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TeachersFirst Brain Twister - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
45 Favorites 0  Comments
These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, changed each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz...more
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These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, changed each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz presents ten questions, one at a time. You have only ONE try to pick the correct answer, so think carefully. You get points for each correct answer, totaling up to a possible 100. When you finish, you see your score and how long you spent. Questions are intended to stretch your thinking. Printable versions are available along with answers to the previous week's Twister. A new version of the Twister is mobile-friendly and adjusts to any screen size. Take the Twister with you wherever you go!

In the Classroom

Since elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five-point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.

Do the questions as a whole-class activity with a projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.

Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model and teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.

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Globetracker's Mission - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 6
22 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Globetracker's Mission is a projector or whiteboard-ready episodic story in blog-style format, taking students in grades 2-6 on a journey as they learn standards-based geography, landforms,...more
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Globetracker's Mission is a projector or whiteboard-ready episodic story in blog-style format, taking students in grades 2-6 on a journey as they learn standards-based geography, landforms, and map skills in an engaging, interactive context. Each weekly "post" from Geo and Meri, fictitious brother and sister techno-savvy teens, traces steps on a secret mission for their Uncle Globetracker and his important but unnamed government agency. Episodes include annotated vocabulary terms, interactive maps to practice map skills, and think-aloud questions the teens pose as they use today's tools: text messaging, cell phones, and blog posting. Readers vote at the conclusion of each post, telling Geo and Meri what to do next. TeachersFirst member teachers have other options for their classes to become involved in the mission. All episodes have accompanying Google Earth placemark files so your class can "tour" with Geo and Meri using Google Earth's free, downloadable software. Included are complete tech tips, detailed lesson and management ideas, and teacher information.

tag(s): continents (51), directions (19), earth (222), landforms (49), latitude (14), longitude (14), map skills (79), maps (294), oceans (166)

In the Classroom

See "Lesson Ideas" from the Teacher Edition page for a complete list of ways to use this creative unit with younger students, on laptops with student partners, or as semi-independent work. Be sure to share the link on your teacher web page for students to share at home (or check on the next episode, if they can't wait!).

Encourage parents to join the fun on the mission by sharing the suggestions listed under "Parent Info."

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The 50 States - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
18 Favorites 1  Comments
TeachersFirst's states project for students combines the usual "almanac" facts with narratives on native people, early history, economy, and landforms and geography. The result is a...more
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TeachersFirst's states project for students combines the usual "almanac" facts with narratives on native people, early history, economy, and landforms and geography. The result is a one-stop site for upper elementary and middle school students studying their own states, or someone else's.

tag(s): california (26), new york (26), states (165), texas (4)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of the 50 states. One easy use would be for testing students on knowledge of the capitals. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and you can test students not only by state recognition on the map but with what the capitals are. State location and capitol information are not clearly stated until clicked on, so this would be a fairly easy formative assessment in review the information.

Comments

Great resource! Ladisha, VA, Grades: 0 - 12

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Learning to Give - Points of Light Institute

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson ...more
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson plans for teachers, parents, and community leaders. Lessons are coded to state standards and can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject, or academic or philanthropy standard. Some lessons are geared toward private or religious schools and are clearly labeled as such. Lessons include subject, key concepts, vocabulary, objectives, materials needed, approximate time, procedures, extensions, handouts, and much more. An example of a grade 3-5 lesson would be Cool Kids Compost which explores responsible use of resources by gathering data about lunchroom waste. Don't let the concept of philanthropy keep you from exploring the site, there are many great classroom lessons available for all subjects.

tag(s): african american (109), animal homes (62), animals (319), charts and graphs (196), colonial america (108), communities (38), data (159), diversity (33), ecology (133), environment (321), heroes (24), money (186), recycling (58)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Piktochart, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Rooclick.

