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Rethinking Schools - rethinkingschools.org

Grades
7 to 12
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This map activity displays a map of the Middle East and its surrounding countries (including North Africa.) You simply have to drag the name of the country to its map ...more
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This map activity displays a map of the Middle East and its surrounding countries (including North Africa.) You simply have to drag the name of the country to its map location. If you are correct, the name stays on the country and the country becomes highlighted. If the location is incorrect, a red X shows up.

tag(s): africa (178), continents (49), countries (77), maps (290), middle east (35)

In the Classroom

Use this as an introduction to a unit on countries, geography, natural resources, or current events in the Middle East. Use also as a review for a geography or map test. Share this map on your interactive whiteboard or projector and try to figure out the countries together.
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YouTube Play: Live from the Guggenheim - Youtube Play

Grades
5 to 12
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Join YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum in recognizing a biennial review of the best online videos from around the world. As a form of modern and contemporary art, celebrate free ...more
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Join YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum in recognizing a biennial review of the best online videos from around the world. As a form of modern and contemporary art, celebrate free access every day for your virtual field trip from a Webby award winning nominee site for 2011. A panel of 20-25 experts chooses from a selection of over 23,000 videos submitted. Explore art, music, movement, poetry, and prose on this creative video site. The option of subscribing to recent uploads is available at no charge. Click "continue" to see thumbnails of all available winners. Not all comments posted are appropriate and videos should be previewed before viewing in the classroom setting.

tag(s): computers (92), video (269)

In the Classroom

Capture your students' interest in the modern world of technology. Share this video on your interactive whiteboard or projector (be sure to use full screen mode). YouTube Play can be used in a variety of classroom settings; art, music, technology, language art, drama, science, or political science. If your district blocks YouTube, then this site may not be viewable. You could always view selected videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

In the art classroom, explore the emerging world of creative video. Determine elements of design, technology, photography, and movement. Discover the integration of music, sound, and movement in video in many creative ways. Use the site to demonstrate how to convey a message through creative animation. Express a creative editorial on a current events or important issues that challenge our world such as over-population, fossil fuels, or pollution. Have students create innovative political campaign videos. Take your technology classes to a new level of excellence. Add a visual component to poems, prose, or narratives as an additional interpretation device. Introduce storyboarding techniques to create videos. Have your students make their own videos and share them via TeacherTube, reviewed here.
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Headline Clues - Michigan State University

Grades
8 to 12
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Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in...more
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Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in the blank phrases. What an excellent tool for researching and reading comprehension! There are three levels of difficulty. Choose from favorite news topics on the main page: sports, world and U.S. news, technology, off-beat, entertainment, and even the New York Times. Other publications available for headline finding are NPR and New Scientist. Although this is an activity in "game" format, it is an excellent reading skill builder. Students can see how many letters are missing; they use both semantic and syntactic clues to complete the headlines. Options include a timer and a speed meter. As you play, ask the site for clues to help. Due to the graphic nature of some of the headlines, this site is recommended for mature middle school students or high school students.

tag(s): context clues (8), descriptive writing (42), newspapers (95), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Use this "game" as an introduction when studying the latest news stories and/or basic reading comprehension. Teach reading in context when explaining to students how the activity works. Use the headline builder as a jumping off point for teaching summary writing based on news stories. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as an "ice-breaker" for the start of class or as one of several reading activities during newspapers in education week.
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Financial Education in the Math Classroom - The Math Forum @ Drexel University

Grades
4 to 12
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This site offers in-depth information on finance topics including credit & debt and financial planning & money management. Each of these topics highlights tools and information available...more
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This site offers in-depth information on finance topics including credit & debt and financial planning & money management. Each of these topics highlights tools and information available to teach financial literacy. One example is the Debt Payoff Calculator which is a tool to help explore options for paying off debt and how changing factors will affect payoff rates, interest, and other options for paying off debt. Similar tools are available for analyzing monthly payments, paying off credit card debt, and more. You will need to create a free account to access the Financial Education Problems of the Week, but other resources are available without signing in. Be sure to check out Dr. Math Financial FAQ's on the right side of the page for more resources pertaining to loans, interest, and debt.

tag(s): calculators (41), coins (8), currency (19), financial literacy (80), investing (10), stock market (13)

In the Classroom

Use tools available on the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to explore how different factors influence finances. Have students predict outcomes before inputting information into the tools on the site. Use the tools when creating a mini-economy in the classroom.
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Here on Earth - NPR

