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Brainbox Challenge - BBC

Grades
1 to 10
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This mind-boggling website offers a treat for your brain. The website features interactive visual, spatial, coding, memory, dual task (multi-task), and language "mind games." There...more
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This mind-boggling website offers a treat for your brain. The website features interactive visual, spatial, coding, memory, dual task (multi-task), and language "mind games." There is also a link to learn about the science behind your brain and what is happening when you solve these challenges. The activities offer several difficulty levels, which enables the website to be used by a wide range of grade levels. Try the easy level of the "Vowel of Silence" game with your early readers. There is also a link to view the show (on BBC) BrainBox Challenge . All activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): brain (72), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce this website. Read the "science" section together and demonstrate some of the activities. Then allow your students to try their hand (and brain) at the activities on individual laptops or in the computer lab. These activities offer excellent enrichment for your gifted students. Provide this link in your class newsletter (if applicable) and on your class website for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Seeing Reason: Mindful Mapping of Cause and Effect - Intel Education

Grades
2 to 12
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Develop your students' thinking skills with Intel's free "Seeing Reason" tool to analyze cause-and-effect relationships in complex systems. Students can use the Seeing Reason Tool to...more
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Develop your students' thinking skills with Intel's free "Seeing Reason" tool to analyze cause-and-effect relationships in complex systems. Students can use the Seeing Reason Tool to develop visual maps of the factors and relationships in cause-and-effect investigations. Student-created causal maps make thinking visible and promote collaboration as they work together to refine their understanding. Teachers can use Seeing Reason as a monitoring and observation tool, since the maps are visual representations of student understanding.

This web-based tool is accompanied by detailed lesson plans for different grade levels and subject areas. It provides a complete project, ready to adapt for the classroom or implement as-is. Explore the project ideas, instructional strategies, assessment tips, and research to help you plan a project of your own. Registration is free and creates a teacher workspace in which to build the class project. The password-protected workspace is accessed through the internet where students log on with the teacher-created ID, team ID, and password.

Be sure to disable your popup blocker, as the site needs to show popup windows during the project. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get these tools from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

Help students analyze why a science experiment failed, why an animal became extinct, why a literary character acts as he does, or the factors leading to an economic or historical event. Teachers can use the comprehensive tutorial to learn the features of the tool and use the workspace to practice with the tool. Take advantage of the experiences of other teachers in eight detailed unit plans that provide usable handouts and student work samples. Or just browse through several shorter project descriptions for project ideas that suit your classroom.

Make a shortcut to this site on your desktop and student computer desktops for easy access or simply add it to the Favorites on your teacher web page for access from there.

Use the Seeing Reason tool to explore themes such as habitat conflict, neighborhood diversity, and decision-making with your students. Have student teams show and explain their maps to the whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can access the project workspace from home or through other Internet access points such as the public library.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Scratch - Lifelong Kindergarten Group, MIT Media Lab

Grades
1 to 12
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Want to get in touch with your inner child? Get Scratch! Warning: The use of this application is quite fun and engaging! Scratch is a downloaded program that creates interactive ...more
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Want to get in touch with your inner child? Get Scratch! Warning: The use of this application is quite fun and engaging! Scratch is a downloaded program that creates interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. This application can be used for bringing simple ideas and projects to life. It has great use as a paint program without using the animations. Downloads/install files are available for Mac or PC. Other links include a Getting Started pdf, Help screens to show what each block controls and how to use, and a Reference Guide which provides an overview of the interface. A support page is also available for help in using the application.

Material created can only be viewed within the program. Drawings are not saved as a jpg or pic file. However, a "snapshot" of the screen can be created by using these keys in Mac: apple, shift, and 4 and click/drag to surround the portion to save. In PC use: control/print screen. These snapshots can be uploaded or used as a picture in other applications.

tag(s): animation (63), drawing (78)

In the Classroom

Quick start: Click stage and in the center pane, click on backgrounds. Click on paint to make a new background. Different colors, pens, and materials can be used to create the background or an image can be brought in from your computer. Objects in Scratch are called a Sprite and can be added in by choosing the folders below the screen. By clicking the script tab, blocks can be moved in to create motion, add sounds (even record your own message), and change the look of the Sprite. Blocks are linked on to each other to create a series of events. A control block dragged to the top of the blocks control which key starts the event. Advanced options include adding variables and other controls.

Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Projects can be shared online; however an account is required.

