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Prismatic - Prismatic

Grades
6 to 12
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Organize and collect article "feeds" for your personal interests using this social content tool. Prismatic calls itself "the home for all your interests." Sign up for a free account...more
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Organize and collect article "feeds" for your personal interests using this social content tool. Prismatic calls itself "the home for all your interests." Sign up for a free account (email required), and select general topics of personal interest. The topics are grouped under categories as varied as Arts, Nature, Health, Science, Music, DIY, Business, College Admissions, Parenting, Animals, and many more. There are scores of interests to choose from under each category. Once your select your areas of interest, click the little menu square (top left) to open a side menu. There you can click a topic of interest to see the latest articles. You can read and click to save, share, or remove. Your collection is your own. You can also follow others' Prismatic collections or share yours, similarly to the way you can share Pinterest boards. The articles in each feed include those recommended by other Prismatic members for that topic as well as recent tweets and published articles discovered by Prismatic. Use Prismatic to customize a reading list as you may have previously done using an RSS Reader but with more social options. You can integrate it with your Twitter and Facebook accounts (or not). Tip: click your name in the left menu to access "Support Center" for how-to information. Free app versions are available.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (99)

In the Classroom

Create a professional Prismatic feed on topics related to teaching and to your own subject matter. You might even want to include some parenting topics to discover useful articles to share at conferences. Create a class feed on topics related to your curriculum, such as global warming, weather, and environmental issues. Since this is a DAT (device agnostic tool), it would be terrific in BYOD/BYOT schools! The articles that "come in" can serve as prompts for class discussion or as real world connections to make curriculum more meaningful to your skeptical students. In math class, collect articles on architecture (scale, angles, etc.) and other applied math uses. In world language classes, collect feeds for culture from other countries. Set up a feed on U.S. politics for your government class. Collect recipes for your Foods class. Better yet, invite your students (over 13 and in accordance with school policies) to create their own Prismatic collections to find articles that relate to the topics you are studying. Give points for creating a feed that connects and encourage students to respond to the articles in blog posts or share them during a mad minute at the start or end of class. Teachers of gifted can encourage their students to follow personal interests and connect to real world experts using Prismatic. This tool might also be helpful for finding articles to use in your own grad classes.

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Virtual Science Hub - Global excursion

Grades
9 to 12
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Create or view Excursions to learn various science topics! Find the available Excursions by clicking on Browse. Click Educational to see the catalog topics in Mathematics, Physics,...more
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Create or view Excursions to learn various science topics! Find the available Excursions by clicking on Browse. Click Educational to see the catalog topics in Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Technology. This site includes Excursions created by the International community. Each Excursion plays like a PowerPoint. Advance through the slides to see embedded content included as part of the Excursion. Content includes Wikipedia entries, websites, quizzes, videos, and more. Create an account to make your Excursion. Click the + sign at the top to create. Add a title, description, and tags. Click to add content (photos, videos, text, quiz, etc.) Have a PowerPoint you would like to use? Export it as a PDF file and upload to Vishub. Another upload possibility is ZIP files, among others. Easy to use tools include changing background, animation, and style. Save, preview, and publish. Favorite and comment on popular excursions. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (239), cells (99), environment (294), medicine (53), plants (119), solar system (111), water cycle (29)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to create an excursion about a topic being studied in science class. This tool would be an excellent alternative to a conventional PowerPoint or other presentation tools. Consider assigning projects where students teach one another using this tool. Gifted students will love learning from already created excursions or extending their learning by creating their own. This tool would be useful for blended or flipped learning. Give students time to absorb information about content. Leave class time for individualized learning.

