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WDCS Kids - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

Grades
2 to 9
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Learn about and explore the world of dolphins and whales with this educational site. Find out if your schools serves "whale-friendly" lunches, make an origami dolphin, or watch a video...more
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Learn about and explore the world of dolphins and whales with this educational site. Find out if your schools serves "whale-friendly" lunches, make an origami dolphin, or watch a video demonstrating how dolphins get caught in fishing nets. Be sure not to miss the life size whale animation that provides an up-close perspective on just how large whales are. Lesson plans are available on the site under the Info Box and include PDF lesson plans and worksheets for students.

tag(s): ecology (135), habitats (84), marine biology (33), whales (16)

In the Classroom

The life size whale animation is perfect for use on interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the animation and move the box around to give different perspective on the size of a whale. The red box on the whale on the right-hand corner of the screen shows what part of the whale is being displayed. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research dolphins or whales and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Welcome to the Discovery- Interactive Whales Game for Kids - Australian Government

Grades
2 to 6
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Climb aboard the Discovery to learn more about the scientists and their activities on board a research vessel. Explore the five different rooms on the ship through the eyes of ...more
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Climb aboard the Discovery to learn more about the scientists and their activities on board a research vessel. Explore the five different rooms on the ship through the eyes of an expert, taking notes by saving text to a clipboard. Learn about whale migration, whale sounds, rules for viewing whales from land, facts about whales, and much more. View video footage of whales and watch whales through a portal.

tag(s): animal homes (41), marine biology (33), whales (16)

In the Classroom

This is a great place for students to begin a research project about whales. Students can save notes to the virtual clipboard as they learn and explore each room. The clipboard can be printed out and used as research notes. Set up your room so that as students enter, they feel like they are boarding the Discovery ship. Choose students to act as tour guides for each of the 5 rooms. Using a projector or interactive whiteboard, have the tour guides lead the class through each room. Students who are at their seats can take notes about whales and ask the tour guides questions. Create a scavenger hunt with items for students to search for while exploring the site. Three teaching units are available to download for use in the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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My Botanic Planet - Trugreen

Grades
2 to 6
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Enter this digital world by Trugreen to discover a planet of flowers, interactives, flavorful mysteries, and waterways. Explore the planet to learn about botany. Try the interactives...more
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Enter this digital world by Trugreen to discover a planet of flowers, interactives, flavorful mysteries, and waterways. Explore the planet to learn about botany. Try the interactives designed to clarify botanical concepts. Teacher lesson plans include water cycle information and waterways, activities for flowers, pollination, and blooming, and information about flavors found in plants.
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tag(s): plants (144), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Add a digital world twist to your unit on flowers, the water cycle, or senses. On your interactive whiteboard (or projector) choose your character, and explore your world. Teacher lesson plans give creative ideas for projects and lessons. Add to your class website as an extra enrichment activity. Capture your ESL/ELL students with sounds, pictures, and games to clarify concepts. Ask your gifted class to add concepts to expand into an earth science unit, creating a wiki to follow the structure provided. To learn more about wikis, check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Use as an option during centers to catch kids digging into the world! Create a story for the characters on the planet. The world is blooming with fun and learning!
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Grand Challenges for Engineering - National Academy of Engineering

Grades
9 to 12
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Grand Challenges for Engineering shares information on several engineering problems that are just waiting for 21st century solutions. Engineering challenge information is presented...more
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Grand Challenges for Engineering shares information on several engineering problems that are just waiting for 21st century solutions. Engineering challenge information is presented and followed by a moderated response forum. Anyone may submit ideas, and no registration is required. Share your name and location on the planet, and your comments may be featured in the forum. There are video clips, interactives, ready to go activities, and more. Information about world needs and next steps towards solutions are available. These topics can be controversial, so preview before you share with the class.

tag(s): carbon (21), critical thinking (108), engineering (125), mars (41), medicine (67), nuclear energy (24), problem solving (272), scientific method (64), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use Grand Challenges for Engineering topics as class conversation starters in science, biology, and engineering classes and an inspiration to make STEM a possible career choice. Stimulate a rich discussion by previewing the topic to students at the beginning of a week and discussing at the end of the week. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Encourage them to research the idea outside of class, and provide this website as a major source. Have students summarize the concept and the new things that they have learned through the discussion on an exit slip before they leave for the week. Challenge your students to think of other Grand Challenges that we face. In a gifted program these challenges could serve as themes for extended investigations or individual projects.
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Nova Science Now Education - WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based...more
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based on programs from Nova and other PBS programs. There are teacher guides, teacher interactives, and teacher videos. Topics include anthropology, archaeology, earth science, engineering, environmental science, forensic science, geography, health science, history, life science, math, paleontology, physical science, science and society, space science, and technology. At the time of this review, the website is still in BETA version and is not all inclusive in each subject. Find a TV programming schedule to help planning and resource gathering.
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tag(s): archeology (32), engineering (125), environment (317), forensics (27), paleontology (41), space (205)

