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Fantastic contraption - InXile Entertainment

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

tag(s): machines (30), newton (25), simple machines (36)

In the Classroom

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

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KENKEN - Nextoy, LLC

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

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), logic (235), multiplication (227), puzzles (208), subtraction (208), sudoku (18), vision (87)

In the Classroom

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

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Presidential Baseball - Northwestern University

Grades
6 to 12
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You'll need to be a real baseball fan to avoid striking out at this online game that compares presidents and baseball players. The players are mostly obscure, but even a ...more
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You'll need to be a real baseball fan to avoid striking out at this online game that compares presidents and baseball players. The players are mostly obscure, but even a good guess or two makes this one fun. It's done by the folks who created Northwestern University's Oyez, Oyez about the Supreme Court. Different, but worth a visit. This site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): baseball (36), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Divide your class into two teams and play a round of Presidential Baseball! Share the questions on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mathematics in Movies - Oliver Knill

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

tag(s): logic (235), movies (64), patterns (85)

In the Classroom

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

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Sharp Brains - Sharpbrains

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

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

tag(s): brain (72), logic (235), puzzles (208), stress (14)

In the Classroom

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

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Puzzlers Paradise - Shelly Hazard

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Up and Down Words - Merriam Webster

Grades
3 to 10
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second ...more
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second word.That, in turn, becomes the first part of the next answer. The goal is to get to the 7th word combo whose second half started the game. Clickable hints assist students with the first letter missing word. You are able to click on the clues (to get more letters) as often as needed to solve the puzzle. There are new puzzles every weekday and archived puzzles from previous dates. There are two difficulty levels. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216), idioms (44), puzzles (208), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for vocabulary enhancement and understanding of idioms. Speech and language teachers may want to use it to teach word combinations, as well. Students can easily play this game in pairs. Since teachers can also print the blank activity, you can use it for a desk activity or homework assignment. After students get used to this idea, have them make their own word ladders on the interactive whiteboard, as a sequence of animated PowerPoint slides, or collaboratively as a graphic organizer using an online tool such as Gliffy or Mindomo.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles - Alexander Bogomolny

Grades
3 to 12
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Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). ...more
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Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). The activities are divided up into the following categories: Arithmetic, Math Games & Puzzles, Logic, Fractals & Chaos, Fallacies, Calculus, Combinatorial Games, Algebra, Visual Illusions, Computer Math Magic, Combinatorics, Geometry, Eye Opener Series, Social Science, Mathematical Droodles, and Analog Devices. Each category has numerous interactive activities included. The site is frequently updated. There are some small advertisements at the site. This site is simple to use and offers a wealth of options for many grade levels. The activities are not time-consuming and offer simple explanations with the applets.

tag(s): angles (88), logic (235), money (193), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Use these applets on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a lesson in math class. Have students work independently on the logic and puzzle activities. These activities are ideal for gifted students (for advancement and/or enrichment) or extra practice for struggling students. Provide this link on your class website, so students can explore at home or as review.

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What's Special About This Number - Erich Friedman

Grades
4 to 12
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This unusual website shares the "uniqueness" of a multitude of numbers. The numbers range from 0 - 9,999. This website teaches you what the only even prime number is, what ...more
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This unusual website shares the "uniqueness" of a multitude of numbers. The numbers range from 0 - 9,999. This website teaches you what the only even prime number is, what a narcissistic number is, what the smallest number with 14 divisors is, and a LOT of other interesting mind-stretching information. The highlight of this website is the ability to click on math terms to learn more about the topic.

tag(s): angles (88), median (22), numbers (204), roman numerals (9), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This is one of those sites that you have see to appreciate. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard. In more advanced classes, project a number on the screen as students walk in. Have students try to figure out what might make this number "special." Have students share their responses. This is a great "number of the day/mind-stretcher of the day" activity.

Or have students work on individual computers. Choose several of the numbers that relate to a topic that you are teaching (such as the square root), and have individual students learn about the number and then teach the class what they learned. Extend the idea by having students create "what's special" PowerPoint slides or wiki pages about favorite numbers. What better way to develop true number sense and excitement about math as a mental game.

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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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Paper Models of Polyhedra - Gijs Korthals Altes

Grades
6 to 10
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This simple, "hands-on" website offers PDF files of numerous paper models of polyhedra. The files are ready to print and share with your students. The various geometric solids include...more
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This simple, "hands-on" website offers PDF files of numerous paper models of polyhedra. The files are ready to print and share with your students. The various geometric solids include platonic solids, Archimedean solids, Kepler-Poinsot polyhedra, and numerous others. The files are available in PDF format and require Adobe. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): paper folding (5), visual thinking (10)

In the Classroom

Why not print a pattern onto cardstock or other thick paper. Then project the image (that you printed for your students) onto a projection screen or interactive whiteboard, while students work independently at their seats. Before you pass out the paper copies, have them view the projected image and predict what it will be.

These shapes can also serve as creative study aids for all subject areas, especially for students who need engaging ways to review. Have students write key terms and questions on the "faces" before assembling the figures, then "roll" them as a study game, testing each other to define or explain terms.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Grain Strain - sciencemuseum

Grades
4 to 10
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This interactive website challenges students to design a contraption that will catch 50 pieces of grain. There is a chain that drops the grain, and a bucket at the bottom ...more
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This interactive website challenges students to design a contraption that will catch 50 pieces of grain. There is a chain that drops the grain, and a bucket at the bottom of the screen. Students have their choice of 5-6 chains running in various directions. What a fabulous way to integrate science, math, creativity, and problem solving. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. NOTE: this British science museum is very popular. The site opens slowly at certain times of the school day and evening in Britain.

tag(s): logic (235), machines (30), simple machines (36)

In the Classroom

This is a wonderful website to incorporate into a science unit about levers, gears, and simple machines. Or use this website as a mind stretcher for the entire class.