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Bob the Alien's Tour of the Solar System - James Adams

Grades
K to 8
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Take me to the Solar System! Choose a planet, (or asteroid, comets, the sun, and more) from the solar system to visit. View information about the planet. Choose from the ...more
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Take me to the Solar System! Choose a planet, (or asteroid, comets, the sun, and more) from the solar system to visit. View information about the planet. Choose from the tabs at the top of the screen for more topics of interest about that specific planet. Click Ask an Alien to submit a question through the online form. You might even see the answer to your question on the site. View planetary statistics in the Planets Table and definitions in the Space A-Z tab. Use the Exploration Timeline to see the history of space exploration.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): planets (109), solar system (111), space (176), sun (66)

In the Classroom

Use this site to obtain information about various celestial bodies in space. The reading on this site will qualify for the informational text required by the Common Core Standards. Divide students in groups to look at a specific object and report findings to the class. Be sure to point out the hyperlinked words in the information for each of the planets and objects as they lead to further information to understanding the material. Have students create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Give time for students to develop questions they may have after reading or using the material. Vote for the best questions from the class to submit in the Ask an Alien section. Find games and printable materials in the Usable Resources and Bob's Extra Stuff sections. Place a link to this site on your class web page for students to explore during Astronomy units.

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XKCD - XKCD

Grades
8 to 12
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week ...more
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week find comics with stick figures featuring mathematical, scientific, and cultural humor. Dig through the archives to find the perfect one for you! Creative Commons License allows reprinting of the comics. Each comic has an individual URL that can be shared to direct students to that specific comic. Be sure to PREVIEW before you share any comics with your class. Our editors found a few that may be questionable depending on the maturity of your students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), humor (13)

In the Classroom

Add humor to your science, math, language, and current events classes to lighten the mood! Spice up professional presentations with humor, and keep your audience involved. Share the direct URL to any comic that relates to your curriculum or specific topics. Encourage students to create comics with your current content. Have students use one of the tools and ideas included in this collection. Keep your class website humorous with a few comics from XKCD.

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Google Science Fair - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description ...more
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description of the prizes, past winners, key dates, and judges. Students must have a Google Student Account. The Teacher and Parent's section has ideas for involving young participants and how to support them. There are also lesson plans (by grade levels), posters (in PDF format), and more. Get inspired by watching the Google Science Fair Channel on YouTube! Encourage the young inventors you know, and they might win one of the many fabulous prizes. The yearly submission deadline is around mid-May. Regional winners are announced in July. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): computers (48), engineering (89), science fairs (22), scientific method (53), social networking (99)

In the Classroom

Why not take the next step in science fairs? Let Google walk you through this competition! Introduce the project to students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. A particularly useful start for students is the Idea Springboard. Here young innovators can get help generating ideas for a science fair project across all scientific fields! Be sure to post a link to the Google Science Fair on your class webpage for students to share with their parents at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Nautilus - Nautilus

Grades
9 to 12
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Explore science through fascinating articles in this episodic monthly magazine. Although you can subscribe for a fee, you can also check out past and current issues online for free....more
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Explore science through fascinating articles in this episodic monthly magazine. Although you can subscribe for a fee, you can also check out past and current issues online for free. As they describe themselves, "We deliver big-picture science by reporting on a single monthly topic from multiple perspectives." The combined perspectives include, "the sciences, culture and philosophy into a single story told by the world's leading thinkers and writers." Each Thursday the site publishes a new "chapter" of that month's thematic issue. Past issue themes include Creativity, Illusions, Genius, Big Bangs, and more. Expect to be fascinated by the many angles. You will want to talk and share about what you learn!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (114), expository writing (34), scientists (50), writing prompts (87)

In the Classroom

Share these articles as part of a broad discussion of the role of science in our world, such as during a unit on scientists or careers. Share Nautilus with your gifted or science-focused students to spark interests in scientific fields that are new to them. Assign gifted students to select an article and research it further when they have tested out of regular curriculum. They can share their discoveries as a multimedia presentation or write a blog post about them. Use articles from the magazine as fodder for class debates in English class or pull excerpts to use as writing prompts for informational or expository writing. The reading levels are high school and up, so be sure to partner weaker readers with a more capable reader if using this for class assignments. Check specific reading levels of an article by pasting its url into the Juicy Studio Readability Test, reviewed here.

