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Nova Science Now Education - WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based...more
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based on programs from Nova and other PBS programs. There are teacher guides, teacher interactives, and teacher videos. Topics include anthropology, archaeology, earth science, engineering, environmental science, forensic science, geography, health science, history, life science, math, paleontology, physical science, science and society, space science, and technology. At the time of this review, the website is still in BETA version and is not all inclusive in each subject. Find a TV programming schedule to help planning and resource gathering.
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tag(s): archeology (32), engineering (124), environment (317), forensics (27), paleontology (41), space (205)

In the Classroom

Enjoy the interactives, videos, and text together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use selected activities as a center (station). Include as resources for your curriculum. Use as a model to make a wiki for your current topic of study for a group project or classroom project. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Use this format to spice up your classroom blog.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Stencyl - Stencyl, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Stencyl allows you to design and build your own and Flash games without any knowledge of programming. Download the program and use their Photo Shop "like" toolset to create ...more
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Stencyl allows you to design and build your own and Flash games without any knowledge of programming. Download the program and use their Photo Shop "like" toolset to create the game of your dreams. Visit Stencylpedia to get started by viewing videos, demos, and sample projects. Stencyl also has a library for backgrounds and actors, or you can import graphics from your Mac or P.C. The click and drag capability empowers those with a creative game idea to see it come to reality without knowing any code. Share your game with Stencyl, or on your own site or blog. Stencyl also has tools for creating iOS (iPhone, iTouch, iPad) games, but they are not free (rats!).
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), game based learning (103), gamification (65), quizzes (96)

In the Classroom

Create games for student review and/or practice, or use to assess knowledge before and after a unit. View example games for an idea of what you can create using this tool. One of the best learning tools for kids is to have them create their OWN games. Use your own teacher account so you do not need student emails at school. Ideally, students can create games for either learning or review for their fellow classmates. Assign a small group of students to create a game and then act as "host" to present their research information on a topic and keep the "audience" engaged. Learning support teachers might want to work together with a small group of students to create review games on a projector or interactive whiteboard. The process of creating the game provides another layer of review/practice before students play the game for more repetition.

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Pottermore - Harry Potter and Pottermore Publishing Rights '''''''''''© J.K. Rowlin

Grades
3 to 12
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Attnetion Muggles! Join JK Rowling in Pottermore, a unique online experience. Pottermore is an online place to explore the magical places of Harry Potter. Find new content, insider...more
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Attnetion Muggles! Join JK Rowling in Pottermore, a unique online experience. Pottermore is an online place to explore the magical places of Harry Potter. Find new content, insider information, videos, and a game with Pottermore. With an email, sign up for a free account and begin exploring the world of the books. Most of the website is accessible without registering. Discover special objects, people, and places to collect. You can blog with others on your thoughts and ideas. After meeting J.K.Rowling, begin your online exploration and dig into the scenes, characters, and places of the magical world of Harry Potter. Along the way, questions ask you to reflect and talk with others. Collect magical pieces and collect your wand. Learn different spells for your wand.
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tag(s): harry potter (12)

In the Classroom

Make your Harry Potter study come alive with Pottermore. Bring your book study into the digital age. Use scenes and information from the website for your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to pull your students in. Share the video clips. Looking for even more Harry Potter Fun? Check out creative chapter by chapter activities for three of the books, beginning with Deathly Hallows, offered by imaginative muggles at TeachersFirst.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Memrise - Ed Cooke and Greg Detre

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use innovative new techniques to teach languages as well as other useful topics: Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, French, Hebrew, Scots, and more. Learning is based on the use of three ingredients...more
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Use innovative new techniques to teach languages as well as other useful topics: Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, French, Hebrew, Scots, and more. Learning is based on the use of three ingredients - science, fun, and community. One interesting "language" included is SAT vocabulary! "Mems" are used to help form vivid memories while including simple quizzes along the way to test knowledge. Grow gardens of knowledge along the way. Water your garden occasionally through review of previous topics. Find all topics on the site by choosing the topics link located at the top, right-hand side of the home page to find included activities such as famous people, animals, and world geography. Registration isn't required to use resources on the site; however, activities can be saved and reentered by creating a free account with a Facebook login or email information. This site is in Beta at the time of this review.

