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Lino - Infoteria Corporation

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using Lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The trial canvas has stickies explaining how to ...more
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Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using Lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The trial canvas has stickies explaining how to use Lino. Join and create your own canvases to share stickies, reminders, files, and more. Change sticky colors from the menu in the upper right hand corner or use the easy editing tools that appear when the sticky is selected. Use the icons at the bottom of each sticky note to "peel them off," share, edit, and more. Create a group from your Lino page to share and collaborate on canvases. You can also share canvases publicly so anyone with the URL can participate. 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.

tag(s): collages (17), creative fluency (8), creativity (109), DAT device agnostic tool (196), gamification (65), note taking (32)

In the Classroom

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. Students can use this when researching alone or in groups, sharing files, videos, and pictures quickly from one computer to another. Have students write tasks for each member of the group on a sticky so that everyone has a responsibility. Show them how to copy/paste URLs for sources onto notes, too. Use Lino as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Use a Lino for students to submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on. Use it as a virtual graffiti wall for students to make connections between their world and curriculum content, such as "I wonder what the hall monitor would say finding Lady Macbeth washing her hands in the school restroom... and what Lady M would say back." (Of course, you will want to have a PG-13 policy for student comments!) Encourage students to maintain an idea collection lino for ideas and creative inspirations they may not have used yet but do not want to "lose." They can color code and organize ideas later or send the stickies to a new project board later. In writing or art classes, use lino as a virtual writer's journal or design a notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips. In science classes, encourage students to keep a lino board with (classroom appropriate) questions and "aside" thoughts about science concepts being studied and to use these ideas in later projects so their creative ideas are not 'lost" before project time. A lino board can also serve as a final online "display" for students to "show what they know" as the culmination of a research project. Add videos, images, and notes in a carefully arranged display not unlike an electronic bulletin board. This is also a great tool to help you stay "personally" organized. Use this site as a resource to share information with other teachers, parents, or students.

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No Name-Calling Week - GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for some "fresh" ideas to put an end to bullying in your classroom but are not sure where or how to start? Well, you are in the ...more
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Are you looking for some "fresh" ideas to put an end to bullying in your classroom but are not sure where or how to start? Well, you are in the right place. This web site brings attention to No Name-Calling Week: an annual week of realistic educational activities designed to end all types of name-calling. No Name-Calling Week was inspired by the young adult novel, The Misfits, and presents an opportunity to address bullying as an increasingly, ongoing issue. Whether you are a teacher, student, administrator, counselor, or parent, there is an abundance of useful ideas, activities, and materials for elementary, middle, and high schools to promote anti-bullying awareness, and they are all free!

tag(s): bullying (52), sports (96), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Use the resources from this web site to plan and implement lessons that students will relate to, and help to bring an end to harmful name-calling and "dissing." Select some of the many safe Web 2.0 tools reviewed by TeachersFirst Edge, such as Automotivator, reviewed here for designing digital posters that can be printed, or PhotoPeach, reviewed here for creating a digital slideshow that includes music, captions, and more. TeachersFirst also has an entire collection of on line resources to create comic strips, available here to drive home the message that bullying is never a laughing matter.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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KenKen - Nextoy, LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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This site provides tutorials and free puzzles for the game of KenKen. KenKen is similar to Soduku; however, it has the added complication of requiring number combinations (using operations...more
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This site provides tutorials and free puzzles for the game of KenKen. KenKen is similar to Soduku; however, it has the added complication of requiring number combinations (using operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) to fit within bolded boxes. The site has an excellent illustrated tutorial on how to play the game located at the "How to Play" link. Teachers can sign up for the free newsletter and receive free puzzles. There are several free puzzles on the site. Much of the site is devoted to selling puzzle books (so you will notice some advertisements); however, there are many free puzzles and the tutorial makes it worth a visit. Also available is an iphone app that can be downloaded to receive more puzzles.