Work is saved to the computer itself and only shared online via an account. To avoid problems concerning content made by outsiders or issues with sharing, save the work locally and either create your own gallery on a supervised class website/wiki or set up a single account where you share the "best" projects online via your own log-in. Remind students of the school's Acceptable Use Policy and consequences of violations, if you do allow them to join/share. Images used should adhere to all copyright rules. Use pictures taken in class or those with Creative Commons licensing (and provide attribution!).

Practical tips: Students quickly catch on to this program when allowed to play and easily see what they can make from it. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they will do/draw/say in their creation in order to keep tabs on what students and their creations.

Possible uses: For the lower grades, Scratch provides unlimited possibilities. Use as a new way to show vocabulary usage. Use the paint program to add information to a picture from your class field trip or science experiment. Use Scratch to help in storytelling a concept in a new and unique way, such as how rocks are formed. In the upper grades, use Scratch to show complex material in a new way. For example, students can draw DNA and show replication, etc. through their drawings and storytelling. Draw the different movements of landforms in plate tectonics. Draw or illustrate solutions to Math problems.

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Sheppard Software - Brain Games - Sheppard Software

Grades
2 to 8
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Brain Games offers a collection of over thirty interactive logic games, puzzles, music games, and more. Some specific topics include code breaking, coins, arithmetic, music notes, word...more
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Brain Games offers a collection of over thirty interactive logic games, puzzles, music games, and more. Some specific topics include code breaking, coins, arithmetic, music notes, word scramble, and many others. There is even a card game version similar to "24." All of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

Introduce the website (or a specific activity) on an interactive whiteboard and then have students work in pairs to "try their hands" at the many activities. This website is perfect for gifted students looking for an extra challenge. This is a great link to provide to parents in a class newsletter or on your class website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Art of Ancient Egypt - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
4 to 7
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Lead your students on an exploration of the art of Ancient Egypt! The Metropolitan Museum of Art has created a treasure trove of lesson plans and activities built around their ...more
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Lead your students on an exploration of the art of Ancient Egypt! The Metropolitan Museum of Art has created a treasure trove of lesson plans and activities built around their stellar Egyptian collection. The educational resources integrate Egyptian art into language arts, social studies, math, science, and visual and performing arts. This would be a terrific launch point for a gifted enrichment unit. Dig into the Resources area to get an overview of the printable worksheets, bibliographies, maps, and online features. Be sure to click on the Curriculum Connection area for specific lesson plans and activities for your students.

tag(s): egypt (67)

In the Classroom

After exploring the various activities, students can create their own Egyptian-inspired artifacts for a classroom museum. Invite other classes for a student-docent tour of the museum. Discuss the stylized Egyptian figures that communicate ideas and stories and ask students to strike poses which others try to decipher. Students can add contemporary items to a time capsule and bury it somewhere on the school grounds to be discovered by future archeologists. Discuss why items in the time capsule might mystify people in the future.

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Geometry - 3D Shapes - Annenberg Media

Grades
5 to 9
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This website offers motivational and interactive class activities to learn more about 3D shapes. It also shows how to calculate surface area and volume, as well as other mathematical...more
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This website offers motivational and interactive class activities to learn more about 3D shapes. It also shows how to calculate surface area and volume, as well as other mathematical properties about the 3D shapes. Specific topics include surface area and volume, platonic solids, Euler's Theorem, and several others. The Test Your Skills link provides an interactive quiz complete with photos, illustrations, and animations. The About This Interactive link provides standards, goals, lesson ideas, and more. Some of the activities require FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): area (66), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Get your interactive whiteboards (or projectors) ready for this intriguing website. The website introduction page activates students' schema by explaining how we live in a three-dimensional world. Have your students add to the website's list of 3D shapes in their classroom. Complete the web activities as a class (on a projection screen), or have your students team up and research the website in pairs. At the conclusion of the activity, have your students divide into two teams to complete the interactive quiz. Project the questions on the screen, and have the teams discuss the math problem and determine the best answers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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National Library of Virtual Manipulatives - Utah State University

Grades
K to 12
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This celebrated collection of countless interactive math activities was created by Utah State University. Use the simple grid to find activities by grade level (pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and...more
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This celebrated collection of countless interactive math activities was created by Utah State University. Use the simple grid to find activities by grade level (pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12)and topic: numbers & operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis & probability. Specific virtual manipulatives include attribute blocks, geoboards, pattern blocks, algebra tiles, and numerous others. Nearly all of the activities require JAVA. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), probability (130), tangrams (14)