tag(s): chinese (48), french (88), german (64), italian (33), japanese (42), russian (26), spanish (108), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

World language teachers can use this site as a center or homework activity for increasing vocabulary skills. Share with students to use for SAT prep. Use the site to help students learn and understand languages used by classmates. If you teach a unit on study skills or work with learning support students, use the mnemonics on this site as examples to help students generate their own "memory jogging" tricks to use when studying for tests. Stop to analyze together how these activities reinforce new memorization. Get your students thinking about thinking! After learning some basic language skills, have students create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to demonstrate new language skills learned. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Surface Languages - Moonface

Grades
3 to 12
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Surface Languages is free site to learn basic survival words and phrases on a variety of topics in 37 different languages. Learn phrases in Afrikaans, Slovak, Arabic, Spanish, Bosnian,...more
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Surface Languages is free site to learn basic survival words and phrases on a variety of topics in 37 different languages. Learn phrases in Afrikaans, Slovak, Arabic, Spanish, Bosnian, Swahili, Bulgarian, Swedish, Catalan, Turkish, Chinese, Ukrainian, Croatian, Urdu, Czech, Welsh, Danish, Yiddish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Russian. Phrases are organized into topics so use is simple. In addition to reading and hearing the words and phrases pronounced, the site has the capability of creating flash cards for each lesson. You choose yes or no to indicate if the card has the correct meaning. It also offers multiple choice items to test listening skills for the language and translating from English to the target language.
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tag(s): arabic (20), chinese (48), cultures (105), french (88), german (64), greek (41), hebrew (14), italian (33), latin (22), phrases (6), portuguese (18), russian (26), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

This site would be very handy in introduction (and level 1) world language classes. Use this site as a learning station or center. Use this site as a reference for checking meanings of foreign words and phrases. Use this site when students are preparing a project about another culture. If you have students in world language, world culture, or even language arts classes who need enrichment - send them to this site to learn the basics of a new language or look for roots that show in English. self-motivated gifted students or those planning a semester abroad can learn language basics on their own here. Be sure to include this site during "Children of the World Day" or family heritage day activities.

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VocabAhead Vocabulary Videos - VocabAhead Team

Grades
9 to 12
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Use VocabAhead in your classroom for teaching SAT and ACT vocabulary words (or simply to build vocabulary). This free vocabulary building system offers vocabulary videos, searchable...more
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Use VocabAhead in your classroom for teaching SAT and ACT vocabulary words (or simply to build vocabulary). This free vocabulary building system offers vocabulary videos, searchable by beginning letter of the word. You can also create your own word lists, share your lists with students, use flash cards for quick review, and test yourself by taking the online quizzes. You will welcome the fresh perspectives and interactive learning activities for teaching and practicing ACT and SAT words.
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tag(s): vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Project this vocabulary website on your classroom whiteboard or projector and share a few quick ready-made vocabulary videos. They are quick, fun, and memorable. They also provide a way to associate words and make the definitions stick. This will especially have value for visual learners and ESL/ELL students. Use the easy to navigate, alphabetized word lists as they appear on the website, or create your own sets from the lists for assignments. Sign up to receive the Word of the Day. Share the link to this site on your web page for students to access at home. Let your students create their own vocabulary videos to share with your class. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Spreeder - 7-Speed-Reading

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn to read at a faster pace with much better reading comprehension using Spreeder, a free online speed reading service. Use passages of your choice by simply loading (or copy ...more
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Learn to read at a faster pace with much better reading comprehension using Spreeder, a free online speed reading service. Use passages of your choice by simply loading (or copy and paste) the text, and Spreeder will pace through it at a speed you set. You can adjust your speed as your reading comprehension increases. There is also a feature to increase "chunk" size, an effective strategy used in reading instruction. Get the free app for Chrome or use the practice box on the site. There is a paid "training" portion for this tool. This review is only for the free portion.
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tag(s): reading comprehension (116), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