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), logic (235), multiplication (227), puzzles (208), subtraction (208), vision (87)

In the Classroom

Review the illustrated tutorial on your interactive whiteboard or projector when showing students how to play KenKen. After students understand the game, create a link to the free puzzles on classroom computers or the computer lab for students to solve. After solving puzzles, allow students to discuss their solutions and problem-solving process.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twurdy - twurdy.com

Grades
K to 12
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Twurdy is web search that includes a readability index! Think of the implications: Everyone has different reading abilities. Some people searching the web are seven or eight...more
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Twurdy is web search that includes a readability index! Think of the implications: Everyone has different reading abilities. Some people searching the web are seven or eight year old children, while others are in high school or beyond. Twurdy provides access to search results that suit individuals' reading levels, by providing an easy color coded system to help you quickly determine how simple or hard the page will be to understand. The beauty is that it is not an extra step! Twurdy is powered by Google. Try it right now. It only takes a few seconds. Just go to the Twurdy website (by clicking on the title in this review) and copy/paste the URL - http://www.teachersfirst.com/index.cfm in the search box. Not only will you see Twurdy's value, you will have the added bonus of discovering our TeachersFirst website if you are not already a frequent user. While this site could be independently used by intermediate and secondary students, teachers of the primary grades may also find this site useful as a professional resource.

tag(s): readability (8), search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Twurdy is useful for all grades and subjects. Teachers can spend hours looking for age/grade appropriate websites to display on classroom whiteboards, include in webquests, and recommend for usage with assignments. Save valuable time by finding the information that is most appropriate for your students. This will mean that more time can be spent actually getting the assignment done, rather than clicking through material that is either too difficult or too simplistic to use. Bookmark this site in your favorites and provide the link on your class web page to save yourself and your students a lot of time finding what you are looking for. Remember that you can "organize" recommended sites for students using a tool such as LiveBinders (reviewed here, share them with readability tips using Diigo reviewed here, or even color code them by reading level for younger students using Symbaloo reviewed here.

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JamStudio - The Online Music Factory - Chord Studio, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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JamStudio allows for the creation of original music compositions in an easy, time effective manner. It is an easy process. Anyone could play with this website and make music, however...more
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JamStudio allows for the creation of original music compositions in an easy, time effective manner. It is an easy process. Anyone could play with this website and make music, however those that have musical backgrounds and expertise could use this to create compositions that are spectacular. A login does not really enhance the capabilities of the site. The only advantage of a user name is that you can post music publicly and both you and other users can comment on it. Music is not automatically saved, in fact to share music as a mp3, an "All Access" pass is needed. Thus the paid membership to the site. There is a link to apply for a grant to an "All Access" pass. The process is simple and the pass would allow for the saving of files. However, this site could be used without saving music to their server. There is the possibility of using a program such as GarageBand or any sound recording device on the computer to save the composition.

tag(s): composers (21), music theory (42), songs (52), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Musical skills are not a "must" for this site, however would make its use more productive. Beyond listening and clicking ability, the instructions are on screen. It's a great site to creatively "dabble."

If students do create user names, encourage them to use non-identifying names as the posts with their user names are open to the public. Sharing student work may be a safety risk as your students are probably minors.

This tool would be great for independent music studies and/or performance class. Have students compose their own accompaniments to be used as they play for the class. Or, in a less advanced music class or general music class have small groups of students create music using the interactive whiteboard and share with the class. Try using computer programs such as Garage Band or Windows Media Player to record the music to your computer. Students could then share files with each other and listen to a variety of different student created music.

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ccMixter - ArtisTech Media

Grades
K to 12
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This site allows users the opportunity to sample, interact, and mash-up music that is posted as well as upload original works. Users are also given a URL where uploaded works ...more
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This site allows users the opportunity to sample, interact, and mash-up music that is posted as well as upload original works. Users are also given a URL where uploaded works and remixes can be located and shared. Note that the public can submit works, so -- although our editors have not seen any-- the submissions could include lyrics not appropriate for listening in school.

tag(s): podcasts (52), sound (100), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to record music on their own computer, locate files on their computer, and follow onscreen instructions. Parents and family can hear their student's work as long as the student shares the URL with them.

Have musically gifted students use this to create school sound tracks for the school television show or announcements. Have students create their own drama club or musical interludes for performances. In music clubs, have students record their music to their artist page, share the URL with others in the club, and remix each other's work. In music class, use as a submission space. Have students upload work to their artist page and check work digitally.

