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Global Closet Calculator - National Geographic Education

Grades
2 to 10
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Take a tour of your closet to find out where your clothes come from. Discover the concept of interdependence and the extent of our global footprints. Research where raw materials ...more
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Take a tour of your closet to find out where your clothes come from. Discover the concept of interdependence and the extent of our global footprints. Research where raw materials come from and how clothes are made. Consider the implications of manufacturing and transportation to get them to your closet. This interactive includes informative videos complete with transcript. You can save your place within the interactive by "getting a code" that you re-enter on return.

tag(s): natural resources (59), resources (112)

In the Classroom

When discussing the Food and Fiber system (materials used to produce food and the many products we use daily), use this site to gather initial information of where their items come from. As products are no longer made closer to our actual lives, many students are disconnected from the materials and processes used to create everyday products and are unaware of their global footprint. Students can continue research by investigating other items used daily to determine what they are made from, where they are manufactured, etc. Continue this process with the foods that they eat to show how many popular foods are very removed from the whole foods that we should be eating. In geography classes, have students use a reviewed geo/mapping tool from the TeachersFirst Edge to map the path across the globe from raw materials to finished products, just to make one pair of jeans. Discuss the role of natural resources and economics in determining this path.

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Patchwork Nation - Jefferson Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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Is the US a melting pot? A tossed salad? The Jefferson Institute suggests it is a "Patchwork Nation." This site was originally developed to chronicle the 2008 US Presidential election,...more
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Is the US a melting pot? A tossed salad? The Jefferson Institute suggests it is a "Patchwork Nation." This site was originally developed to chronicle the 2008 US Presidential election, but has been maintained and updated since that time. It presents the vast diversity of the United States using demographic data and categorizing communities into one of a dozen community types. With names like "Campus and Careers," "Military Bastions," and "Evangelical Epicenters" each community type represents an important subset of what makes up the American Experience. This site drills down much deeper than the typical red state/blue state dichotomy and challenges us to think about what characteristics work to define US citizens.

tag(s): branches of government (48), census (19), communities (35), democracy (12), demographics (19), politics (99)

In the Classroom

This site could be useful in a variety of classroom settings. A sociology class might grapple with the generalizations inherent in each of the 12 community types. What does it mean to be a "Tractor Country" community? The associated charts and demographics can help prove or disprove those theories. A government class might consider the impact of these different community types all existing within one Congressional district. How might that legislator best represent those communities at the State level or the Federal level? An economics class might speculate on the distribution of wealth in the US. What factors influence that distribution? A US History class could speculate about how these different communities have come to be. What impact has immigration had? Industrialization? Geography? Are there regional differences that could stem from the Civil War? And a statistics class would find plenty of raw data to play around with. In a "Patchwork Nation," what does it mean to be "average"?
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Digital Docs in a Box - William & Mary, University of Kentucky, Library of Congress

Grades
5 to 12
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Digital Docs in a Box presents packages of digital images and documents in "boxes" by category for use by students and teachers in creating their own historical documentary projects....more
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Digital Docs in a Box presents packages of digital images and documents in "boxes" by category for use by students and teachers in creating their own historical documentary projects. This still-growing archive includes kits related to Westward Expansion, Women's Suffrage, Immigration, Transportation, and Presidential Inaugurations, for example. Each kit contains sets of primary source documents, digital images, and (where possible) audio and visual clips, along with brief introductory information to help set the context for the archive. Also included is a very comprehensive introduction to creating documentaries in the classroom, with hints, templates, assessments, and timelines. This truly is a one-stop shop for beginning an educational documentary project.

tag(s): chinese (48), civil rights (117), great depression (24), immigration (58), industrial revolution (25), native americans (78), presidents (131), transportation (40), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

You may have thought about a unit in which students create their own documentaries, but then felt overwhelmed by all the logistical considerations. Digital Docs in a Box is the answer. While there is not an enormous archive, it is still growing, and there is plenty here to get started. Students don't have to track down their own images, worry about their formatting or copyright, or be distracted with those pursuits. Instead, they can focus on the real point of the project: to take historical information and images and use it to tell a story they themselves devise. The TeachersFirst Edge has dozens of reviewed digital storytelling tools for your students to create projects from these "raw materials." As a teacher, you can also focus on the same issues and not spend hours setting up the project, deciding how to assess students' success in executing it, or keeping students focused on the project goal. Once you've used the site a few times, you might be able to create your own Docs in a Box kits and expand the topics covered.

