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Write Like an Egyptian - University of Pennsylvania Museum

Grades
3 to 12
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This is a fun (and easy to use) site to add to an Egyptian unit or any unit based on historical types of writing or communication. By simply typing in ...more
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This is a fun (and easy to use) site to add to an Egyptian unit or any unit based on historical types of writing or communication. By simply typing in their name, students will see how it might have been written in hieroglyphs by an ancient scribe. The maximum number of letters is 16. After you enter your name and click inscribe, you are linked to a page with your name written in hieroglyphics AND a link to the "scribe" for more information about Egypt and hieroglyphs.

tag(s): egypt (70)

In the Classroom

By providing picture clues, have students try to solve names using the Egyptian symbols. If students want to seek the scribe and delve into hieroglyphs a bit further, click on Scribe at the bottom of the page. They will be directed to the University of Pennsylvania Museum website for detailed information regarding the Egyptian culture. Are you looking for a site to use with younger students? Check out Journey to Egypt (reviewed here). Click on the link for Hieroglyphics to learn more.

Use this site as part of a study of different alphabets and coded symbols, even comparing them to mathematical or musical symbols as a means of communicating meaning. Gifted students will enjoy exploring and comparing different symbol systems.

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Fantastic contraption - InXile Entertainment

Grades
3 to 10
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Use this physics mechanism creator to build amazing contraptions. Stretch your brain with the puzzles and contraptions to move the object in to the goal. Use simple URLS to share ...more
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Use this physics mechanism creator to build amazing contraptions. Stretch your brain with the puzzles and contraptions to move the object in to the goal. Use simple URLS to share your fantastic creations with your friends. Follow the simple instructions and tutorial. Visit the forum for challenges and fixes to activities.

tag(s): machines (30), newton (26), simple machines (38)

In the Classroom

Share the tutorial on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students make a contraption and then discuss the simple machines used to create the contraption. Create a contest for the most elaborate contraption or for creativity in reaching the goal. Share the student created contraption (providing the URL) on you class website or blog. Have students write an explanation of their contraption on the blog or wiki, using terms from physics and Newton's laws. More able students can create several alternate machines to accomplish the same task and compare them.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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KENKEN - Nextoy, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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The KENKEN craze is spreading quickly across the world! Created in 2004 by Japanese Math Teacher, Tetsuya Miyamoto, these puzzles are fun, educational, and addictive. At first, these...more
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The KENKEN craze is spreading quickly across the world! Created in 2004 by Japanese Math Teacher, Tetsuya Miyamoto, these puzzles are fun, educational, and addictive. At first, these puzzles appear very similar to Sudoku puzzles. They have a few added components (more math and logic required). There are various levels of difficulties (3x3 puzzles through 9x9 puzzles). For 3x3 puzzles, you use only numbers 1-3, for 4x4 puzzles you use only numbers 1-4, and so on. At the time of our review of this brand-new puzzle, the 3x3 puzzles had not been created. But they add new puzzles daily, so check back! The rules are simple: each number can only be used once in any row or column. There are also "cages" which are represented by heavily outlined sets of squares. The goal is to produce the target number (in the corner of the cage). Numbers can be repeated within one cage, just so the number is not already in the row or column. Want to learn more? View the How to Play link that includes written instructions and a tutorial video. Puzzles are also PRINTABLE. Don't miss the link for teachers. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): addition (239), division (168), logic (239), multiplication (220), puzzles (207), subtraction (198), sudoku (18), vision (85)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore the puzzles on their own. Use this site to differentiate for various students. Be certain to save this site in your favorites and check back often. List this link on your class website so students can "play" both in and out of the classroom. Have older students attempt to create their own KENKEN puzzles. It's not as easy as you think.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Language is a Virus - Unknown

Grades
6 to 12
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In spite of the annoying ads, the rich choices of writing ideas, prompts, exercises, and "widgets" on this site are well worth the time to digest and wade through. There's ...more
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In spite of the annoying ads, the rich choices of writing ideas, prompts, exercises, and "widgets" on this site are well worth the time to digest and wade through. There's so much! There are 17 "widgets" for curing writer's block: Electronic Poetry, Haiku-a-Tron, Character Name, Text Collage, Creative Writing Prompts, Random Line Generator, and MANY others. There are also 7 links to post your fiction and poetry, 2 sections on creative writing and prompts (including 60+ writing experiments by Charles Bernstein), poetry links, visual inspiration, and a long list of authors you can click on to read articles or see questions answered, plus more articles and extras.