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21st Century Questions - 21st Century Question

Grades
6 to 12
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21st Century Questions is a collaborative blog designed to pose thoughtful and challenging questions about the impact of technology on society. In partnership with efforts to...more
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21st Century Questions is a collaborative blog designed to pose thoughtful and challenging questions about the impact of technology on society. In partnership with efforts to promote digital literacy skills, teachers, students, and others can use this site either by accessing the questions already posed and exploring them with students, or by posing additional questions themselves. Each post contains a prompt, either in the form of a short video clip, a cartoon, or a short narrative, and then a series of open-ended questions. The rest is up to you!

tag(s): writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

These questions present a wealth of challenging writing prompts, class discussion starters, or extension/enrichment activities for gifted students or high ability writers in science or social students classes, in debate club, or in enrichment programs. Access the site yourself and cherry-pick your favorite questions. Alternatively, provide a link to the site and ask students to explore possible questions they'd like to answer or discuss. Finally, collaborate as a class to develop question prompts of your own as a group project and then post them to the site. Bookmark this site as one of those you go to when you have unexpected time to fill in class, or as a resource for a substitute teacher-led discussion. Science teachers can use technology issues to connect science with real world topics for students who may not otherwise see value in mastering concepts. Assign groups to explore a topic of their choice from this blog and present it in open-ended debate once a month in your science class or as part of a science careers unit.

Comments

This is a treasure trove of prompts to ponder and spur editorial/argument writing. I LOVE THIS! Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Word Games - FPS Networks Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Word Games has compiled many of the web's best word games into one resource. Games are categorized in several different ways such as typing, word search, puzzles, and others. In ...more
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Word Games has compiled many of the web's best word games into one resource. Games are categorized in several different ways such as typing, word search, puzzles, and others. In addition, the newest and most popular games are identified for easy access. Facebook users can "like" the site and receive daily games to play. This site provides varied activities to help increase word skills at many different levels.

Navigate carefully as this site has many advertisements! But the great interactives make it worth the hassle.

tag(s): logic (235), puzzles (208), sudoku (18)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Provide a link to these activities on your class website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Poetry through the Ages: An Expressive Journey - J. Romano, R. Yehling & Curator of WebExhibit: M. Douma

Grades
8 to 12
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This web exhibit uses multimedia elements that provide an enjoyable, informative exploration of poetic forms, history, and evolution from ancient to modern times. You may browse by...more
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This web exhibit uses multimedia elements that provide an enjoyable, informative exploration of poetic forms, history, and evolution from ancient to modern times. You may browse by region or era to broaden learning about the development of poetry and methods for how to read a poem to understand it better. You can easily zoom into images, use the technology elements to map a course through early poetry to the renaissance period and beyond, create your own poetry, and print pages. WebExhibits, an interactive means and innovative approach for teaching science, humanities, and culture, presents Poetry through the Ages designed to serve as an ideal tool for learning about poetic forms, their influences in their eras, and their relevance today.

tag(s): poetry (227)

In the Classroom

Introduce this online exhibit on your classroom whiteboard to bring the love of studying and writing poetry to your students. Enable your class to research and relate history through the great poetic forms. Individual or group assignments could range from choosing any of the forms featured in Poetry through the Ages and focusing on its style, structure, era, and practicing poets. Broaden the scope by comparing and contrasting the culture, history, environment, people, and poets from different eras. Write essays, and then analyze their strengths and drawbacks. Determine which era would best suit your poetic flair, and then write poems in that form. Ask your school librarian to become involved to generate excitement by hosting an "Open Mic" or poetry slam at the culmination of this unit. Use an online tool such as Bookemon reviewed here, Or PodOMatic, (reviewed here), to create a multimedia class poetry volume and link it to your web page to show how students interpret and express their world through verse. Parents would love to receive an audio file as a gift that they can easily download.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Congress.org - C-Q Roll Call, Inc

Grades
9 to 12
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Congress.org is a product of the larger group of news publications that include Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call, both long-time sources of news about Washington politics. The...more
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Congress.org is a product of the larger group of news publications that include Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call, both long-time sources of news about Washington politics. The site collects news stories, letters to congress and statements from political advocacy groups in one place for the reader to survey. The site is as non-partisan as possible, and it's possible you will find links to statements from the National Rifle Association next to those from the the Society of Friends. There is also a running accounting of recent votes in Congress for those trying to keep up with current legislation. Be aware, however, that one portion of the site includes letters to Members of Congress written by subscribers; previewing in advance is advised.

tag(s): congress (33), elections (75), house of representatives (9), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Consider placing this site on your class web page for students to use in researching political viewpoints, both in relation to upcoming elections and in ongoing political debate. It's a site for true politics junkies, but will be useful for those who are looking for concise information collected in a readable, easy-to-access format. Use the site during your study of the legislative branch and have groups follow congressional groups of individuals, creating a timeline of their activities using a tool such as XTimeline, reviewed here or Dipity, reviewed here. Embed the congressional timelines in your class wiki for students to compare and critique or to trace an incumbent's activities during an election cycle.

