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Project Based Learning for the 21st Century - Buck Institute for Education

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of...more
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of free materials. Read about PBL, watch videos, or download word or pdf documents found under the Tools section. Sign up to participate in the forum for more interaction with the content and other educators using PBL. Click the PBL Do-It Yourself bar along the right side for more information and links. Be sure to check out the tweets on the bottom of the front page for great ideas and links to use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (118)

In the Classroom

Use these ideas in any subject area classroom. Aspects of PBL can be used in introductory activities or whole units. Use driving questions to stimulate student curiosity to know more about how curriculum applies to their lives. Use this PBL framework to give students freedom to research aspects of the content or problem of personal interest. Be sure to view the resources to adequately plan for a successful unit project that incorporates 21st century skills utilizing engaging activities and content.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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5 Minute Mystery - Mystery Competition, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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This mystery reading game helps increase reading comprehension and critical thinking skills in an innovative way. The basic game is free. You can sign up to have two mysteries a ...more
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This mystery reading game helps increase reading comprehension and critical thinking skills in an innovative way. The basic game is free. You can sign up to have two mysteries a week sent to you, or you can use their archive. There is a "How to Play" section where you can view a video, open pdf instructions, or look at the instructions online. After reading a mystery you select the correct sentences that are clues, and select a character that the clue either exonerates or implicates. Points are awarded for each clue you get correct. For a fee, you can get a premium account that has graphic organizers, questions, and writing suggestions, however, this review is for the free, basic version. Even with the basic program, you can look under lesson plans and find objectives and ideas for your classroom and for creating leagues.

Bonus: There's an app for that! For the iphone, of course!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): critical thinking (116), mysteries (23), reading comprehension (128), short stories (24)

In the Classroom

Use your projector and interactive whiteboard to show your students the directions for getting points by selecting the correct clues and solving the mystery. To begin with, as a class, read a mystery and discuss what the clues might be and whether they implicate or exonerate each suspect. Once the students have volunteered their ideas for which sentences are clues, submit them to see the score. The program will highlight the answers you should have had, if you got any wrong. Model for your students a discussion about why those are the correct answers and why the ones they submitted weren't. Eventually they can have this discussion by themselves in small groups. Those of you with multiple classes will want to create a league for each class.

Eventually you can have small groups of students compete against each other by creating leagues. Have your students come to consensus about the clue sentences and who the real perpetrator is by voting using Tricider, reviewed here, or Decide Already, reviewed here.

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Of Mice and Men: The Student Survival Guide - Nancy Louise Rutherford

Grades
9 to 12
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This great site is dedicated to the novel, Of Mice and Men and could be useful to any student struggling with the literature. Designed to help any student (even ESL/ELL) ...more
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This great site is dedicated to the novel, Of Mice and Men and could be useful to any student struggling with the literature. Designed to help any student (even ESL/ELL) having difficulty with this challenging novel, the site contains chapter synopses, definitions for all difficult words, allusions, and idioms also organized by chapter. Links provide opportunities to delve into the historical and cultural features of the time period of this novel as well as information about the author John Steinbeck. Although the last update to the site was LONG ago, the content is still quite useful.

tag(s): literature (264), novels (22)

In the Classroom

Promote independent reading habits among your advanced ESL/ELL students! Include this link on your class web page for ESL/ELL students and others who may need the extra help.

While reading this novel with your class, assign cooperative learning groups one chapter to create a project. Of course, the entire class will be reading the entire text. However, each group could create a review activity for their own chapter, such as a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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The Interactive Raven - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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Here's TeachersFirst's famous on-line presentation of Poe's classic poem, with notations explaining definitions and literary devices. Roll over words for definitions, literary devices,...more
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Here's TeachersFirst's famous on-line presentation of Poe's classic poem, with notations explaining definitions and literary devices. Roll over words for definitions, literary devices, and more.

tag(s): halloween (36), poetry (222)

In the Classroom

This is a great on-line independent study for students who need additional help with either vocabulary or poetic devices. Introduce the site on your projector (rollovers will not work on an interactive whiteboard), then have students work alone or with a partner to become acquainted with the full text of Poe's masterpiece, accessing definitions and literary devices on their own. Challenge students to create their own dramatic readings of the poem using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or accompany their reading with illustrations using Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Carol after Edgar Allen Poe - J.H. McNulty

