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Compare & Contrast Map - Read, Write, Think - International Reading Association

Grades
3 to 12
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This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point. A link...more
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This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point. A link in the introduction to the "Comparison and Contrast Guide" gives students the chance to get definitions and look at examples before they begin working. The tool offers multiple ways to navigate information, including a graphic on the right to move around the map without having to work in a linear fashion. The finished map can be saved, e-mailed, or printed. There are many additional interactives and lesson plans (with standards included!).

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Use this site to introduce comparisons to your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. After demonstrating how to use the site, create a link on classroom computers for students to make their own comparisons to be printed and shared. Divide students into 3 groups - one for each type of comparison essay - and have them create comparisons for their type, then share and compare with other students. Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate the different types of comparisons using Fotobabble reviewed here. Use this site with gifted students as a way for them to explore subjects more deeply than discussed in class. Use this site with ESL/ELL students to help organize information easily and as a visual representation of class material.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Reel Life Wisdom - Doug Manning

Grades
5 to 12
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Capture your students' attention through movies! Reel Life Wisdom, offers a collection of over 3,200 hand-picked quotes from films across the ages. Search for great quotes by...more
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Capture your students' attention through movies! Reel Life Wisdom, offers a collection of over 3,200 hand-picked quotes from films across the ages. Search for great quotes by movie title, actor, or year. Quotes are organized by character qualities such as hope, faith and belief, and courage. Love: Connect to Your Supporting Cast quotes contain quotes on family, friends, contributions, and relationships. Random Bits of Wisdom quotes examine adversity, balance, discrimination, and responsibility among many others. Reel life quotes aim to inspire and support people proactively, self-managing their life. An RSS feed and email subscription ensure delivery of daily quotes to you.

tag(s): movies (65), quotations (23)

In the Classroom

Reel Life Wisdom supports character education programs with a parent PDF offering useful tips. Use relevant quotes in discussions on theme, choice, and empowerment. Lead your students to understand they are in charge of their lives. Improve reading comprehension of any text, by making connections or comparisons to a movie. Strengthen writing skills by critiques, explanations, and point of view essays. Challenge students to reach a deeper understanding of theme by finding a quote to match the theme. Use movies as an example for positive, effective goal setting strategies. Develop written or oral language by using the quotes as writing/speaking prompts. Challenge students to discover the many choices available to every individual. Encourage a meaningful sense of story development while connecting to each student's interest. The movies also offer a personal story into the study of people, government, and values. Create a thematic bulletin board of quotes on a topic, or have students generate word clouds from several favorite quotes on the same theme. Use a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here. Post the clouds for class inspiration. During the first week of school, share this site and ask each student to share a favorite quote on a class blog or wiki for students to get to know each other.

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Decico - Decico.com

Grades
4 to 12
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How do you make a decision and weigh all of the factors? Use Decico. This decision making tool uses a decision matrix technique to look at the problem in context ...more
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How do you make a decision and weigh all of the factors? Use Decico. This decision making tool uses a decision matrix technique to look at the problem in context and calculate favorable alternatives. Select the alternatives you want to compare, choose how you want to compare them, and then compare the generated score. Highest score should be given consideration. Create a login to save your decision matrices. Link, download, or embed the results.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), debate (41), mind map (25), persuasive writing (55)

In the Classroom

Use for many kinds of societal, political, or environmental discussions and decisions, such as paper or plastic bags, drilling or not in ANWAR, etc. Use in literary discussions of alternatives faced by characters. Use in preparation for debates or persuasive writing. Generate a list of actions and alternatives and create the decision matrix. Use multimedia or conventional posters to generate information about the advantages and disadvantages of each position. Try a site like Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here). Create a case study about a real life situation where a decision would have to be made and provide roles for students. Students use the decision making matrix with their assigned role to generate a vote for the issue. Consider using this tool for a project actually occurring in their neighborhood. For example, a field and trees being taken down as well as the changing of the landscape for a proposed development. Use the decision making matrix in Decico to determine why the decision to proceed happened or should happen.