In the Classroom

What a perfect tool to help your visual learners connect the dots in math class. All activities are perfect for an interactive whiteboard or projector. This is also an excellent resource to use for re-teaching skills, additional practice, enrichment activities, or even advanced activities for your gifted students. Learning support teachers will appreciate the alternative way to present math topics in a "hands-on" format. Be sure to include this website as a link on your classroom web page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Count On! - Tribal Group

Grades
3 to 9
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What a fabulous math website! The homepage features numerous interactive math activities (updated frequently). There are also links to countless math activities (mostly interactive),...more
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What a fabulous math website! The homepage features numerous interactive math activities (updated frequently). There are also links to countless math activities (mostly interactive), professional information about the teaching of math, and much more. Some examples of the topics include 3D geometry, time, money, Sudoku, weight and measurement, numbers, probability, Tangrams, and numerous others. This British site provides benchmarks and standards. Some of the activities require FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. NOTE: the site is slow to open during heavy-traffic times. Please be patient.

tag(s): factors (42), money (193), numbers (204), probability (130), sudoku (18), time (144)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent resource for educational activities both in and out of the classroom. Be sure to visit the "Games" link. There you will find numerous educational math activities that are ready for your interactive whiteboards or projection screens. Share the link on your teacher web page for parents and students to access from home, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Johnnie's Math Page Fun

Grades
K to 8
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This collection of over fifty interactive math activities was organized by a math specialist (former 5th grade teacher). Difficulty levels are color-coded for "Primary Math," "Best...more
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This collection of over fifty interactive math activities was organized by a math specialist (former 5th grade teacher). Difficulty levels are color-coded for "Primary Math," "Best Primary Math," "Intermediate Math," and "Best Intermediate Math." The activities include basic math and logic activities. Some of the topics include Hanoi towers, weights, Tetris, algebra, abacus, point of view, and countless others. What a fabulous resource for any elementary or middle school math class. All of the activities are interactive and require FLASH or JAVA. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): counting (120), patterns (85), symmetry (55), tangrams (14)

In the Classroom

What a fantastic website to include in your classroom web page and newsletter. All of these activities are perfect for an interactive whiteboard or projector. This is an excellent resource for gifted students. The activities could also be used for enrichment, additional practice, and re-teaching skills. So turn up the volume and treat your class to a mind-bending challenge.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Probability - Johnnie's Math Page

Grades
4 to 8
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This website includes four interactive web activities that were organized by a math specialist (and former 5th grade teacher). The specific topics include spinners, dice, and dice tallying....more
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This website includes four interactive web activities that were organized by a math specialist (and former 5th grade teacher). The specific topics include spinners, dice, and dice tallying. All of the activities are interactive and require FLASH or JAVA. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): probability (130)

In the Classroom

This is a "ready to go" learning center. Use the interactive spinners and dice for student-created games or teacher-created review games in any subject. Or better yet, have students work independently on laptops or in the computer lab.

Be sure to include this website in your next class newsletter, your class website, and blog.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Statistics - Johnnie's Math Page

Grades
2 to 8
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This phenomenal collection of interactive statistics activities was organized by a math specialist (a former 5th grade teacher). There are about seven activities provided. Specific...more
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This phenomenal collection of interactive statistics activities was organized by a math specialist (a former 5th grade teacher). There are about seven activities provided. Specific topics of interest include a few graph maker activities, pie charts, mean and median, and spinners. All of the activities are interactive and require FLASH or JAVA. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), mean (25), median (22), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard and make the activities a class challenge. The activities at this website offer a "ready to go" learning center. Or these web activities would be perfect for individual practice on laptops or in the computer lab.

Be sure to provide a link to this website in your class newsletter and on your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Geometry - Johnnie's Math Page

Grades
2 to 8
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This fantastic collection of links was organized by a math specialist (a former 5th grade teacher). The site provides over forty interactive math activities that all relate to geometry....more
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This fantastic collection of links was organized by a math specialist (a former 5th grade teacher). The site provides over forty interactive math activities that all relate to geometry. Some of the specific topics include pattern blocks, square tiles, pentominoes, geoboards, symmetry, tangrams, triangles, angle measures, polyhedra, cartesian grids, tessellations, point of view, and numerous other topics. What a wonderful resource to use with elementary or middle school math students. All of the activities require FLASH or JAVA. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): angles (88), symmetry (55), tangrams (14)

In the Classroom

This website provides excellent resources to use for additional practice, re-teaching skills, enrichment activities, or even advanced activities for your gifted students. All of the math activities are perfect for an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Treat your class to these fabulous resources.

