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My Young Child - Early Parenting Foundation

Grades
K to 3
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Find online stories to read with young children and help build values. Each title states the value taught: honesty, patience, self-esteem, respect, forgiveness, and fairness. Stories...more
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Find online stories to read with young children and help build values. Each title states the value taught: honesty, patience, self-esteem, respect, forgiveness, and fairness. Stories can be read together or children can watch a video and follow along with the story. The site includes a section for parents with tips on reading with children and promoting good values. The educators section of the site has tips for using the site in the classroom and includes more ideas for parents.

tag(s): bullying (52), child development (25), literacy (103), parent conferences (22), parents (56)

In the Classroom

These short videos/audio books are perfect to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector during class meeting or lesson on honesty or other character values. Share this site on your classroom website or newsletters for students to access at home and to share reading tips with parents. Videos can be embedded on your website or blog for review. This is a winner to share at parent conferences in primary grades!
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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?"
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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.
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Engineering Bones - Teach Engineering

Grades
5 to 8
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This lesson plan about engineering bones uses inexpensive materials and is engaging for students to complete. Beyond teaching about biology and health, this can also help students understand...more
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This lesson plan about engineering bones uses inexpensive materials and is engaging for students to complete. Beyond teaching about biology and health, this can also help students understand some of the problems with being disabled, especially disabled people who have lost limbs in the armed services or through tragic accidents. While teaching science concepts or health topics, students are developing a greater awareness and appreciation for differences in people.
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tag(s): body systems (57), engineering (125), medicine (67), science fairs (25)

In the Classroom

Try using this lesson plan as part of a health unit on accidents and amputations. Or, in biology class talk about the mechanics of the muscles in the leg and the advances that medicine has taken to help create better prosthetic devices. Link scientific inquiry to "real" problems. Consider inviting a guest who works with amputees to meet with your class via Skype as part of this lesson.

This would also make a great extension activity for those students who love science and work well independently. Gifted students would enjoy the challenges of this very complete lesson package. If your school participates in a science fair, this would be an ideal project. Thinking about an after school science club? This would be a perfect activity to engage both male and female middle schoolers.
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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."
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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.
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Brainpop Junior: Free Stuff - Brainpop

Grades
K to 3
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From the makers of the fee-based site, Brainpop, this FREE site has interactives, animated movies, and quizzes on curriculum topics in math, science, social studies, writing, reading,...more
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From the makers of the fee-based site, Brainpop, this FREE site has interactives, animated movies, and quizzes on curriculum topics in math, science, social studies, writing, reading, and health. The movies are clever and engaging, and the quizzes reinforce the content of the movies. At the time of this review, some of the free topics included nouns, classifying animals, bullying, U.S. symbols, and more. The free content may change from time to time, but this link takes you directly to the FREE stuff!
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tag(s): bullying (52), charts and graphs (195), movies (64), preK (279), writing (358)

In the Classroom

The animated movies work well on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Students can replay them at a center or click to see them at home from a link on your teacher web site for reinforcement. Be sure to save this site in your favorites and visit often to see if anything new is FREE. Include this link on your class website for students to access at home.
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Focus on Animation - National Film Board of Canada

Grades
K to 6
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This site is useful for learning about both the technical and historical aspects of animation. Over seventy animated shorts date back as far as 1941. Several informative films explain...more
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This site is useful for learning about both the technical and historical aspects of animation. Over seventy animated shorts date back as far as 1941. Several informative films explain a variety of processes animators' use and include biography pages. The section, "My Film Class", is specifically for children. It contains games, films, and activities for students. Many of the films on this site reflect on the human condition and have a strong philosophical message. The National Film Board of Canada organizes films into seven main themes such as citizenship, folk tales or rights and responsibility. There are a few postings for film competitions. This site is a "work in progress" with new material being added often, so be sure to check back.

tag(s): animation (63), comics and cartoons (74), drawing (78), french (88)

In the Classroom

Provide background information about the filmmaker and the animation process used, before projecting a film shirt to the whole class. Download free lesson plans for each of their thematic units. Each lesson consists of three activities and a closing lesson. The content of the films will stretch a student's ability to think metaphorically, and understand symbolism. Use this site to inspire future animators. Encourage students to create their own films. Share the films on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Provide opportunities for students to create stop motion films that use clay, paper cut outs or object animation. Explore the other various techniques they mention on this site. Younger children will enjoy the activities on "Animacat's House." Be sure to screen each film before playing them for your class. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class.
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Character Counts! - Josephson Institute

Grades
2 to 12
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The booklists on this site feature books from the ""Six Pillars of Character" chosen by the Josephson Institute's Center for Youth Ethics. You can narrow the search by selecting one...more
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The booklists on this site feature books from the ""Six Pillars of Character" chosen by the Josephson Institute's Center for Youth Ethics. You can narrow the search by selecting one specific kind of character (trst=Trustworthiness, rspt=Respect, rspn=Responsibility, fair=Fairness, care=Caring, citz=Citizenship). You can also search by type of book (children's fiction, storybooks, or teen fiction). If you choose instead to search the entire list, the pillar shows up at the end of the book listing. Links to other websites featuring the "Six Pillars of Character" complete the offerings of the site.

tag(s): book lists (126), word choice (26)

In the Classroom

Give your students more than one message! When teaching the Six Traits of writing to students, look at the books offered on this list to use as your examples for word choice, voice, etc. You may want to compare the list of books on Writing Fix reviewed here to the list of books on Character Counts.