In the Classroom

Enjoy the interactives, videos, and text together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use selected activities as a center (station). Include as resources for your curriculum. Use as a model to make a wiki for your current topic of study for a group project or classroom project. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Use this format to spice up your classroom blog.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Steve Spangler Science Videos - Steve Spangler

Grades
K to 12
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Steve Spangler has brought his fun and educational science experiments to his YouTube page. At the time of this review, the channel had over 400 science experiments in short (approx....more
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Steve Spangler has brought his fun and educational science experiments to his YouTube page. At the time of this review, the channel had over 400 science experiments in short (approx. one minute) videos. Each video demonstrates step by step how to conduct the experiment but leaves it up to the you to decide the science involved. Choose from the featured playlist, browse through uploaded videos, view by fan favorites, or search the channel using a keyword or term to find experiments. Videos can also be sorted by newest or oldest additions. Subscribe to the channel (using your YouTube login) to receive updates when new videos are added. Many include links to further detail and experiment how-tos on Steve's regular web site.
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tag(s): experiments (71), optical illusions (11), solar energy (38), water (130)

In the Classroom

Show a video on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as an introduction before conducting an experiment in class. Stop the video before the ending and have students predict what will happen. Have students journal their thoughts to the science at work in the video. Have students create their own comics to explain a topic using comic-creation tools from this collection. Share this site as a resource for science fair projects or for a school science night. The videos are hosted on YouTube. 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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The Children's University of Manchester: Interactive Learning for Key Stage Two - The University of Manchester

Grades
3 to 6
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The Children's University of Manchester contains excellent mini-lessons and interactive lessons for students on a variety of science, history, literacy, and art topics. Key stage 2...more
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The Children's University of Manchester contains excellent mini-lessons and interactive lessons for students on a variety of science, history, literacy, and art topics. Key stage 2 is roughly equivalent to grades 3-6. Topics include the body and medicines, energy and the environment, ancient Egypt, the earth and beyond, teeth and eating, micro organisms, the brain and senses, talking textiles, and words. Choose a topic to learn more about (explained by a professor at the university). Then explore by choosing from activities on the side bar. Activities include short videos, matching activities, slide shows, and more. Since this site was created in the UK, you may notice some slight spelling and/or pronunciation differences than in American English.

tag(s): body systems (57), brain (72), dental health (23), egypt (67), energy (197), environment (317), human body (120), medicine (67), organisms (21), root words (13), senses (28)

In the Classroom

The interactive lessons on this site are perfect for your whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. During the interactive lesson, students can operate the board/mouse to interact with the material. Most lessons will have enough opportunities to involve the whole class. The site is also ideal for individual instruction in the computer lab setting. Introduce students to a new topic with these mini lessons, videos, and educational games that can be expanded on as part of a larger unit.
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The Potato Story - McCain Food, Ltd.

Grades
2 to 7
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Learn how food (specifically potatoes) gets from the field to your fork at this interactive site. Focus is on how the potato is grown and harvested and its journey from ...more
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Learn how food (specifically potatoes) gets from the field to your fork at this interactive site. Focus is on how the potato is grown and harvested and its journey from the farm to the table. The nutritional values of the potato and the part they play in a balanced diet are taught through activities such as The Potato Detective and The Great Potato Quiz. Download a Potato Passport from the teachers portion. The teacher's section of the site also includes many other lesson ideas and activities for the classroom, but are a little hard to find. After going to the teachers section, choose from the headings of Lifecycles, Healthy Potatoes, Growing Potatoes, or Healthy Meals to find all of the wonderful ideas and printables. Of course, this site is created by a company that sells potatoes, so you could have an interesting discussion about class web sites and watching for bias! Since this site was created by the UK, you may notice some slight spelling and/or pronunciation differences than American English.

tag(s): agriculture (54), myplate (28), nutrition (154), plants (144)

In the Classroom

The Potato Story interactives are perfect as a center in a science or health class, completing individually in a lab setting, or completing as a class with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to visit the teachers section of the site for complete access to all of the activities, quizzes, and videos provided. Print a potato passport for each of your students to complete as you explore the journey of potatoes from field to fork. If you have parents willing to volunteer, maybe you can have a healthy potato tasting celebration?
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Floating Junkyard - Scholastic

Grades
5 to 12
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Floating Junkyard is a great Scholastic lesson plan for introducing plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean. Here you will find an article from Science World, discussion starter...more
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Floating Junkyard is a great Scholastic lesson plan for introducing plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean. Here you will find an article from Science World, discussion starter questions, a video (which uses Flash), and worksheets. You can also download the teachers edition for Science World Magazine that will give you more information and ideas for activities.
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tag(s): environment (317), oceans (148), plastics (9), pollution (66)