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iNudge - Hobnox

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear ...more
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear sound patterns. Add more instruments to get the mix you want. Combine them, change the tempo, and add other effects. Share by URL or using the embed code.

tag(s): musical notation (39), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use the songs in a writing class as a story prompt. In a language class, list the adjectives and adverbs come to mind while listening to the music prompt. Create music to describe a biome or an animal or plant. Use music to represent culture or reactions to an event in history. Use music to add pizazz to a blog or site. Identify various sounds and the mood they create. View the most listened and newest iNudges found on the site.

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Squareleaf - Squareleaf.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color...more
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color coding and different shaped boxes. Separate information from your personal life and daily tasks. Easily manage daily, weekly or monthly tasks by using this simple to use tool. You can review your post-its from any web connected device.

tag(s): note taking (43)

In the Classroom

Students can easily store their notes and share with others. Use this tool to manage projects and schedule tasks. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be done and the intermediate steps to completing projects. Use different colors and shapes to manage different projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers can use this tool to manage and plan short term tasks, longer term units, and graduate class assignments from their busy lives.

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

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
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 (117)

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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Victorian Christmas - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This collection introduces Victorian Christmas customs and offers several activities which students can complete to show their understanding of Christmas celebrations from over a century...more
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This collection introduces Victorian Christmas customs and offers several activities which students can complete to show their understanding of Christmas celebrations from over a century ago.

tag(s): christmas (55), holidays (138), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your desktop and use it to add supplementary activities to your classroom before Winter Break. Many of the sites can be used as webquests, classroom activities or Learning centers. This could be a great way to mix the holidays into content, comparing today's celebrations to those of the 19th century.

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Make a Victorian Cornucopia - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 10
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This simple lesson activity gives instructions for making a Victorian "cornucopia" Christmas ornament filled with candy or other treats. This Victorian tradition dates back to the 19th...more
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This simple lesson activity gives instructions for making a Victorian "cornucopia" Christmas ornament filled with candy or other treats. This Victorian tradition dates back to the 19th century. The printable pattern is included. See more Victorian Christmas activities on the TeachersFirst Victorian Christmas page.

tag(s): christmas (55), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Try this easy activity during a Christmas 'Round the World unit or as part of a study of the Victorian Era. Have students take digital pictures of the steps and include them on your class web page or wiki (with captions!) so others can try the activity at home. Make cornucopias as gifts for a visit to a local nursing home or children's home so the activity becomes a service project.

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Parlour Games - Old-Fashioned Living

Grades
3 to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
What kinds of activities would be found at a 19th century Christmas party? Read and learn about some very popular games played by children and adults during the Victorian era. ...more
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What kinds of activities would be found at a 19th century Christmas party? Read and learn about some very popular games played by children and adults during the Victorian era. Clear, simple instructions are provided and little or no preparation is required

tag(s): christmas (55), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a resource for finding games that could bring history to life during a unit on Victorian England or Christmas. Plan a Victorian Christmas celebration with historically accurate games, food, and decorations.

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A Victorian Christmas - Malcolm Warrington

Grades
4 to 8
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Give students a taste of the Victorian celebration with this site showing greeting cards from the Victorian era, and explaining the Victorian origins of many of today's Christmas traditions....more
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Give students a taste of the Victorian celebration with this site showing greeting cards from the Victorian era, and explaining the Victorian origins of many of today's Christmas traditions. We wish the images were bigger, but this is a nicely designed introduction to Victorian celebrations.

In the Classroom

Use this website during a unit on Christmas or Victorian history. 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. Consider having students create their own online Victorian "albums" using a tool such as MyScrapNook, reviewed here.

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Celebrate a Victorian Christmas - Victoriana Magazine

Grades
1 to 8
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This site provides a wealth of information concerning 19th century holiday traditions. Learn about Victorian Christmas tree decorations, view holiday illustrations from the December...more
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This site provides a wealth of information concerning 19th century holiday traditions. Learn about Victorian Christmas tree decorations, view holiday illustrations from the December 1860 issue of Godey's Lady's Book, and explore appropriate 19th Century gift suggestions. This site also contains a complete dinner menu from 1890, with recipes for plum pudding, easy to follow directions for making a pine cone Santa (Harper's Bazaar, December 1867) and a facsimile of the first Christmas card, sent in 1843.

tag(s): christmas (55), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

This site is especially useful as a teacher-resource in planning a series of activities centering around a historic, Victorian approach to Christmas. It's an excellent resource to use as the basis for an informational treasure hunt with students from upper elementary through middle school. Use a tool such as TrackStar, reviewed here, to create a treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, or webquest. Use Celebrate a Victorian Christmas as a resource for study of the Victorian Era. 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.