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A Simple Switch - Philips

Grades
2 to 8
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Join in the movement to reduce our carbon footprint on our earth. A Simple Switch is a site that challenges individuals and businesses to evaluate your own usage as well ...more
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Join in the movement to reduce our carbon footprint on our earth. A Simple Switch is a site that challenges individuals and businesses to evaluate your own usage as well as find new ways to reduce waste. Sponsored by Philips, articles, ideas, personal energy scans, games, and specials promote going green. Articles included range from self watering planters, hanging plants, urban gardens to buying local produce. Activities promote the understanding of energy required to light and maintain lightbulbs. Your personal energy scan questions and evaluates your personal usage. A free newsletter offers the latest articles and information. Facebook and Twitter are available as apps for the site. The site is a 2011 nominee for the Webby Awards.

tag(s): conservation (127), earth day (112), environment (317)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use A Simple Switch, as a supplement and resource for your recycling/conservation units. Design experiments to find the difference between energy-saving techniques. Add as a resource for science project ideas. Science classes can determine how to measure energy usage and how to calculate the data into usable information. Use this site as an example for starting a school wide campaign on conservation. This site offers a great beginning for ideas for grants, community involvement, contests, or challenges focusing on conservation and recycling.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teachers: World Food Programme - World Food Programme

Grades
3 to 10
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This site is full of learning activities and resources from the World Food Programme, developed by educators to be used in the classroom. Inspire students as global citizens through...more
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This site is full of learning activities and resources from the World Food Programme, developed by educators to be used in the classroom. Inspire students as global citizens through these lessons and service learning opportunities. The lesson plans and classroom activities cover all grades and subject areas, with themes ranging from "What to do about Malnutrition" to "The Millennium Development Goals." Classroom activities can be found by going to the link on the right-hand side of the page. Activities are labeled by age range, subject, and general category of the lesson (such as collaborative learning & problem solving or addition & subtraction of decimals). After choosing a lesson, click on download to access the lesson in an easy to print pdf document. Lessons are very detailed, including an overview, aims and objectives, materials needed, lesson procedure, and activity sheets. Another excellent resource within the site is titled Hunger 101. Resources in that section include useful information and resources for discussing hunger in the classroom. In the future, the site intends to include more resources such as teaching materials and maps for the classroom. The site also includes links to sign up for their Facebook page, Twitter feed, and blog.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), nutrition (154), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector then allow them time to explore on their own. Use lessons from the site in your classroom. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Service groups, student councils, and gifted programs can find many ideas for service projects and fundraisers through this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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KidRex - Kid Safe Search Engine - KidRex.org

Grades
K to 7
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KidRex is an engaging, safe search engine for students that is powered by Google Custom Search and Google SafeSearch technology. In addition to typical filters applied to searches,...more
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KidRex is an engaging, safe search engine for students that is powered by Google Custom Search and Google SafeSearch technology. In addition to typical filters applied to searches, the site maintains its own database of inappropriate websites and keywords to further reduce the possibility of inappropriate search returns. The search engine is easy to use and similar to a typical Google search. You simply enter the search term and a list of sites is returned. Inappropriate search terms are returned with an "Oops, try again!" message. Before using the site, be sure to click on the Parents link for a quick overview of how the site works.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (109), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Create a link to KidRex on classroom computers for students to use as a default search engine. Use this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate how to search for items or when searching with your students.

Comments

A similar site that uses Google SafeSearch, but may be more appropriate for older kids is http://www.KidzSearch.com Daniel, CA, Grades: 0 - 12

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Eco Zoo - Enjin, Inc.

Grades
K to 4
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Visit the Ecozoo: a colorful, content-rich website! Click on the critter icons along the top to learn how to live in the environment and have good habits. Each critter has ...more
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Visit the Ecozoo: a colorful, content-rich website! Click on the critter icons along the top to learn how to live in the environment and have good habits. Each critter has a pop up book to learn new habits. The site is in both English and Japanese, making it even more intriguing to younger readers!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), ecology (135), ecosystems (88), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Allow students to explore the site and share information with one another about what they have learned. Bring these ideas together into a class discussion. Students can research other methods to create a more sustainable society and create flyers, posters, or blog posts to share information with others. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here or make one together as a class, with each student contributing a portion.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sqworl - Caleb Brown

Grades
K to 12
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and ...more
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and it is done. After registering, a personal homepage is created, this is where the magic can begin! The homepage is where groups will be created to combine url's. Then adding some groups of link begins the process of creating groups. At this point a title is given to the group being created (examples might be Math sites, American History, etc.). The final step is to add a short description. After choosing start, simply copy and paste the url you want to use and add a short description and click finish. Once a group is created, it can be shared through the url shown on the page. Sqworl also has a bookmarklet that can be added to the browser toolbar making it easier to add items to your groups without having to open the homepage. There is also a mobile app for iPhone.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