Grades
8 to 12
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Tie together two well-known 19th Century masterworks with this adaptation of A Christmas Carol set to the meter and rhyme of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." This creative twist on ...more
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Tie together two well-known 19th Century masterworks with this adaptation of A Christmas Carol set to the meter and rhyme of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." This creative twist on Dickens holiday tale can serve as a summarization of the novel for your students, or as a springboard to a creative writing activity on Victorian poets and novelists. Composed by J. H. McNulty.

tag(s): dickens (10), poetry (222)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a tool during a unit about the Christmas Carol or as part of creative writing unit. Gifted students will especially enjoy the combination of two works into an original. Have them try their own, perhaps more contemporary combination of style from one work with substance from another for a creative synthesis extraordinaire.

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Dickens and Christmas - David Perdue

Grades
7 to 12
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to...more
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to many Dickens' novels, and explains several significant themes evident in A Christmas Carol.

tag(s): christmas (52), dickens (10), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a tool during a unit on Christmas or Charles Dickens. Divide students into small groups or pairs to read the information on this page. The text might be challenging for some students. Pair weak readers with a strong reader. Exchange paper and pencil and instruct students to use Webnote, reviewed here, to take online "sticky notes" for the important information they learn. If some of the passages are difficult, even for the strong reader, have them use Rewordify, reviewed here, to replace the difficult text shown with easier to understand words. Be sure to tell students to use Webnote (mentioned above) to make a sticky for the difficult word or phrase and it's definition, or easier wording. Allow ESL/ELL students to try using Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here, which will allow these students to follow the highlighted text as the article or passage is read to them.

Redefine learning and challenge students to create a multimedia presentation around a theme from Dickens using one of the TeachersFirst Edge reviewed multimedia tools. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Piktochart, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Rooclick.

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Video: Social Media in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
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What is social media? This video takes you on a journey to "Scoopville," a fictitious town used to demonstrate the many "flavors" of social media. The video is short (3:25-minutes)...more
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What is social media? This video takes you on a journey to "Scoopville," a fictitious town used to demonstrate the many "flavors" of social media. The video is short (3:25-minutes) and very easy to follow. Highlighted are blogs, podcasts, and videos. This site requires you to be a paying member to embed or download the video. However, you can still see the transcript for the video. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (84), podcasts (60), social media (31), video (269)

In the Classroom

If you are looking to learn more about various social media, check out this short video. Learn more about the "flavors" you could use in your own classroom. For research projects have students create a blog, wiki, or even a podcast and compare the pros/cons of each regarding communication and safety. Create podcasts using a tool such as podOmatic, explained here. To put the video on a "center" computer, do a "right click" on the video, select "save as" and save to the "center" computer.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Harry Potter's Page - Scholastic Books

Grades
4 to 12
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Harry Potter's all the rage, and the web doesn't disappoint. There are lots of resources about Harry and author J.K. Rowling. Scholatic Books has an entire Harry Potter site. It ...more
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Harry Potter's all the rage, and the web doesn't disappoint. There are lots of resources about Harry and author J.K. Rowling. Scholatic Books has an entire Harry Potter site. It features information on the books, discussion and author sections, even a Harry Potter screensaver.

tag(s): harry potter (10)

In the Classroom

See even more Harry Potter resources at Pottermore, reviewed here.

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Jackie French Koller - Privately Published

Grades
1 to 8
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This is the homepage of Jackie French Koller, author of children and young adult books. Developed by Jackie French Koller as her homepage, there is a great deal of information ...more
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This is the homepage of Jackie French Koller, author of children and young adult books. Developed by Jackie French Koller as her homepage, there is a great deal of information about the author, her family, pets, hobbies as well as her books. This site includes a link to writing tips for would be authors. There are links to a few other authors as well.

tag(s): book lists (128), french (87)

In the Classroom

Use the menu bar on the left of the page and explore the Teachers Pages to find books with excerpts and activity pages. Also, look at the tab labeled Freebies and find free downloadable books!

