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Plastelina Logic Games

Grades
3 to 8
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Test your logic and patience with these interactive logic games. Plastelina offers the option of registration and payment for a password which allows access to all of the activities...more
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Test your logic and patience with these interactive logic games. Plastelina offers the option of registration and payment for a password which allows access to all of the activities on the site; however, many are free and can be played without registration. Free interactives are clearly marked next to the titles. At the time of this review, five activities were FREE.

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

In the Classroom

Have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and try to see who can solve the puzzles first. Use the puzzles as a quick time filler and revisit on occasion until the puzzle is solved.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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LEGO Education Activities - LEGO Education

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Twitter - Twitter, Inc.

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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

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Only Connect - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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This fast paced, highly interactive activity will keep students interested while developing vocabulary and thinking skills. Sixteen words are presented on a board, the goal is to sort...more
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This fast paced, highly interactive activity will keep students interested while developing vocabulary and thinking skills. Sixteen words are presented on a board, the goal is to sort them into four groups of four related words in three minutes and then name the word that connects all of them together. Patience and thinking outside the box are needed to be successful. There is no need to register to play for fun, and there are choices of many walls. Tournament play is also included; however, registration is required. Only Connect walls can be created for any subject or topic discussed in the classroom.

tag(s): puzzles (208), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Try this activity together as a class on the interactive whiteboard or projector to encourage discussion of vocabulary presented on the wall. Ask students to create their own Only Connect wall to share with peers.
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Smilebox - Smilebox, Inc.

Grades
5 to 12
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This resource allows you to create slide shows, greetings, scrapbooks, invitations, collages, and more. The download is free, but there are paid upgrades available if desired. For educational...more
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This resource allows you to create slide shows, greetings, scrapbooks, invitations, collages, and more. The download is free, but there are paid upgrades available if desired. For educational purposes, the upgrades are not needed. Photos, videos, and music can all be added to your creations. A Smilebox template must be used to make your creations. Products made with this program can be shared to web pages and blogs, social networking sites, emailed, saved, or printed for free. All themes are free. This is a free download, so make sure you have computers that have the capability to download before creating a lesson with this tool. See the reviewer's sample here.

tag(s): blogs (88), images (266), movies (65), photography (160), slides (63)

In the Classroom

You will need to be able to download this program, and you will need 4 MB of space on your computer to do so. The program will automatically pull some photos from Windows Media or iPhoto depending on what your computer uses for photos. You can save web images or use screen shots, as well, to be used in your creations. Watch copyright! Check out the review of Jing reviewed here for details and a down-loadable screen shot taker. (It is what our reviewer used to capture extra images for the sample!) From here, it is easy to simply click and follow the on screen instructions. The program is simple to navigate and very user friendly for those who are accustomed to web tools.

With the variety of formats, this program has a wide variety of applications in any type of classroom! Use in history class to have students create collages of different periods of time such as the American Civil War. Create topics such as the Lincoln's Election, the Gettysburg Address, Battle of Antietam, Emancipation Proclamation, Battle of Gettysburg, and Lee's Surrender. Have pairs or groups of three select topics at random, and then have them create a collage or "scrapbook" of the event. Try having students choose a role from which to create their assignment such as a Rebel soldier, a Union Soldier, a volunteer nurse, a mother or father of children fighting on different sides of the war, etc. Have students collect copyright free images online for their use or create their own by reenacting and creating visuals to take pictures for their productions. Unleash student creativity by showing them this tool as resource in creating presentations and projects for your class and others. What a fabulous tool to use on the first day of school (as a welcome), beginning of a new unit, or back to school night with the parents! Elementary classes could create whole-class scrapbooks of curriculum projects, such as their science garden or Colonial Days celebration.

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Gymnasium For Brain - Sitalakshmi Seshadrinathan

Grades
3 to 12
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The goal of this site is to make Math fun and provide mental exercise and stimulation. 100's of warm-up puzzles are provided that require logic and problem solving to come ...more
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The goal of this site is to make Math fun and provide mental exercise and stimulation. 100's of warm-up puzzles are provided that require logic and problem solving to come up with a solution. Hints are provided as well as the solution. The Speed Math section demonstrates different "tricks" as alternatives to standard algorithms in a detailed explanation. Another section demonstrates different Math patterns and how they are formed and expanded. The Kids Corner provides simpler problem solving activities for younger students. Free membership to the site is available.

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

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for a problem of the day activity. Challenge students to solve and provide explanations to logic puzzles and create their own problems. Display on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a springboard to class discussion of the Mathematics involved within each of the problems.