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Next Vista for Learning - Rushton Hurley

Grades
3 to 12
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Next Vista offers Learning videos for teachers looking for alternatives to YouTube. At the time of this review, they offered over 1,000 videos (most useful for in the classroom). Videos...more
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Next Vista offers Learning videos for teachers looking for alternatives to YouTube. At the time of this review, they offered over 1,000 videos (most useful for in the classroom). Videos are made by teachers and/or students. Search by three main topics: Light Bulbs, Global View, or Seeing Service. Better yet, use the right sidebar to search by topic: Math, Science, World Languages, History & Culture, Performing Arts, and more.Next Vista offers an extensive collection of career videos to use as a resource for exploring and discovering career opportunities. View videos directly on site or share using the link or embed code provided. Throughout the school year, Next Vista hosts video creation contests for students and teachers. Submit your own videos less than 5 minutes in length using directions provided. They even offer small prizes for winners.

tag(s): africa (180), asia (73), careers (132), computers (95), europe (75), literature (275), musical instruments (48), musical notation (35), north america (19), parts of speech (68), poetry (228), shakespeare (131), south america (39), speech (92), video (254)

In the Classroom

Explore the various topics to share with your students. In the math section, share the "How to Show Your Work" video on your projector or interactive whiteboard. There are useful videos in all sections, offered at a variety of levels. Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year for student and teacher created videos. Challenge students to create a video to submit for one of the site's contests; who knows, they may win!

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Ekopedia - ekopedia.org

Grades
6 to 12
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This free reference is a practical guide to alternatives to mass consumerism. This resource offers ecological or sustainable alternatives to the present methods of manufacturing, maintenance,...more
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This free reference is a practical guide to alternatives to mass consumerism. This resource offers ecological or sustainable alternatives to the present methods of manufacturing, maintenance, management of materials, and recycling. For those interested in respecting nature, the environment, and man while learning techniques that are artisan-derived, this is a great place to start. Don't miss Grandma's Tips for some practical ideas. View the various portals by clicking on the Contents link. This site can also be viewed in French or Spanish. Note that much of the content is user-submitted, so the quality of the writing is uneven; it appears that some articles may have been translated using an automated translation tool.

tag(s): consumers (21), environment (317), natural resources (59)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to find good ideas and to explain the science behind some of the tips offered on this site. Why do they work? Find interesting articles through the Random Article or Ask A Question links. Students can use these resources to identify material that can be added to the various articles. Become a member of the community and add information of your own (when editing is open). Encourage students to identify a change they can make at home. Make a plan for change, follow through, and report the results. Research alternative methods and how our current way of going things evolved. Students can survey the school and community at large for stories and thoughts about the old way of doing things vs. the new. Have students create "free and easy" online polls using Flisti (reviewed here).

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The Economics of Seinfeld - Linda Ghent, Alan Grant and George Lesica

Grades
6 to 12
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Make economics concepts come alive, have fun, and learn with The Economics of Seinfeld. This site is based on the 90s sitcom, Seinfeld, which many students are still familiar...more
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Make economics concepts come alive, have fun, and learn with The Economics of Seinfeld. This site is based on the 90s sitcom, Seinfeld, which many students are still familiar with thanks to syndication! Browse through several pages of links to clips. Each is labeled with the economic concept taught. Browse for a specific content, or view the index to find content topics and associated videos. Hosting of all videos isn't provided on this site, some offerings require visiting Hulu or other video sites to find clips. A limited number are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube or another video sharing site, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): banks (11), currency (20), money (193)

In the Classroom

Although concepts are listed with each video, it is up to the user to find the concept in the video and make the connections. Have students watch videos then upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles to explain what they learned. Use a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. Have students use this site as a point of reference and find their own examples of economics in current television programming. Have students use ClipNabber reviewed here to grab favorites from online video sources such as YouTube and Dailymotion quickly and easily, then explain them in presentations to the class.
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GE Focus Forward - GE & Cinelan.com

