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Thunks - Get Thunking - Ian Gilbert

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
A Thunk is a beguilingly simple-looking yes/no question that stops you in your tracks to look at the world in a whole new light. Over a thousand Thunks are included ...more
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A Thunk is a beguilingly simple-looking yes/no question that stops you in your tracks to look at the world in a whole new light. Over a thousand Thunks are included on the site with simple yes or no responses. View results easily, read comments, or submit your own comment by including your name, email (will not be displayed), and comment. Thunks can be chosen by categories such as good and bad, human condition, or friendship. At the time of this review, we found no evidence of inappropriate public comments (and we looked hard!) , but you might want to preview before turning young people loose on the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (287), questioning (34)

In the Classroom

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

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KikuText - kikutext.com

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers ...more
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Kikutext is a safe and easy way to send reminders to parents via text message. The site is set up so that students do not see the teachers' phone numbers nor do the teachers see the students' or parents' phone numbers. Create an account easily with basic contact information, then share the class code with parents. Parents text the code to be added and begin receiving updates and to respond to text messages. Communication through this site is safe and secure. This service is free; however, standard text messaging fees apply.

tag(s): classroom management (155), parents (58)

In the Classroom

Send out whole-class reminders to parents of upcoming tests, project due dates, school events, and more. Set up this site (and parents and students numbers) during the first week of school or at Back to School night. Use this site as an alternative to conference reminder slips (and save paper). Keep parents "in the loop" about students' behavior, achievement, and more with this tool. Imagine sending a text as you discover missing homework. Suddenly, accountability steps up a notch!

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Zotero - Center for History and New Media at George Mason University

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool...more
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool saves information several ways: through a click at the bottom of the web browser, by a click on favorite/bookmark bar, or manually. Files already on computers can be included with files saved from the internet. Items can be grouped and sorted according to individual needs. Information saved through Zotero can be accessed on any computer that has the extension installed. The site includes a helpful quick start video guide explaining features included with the program.

tag(s): citations (38), evaluating sources (15), note taking (39), primary sources (92)

In the Classroom

Depending on school computer settings, you may need to have tech support install the program for you. Use Zotero to collect and organize classroom resources. Share with older students as a resource for gathering and citing information. Demonstrate how to use the site on your interactive whiteboard including showing the quick-start video. One of the advanced features of the site is the creation of groups. Share this with students who may be capable of using the feature to collaborate with others.

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Convert center - Baltsoft Software

Grades
4 to 12
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This quick and easy tool converts between units of measurement. Useful in both math and science, find any kind of conversion for many different types of measures. Use the From ...more
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This quick and easy tool converts between units of measurement. Useful in both math and science, find any kind of conversion for many different types of measures. Use the From and To boxes to find your specific conversion. Find many odd and seldom used units for conversion. (This would be a great time to research where and why some units were used in the past!) Conversions to many different units are included, and a link to the results is displayed to share with others.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (24), measurement (164)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Family and consumer science and world language teachers will also find the U.S. liquid measure and weight conversions handy when converting recipes from English/U.S. to metric and vice versa. Have students create infographics SHOWING the relationships between units of measure during your math or science unit on measurement.

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AskKids.com - Ask.com

Grades
2 to 8
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AskKids is more than a search engine for elementary/middle school students. Here you will see reviews for movies and games. You can ask questions and search for information by typing...more
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AskKids is more than a search engine for elementary/middle school students. Here you will see reviews for movies and games. You can ask questions and search for information by typing in keywords. AskKids organizes search results in related images, current events, and encyclopedia results. The Ask.com editorial team selected each website as child appropriate or as a relevant and practical site for reference and learning.

tag(s): search engines (63)

In the Classroom

Introduce AskKids on your interactive whiteboard or projector, showing the different options available. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. They can learn how to use a search engine, and how to ask questions to get the best results, by looking at this site with guidance from an adult. Post a link to AskKids.com on your webpage for easy access for students and parents. Make AskKids the home page on classroom computers for easy access.