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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 (57), social media (28), video (275)

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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Travel - National Geographic - National Geographic

Grades
1 to 12
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National Geographic's travel guides for most major cities. ...more
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National Geographic's travel guides for most major cities.

tag(s): cities (27), virtual field trips (54)

In the Classroom

Ask students to choose a city to investigate. Start their investigation with this site and then have them use a resource like Data USA, reviewed here. Have students create blogs sharing they learned about their city of choice using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration.

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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 (49), 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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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 (96)

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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Questioning Toolkit - From Now On

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual...more
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual explanation of how questions work together, choose the Essential Questions link and scroll down to the diagram showing that this is center of all questions, then all other types of question serve to illuminating the Essential Questions. Links are included to additional information on each of the topics.

tag(s): critical thinking (118), questioning (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a guide when lesson planning. Demonstrate to older students how different types of questions will lead to further learning and strengthen critical thinking skills. Display the diagrams and information on the site on your interactive whiteboard to help students explore different questioning techniques. When studying a particular unit, challenge cooperative groups to create their own essential questions (and other types of questions) and create electronic "posters" or word graphics using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here).

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Globe Rider: Where's That U.S. State? - Funschool/Disney

Grades
2 to 8
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This site offers a colorful interactive map challenge to correctly identify the location of the 50 states. The site names a state and the student clicks the location of that ...more
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This site offers a colorful interactive map challenge to correctly identify the location of the 50 states. The site names a state and the student clicks the location of that state on the map. Students are timed during this activity. If an answer is incorrect, students can click and try another location.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): north america (18), states (165)

In the Classroom

Mark this site on your classroom computers or class web page to use as a center. Show on an interactive whiteboard or projector and break students into two groups and have them compete against each other. Give them each a blank map and have them identify the state at their seats while student volunteers identify them on the class projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Quilting Techniques: Math Lesson Plans - Quilting Assistant

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
The primary purpose of this site is to offer information and techniques for quilters; however, they also offer 3 lesson plans that can be used in elementary, middle, or high ...more
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The primary purpose of this site is to offer information and techniques for quilters; however, they also offer 3 lesson plans that can be used in elementary, middle, or high school classrooms. The elementary lesson focuses on learning fractions through dividing up quilt squares including basic and advanced activities. The middle school lesson focuses on proportions. The high school activity is based upon polynomials. These would be fun activities for students to apply these math concepts through hands-on activities.

tag(s): angles (87), fractions (229), polynomials (27), symmetry (51)

In the Classroom

During Black History month or when learning about western expansion or colonial days, students may enjoy making quilts from fabric or paper and learning about the different patterns used in quilt making. Introduce this activity and have students label the different fractional amounts in the quilt squares. Practice adding fractions by writing the equations generated by making different quilt squares. Hang completed quilts in the classroom or hallway for an interesting display of work with fractions and proportion.

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EconEdLink

Grades
1 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
Created with input from the National Council on Economics Education, this site offers an eclectic set of lessons, most of which require some web access. They range from the introduction...more
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Created with input from the National Council on Economics Education, this site offers an eclectic set of lessons, most of which require some web access. They range from the introduction of simple concepts for elementary students to studies of economic forecasting for older students.

tag(s): consumers (18)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free digital lesson plans offered by this website. Useful for any economics class, regardless of age. The site includes standard criteria and images, which are helpful in preparing the lesson for class use.

Comments

An absolutely fantastic site. If you teach econ, you need this site. , OH, Grades: 10 - 12

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