To post any stories or poems at Language is a Virus you must be registered. The log-in process does require an email address. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Before having students post anything on this site, check your school's Acceptable Use Policy and BE CERTAIN to obtain parental permission. Be aware this site has several advertisements and includes Twitter Buttons, Badges, Backgrounds, and Images. Be sure to provide students with specific instructions of where they MAY and may NOT go. Or make this site a whole-class activity (too bad, though, since writing is so individual).

tag(s): poetry (224)

In the Classroom

Just using the "Widgets to Cure Writer's Block" section makes writing fun. From Mad-lib poems to a random line generator this offers lots of laughs as well as creativity nudging for students. The "66 Writing Experiments of Charles Bernstein" offers a variety of activities for students from sentence combining to poetry to transcription to chronology.

Share the prompts and activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work on individual computers to use these activities to cure their writer's block. Just be sure to give instructions of where they can and can't visit! Keep your pop-up blocker turned ON to avoid at least some of the annoying advertising.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Written in Bone: The Secret in the Cellar - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Grades
5 to 12
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This site, The Secret in the Cellar, offers a "webcomic" based on a TRUE story. This story mixes some history, science, forensics, and more to create an authentic mystery for...more
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This site, The Secret in the Cellar, offers a "webcomic" based on a TRUE story. This story mixes some history, science, forensics, and more to create an authentic mystery for students to read and solve. The mystery involves the discovery of a 17th Century body. Who is he or she? How did he or she die? Use photos, graphics, and online activities to unravel this history mystery! Analyze artifacts, examine the skeleton, and determine the cause of death.

Be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker to experience all the features. There is a link to Print & Help, there you can download the entire webcomic and all supporting documents. There is also an optional feedback survey at the end of the webcomic. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): anthropology (11), forensics (27), fossils (44)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for entire class viewing, small group exploration, or even as an individual project for students. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your students keep a journal while they view the webcomic, keeping track of the clues and details as they are found. What a great way to teach scientific method, including forming a hypothesis and collecting data before analyzing whether your hypothesis proves correct! Use this site with younger gifted students during a "mystery" unit. Share the site during your lessons on the 17th century, as well.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mathematics in Movies - Oliver Knill

Grades
6 to 12
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This site features engaging movie scenes (in Quicktime and Flash formats) that involve Math problems. Beside each clip and title is an explanation of the Math concept in the clip. ...more
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This site features engaging movie scenes (in Quicktime and Flash formats) that involve Math problems. Beside each clip and title is an explanation of the Math concept in the clip. Most are secondary level, but a few are for lower grades. If you click on the TITLE of the movie, you will be lead to a site to purchase, rate, and/or view the movie in its entirety. To avoid this confusion, be sure to click on the "Play the Flash Version or QuickTime" links. These links lead directly to the "math clip." Links at the bottom lead to other movie collections websites.

tag(s): logic (239), movies (72), patterns (85)

In the Classroom

Use the links "Begin of Lectures in College teaching" and "The end of lectures in college teaching" to identify effective and ineffective teaching elements at all levels. Use these clips for anticipatory set or activators at the start of a lesson or introduction of a concept. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss the concepts as a class or have students work in cooperative learning groups. See if students can identify any other movie or television show that has used math concepts. If time permits, have students create their own mini-dramas that include discussion of math concepts within the story.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dinosaur Dig - National Museum of Natural History

Grades
4 to 12
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Your students can dig dinosaur bones right from their computers. This site has two interactive three-dimensional tours: 1) a tour of a museum room featuring dinosaur artifacts where...more
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Your students can dig dinosaur bones right from their computers. This site has two interactive three-dimensional tours: 1) a tour of a museum room featuring dinosaur artifacts where you can scroll your mouse over the contents to learn more; and 2) from the ground to the museum, you can dig bones out west and then unwrap them for display at the Smithsonian. Of course, with a click of the mouse, your students have a vast amount of information for research or fun, including an interactive dinosaur tree of life. Audio and Flash are necessary. They can be obtained from here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dinosaurs (55)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to effectively show and discuss the dinosaur dig and museum to your class. This Smithsonian website also features a fossil lab slide show if your students crave to learn about this branch of science. Have your students research different types of lesser known dinosaurs and create interactive presentations to share with the class. Rather than a presentation about the research, have students write a fictitious blog post from their researched dinosaur to a large animal of today (such as the elephant). What characteristics do they share? What makes them different?