In this era of high-stakes testing, it is imperative that students be able to read and comprehend at an expected rate in order to complete the tasks within the designated time. Think about the implications for improving state test scores and PSAT or SAT college entrance exams! Demonstrate Spreeder on your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard by copying and pasting practice passages from your state's Department of Education link to state testing. Link to SAT practice sites such as College Board SAT Preparation Center, reviewed here, or Test Prep Review, reviewed here. Provide opportunities for students to try it on individual classroom computers. Provide a direct link to Spreeder from your classroom web page or wiki. This will enable motivated students to take charge of increasing their own reading speed, or you may want to incorporate it with homework assignments and make parents aware of it.

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101 Questions - Dan Myer

Grades
2 to 12
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to ...more
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to skip a picture. Submit your own picture or video, and get points for the perplexity it inspires, or even join the top 10 lists. Save images to your favorites and classify by tags using your membership. Note that the public can participate so some responses may not be appropriate for younger viewers. Preview and monitor or have an adult operate the site together.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (108), images (266), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Creative fluency begins here! Set up a whole class account. Use this site in language arts: discover main idea, details, cause and effect, or even an inspirational writing prompt. Find ways to group images together based on characteristics or attributes. Use in gifted or enrichment situations, for inspiration for problem-based learning. Sequence the images to find ways to form a logical plot. Find ways to make Perplexors out of the given image. In math, write short word problems to accompany images or videos. Find ways to illustrate vocabulary definitions with examples and non-examples. As a morning work challenge, find questions, details, or even other questions. As a writing challenge, look for the image that conveys the mood or feeling you are trying to convey. In science, submit examples to illustrate scientific concepts. Use to generate scientific method style questions based on the given image. In social studies, find images to convey feelings represented by the time being studied. Challenge students to make a historical statement or political statement by finding and adding to an appropriate image. ESL/ELL students can use this site to help acquire conversation/questioning skills. In world language class, have students generate questions in their new language, even if they do not post them. In art, find mood, theme, style, or self expression images. Be sure to monitor the blog content. Put similar content on your own classroom blog. Challenge students to create their own 101 question images or videos to share on your class blog, inviting viewers to respond with questions in the comments.

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Photoshop Express Online - 2012 Adobe Systems

Grades
6 to 12
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Photoshop Express Online is a free online storage site for all of your digital photos. Upload, edit, and organize your own library with 2GB of free storage. Create your own ...more
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Photoshop Express Online is a free online storage site for all of your digital photos. Upload, edit, and organize your own library with 2GB of free storage. Create your own personalized homepage that can be private or shared with friends. Find online tutorials such as; Light, Color, and Composition, Envisioning Improbable Realities, Keeping Ideas Fresh, and Combining Artistic Mediums. Submit questions or join the blog, After photo editing, add a description, or share with friends and family. Fill out a profile to get notifications of the latest products (NOT free).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Find plenty of room for all of your classes photos! Edit the photos to create quality prints. Organize into libraries to share with students and parents. Have a library for every class, assignment, every year, or yearbooks. In lower grades, set up a teacher account for the whole class. Communicate with parents, pen pals, or with collaborations between schools. In art classes, look at the possibilities of quality photography. In upper grade technology classes, create free galleries for each student (over 13), and highlight some of the latest photo editing software and apps. Use in science classes as a way to store data in digital images. In language arts, create stories through photos or make wordless picture books. Store student portfolios in digital format in your gallery. Journal throughout your school year in pictures.