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Math Solutions - Math Solutions

Grades
K to 12
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This site provides many resources for math teachers of all grades and includes lesson plans, articles, classroom and administrator questions and answers, and helpful links - all located...more
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This site provides many resources for math teachers of all grades and includes lesson plans, articles, classroom and administrator questions and answers, and helpful links - all located under the "helpful tool" tab at the top of the site. Click to find elementary resources, algebra, calculus, and other "basic math." Free webinars are also available within the site. Math Solutions was founded by Marilyn Burns, who is known as one of the foremost experts in elementary math instruction. Although much of the website is devoted to materials and Professional Development for sale, there are many resources available for free that are extremely helpful for classroom teachers. One such resource is the classroom lessons portion. Lessons are in ready to print PDF format making them easy to review and use for planning. Sample classroom conversations are often included along with samples of student work and suggestions for use in the classroom. This site also sells many resource materials, so links to these materials are included for alternative resources within the lesson. No need to buy, however! Teachers can sign up to receive the free monthly newsletter containing information about new materials on the Math Solutions site.

tag(s): problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans; also search for plans in grades higher and lower that can be modified to meet your students' needs. Display student work included with the lesson plans on your interactive whiteboard or projector as conversation starters in your classroom - allow students to discuss other students' work to increase understanding of concepts.

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Snappy Words-Free Visual Online Dictionary - Snappy Words.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws...more
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws connections to associated words. Simply type a word in the search box and click "GO." A word map is instantaneously created. An extra built in feature is that the words in the visual interactive display are automatically color coded according to parts of speech. Look up as many words as you need anytime; there is no limit on the number of searches and no registration is required.
As with most online tools, teacher monitoring is strongly advised.

tag(s): maps (288), parts of speech (68), speech (92), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students on all grade levels will love usingSnappy Words for all subjects. Demonstrate it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, bookmark it in your favorites, and make it directly available to students from your class webpage. Elementary students will enjoy defining their spelling words or content area vocabulary. They can categorize their words by parts of speech or create a list of synonyms. Students can then create their own word "maps" for new vocabulary words using drawing tools or online graphic organizers like bubbl.us reviewed here or webspiration reviewed here. Middle school, high school and adult learners can use it as a valuable tool for vocabulary specific to a literary work or subject area, preparing for a standardized test, or while reading assigned material or a book, poem, or article of choice. Whether you are writing content for an article, a blog, a letter, or any assignment, minimize this website and play with words to avoid repetition, choose precise meanings and kick your vocabulary up a notch! Share this one on your class web page, for sure.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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National History Day - National History Day

Grades
6 to 12
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No national social studies competition carries more respect than National History Day. Each year a new theme leads students to delve into primary research on local, regional, or national...more
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No national social studies competition carries more respect than National History Day. Each year a new theme leads students to delve into primary research on local, regional, or national issues and events. This site is the home page for the competition, complete with all materials and information needed to participate. Whether you choose to hold a History Day event within your school or to compete against others, this site will get you started. Use this site in combination with TeachersFirst's collection of History Day Resources.

tag(s): history day (23)

In the Classroom

Whether you choose to hold a History Day event within your school or to compete against others, this site will get you started. Make this a permanent link on your class web page or share it with your gifted enrichment specialist for a curriculum connection to challenge any student.

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Online-Calculator - Online-calculator.com

Grades
K to 12
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific ...more
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This free, fast loading, online calculator can be viewed full screen and operated by your mouse or keyboard. Various types are available from the most basic one to the scientific or BMI calculator. There is also a stopwatch tool available. If you speak a language other than English, simply click to change to the language of your choice - it's that easy.