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SlideRule - Parul Gupta and Gautam Tambay

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover some of the world's best online courses with SlideRule's search engine. Enter what you want to learn into the search bar. Explore the offerings provided or browse by subject,...more
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Discover some of the world's best online courses with SlideRule's search engine. Enter what you want to learn into the search bar. Explore the offerings provided or browse by subject, university, or providers. Narrow results down by starting date, teaching method, or credentials. Each entry includes a short description of the course, fees (many are free!), start dates, length of course, and skill level required. Many classes also include reviews from other SlideRule users. Click the "Enroll" link to go directly to the course or save to your wish list after creating a free account. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. Most do not require Flash. If your district 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): professional development (86), search engines (60)

In the Classroom

Share SlideRule with your gifted students as a resource for finding enrichment resources or content not taught by your school. Search for and share free courses for all students to use for review of any topic. Use the SlideRule search engine to find professional development courses for your own personal use.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Elementary Science Resource Kit - Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 8
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and...more
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and famous inventors. While learning about the famous inventors, also learn the value of scientific thinking! Build thinking skills with the challenging culmination piece. These range from creating riddles to creating brochures and journals. All units include step by step directions, Science Content Standards (NSES), ELA Common Core Anchor Standards, and NETS. In addition, there is a list of resources to use and a suggestion for assessment. You MUST register to view the lessons. To register simply give your name and email, and download all seven of these units for free!
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tag(s): animal homes (31), animals (239), biomes (117), butterflies (13), famous people (15), inventors and inventions (96), life cycles (25), planets (109), scientific method (53), scientists (50), solar system (111)

In the Classroom

Immerse students in hands-on, inquiry projects with these seven plans. Introduce them on your interactive whiteboard or projector and select a class project to complete. Have student groups choose a topic to research. Created for grades 1 to 5, with one for 5-8, any of the plans could be adjusted to fit any of these grade levels. The science kit lesson plans are free, and so are some of the resources they suggest using, such as Pics4Learning, reviewed here. However, the Pixie and Wixie program that the lesson advises using is not free. Instead, use QwikSlides, reviewed here, or RawShorts, reviewed here. Be sure to bookmark these units for future use.

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Better Lesson - BetterLesson

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers over 10,000 lessons aligned with the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards. The lessons were created by 130 Master Teachers. You can browse resources...more
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This site offers over 10,000 lessons aligned with the Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards. The lessons were created by 130 Master Teachers. You can browse resources without registering. Click the blue "Browse" button to get started. Choose along the top from Common Core Math, Common Core ELA, or Next Generation Science. Lessons are arranged by grade level or Math, Language, and Science subjects. However, if you want to create your own resources, registration is required. After registering, create a class and then create a unit for that class. Finally, create a lesson for that unit, fill in an objective, select a state standard, and estimate the total time on task. Upload files (or drag and drop) to assign them to the lesson or keep them "unassigned" for later use. Additionally, simply add other users' files to your own curriculum. Search for files by keyword, age-level, and type of format. Click on a result to see every lesson plan using that file.

tag(s): commoncore (66), professional development (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create lessons for students to follow. Use this site to share inspirational lessons you create or to find inspiration in the work of others. Meet the Common Core goals by using the tools and lesson plans offered at this website. Though the site deals with the technical aspect of lesson planning, many ideas exist to reverse engineer to your own lessons. Create a course to maintain and tweak your lessons for your classes. Expand PD to others in your school or in other schools to learn from the best ideas of others!

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IFL Science - IFL Science

Grades
7 to 12
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Discover a constantly changing, blog-style collection of articles about all areas of science, designed to engage readers in science and instill a desire to learn more. The articles...more
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Discover a constantly changing, blog-style collection of articles about all areas of science, designed to engage readers in science and instill a desire to learn more. The articles are grouped into headings such as Environment, Technology, Space, Health and Medicine, The Brain, Plants and Animals, Physics, and Chemistry. Articles share recent discoveries, timely experiments to try (such as cold weather explorations during winter), and intriguing (but true) revelations about scientific mysteries. There are topics of interest to almost any reader, such as "Why Most Food Labels Are Wrong About Calories" or "How Smartphones Can Lead The Fight Against Air Pollution." Click tags to find similar articles. Note that subject material is intended for adults, though our editors found nothing objectionable in the actual articles shared by IFLScience. Avoid clicking on ads and items under "More Stories" and "From the Web," as these lead to other sites of less predictable quality. If sharing this site with teens, be sure to point out which links stay within IFLScience. The site does allow reader comments from the general public. Preview if sharing in a classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (56), environment (294)

In the Classroom

Share this site for students to explore informational articles related to what they are currently studying or to explore the many aspects of science not included in standard school curriculum. Challenge student partners to find an article they enjoy and share it creatively as a poster or mock interview with the scientists involved. They can use a simple tool such as Magazine Cover Maker (reviewed here) or actually make a video "interview" and share it on TeacherTube (reviewed here). Have your gifted students explore articles to extend required curriculum. Use this site for career day explorations about the many places where scientists work.