Grades
5 to 12
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a ...more
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a larger series, the archives of which are easily accessible as well. Previews for the five weekly programs, Monday through Friday include enticing photographs. Links on the pages of the programs offer opportunities for more information and links to related programs. Students also have the opportunity to see short, related videos and comment on ongoing programs. Programs cover a wide variety of subjects and fields.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), radio (27), religions (66)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to preview the upcoming programs for each week to connect their ELL/ESL students with the programs that concern their part of the world. Students could do an introduction to their countries before the class listens to an appropriate program. Ask your students to visit the site, listen, research, and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Scientific American: Slide Shows - Scientific American, A division of Nature America, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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The slide show portion of the Scientific American website is a great visual resource for science teachers. The shows are organized in reverse chronological order from most recent to...more
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The slide show portion of the Scientific American website is a great visual resource for science teachers. The shows are organized in reverse chronological order from most recent to the oldest. The page is not searchable, but the site is. This would be great for science current events to tie into class. Some slide shows are graphic (a removed human brain!) and may need disclaimers when being shared with students.

tag(s): human body (125), microorganisms (15), oil (45), oil spill (21), organisms (21), slides (65), space (214)

In the Classroom

Try using this site when discussing how science relates to our current world. For instance, show the ten most dangerous moments for the space shuttle and the station history when studying astronomy. Incorporate the slide show about the Gulf oil spill and reading into a class blog for a biology unit on bacteria. This slide show demonstrates how microbes are used to clean up the oil. The pictures of the organisms are wonderful! Or, incorporate it into an environmental science class dealing with the impact of human behavior on the environment. Have students read and view the slide show as homework, and then discuss what they have learned via your class wiki or in class. Challenge students to 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 students further discuss the potential problems with associated new microbes into the oil spill area.
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Wide Angle: AIDS Warriors - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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The Wide Angle PBS series is geared towards bringing students to a greater understanding of global current events through briefings, interactive maps, and additional resources. This...more
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The Wide Angle PBS series is geared towards bringing students to a greater understanding of global current events through briefings, interactive maps, and additional resources. This 2003 episode focuses on the battle against HIV/AIDS on Angola. There is a full length video, photo-essay, interview, and much more. While this episode is now past, it provides a solid timeline of the history of the region.

tag(s): africa (178), hiv/aids (18)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductory vignette of one African country in your world cultures class or as a case study on HIV/AIDS in Africa. Combine the simpler maps here with the visualization tools for current data through tools such as Many Eyes, (reviewed here) to present AIDS data in a visual form for sharing on an interactive whiteboard or projector (Search Many Eyes for "AIDS" to find many visualized forms of HIV/AIDS data from around the world).

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Vancouver 2010: With Glowing Hearts - The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic

Grades
K to 12
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This eclectic site has something for everyone about the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. For younger students, be sure to meet the mascots of the site, view the interactives, and more. Students...more
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This eclectic site has something for everyone about the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. For younger students, be sure to meet the mascots of the site, view the interactives, and more. Students of all ages can use this site to learn about the schedule, view photos and videos, learn about each sport in the winter 2010 Olympics, trace the torch relay, view a spectator guide, meet the athletes, view the interactive map, and more.

tag(s): olympics (48), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Introduce the mascots to your students and discuss their relevance. Have students research various athletes or sports and create a multimedia presentation. Use the Olympics as the theme for your study of world geography. 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 cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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HealthMap - Clark Freifeld and John Brownstein

Grades
7 to 12
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Use HealthMap (Powered by Google Maps) to view the status of different diseases around the world, compare between countries,and identify trends. HealthMap brings up to date data from...more
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Use HealthMap (Powered by Google Maps) to view the status of different diseases around the world, compare between countries,and identify trends. HealthMap brings up to date data from multiple sources into one place for better visualizing. Click on the Blog link to access specific information about diseases including symptoms and treatment. Refine your search on the map by disease, category, or region of the world. This site can be viewed in French, Spanish, and several other languages.

tag(s): scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Use this site whether you are discussing illness and viruses, socioeconomic factors that affect disease rates, or looking to offer a critical thinking exercise for your students. Have groups of students choose a continent. As a group, have them investigate the diseases, where they are concentrated, and the factors involved in the transmission. Students can share findings on posters or using a wiki or blog. For quicker projects, create electronic "posters" or word graphics using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here).

As the groups find information, they may find parallels to other group's work that can spark discussions between the groups. Through use of this site, encourage student groups to look beyond the biology of diseases to research living conditions in other areas of the world.