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Fraction Webquest - Lynn and Samantha Fender

Grades
4 to 8
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This Fraction Webquest entitled "Cooking with Fractions," takes students on a comprehensive journey through computation of fractions. The activities included in the webquest are thorough...more
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This Fraction Webquest entitled "Cooking with Fractions," takes students on a comprehensive journey through computation of fractions. The activities included in the webquest are thorough and engaging.

tag(s): cooking (34), fractions (239)

In the Classroom

Use Cooking with Fractions after introducing computation with fractions. This site would make an excellent review for a test on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. Students could work independently or with a partner. After completing the webquest, have students create fraction story problems that go along with cooking and/or food. Maybe include the story problems in a class wiki or an online book using Bookemon, reviewed here.

What's fantastic about this site, is that all the student worksheets are digitally provided on this site, making it easy for students to complete digitally and email to you OR easy to convert them to Google Docs, (reviewed here). Save some trees and get rid of the pile of papers to grade afterwards!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learn 4 Good - Bridge Building Simulation - Learn 4 Good Networks

Grades
6 to 10
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This interactive, bridge building simulation is a hands-on way to learn about not only physics but also cost effective design. There are clear, on screen instructions that students...more
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This interactive, bridge building simulation is a hands-on way to learn about not only physics but also cost effective design. There are clear, on screen instructions that students can easily read and follow. Even better, if they do not read the instructions, they may learn even more by trial and error. It all depends on the instructor's level of comfort and time constraints for purposeful play. There are 8 levels of bridge building and the goal of the simulation is to build a sound bridge that little creatures can safely pass over a large chasm. The little creatures remind one of a little purple cartooned lemmings. The only frustration is that once you click a spot on the screen you are stuck with that decision. If you make the decision and you do not look at it, you have to start all over again to fix it. This takes a plain bridge building lab to the next level by adding technology and allowing for multiple attempts without wasting materials. Another neat feature of this simulation is that you can embed it on your own website.Be aware: there are some advertisements at this site.

tag(s): forces (45), gravity (46), structures (24)

In the Classroom

Use this simulation to reinforce physics concepts. Try it as a virtual lab in science class. Or have students design the blue print in class. Then have them print the screen and use the blue print to build an actual model bridge in class. Embed the simulation on your own website. This takes away the distraction of advertisements. It also directs students to one site rather than following a trail of links (avoiding temptations to click on other "arcade" games).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Decimal Problem Solving - SmartTutor

Grades
4 to 7
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Practice adding and subtracting decimals by checking grocery receipts for correct totals. The narrator, Omar, describes and demonstrates the activity before the game begins. Suggestions...more
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Practice adding and subtracting decimals by checking grocery receipts for correct totals. The narrator, Omar, describes and demonstrates the activity before the game begins. Suggestions are also given for checking answers - demonstrations are given on how to use mental math and a calculator to find the correct response. Upon completion of each problem, a demonstration is given on how to find the correct answers. The graphics are bright and eye-catching and will be sure to hold student's attention! The introduction to the game also includes learning objectives covered.

tag(s): addition (251), decimals (133), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Use this sight on your interactive whiteboard or projector when beginning a unit on addition or subtraction of decimals to help students recognize the real world uses of decimals. Challenge students to create their own version of the game for classmates for additional practice. Incorporate the activity into your class website or blogs for students to access and practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dipity - Underlying, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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Dipity is an online timeline creator that allows you to create, view, and share timelines in several different ways. When viewing timelines the default mode is the classic timeline...more
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Dipity is an online timeline creator that allows you to create, view, and share timelines in several different ways. When viewing timelines the default mode is the classic timeline display. With just a click the same information can be shown as a flipbook, map, and list. Sharing is simple through widgets that can be embedded on blogs or websites as well as quick links to common networking sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Click on "add an event" and complete as much information as you can about the event. Types of information that are provided include: title, date, description, picture, link, location, and video Url. If you do not have a complete set of information, the event will still look good in the timeline! Also, please note that you cannot create imaginary locations. The site does verify the place entered as location is a real place.

Use a created, identifiable to the outside world team name to preserve student internet security. This way, students do not need to create their own accounts. Be careful when having students enter locations, if it is historical project, real dates and times are safe to use. However, if students are creating personal type timelines, use general locations like city and country or even just country. You can control who can see the timelines, and who can edit the timeline. Use caution here!