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Skloog - Skloog, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places...more
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Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places you visit repeatedly. The tiles make it visual and so easy to use! Can't find the logo? Submit a site by clicking on a button at the bottom of the home page. Access and add to your Skloog bookmarks from anywhere using any computer, your mobile phone, or email. Make Skloog one of the tools on your browser's tool bar in order to add to your favorites quickly and easily. Add or change the preset category tabs that show at the top. Search your favorites by tags, URL, or website name. An added feature is the Skloog tab in the upper right corner of the menu on your short cut page. Click to find some of Skloog's favorite sites.

tag(s): bookmarks (66), resources (109)

In the Classroom

This resource is best used as a teacher sharing tool for sharing links, RSS feeds, and other resources for students to use on specific projects or as general course links. Use this site to share with other professionals, team members, or parents. Use the categories to save bookmarks for different units you have in your classroom. Make your Skloog page the homepage for your computer, too.

Consider having a category for student use for webquests, tools you want them to use, and creative commons images, music, etc. Also, create a category where students update with suggestions from class members. Use different colored alphabet tiles on a Skloog for younger, non-reader students. For example, give each subject its own distinctive color. They will also recognize logos well before they read!

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Math Zapper! - SingingWhale.com

Grades
3 to 8
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Math Zapper is a collection of Flash-based activities that provide practice with fractions, decimals, and percents. View the short tutorial to learn how to play. Choose one of those...more
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Math Zapper is a collection of Flash-based activities that provide practice with fractions, decimals, and percents. View the short tutorial to learn how to play. Choose one of those items from the menu bar, then choose a specific activity such as intro to decimals or adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing by decimals to begin. Pause or continue the program as necessary to view at an individual pace. Progress is displayed with lights on the left side of the display.

tag(s): decimals (124), fractions (226), percent (80)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the site with students and parents for review at home. Show portions of activities on your interactive whiteboard pausing as necessary as an introduction or review of these concepts. Create a learning station using this site. Allow students to differentiate based on what they currently know/understand.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How To Make Digital Flashcards With Google Docs Spreadsheets - MakeUseOf

Grades
4 to 12
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Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making...more
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Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making the process much easier. You need a Google Doc account and some familiarity with using spreadsheets. This site does include comments. At the time of this review, all comments were appropriate for classroom use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (45)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards to share with your students. Students can run them from a computer or download an app that can read the two column format of a spreadsheet to view on the go. All information for using the flashcards is explained in this resource. Use for any subject matter for any age. Challenge students to create their own flashcards to use to study for the big test! This tool can be used in ALL subject areas.

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Box - Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith

Grades
4 to 12
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in ...more
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in Box and it is accessible everywhere you use it. Copy, save, or move the document simply and easily. Syncing and sharing is simple. No access to Internet at one of your locations? No problem! Your Box file stays in your Box account, and the next time you are online it will upload it for you. Share Box files with others for easy collaboration. Apps for Box are available (at the time of this review) for Windows, iOS, iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): writing (366)

In the Classroom

Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others through the tabs in the Account Settings. Though not a complete back up of all your documents, Box can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any item you can work with using Word can be used with Box. Teams of teachers can also use this download to save tests, share activities, and more.

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Paying For College - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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

tag(s): college (48), financial literacy (81)

In the Classroom

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

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Reach Every Child - Horace Mann

Grades
K to 12
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This blog offers at least 12,000 free resources and has over 200 features for every kind of teacher. Find features about the latest classroom innovations, lesson plans, information...more
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This blog offers at least 12,000 free resources and has over 200 features for every kind of teacher. Find features about the latest classroom innovations, lesson plans, information about scholarships, contests, and awards, and much more. Guest bloggers cover different areas of education.

tag(s): blogs (86), printables (39)

In the Classroom

Share ideas from the blog with other teachers and use images for inspiration in your classroom. Print and use free resources from the site such as bulletin board ideas, lesson plans, and more. Post a link to this blog on the school's website for others on your campus to use.

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Power My Learning - CFY

Grades
K to 12
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Find practice and skill interactives for many grade levels at PowerMyLearning. This site collects learning games, videos, and other activities from around the web and presents them...more
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Find practice and skill interactives for many grade levels at PowerMyLearning. This site collects learning games, videos, and other activities from around the web and presents them via simple search so you can learn and practice concepts across many curriculum areas. The actual interactives and videos are created by other organizations and displayed within PowerMyLearning's colorful frame and subject/grade level organizational structure. Brief descriptions and keywording accompany activity listings. To view an activity on full screen and in a new tab/window (with its own url), click the "expand window" arrow in the top right corner. The site is designed for cooperative use by teachers, parents, and students and has been used successfully in schoolwide efforts to raise student achievement in targeted cities. To actually view any of the activities, you must join the free site. There are varied management options for students, teachers, and parents.