In the Classroom

The video and activities on this site make it the perfect introduction to the plastic pollution problem in the North Pacific. Be sure to click on the picture of the seal and enlarge it to make it readable. Once you've completed the video and worksheets, consider challenging your students with one of the activities suggested in the teachers edition either under project based learning or additional resources. For older and gifted students you may want to continue this unit by taking a virtual journey on one of the ships that measures and keeps track of marine pollution. You will find this site, Ship-2-Shore Education/ Mapping Plastic Marine Pollution, reviewed here. Set up an RSS feed or Google News search for news of the debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami to add to the discussion.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Genographic Project - National Geographic Society

Grades
8 to 12
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This tool provides videos, interactives, and lesson plans to understand the genetics of humans and to explain migration, genetic markers, and more. Use these lessons to understand more...more
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This tool provides videos, interactives, and lesson plans to understand the genetics of humans and to explain migration, genetic markers, and more. Use these lessons to understand more about genetics across many disciplines. Suggested test kits are not required for the activities, though they might add interest if your school permits.
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tag(s): genealogy (7), genetics (90)

In the Classroom

Bring many genetic topics to light and answer the question "Where do I come from?" The lesson plans are an important means to understand the scientific, political, and social impact of how we are all interconnected.
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NASA eClips - NASA

Grades
K to 12
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This NASA site showcases vast educational resources. eClips videos are arranged by grade level: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Be sure to check out the general public section. The short video...more
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This NASA site showcases vast educational resources. eClips videos are arranged by grade level: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Be sure to check out the general public section. The short video clips are designed to showcase NASA work and its importance and impact on everyday life here on Earth. The clip lengths make them perfect for classroom use or for young people to view on their own. Each age range has a different focus. K-5 videos show students how NASA research provides information about the Earth and our solar system. 6-8 videos focus on real-world problem solving. Problem solving is the central theme for 9-12 videos. View the videos online or download onto a computer. The entire eClips library is also available on YouTube here for those who want to use YouTube tools with the videos. There is closed captioning available from the CC button on all the videos.

tag(s): earth (228), nasa (39), problem solving (272), solar system (119), space (205), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Find viewing guides and project ideas to use in the classroom. Use the YouTube versions to embed a video in your class wiki and have students respond to questions there. As a STEM career exploration, have students watch a video of their choice and write a plan for how they might become a scientist involved in such a project.
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BioMedia - BioMEDIA Associates, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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This site features unbelievable microscope images and videos to engage you in tiny life you cannot see with your eye alone. Though a commercial site that actually sells images and ...more
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This site features unbelievable microscope images and videos to engage you in tiny life you cannot see with your eye alone. Though a commercial site that actually sells images and footage, several tabs are worth a close look. The "Micronaturalist Notebook" tells a story about the organisms with detailed and labeled pictures. Use the information to learn about the intricacies of microscopic life. Find specific organisms in the "Biogalleries." Many of the pictures showcase the larva and the adult forms of these organisms.
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tag(s): animals (276), microorganisms (14), microscopes (13)

In the Classroom

Use these organisms to discuss various Phyla or Classes of organisms to identify the similarity and differences among them. Use the Micronaturalist Notebook as a template for students to create information pages about what they see in their class lab. Create pages on a blog, wiki, or site to share with others. Use these images on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) and make them larger than life! Ask stimulating questions such as "How do these organisms show that they are indeed living?" or "Which of these organisms are most like another?" Share the responses to identify the characteristics of living things or discuss the similarity of structure and function among them.
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101 Questions - Dan Myer

Grades
2 to 12
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to ...more
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to skip a picture. Submit your own picture or video, and get points for the perplexity it inspires, or even join the top 10 lists. Save images to your favorites and classify by tags using your membership. Note that the public can participate so some responses may not be appropriate for younger viewers. Preview and monitor or have an adult operate the site together.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), images (265), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Creative fluency begins here! Set up a whole class account. Use this site in language arts: discover main idea, details, cause and effect, or even an inspirational writing prompt. Find ways to group images together based on characteristics or attributes. Use in gifted or enrichment situations, for inspiration for problem-based learning. Sequence the images to find ways to form a logical plot. Find ways to make Perplexors out of the given image. In math, write short word problems to accompany images or videos. Find ways to illustrate vocabulary definitions with examples and non-examples. As a morning work challenge, find questions, details, or even other questions. As a writing challenge, look for the image that conveys the mood or feeling you are trying to convey. In science, submit examples to illustrate scientific concepts. Use to generate scientific method style questions based on the given image. In social studies, find images to convey feelings represented by the time being studied. Challenge students to make a historical statement or political statement by finding and adding to an appropriate image. ESL/ELL students can use this site to help acquire conversation/questioning skills. In world language class, have students generate questions in their new language, even if they do not post them. In art, find mood, theme, style, or self expression images. Be sure to monitor the blog content. Put similar content on your own classroom blog. Challenge students to create their own 101 question images or videos to share on your class blog, inviting viewers to respond with questions in the comments.

