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GDP: Measuring the human side of the Canadian Economic Crisis - National Film Board of Canada

Grades
9 to 12
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The National Film Board of Canada documented the economic crisis through short films and photo essays between 2008 and 2010. We hear about economic downturn every day, but it can ...more
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The National Film Board of Canada documented the economic crisis through short films and photo essays between 2008 and 2010. We hear about economic downturn every day, but it can be easy to forget the human side of hard times. Economic failures are more than statistics on a graph; they are the realities that affect lives. GDP presents these stories in 135 episodes and 53 photo essays. Search the stories by theme--community action, real estate, farming, natural resources--or by using the interactive map. Although the stories are from Canada, their appeal is broader, and they parallel what occurred in many countries.

tag(s): canada (31), media literacy (65), photography (156)

In the Classroom

This site can put a human face on the numbers for students studying current events, economics, or social studies. The site may also be useful as an example of how to tell stories related to history. Consider asking students to analyze HOW the stories are told, either using film or still photography. How can we use these media to illustrate a historical event? For students considering a History Day exhibit or documentary, these stories may provide inspiration and direction. As Common Core calls on students to engage in digital writing, showing these examples to help students plan student-made media will be more meaningful than simply talking about it.
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I Coach Math - HighPoints Learning

Grades
3 to 12
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Receive online math help and practice anytime and anywhere using I Coach Math activities (many correlated to Common Core). Begin by choosing your appropriate math level from elementary,...more
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Receive online math help and practice anytime and anywhere using I Coach Math activities (many correlated to Common Core). Begin by choosing your appropriate math level from elementary, middle school, or high school at the bottom of the screen. Narrow results by grade and topic to find lessons. Review and practice material with short, multiple choice response questions. Other interesting features of this site include math, physics, chemistry, and biology dictionaries. Complete the free assessment test to receive an instant report including your strengths and challenges. Please note that although I Coach Math works on all browsers, the site recommends Mozilla Firefox for display of all content. There are significant ads on this site, so guide students to avoid them.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (117), decimals (125), equations (153), exponents (44), fractions (229), functions (69), geometric shapes (169), homework (44), measurement (178), polynomials (28), probability (137), ratios (63), statistics (126)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class website or class newsletter for students (and parents) to practice at home. Create a link on classroom computers for a math center activity. Although the free assessment test may take up to 60 minutes to complete, it may be worthwhile to have students complete this to include with parent teacher conferences.
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Achieve the Core - Student Achievement Partners

Grades
K to 12
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Find lessons and materials to jump into Common Core. Whether you are already a Common Core whiz or just a beginner, this site will help you grow and learn. Search ...more
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Find lessons and materials to jump into Common Core. Whether you are already a Common Core whiz or just a beginner, this site will help you grow and learn. Search the site by selecting subject area, grade level(s), and your role/position. Begin your professional development with instructional modules. Modules include a facilitators guide, a video, and hands on activity with discussion ideas. Content includes both ELA and Math. Some lessons can be found (in ELA) that also incorporate science and social studies. Search by individual grade level or by elementary, middle school, or high school. Under ELA/Literacy, examine text dependent questions and text complexity. You will also find instructional videos, sample lesson and assessment questions, instructional practices, and aligning materials. Math activities include videos, examining the shifts, and evaluating yourself. Another area to explore is the Leadership Tools.

tag(s): commoncore (89)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for professional development. Find the self evaluation tools to use before your evaluation by administrators. Start a Common Core study group, and explore and share together. Ready made parent materials make parent involvement easy. Learn ways to become involved with the Common Core movement. And of course, don't miss the fabulous "ready to go" lessons!
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JogNog - JogNog

Grades
2 to 12
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JogNog offers some free online learning games aligned to Common Core Standards. Easily find games for 2nd grade up to college level by topic or type. Search relevant keywords to ...more
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JogNog offers some free online learning games aligned to Common Core Standards. Easily find games for 2nd grade up to college level by topic or type. Search relevant keywords to find games. Hover over search results to view a short description of each quiz along with the number of levels and questions included. Create a class and share any quiz with a quick click to create a class code and URL link to selected quizzes. The first level of every Quiz is always free. Every review quiz is free. Grade Books and Questions Report provide feedback on class participation and correct responses. Choose the design link to create your own personalized quizzes using your own content or from questions already on the site. Play JogNog on personal computers or any mobile device by downloading the corresponding app. Creating quizzes is FREE at all times. The free trial (offers additional materials) is good for only 30 days.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (177), gamification (89), quizzes (104), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Make use of this trial just before standardized test time to get the most out of your free JogNog account. Create a free teacher account then choose quizzes for student review of any topics. Create any number of quizzes and share with students for use on any mobile device. Share JogNog with parents to create an account for their student.