Create a timeline of classroom events throughout the school year. During a unit on inventions, having different students add each invention to the timeline along with pertinent information to create a very visual display of the chronology of the introduction of each item (great for review!). Use for an author study to compare and contrast lives of authors and add historical events to put each author's works into perspective. In science class, have students create a timeline of scientific discoveries or the life of a plant, animal, or scientist. Challenge students to create cross-disciplinary timelines showing historic, scientific, and artistic events during the same time period, such as the Renaissance or a decade during the 20th century, so they can see trends. Make timelines of environmental concerns, such as the Gulf Oil Spill--or a history of environmental disasters. Create timelines for historic events -- local or global. Make family histories in world language classes using vocabulary and grammar skills to describe family members in the new language. Create a class timeline to add to your classroom wiki and have students add information as the year advances so that they can look back on all that they have accomplished.

Need a challenge for your gifted students? as the study history or a scientific discovery, have them make a timeline that shows other events happening in the world at the same time. Have them create a "family tree" for endangered species using this timeline tool. Add pictures, locations, and names of related species and causes for the threat to that animal. Have them map out the steps leading to a war or civil rights event, adding the more subtle causes and people not included in the regular curriculum.

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Free Fraction Worksheets - Peter Waycik

Grades
2 to 8
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This site features several free downloadable fractions worksheets including modeling fractions, reducing fractions, adding fractions, subtracting fractions, multiplying fractions, and...more
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This site features several free downloadable fractions worksheets including modeling fractions, reducing fractions, adding fractions, subtracting fractions, multiplying fractions, and dividing fractions. All of the fraction worksheets come complete with an answer key.

tag(s): worksheets (60)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to help students better understand fractions. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector and fill out the sheets on the board. Print out the worksheets and pair them with manipulatives and create a center. Since the worksheets have different levels, use them to differentiate for students who need extra scaffolding or for students who need extension activities.
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Blank Game Board Templates - Donna Young

Grades
K to 12
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This site, created for homeschooling families but useful in any classroom, provides downloadable game boards that can be used in any subject area. Game boards come in two varieties,...more
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This site, created for homeschooling families but useful in any classroom, provides downloadable game boards that can be used in any subject area. Game boards come in two varieties, start to finish and racetrack. The two varieties come in several different styles. Printable dice and game cards are also available as well as directions on how to assemble the game board.

tag(s): printables (38)

In the Classroom

This site is a great way to add creativity to your teaching. Make games boards that can be used to review curriculum in any subject area. These games can be used as a center to support your curriculum. These boards aren't just for the teacher, have pairs of students work together to create their own games. Perhaps have them research a topic, then share the information with peers in the form of a game. Then have students exchange games for other pairs to play. This is a great way to differentiate an assignment by providing different versions of a game or having students create their own at an appropriate level of difficulty. For students who need more support, provide partially completed versions for them to "create" the rest from a word bank.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Rubric Gallery - RCampus

Grades
K to 12
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This site contains links to many different sources for rubrics. You can search by grade level, subject, or type making it easier to find an appropriate rubric. ...more
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This site contains links to many different sources for rubrics. You can search by grade level, subject, or type making it easier to find an appropriate rubric.

tag(s): assessment (100)

In the Classroom

Use this site to search for rubrics for any type of assignment or classroom use. Material isn't limited to academic use, it also includes attendance, homework, and other types of rubrics.

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Equivalent Fractions - David Hellam

Grades
3 to 8
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Equivalent Fractions asks students to make three fractions equivalent to the first one and automatically checks whether or not the answers are correct for instant feedback. This is...more
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Equivalent Fractions asks students to make three fractions equivalent to the first one and automatically checks whether or not the answers are correct for instant feedback. This is a simple "fill in the box" exercise.

tag(s): fractions (239)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. After introducing equivalent fractions, have students practice making equivalent fractions with this interactive. This would be a great site to use for a warm up or review.

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The Secret Millionaire's Club - AOL Kids

Grades
5 to 8
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The Secret Millionaire's Club (SMC) will enhance any math, economics, language arts, or social studies lesson. This site provides students with financial and investing advice. The site...more
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The Secret Millionaire's Club (SMC) will enhance any math, economics, language arts, or social studies lesson. This site provides students with financial and investing advice. The site is a partnership between AOL Kids and Warren Buffett. The site provides many areas for students to visit. There are episodes that students can watch that tackle a financial issue. The site also provides games for students to play and there is blog that is written by one of the kids in the SMC. In addition, students can sign up to participate in the Buffett Bucks stock exchange where they can earn Buffett Bucks.