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First Grade Backpack - Reading - Privately Published

Grades
1 to 2
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Here's a selection of book and author sites compiled expressly for primary students. They provide quick access to a group of reading resources for first or second grade. Some can ...more
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Here's a selection of book and author sites compiled expressly for primary students. They provide quick access to a group of reading resources for first or second grade. Some can be used by students directly; others may require some help from the teacher or parent.

tag(s): reading lists (77)

In the Classroom

Be sure to explore the diffrent links on this site. This site also contains arithmetic, animal, and geography sections.

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Enchanted Tulips and other verses for children - Victorian Women Writers Project

Grades
3 to 6
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A collection of poetry. ...more
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A collection of poetry.

tag(s): poetry (222)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for students during a unit on poetry. This could be a great tool for students searching for a poem to fit their needs, whether it be for a recitation activity, report, or analysis. Using a broader search engine allows them more options than would a printed anthology within the classroom.

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Doucette Library of Teaching Resources - University of Calgary

Grades
2 to 6
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Extensive collection of literary lists, award winners, curriculum supplements and support resources for children's literature. It provides professional support on multiculturalism,...more
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Extensive collection of literary lists, award winners, curriculum supplements and support resources for children's literature. It provides professional support on multiculturalism, current educational trends and interdisciplinary education, and literature based learning. Also educational research is available in a thesis collection of research by masters and doctoral candidates.

tag(s): literature (264)

In the Classroom

Use the resources part of the page to find information on literature that can be used in your classroom. Some of the resources there recommend books by age and subject, and can serve as great book lists for the teacher wanting something more.

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The Children's Book Council

Grades
1 to 6
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The Children's Book Council sponsors Children's Book Week each fall. Their site includes this Showcase collection of books recommended for children, with links and additional information...more
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The Children's Book Council sponsors Children's Book Week each fall. Their site includes this Showcase collection of books recommended for children, with links and additional information on each book selected. A good starting point for building a reading list or library.

tag(s): reading lists (77)

In the Classroom

Use the book lists on this site for recommendations to parents who want suggestions on outside or summer readings. The lists are separated by age, gender and all kinds of category's - making it easier for parents to find what they need.

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100 Best Books - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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TeachersFirst offers a listing of 100 of the best books for children, along with links to TeachersFirst's content about some of those books. Check out this list for some new ...more
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TeachersFirst offers a listing of 100 of the best books for children, along with links to TeachersFirst's content about some of those books. Check out this list for some new literature ideas! The original list came from an NEA member poll. Many newer books have been suggested since then, but this list remains a solid offering of "classics."

tag(s): reading lists (77)

In the Classroom

This is a great starting point for reluctant readers. Provide this list (or link) to parents to use during the summer months to help with the "I'm bored" days. Why not challenge your students to read their way through the list during the school year by setting a personal goal and documenting their reading journey in a reading journal, blog, or class wiki with one page per student? They will enjoy looking back over their reading year!

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Webquest 101 - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
Newly revised, TeachersFirst's extensive tutorial explains what a webquest is, why it can be useful in the classroom, and how to create your own webquest on a topic of your ...more
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Newly revised, TeachersFirst's extensive tutorial explains what a webquest is, why it can be useful in the classroom, and how to create your own webquest on a topic of your choosing. Don't miss the section on url detective work and evaluating which sites are best for your students. Fid handy ways to collect resources for webquests and hints for checking reading levels and more. There are lots of examples, tool suggestions, and links to our ever-growing collection of sample webquests.

tag(s): tutorials (47), webquests (27)

In the Classroom

Mark this in your Favorites as a professional reference. You may even want to assign students to create their own webquests following these guidelines. If you mentor new teachers, share this resource when they are designing their first web-based projects.

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Shakespearean Feast - TeachersFirst

Grades
9 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Eat your way to a new understanding of Shakespeare with this activity which lets students learn about Elizabethan customs by sampling the food the Elizabethans ate. The site provides...more
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Eat your way to a new understanding of Shakespeare with this activity which lets students learn about Elizabethan customs by sampling the food the Elizabethans ate. The site provides lots of recipe ideas, as well as presentation strategies.

tag(s): elizabethan (16), shakespeare (110)

In the Classroom

Use the recipes on this site to host a Shakespearean feast in your own classroom. Have students partner up to prepare the dishes at home, or coordinate with your family and consumer sciences faculty to try an in-class demonstration.