Be aware: this site does include advertisements.

tag(s): latin (22)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool, beyond the obvious ones for math class. Bookmark this site on your own computer for projection on an interactive whiteboard and make the link available on your class web page for students to access from individual computers. You can shrink the calculator window in the corner of your interactive whiteboard to use as needed. 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. The stopwatch tool can be useful for any in-class, timed assignment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ask Philosophers - Ask Philosophers

Grades
9 to 12
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Sometimes, right in the middle of an ordinary lesson, a student asks a question that is so profound, so abstract, that it brings the entire class to a screeching halt. ...more
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Sometimes, right in the middle of an ordinary lesson, a student asks a question that is so profound, so abstract, that it brings the entire class to a screeching halt. It's so tempting to say to the student, "We don't have time for that right now..." This site is about those big questions, and it's really very simple. Ordinary people send questions to a panel of philosophers, and the philosophers answer the questions. There are over 3000 questions answered on the site, all indexed by topic or keyword, and be aware that one of the topics is "sex." It's not pornographic, but the questions are direct.

In the Classroom

If you're looking for meaty writing prompts, this site is full of interesting and open-ended questions. The questions might also serve as a good data base for a class learning debate. It may also be helpful for students to see that philosophers use formal rules of thinking in answering their questions; they don't just say what they "feel" is right. Understanding that moral and ethical decision making is based on a set of predetermined principles is a concept that many students struggle with. This site would be useful for teaching ethical decision making with students whose thinking has progressed to the point where they are able to think more abstractly and philosophically: a gifted class perhaps? Have a class wiki dedicated to philosophy and profound questions. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Mindcipher

Grades
3 to 12
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Mindcipher provides riddles and mind puzzles in various subject areas including math, logic, physics, computer science, and lateral thinking. Puzzles are categorized based on easy,...more
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Mindcipher provides riddles and mind puzzles in various subject areas including math, logic, physics, computer science, and lateral thinking. Puzzles are categorized based on easy, hard, most liked, and most commented on. Advertisements can be distracting. May work better as a resource for elementary teachers.

tag(s): problem solving (272), puzzles (208), riddles (15)

In the Classroom

Allow older students to sift through puzzles and identify one they want to solve. Have students present their problem solving strategies to the class by creating an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here that showcases their thinking. Identify puzzles that younger students have the knowledge to solve, and then have them solve the puzzles with a partner. They can then showcase strategies in a glog.

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Futurestates - Independent Television Service

Grades
9 to 12
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You need to spend a large proportion of your time teaching concrete skills and concepts. But wrestling with the unknown "what ifs" of the future is also important in preparing ...more
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You need to spend a large proportion of your time teaching concrete skills and concepts. But wrestling with the unknown "what ifs" of the future is also important in preparing students for their lives as adults. This series of short films presents some of the most compelling "what ifs" about the future: What would happen if only the very wealthy could afford housing? What impact will immigration have? Will virtual reality become indistinguishable from true reality? While these short films (and the questions and discussions they might generate) may not fit neatly into any particular curriculum, they offer great value in helping young adults struggle with the possibilities of their future.

tag(s): computers (94), debate (41), environment (317), ethics (16), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

These films would work well for a more unstructured gifted/talented seminar style class, a current issues class, or a Real Life 101-type class. Some may also be appropriate within an economics, biology, or environmental science curriculum. A civics class might debate the proper governmental role in resolving some of the dilemmas presented. Challenge students to create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here), describing other possible future "what ifs."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Puzzle Playground - Smart Kit

Grades
1 to 12
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This site includes many different types of puzzle and brain games that will keep students motivated throughout the school year! There is a TON to offer at this site. ...more
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This site includes many different types of puzzle and brain games that will keep students motivated throughout the school year! There is a TON to offer at this site. Start out easy with a memory match game, move on to strategy activities and work your way toward the Physics Puzzle activity. Interactives are sorted into categories such as word puzzles, logic, spot the difference, and much more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal to use on classroom computers as a center. Students will think they are playing games; however, they are really expanding their logic and problem solving skills through the interactive activities. This is a great site to list on your class webpage, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. For a bonus/extra credit challenge, ask students to FIND connections between a game and topics/concepts they have been studying and to explain the connections while demonstrating the game on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Hint: start with the Physics challenge.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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LEGO Education Activities - LEGO Education

Grades
K to 12
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Lego Education Activities are designed to be rich, fun-filled, creative learning experiences. They offer educators a means to use LEGO sets as essential tools that engage students while...more
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Lego Education Activities are designed to be rich, fun-filled, creative learning experiences. They offer educators a means to use LEGO sets as essential tools that engage students while challenging their creativity and enhancing their knowledge and comprehension. As a thinking teacher, you only need to look on the Teachersfirst Editor's Blog here to realize what a hot topic teaching creativity is and how it fits into the classroom. From role-playing and meeting the needs of early childhood development to theme-based sets for older students, LEGO Activities offer a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching. There are also specific sets designed to cover specific subject areas, including technology curriculum. As you browse the activities, you will find obvious connections to curriculum in simple machines and other science topics, as well. Stay current and find a lot more stimulating ideas by checking out the LEGO Education and LEGO Smart Blogs available from theLego Education Activities page.

