all for what you need. Have students use this site to research specific topics and create multimedia projects with a partner. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Challenge groups to create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Americans and the Environment - National Humanities Center

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4 to 12
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and...more
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and parents will find the subject matter fits nicely with most American History curricula, and the "guiding discussion" sections provide some new strategies and insights for teaching material that may have become too routine for students. If history (at any level) is your field, this one is worth a visit.

tag(s): conservation (127), ecology (135), environment (317)

In the Classroom

While this site is a little text-heavy, it is truly an excellent site for exploring the way the North American environment has been impacted by recent history. Select the time period that is appropriate to your unit, and introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore the rest of the site on classroom computers. To ensure that they're doing more than skimming the text, Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Indiana Info for Kids - State of Indiana

Grades
4 to 8
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This site offers facts and information about the Hoosier State for kids. Learn about Indiana's current governor, Mitch Daniels, such as his favorite flavor of ice cream. The Fun Facts...more
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This site offers facts and information about the Hoosier State for kids. Learn about Indiana's current governor, Mitch Daniels, such as his favorite flavor of ice cream. The Fun Facts portion includes trivia such as the official stone, river, and poem of Indiana. The state symbol's portion is the most comprehensive portion of the site offering answers to questions such as "What is the meaning behind the Indiana State Flag" and "What is the Indiana State Bird?"

tag(s): states (163)

In the Classroom

Have students create a simple online posters instead of traditional state reports using PicLits (reviewed here. Share this site with students to use when finding information for state research projects.

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About Illinois - State of Illinois

Grades
4 to 8
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If you are looking for facts and figures about the state of Illinois, then this is the site for you! Each set of links from this page takes the user ...more
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If you are looking for facts and figures about the state of Illinois, then this is the site for you! Each set of links from this page takes the user to specific categories of information such as agriculture, history, and economy. Most useful for teachers and students will be the History & Culture and State Symbols links. The History & Culture page includes a historical timeline of the state beginning in 1673 with the arrival of Louis Jolliet and Father Marquette in the state all the way through to the 2005 World Series win of the Chicago White Sox. Learn about state symbols such as the official state snack food and state amphibian while exploring the State Symbols portion of the site.

tag(s): chicago (5), illinois (9)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to create a web exhibit collection about Illinois using a tool such as Bag The Web (reviewed here) to share all of the important links, information, and even brief descriptions. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard with your students to help them find portions useful for research, then allow them to explore on their own. Create a scavenger hunt for students to search the site to find facts about the state.

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Fire Prevention Week - National Fire Protection Association

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection, provided by the National Fire Protection Association is amazing. Here you will find fire prevention facts, products to help families stay safe, special materials for...more
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This collection, provided by the National Fire Protection Association is amazing. Here you will find fire prevention facts, products to help families stay safe, special materials for parents (and teachers, too), an online quiz for both students and families, and more! At the time of this review, the message for the year was "Protecting Your Families and Loved Ones From Fire." The approach, at the time of this review, is multimedia; in addition to the quiz, there are audio public service announcements, a blog, an upcoming webinar, and safety videos. For younger children, the familiar Sparky the Dog offers fun activities. Accompanying safety tip sheets benefit everyone, and a focus on high-risk populations assures you that everyone will have a fighting chance against fire.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): fire prevention (10), fire safety (11), homes (12)

In the Classroom

Try pair teaching after introducing the important facts available on this page. Have the first of a pair give the other student the facts and then have the second add to what the first has missed. Have your class make their own posters using this year's campaign logo. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have your class create check sheets they can take home and do their own domestic assessment with. Ask if they know any members of the population that might be higher at risk for fires, and see if they can think of ways to make contact and help this group.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Obsurvey - Copenhagen Code

Grades
7 to 12
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Create polls and surveys easily and without ads or limits. Build your survey by using the simple tools to add text and various methods of receiving responses such as radio ...more
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Create polls and surveys easily and without ads or limits. Build your survey by using the simple tools to add text and various methods of receiving responses such as radio boxes, checklists, and short or long text. Add page breaks, copy questions, and move questions in your survey. Use the editor bar at the top of your survey page to save, preview, or collect responses. Use additional formatting including adding links. When saving, choose to have only one response per computer or many from the same computer.

tag(s): statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Users must be knowledgeable of simple formatting and the various choices available for a survey. Follow the simple online guide to make your survey. View the demo on the main page for more information on how to use Obsurvey.