Share this creative website on an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Be sure to turn up the volume, students will enjoy the background music and sounds provided at this website.(You may end up turning it OFF after a while, too!). Or have students work in pairs on laptops to solve a level and analyze their success, including drawing and labeling the parts of their machine.
 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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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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Planet Science - NESTA

Grades
K to 12
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This MUST SEE interactive science website features eight specific areas. The "News" section includes weekly news updates and features. "Wired" has challenging interactive games for...more
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This MUST SEE interactive science website features eight specific areas. The "News" section includes weekly news updates and features. "Wired" has challenging interactive games for grades 4-12. "Sci-Teach" provides countless resources for teachers of all grades. "Out There" takes you to the "back garden of science delights," including inventors, sound, vampires, and the flu. "Parents" has useful ideas - even science experiments for children's parties. "Under 11s" is geared for younger students, an excellent collection!. The activities teach traditional science topics using new multimedia. The "Next Steps" link challenges students to think about their future careers (both science and non-science). There are printable pages and interactive activities for elementary, middle, and high school students. The "Library" link features countless online science resources.

Nearly every one of the activities requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), planets (123), sports (96), water (130)

In the Classroom

Nearly all of the activities are ideal for interactive whiteboards (or projectors). This site is so rich it may be overwhelming. If you are an elementary teacher, start at the "Under 11s" link. Otherwise, visit the "Sci-Teach" link first for some excellent ideas, resources, and science fun. Preview this site before starting any science unit to find related activites and extensions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Math Teasers - NCES

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers a monthly math brain teaser problem to test your math/statistical knowledge. Solutions to the questions are hidden behind a clickable bar so you can share the question...more
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This site offers a monthly math brain teaser problem to test your math/statistical knowledge. Solutions to the questions are hidden behind a clickable bar so you can share the question on a projector without revealing the answer. Previous math teasers and solutions can be found in the archives.

tag(s): brain (72), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this site on your teacher web page for students to access both in and outside of class. Use the challenge as an extra credit opportunity or a prompt for "math blogging."

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Launchball - sciencemuseum

Grades
3 to 12
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Beware - your students may get addicted to this science activity! Launchball challenges students to use batteries, solar power, magnets, and other types of virtual energy to move a...more
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Beware - your students may get addicted to this science activity! Launchball challenges students to use batteries, solar power, magnets, and other types of virtual energy to move a ball from a starting point to an ending point. There are numerous levels (up to 30). The program also offers hints and provides science facts throughout the activity. This mind stretcher allows students to play the game of virtual physics or create and share their own Launchball game. Users are able to sign-in and receive a password (free of charge). This allows users to return to the same game and save their conquests. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): electricity (89), energy (197)

In the Classroom

Introduce your students to this unique, mind-stretching activity using an interactive whiteboard. Then allow your students to work individually or in groups to navigate the activities and eventually create their own Launchball games to challenge classmates. What an exciting way to learn about energy! Use a single class log-in for safety's sake and to monitor student appropriateness, if necessary.
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Countdown - Loyola University Chicago School of Education

Grades
K to 12
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This eclectic website provides video clips teaching a multitude of math topics. All video clips are abbreviated from a weekly hour-long show broadcast on an interactive cable television...more
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This eclectic website provides video clips teaching a multitude of math topics. All video clips are abbreviated from a weekly hour-long show broadcast on an interactive cable television network in Chicago. Each clip is 4-7 minutes and designed to simplify math concepts for students of all ages. All of the lessons follow content standards established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The general topics include numbers & operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis & probability, and technology. This site requires Flash or Quicktime (read their notice regarding the sound files). Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), estimation (46), probability (130)

In the Classroom

This website would be excellent to use to introduce a new math concept or to re-teach a difficult math topic. These kid-friendly videos offer teachers a new way to teach math. She the videos one at a time on classrooms computers or make this resources a link from your teacher web page for students and parents to get "extra help" at home.
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Inventing Modern America: Games - Lemelson-MIT

Grades
5 to 12
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Students dream about becoming an inventor. This site shows that even the smallest item in life, such as the paper clip, was once invented by 'someone.' You can ...more
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Students dream about becoming an inventor. This site shows that even the smallest item in life, such as the paper clip, was once invented by 'someone.' You can promote creativity and encourage 'thinking outside the box' through this site. Play the 'Which Came First' game at this site to see if you can guess which invention came first, especially in conjunction with a social studies class on the inventors and industrial revolution. (Warning: It's harder than you think!) Or you may opt to play the 'Invention Connection' game, a challenging activity that builds higher level thinking through attribute listing and looking for common characteristics of diverse inventions. For pure information and inspiration, click on the five featured inventors to find video footage and other information about their lives and inventions. You will need the Shockwave plug-in to play the 'Invention Connection' game.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard to play the games in science class as you talk about inventions, engineering, and the inquiry process that drives them or as an interdisciplinary connection in your lessons on inventions and the Industrial Revolution.
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