tag(s): creativity (109), critical thinking (108), logic (235), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Expose your students to different levels of the learning spiral by challenging them to use problem-solving skills for increasingly difficult obstacles. Students can work in small groups to foster cooperation and teamwork as they sort, graph, follow and give directions, and discuss ideas. Of course you will need some LEGOs, so you might try raiding your own children's toy boxes, include a request in your classroom newsletter for donations, look around for LEGO kits collecting dust on classroom shelves, or put it on your school's PTA wish list. Be sure to have cooperative learning groups video their activities to share with the rest of the class using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twitter - Twitter, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Twitter users enter information to share with their "followers" by creating 140 character "tweets," and "followers" see what they are thinking, favorite links, etc., all from the brief...more
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Twitter users enter information to share with their "followers" by creating 140 character "tweets," and "followers" see what they are thinking, favorite links, etc., all from the brief "tweet." Tweets are much more than messages to share what you are eating for lunch! Use this popular microblogging and social networking tool for a great way to communicate with teaching peers and real world people you may not have a chance to otherwise meet. Reply to others to create conversations for some of the best professional development around. Each "tweet" or message may not seem extraordinary, but using the sum total of tweets from those you "meet" on Twitter can have an amazing impact. Use your profile and settings to add a bio and other information, change your security settings from public to protected, find those who follow you, and more. Post your tweets through the website, mobile devices, or myriad of applications to manage tweets and followers. Keep track of your favorite tweets by starring them. Refer to your favorites list as needed. Wish you could take back a tweet? Click the trash can beside the post to delete (however, others may have already seen and responded.) Find many opinions about Twitter on and off the Internet. Remember you will gain only as much as you put into this service. Build a network of helpful colleagues to become a better learner (and educator). Anyone can learn from Twitter, even a class of elementary students! Still not sure what Twitter is about? Find a great explanation of how it works in this review.

tag(s): microblogging (44), social media (16), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Bring teaching and learning to new heights by using this service as a great form of professional development. At conferences, use Twitter as a backchannel to expand upon thoughts and ideas during presentations and after. Have a question to ask others' opinion about? Throw it out to Twitter to see the great perspectives given by those who follow you. Start out slowly and look at conversations that catch your eye. Follow people with experience in your areas of interest to gain from the conversations. Start off by following @teachersfirst or @cshively (our leader).

Learn about hashtags -- ways to mark, search, and follow conversations on a specific topic. For example, the #ntchat tag is for new and pre-service teachers and the #edchat hashtag is for all teachers. Participate in these chats which are scheduled at certain days and times or search for their tweets anytime. Find archived tweets from these chats to learn from some wonderful and motivated teachers when it is convenient for YOU. Use other Twitter applications to search or collect specific hashtags.

As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account to share what you are doing with parents and especially for your class to follow people in topics you study. Studying space? Follow NASA. Studying politics and government? Follow your congressional rep or the White House. Consider using your teacher or class account to send updates to other teachers across the country or across the globe. You can also teach about responsible digital citizenship by modeling and practicing it as a class. A whole-class, teacher account is the most likely way to gain permission to use Twitter in school, especially if you can demonstrate specific projects. That can be as simple as making sure you and that teacher are FOLLOWING each other, then sending a direct message (start the tweet with D and the other teacher's twitter name) or creating a group with your own hashtag for a project such as daily weather updates. Even if you are not "following" someone, you can send them a tweet using @theirtwittername in the body of the message. This is called a "mention" but can be seen by others, too. Compare what your class is observing in today's weather, which topics you will be discussing today, or ask for another class' opinions on a current events issue. Ask for updates about local concerns, such as talking to California schools about wildfires in their area or a Maine school about a blizzard. Challenge another class to tweet the feelings of a literacy character, such as Hamlet, and respond as Ophelia, all in 140 characters or less. Have gifted students? Connect your classroom with the outside world to find greater challenges and connections beyond your regular curriculum.

Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

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