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Highlighting Our History: Colonial Times Read-alouds PLUS for the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English...more
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts while infusing some social studies content, specifically the early colonial period. If you fear that social studies has taken a back seat to tested content or that students may be losing a sense of our history and heritage, this is a way to fortify your students' knowledge of early American history and heritage together with their skills in reading and writing. The article includes book suggestions as well as discussion questions and writing activities connected to CCSS Standards. Don't miss our other articles on implementing Common Core in elementary. The book suggestions are not necessarily ones your students would read on their own, but nestle in well as read-alouds in social studies curriculum across elementary grades.

tag(s): book lists (131), colonial america (108), commoncore (89), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Mark this article in your Favorites and take the book suggestions with you to the library (or search for interlibrary loans) to help "fit" social studies into your read-alouds, making every minute count! Consider using them as part of a "Then and Now" or "Past and Present" focus in kindergarten or first grade, or with middle elementary students as part of a unit related to early settlements or the thirteen colonies. Be sure to look at the suggestions for connecting the read-alouds to CCSS-aligned writing prompts or for short, focused research projects to include as follow-up.

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Creating Community and Getting Inspired with Blog Hops and Events - Krista Stevens/WordPress

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover blog ideas galore from the "friendly writers" at Wordpress, especially these ideas for connecting your blog with other bloggers via special events, such as "blog hops." A blog...more
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Discover blog ideas galore from the "friendly writers" at Wordpress, especially these ideas for connecting your blog with other bloggers via special events, such as "blog hops." A blog hop is simply a response to the same prompt during a fixed time frame, with links to the other bloggers' responses so you can "hop" to read the many takes on the topic from the original post or prompt. Share writing around a common theme, image, quote, or topic by checking out the offerings compiled here. Note that this collection is intended for the general blogging public (not schools), so some topics may not be school-appropriate. On the other hand, making contact with "real world" people blogging about how they write, do photography, stay fit, and more. Click on the link to the updated list of blogging events to find inspiration and connection, sorted by general areas of interest. Don't miss the detailed information about how to Start and/or Participate in a Blog Hop.

tag(s): blogs (84), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

In its simplest use, this is a place to find and READ blogs on curriculum-related topics. You can also find questions and prompts for your students to write about offline. Never again will you need to hunt for writing prompts or ways to connect your science or social studies students with the outside world. Of course this is a time to discuss proper netiquette and digital citizenship/safety for interacting with "strangers." If you do not yet have a class or student blogs, you might want to begin with Blog Basics for the Classroom. Be SURE you get parent permission. If your students have blogs, use these ideas as a model for your own weekly or biweekly blog hops on curriculum topics. Since your math students need to write about their problem solving strategies for Common Core, why not make it more fun with a blog hop? Trying to fire up interest in local history? Pose a blog hop prompt asking which local landmark could be replaced with a shopping mall. Looking for students to support arguments with evidence? Spark an environmental question for a blog hop. Browse some of the special topic blog events for discussions related to your current curriculum. For example, connect your plant study unit with gardeners' blogging events. If you teach gifted students, this is the ideal way to connect your students (even reluctant writers) with an outside world that will raise their level of writing and thinking. If you can connect with other teachers who have gifted students, perhaps via the #gtchat Twitter chat, you can set up a regular connection among students in several locations.. in science, social studies, math, or writing classes. Your gifted ones may pull in other blogging classmates, as well!