Use these lists to make up your recommended outside lists. If you are not familiar with all the teen books, use this site as a resource to inform yourselves about the quality and messages of some YA literature. Be sure to share this site with school librarians, other teachers, and counselors.

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Take Part - Take part,LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Are your students frustrated with issues and problems of today? Wish to create a more enlightened and responsible generation? Use the resources at Take Part to bring issues and possibilities...more
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Are your students frustrated with issues and problems of today? Wish to create a more enlightened and responsible generation? Use the resources at Take Part to bring issues and possibilities to light. Search issues by category, read news stories, find actions and communities, and even create communities and actions. Read the must read of the week and view important facts and ideas. View video clips, read articles, and more. Join the community though this is not necessary to use the resources.
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tag(s): environment (317), movies (64), news (261), newspapers (94), problem solving (272), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Non-fiction reading and background knowledge have found a new emphasis with The Common Core State Standards. It is more important now than ever to help connect students with quality non-fiction reading material and viewing material. Find great resources, actions, and possibilities for many of the best documentaries students can view such as "Inconvenient Truth" and "Food, Inc." Be sure to check out the lesson plans available at this site.
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Children's Books at Embracing the Child - Embracing the Child

Grades
K to 12
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At first glance this site may appear to be just a compilation of Newbery and Caldecott winning books; however, after diving in and exploring there is much more for classroom ...more
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At first glance this site may appear to be just a compilation of Newbery and Caldecott winning books; however, after diving in and exploring there is much more for classroom teachers, media specialists, and parents. Each week the site offers a synopsis of a Book of the Week; monthly there is an author interview. Archives share previous offerings all the way back to 2003 (at the time of this review). The links on the left side of the page make it easier to find specific books by topic, such as Black History, Recommendations for age 9 and up, and letters & sounds. Don't miss the section about children's illustrators, located in links on the left. It contains an incredibly long list of links to information about specific children's authors. (Note: some links were broken, but most are not.) The site also offers an email newsletter. Some of the descriptions offer the opportunity to purchase the book at Amazon.
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tag(s): authors (120), baseball (36), black history (59), book lists (126), book reports (36), independent reading (126), literature (275), newbery (2)

In the Classroom

Classroom teachers and schools without access to a Media Specialist can use this site to stay current on children's literature offerings and book awards. Use this site before reading a book for information about the author to share with your classroom. Locate books geared toward specific student interests using the category links on the left. Share this site on your classroom blog or website as a resource for parents and students to find books for independent reading. Use this site to find books specific to classroom topics such as nature books, picture books, or science and math books. Set up literature circles based on a topic.

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Global SchoolNet - Global School Net

Grades
4 to 12
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Find ways to include your class in online, project based learning. This site offers living curriculum in a world laboratory that promotes lifelong learning. A series of different programs,...more
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Find ways to include your class in online, project based learning. This site offers living curriculum in a world laboratory that promotes lifelong learning. A series of different programs, including International school Cyber Fair, Doors to Diplomacy, Mosaics of Life, Geogame, Online Expedition, and Letters to Santa all encourage global technology. Global SchoolNet engages youth in project based, online learning activities to promote creativity and communication, while increasing global understanding. A Projects Registry and Collaborative Learning Center contains great ideas for projects. Webby award winner Global SchoolNet has been a top ten educational website for five years in a row. This is a great resource for busy teachers!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Go global with your class this year! Set your technology goals to include many of the different global project based learning sites in a condensed easy to find manner. Link your class to other classes around the world. Join in online expeditions, competitions for your students, or even an online teacher award. Join in the Newsday Project and have your students publish articles for the world to see. Several International resources provide lesson plans for teachers for problem based technology projects. Information for different competitions bring your class into the cutting edge of global technology problem based learning. Join the list serve to keep updated with the latest happening in global education.

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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.
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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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ArtsEdge - Kennedy Center

Grades
K to 12
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by ...more
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by subject, keyword, or grade level (K-4, 5-8, or 9-12). Some examples of topics include Native Americans, Civil War, Shakespeare, myths, melodrama, adjectives, baseball, and countless others! There are many interactive lessons: some with video, audio, or slideshows. The lessons provide an estimate of time required and complete, step-by-step instructions. There are printables included with some of the lessons.
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tag(s): african american (113), baseball (36), civil war (145), comics and cartoons (74), dance (28), folktales (65), greece (26), habitats (84), immigration (58), literature (275), mexico (34), musical instruments (48), myths and legends (25), native americans (78), painting (66), surrealism (4)

In the Classroom

Search this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to do themselves in small groups.
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Fire Prevention Week - National Fire Protection Association