Teachers of gifted students-- even younger ones-- will want to steer their dinosaur-obsessed students to this site for independent projects.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Meet Amazing Americans - The Library of Congress

Grades
1 to 8
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers,...more
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers, Musicians & Composers, Writers & Artists, Industrialists & Entrepreneurs, Scientist & Inventors, or Athletes and Entertainers. Be prepared: when you click on one of the topics you may have a few people pop up OR more names than you can count! This is an excellent site for research, teaching students about American heroes, or using to enhance your social studies, science, or music curriculum. There are pictures, information, and even some interactives. There are also links to a Presidential Scavenger Hunt, a "Dynamite Presidents" interactive, and other "extras." Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): composers (21), explorers (65), inventors and inventions (95), presidents (132), scientists (70)

In the Classroom

This site could be used throughout the entire year. Why not highlight a "hero of the week." Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write diary entries (or blogs) from the perspective of the "hero of the week." Use this site for individual research projects and have students create multimedia presentations about their hero: a Powerpoint, website, blog, wiki, or video. This site can be used in more than just social studies topics. Music classes, science classes, and gifted classes can also benefit from the many research areas.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wonder How To - Wonder How To, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to ...more
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to comment on the videos, grade the videos, or submit your own "how to" video. Topics vary; some are appropriate for the classroom - others are definitely NOT appropriate. Some of the general topics that may be useful in the middle school or high school classroom include: alcohol, autos, motorcycles, and planes, business and money, computers and programming, diet and health, education (which features a variety of science experiments and more), film and theater, language (English, Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, Finnish, sign language, Polish, and countless others), music and instruments, travel, and several other topics. Within each of these general topics, there are thousands of specific "how to" videos.

Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aircraft (24), business (57), money (185), russian (28), sign language (8)

In the Classroom

Use these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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Sharp Brains - Sharpbrains

Grades
6 to 12
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Do you see the gorilla? Use the basketball mind stretcher to find out! This site offers some traditional and not so traditional mind stretchers. The general topic areas include How...more
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Do you see the gorilla? Use the basketball mind stretcher to find out! This site offers some traditional and not so traditional mind stretchers. The general topic areas include How Your Brain Works, Attention, Memory, Pattern Recognition and Planning, Visual Workouts, Visual Illusions, Language and Logic, and others. Some of the activities are quick (less than a minute) while others require more time. The activities could be used in many subject areas; there are language activities, math, general logic, and even some for physical education.

Be aware: each mind stretcher activity includes a blog. Some of the blog comments may not be appropriate, so be sure to READ any blogs that you plan to share. You may want to make these activities a group challenge, rather than individual exploration. Many are interactive and require Flash or Java. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): brain (72), logic (239), puzzles (207), stress (15)

In the Classroom

Start your class (any subject area) with a mind stretcher or include this as part of a psychology or biology lesson on how the brain works. Share the puzzle or challenge on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your students to create their own logic activities and create a class "Logic" wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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AAA Math

Grades
K to 8
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Students can practice math skills independently (and in both English and Spanish) with this collection of challenging, interactive practice activities, organized by grade level and...more
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Students can practice math skills independently (and in both English and Spanish) with this collection of challenging, interactive practice activities, organized by grade level and topic. Click Spanish version at the top for your ESL/ELL students to have access to the same valuable resources! The website says the activities are designed for students in grades K through eight. Topics vary greatly and include algebra, statistics, counting, comparing, decimals, basic operations, exponents, fractions, and many others. Nearly every math topic taught in elementary or middle school, will be found at this site. Once you click on the general topic area, be prepared for a HUGE list of specific choices to explore. Each math concept is explained in a simple paragraph and then students are presented with practice activities about the specific concept. The practice activities are timed.

Be aware there are several advertisements at this website (all appropriate). But considering this site is free (and full of ready to go math activities), the advertisements are worth the minor annoyance.

tag(s): estimation (46), exponents (42), measurement (158), mental math (29), money (185), patterns (85), place value (55), statistics (124)

In the Classroom

This site has countless possibilities in the classroom. Use the descriptions and activities as an anticipatory set for a new topic in math class. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Set up a learning station for students and differentiate the activities for your lower and higher level math students. Provide this link on your class website for students to use to review at home.