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Edublog - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, pdfs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to log with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.
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tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. ) Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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In-sites to Einstein - Jen Farr

Grades
7 to 12
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories,...more
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories, and even quotes he has made. A vast array of sites is listed in each section, and much of the information is actually located elsewhere on the web.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (97), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Have groups of students spend time perusing the topics and taking time to collect information. Share information learned with other members of the class to get a great background on the life and works of Einstein. Use to understand the theories he developed and discuss the difference between laws and theories. Have students (or groups) explore a specific part of this site and write a blog post about what they learn. Use a site such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Use this site as part of a unit for the gifted on Great Minds.

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Guess the Title - Big Huge Labs

Grades
7 to 12
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This is a "Wheel of Fortune" style guess-the-title game. There are 60 seconds on a visible count-down clock. To start, you must type in a nickname. (You could simply ...more
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This is a "Wheel of Fortune" style guess-the-title game. There are 60 seconds on a visible count-down clock. To start, you must type in a nickname. (You could simply type in your initials.) The challenge is to quickly type in letters to guess the title of the displayed picture. Immediate feedback is provided and as the seconds tick away; clue letters appear to provide hints. The titles are not limited to books, stories, or movies. As a matter of fact, they could be just about anything that names the picture. When the 60 seconds are up, a new picture automatically reloads.
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tag(s): main idea (9), puzzles (208), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Guess the Title is a quick and "addicting" way to teach, practice, and reinforce the skill of main idea -- done visually. It also teaches creative flexibility as brains cycle through possibilities to find the correct approach to the picture. Bookmark it in your favorites to provide easy access for projecting it on your interactive whiteboard. Use it whenever you have a few minutes before or after a lesson and need a motivational time filler. Include it in the "useful links" section of your class page for students to access in school or at home. Remember, it always helps to have easily accessible, "do now" activities in your "bag of tricks" to keep students engaged while using technology, when others may still be working on an assignment.

Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

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Quiz Factor - Quiz Factor Limited

Grades
4 to 12
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Quiz Factor offers quizzes that are not about your typical "education" topics. There are both popular and specialist subjects. Some topic examples are: Animals and Nature, Cinema and...more
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Quiz Factor offers quizzes that are not about your typical "education" topics. There are both popular and specialist subjects. Some topic examples are: Animals and Nature, Cinema and Actors, Fashion and Design, History and Politics, Religion and Traditions, Science, Sports and Games, Technology and Manufacturing, and many more. At Quiz Factor you can climb the Leaderboards and win prizes. There are three types of quizzes: The Ladder, Time Trials, and True/False. You can also make your own quizzes. (At the time of this review, this feature was "coming soon.") This site is from the UK, and some questions in the General Knowledge section test facts you would know if you've been to the UK.

tag(s): animals (276), cultures (105), design (83), fashion (10), quiz (84), quizzes (96), radio (26), religions (61), sports (97), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Set up a computer or two in your classroom for those earlier finishers to take a quiz on a topic of their choice. Do you have students who have a deep interest in a certain topic or subject? Allow them to create a quiz for Quiz Factor. Have the student save the quiz, so you can view it before submission. This would be a great activity for some gifted students! Have students create quizzes after they have completed a research project. They could present their findings to the class, then allow the class to use their notes from the presentation to complete the quiz.

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Thunks - Get Thunking - Ian Gilbert

Grades
4 to 12
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A Thunk is a beguilingly simple-looking yes/no question that stops you in your tracks to look at the world in a whole new light. Over a thousand Thunks are included ...more
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A Thunk is a beguilingly simple-looking yes/no question that stops you in your tracks to look at the world in a whole new light. Over a thousand Thunks are included on the site with simple yes or no responses. View results easily, read comments, or submit your own comment by including your name, email (will not be displayed), and comment. Thunks can be chosen by categories such as good and bad, human condition, or friendship. At the time of this review, we found no evidence of inappropriate public comments (and we looked hard!) , but you might want to preview before turning young people loose on the site.
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tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Display a Thunk on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a discussion/debate starter. Have students choose a response and defend their answer. Allow students to discuss their answer throughout the week and survey responses again. Have students create their own Thunks to be discussed in class. Create a bulletin board and allow students to post comments and reactions to the question posed. Use a Thunk as a journal writing prompt. Make this page available for students who are "stuck" thinking of something to write about.