In the classroom use this site to combine url's of online class projects into one group. Create a group of resources for students or parents for different subjects and share the url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a group with videos relating to classroom content. Create a classroom account and let students add resources they have found to groups to share with others. Show students how to follow other groups on Sqworl and share resources by creating their own groups. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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Slavery Footprint - How Many Slaves Work For You? - MUH-TAY-ZIK HOF-FER

Grades
7 to 12
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Slavery Footprint calculates the number of forced laborers involved in making the products we buy as consumers (such as beans in our coffee). Questions are based on the food...more
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Slavery Footprint calculates the number of forced laborers involved in making the products we buy as consumers (such as beans in our coffee). Questions are based on the food you eat, clothes you own, and even the sports you do. There is even the option to add detail about certain commodities to allow the program to make a more precise calculation. The result gives you the exact number of slaves that "work for you" in the supply chains of your consumption. An interesting portion of the site goes into detail about the methodology used for determining the number of slaves "working" for the respondents. The site also provides their definition of a slave: "Anyone who is forced to work without pay, being economically exploited, and unable to walk away." Be sure to share the opening portion of the site, "What? Slaves work for me?" with students for a wonderful explanation of slavery and the purpose of the site. Note: There is one question in the survey about paying for sex. While sexual slave trade is a very real issue in today's world, you may not want your less mature students to encounter this question. Only you know your school community's tolerance for such discussions.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), ecology (135), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Have students complete individual surveys and graph results, use the information for a basis of class discussions on economy and each individual's impact on the environment. Complete one survey for the entire class on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) using average information found from students. Show the impact of changes in lifestyle by completing new surveys by making lifestyle changes. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here) to create a fictitious radio news story from information they learn at this site. Have students use a mapping tool such as Google Earth (reviewed here) to create an audio (and visual) tour of countries included on the survey.

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DOGOnews - Meera Dolasia

Grades
2 to 12
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Need kid-friendly online news? This safe site, written for kids, by kids, offers news from a younger point-of-view. You can create a class page where you can load a variety ...more
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Need kid-friendly online news? This safe site, written for kids, by kids, offers news from a younger point-of-view. You can create a class page where you can load a variety of articles, add a book list, a calendar, favorite sites list, add lesson plan instructions, monitor student comments, and more. DOGOnews is kid friendly, colorful, and flexible. After all, DOGO means young or small in Swahili. You can select articles from a number of categories (Social Studies, Science, World, Current Events, etc.). There is an integrated dictionary for challenging words and maps for geographical context. Some of the articles include short video clips. Students may leave brief comments about each article (no login required). Also, typing the word "video" in the search box will bring up the Video of the Week for the past several weeks. The videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. In addition, find a Book and Movie section with a brief summary for the book or movie, and comments. You don't have to join to read the articles, but you do need to join to create a class page. There are many benefits to creating a class page, and it's all free! Don't want to create a class page? You can also embed articles on your current web page.

tag(s): news (261), reading comprehension (116), sports (97)

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 and viewing material. Find great news resources and videos of the week to create assignments for your class at DOGOnews. You may want to create a class page and load several news articles. Have students choose from the articles, and email it to themselves. Have students print out the article and complete a "close reading" of the article by annotating it. Then have students who chose the same article get together in groups to discuss their reactions about the article, create a summary together, and create four or five open-ended questions about the article. Lastly, create groups of four, with each student having a different article, and have them present their article to the others in the group and ask them their open-ended questions to trigger a discussion. Create a class magazine from the articles. Or better yet, have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Strengthen reading comprehension by having an 'article du jour' on your interactive whiteboard or projector as students arrive. Link this site on your homepage.

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YoungZine - Deepa Gopal

Grades
3 to 10
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Youngzine is news and more for the young. Enjoy the different articles, comics, videos, etc. without signing up, or you can sign up to have full access to everything ...more
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Youngzine is news and more for the young. Enjoy the different articles, comics, videos, etc. without signing up, or you can sign up to have full access to everything on this safe site, including teacher tools. General subjects include World News, Science & Technology, Our Earth, Society & Arts. For each class, teachers get a blog where they can post assignments and have students respond. Teachers can register their class for free. You can include specific articles and quizzes for each assignment. Comments are moderated to prevent inappropriate classroom content.