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Climate Time Machine - NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CIT

Grades
4 to 12
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Is there a climate change? What conditions on the Earth have changed over time? Find answers to these questions and more with this free tool. Choose from the following in ...more
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Is there a climate change? What conditions on the Earth have changed over time? Find answers to these questions and more with this free tool. Choose from the following in the menu bar: Sea Ice, Sea Level, Carbon Emissions, and Average Global Temperature. Drag the slider to show the differences in each of the four areas from 1884 to 2013. Read an explanation of consequences of these changes below the slider.

tag(s): antarctica (23), arctic (38), carbon dioxide (13), carbon footprint (10), climate (92), climate change (51), temperature (26)

In the Classroom

Want to get students attention? Begin with the Average Global Temperature on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector. Start the slider slowly at 1884 and be sure to pause and back up when global temperatures become cooler. However, be sure to point out to students that even though temperatures cycle a bit through time, as you progress to present day, much warmer temperatures persist. Follow this demonstration. How does this visualization compare to Carbon Emissions? Spend time in class looking at the Sea Level changes and list the areas that will be affected the most because of sea level rise. Create reports or posters about the various facts about those areas (populations, points of interest, culture, and history) to understand what will be lost. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Create a campaign for halting climate change beginning with simple actions that EVERYONE can make. Take time to determine each student's carbon footprint and changes that matter.
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Interactive Science and Technology Timeline - ITN Source

Grades
3 to 12
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Discover how technology has changed lives with this interactive timeline beginning in 1900 and chronicling events through the introduction of the iPad in 2010. Each video skips ahead...more
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Discover how technology has changed lives with this interactive timeline beginning in 1900 and chronicling events through the introduction of the iPad in 2010. Each video skips ahead 10 years (1900, 1910, 1920, and so on.) Move the circle to any point on the timeline to view a video featuring events from that period in time. Pop up text offers more information and trivia from each period.

tag(s): 1900s (25), 1910s (9), 1920s (14), 1930s (13), 1940s (13), 1950s (10), 1960s (30), 1970s (11), 1980s (9), 20th century (37), aircraft (20), timelines (56)

In the Classroom

View the timeline on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to help students understand the many changes in technology in the past 100+ years. Use the timeline to introduce a unit on any decade of the 1900s. Challenge students to research events further. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or other person from a particular era shared in the video clips.

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Science Dictionary - ScienceDictionary.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Science Dictionary offers definitions of terms for all fields of science. Although rather "plain vanilla" in appearance, this site has a lot to offer! Choose a category such as Agriculture,...more
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Science Dictionary offers definitions of terms for all fields of science. Although rather "plain vanilla" in appearance, this site has a lot to offer! Choose a category such as Agriculture, Chemistry, or Biology to begin your search or enter a keyword in the search box. Click on any word or term to view the short definition.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (49), paleontology (39), space (176), weather (175)

In the Classroom

Create a link on student computers for use throughout the year. Bookmark on your teacher computer for viewing of definitions on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as needed. Share a link on your class website for students to access from home.

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A Curious Mind - Mario Livio, Space Telescope Science Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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Capture the interest of science students with the many interesting posts in this science blog (full of STEM/STEAM). This is a good example of how science CAN be blog material! ...more
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Capture the interest of science students with the many interesting posts in this science blog (full of STEM/STEAM). This is a good example of how science CAN be blog material! Find posts that are cross-disciplinary and informational. Choose from the two topics along the side of the blog: Art and Science. Use the search bar to find blog articles related to your content topic. Many of the science topics are upper high school to adult, with many blog comments from those who teach at the University level.

tag(s): scientists (50), STEM (73)

In the Classroom

Use this site with gifted students in a regular science class or on their own. Students will find the information and perspectives interesting and thought provoking. Use these passages for reading of informational texts and connecting information with other material learned in classes (science and other). Be sure to bookmark this site on your class webpage for students to use, particularly in any STEM or STEAM initiative at your school.