Grades
6 to 12
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GE Focus Forward offers a series of 30 three-minute videos featuring stories about innovators. Directed by award-winning documentary film makers, the films range in topics from a "Journey...more
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GE Focus Forward offers a series of 30 three-minute videos featuring stories about innovators. Directed by award-winning documentary film makers, the films range in topics from a "Journey Under the Sea" to a look at the "Secrets of Trees." Hover over any film icon to view a short description of the topic. Click to begin. Share films using social networking buttons within the film. Copy the embed code to embed on any website or blog. Videos are hosted on Vimeo, which is accessible in most schools.

tag(s): environment (317), inventors and inventions (101), medicine (67), mental health (26), nutrition (154), oceans (148), robotics (25), solar energy (38), STEM (134), trees (30), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. There is one film about sanitation that refers to "poop," so you may want to avoid classroom giggles from less mature students by setting the tone for scientific viewing. Use as any part of a career unit, as a look at explorers and innovators, or when discussing character education. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Challenge students to choose a topic to further explore and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Budgeting Tools - Dave Ramsey

Grades
6 to 12
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Create and explore different budgeting options using this online tool. Enter an income to view proposed options in several categories such as housing, food, and personal expenses. Adjust...more
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Create and explore different budgeting options using this online tool. Enter an income to view proposed options in several categories such as housing, food, and personal expenses. Adjust your budget as desired to view various proposals and outcomes. Choose the link to print your finished budget.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (132), financial literacy (80), percent (82)

In the Classroom

Use in a math class as a way to use percentages in a real world context. Help students gain better number sense of what percentages look like as the class experiments with different incomes on an interactive whiteboard or projector. For financial literacy, explore different budget options for any income using the budgeting tool. Compare and contrast options with different careers, income levels, or asset allocations. Divide your class up into groups with different starting incomes to create a budget. Have students discuss choices made. Use as part of a career unit. Find out starting salaries for different careers then explore budget options available within each career.
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Intel Education Units - Intel

Grades
K to 12
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Find engaging, challenging units to begin your Common Core journey. Intel Education Units are complete and include assessment tools. Search by grade level or subject. Find the basics...more
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Find engaging, challenging units to begin your Common Core journey. Intel Education Units are complete and include assessment tools. Search by grade level or subject. Find the basics for planning units. Also find sequencing maps, sequencing activities, classification charts, and prioritizing listings. Instructional Strategies include activating prior knowledge, graphic organizers, cooperative learning, and questioning strategies.

tag(s): literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Begin your curriculum planning here. After reviewing exemplary units, use as they are, or modify to fit the needs of your students, content, or even resources adding your own personal touch. They will inspire you to dig deeper and go further with Common Core! Be sure to bookmark this site (or save in your favorites) as your go to resource for Common Core.
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Calkoo - Trinity Capital

Grades
4 to 12
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics,...more
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics, loans, health, saving, investing, real estate, and more! Calkoo can handle many tasks, including some rather complex calculations. Complete the various fields based on the type of calculation. Some utilize radio buttons and drop down boxes, while others ask for numbers only. Create almost any kind of calculation you need with this easy accessible calculating tool. Language options include English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (251), area (66), calculators (41), division (172), fractions (239), measurement (159), multiplication (227), percent (82), quadratics (32), subtraction (208), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Calkoo is a great free tool to replace expensive graphing calculators that many students may not have. Calkoo works well on computers, mobile devices, and interactive whiteboards. Use this site during a unit on careers, economics, or financial literacy. Include it as part of a measurement unit. Share during Family and Consumer Science units to explore the cost of living and have students put together a mythical "budget" for living in their chosen career. Have students send you on a vacation and include calculations for the currency converter, fuel cost calculator, sales tax for souvenirs, and more! This is a great site to support many experiments in science. Calculate acceleration, velocity, and time, or use the mathematics category to complete problems. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. Visit Calkoo and select a calculator to meet your needs! Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. The various languages make this tool very useful for ESL/ELL students.

