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Howtoons - Nick Dragotta, Saul Griffith, Ingrid Dragotta, Joost Bonsen

Grades
4 to 10
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Howtoons shows you how to create projects out of ordinary household items. Anyone who likes to construct, to use tools, to draw, to do-it-yourself, and to get active should visit ...more
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Howtoons shows you how to create projects out of ordinary household items. Anyone who likes to construct, to use tools, to draw, to do-it-yourself, and to get active should visit Howtoons. This very cool program narrates in cartoon format the story of a witty, preteen brother and sister who build all sorts of projects to accent the situations they find themselves in. The many projects range in difficulty from creating a trash bag raincoat, to building a Wobbler; a robot that moves using a servo motor. Each narrative starts with a little story, has a list of supplies needed, and gives simple diagrams to follow. They also slip in information such as how the ancient Greeks used drawings to express their ideas, share their history, and record their culture. Howtoons strives to promote safety, inspire creativity, and stress good work habits. Find an interesting project in categories like Animation, Biology, Computing, Communication, Craft, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Fashion, Food, Geometry, Holiday, Math, Music, Play, and Tools. Projects are available online or in PDF format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (41), creativity (109), engineering (125), inventors and inventions (101), multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Language arts, science, and arts and crafts teachers will find Howtoons invaluable for teaching students to read and follow directions, to use different tools, to work safely while constructing, and even to collaborate. Have small groups of students work on a project together. Once your students have completed the projects, have a mini project fair in your room to show them off. Or, you can have students take pictures of each step, upload the images onto UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Or for less adventurous students, create a PowerPoint. Then have them add the directions, and present the UtellStory or PowerPoint and the product to the class. Do you have students who are always finished early? Or reluctant readers? Make Howtoons the "go to" program for them. Have them pick a project, bring in the materials, and build it. They can even present it to the class when finished, and let the class know the pitfalls to avoid.
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Giggle Poetry - Bruce Lansky

Grades
2 to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
The poetry site created by children's author Bruce Lansky is far more than a plug for his books. There are numerous poetry lessons, written "at kid level" that encourage children ...more
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The poetry site created by children's author Bruce Lansky is far more than a plug for his books. There are numerous poetry lessons, written "at kid level" that encourage children to write and express themselves. There are also contests, lots of poems to read, writing tips and tools, and lots more. Check out the "Poetry Race," "Rhyme-Time Riddles,"Fill In The Blank Poems," and others. Be aware: this site does include some unobtrusive advertisements.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Use this site as inspiration for lessons in poetry writing on your interactive whiteboard or share it on your teacher web page for enrichment. Gifted students will LOVE it. Have students create poems and share them on a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here).

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National Association for Gifted Children - National Association for Gifted Children

Grades
K to 12
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Support the needs of high potential learners through information and resources available at the National Association for Gifted Children. Explore the Educators part of the site to find...more
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Support the needs of high potential learners through information and resources available at the National Association for Gifted Children. Explore the Educators part of the site to find Gifted Programming Standards, Content Connection resources by subject area, and Teacher's Corner articles (including archives dating back to 2008). The Parents section of the site offers tools for parents, articles, and information on summer camps and programs. Although labeled for Administrators, this section of the site has important information for anyone working with gifted students. Here you will find many videos, fact sheets, and other important information and statistics that relate to gifted education.

tag(s): gifted (96), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Bookmark the National Association for Gifted Children site to use as a resource throughout the year for information on meeting the needs of your gifted population. Share this site with administrators, staff members, and parents of gifted students. Print and use brochures and fact sheets during parent teacher conferences as a resource for guiding gifted instruction and informing parents on best practice when teaching gifted students.
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Etymologic - Intuitive Systems

Grades
10 to 12
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This site challenges even the best wordsmiths. The site is a multiple choice quiz which asks players to determine the origin of a series of words. The quizzes are nicely ...more
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This site challenges even the best wordsmiths. The site is a multiple choice quiz which asks players to determine the origin of a series of words. The quizzes are nicely designed and teach reams of information about the origins of words both common and rare. The quiz itself is quite challenging, and could stump even well-read adults, so be sure to review its contents before passing it along to students.

tag(s): puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard and try to guess the word origins.