For each of your classes, you see a full report of each student's activities by going to your classroom tab. Youngzine also provides a safe "blog" environment for classrooms - a constructive, creative, and controlled way for teachers to create classroom assignments and foster discussions about current events! The blog can be completely private so outsiders cannot see student comments. Teachers control these settings.

tag(s): blogs (88), communities (35), news (261), service projects (25), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Have your students make comments on articles (public comments), take quizzes, rate articles, and participate in contests. You can create custom assignments and have students respond and discuss, right on Youngzine! This is a great way to assess student's understanding and create an arena for a discussion/debate between class students. Or, ask your students to summarize an article, as a way to encourage them to think and write.

There is also a tab for "U Write." This section appears to allow students to write about issues in their community, or programs they've heard about to help a suffering communities. You might consider having your students look at the different articles and decide on a community to help. Have them vote on the community they would like to help by using Thinkmeter reviewed here.

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Shelfari - Amazon

Grades
4 to 12
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Shelfari is a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends, and learn more about your favorite books. You can...more
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Shelfari is a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends, and learn more about your favorite books. You can read, write and edit plot summaries, popular quotes, character descriptions and more than a dozen other types of book factoids. The site can be searched without registration; however, free registration is required to create a virtual bookshelf. (Although they do not openly "advertise," Amazon obviously hopes this site will inspire you to buy more books. If you feel so moved, we hope you will make your purchase by entering through the Amazon search at the bottom of this page so TeachersFirst can benefit from the donations Amazon makes to our non-profit service as a result of your purchase.)
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book lists (128), book reports (35), independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Before or after reading classroom novels, pull up the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector to view what others have written about the book. Create a classroom account and your own virtual bookshelf as a resource for students to find books that they will enjoy. Create different bookshelves by subject, genre, etc. Show this site on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate how to use the site and find books of interest. Use examples on the site, then have students create their own book summaries (using this site's format) using Google Docs reviewed here. Add the Shelfari widget to your classroom website or blog for easy access for students.

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Utubersity - Utubersity.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Utubersity presents the best educational videos available on YouTube in an organized, easy to find way to watch and learn. The site can be searched in several ways. The home ...more
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Utubersity presents the best educational videos available on YouTube in an organized, easy to find way to watch and learn. The site can be searched in several ways. The home page offers choices of newest, popular, and featured videos. At the top of the page, you can choose from the categories of lectures, documentaries, or conferences. More specific categories of lecture topics are included on the left of the home page, here you can narrow down searches to areas such as geography, sports, education, biology, economy, and much more. If searching for something more specific, type your query in the search bar to find included results. Over 18,000 videos are available with more being added all the time, making this site worth bookmarking for future use. If YouTube is not accessible in your school, you could always view that 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): arabic (20), architecture (84), business (58), engineering (125), geology (81), german (64), literature (275), medicine (67), psychology (64), religions (61), sociology (22), sports (97), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for videos to use in the classroom. Have art students use Screenr (reviewed here) to make narrated recordings about videos that they find on this site. Share this site with gifted students who are delving deeper into topics than your current curriculum allows. This is a great site to share on your class blog, wiki, or website for students to use for extra practice or advancement.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ArcGIS - ArcGIS.com

Grades
8 to 12
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Use maps from around the world as an entry point for information, statistics, and discussions. Create or view maps that communicate information; then share your maps with others. View...more
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Use maps from around the world as an entry point for information, statistics, and discussions. Create or view maps that communicate information; then share your maps with others. View maps made by others by clicking on the Gallery or Featured Maps. Hover over the map to view a description, reviews, and more details. Within the site, you will find tools for building and sharing maps. Click on Map to view directions for creating your own map. Find a variety of basemaps, specialty layers, applications, and tools that you can use to create an awesome map. Find helpful collaborative groups. Create web apps and mobile apps as well. Your maps can be shared by url or embedded in a wiki, blog, or web page.

If you simply wish to use maps created by others, no special skills or login are needed. Click on areas of the map to zoom in to find the content layers. Click on the little icons at the top left hand column (hover over to see description.) Click on the map legend to get a key for the icons. You can even add to already existing maps!

tag(s): earth (228), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Create a login to create a map, rate maps, or join a group. Follow the directions for creating a map.