Be sure to include this link on your classroom web page, blog and/or newsletter.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The x plus y files - Issue 11 - Symmetry +

Grades
3 to 12
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This issue of "x plus y" offers math teachers some intriguing ideas and activities to incorporate into class lessons at all levels. There are challenging logic puzzles, but also some...more
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This issue of "x plus y" offers math teachers some intriguing ideas and activities to incorporate into class lessons at all levels. There are challenging logic puzzles, but also some basic math activities and information. For example, the site offers "multiple tricks" that provide easy methods for students to figure out the multiples of 7, 9, etc. There are eight specific activities provided including: Mathletics, An Open and Shut Case Concluded, Puzzling Scales, Guard Duty, Multiple Tricks, Alphanumeric, Squares and Quadrilaterals, and Shepherd's Problem.

tag(s): logic (235), mental math (27), multiples (35), number sense (97)

In the Classroom

These activities are all ideal for a projection screen. Why not display one of the activities on a large screen as a brain stretcher activity at the beginning of class. If you are working on building mental math skills, some of the tips for teaching multiples will be handy. Why not ask the students to make posters with the tricks.

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Fill-It-In Outline Mathematics - Alexander Bogomolny

Grades
1 to 10
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This website is truly a rare find - combining math and reading skills. Although the main page is aesthetically plain, the activities are very challenging. Most are set-up as word ...more
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This website is truly a rare find - combining math and reading skills. Although the main page is aesthetically plain, the activities are very challenging. Most are set-up as word problems that require reading, comprehension, math skills, and more. The "outline math problems" provide students with 3-5 choices. You simply click on the blank and the choices for the answers are provided. There are activities for primary grades (such as basic addition practice) as well as advanced activities for secondary grades (such as geometry concepts). Many of the activities require JAVA. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): angles (88), logic (235), multiples (35)

In the Classroom

These activities are perfect for an interactive whiteboard (or projector). You could also provide a link to this website in your class newsletter or on your class web page. Many of the activities would provide excellent at-home practice and/or enrichment. Challenge your students to answer a question of the week for extra credit.

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Universal Leonardo - University of the Arts, London

Grades
6 to 12
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Leonardo da Vinci is one of history's greatest geniuses. This site looks at Leonardo's work in ways that highlight how comprehensive and interdisciplinary his impact has been. Of...more
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Leonardo da Vinci is one of history's greatest geniuses. This site looks at Leonardo's work in ways that highlight how comprehensive and interdisciplinary his impact has been. Of course, you can examine his individual works of art, but this site is organized along threads, which you can access through a traditional menu or through an interactive web. Follow Leonardo's influence in math, through his inventions, in his understanding of the human body or his examination of the natural world. There are also some just-plain-fun flash-enabled games to play: make the Mona Lisa smile broadly by correctly answering questions about her, practice mirror writing, or see if you can power his glider across a ravine.

tag(s): renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

Because Leonardo's work crosses so many curricular boundaries, teachers from many different disciplines might find this site useful as part of a lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard, particularly when painting "the big picture" for students (no pun intended!). Art teachers, of course, can access Leonardo's work, but science teachers can use the interactive games to illustrate principles of physics or early understanding of the human body. History or literature teachers might use the site to personify the term "Renaissance Man" for students studying the time period. Whatever your discipline, be sure to make the link available from your teacher web page for curious students to explore outside of class.
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Cracker - sciencemuseum

Grades
3 to 8
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An addictive logic challenge, this site asks student to "crack the code" to break into a security system at the Science Museum. Students use a telephone keypad to enter possible ...more
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An addictive logic challenge, this site asks student to "crack the code" to break into a security system at the Science Museum. Students use a telephone keypad to enter possible codes (4-digits). The challenge is somewhat similar with the board game Mastermind. Students are given six attempts to try to "crack the code" before an alarm goes off. After each attempt, students are provided with feedback about which numbers were correct. Dark green numbers represent numbers that are in the code, but in the wrong position. Light green numbers represent numbers that are in the code, and in the correct position. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): logic (235)

In the Classroom

What an excellent activity to practice logic and deduction skills! Students will love the challenge of trying to "crack the code". Science teachers trying to introduce hypothesis testing can use model this activity on an interactive whiteboard to demonstrate the process. This would then make an ideal cooperative learning activity for students to try in small groups. Elementary gifted students would also enjoy the challenges that this website provides.
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Exploratorium Magazine Online: The Evolution of Languages - Exploratorium Magazine