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Puzzlers Paradise - Shelly Hazard

Grades
2 to 10
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This site offers some fabulous (and addicting) mind stretchers. There are both visual and verbal puzzles. There is also a puzzle archive featuring a variety of puzzles for various grade...more
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This site offers some fabulous (and addicting) mind stretchers. There are both visual and verbal puzzles. There is also a puzzle archive featuring a variety of puzzles for various grade levels. Some of the puzzles are interactive and you complete them online, while others are printable. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): logic (239), puzzles (207)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites. Use a logic puzzle as a class opener to "warm up" brains. Display the puzzle on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Print out the logic puzzles for students to complete for additional enrichment. Use this site with your gifted students. Provide a link to this site on your class website for students to use at home. Challenge your students to create some puzzlers of their own and share them on a class wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Remember The Milk - Remember the Milk.com

Grades
K to 12
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Your busy life needs a manager. Now you have one: RememberTheMilk.com (also known as RTM). Don't worry about missing a date; any or all of these applications or programs will ...more
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Your busy life needs a manager. Now you have one: RememberTheMilk.com (also known as RTM). Don't worry about missing a date; any or all of these applications or programs will remind you: email, SMS, and instant messenger (AIM, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Skype and Yahoo) are all supported. Set up a free account in minutes. Secondary students will embrace this tool to remind them of tests or assignments or sporting events. List making has made it to a whole new level.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), organizational skills (128), time (139)

In the Classroom

Read the Blog at this site to learn many cool ways to interact with your personal computer an devices using RTM. Learning support teachers and teachers of disorganized gifted students may want to "model" using such an online tool to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Make a demo account for a "mythical" student and organize him/her together so students can see how it works. You will have to check school policies and access to some of the messaging tools, however, since some may be prohibited in your school. Learning support and gifted teachers will welcome this online tool as an engaging way for students to become better-organized. Give students a tech tool, and they just might try it!

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WayBack: Plast-O-Matic - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
3 to 8
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Come to this site to learn more about the fantastic invention: Plastic! Click on M.F.P.P.L. to visit an interactive that challenges students to manufacture pieces of missing...more
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Come to this site to learn more about the fantastic invention: Plastic! Click on M.F.P.P.L. to visit an interactive that challenges students to manufacture pieces of missing plastic. The challenge is to create all eighteen items. The

tag(s): 1950s (12), inventors and inventions (95), plastics (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site to teach your students about the importance of plastics in medicine, cooking, and everyday life. Have students try the interactive challenge with a partner. Use this site for research projects on inventions. Have students brainstorm a list of things that they use that are made from plastics. Try some of the science experience (Slime, Anyone) -- sure to excite your students, and possibly get them a bit messy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TeachersFirst Resources for the Olympics - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame...more
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame in your classroom.

tag(s): china (68), olympics (49)

In the Classroom

Use these Olympics resources to plan an entire unit during the Olympics or make them available as links from your teacher web page for enrichment if the Olympics fall during school breaks. Not enough time for an Olympics unit? Perhaps students can use these links to generate ideas and projects to share on an Olympics extra credit wiki. Teachers of gifted will find many ways to spark new projects usig these links.

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Math Moves U - Raytheon Company

Grades
4 to 12
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Let math move YOU through different areas of math practice! Choose an animal character and customize the color of the collar, fur, and tail. Choose your grade range prior to ...more
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Let math move YOU through different areas of math practice! Choose an animal character and customize the color of the collar, fur, and tail. Choose your grade range prior to play. Other options include saving your character to begin or registering to create a locker for extra benefits, including access to new characters and monitoring of your progress. . Use the arrows on the keyboard to move along to different math problems. Areas vary by age level, but examples include Music (Pythagorean Pavilion), Sports, Fashion and feature facts, quizzes, polls, flashcards, or a game that can be accessed for learning opportunities. Facts have links that allow students to connect to more knowledge. Tutorial help is available with the quizzes. Background music which is lively can also be turned off for better concentration. Enter Math Moves University for worksheet practice on many math topics downloaded as a pdf document. A math dictionary is also available. Clicking on the navigation along the top can also take you to various areas.