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Artifacts & Analysis - Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies

Grades
9 to 12
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Smithsonian's Artifacts & Analysis offers strategies and resources for incorporating historical documents and resources into the teaching of U.S. history, particularly the decades of...more
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Smithsonian's Artifacts & Analysis offers strategies and resources for incorporating historical documents and resources into the teaching of U.S. history, particularly the decades of the 20th century. Use the details of everyday life to help focus understanding of a time period. Choose from the four main sections: Artifacts & Documents, Teaching Guide, Writing Assignments, or Essay. The sample artifacts offered include a Furnace Salesman's Kit (1920s), Fiestaware (1930s-40s), Pennants (1950s-60s), Barbie Doll (1958), Jeans (1970s), and Lunchboxes (1950s-80s).

tag(s): 1930s (15), 1960s (30), 20th century (51), cultures (105), decades (14)

In the Classroom

Start off with a visit to the Teaching Guide to find some great ideas to incorporate in your class. Use materials from this site to enhance and bring historical teaching to life. Print the student guide for writing effective essays for students to include with history notebooks. Use questions from the teaching materials here to add to your current teaching plans or as discussion topics. Create a link on your class website for students to view this site at home. Have students research and find documents and artifacts in your own community or online to share in the classroom. Have them create curated collections in digital form with accompanying writings to explain them. Students could create annotated images including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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What's Up In Finance? - Educational Broadcasting Corporation

Grades
7 to 12
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What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the...more
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What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the show. Explore articles about financial careers. Try interactives to learn about smart financial decisions. Choose from several lesson plans offered (including materials list and national math standards). Please note that although the site does offer links to former shows and segments, those videos are no longer available. The materials on the site are still worth your while!

tag(s): careers (132), financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

View and modify lesson plans to meet your classroom needs. This site is highly appealing to the older student! Allow students to play the interactive games as part of your financial literacy unit. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Include information from the career portion of your site as part of any career exploration activities.
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The Bean Game - Jana Darrington Utah State University Extension

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn to manage money while having fun living on a 20 "bean" salary using this printable game. Use the directions and discussion questions to play two rounds of the game. ...more
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Learn to manage money while having fun living on a 20 "bean" salary using this printable game. Use the directions and discussion questions to play two rounds of the game. Although it is possible to play with individual players, the site recommends groups of between 2 and 5 players for optimal results. Even though this game is "low tech," it is a great teaching tool!

tag(s): financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

Use the Bean Game as part of your financial literacy unit as a center activity. When finished, have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!
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Documentary Tube - DocumentaryTube.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Watch full length documentaries online for free. Find your favorites through daily suggestions, browsing the top 100, or searching categories: 9/11, activism, art, aviation, business,...more
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Watch full length documentaries online for free. Find your favorites through daily suggestions, browsing the top 100, or searching categories: 9/11, activism, art, aviation, business, comedy, crime, disaster, drugs, economics, environmental, food/drink, health, media, medicine, music, nature, performing arts, philosophy, political, religion, science, social, sport, strange, technology, travel, and many more. Look at film festivals and films featured in each. If you do not find what you are looking for, submit your request. A link to Amazon brings you to DVD's. Some are free, and others are for sale.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (254)

In the Classroom

Discover the power of documentaries while studying point of view, primary and secondary resources, and debate skills. Examine the aspects shown in documentaries and help students find structure to provide an unbiased research project. Challenge existing knowledge in many areas. Help students become active thinkers and become involved in current events. Sharpen your own understandings.
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Documentary Storm - 2013 DocumentaryStorm

Grades
4 to 12
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Dive into Documentary Storm to discover 100% free documentary films. The goal of the website is to share knowledge spread ideas, and have fun. Search the different channels to find...more
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Dive into Documentary Storm to discover 100% free documentary films. The goal of the website is to share knowledge spread ideas, and have fun. Search the different channels to find exactly what you are seeking. Topics included are art, biography, conspiracy, culture, drugs, environment, health, indie films, lifestyle, mockumentaries, money, nature, politics, psychology, religion, science, society, sports, technology, war, and many more. Search in the top 100 documentaries, or click use"surprise me." Connect with Facebook, RSS, Twitter, or email.

tag(s): video (254)

In the Classroom

With documentaries challenge your students' understanding of food, history, politics, or people. Use to provide another point of view which might not be available in traditional text books. Use to explain primary and secondary sources, as well as an example of a way to extend thinking. Provide a documentary as an example for your students to do an in depth research project. Use documentaries to challenge knowledge, create new knowledge, and learn.
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Hands On Banking - Wells Fargo

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn about basic money tools, entrepreneurship, and other financial matters with Hands On Banking. Courses are provided for kids through adults with topics such as using credit, budgeting,...more
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Learn about basic money tools, entrepreneurship, and other financial matters with Hands On Banking. Courses are provided for kids through adults with topics such as using credit, budgeting, and smart investing. The interactives (especially for the younger ages) are highly engaging. In addition to the online activities, instructor guides are available for PDF download for all age ranges. Courses are also available for use on mobile devices.