Use existing maps to obtain information about a wide variety of topics and issues. Assign a map for students to explore and practice both map skills while accessing content information on environmental issues, economics, current events, world cultures, and more. Provide time for students to view the information and record what they see and connections they make about the material. Offer some thought-provoking questions, such as, "Which part of the world seems to have the highest gas prices? Why?" Create a mind map or use an interactive whiteboard to sketch out all of the information students have found. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share mind maps. Have student groups find relevant information, statistics, and resources to understand the map. Work together as a class to add information to a local map about watershed, pollution sources, or animal habitats. Allow students to add relevant layers or create their own maps when completing projects, researching issues, or learning concepts from class. Challenge student groups to build global perspective by exploring a location and learn as much about it as they can by viewing a wide variety of the maps from the Gallery. Have them generate a map information and comparison challenge for peers based on the maps available in the Gallery. In world language classes, have students gather knowledge about a country where their language is spoken and share it in oral discussions (in the new language, of course!).

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Decide Already - Sprout Box

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Decision-making is easy and fun with this online tool. Just submit a question, propose answers, send out the question to peers, and wait for responses. Criteria to be included in ...more
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Decision-making is easy and fun with this online tool. Just submit a question, propose answers, send out the question to peers, and wait for responses. Criteria to be included in responses can also be added to help respondents make informed decisions. After the question is set up, add contact emails to send out the question. This probably works best with students that have school email accounts already set up for use.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Teach one of the highest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (evaluating) using this tool. Have s student operator open it on a projector or interactive whiteboard and have the class determine criteria for decision making, such as how to choose the best location for a field trip or decide on the best book to read. Ask how they choose books for independent reading, and have them develop their own criteria as a class. Send out questions for students to decide on classroom events such as field trips - offer 2 or 3 choices along with criteria to consider when choosing. Offer to allow students to choose the next read-aloud book to be used in the classroom, choose student of the week or month recipients, activities for classroom parties, etc. Use this site to start a class debate on historical choices that may be considered controversial (i.e the use of the atomic bomb). Share this with other staff in your building and use the site to make decisions on professional development topics, dates for get-togethers and more. Include this link on your class website for groups to use in making project decisions or to simulate political process and the ways legislators make decisions.

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Waterlife - National Film Board of Canada

Grades
4 to 12
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Get swept away in an ocean of images and waves of powerful music in this unbelievable site about the ecology, grandeur, and necessity of the Great Lakes. Visit often because ...more
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Get swept away in an ocean of images and waves of powerful music in this unbelievable site about the ecology, grandeur, and necessity of the Great Lakes. Visit often because clicks can lead to a variety of different places. Learn the different ways the Great Lakes are a necessary resource and how they are currently under stresses affecting humans and many other species. This site requires a bit of bandwidth with the moving images, music, and narration. Be sure to try it out on your class computer in advance and limit the number of computers connecting at the same time. Be sure to check out all the topics, including invasive species, home, political, evaporating, and much more. Take a look at the link "Water Is" to view the list of topics. You will need headphones or speakers for the audio on this site.

tag(s): ecology (135), ecosystems (88), pollution (66), water (130), water cycle (33), watersheds (16), wetlands (9)

In the Classroom

Use as an introduction to a unit on water or pollution. Use to introduce the chemistry of water (and how life on Earth would not be possible without it) by finding ways that water is affected by other materials and discussing the chemistry behind it. Explore in a civics and government class as a contemporary issue not constrained by international boundaries. Allow students the opportunity to explore on their own and report interesting facts and troublesome points to the rest of the class for further review and research. Use on Earth Day or as part of Earth Week activities. Divide younger students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Create letters to the editor, blog posts, and other multimedia or conventional items to portray what they have learned. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts and their additional research. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). 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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Teaching With TED - Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

Grades
8 to 12
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Find inspirational videos for yourself and to share with your students. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. It was developed around fostering and spreading great ideas....more
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Find inspirational videos for yourself and to share with your students. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. It was developed around fostering and spreading great ideas. This wiki also includes additional resources to use with the TED videos in your classroom. TED collects the thoughts of leaders in different fields, so you will learn things that you have never considered. Use TED talks to inspire, provoke and stimulate discussions in your classroom. Depending on your class and the age of your students, you may need to scaffold the videos by providing some background information for your students. This site also has a page titled "How to "Do" a TED Talk" where you and your students can view videos that give advice about how to create a TED type video.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), gifted (96), inquiry (37), video (254)