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Big Facts on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security - Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security, CGIAR

Grades
6 to 12
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With so much talk about climate change, which information is correct and important? Use "Big Facts" for a new way to visualize facts about climate change, agriculture, and food security....more
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With so much talk about climate change, which information is correct and important? Use "Big Facts" for a new way to visualize facts about climate change, agriculture, and food security. More importantly, the reliable information offered through this research-based program counters many of the misrepresented and incorrect offerings in the news and other sources. Search for relevant facts and infographics by region or specific issue. All facts, figures, and material are cited with the original source. Site content has been peer reviewed.

tag(s): climate (93), climate change (70), disasters (43), environment (322), food chains (26), population (64)

In the Classroom

As climate change's effect is being seen on every region of the Earth, this site is a great resource for finding accurate information and figures. Share this site in conjunction with your science curriculum as well as in government, current events, and geography classes. Click on one of the specific regions of the Earth or choose from the various topics in the icons along the bottom. Divide the World's seven regions among student groups in class. View the various impacts including undernourishment, population, dietary change, food waste, climate impact on crops, disasters, mitigation, and adaptation. Have groups present their regions to the class. View the comparisons by region by choosing one of the various impacts. Click the Climate Impact on People icon and view the infographic information as a class using a whiteboard or projector. Use the information presented to view the source material and understand the science behind the numbers. Use these facts as a springboard to further discussions about climate change impacts. Talk about what governments can do both proactively and in response to the changes. Besides the really large ways to cut carbon emissions, what are the little things others can do to make a difference? Begin a grassroots campaign to make small changes. The many infographics on this site provide valuable experience reading and understanding graphic presentation of information as required by Common Core.

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Student Center Activities Aligned to the Common Core Standards - Florida Center for Reading Research

Grades
K to 5
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Discover student center activities aligned to Common Core from the Florida Center for Reading Research. Use differentiated instruction to meet every child's needs. Explore the teacher...more
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Discover student center activities aligned to Common Core from the Florida Center for Reading Research. Use differentiated instruction to meet every child's needs. Explore the teacher resource guide, the professional development on differentiated instruction, and how to use student centers. All materials are available as downloads. They mention a DVD, but you can download all the files separately and for free.

tag(s): literacy (105)

In the Classroom

After formative assessments, hone in on every child's needs by searching this site for worthwhile activities that target specific instruction. These ready made center activities can be used tomorrow. Share with your grade level colleagues and offer instant solutions for every teacher. Share with learning support teachers or even after school tutoring programs. Offer enrichment or advancement for gifted children by looking ahead.
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Roots of STEM: Books and ideas for real world problem solving in your classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find...more
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find entry points to explore problem-solving and resources to apply in your own classroom. You will find many ideas in this article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): commoncore (89), reading lists (78), STEM (193)

In the Classroom

Start with the books as part of your reading lessons, and you have already given STEM a way to take root in your class! Incorporate STEM in accordance with Common Core reading/math or Next Gen Science standards using the many suggestions here. This article will help you begin with whole group lessons and move through the entire problem-solving process. Perhaps you will want to work together on a project with your grade level team.

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Penflip - Collaborative Writing and Version Control - Loren Burton

Grades
6 to 12
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Penflip is a collaborative writing tool that allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control. Write together without distractions or ads right in your...more
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Penflip is a collaborative writing tool that allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control. Write together without distractions or ads right in your web browser! Click on "Share" at the bottom of the right menu to copy/paste the address into an email to your collaborators. Clicking on "Contributors" gives options to add users as editors or delete them as contributors. Once revisions are made and submitted, the contributor is notified via email of any future changes to that piece. When reviewing suggested changes, you can delete the changes you don't want and accept others. Accepting changes will merge these into the master (your original project). Penflip calls any writing a "project" whether it's a book, a short story, a poem, or a research paper. The free version makes all projects "public," but you have the choice to refuse pending revisions by clicking on "Contributors" in the right menu and clicking the minus symbol, deleting that contributor.
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tag(s): creative writing (169), editing (75), process writing (46), proofreading (25), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Immerse students in the peer review process by allowing them to collaborate using Penflip! Teachers and students can use Penflip to make comments in a side box or directly in the writing. All suggested revisions are in a different color with the original wording left complete. Penflip is the perfect place for students to put their writing and get feedback. Student peers can suggest different wording and ideas, and all are color-coded so the author knows what has been contributed and what is original. This tool will fulfill the Common Core Standard requirements for using technology for collaborating and writing across the curriculum. Students will save time and learn from each other when working in small groups on projects or research papers in world language classes, science, math, or social studies. The best part of this site: it is EASY to use!