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Edublog - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, pdfs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to log with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.
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tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. ) Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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In-sites to Einstein - Jen Farr

Grades
7 to 12
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories,...more
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories, and even quotes he has made. A vast array of sites is listed in each section, and much of the information is actually located elsewhere on the web.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), scientists (68)

In the Classroom

Have groups of students spend time perusing the topics and taking time to collect information. Share information learned with other members of the class to get a great background on the life and works of Einstein. Use to understand the theories he developed and discuss the difference between laws and theories. Have students (or groups) explore a specific part of this site and write a blog post about what they learn. Use a site such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Use this site as part of a unit for the gifted on Great Minds.

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Cellular Visions - Harvard University

Grades
9 to 12
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Find great videos of animations (including narration) of the inner life of the cell, the mitochondria, and other topics. Each video opens in a new window, and the web address ...more
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Find great videos of animations (including narration) of the inner life of the cell, the mitochondria, and other topics. Each video opens in a new window, and the web address can be copied to be shared on a blog, wiki, or website. The inner life videos also can be found without audio. Some of the videos require Flash; others require QuickTime.

tag(s): cells (102)

In the Classroom

Use the animations without audio as an introduction to cell biology. Allow time for students to note what they observe and to guess which cell parts that these may be. Show the video with audio to marvel at what we now know about the internal working of the cell and the cell parts. Follow the video with activities that allow for modeling of the cell on a larger scale to learn the parts.
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Metro: Sustainable Living - Metro

Grades
6 to 12
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality...more
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality life for you, your family, and the planet.
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tag(s): environment (317), natural resources (59), recycling (57), resources (112), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Though originally for residents of Portland, Oregon, anyone, anywhere can use this resource. Use as a start for good ideas and search for additional information for better understanding. Create blog posts, websites, posters, or other media to share ideas with others to create community involvement in sustainable living. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. When researching and discussing environmental issues, be sure to add practical ways for others to DO something. Challenge your students to create their own community of young people at your school to become involved in sustainable living. Use this site for ideas to launch Earth Day initiatives and public service announcements.

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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. 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): biographies (86), independent reading (126), interviews (16), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Wondermind - Tate Liverpool

Grades
4 to 12
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for...more
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for the interactive video that explains an aspect of the brain, such as how we learn language, how the brain develops from childhood to adulthood, how memory works, how we sense our own location, and how we learn self-control. Wondermind, set to the theme of Alice in Wonderland, will delight you with the quirky, clever, or just plain weird art inspired by Alice in Wonderland and used as part of the designs. The activities can be skipped if you prefer to just view the videos.

tag(s): body systems (57), brain (72), human body (120), logic (235), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for students to try the challenges and then view videos on your interactive whiteboard together. Check out the learning resources link to view a video with additional ideas for visual perception games and activities. Use as part of your Alice in Wonderland or Lewis Carroll units. If you teach psychology, anatomy, or health, this exploration will offer a new angle into how the brain works. Use the game and video about memory during a unit on study skills and discovering how students learn best. Teachers of gifted may also want to explore this site as part of a unit on the gifted mind. Learning support teachers may also want to use portions to help students better understand why their minds operate differently -- not "badly." Bright Asperger's students might be fascinated by the portion on the prefrontal cortex and how we learn self-control.
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Agriculture - 4-U - Mark Thompson

Grades
K to 12
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Agriculture - 4-U offers an explanation of where and how we get our food. Though developed for the United Kingdom, much of the information also applies to the United States ...more
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Agriculture - 4-U offers an explanation of where and how we get our food. Though developed for the United Kingdom, much of the information also applies to the United States or any other country. There are sections for teachers, learners, and the "Farm Yard." The teacher portion contains many links to videos, lessons, and activities divided into student age ranges from Foundation (preschool) through Secondary. The Farm Yard contains videos and data on crops, livestock, disease, and agricultural careers. The learner portion has sections to learn about crops, livestock, and careers. Although some activities are immediately available (especially those in the learners and Farm Yard portions), you can access everything on the site after completing the free trial application (free until further notice!) requiring your name, email, and school information.

tag(s): agriculture (54), careers (132), plants (144), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Include this site during a unit on farming or careers. You can also include it in geography class discussions about use of natural resources and regional economies. Show videos on your interactive whiteboard or create a link on classroom computers. Challenge students to create a word cloud of terms about agriculture or farming using a tool such as Wordle reviewed here. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of crops found in the United Kingdom verses those found in your area.
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