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Research Building Blocks - Read, Write, Think - International Reading Association

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers a complete lesson plan to use with students prior to beginning a first research project. The lesson takes students through the process of analyzing book titles to ...more
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This site offers a complete lesson plan to use with students prior to beginning a first research project. The lesson takes students through the process of analyzing book titles to determine ones that would be helpful in their research. It then builds on class discussion to enable students to make informed decisions on appropriate research material. One especially useful part of the lesson is the Hints About Print interactive link included in the lesson plan. This would be a wonderful site to use on your interactive whiteboard to lead the class through basics of choosing materials for research. Other useful items on the site are the nonfiction book reviews and nonfiction book evaluation forms that are available in pdf form for easy classroom use. Find all resources and print material by choosing the Resources and Preparation tab near the top of the page.

tag(s): book reports (36), interactive stories (32)

In the Classroom

View the Hints About Print interactive with your class on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate different concepts on choosing appropriate resources for research. If you don't have an interactive whiteboard, create a link on your classroom computers for students to view as a center. This site is perfect to use with older students who may have already done research projects as a review for choosing materials. ESL and Special Education teachers may want to use materials included in this lesson as an aid for students who have been assigned research projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ASPCA Kids - American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Grades
K to 6
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At this site, students learn about animals, pet care, careers, and more! Kids are predominately featured in stories on the site. For example, read about kids who have helped and ...more
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At this site, students learn about animals, pet care, careers, and more! Kids are predominately featured in stories on the site. For example, read about kids who have helped and saved animals in their hometowns. You can read what is involved in having a pet and keeping it safe and healthy. Ask Azula is a parrot who answers questions about pets. Simply click to ask a question or find answers to previously asked questions, such as, "What kind of noises do giraffes make?" The Animal Careers section contains short stories about people with careers involving animals. They discuss their jobs and how they got involved with animals. Don't be fooled into thinking the cartoon section is just for fun! This section contains links to YouTube video cartoons that demonstrate proper pet care.

tag(s): animals (276), careers (132)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students when researching careers or animals. Have students create an online presentation on animal care or careers using Smilebox (reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge reviewed here. As a writing project, have students send in a picture of their pet and a short story for consideration to be the site's Pet of the Week. Submit the story using a class account to protect student safety and stay within school policies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Inspire My Kids - Mike Stutman and Kevin Conklin

Grades
K to 12
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Find inspiring, age-appropriate, real-life stories, videos, and projects to share with the children and teens. The site hopes to help these students take positive actions and become...more
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Find inspiring, age-appropriate, real-life stories, videos, and projects to share with the children and teens. The site hopes to help these students take positive actions and become the best people they can be. Stories offer great examples of values like courage, determination, honesty, humility, kindness, responsibility, and tolerance. The stories range from incredible kids inspiring other kids, to amazing animals demonstrating admirable qualities, to the invention of inspirational social causes. Stories are searchable in several ways - by values, topics, age range, and format. Formats include articles, podcasts, reference, and videos. You can also sign up for the site's newsletter including updates and new article information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bullying (52), disabilities (20), school violence (12), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Share stories from the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector when learning about character traits such as sportsmanship, perseverance, and responsibility. Use the site as a resource when problems arise in the classroom such as bullying, intolerance, or special needs awareness. Have students use resources from the website as models for writing their own articles or creating a podcast. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Use the stories as models for writing activities and essays. Your students could also draw inspiration from this site to create values comics using one of many comic creation tools in this TeachersFirst collection.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Outliner of Giants - Simon

Grades
7 to 12
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The Outliner of Giants is a free, web-based outline program designed to support large, complex documents, such as reports and academic thesis. You can embed content from sites, such...more
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The Outliner of Giants is a free, web-based outline program designed to support large, complex documents, such as reports and academic thesis. You can embed content from sites, such as YouTube Videos and PDF documents or simply attach your own files. You can export your outlines at anytime to your Google docs. The service uses Google's own user account system and an HTTPS internet connection. You and your students will be able to access your outline on your computer, iPads, tablets, smart phones, and Androids.

tag(s): college (43), concept mapping (22), letter writing (21), process writing (42)