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Maggie's Earth Adventures - Maggie's Earth Adventures

Grades
K to 5
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Take students around the world visiting environmental global issues. Find a variety of activities designed for a variety of levels. Find lessons focusing on critical thinking activities...more
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Take students around the world visiting environmental global issues. Find a variety of activities designed for a variety of levels. Find lessons focusing on critical thinking activities in cooperative learning situations. Register with your email to receive free Weekly Activity packets that present environmental skills and critical thinking. Photographs offer weekly writing prompts. In the kid's section, find games like GeoSpy, Spanish English Cycle Race, Around the World in 80 seconds, Super Match Game, Science Labeling, Short Circuit, Fish 'um up, Edit Dan's Copy, and Clean up your Grammar.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): environment (317)

In the Classroom

Stay up to date in the latest environmental issues infused with language arts and critical thinking skills. Introduce on your interactive whiteboard or projector and offer as enrichment at centers or for home use. Use to inspire children for science fair ideas. Feature at Earth Day activities. Post this on your class website for a great site for educational enrichment.
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Internet for Classrooms - Internet4Classrooms, LLC

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Internet4classrooms is a free web portal designed to assist anyone who wants to find high quality, free Internet resources to use in classroom instruction, developing project ideas,...more
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Internet4classrooms is a free web portal designed to assist anyone who wants to find high quality, free Internet resources to use in classroom instruction, developing project ideas, reinforcing specific subject matter areas both in the class and at home. Information is organized by grade level, or subject area. Web 2.0 tutorials include links for information on: apps for iPod, iTouch, blogs, audio/pod casting, collaboration, graphic organizers, file converters, html editors, open source, organization tools, PLN tools, presentation tools, social bookmarking, survey makers, web browsers, video/photo, Wiki, and Word Cloud Generators. Links for Assessment Assistance give extra ways to assess in a fun technological twist. A daily dose section offers quotes, brain teasers, question of the day, and intersecting trivia. Join an RSS feed to get the latest updated information. Up to date, active links are reviewed continually. At the time of this review the Interactive Test Resource for 7th grade assessment had several broken links.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), polls and surveys (48), professional development (123), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Keep this bookmarked for a variety of ideas to update your curriculum continually to keep it fresh and intriguing. The technology tutorials can teach old dogs new tricks, or also help young dogs find new tricks. Allow your students to choose from a variety of project ideas for their highest level of motivation. Add as a resource on your web site for fun sites for your students to explore. Use many tools given in tutorials to make your presentations sizzle, for students, teachers, or other audiences. Challenge gifted students with brainteasers, puzzles, accelerated curriculum, or ACT/SAT prep.
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Lightbox - Time

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore cutting-edge technology and video from the photo editors of Time with a daily blog from Lightbox. Time Lightbox features photos and videos of current events, behind the scenes,...more
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Explore cutting-edge technology and video from the photo editors of Time with a daily blog from Lightbox. Time Lightbox features photos and videos of current events, behind the scenes, new exhibits, books, and technology. Take another critical view of current events with photos never released or ways never portrayed. This daily, behind the scenes look, lets you know what is happening on the front lines, through photojournalism with portraits, faces, and events that are changing our history. The images give you a mix into the artistic world of photojournalism with a closer look at our world.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Lightbox offers applications into many subject areas in the classroom. In social studies, world histories, or current events look closer at the portrayal of current events. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Analyze the viewpoint given by the media and compare to the behind the scenes look at Lightbox. What are the stories, experiences, and effects behind the news? How does history change the lives of people? Discover multiple viewpoints that might come to life from these riveting images. Follow current events and bring them to a personal level for students. In Art classes, dive into the art of photojournalism with composition, style, space, and elements of design. Bring to life a study of current photographers portraying messages in unique manners. In Language Arts class, determine characterization, story, or details discovered in each image. Challenge students to link to one of the photos, and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report using UtellStory, reviewed here. Create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place with Woices, (reviewed here). Use images as ready-made writing prompts for current events or writing classes. Develop multiple points of view into well-known events to share, debate, and discover how people are affected. Lightbox will make any blog become dazzling and poignant. Keep students active, reflective, and involved in current events in an intriguing, visual way. ELL/ESL learners will benefit from the extra information shown in each photograph. Challenge gifted learners to analyze and synthesize current events in ways that they have yet to discover! Remember that these images are copyrighted, so the best way to display them on a blog or other web project is as a LINKED image. COPY the direct image URL by RIGHT-clicking on the image itself and choosing "copy image location" on a Mac or "Properties" on a windows computer. Most web tools allow you to insert images by URL, so you can paste the URL to make it display on your blog, wiki, UtellStory, Glog, etc.
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News Flash Five Get the Scoop - PBS Kids