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

In the Classroom

Create a link to the course for your students on classroom computers or view together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). This is a great tool to share with families (for both student or parent use). Share this site on your class wiki, blog, or website.
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The Faculty Project - FacultyProject.org

Grades
9 to 12
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Take free online courses offered by outstanding professors from prestigious schools like Dartmouth, Vassar, Duke, and Northwestern. Choose from dozens of courses and lectures covering...more
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Take free online courses offered by outstanding professors from prestigious schools like Dartmouth, Vassar, Duke, and Northwestern. Choose from dozens of courses and lectures covering a broad spectrum of topics. Learn through video, PDF, PowerPoint, discussion boards, and educational articles. Scroll down the site to view course titles and click enroll to begin.

tag(s): china (66), constitution (79), greece (26), greek (41), poetry (228), religions (61), russia (38), sports (97), water (130)

In the Classroom

Allow gifted or advanced students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share this program with others in your building as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.
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40 Maps That Explain the World - The Washington Post

Grades
5 to 12
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The Washington Post offers this interesting variety of maps illustrating many different viewpoints and realities around the world. Topics include best and worst place to be born, child...more
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The Washington Post offers this interesting variety of maps illustrating many different viewpoints and realities around the world. Topics include best and worst place to be born, child poverty in the developed world, and the world seen from space over a 12 month time-lapse. Click to enlarge any of the maps. Several include links for further information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): agriculture (55), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), ecology (135), inferencing (5), maps (287), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use with many social studies, reading, and higher level thinking topics. Use them to teach about interpreting graphical information in texts. Display on your interactive whiteboard and explore with your students. Use these maps to ask deep questions about meaning in maps. What inferences/conclusions can you draw based on this map? These maps are a perfect starting point for research projects on many subjects. Have students brainstorm questions they wonder about or collect ideas for possible projects on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!).
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Smarterer - Dave Balter, Michael Kowalchik, and Jennifer Fremont-Smith

Grades
8 to 12
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Smarterer helps identify what you know about many subjects and helps identify your weaknesses in others. Explore tests by categories such as games, language and writing, or math and...more
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Smarterer helps identify what you know about many subjects and helps identify your weaknesses in others. Explore tests by categories such as games, language and writing, or math and finance to begin. Choose a test and take a practice question which will not count on your score. Take complete tests after signing in using your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account. You can also use your email. View scores at the end of each test and your ranking on a scale from beginner to master based on comparisons to other test takers. Create your own tests easily using step by step directions provided on Smarterer. Give your test a title, then add questions and multiple choice responses. Choose to let others add questions to your test or not. Tests will appear on Smarterer after approval from the site moderators. The site continues to add new tests, many user-created.

tag(s): assessment (100), business (58), computers (95), quizzes (97), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use Smarterer to help students identify areas to improve in different skills. Use some of the tests for students to "test out" of curriculum such as email etiquette in computer class or to motivate students to learn about real world skills they will need in the job market. Share this site with students to use at home for quick assessments in many subjects. Create your own tests to use for review and share with students to take and identify areas for further study. Demonstrate how students can track progress through retaking tests (students will need their own account).

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Saylor - Free Online Courses Built by Professors - Michael J Saylor

Grades
8 to 12
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common...more
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common Core information (for teachers or parents), test prep, and English lessons. Explore a specific area of study to find courses or choose the course list to view all offerings. Some courses include a full textbook and/or a full set of video lectures and are listed on the content matrix. Each course lists learning outcomes, course requirements, and a course overview. Create your own eportfolio to enroll in courses, track progress, download transcripts, and engage with the online community. Pass the final exam of each course to receive a certificate of completion.

tag(s): professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others in your building as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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