In the Classroom

On an interactive whiteboard or projector, create an outline of facts or concepts in any subject area. You can assign students to "outline" a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Why not use a student-operated IWB at the side (as a "sidebar") during lessons and have students continuously add to the outline as a set of class notes. This will help them to become familiar with the traditional, formal outlining format. The class can create outlines together, after a brainstorming session using a tool such as Popplet reviewed here. Use Outliner of Giants for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Create family trees or menus in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group outlines before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study: outline a story, plotline, or plan for the future; outline a step-by-step process (life cycle). As students discover whether they are more visual or verbal, allow them to choose between outline and mindmap/concept map as a planning tool.

This is a great tool for you or your students to use to plan a resume, a masters thesis, or any academic thesis. You may want to suggest Outliner of Giants to students to plan their letter of introduction when submitting college applications. You might even want to use it in your own graduate program!

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Women @ NASA - NASA

Grades
6 to 12
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This website includes a stunning collection of over thirty videos and essays from women who contribute to NASA's mission in many different ways. The stated goal for the site is ...more
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This website includes a stunning collection of over thirty videos and essays from women who contribute to NASA's mission in many different ways. The stated goal for the site is "we hope that these stories will inspire girls everywhere to reach for the stars, and explore the myriad of opportunities available to them through pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics." Each story includes a biography, story and video about the woman highlighted. Stories include information about their background, academic degrees, and current work and future goals with NASA. The site includes a blog, Twitter feeds, and a Facebook page which you can subscribe to.

tag(s): careers (132), scientists (68), space (205), women (101)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students when researching careers or space exploration. This is a perfect site for Women's History Month! Use information from the site for students to use as a model for researching career information. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here) to put a fictitious radio news story on a woman they learned about from this site. Woices also includes map features, so be sure students share the location where their researched woman is originally from.
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Engineering for the 21st Century - American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is a great resource for teachers who need information on incorporating engineering into the science and math curriculum. The four main sections of the site include Engineers...more
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This site is a great resource for teachers who need information on incorporating engineering into the science and math curriculum. The four main sections of the site include Engineers in Action, Teachers as Engineers, Engineering Materials, and Student Engineering Programs.The main page also includes links to answers of common questions on engineering and how it can be incorporated into a school's curriculum. The Engineering Materials section provides links to complete lesson plans and activities for classroom use as well as directions for interesting challenges for students to try.

tag(s): careers (132), engineering (125)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students who are researching engineering as a career choice. Science teachers can use activities and lessons included on the site that align to current curriculum. Information offered on the site can be used as a resource for setting up engineering clubs in your school.

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CurriConnects Book List - What do you do? - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to careers. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to careers. 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): book lists (126), careers (132), reading lists (73)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about Careers, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on careers. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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Amelia Earhart - The Official Website - Family of Amelia Earhart

Grades
6 to 12
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The Official website of Amelia Earhart is an informational website intended to honor the life, the legend, and the career of Amelia Earhart. It contains a vast amount of information...more
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The Official website of Amelia Earhart is an informational website intended to honor the life, the legend, and the career of Amelia Earhart. It contains a vast amount of information about her life and career. The most extensive part of the site is the "About" portion that contains her biography, achievements, quotes, photos, videos, and fast facts each in their own section. Another interesting portion of the site is the News section which contains links to recent stories and news articles about Amelia Earhart. There is a preview on this website pertaining to the movie Amelia, you may want to share this with your class - or not. Preview beforehand.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): aviation (39), careers (132), famous people (19), flight (36), women (101)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students when researching famous Americans, women, flight, or careers. Have students use a mapping tool such as Google Earth (reviewed here) to create an audio (and visual) tour of Amelia Earhart's journeys. Her story could also offer a powerful writing prompt for an essay about people who take on formidable challenges/adventures.
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Documentary Heaven - Documentary Heaven