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Tocomail - Tocobox

Grades
2 to 6
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Tocomail is a safe and simple email service just for kids. Create a parent email account and build a safe contact list for kids to email with. Once the account ...more
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Tocomail is a safe and simple email service just for kids. Create a parent email account and build a safe contact list for kids to email with. Once the account is set up, kids receive and send emails in a kid-friendly format. Tocomail includes additional features such as custom avatars, a drawing board, and a picture timeline. Receive email online or through free apps for iPhones and iPads. (An Android app is in the works.) Premium features (not free) allow parents more detailed controls.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital citizenship (66), internet safety (116)

In the Classroom

Have students use Tocomail (with parent approval, of course) to correspond with each other from home with homework questions. Cooperate with parents to use Tocomail as a resource for teaching Internet safety and acceptable use of email. Ask them to set up accounts for their children and notify them when you will be asking students to write emails so they can see and monitor what children write along with you. Share with parents through your newsletter, back to school night, or blog as an alternative to typical email accounts. Together you can build good digital citizens and make electronic communication fun! Have students write you a "friendly letter" email for homework. Have them write an opinion piece with "arguments" a la Common Core and email it to a local official such as the school principal (and cc you so you can grade it). Encourage your ELL students to practice authentic writing skills by having them write emails to relatives.

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OECD Data Lab - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover graphical displays of statistics about education, death, employment outlook, migration, income distribution, and more. The best way to understand our world and to educate people...more
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Discover graphical displays of statistics about education, death, employment outlook, migration, income distribution, and more. The best way to understand our world and to educate people is to know what is happening in the many aspects of our lives. Hover over a graph to view an abstract of the data used for the graph. Each graph is interactive. Choosing various countries or other parameters changes the graph. Click on the "Create Your Own" button on most of these graphs to enter your own data for viewing and comparison. Compare your graph to others and share. Graphs even showcase gender differences in responses. The Better Life Index is a great place to start.

tag(s): agriculture (59), charts and graphs (197), critical thinking (118), cross cultural understanding (125), financial literacy (90), foreign policy (15), migration (58), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Start with the OECD Better Life Index that brings together many factors to numerically rank countries by happiness or well-being. Assign this graph as a "Make Your Own," with students rating the topics (or more importantly, asking their parents or grandparents). Compare their results and look at gender differences. Students can brainstorm reasons for gender differences or ranking of topics in importance. Compare the United States to other countries. Allow class time to look at other data found on this site and brainstorm how these are connected. Connect the data to curriculum being discussed in class: economic policies, wars, global problems with food and agriculture, social norms, and more. Connect the information to headlines from around the world, both past and present. Encourage students to write an essay, opinion piece, or elevator pitch on one aspect or social issue that is important to change. What a great example of argument and evidence as required by Common Core! This assignment can also be delivered as a podcast, video, or part of a news segment the class creates. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here) to create podcasts. Try creating a video and share it using TeacherTube reviewed here.
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Florida Memory - The State Archives of Florida

Grades
4 to 12
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The State Archives of Florida provides online access to resources that had a significant impact in Florida's history. The collection includes over 176,000 photographs, more than 110...more
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The State Archives of Florida provides online access to resources that had a significant impact in Florida's history. The collection includes over 176,000 photographs, more than 110 videos, an audio collection, historical and genealogical collection, exhibits, and an online classroom. The online classroom contains lesson plans, online activities, and primary documents of Florida's past. Enjoy folk music from Florida's past or look at Florida in the Civil War. There is a lot here to explore about Florida and beyond.

tag(s): black history (58), civil war (142), florida (11), hurricanes (40), states (164)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, integrate primary documents in addition to your text to get a broader picture of history, even if you are not teaching specifically about Florida. Take a closer look at history, through the multiple aspects of video, audio, laws, and land grants. Look at perspectives of Civil War from a southern state. Make biographies of Florida residents come alive with the culture of their time. Compare and contrast Florida and another state. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Examine the history of space through NASA. You and your students can discover how Civil Rights progressed in Florida. Look at the history of the Seminole tribe as you study native Americans. Challenge students to create an infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here, about a certain period in Florida's history or to compare Florida and other states. Before beginning the infographic, have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!). Use this resource to meet Common Core standards about primary sources or writing. Challenge students to produce digital writing and interact with others online.
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Worldcrunch - All News Is Global - Jeff Israely and Irene Toporkoff