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Gnowledge - Gnowledge Sdn. Bhd.

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new ...more
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Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new test defining the name, subject, and whether it is your test material or from a third party. Create questions, add images, and include bits of text snippets. Help options are found on the question pages. Enter the questions, answer choices, and actual answer as well as answer explanations will be provided. Be sure to look at all the question type options in the tabs above: Fill in the blanks, Match, Multiple Choice, and True/False. When finished, be sure to click Apply New Changes, Make Visible. Note: All created tests are made public but need not be turned on until needed. Students can take tests and go back later if needed.

tag(s): quiz (84), quizzes (104), test prep (94)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a way to practice material and improve students' scores in preparation for an actual test. Use this resource to practice involved questions that like those found on the state tests. Practicing with various question formats builds confidence and improves performance. Create quizzes and tests that students must pass before moving on to other content or other harder tests. Use these as progress steps along the way to help students learn the content as they progress through a unit. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small groups to create their own "practice" quizzes before major tests.

Comments

Everyone can create, publish, share and take tests of any subject or syllabus on this site. Kudos! John, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Hashtagify - Daniele Mazzini

Grades
9 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Twitter users and Twitter novices can use this tool to better understand Twitter hashtags. Pull Twitter hashtags into one place to see the relationships among hashtags via mind map....more
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Twitter users and Twitter novices can use this tool to better understand Twitter hashtags. Pull Twitter hashtags into one place to see the relationships among hashtags via mind map. New to Twitter? See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers. To use Hashtagify, enter a hashtag into the search bar and the relationships between related hashtags will be shown. Try it with #edchat, a popular hastag for teachers! Click on a portion of the mind map (one of the related hashtags) and it expands to include other related hashtags. View the actual links that use the hashtag along the right side of the screen. Click on these to go to the actual tweet.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): microblogging (38)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to follow conversations or to find information on tweets and their related tweets. If your class uses Twitter, use Hashtagify to look for tags you can use to narrow your conversations to those in a certain professional field or with a certain special interest.

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Einstein's Secret to Amazing Problem Solving - Litemind

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers an excellent guide to problem solving with 10 definitive strategies that anyone can use for any type of problem. The article is easy to read and language ...more
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This site offers an excellent guide to problem solving with 10 definitive strategies that anyone can use for any type of problem. The article is easy to read and language is suitable for middle through high school level students. Included within the article are several links to further information on the problem solving process.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): critical thinking (116), logic (246), problem solving (292)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students help create a bulletin board display outlining the problem solving steps. Ask students to create journal entries describing how they used the steps in the problem solving process. Some of your visual students may even want to draw a map of the path they follow to solve problems or make an infographic of the process steps. Share this site with other teachers in all subject areas since this process applies to any type of problem.

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Brainyquote - Brainymedia

Grades
5 to 12
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Browse one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Sites to quickly find and display famous quotes by topics, keywords, authors, and even author types, such as poets, musicians, lawyers,...more
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Browse one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Sites to quickly find and display famous quotes by topics, keywords, authors, and even author types, such as poets, musicians, lawyers, or politicians. A quote of the day and a trivia game are also included. BrainyQuote is a free service that supports itself by revenue generated from a few advertisements on the site. However, they are not intrusive, and they are easy to ignore.

tag(s): authors (119), themes (12), writing (364), writing prompts (91)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on Teachersfirst. If you are not already a member, just click on "My TF" to join for FREE. When you are searching for a writing prompt or universal theme to connect with your curriculum area, a famous quote provides a springboard for students to reflect on the topic they just read or studied. After reading two or three literary works or studying historic figures, you might try changing the quote into a question. Have students compare/contrast how each of the characters would respond, and support their responses by citing specific examples. Then, students could answer the question from their own point of view to relate the meaning of the quote to their lives. Create a class wiki for the quotes of the day (and student responses). Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Or invite students to choose a favorite quote from this site and interpret it both visually and verbally by creating an online poster using ThingLink, reviewed here.
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