tag(s): operations (122)

In the Classroom

Set up a teacher account so you can offer a "playlist" for certain students who may need skills reinforcement. If you want to know more about some of the specific activities within PowerMyLearning, TeachersFirst most likely has a complete review of them. Search the name of the game or site using TeachersFirst's keyword search for our full review. PowerMyLearning offers lesson plans for some activities and invites you to contribute your own, if you wish.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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

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

tag(s): artists (78), medieval (26), primary sources (92), renaissance (32)

In the Classroom

History and English teachers studying the Medieval time period can show the primary source of the illuminated alphabet script on The Canon of Medicine. Then have students create a mini-bio for themselves, starting with illuminating the first letter of their name. Use this site to study how the power of pictures can enhance text. The Process section explains how the Gutenberg Press used wood blocks or metal cuts along with the letterpress to print a book with images. Have your students view the "Process" part of this site, and look at several books printed in the Gutenberg time period. You may want them to further investigate the workings of the Gutenberg Press and what it took to make a book (materials and time). Then have your students make a simple, illustrated book using a program like Bookemon reviewed here. Have them use a timeline tool such as History in Motion,

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Draw.io - JGraph, Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows...more
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows that graphic organizers promote strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Draw.io is a simple, free online tool for creating mind maps -- or diagrams for any purpose -- using shapes and arrows. Just drop and drag the shapes (or nodes) you want to the panel, connect the nodes by dragging the arrow, and double-click in the shape to add text. Use the simple toolbar at the top to insert images, change, bold, color and enlarge text, etc. Printing and exporting is also an option. If you click on the "Help" tab at the top, you will see "Video Tutorial" which uses flash. Draw.io uses JavaScript, not Flash, so it works on iOS devices.

tag(s): brainstorming (26), concept mapping (21), graphic organizers (43), mind map (24), venn diagrams (15), visual thinking (9)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate creating a mind map or other diagram on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use Draw.io to create family trees or flow charts. Learning support students could team up to map out the important concepts from a unit visually as a review activity. Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature, social studies, or science. Have students demonstrate their understanding by creating a graphic organizer about the main points or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle). Be sure they name their organizer BEFORE they start work with their name --or code name-- so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in. Anonymously share and compare different students' "views" of a unit so students can "see it through someone else's eyes."

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Teach21 Inquiry Based Lesson Plans - West Virginia Department of Education

Grades
K to 6
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Find elementary level math and science inquiry based lesson plans on this simple website. Choose math or science, then a grade level - kindergarten through 6th grade. Each lesson plan...more
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Find elementary level math and science inquiry based lesson plans on this simple website. Choose math or science, then a grade level - kindergarten through 6th grade. Each lesson plan is very thorough and includes essential questions, content standards, differentiation strategies, lesson expansion suggestions, and downloads for student materials. At the time of this review, not all grade levels had both math and science lessons available.

tag(s): chemicals (42), geometric shapes (170), inquiry (35), magnetism (38), rocks (51)

In the Classroom

Search the site for lessons that correspond to curriculum used in your classroom, or explore the resources linked in the site to use as a supplement to your current materials.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Minyanland - Minyanville

Grades
2 to 6
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MinyanLand is a virtual community designed to engage you with games and interaction that help you understand about money. The economic system of MinyanLand mimics the real-life pricing...more
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MinyanLand is a virtual community designed to engage you with games and interaction that help you understand about money. The economic system of MinyanLand mimics the real-life pricing of general goods and services. As you participate in the system, your actions will affect the overall MinyanLand economy. To keep the economy stabilized, for instance, you must stay healthy by eating on a regular basis. MinyanLand will also offer incentives to encourage such behavior as charitable giving. You start the activity with $50,000 and a condo. You earn money by doing chores, jobs, and playing games. Games test knowledge of money and include titles such as "Paper Route" and "Where Did You Get That Money?" Spend money to buy things for your home, add rooms, or move into a new neighborhood. Registration requires an email address; however, one benefit of registering is that students can earn money by completing chores assigned by the classroom teacher who registered them.

tag(s): financial literacy (81), money (182)