Grades
5 to 12
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This fascinating website investigates the origin and evolution of languages. Topics include "Where do Languages Come From?", "Table: An Example of Language Similarities", "Table: Global...more
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This fascinating website investigates the origin and evolution of languages. Topics include "Where do Languages Come From?", "Table: An Example of Language Similarities", "Table: Global Roots of the Words One and Two", "Examine Words", and "Learn How to Find the Histories and Origins of Words". Some of the audio features require FLASH or Real Player. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): greek (41), japan (61), japanese (42), latin (22), portuguese (18)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous tool to study the origins of language. Explore comparisons are made between English, Latin, Japanese, Classical Greek, Portuguese, and Sanskrit. This would be a great site to use during world languages week or as an introduction to a world cultures class. Gifted students would find it fascinating. Have students create a digital "dictionary" of particularly interesting words that have evolved in unusual ways, perhaps computer terms. They can make it in the form of anything from a word document to a wiki!
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The Search for Monsters of Mystery - National Geographic Kids

Grades
3 to 8
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Terrifically "scary," this website thrills students with information about various monsters. Students learn the geographic location and numerous facts about several famous "monsters"....more
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Terrifically "scary," this website thrills students with information about various monsters. Students learn the geographic location and numerous facts about several famous "monsters". The fascinating study includes Bigfoot, Nessie, Storsie, Yeti, Champ, and Mokele-Mbembe. Note: Some of the information on the monsters comes up in pop-ups. Turn off any pop-up blockers (this would include those that work as part of the Google or Yahoo toolbar).

tag(s): halloween (40), holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a starting point for researching the history of famous monsters. This is a great way to teach about fact vs fiction and the information literacy skill of evaluating web site reliability, using a topic that students will love. After they collect facts, have a monster "trial" in your classroom "courthouse" where two teams try to prove that each monster is FACT or FICTION, using "evidence" from this site and further research. Differentiate the tasks by assigning some of your brighter students to conduct the questioning (and perhaps challenge the web sources). Then have a the class-member "jury" reach a verdict: Fact or Fiction?

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Language Guide - Language Guide

Grades
1 to 12
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This site allows you to learn words and hear pronunciations in 11 languages (English - Fran?ais - Espa?ol - Deutsch - Portugu?s - Russian - Italiano - Polska ...more
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This site allows you to learn words and hear pronunciations in 11 languages (English - Fran?ais - Espa?ol - Deutsch - Portugu?s - Russian - Italiano - Polska - Greek). Select your native language and a language you wish to study. Choose a category, such as fruits, and roll your mouse over pictures to hear the word, pronounced by a native speakers. There are also sections for grammar topics, such as verb conjugation. Site extras include sound effects to accompany some pictures (hear the bark, breathing sound, and growl of the dog)! This site avoids the problems of different alphabets by working from picture to sound, though the spellings do display as little text boxes as you roll your mouse.

tag(s): grammar (216), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a pronunciation backup when you do not have a native speaker teaching foreign language. If you have access to a lab or individual laptops, assign students to practice pronunciation as they learn new vocabulary. Be sure to share the link from your teach web page in your world language class. As you study world cultures or geography, some students may want to learn simple language selections, as well. Gifted students --especially younger ones curious about languages -- will enjoy trying to learn independently. ESL students may also use this site to hear authentic pronunciation. Speech and language and special ed teachers working on vocabulary development will want to use this site with students, as well.

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Fake Out! - Education Place Houghton Mifflin

Grades
K to 8
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Fake Out! is like an ongoing online game similar to "Balderdash." The game provides unusual (but REAL) vocabulary words that are categorized by grade levels: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. ...more
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Fake Out! is like an ongoing online game similar to "Balderdash." The game provides unusual (but REAL) vocabulary words that are categorized by grade levels: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. Students choose a word and attempt to define it by choosing among several definitions provided. If students choose the wrong definition, they are given the correct definition as well as a tally of how many times others chose each definition that is listed. Students are also given an opportunity to "create" a definition for a word and submit it to Fake Out! Student-created definitions may show up in the definition list for others to choose from.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a discussion starter for word study-- what clues can help you guess what an unknown word might mean (prefixes, suffixes, roots, etc). You can also use it to reinforce dictionary skills by having students write definitions in a credible-sounding format. Take the site one step further and have students complete activities such as creating a story with the word, using the word in a sentence, acting out the definition or drawing a picture of the word. If you have a class wiki, allow students to add favorite new words to a wiki glossary throughout the year. Teachers of gifted will love this challenge for their highly-verbal

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