Consider creating a class account for students to use. Students can turn in a word document of questions to be able to attribute work to students. Be sure to spell out appropriate and inappropriate use, consequences, and then be sure to follow through.

Use a survey or poll to find answers to questions that are simple to collect data on (favorite food, color, vacation spot, number of siblings etc.) Use data to show averages, results of small and large samples, graphing, simple statistics, and more. Find results of what people believe about various issues or ideas to introduce in class discussions or debates. Want student input on a unit or possible next activity? Use a poll to find out! Use as a way to check for prior knowledge at the start of a unit. Polls and surveys are applicable for every subject at the beginning, middle, or end of a unit. Uncover misconceptions from students in your class as well as the school community.

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3rd World Farmer - Frederik Hermund

Grades
6 to 12
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This activity simulates some of the real-world mechanisms that cause and sustain poverty in 3rd World countries. You get to manage an African farm and are soon confronted with the ...more
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This activity simulates some of the real-world mechanisms that cause and sustain poverty in 3rd World countries. You get to manage an African farm and are soon confronted with the difficult choices that poverty and conflict can cause. Unlike typical interactives where it's always possible to prosper by playing cleverly and making the right choices, it is not always like that in 3rd World Farmer. Just as real people die from starvation in desperate situations that they are not responsible for, all it takes for things to go wrong in this activity is one bad harvest, an unfortunate encounter with corrupt officials, a raid by guerrillas, a civil war, a sudden fluctuation in market prices, or another random event that might never happen in industrialized countries. Begin by buying crops, place them in your fields, then continue on to the next steps. A short commercial plays when you enter the site and before access to the activity.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (180), agriculture (55)

In the Classroom

Try this activity as a class on your interactive whiteboard (or projector), discussing choices and events that happen throughout the game. Allow individual students to try this activity and journal their experiences and the effect that events can have on farmers in 3rd world countries. Compare/contrast the effects of events on 3rd World farmers vs the same events in a student's life. Download a worksheet for students to record activities here.
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Fold Play - Alfa, Superspy, and Octave

Grades
1 to 10
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Turn your photographs into a three-dimensional wonder. Fold Play lets users upload their own photographs into existing templates, print, and then fold them into Kaleidocycles, books,...more
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Turn your photographs into a three-dimensional wonder. Fold Play lets users upload their own photographs into existing templates, print, and then fold them into Kaleidocycles, books, double-sided poly puzzles, or invertible cubes. The clear instructional tutorials and directions make the process painless. Some projects even include video instructions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (41), creative writing (166), geometric shapes (163), origami (17), paper folding (5), photography (160), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Create clever "All About Me" projects while teaching mathematical principals about 2D and 3D figures, line, area, perimeter, and planes. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. The most effective way to use this site is to allow students to work on it in pairs so they can easily assist each other. The tutorials are ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector because students can follow (and fold) along with the presentation. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating how to create 3D shapes with sites such as PodOmatic (reviewed here (reviewed here). Ask students to explain the folding process with geometric terms such as fractional parts, symmetry, faces, edges, rotations, lines, triangles, angles, and shapes. Foldplay turns math instruction into an art. Younger students may find some folding tasks a challenge, so be sure to provide a buddy for those with poor fine motor skills.