Grades
1 to 4
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News Flash Five Get the Scoop (part of PBS Kids), presents students with situations in need of a news story. Star reporters, ready, get set, and you are off to ...more
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News Flash Five Get the Scoop (part of PBS Kids), presents students with situations in need of a news story. Star reporters, ready, get set, and you are off to an investigation for your latest breaking news article. This interactive site offers graphics as well as written and spoken words to highlight all the information. While you navigate through the site, you visit several sources, and listen to the investigations. You can navigate to choose the sources and to take the information into a draft. After visiting various sources, you submit your news article to rate and get an assessment. To end your assignment, your editor rates your story and adds helpful hints to improve your writing.

At the time of this review, the "Be a Correspondent" link was not working.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to news articles. Try several versions to see the different types of stories that result. Now shift your news article skills to your choice of topic. Follow the same processes suggested and be sure to return to the reflection piece of your new article. Use this as introduction, and use as a reference while writing your own stories. With the graphics and written language, this site provides instant success for ESL/ELL students. Allow your gifted students to keep this site as a reference for all of their future work. Incorporate all of your newspaper articles into the life of your classroom or school. Add a newspaper piece to your next themed unit. Publish on your website, blog, or in written form. Encourage your extracurricular activities to add newspaper articles to track their latest happenings!
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The Exquisite Corpse Adventure - Library of Congress, Nat'l Children's Book & Literacy

Grades
6 to 12
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You would never guess by the name of this site that The Exquisite Corpse Adventure opens doors to an engaging way to explore the world of reading and writing a ...more
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You would never guess by the name of this site that The Exquisite Corpse Adventure opens doors to an engaging way to explore the world of reading and writing a class or group story, book, or even a poem. This project from the Center for the Book and the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance invites students to read, discover, and create fascinating characters, places, and events in a manner that might be as captivating as one of the many trendy, popular reality shows. The story takes on unexpected twists and turns because it is actually pieced together out of many parts created, put together, and expanded upon by the contributors. Anyone and everyone interested in helping kids read more, write better, and reach deeper into their own experiences, imaginations, and resources to create stories and art will become hooked. The actual original online book, Exquisite Corpse Adventure, is a recently completed, year-long project with episodes, (chapters), written by remarkable authors such as Jon Scieszka and Katherine Paterson, illustrated and posted with companion games, discussion questions, and activities every two weeks.

tag(s): stories and storytelling (33), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Explore new worlds in reading by introducing your students to The Exquisite Corpse Adventure. Children of all ages have played progressive story games for centuries, where one person begins a story, stops at a cliffhanging moment, and the next person picks it up and continues, and so on, until everyone in the group has the opportunity to contribute. Take a look at the website to become familiar with the episodes and then put your own spin on a similar project. It can combine the tradition of oral storytelling with the written form, and even include illustrations so that you can tap into students' range of strengths and weaknesses. Whether you choose to "tighten the reigns" by setting the parameters, such as including the use of vocabulary, grammar, and literary elements you are studying, or letting it evolve spontaneously, the possibilities are endless. Best of all, the contributors get to decide what happens next. Perhaps students could be involved in creating a similar ongoing story on a class wiki (learn more about wikis at the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through). The story can continue throughout the school year and culminate with a digital story presentation created with tools from Educational Uses of Digital Story Telling reviewed here.
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