In the Classroom

MinyanLand would be great as a year-long project. Students can visit MinyanLand throughout the year in the classroom (and at home) to learn about money, investing, spending, earning, and the economy. It is a natural fit in the math classroom where students are already working with money and numbers. MinyanLand would be best in a lab or laptop cart setting where each student has access to a computer. If you don't have a lab for students, use classroom computers as a learning center. Students can take turns at the center throughout the week to interact in MinyanLand. Tips: Even if you don't want to use the virtual money in class, consider letting parents know about the opportunity to tie household chores to learning. Students can play in class and earn virtual money at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Encalc - Encalc

Grades
8 to 12
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Use Encalc for a great scientific and graphing calculator. This calculator includes units and the ability to perform dimensional analysis. Use for algebra and calculus. Define and find...more
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Use Encalc for a great scientific and graphing calculator. This calculator includes units and the ability to perform dimensional analysis. Use for algebra and calculus. Define and find the values of variables and physical constants from the tool's database. Integration, differentiation, parentheses, and scientific formulas are also supported. The graphing calculator function of the site is only available in browsers other than Internet Explorer.

tag(s): calculators (42)

In the Classroom

Click on the embed tab of the site and copy the code to embed this tool directly into your class website. Be sure to also link this tool to your website or blog for easy access. Use the calculator on an interactive whiteboard or projector for students to show how they solved problems.

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Spider Scribe - spiderscribe.net

Grades
2 to 12
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SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. Organize ideas by connecting notes, files, maps, calendar events, and more. Use this tool to collaborate and share maps...more
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SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. Organize ideas by connecting notes, files, maps, calendar events, and more. Use this tool to collaborate and share maps online with others. SpiderScribe has an easy to use interface. Drag the various stencils (elements) to the screen to begin. Watch the demo video to understand the basics of this free tool. You will be started in less than a minute!

tag(s): brainstorming (26), graphic organizers (43), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Easily add images to maps for young students, ELL learners, or non-readers to understand relationships and learn vocabulary. Or you can assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Cite U Like - citeulike.org

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use CiteULike to organize and share scholarly information for and from research. The first step is to register (email required). Simply click on Post URL to save it. Add the ...more
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Use CiteULike to organize and share scholarly information for and from research. The first step is to register (email required). Simply click on Post URL to save it. Add the app to your web browser for easy use. How easy? Click on the button, and the paper/reference will be added to your personal library. The tool extracts the citation details automatically. No more forgetting to cite materials! Access your library from any computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): citations (38)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to record and organize research found on the Internet. Consider creating a class account to collect materials found throughout the school year. Be sure to talk to students about organizing information and sources. Students can maintain their own archive and show their collection at the end of the year. This tool will also be very handy for graduate projects teachers may be doing.

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Dib Dab Doo and Dilly too... A smarter safer way to search the Internet - Dibdabdoo.com

Grades
K to 7
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Here you will find a "kid-appropriate" search tool featuring countless general topics: Facts & Reference, Computers/The Internet, The Arts, Strange & Mysterious, Hot Topics, The World,...more
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Here you will find a "kid-appropriate" search tool featuring countless general topics: Facts & Reference, Computers/The Internet, The Arts, Strange & Mysterious, Hot Topics, The World, Science & Math, Reading, Writing, Speaking, Nature, and several others. Within each of the main topics are subtopics. For example, in the Classroom section you will find English, Foreign Langauges, Math, History, Reference Tools, Shapes, Woodwork, Colors, Art, Religion, Philosophy, Social Studies, and Homework Help. There is a ton here to explore! The information includes articles and images/photos.

tag(s): alphabet (87), animals (295), animation (66), clip art (9), colors (81), comics and cartoons (65), cooking (32), crafts (43), creative writing (167), cross cultural understanding (118), cultures (108), dance (28), dinosaurs (54), disabilities (21), diseases (74), drawing (82), fitness (49), flags (22), folktales (58), geometric shapes (170), grammar (208), homework (42), insects (72), journalism (55), measurement (164), museums (51), mysteries (23), numbers (195), nutrition (154), oceans (157), operations (122), origami (17), painting (65), photography (158), poetry (221), psychology (66), rainforests (12), religions (68), search engines (63), seasons (38), sign language (8), social networking (113), spelling (168), sports (98), trivia (19), vocabulary (323), weather (197)

In the Classroom

Help students learn about narrowing and refining research by demonstrating this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. As you start a project, take the time to SHOW how to use this tool to save time and find appropriate resources. Allow students to explore this site on their own finding relevant information from the various topics. If time permits, have students research a specific topic and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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