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection, provided by the National Fire Protection Association is amazing. Here you will find fire prevention facts, products to help families stay safe, special materials for...more
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This collection, provided by the National Fire Protection Association is amazing. Here you will find fire prevention facts, products to help families stay safe, special materials for parents (and teachers, too), an online quiz for both students and families, and more! At the time of this review, the message for the year was "Protecting Your Families and Loved Ones From Fire." The approach, at the time of this review, is multimedia; in addition to the quiz, there are audio public service announcements, a blog, an upcoming webinar, and safety videos. For younger children, the familiar Sparky the Dog offers fun activities. Accompanying safety tip sheets benefit everyone, and a focus on high-risk populations assures you that everyone will have a fighting chance against fire.
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tag(s): fire prevention (10), fire safety (11), homes (12)

In the Classroom

Try pair teaching after introducing the important facts available on this page. Have the first of a pair give the other student the facts and then have the second add to what the first has missed. Have your class make their own posters using this year's campaign logo. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have your class create check sheets they can take home and do their own domestic assessment with. Ask if they know any members of the population that might be higher at risk for fires, and see if they can think of ways to make contact and help this group.
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Speak Up - Cartoon Network

Grades
2 to 8
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and...more
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and conflicts from which students can choose. Creating cartoons is an effective way to teach students how to write stories with a clear storyline and structure. The story problem section allows students to write in their own scenarios. Students are responsible for creating the solution to the story problem themselves. Each cartoon strip contains six boxes, allows two characters per page, and speaking bubbles as well as narrative box across the bottom of the page.

tag(s): bullying (52), comics and cartoons (74), creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Use "Speak Up" as part of a mini-lesson about problem and solution or dialogue. Have students create their own cartoons as part of a craft lesson. Print out the cartoon and students can use it as an outline to help them write narrative text or plays. Demonstrate how to combine narration with dialogue in one text from this cartoon outline.

Use scenarios of social conflicts your class may be facing or are currently discussing in character education. For example, use bullying or peer pressure issues. Pair up classmates to re-tell a conflict similar to those students face during recess, in class, or from home. Together they can discuss ways to solve these conflicts. Use the results to open up dialogue about student issues and as a tool to brainstorm constructive ways to solve them.

World language teachers or ESL/ELL teachers can also use this tool for students to practice written dialog and appropriate social interaction.
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Next Step - Next Step Publishing, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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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...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!
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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.
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WoogiWorld - WoogiWorld, Inc.

Grades
K to 6
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Woogi World is a virtual networking technology used to teach students about cybersafety and related topics. It is a scalable online virtual educational platform that fosters peer-based,...more
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Woogi World is a virtual networking technology used to teach students about cybersafety and related topics. It is a scalable online virtual educational platform that fosters peer-based, social interactive learning for today's students. The Woogi World site has sections for Kids, Parents, and Educators. Students can play Woogi World by creating their own "Woogi." Before they can create a Woogi, Cyber Hero tells them that they need three things: A Parent Nearby; Parents' Permission; and a Parents' email address. Parents can manage their student's account and read about how Woogi World addresses Learning, Safety, Awards, and Upgrades. Educators can use the Woogi World Cyber Hero program for classroom instruction on Cyber Safety, Cyber Ethics, Cyber Security, and Cyber Health.

tag(s): cyberbullying (43), internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Send home information about the website and ask parents to create an account for their student. If there isn't internet access at home, obtain permission to create an account at school. Another option is to create one account for the classroom and display on the interactive whiteboard (or projector) and perform internet safety activities together as a class.
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Learning to Give - Points of Light Institute

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

tag(s): african american (113), animal homes (41), animals (276), charts and graphs (195), colonial america (107), communities (35), data (148), diversity (36), ecology (135), environment (317), heroes (24), money (193), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site.

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Questioning Toolkit - From Now On

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

tag(s): critical thinking (108), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

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

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Stop Bullying Now - US Department of Health

Grades
2 to 8
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Your one-stop place for bullying resources, whether it is cyberbullying or face to face, this site is loaded with twelve games, webisodes, online polls, interviews, and more. The webisodes...more
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Your one-stop place for bullying resources, whether it is cyberbullying or face to face, this site is loaded with twelve games, webisodes, online polls, interviews, and more. The webisodes specifically would be a great way to show students the varying types of bullying, and how to recognize it in school or at home. Click on the "What Adults Can Do" link on the left to access the "Materials for Educators" link. Download TFK Extra (Time for Kids) webisodes to print out for classroom reading. Teacher guides are also available. View the extensive Tip Sheets for adults. The site is primarily geared towards Elementary students as Middle Schoolers most likely will not be attracted to the cartoon approach this site takes, but it would benefit an Elementary classroom.

A Spanish version of this entire site is available with a click from the Home page. Flash and Adobe Acrobat are required, get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (43)

In the Classroom

Pass out appropriate Tip Sheets to parents in a newsletter, on your class website, teacher blog, or during Open House. Generate discussion on bullying by addressing it on your blog. This site has enough Tip Sheets and resources for an entire school year. For fun, divide your class into small groups to create their own webisodes against bullying.
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