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Flying Classroom - Flying Classroom

Grades
K to 9
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Join a journey to eleven countries and three continents as part of a global STEM learning adventure aligned to Next Gen and Common Core Reading standards. The site navigation itself...more
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Join a journey to eleven countries and three continents as part of a global STEM learning adventure aligned to Next Gen and Common Core Reading standards. The site navigation itself takes a little "exploration," but the time is well worth it. Learn about locations around the world as you explore science and technology at each stop along the way. Learn about the captain and crew under Flight Briefing. Follow the clickable flight route under Flight Tracker. Take a flight tutorial at Fly with Us (under Flight Briefings). Explore videos on the Blog and under Flight Briefings. Watch the intro video on the home page. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): aircraft (20), animals (239), architecture (66), ecosystems (75), endangered species (32), flight (32), oceans (132), STEM (73), volcanoes (54), weather (175)

In the Classroom

Incorporate this expedition into your units on continents, exploration and explorers (to compare modern exploration with historic expeditions), or science units on flight, energy and more. See the Blog for specific scientific explorations your students can read in groups or as a class. Include this resource in a unit on scientists and what they do. Include some of the readings as informational texts that will generate high student interest. This is a great resource for your gifted students in a regular classroom to extend curriculum and share what they have learned with classmates. For more background for teachers, see the Executive Summary under "About." Have students use a class account to create maps using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Middle school students can use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the people on Captain Barrington's journey.
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Cool Kid Facts - CoolKidFacts

Grades
1 to 7
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Visit Cool Kid Facts to find information for just about anything in this world or even out of this world! Select from Geography, History, Science, Animals, and Human Body. There...more
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Visit Cool Kid Facts to find information for just about anything in this world or even out of this world! Select from Geography, History, Science, Animals, and Human Body. There are also topics in the right menu on the home page that range from Albert Einstein to Volcanoes and nearly everything else you can think of (alphabetically) in between. There are articles, videos, pictures, and quizzes, too. The videos are from various outside sources and are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (239), australia (26), brain (56), china (60), deserts (6), earth (215), egypt (63), greek (39), heart (38), human body (95), italy (14), magnetism (28), mars (39), mexico (32), moon (66), newton (22), photosynthesis (25), rainforests (11), rome (24), sun (66), tornadoes (15), tsunamis (16), volcanoes (54)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and show them all the different subjects available. Challenge students to find a topic about which they know nothing (or barely anything). This site will give them experience reading informational text on a topic they wonder about. Partner weaker readers with others who may be able to help them read the text-heavier articles. Have students read and research individually or in small groups taking notes using a simple graphic organizer from 25 Language Arts Graphic Organizers, reviewed here. Use this opportunity to teach summarizing, and citing sources. Cool Kid Facts is a great tool to build background knowledge about all sorts of topics!
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Time and Date - Steffen Thorsen

Grades
K to 12
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Time and Date is your one-stop resource for anything concerning time zones, calendars, and weather. View current time for any place in the world, explore time zone maps, and create...more
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Time and Date is your one-stop resource for anything concerning time zones, calendars, and weather. View current time for any place in the world, explore time zone maps, and create and print personalized calendars. Explore the short news articles. Calculators and timers offer countdowns to any date. Find the number of days until a chosen date or tell the date in X number of days. Other options allow you to find the weather anywhere in the world, explore sun and moon phases, and browse through upcoming holiday events. There are also many free apps available to specific sections of this site (see the Apps link). There is a LOT here to explore!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calculators (39), calendars (43), DAT device agnostic tool (99), moon (66), sun (66), time (138), time zones (8), weather (175)

In the Classroom

Bookmark (or save in your favorites) Time and Date on your classroom computers for students to use throughout the year. Find out the local time and temperature in countries as you study them, count down the number of days until spring break or the end of the school year. Use the stopwatch or timer/alarm for timing class activities. Create a personal classroom calendar. This is a perfect addition to your Calendar Math lessons in elementary school. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as you count how many days you have been in school, daily weather, or a countdown to a special occasion. The possibilities are endless using all of Time and Date's features! Include time/date conversions for online conferences you will hold with parents who are deployed or traveling in different time zones. Share meeting dates/times for Skype sessions using the time conversions so everyone is "on time." Humor your fellow teachers by warning them of the upcoming full moon and its supposed effect on student behavior!