Grades
6 to 12
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the...more
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the videos via several methods: browse the library, most popular, recent videos, or by categories. The categories vary greatly and include the bullying of those with disabilities, 9/11, aftermath of the Japan Tsunami, import and export of oil, and countless other topics. Each video comes with a short explanation and ratings (out of 10 stars). Viewers can also leave their own rating. Many include suggestions for related videos. Be aware: some of topics may not be suitable for the classroom. Please preview before (or IF) you choose to allow students to peruse on their own. You may want to share only specific videos with the class. It has been noted that this website opens rather slowly at the busy times of the day. But it is WELL worth the wait. Note that videos are recommended for inclusion by the video creators, so there could be very strong bias in documentary presentations. What better way to challenge students to stop and ask, "What is the source of this information and can I trust it fully?"
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (32), biographies (86), bullying (52), disabilities (20), psychology (64), senses (28), sexuality (14), tsunamis (16)

In the Classroom

View videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector to correspond with classroom lessons. Be sure to discuss the source and possible bias of any documentary. "Documentary" does not necessarily mean "trustworthy" or "unbiased"! Link to specific videos on your classroom computer, website, or blog for students to view on their own. Assign different topics and allow students to choose a documentary to use as part of their research. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BizKids - American Public Television

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the many facets of the business world on this approachable site. All information is tied in to the T.V. show entitled "BizKids" which was created to teach kids about ...more
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Explore the many facets of the business world on this approachable site. All information is tied in to the T.V. show entitled "BizKids" which was created to teach kids about money and business. The site is divided into several different sections - for teachers and for students. The teacher section includes lesson ideas that tie into videos available on the website. This can be found under the link "Cool Biz Stuff": five lessons are available in both English and Spanish.

Students can sign up to receive a newsletter with money tips just for them. Also included is a blog with links to other financial sites for kids. Most resources for students are located under "Cool Biz Stuff," then go to "Tools for Kids." Some of the tools include a financial calculator to determine what it takes to become a millionaire, sample business plans, allowance budgeting, and investment basics. Under "The Show" link, short video segments are available for review. Shows are geared toward increasing student interest through the use of familiar cultural icons such as "The Intern" and a parody of the T.V. show "24."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), college (43), financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Watch the video on "How to Hold a Fundraiser" when planning a class economics project or before a school fundraiser event to get ideas on how to boost fundraising income. Watch a few of the short videos for creative ideas before creating classroom presentations of information studied in class. Divide up the online shows between students in your class and have students view and report back on the information presented in the videos. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Ask students to create an economic plan using the allowance budget worksheet. Business teachers, family and consumer science classes, and young entrepreneurs will appreciate the many offerings on this site. College counselors will also want to share the college planning information.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learning Objects - Wisconsin Technical College System

Grades
7 to 12
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Looking for review materials for a variety of classes? Use Learning Objects for a wide range of curriculum topics. (A "learning object" is any kind interactive activity, animation,...more
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Looking for review materials for a variety of classes? Use Learning Objects for a wide range of curriculum topics. (A "learning object" is any kind interactive activity, animation, video, audio file, etc, that can be used for learning.) This site is great for introductory, reinforcement, or review materials. Find most of the relevant topics under "General Education." Choose from many subjects such as biology, biochemistry, chemistry, math, sociology, world languages, and written communication, among others. Gifted students or those who learn well independently can study Chinese and other topics not easily available in their school using these learning objects.

tag(s): animals (276), business (58), cells (102), chinese (48), grammar (216), grammar review (37), life cycles (25), microscopes (13), plants (144), psychology (64), sentences (52), sociology (22), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Find a variety of topics for each subject area. For example, use learning objects in biology topics: How to use a Microscope, Life Cycles of Animals and Plants, and Cell Division. Choose from many others. Use as an introduction to a new unit. Additionally, these learning objects can be used for reinforcement or as a review. Under the Written Communication subject you will find 50 Learning Objects from parts of speech, commonly confused words, to how to summarize, brainstorm, and many others. Share direct urls to specific review activities to help students who need extra practice or as links on a class web page or wiki for all students to access outside of class. Encourage students to comment on your wiki about the learning objects they found most helpful in explaining tough concepts (use the discussion tab).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Portfoliovillage - Site Maker Software Company

Grades
4 to 12
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and ...more
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and drop editor makes it easy. There are also editable flash widgets and the thousands of stock images and animations. You can create a flash portfolio website with media rich components: videos, audio, a play list, create forms, chats, and blogs. Be sure to watch the introduction video and read about the features provided.