Grades
8 to 12
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Worldcrunch delivers news from top world-language outlets, translated into English and providing a non-U.S. "view" via reputable sources. The collection was created by a former Time...more
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Worldcrunch delivers news from top world-language outlets, translated into English and providing a non-U.S. "view" via reputable sources. The collection was created by a former Time bureau chief and foreign correspondent for various U.S. publications. He has teamed with a media collaborator from France. Worldcrunch is a great resource for locating news and culture from around the world. During periods of controversy or high international tension, this is an informative source for teens to adults. Explore the interactive map to find news from specific locations or browse through headlines on the main page. This site is very up to date and includes articles from the news today around the world. Choose from topics such as World Affairs, Tech/Science, or Culture/Society. Easily share articles using social networking and email links. Use the "Read Later" link to email, send to Pocket reviewed here. Free app versions are available for both Android and iOS.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (125), DAT device agnostic tool (177), journalism (55), media literacy (65), news (258), newspapers (98)

In the Classroom

Share with your students to show them different perspectives on world events. This site would also provide contrasting texts for close reading as required by Common Core. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast coverage between two newspapers. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here after reading and comparing many different articles. Build student awareness of the limited view provided by some publications, especially during times of international tension. Explore this site during Newspaper in Education Week or as part of a unit on the basics and nuances of journalistic writing. World language teachers can use newspapers to teach about both language and culture. Have world cultures or social studies students learn about local culture through advertisements and articles and share their findings using a screencast (or screenshots) of the newspaper and talking about their discoveries. Use a free tool like Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, or Screencastify (Chrome app), reviewed here, to create screencasts.

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Old Florida Maps - Universty of Miami Libraries

Grades
4 to 12
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Old Florida Maps tells the story of Florida history from 1550- present using digital reproductions of maps from monographs and private collections. The time periods included are Florida...more
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Old Florida Maps tells the story of Florida history from 1550- present using digital reproductions of maps from monographs and private collections. The time periods included are Florida Large and Small, The First Spanish period, The First English Period, The Second Spanish Period, The Territorial Period, Statehood, and Later. With each collection of maps, are the description of each map and where its current location. For each period, is a summary of events taking place in Florida. Zoom into the maps and take a look around.

tag(s): florida (11), map skills (80)

In the Classroom

Old Florida maps are a perfect secondary source for your study on the state of Florida, or even map skills. Investigate the changes through time or how the land is affected by government. Be sure to integrate to include the Common Core standard of primary and secondary sources.
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Teaching Florida - Florida Humanities Council

Grades
3 to 12
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Teaching Florida will bring Florida's history alive. Study Spanish Influence, Explorers, Native Americans, or Parts of Florida. Lesson plans, primary and secondary resources, maps,...more
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Teaching Florida will bring Florida's history alive. Study Spanish Influence, Explorers, Native Americans, or Parts of Florida. Lesson plans, primary and secondary resources, maps, paintings, and references make the subject matter come alive. Extend your learning by finding resources for summer workshops, district programs, and resources for teachers.

tag(s): explorers (68), florida (11), maps (295), native americans (80)

In the Classroom

Integrate fiction and nonfiction sources into your studies of explorers, Native Americans, or Spanish influences. Compare and contrast the differences between primary and secondary sources. Integrate units of English Language Arts Common core standards and Social Studies standards.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Joomag - Vahram Darbinyan

Grades
6 to 12
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Create your own digital magazines with Joomag's online editing and publishing features. Begin by signing up for an account using your email, Facebook, or Twitter account. Start adding...more
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Create your own digital magazines with Joomag's online editing and publishing features. Begin by signing up for an account using your email, Facebook, or Twitter account. Start adding content to blank pages or upload a PDF file from your computer for conversion into a magazine format. Use the editor to add images, text, video, and more to any page. When finished, share your magazine using the direct URL or with social networking links. Modify privacy settings to public viewing, anyone with the link, or to just those granted permission. Although Flash is used on portions of the site when creating a magazine, readers can view the magazine on any computer or mobile device (without Flash).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (169), digital storytelling (154), graphic design (38), multimedia (62), writing (363)

In the Classroom

In social studies or government class have students design magazines for the candidate of their choice. Remember those travel brochures your world language students used to make with glue sticks and scissors? Try this online tool instead. World language students can also create an interactive magazine telling a story in their new language. In science class students can design a booklet to explain to a younger student about cells, life cycles, or any science topic. Instead of a book report, try a digital magazine. Do an author study via a digital magazine. Create a poetry magazine. Create digital magazines for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats, create an ongoing Joomag magazine of class activities, and more. Writing for digital publication is an important element of Common Core writing. The possibilities with Joomag are endless!