Make gifts for special occasions, such as to thank the school principal or cafeteria workers. Create unique ornaments using student photos. Decorate a "physics tree" or "author tree" using Fold Play ornaments made from images of the concepts or of books by that author.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

I was about to bookmark this site and use it for my Intermediate students. I would consider this to have inappropriate content for students. The site talks about unhealthy attraction to pornographic haiku and lesbianism.

Editor's Note: We investigated this comment and looked through all the Foldplay activities/templates. ALL areas are safe and school appropriate EXCEPT under "Links and Stuff." The value of the activities in the other areas makes this site worth keeping, even if you must monitor to avoid the "links" area. We have also contacted FoldPlay to explain teacher concerns.
Nina, TX, Grades: 3 - 5

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Zoho Show - ZOHO Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint...more
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint with your students. It is very advantageous if you have assigned a project and students do not have access to PowerPoint at home. This can be accessed anywhere with no cost to the student, the parent, or you. Sharing and collaborating is also simple. Upload, edit, and save your documents easily.

tag(s): multimedia (57), slides (63)

In the Classroom

To use this site, you will need to create an account. You will need to navigate using onscreen instructions. There is a video tour of the features if you would like to view it, but it is just as fun and easy to play with the tool. Slide themes are limited, but the tools are simple and it is easy to publish to a URL that can be shared with everyone.

Use this tool to create presentations when students will need more than class time to finish. Have students make individual presentations. Instead of presenting on projector, have them share to the class wiki or within their zoho group to promote discussion and peer review. Assign a round-robin peer review so everyone gets some feedback.

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Quiz Revolution - QuizRevolution

Grades
2 to 12
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Create cool, professional looking quizzes and tests! Quiz Revolution offers a platform for developing online quizzes for your websites and blogs. Multimedia options offer the opportunity...more
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Create cool, professional looking quizzes and tests! Quiz Revolution offers a platform for developing online quizzes for your websites and blogs. Multimedia options offer the opportunity to personalize quizzes and to create a more interesting look for your pages. You can add text, images, video, and html as well as choosing from pre-made "skins." There is a "look and play" section where you will get an idea of this program's capabilities.

tag(s): assessment (100), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Create quizzes to use for pre- and post- lesson assessments. Post the quizzes to your class website or blog as assignments. Insert videos, photos, and text into your quiz to reinforce concepts before students take the test. Assign students to create a quiz on a current topic as a wrap-up to a unit. Share the quiz on your interactive whiteboard or projector (use it as a center, rather than a "whole-group" activity. Learning support teachers may want to have students work with a partner to create review quizzes they can use as study aids.

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Things to Learn With: Learning Almanac - Cheryl Davis

Grades
6 to 12
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some...more
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some 2.0 programs such as wikis and YouTube across the curriculum. Browse through the outstanding resources which are perfect for middle school and beyond.

tag(s): blogs (88), charts and graphs (195), communities (35), experiments (71), geology (81), literature (275), news (261), search strategies (30), spreadsheets (17), statistics (122), tutorials (47), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

For example, use the lesson It's a Statistical World to bring statistics and the use of spreadsheets into the classroom. Follow project ideas, suggestions, and how to's to complete the activity. Specific examples, suggestions, and tutorials for using the resources are given throughout. Find unbelievable ideas that are exceptional for many curricular areas. Mark this one in your Favorites to use when you need inspiration or a new approach to curriculum that never seems to "stick" the way you wish it would.
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art - MetMedia - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
K to 12
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers visually rich and powerful interactives to learn about art, artists, and the world around us. The collection of interactives is organized into...more
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers visually rich and powerful interactives to learn about art, artists, and the world around us. The collection of interactives is organized into "channels" for different age groups (see the pulldown at right). Built around the world-class collections of the museum, the Met provides interactive activities on many topics, from the Knights of Central Park to Degas. Teachers can also find lesson plans related to the museum's collection by Selecting Educators from the "Learn" menu. In addition to the Interactive media, there are also videos and audio/podcasts to explore. See the KIdsZone audio for family-friendly listening connecting artworks to familiar stories. Free (optional) site membership allows you to collect "favorite" items in MyMet.