Opportunities to register pop up during play but are not required at this site.
If you choose to have your students register, please be aware of your district's requirements and acceptable use policy for using student user names, passwords, and emails.
This site requires Flash and adobe acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (152), decimals (131), fractions (234), negative numbers (21), numbers (199), percent (83)

In the Classroom

Differentiate your math instruction easily! Use as assigned, independent study for students as needed. Use as a class resource on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work collaboratively in groups to achieve the answers. Assign areas as homework practice; if computers aren't available at home, print off the worksheets for homework practice.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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If You Were President - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Do you think you have what it takes to be the President? Students choose their advisors from profiles offered, balance a budget, propose the budget, and are interviewed by the ...more
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Do you think you have what it takes to be the President? Students choose their advisors from profiles offered, balance a budget, propose the budget, and are interviewed by the press. The final, printable page presents a newspaper highlighting the student's presidency and choices.

tag(s): elections (78), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

If possible, have your students work on individual computers to complete this presidential assignment. Have students print off their newspaper page and share them with the class. Extend the assignment by having them create a newspaper with similar articles about a real presidential candidate and what he/she might do if elected. Use a tool like Printing Press, reviewed here, to create the newspaper.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Open Book Scenarios - Teaching Australia

Grades
K to 12
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This professional resource offers a possible look (scenarios) into the future of education. This site is a good illustration of the fact that teachers all around the world are aware...more
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This professional resource offers a possible look (scenarios) into the future of education. This site is a good illustration of the fact that teachers all around the world are aware of the changes that are necessary in education to respond to new technologies and globalization. The goal of the scenarios is to look at the possible education system in Australia in 2030. The creators narrowed down the futuristic world into four categories/scenarios. The first scenario offers a tolerant and harmonious society. The second scenario depicts a highly competitive world. Scenario three represents the society as polarized. The final scenario shows a world violent and fractured. The seeds of each of the possible societies are visible today. The scenarios demonstrate the importance of engaging with change and how THAT creates your ability to anticipate issues in the future, raise awareness, and create change! Click on Teaching for Uncertain Futures to view the book in its entirety. The links require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): australia (36)

In the Classroom

Teacher ed institutions and graduate classes you are taking on contemporary issues in education may want to explore these scenarios for discussion. Even high school classes exploring careers or trends in current events may discuss the reshaping of education over the next 20+ years as today's high schoolers become tomorrow's teachers. Teachers of Gifted working with forecasting and futures will find this an interesting model.

Any teacher planing to remain in the profession will want to think about how these scenarios might affect YOUR classroom in some way in the near future.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kids Memory - kidsknowitnetwork

Grades
1 to 8
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers,...more
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers, one in which you click on bulbs that light up after the lights turn off, and one that has you click on parts of faces to improve sequential memory. Most of the games have several levels so these activities can easily be differentiated for your students. The site provides specific ideas for ways teachers can use the activities.

There are some minor advertisements included at this website. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or computer station for higher scores or better times than another team. Learning support teachers may want to try it as a memory improvement tool. Our editors really do not know if it works or not. Leave a comment on this review if you try it(TF members can do this)!

Save this site in your favorites. Use the site for enrichment, or test it out as a memory tool as you try out different study skills. You may want to list this site in your class newsletter and on your class website for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Digital Vaults - National Archives

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers digitized National Archives of the U.S. organized according to general category. You can finally explore and share primary source documents interactively through this...more
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This site offers digitized National Archives of the U.S. organized according to general category. You can finally explore and share primary source documents interactively through this Flash site. Start from eight featured topics. For a more in depth look at each subject and its associated categories, click on What's Interesting. A search feature is also available. An added feature at the bottom of the opening page is the "Pathways" tab. Students can participate in a "challenge" (in different levels) to find links between certain historical items. Students can also create their own pathways, writing about connections they find between certain archived items. In another section, students can create their own historical posters and movies from the archives. You can create a collection of items from the archives to retrieve or look at later, as well. This feature requires a free membership created by email address. There are also extensive lesson ideas and information for teachers at the small link, "Educators and Students," at the bottom of the page. Roll your mouse down to find it against the dark background. Note: the entire site is done in Flash (an HTML version is available from a small link at the bottom of the page). Get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (95), primary sources (93)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set for a unit in history or on inventions. Share a collection of images or invention drawings on a projector or whiteboard and ask what the invention will do. Or use the site as the starting point for individual or group projects. After demonstrating on an interactive whiteboard or projector, have students use laptops or lab computers to "collect" resources related to their assigned inventor, decade, or era in American history. Check your school policy regarding accessing student email. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.Students can use their log-ins to collect resources.

Since the documents are in the public domain (are not copyrighted), students may also download and use the files as part of other projects, such as video compilations, Powerpoint presentations, or multimedia of any sort. To access the resources in non-Flash format, click the small link to "research this record in ARC" in the detailed view of the item. You can then view and Save As for use elsewhere. Be sure you teach students about copying the URL and relevant information from this ARC page to cite the source and give credit in any presentation they make. This site is excellent for enrichment or projects for the gifted, as well. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class for students who are working in History Day projects or other assignments for your class.

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