PortfolioVillage must be updated every six months to stay free. Your portfolio will be deleted if not updated.

For those of you with iPads, this Flash site won't work for you. However, you might try Google Swiffy reviewed here. Google Swiffy is a tool that lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone.

tag(s): creativity (109), portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

There are a gazillion ways to use an eportfolio! Have your students upload their current and past work that they think they might want to showcase. They can have an area for all their different talents whether it is drawing, writing, acting, creating games or codes, designing anything, or athletic prowess. Students could create an online presence to share in college or job applications.

You may want to start out slowly, allowing your students to choose a talent that may fit within traditional curriculum. Have students select several pieces to demonstrate their talent and upload it to a working portfolio. You can then have the students reflect on each piece in writing. Students should then choose one artifact to showcase; have them write about why that was their choice. The eportfolio can be presented in class by students using a projector or an interactive whiteboard. Teachers who have students for more than one year (such as in a gifted program or Art classes) can encourage students to show growth in their talents.

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Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum - Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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Amelia Earhart's birthplace and home in Atchison, Kansas has been turned into a museum to honor her accomplishments. Their website offers several resources geared toward showcasing...more
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Amelia Earhart's birthplace and home in Atchison, Kansas has been turned into a museum to honor her accomplishments. Their website offers several resources geared toward showcasing her life and accomplishments. Visitors to the site can take a virtual tour of the museum to visit the parlors, kitchen and other rooms of her childhood home including several original artifacts. You can visit the link entitled Amelia Earhart to read a short biography, childhood information, aviation accomplishments, fun facts, and much more. Be sure to check out the News Clips portion for actual copies of news articles about her adventures.

tag(s): aviation (39), careers (132), women (101)

In the Classroom

Have students create an online presentation on Amelia Earhart or women in aviation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge presentation tools reviewed here. Have students create "talking pictures" as an alternative to a traditional reports using Fotobabble reviewed here.

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Vodburner - Netralia Pty Ltd

Grades
K to 12
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Use Vodburner to record Skype calls for later viewing and use. Save your high quality video and audio Skype calls easily. Download the Vodburner software...more
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Use Vodburner to record Skype calls for later viewing and use. Save your high quality video and audio Skype calls easily. Download the Vodburner software (an email must be entered to begin the download) and install the plugin on Windows machines only. Whenever you make a Skype call, Vodburner automatically records both sides of the conversation (both users must have Vodburner installed.) Choose recording of either side or both sides of the conversation. Note: It is recommended that you inform the other party that recording will be taking place as notification is not given through Skype. Use this service for free for 30 days. After 30 days it is still free, but a watermark with the Vodburner logo will appear in all recordings. Purchase the paid version to avoid the watermark. Use the built-in editor to edit recorded videos before finalizing. Find a FAQ section as well as great information for "Getting Started." Having troubles with the program? Be sure to check out the "Troubleshooting" section.

tag(s): chat (51), skype (12), video (253)

In the Classroom

Users will need the to download/install Skype (free) and create an account. Follow the simple instructions for using and recording. Be sure to check out all the help tabs found on the Vodburner site.

As noted above, it is a good idea to let those you are Skyping with know that you are recording calls with Vodburner. Be sure to discuss appropriate use of this resource and consequences for inappropriate use before using with students.

Use for any subject matter to record Skype calls with others for later review and discussion. Using Vodburner would be a great addition to Skype calls to professionals, enhancing content in your classroom. For specific ideas on using Skype, check out the Skype In the Classroom section.