In the Classroom

Once or twice a week use your projector or interactive whiteboard to show a TED selection to the entire class. Have the individual students write questions they have about the video/topic. Then have students write down the message they think the creator wanted them to know or think about from this video. Have students talk in small groups about the TED video and their questions and ideas. Have the student groups share out the important questions and thoughts with the whole class. After the class discussion, have the students write a group response, either on paper or on your class blog or wiki. Embed the video or add the link to your website for students to review on their own in class (be sure to provide headphones), or at home.

These videos make powerful writing prompts. After viewing a few videos in this manner, you may want to have older students select videos they want to watch (or you can assign them), and have the students respond.

Some of these videos would make the perfect starting point for an inquiry-based learning project. One of the final project choices could be to have students use the "How to 'Do' a TED Talk" advice to create their own video about their topic of inquiry. Share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Enercities - EnerCities

Grades
8 to 12
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EnerCities is an educational interactive about energy, co-funded by the European Commission. This activity is about energy sources and the balance between people, planet, and profit....more
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EnerCities is an educational interactive about energy, co-funded by the European Commission. This activity is about energy sources and the balance between people, planet, and profit. The goal of the activity is to create and expand virtual cities dealing with pollution, energy shortages, renewable energy. etc. And then you attempt to create a metropolis that stands the test of time. You can sign up if you wish to record high scores, but otherwise sign up isn't necessary. A small download of Unity WebPlayer is required to play the game (free).

tag(s): data (148), energy (198), environment (317), planets (123), pollution (66)

In the Classroom

You may need to request installation of the Unity player if your schools computer prevent downloads. Try the activity at home to decide whether you want to use it in class. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, have students work with a partner. Ask students to write about the effects of various decisions they make on the environment and their city. Provide the link to students to create individual games to compare/contrast effects of game decisions. Create a class wiki to discuss the effects of game decisions. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Math teachers can have students create charts and graphs comparing data from different decisions within each game. Have students use a site such as Daytum reviewed here to analyze the data.

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Business Insider Chart of the Day - Business Insider

Grades
7 to 12
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Find a new chart each day, based on real world events in different formats. Some days include more than one graph! The newer charts are shown first. Older charts are ...more
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Find a new chart each day, based on real world events in different formats. Some days include more than one graph! The newer charts are shown first. Older charts are available on the site by following the "older" link. Topics vary from world news to sports to economics and more. There is a great variety of topics and chart types. When you click on the chart, a new page opens containing the chart and a description with difficult vocabulary underlined. Click on a word to learn the definition. You can also sign up to receive the daily chart by email.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), cultures (105), data (148), financial literacy (80), infographics (42), sociology (22), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Share a daily chart on your interactive whiteboard or projector and have students recreate the chart into a different format (bar chart to pie chart or line graph). Have students use a tool such as Hohli reviewed here. Ask students to analyze information included on the daily chart as a math journal entry. Create a class chart comparing student information to the daily chart provided. Use the daily chart as a class warm-up - discuss trends, information provided, information not included that might be useful, etc. Social Studies teachers may want to use the charts as a tie-in to current events. Reading teachers charged with teaching about charts as part of informational texts will find a treasure trove of examples here, especially as prep for BIG reading tests.

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Tax Basics for Middle Schoolers: intuit - Scholastic

Grades
5 to 9
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Scholastic teamed up with Mint.com to create this financial literacy program for middle-school students. There are 2 one hour lessons and 2 bonus lessons. Each lesson also includes...more
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Scholastic teamed up with Mint.com to create this financial literacy program for middle-school students. There are 2 one hour lessons and 2 bonus lessons. Each lesson also includes links to related articles, resources, worksheets, and online activities. Be sure to check out the online activities which provide engaging practice with the concepts from the lessons.

tag(s): financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans to teach the financial literary concepts then allow students to explore the online activities on their own at a center or in the computer lab. After completing the worksheets provided with the lessons, have students create their own worksheets for other classmates to complete. Challenge students to create their own financial literacy newsletter for students in their school including money-saving suggestions, job ideas for students, and tips for creating a budget. Have students create posters sharing their newsletter using a site such as Padlet (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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