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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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): fire prevention (10), fire safety (11), homes (11)

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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3rd World Farmer - Frederik Hermund

Grades
6 to 12
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This activity simulates some of the real-world mechanisms that cause and sustain poverty in 3rd World countries. You get to manage an African farm and are soon confronted with the ...more
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This activity simulates some of the real-world mechanisms that cause and sustain poverty in 3rd World countries. You get to manage an African farm and are soon confronted with the difficult choices that poverty and conflict can cause. Unlike typical interactives where it's always possible to prosper by playing cleverly and making the right choices, it is not always like that in 3rd World Farmer. Just as real people die from starvation in desperate situations that they are not responsible for, all it takes for things to go wrong in this activity is one bad harvest, an unfortunate encounter with corrupt officials, a raid by guerrillas, a civil war, a sudden fluctuation in market prices, or another random event that might never happen in industrialized countries. Begin by buying crops, place them in your fields, then continue on to the next steps. A short commercial plays when you enter the site and before access to the activity.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (178), agriculture (56)

In the Classroom

Try this activity as a class on your interactive whiteboard (or projector), discussing choices and events that happen throughout the game. Allow individual students to try this activity and journal their experiences and the effect that events can have on farmers in 3rd world countries. Compare/contrast the effects of events on 3rd World farmers vs the same events in a student's life. Download a worksheet for students to record activities here.
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Maps of War

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions...more
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions over time and over a world map. Another looks at the American death tolls associated with each U.S. conflict and associates the President and political party associated with each war. A third examines the various political entities that have held territory in the Middle East. Visually, the animations are fabulous, but in order to be more than good looking, they would need to be paired with significant teacher context-setting, which is not presented on the site. For example, what does it mean that there have been more U.S. casualties in wars under Presidents who were Democrats than in wars under Republican Presidents? That factoid is the subject of one of the animations. The creator of the site does not name him/herself, saying only that the animations are intended to be unbiased and factual.

tag(s): iraq (32), middle east (35), religions (66)

In the Classroom

The animations would be stunning on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and teachers doing a unit on world religions or trying to backfill a history of Iraq would find certain presentations very useful. Be sure to click "View Full Screen" to fill your projector or whiteboard screen. American history teachers could use the animation on U.S. wars and casualties as an overview. The animations can be streamed from the site, or the whole package can be downloaded for use locally. On the whole, however, the site still leaves questions: Why these topics? Despite claims to the contrary, is there a political message here somewhere? Be sure to open this discussion with your students, as well. Since the site has "professional looking" glitz, should we believe it without any knowledge of its creator? If not, how can we check its accuracy?
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News English Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and...more
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and many teaching materials to go with them. Though the look of the site is cluttered with advertising and plain text, the content is worthwhile. Developed for ESL/ELL students and teachers, the site would also work well in a subject area, learning support, or reading classroom. There are MANY articles "ready to go," including mp3 audio files to listen to the articles. At the time of this review there were 200+ new additions! Each article includes several types of activities such as "online gap fill" (a Cloze reading activity), vocabulary flashcards, and hangman, and matching. A full script is available in pdf form. There is also an online, interactive quiz for students. The articles, and a lot more activities, can be downloaded and printed, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): diseases (68), listening (91), news (261)

In the Classroom

The articles are short and interesting, a perfect match for non-fiction reading comprehension. With so many different activities to choose from, it will be easy for the classroom teacher to differentiate. There is an mp3 audio version of each article so students can listen as they read. Assign small groups of students to present the news each week, using the interactive whiteboard to show others the country and city from which the article originated. Make the newscasting experience even more real by having students read scripts of these news stories or their own original stories using a Easyprompter, reviewed here. Students can then go to another news source such as "Mapeas" (reviewed here) and click on the country of origin to see what else is happening in the news there. For a project, have the small groups create a "talking map" using a site such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (where their article/story took place). What a fabulous way to share the article with the rest of the class!

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Newsmap - Marcos Weskamp

Grades
6 to 12
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There are times when a simple idea, augmented by the power of the 'Net,' can transform the way you look at something; this site represents one of those times. Using ...more
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There are times when a simple idea, augmented by the power of the 'Net,' can transform the way you look at something; this site represents one of those times. Using the Google News aggregator to compile a visual representation of the news, news headlines are coded by color into categories (world, nation, business, technology, entertainment, sports and health) and then sized according to the number of articles representing that headline. The result is a one-screen visual image of the moment's most important headlines (updated throughout the day). A simple click allows you to focus on just one category, switch to other nations' headlines, or search the news back in time. Clicking on the headline takes you directly to the story (not to the Google News page). Teachers should be cautioned: the site does not screen the stories, and some links may lead to sources that may not be appropriate for all ages.

tag(s): business (58), diseases (68), news (261), politics (100)