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Listen a Minute - Sean Banville

Grades
5 to 12
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Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter...more
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Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter of the alphabet. Each listening selection has a multitude of activities you can download (along with the reading text) in Word and pdf formats. Find Cloze paragraphs, fill in the blanks, words to unscramble, and much more. Many activities can also be viewed online. Each selection has two interactive quizzes. Though targeted for the ESL/ELL student, listening is one of the language arts standards, and this is a good way for any classroom teacher to address listening skills.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dance (28), listening (91), reading comprehension (116), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use the selections and activities with individual students as an assignment or independent practice on your classroom computer. The reading and activities are easy to work on independently because of the listening feature. Don't forget to provide headsets. Small groups of students can listen at one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Provide this link for the families of ESL/ELL students to read (or listen) to the selections together. Learning support teachers will also appreciate the option to provide audio and text together to improve student comprehension.
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Visual Culture and Public Health Posters - National Library of Medicine

Grades
8 to 12
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A variety of health-related issues, including infectious diseases, the environment, smoking, and HIV-AIDS are explored through this collection of 20th century public health posters....more
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A variety of health-related issues, including infectious diseases, the environment, smoking, and HIV-AIDS are explored through this collection of 20th century public health posters. These strong visual images represent a powerful medium in influencing American attitudes. Use this site with a projector to generate discussion as these topics are covered in class. How effective are/were the images in changing the consciousness of the public?

tag(s): hiv/aids (18)

In the Classroom

Design a poster activity with your students, using this site as a springboard. Have students create traditional posters or online posters using Padlet (reviewed here) or or PicLits (reviewed here) to share on a class wiki or a cafeteria kiosk to apply what they have learned about both HIV/AIDS and the power of visual images.

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Above the Influence - National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Grades
6 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
This site is operated by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and mixes a bit of teen entertainment news with plenty of information on the destructive and dangerous effects of...more
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This site is operated by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and mixes a bit of teen entertainment news with plenty of information on the destructive and dangerous effects of using drugs. Uses stories from real teens along with star-power and hip graphics to address not only teen drug use, but other issues relevant to today's adolescents.

tag(s): red ribbon week (8)

In the Classroom

Use this site during your drug unit or Red Ribbon Week as background information for students or student groups to make anti-drug posters using PicLits, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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School Digger - Schooldigger.com

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
This site has assembled statistical data about the best and worst schools, public and private, state by state. Besides ranking, the site compares schools by student test scores. It...more
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This site has assembled statistical data about the best and worst schools, public and private, state by state. Besides ranking, the site compares schools by student test scores. It also offers tons of other data about student and teacher make up. The school search feature is invaluable to parents who are contemplating moving their student to a different school, district, or area. Before moving, parents can check the school in the area and even find a list of homes for sale in the district.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Refer visiting parents to this site when they make an initial school visit.

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Next Step - Next Step Publishing, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This teen focused ezine is designed to help teens educate themselves about what's available for them after high school. Primarily for the college bound, the bi-monthly magazine has...more
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This teen focused ezine is designed to help teens educate themselves about what's available for them after high school. Primarily for the college bound, the bi-monthly magazine has a theme for each issue. Sections include opportunities for young people to match their interests and goals with appropriate schools, to read articles about a variety of topics related to college attendance and admission, to read about careers, and more!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (132), college (43)

In the Classroom

Help make high school juniors and seniors aware of this helpful site. Guidance classes will benefit from using this. Put this link on your class website (or school) for students to access both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Intro to Learning Skills: Module 1: Self-Assessment - Red Rocks Community College

Grades
6 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
Use the self-scoring Learning Styles Assessment and Multiple Intelligences Inventory to determine student learning styles as you begin your unit on study skills or psychology. Students...more
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Use the self-scoring Learning Styles Assessment and Multiple Intelligences Inventory to determine student learning styles as you begin your unit on study skills or psychology. Students can complete both forms on paper and use the accompanying scoring page to determine their "learning style" and multiple intelligence strengths. Psychology or guidance classes or learning support teachers may want to explore other aspects of tutorial as well.

tag(s): learning styles (19), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Any teacher may want to use the site as a lead-in to the school year to help students develop stronger study skills. Have students complete the self-assessment then find their "match" for peer tutoring. Inspire student project ideas and options from the multiple intelligence information. Consider having students a clas wiki presenting the same curriculum content via various different "intelligence" channels.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

I had my sixth graders do this inventory as we started the school year. It helped them find "study buddies" for study hall times at school. This eased their adjustment to middle school and the heavier homework load. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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