tag(s): letter writing (21), money (193), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Following the format of Radley's blog, present to the class one of the challenges from Radley's blog, then have students work in small groups to analyze the challenge and come up with a solution. When groups are finished do a comparison between the SMC's solution and the students solution. To practice letter writing have students use the "Ask Warren" section and email him a financial question they may have. Use the existing Q&A's that are there for examples. Have students use the interactives during free time or as a reward if they finish their work early.
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Decimal Challenge - David Hellam

Grades
4 to 7
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Decimal Challenge is a guessing game where students try to identify a decimal. The interactive tells you whether your guess is too high or too low. Students try to guess ...more
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Decimal Challenge is a guessing game where students try to identify a decimal. The interactive tells you whether your guess is too high or too low. Students try to guess the decimal in the fewest amount of tries.

tag(s): decimals (133), numbers (204)

In the Classroom

A great interactive to use with students who need a little extra practice with decimal number sense. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector to discuss strategies and then let students play independently or with a partner. Students would enjoy competing against each other during whole class time.

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Math Wizz - the Statistician

Grades
6 to 12
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Mathwizz.com provides help with many math related topics ranging from arithmetic to decimals to financial math. Interactive calculators allow students to test their own knowledge. Brief...more
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Mathwizz.com provides help with many math related topics ranging from arithmetic to decimals to financial math. Interactive calculators allow students to test their own knowledge. Brief lessons or descriptions provide simple explanantions to various concepts.

tag(s): calculators (41), decimals (133), fractions (239)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an informal assessment by having students complete a number of questions and then report their results to you. Many of the tests will require additional paper for solving problems. This activity would work well for individuals or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops, and would also be a great way to have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard and try to solve problems.

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Mix Book - Andrew Laffoon

Grades
K to 12
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously...more
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously insert photos, text, and edit from separate computers. Authors can select from a wide variety of thematic designs, layout options, stickers, and backgrounds or design their own. Upload personal photos, scanned illustrations, or free public domain images directly into the image library. Inserting photos is a simple, intuitive process that requires a click and drag. The text comes in a variety of font options, and sizes. A complete transcript of the writing appears below the book. Viewers can enjoy the reading the book without needless advertising or redirection to another site. It is also possible to copy a book and easily create a customized edition for individual students. There is always the option to purchase books directly from the Mixbook. Go directly to this site and immediately create your masterpiece.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), ebooks (42)

In the Classroom

Use Mixbook to create collaborative projects, yearbooks, or to give writers workshop publishing a professional flare. History teachers may enjoy letting students photograph a re-enactment of a scene from the past and then write accompanying text. Combine yearly research reports with this multimedia option. Have students create collaborative projects that access fantastic photography collections from sites such as the Library of Congress . Primary school teachers can photograph student illustrations of familiar songs, poems, or rhymes and create "class" books. Project these books onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and revolutionize shared reading. Create parent education books that communicate how to help with their student's reading at home, or explain the stages of project-based learning. Students can also author books in a foreign language. Mixbook is useful for all areas of the school curriculum. Remember to embed student books into the school website for family and friends at home to enjoy.

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Common Core State Standards - Common Core State Standards Initiative Team

Grades
K to 12
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set...more
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set of educational standards which aligns benchmarks and expectations across state lines. This system builds on what states are already doing by providing an opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and lessons, while maintaining high expectations that insure the quality of education across America to enable our students to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy.

Visit this website to find out exactly what the national K-12 standards are for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technology, as well as mathematics, and to find out if your state is one many states (at the time of this review) that have already committed to adopt the Common Core State Standards. Watch videos and the recorded webinar, and read about the key points and rigorous curriculum standards, including the content and skills related to the use of media and technology for critical analysis and production.

tag(s): commoncore (94)

In the Classroom

Take a look at exemplars and sample performance tasks and students' writing to consider how you can integrate these ideas into your own planning to prepare students for the growing challenges of today's world. You can also sign up to receive updates via email. For more information about the Common Core and implementing it in your classes, see TeachersFirst's Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction, a Q/A article for elementary teachers, and TeachersFirst's resources tagged Common Core for many helpful sites.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Data Liberation Front - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Do you use various Web 2.0 items and are unsure how to move information from one to the other (or from the cloud to your computer?) Use this site to ...more
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Do you use various Web 2.0 items and are unsure how to move information from one to the other (or from the cloud to your computer?) Use this site to learn how to move information from one area to another. For example, learn how to import and export bookmarks. Also learn how to import, export, or zip google documents to your computer.

tag(s): directions (20), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Provide this link as a resource to your students. Allow them the opportunity to learn techniques to move and manage their online information. Consider putting this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.
 

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