tag(s): museums (49)

In the Classroom

Explore by age group or topic. The interactives lend themselves to whole class viewing with a projector, small group use on an interactive whiteboard, or partner exploration on class computers or laptops. Base a hands-on art activity around the interactives for a multicultural tour or discussion about art styles around the world. Create a classroom art gallery of student art in time for Open House. Don't forget to take digital pictures for your "archives" and as examples for another year. Keep them on your class Gallery wiki or have students narrate them as the Met does using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Maryland Kids Page - Maryland Secretary of State

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn about the state of Maryland and its' laws, history, symbols, and more at this site presented by the Secretary of State of Maryland. The site is divided into sections ...more
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Learn about the state of Maryland and its' laws, history, symbols, and more at this site presented by the Secretary of State of Maryland. The site is divided into sections with sub-categories included on the home page. The history portion includes a great deal of information including a timeline of Maryland, women's history, Native American history, and African-American history, plus famous Marylanders. The government portion of site includes a very nice graphic demonstrating the bill-creation process. Learn all the state symbols such as the state song, bird, and even the state dog in the state symbols portion of the site. Be sure to visit the geography links and choose fun stuff to find lots of fun facts and state trivia.

tag(s): biographies (87), maryland (8), states (163)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to go past PowerPoint and make an online presentation using Animoto (reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge. Share the page with the bill-creation process on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) with students and have them compare with other states' processes. Create a scavenger hunt including information from the site and have students explore the pages to find answers. Share the site with students as a resource for state research or famous American projects.

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Maine Secretary of State Kids' Page - Maine Secretary of State

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn all about Maine (for kids) without having to leave the room! The "All About Maine" portion of the site includes information about the state including famous people, a history...more
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Learn all about Maine (for kids) without having to leave the room! The "All About Maine" portion of the site includes information about the state including famous people, a history timeline, maps, state symbols, and more. Be sure to check out the "Tree of Facts" that includes information outlined in the image of a tree. Another useful link takes you to a list of children's books about Maine. The "Fun and Games" section includes several activities for kids including a symbols matching game, recipes, a coloring book, and more.

tag(s): maine (4), states (163)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to go past PowerPoint and make an online presentation using Animoto (reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge. Review the list of books about Maine to use as resources for Guided Reading or class read-alouds. Share the site with students when preparing state research projects. Demonstrate the Tree of Facts and challenge students to create their own Tree of Facts for the state they are researching.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Collaborize Classroom - Democrasoft

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about...more
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Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about Collaborize Classroom including 8 Online Icebreakers. Tutorials for learning how to enter students into groups, creating new groups, and choosing discussion types exist. Consensus discussions such as yes/no, multiple choice, and vote/suggest can be chosen. Open discussions can occur using the forum discussion type. Add video, images, documents, and more to your discussions. Students, however, cannot upload material to the discussions. Because it is a closed group, outside comments are not a concern (group members must be added, invited, or approved). The process from setup to a functioning site is very simple. Tutorials and technical support is available and make this tool very easy to use. Use participation and activity tools in Collaborize Classroom to track student participation. Use the available PDF's for assistance in using Collaborize Classroom and ideas to use in class to stimulate discussions and engage learning. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), forum (9), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for discussions, project collaboration, voting on issues, and sharing resources in and out of the classroom. Increase student participation and encourage in-class discussions and outside homework, extension of the classroom, and activity. Use for blended learning activities that include discussion questions to extend the discussions from in class to outside the classroom. Provide multiple choice questions that they can answer, agree or disagree with statements, post comments, or vote on other responses. Use the discussions to debate issues in the school community or within the country. Critique and comment on current events as they are happening. Use to discuss environmental problems. Use groupings to create literature circles. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

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