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Math Concentration - Wanda Collins

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore this rich resource of videos, tutorials, worksheets, and more for reinforcing and teaching math content. Select a Subject (specific math topic) to view explanations and activities...more
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Explore this rich resource of videos, tutorials, worksheets, and more for reinforcing and teaching math content. Select a Subject (specific math topic) to view explanations and activities such as multiplying decimals or finding the mean. Choose Videos to explore over 1500 tutorials. Be sure to check out the worksheet area offering more than just print-and-use worksheets. Offerings include worksheet generators to produce and create your own problems. The free homework help forum is very useful for students and parents alike. The site also includes an excellent overview and explanations (via video) about Common Core. If your school 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 Tube Offline, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): decimals (125), factors (40), fractions (229), geometric shapes (169), mean (26), median (23), mode (16), ratios (63)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Math Concentration for use throughout the school year. Share a link (or embed) videos on your class website or blog as a support for at-home learning. Link to videos on classroom computers. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a supplement to current lessons. Be sure to sign up for the Math Concentration blog to receive updates with new posts. The free homework help forum is very useful for students and parents alike. Include it in your class newsletter or web page.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Inch by Inch, Row by Row: Read-Alouds for Gardens - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This TeachersFirst page is a list of read-alouds (by grade level) offering a sampling of books and websites to get you started with school or home gardens, gardening, and farm-based...more
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This TeachersFirst page is a list of read-alouds (by grade level) offering a sampling of books and websites to get you started with school or home gardens, gardening, and farm-based education. Gardens provide a myriad of opportunities to integrate curriculum and solve real-world problems. This read-aloud list includes a wealth of excellent books--both fictional and informational-- for teaching topics such as the life cycle of plants, the scientific method, what plants need to thrive, ecosystems, food chains, soil science, and more as you plan and work on your garden (or simply imagine a virtual garden). There are numerous helpful resources and lesson plans included, along with some grant ideas to purchase materials for a garden. Connect with both Common Core and Next Gen science standards using gardens as an entry point. If food and nutrition are more of a focus, you will want to check out another article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): book lists (131), life cycles (25), plants (176), soil (21)

In the Classroom

This read-aloud is a good starting point for a unit on plants, ecosystems, or soil. What a perfect way to integrate spring garden planting, literacy, and a GROWING understanding of science. Mark it in your favorites for early spring and be sure to request some of the books on interlibrary loan if you do not have them in your school. Explore the lesson plan options or incorporate this with your existing lessons on plants. You might even consider working across grade levels and subjects and planning a school garden together. Your health/PE teacher will probably join in the effort!

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Grow For It - North Carolina 4H

Grades
2 to 12
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Grow For It offers lessons and resources for exploring agriculture, natural resources, and insects! Download several different lessons correlated to Common Core and/or North...more
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Grow For It offers lessons and resources for exploring agriculture, natural resources, and insects! Download several different lessons correlated to Common Core and/or North Carolina Standards. Find teaching materials about gardening, insects, and soil erosion. Some lessons offer additional materials not included as part of teacher training, provided by 4H services. However, free materials include detailed lessons and activities worth exploring. Be sure to explore other links for grant opportunities, weekend projects, and a "Plant Geek Pledge."

tag(s): agriculture (59), ecosystems (91), erosion (19), insects (72), natural resources (58), plants (176), soil (21)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans included on the Grow For It site as part of a plant or nutrition unit. Share ideas from the site with parents interested in helping set up a school or classroom garden. Once you have started your garden, have students upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles to explain what they learned using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. Ask a local 4H leader or Coop Extension Agent to come to your classroom to discuss local plants and gardening ideas.

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