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Smithsonian Quests - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
5 to 12
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Smithsonian Quests allows any learner the opportunity to explore their interests through investigative activities. Through exploration and collaboration, the quests challenge learners...more
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Smithsonian Quests allows any learner the opportunity to explore their interests through investigative activities. Through exploration and collaboration, the quests challenge learners and reward them with digital badges for accomplishments. Quests on history, science, and the humanities use Smithsonian resources and online education conferences for various subject areas to provide personal learning experiences. Each badge has an average of three activities to complete. There is flexibility to select several formats as proof of completion for the quest. Submit completed work to the Smithsonian Education Advisory committee, and they provide individual feedback as well as a badge. At the time of submission, there is an invitation to participate in a discussion about the quest with other learners. Many of the activities in the quests provide the opportunity to develop skills necessary to be successful in today's world. Profile pages for participants display the badges they have earned by completing quests. Learners are encouraged not to use their real name when completing the Smithsonian Quest registration. Students ages 13 and under must have parent permission to register on the site. Be sure to watch the introductory video housed on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (239), biodiversity (39), civil rights (96), climate change (51), coral (14), environment (294), fossils (41), immigration (50), museums (38), presidents (113), space (176), virtual field trips (40), water (115), webquests (31)

In the Classroom

Create Smithsonian Quests accounts for individual students or the entire class. Use the quests to extend classroom learning opportunities or to provide students the opportunity to pursue their interests. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. Encourage students to explore creative media to submit proof of their work. Smithsonian Quests is a fabulous opportunity for gifted students to explore topics of interest. Bookmark this site on class computers or set up a learning station and use Smithsonian Quests as an activity for students to complete when regular classroom assignments are completed. Reward students with your own badges using a site such as ClassBadges, reviewed here.

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Illustris - The Illustris Collaboration

Grades
10 to 12
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This project is a simulation of the actual creation of our Universe. Much of the theory of the formation of space, galaxies, and solar systems is complex and difficult to ...more
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This project is a simulation of the actual creation of our Universe. Much of the theory of the formation of space, galaxies, and solar systems is complex and difficult to understand. Use this project to understand difficult concepts such as clustering and ejection of matter. What is this project? Developed by teams of scientists, data from 50,000 galaxies were used to develop the simulation. Be sure to view the Videos/Images tab to learn about the various concepts used to develop the simulation. Identify relationships within the Universe, Laws of Physics, new understanding about Dark Matter, and more. Change various aspects of data using the layers icon in the upper right while viewing in the Explorer. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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 KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Be sure to read the About section for a better understanding of the project, basic concepts, and more information about the model.

tag(s): solar system (111), space (176)

In the Classroom

Use this site to enhance your discussion of subjects in an Astronomy unit or when discussing the difference between theories and laws in any science class. Point out that the data used for the simulation was gathered from 50,000 galaxies, taking into account all scientific laws with the understanding that conditions continue to change in the Universe as it continually expands. Astronomers, and scientists in general, have learned astronomical amounts of information from this project.
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CurriConnects Book List - Solar System and Space - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Launch into books about space and space exploration. Delve into black holes, or get to know famous astronomers. This list includes books at all levels from young "astronauts to be"...more
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Launch into books about space and space exploration. Delve into black holes, or get to know famous astronomers. This list includes books at all levels from young "astronauts to be" to high school space scholars. There are books at all interest and reading levels, so every student can reach for the stars. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): scientists (50), solar system (111), space (176)

In the Classroom

Include this booklist as you count down to a unit on space so each student can do some personal exploration - and sharing with the class during the unit. Reading a book or two independently will help them will build "prior knowledge" and personal connections with the science concepts and give them more experience to bring to class discussions.

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