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Word Play- Spanish Vocabulary Game - 2009-2011, Wordplay Learning LLC

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Master the Spanish language with Wordplay! Join this free adaptive activity challenging a student, class, or even school. The software analyzes each response to every question and adjusts...more
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Master the Spanish language with Wordplay! Join this free adaptive activity challenging a student, class, or even school. The software analyzes each response to every question and adjusts to create the perfect practice for each individual. A Mastery Meter shows progress during sessions. Reviews develop long-term retention for each word. Earn points for immediate mastery and long-term retention. Teacher privileges allow monitoring of points, content, and long-term retention information for each student.

tag(s): spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Introduce on your projector or interactive whiteboard, and explain as a class. Use the ready-to-go content lessons or create your own customized lessons. The complete teacher's manual offers detailed information on student progress, lesson content, and motivation. Challenge every student at his/her level. Use as an easy customized homework assignment for what each student needs the most. Use points earned as a personal learning goal, required points for assignment grade, team, class, or even grade level challenges. Say good bye to hated paper flash cards! Join the 21 century in learning.

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Sarah, ME, Grades: 7 - 12

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Wondermind - Tate Liverpool

Grades
4 to 12
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for...more
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Wondermind is a set of four mini-activities with accompanying videos, illustrating the fascinating ways our brains work. Experience the activities/illustrations to help prepare for the interactive video that explains an aspect of the brain, such as how we learn language, how the brain develops from childhood to adulthood, how memory works, how we sense our own location, and how we learn self-control. Wondermind, set to the theme of Alice in Wonderland, will delight you with the quirky, clever, or just plain weird art inspired by Alice in Wonderland and used as part of the designs. The activities can be skipped if you prefer to just view the videos.

tag(s): body systems (57), brain (72), human body (121), logic (235), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for students to try the challenges and then view videos on your interactive whiteboard together. Check out the learning resources link to view a video with additional ideas for visual perception games and activities. Use as part of your Alice in Wonderland or Lewis Carroll units. If you teach psychology, anatomy, or health, this exploration will offer a new angle into how the brain works. Use the game and video about memory during a unit on study skills and discovering how students learn best. Teachers of gifted may also want to explore this site as part of a unit on the gifted mind. Learning support teachers may also want to use portions to help students better understand why their minds operate differently -- not "badly." Bright Asperger's students might be fascinated by the portion on the prefrontal cortex and how we learn self-control.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Paradise Tossed - John Robert Ladd (Founder & Editor) and the Crew

Grades
8 to 12
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Paradise Tossed provides a starting point to break from the traditional methods of reading and writing poetry to experience the richness that technology can offer to this genre. This...more
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Paradise Tossed provides a starting point to break from the traditional methods of reading and writing poetry to experience the richness that technology can offer to this genre. This poetry and technology blog is mainly to use as a professional resource for discovering ways to merge the reading and writing of poetry with all the advantages that technology offers. There are screenshots, video clips, blog entries, and much more. Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to be a reader or writer of poetry without involving, embracing, and interacting with technology. Visit this site to find some of the best poetry resources from across the web, and tools to use with them. Although this site is not frequently updated, there is some wonderful information and resources to explore. This site was moved from its original location and left at this url in "archive" format so people could continue to use it. If it "disappears," please leave a comment notifying TeachersFirst of the "loss." That would be another (teacher) paradise "lost" !