In the Classroom

A quick class warm up covering the news of the day is easy using this site. Use the different nation views to illustrate the relative importance of different issues to different people. Save the site in your favorites so students can keep up-to-date on the news independently. If you require current events presentations or summaries, this site provides a terrific place for students to get started. Share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector as students enter your classroom.
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School Digger - Schooldigger.com

Grades
K to 12
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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...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 (123)

In the Classroom

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

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Kids and Guns - Common Sense

Grades
5 to 12
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This site strives to present facts, news headlines, safety issues, gun information websites, and state by state information about gun safety and the dangers of guns in the home. Although...more
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This site strives to present facts, news headlines, safety issues, gun information websites, and state by state information about gun safety and the dangers of guns in the home. Although the site is definitely pro gun control, the presence of many fact pages and articles by reputable sources provides balance and objectivity.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): safety (91)

In the Classroom

Use this site when students are preparing to debate the controversial topic of guns. Have students work in cooperative learning groups and explore a portion of this site and then complete a multimedia project using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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I Rule Money - DoughMain

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers informative 30 second videos to answer teens' questions on different financial matters related to their lives. Choose from categories such as credit and debt, housing,...more
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This site offers informative 30 second videos to answer teens' questions on different financial matters related to their lives. Choose from categories such as credit and debt, housing, cars, jobs, and more. Within each category are questions from typical teenagers with links to the video response. Banking & Loans questions include "How can I get a college loan," "Why do some ATM's charge me a fee to withdraw money," and other bank-related concerns.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): financial aid (15), financial literacy (80), money (190)

In the Classroom

Use these short videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce financial literacy topics in the classroom. Share videos with students as models then have them create their own 30 second video response to other financial topics discussed in class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Science Daily - ScienceDaily LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for collection of current science research articles? This is your one stop shop! Science Daily is current, searchable, and interesting! Encompassing many, if not all, areas...more
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Looking for collection of current science research articles? This is your one stop shop! Science Daily is current, searchable, and interesting! Encompassing many, if not all, areas of science, this site could make your classroom science research easy. The major categories are: Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Plants & Animals, Earth & Climate, Space & Time, Matter & Energy, Computers & Math, and Fossils & Ruins.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (285), brain (71), climate (93), computers (92), data (148), earth (231), energy (202), fossils (46), matter (61), medicine (69), news (261), planets (126), plants (153), space (214), time (141)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a research tool or to provide practice reading informational texts in the content areas. Choose an article relevant to what you are teaching, post it on your website or wiki, and have your students discuss what the article means and how it made them think. Since the articles are heavy with text, you may want to have students work in small groups to read the article you have selected for them, and use a tool such as Mindmeister (reviewed here) or bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create a concept map of the important ideas and their details for the article. Each article has several related links. Have each group choose a different one to explore, and create a concept map to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector so all can benefit from the related articles. Once created, the concept maps can be posted as links or embedded on your teacher website or wiki for review and to share with parents. If the text of the articles is simply too challenging without some "before reading" help, show students how to preview it using WordSift, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science IQ - Science IQ. com

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like...more
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This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like a greater understanding of the concept. Even more information is available through using the categorized science facts found on the left side of the screen. Questions are also searchable by keyword. Subjects include: physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, mathematics, geology, engineering, and medicine.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (67), carbon (21), carbon footprint (11), chemicals (42), coal (14), earthquakes (50), energy (202), engineering (125), fossil fuels (18), fossils (46), glaciers (15), machines (30), matter (61), moon (75), natural resources (60), ozone (10), ph (4), planets (126), prime numbers (32), pythagorean theorem (33), questioning (32), space (214), square roots (23), stars (66), sun (73), volume (44)

In the Classroom

Try using this site's questions on a weekly or daily basis in science or math class to start discussions and provoke student thinking. Allow students to view the question on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then brainstorm possible answers. Once enough thoughts have been seeded, share the real answers. Or, allow students to work at the answer as the lesson continues for a few days and reveal the correct answer as a finale to the lesson.

This site could also be used as a learning station for the question of the day or the week.

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Flu Trends - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the ...more
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the time of this review, the graphs were updated through 2009. Google uses aggregated data to make the flu trend data into graphic form. In an accompanying narrative, Google suggests that people who search for flu trends are often suffering from flu themselves. The site also compares the data Google collects and the published data from each country's health services.

tag(s): graphic organizers (42), medicine (69)

In the Classroom

Use this site when teaching graph reading and also data collection presentation when students are doing research. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on graphic organizers on a projector or interactive whiteboard. The site includes an active graph that adds data by time period as students view it. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create a different type of online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Discuss with your students other types of data that Google might be able to collect in a more up-to-date manner than public agencies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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