tag(s): blogs (88), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

This site is a place that opens doors to thought provoking ideas for high school English students. Please be cautious and check with your school's policy about sharing blogs. You might want to bookmark the site for yourself, hide your pen and paper, and try some of the online tricks to look at the same old poems, or create new ones, in a whole new light. Then, show off your skills on an interactive white board. Next, it's the students turn to try it on individual computers. 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! Paradise Tossed provides teachers with a starting point to break from the traditional methods of reading and writing poetry to experience the richness that technology can offer to this genre. Be Aware: some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, 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.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mugeda - mugeda.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and...more
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and publish HTML5 animation. Basic tutorials guide you to create content with easy to follow instructions. Animation applications include; games, ads, cartoons, tutorials, or persuasive commercials. Use tablets, PCs, smartphones, or tablets. Note that HTML5 works on iPads and iTouches, where most Flash-based sites do not.

tag(s): animation (63), comics and cartoons (74), DAT device agnostic tool (198)

In the Classroom

Bring along Mugeda in your bag of tricks to capture and intrigue all of your students. Use Mugeda to illustrate class content, support debate, persuade, and entertain. The possibilities are endless! Add the creations to your website to share with your community. Use on school news programs to add student content without cost, and make information available for all levels of student abilities. Create commercials for your content or to convey information. In history classes go back in time to envision popular opinion that made history happen. Use during campaigns to promote your side of the debate. Science fairs will never be the same. Highlight projects to create anticipation. Send messages to students using the embedded tool. This programming tool has applications in all subject areas. Gifted students, ELL/ESL students, and remedial students will be captivated by this high interest way of expressing themselves.

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Paying For College - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Grades
9 to 12
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Figuring out the TRUE cost of college is tricky. One college may appear to be out of financial range, but once financial aid is applied, the same college may actually ...more
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Figuring out the TRUE cost of college is tricky. One college may appear to be out of financial range, but once financial aid is applied, the same college may actually require fewer out-of-pocket dollars for a prospective student and family. Comparing the true cost of one college to another has been even trickier when college describe their costs and financial aid awards using different terminology. Beginning in 2011, colleges are now required to include standardized college cost calculators on their websites. This site is working toward a centralized utility that would permit students to aggregate this information and do a meaningful cost comparison. At this point, the site is in its earliest stages, and families are asked to give it a test drive and provide feedback so the site will continue to improve. During the test drive, however, families will surely discover information that will help them in the short run as they evaluate college costs and financial aid award packages.

tag(s): college (43), financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

Teachers who work with high school students, regardless of their curriculum specialties, would do their students a great service by recommending this site, and sites like it, that offer concrete financial data about the actual cost of attending college. If you teach in a field that touches personal financial planning or consumer awareness, asking students to give this site a try would make a great class, group, or individual project.

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Picturing Words: The Power of Book Illustrations - Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Grades
6 to 10
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Picturing Words is an online exhibit featuring 40 illustrated, rare books from history, science, and art. The illustrated books go back to the 1400's with illuminated manuscripts from...more
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Picturing Words is an online exhibit featuring 40 illustrated, rare books from history, science, and art. The illustrated books go back to the 1400's with illuminated manuscripts from The Canon of Medicine (980-1037) up to 1996 and The Graphic Alphabet. The categories include: Inspires, Informs, or Influences. Also included is a section on the process of illustration, detailed images, and examples organized by theme. Suddenly, you will notice illustrations!

tag(s): artists (74), medieval (27), primary sources (86), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

History and English teachers studying the Medieval time period can show the primary source of the illuminated alphabet script on The Canon of Medicine. Then have students create a mini-bio for themselves, starting with illuminating the first letter of their name. Use this site to study how the power of pictures can enhance text. The Process section explains how the Gutenberg Press used wood blocks or metal cuts along with the letterpress to print a book with images. Have your students view the "Process" part of this site, and look at several books printed in the Gutenberg time period. You may want them to further investigate the workings of the Gutenberg Press and what it took to make a book (materials and time). Then have your students make a simple, illustrated book using a program like Bookemon reviewed here. Have them use Dipity reviewed here. to display the differences between publishing then and now. Dipity will display as a flip book, timeline, map, or list. In a gifted class, try some of these activities as you discuss Gutenberg, then ask how those illustrations compare in ease and efficiency to the digital means we have to add visual enhancements today. WHich do they consider more "valuable"?

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