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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook...more
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ESL/ELL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Our editors made a sample for you to see.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click to Enter The Site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. The link for Writer Prompts can be found on the bottom right side of the site. The Writer Prompts link will lead you to the creator's blog, with many writing prompts (with new prompts added often). This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (144), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This one is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless.

The site creators tell us that Makebeliefscomix accepts accent marks and characters from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, in addition to English, they hope soon to add Chinese and Japanese.

Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Visit often, as new prompts are added weekly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Google News - Google

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Google News provides a quick way to find news stories from all over the globe, including print media, television, and web articles on any topic you enter. Use Google search ...more
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Google News provides a quick way to find news stories from all over the globe, including print media, television, and web articles on any topic you enter. Use Google search terms just as you would for a general Internet search. you can also customize your Google News page to "serve up" topics of interest to you, assuming you have an iGoogle account.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Set up specialized Google News searches for topics relevant to what you teach: biodiversity, current events topics that connect to your curriculum, or even your school name. Set Google News as the computer's home page and you have an instant "connection" to the real world right in your classroom. You can also customize Google News to education topics of interest to you for professional growth, such as special education, autism, NCLB, etc. Social studies teachers will also want to compare news articles collected on Google News for a current topic to help students see that news coverage is not always balanced. Ask students to compare articles from within the U.S. and those on the same topic written in other countries or by varied sources.

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Autism Society of America - ASA

Grades
K to 12
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About...more
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About Autism, Life with Autism, Research & Programs, Autism Communities, and more! You can also sign up to receive e-newsletters, learn about fundraising opportunities, and find many tips for parents and teachers. This site is recommended in articles by the National Association of School Psychologists, a helpful endorsement in distinguishing among many web sites dealing with autism.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22), behavior (46)

In the Classroom

Use this site to learn the basics about autism. No classroom teacher can be expected to be an expert on autism, but this site may help you understand some of what you see and some of the more recent information about autism, especially since few teachers receive much training about this in their teacher-ed programs. If you have students in your classes with autism, ask your principal if you can spend part of an inservice day reading and exploring this and other TeachersFirst resources listings on autism. This independent study may save your sanity and benefit students who really need our understanding. This is a great resource to provide to parents!

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The Teachers' Corner - The Teachers' Corner

Grades
K to 12
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This is a great site to mine for quick lesson plans, ideas on thematic units, or simply daily writing prompts. There are detailed lesson plans available for math, arts and ...more
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This is a great site to mine for quick lesson plans, ideas on thematic units, or simply daily writing prompts. There are detailed lesson plans available for math, arts and crafts, nutrition, health, music, math, reading, physical education, technology, writing, science, and social studies. Visit the Seasonal Items link to find even MORE resources related to Read Across America, 100th Day ideas, Daily seasonal writing prompts, and much more! Many of the links will take you to other sites, but the onsite printable worksheets and calendars make it worth a visit. Note: the site is laden with advertising, something TeachersFirst users may not appreciate! This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fractions (239), nutrition (154), parts of speech (68), phonics (75), speech (92), themes (12), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Although this site has a TON to explore, one of the best places on this site is the daily writing prompt section (find seasonal prompts at the Seasonal Items link). You can share them on your interactive whiteboard or projector with a picture and fact about the day and a question requiring a written answer. This is a great discussion starter or activating strategy with any grade level and it can already be posted when the kids enter the room or used as a prompt for blogging. Whatever subject area you teach, if you are looking for some new strategies to reach your students, check out this site.
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Autism4teachers - Autism4teachers.com

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This comprehensive website, written by four teachers, offers an excellent starting point and whets the appetite for anyone seriously looking into autism. Autism4teachers offers a snapshot...more
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This comprehensive website, written by four teachers, offers an excellent starting point and whets the appetite for anyone seriously looking into autism. Autism4teachers offers a snapshot of many of the current and research-based concepts in the area of autism. The information provides enough information to enable you to research even further. There are numerous specific topics highlighted at this website including Communication, Social Skills, Classroom Structure, TEACCH, Inclusion, Behavioral Support, Parent Support, Visual Support, Community Support, Autism Awareness, Assistive Technology, Sensory Based Activity Room, Thematic Units, Data Sheets, & several others. Don't miss the MANY lesson ideas and activities provided with the topics. This website requires Windows Media Player. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): autism (22), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Use this free website (and the many tips) to help your autistic students succeed, whether you are in a regular classroom or special ed. Share this link in your class newsletter and on your class website. Be sure to provide this link to any colleagues helping autistic students in and out of the classroom.

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OASIS: Tips For Teaching High Functioning People With Autism - Susan Moreno and Carol O'Neal

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
O.A.S.I.S. (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) presents this simple list of strategies that work with students who have Asperger's or Autism Spectrum disorders. These...more
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O.A.S.I.S. (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) presents this simple list of strategies that work with students who have Asperger's or Autism Spectrum disorders. These explanations and strategies are understandable and practical for classroom teachers and anyone who works with these students, including cafeteria workers or Sunday School teachers! Take the time to help yourself help these enigmatic kids. It will help you understand WHY they do some of the things they do and WHY you should approach tasks a certain way.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

If you have students with autism, ask for some time to review this set of strategies during your next inservice day and brainstorm with other teachers on ways your school building can incorporate some of these more systematically, especially since recent reports have shown drastic increases in autism spectrum disorders in our schools. Special ed teachers will want to share this page with the other adults in their building as an "FYI." Why not provide the link on your class or school website?

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Cindy, KY, Grades: 0 - 12

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Autism Spectrum Disorders: Primer for Parents and Educators - National Association of School Psychologists

Grades
K to 12
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This introductory article explains basic characteristics of autism and Asperger's, major treatment considerations, and IEP suggestions. Tough ostensibly for parents, the language is...more
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This introductory article explains basic characteristics of autism and Asperger's, major treatment considerations, and IEP suggestions. Tough ostensibly for parents, the language is mostly that of educators and psychologists, so some interpretation may be needed for many parents to fully understand. The article includes a few resource links at the end. Note that this article dates form 2004 and does not reflect the 2007 release of new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on autism prevalence. The file requires Acrobat Reader. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

No classroom teacher can be expected to be an expert on autism, but this site may help you understand some of what you see and some of the more recent information about autism, especially since few teachers receive much training about this in their teacher-ed programs. If you have students in your classes with autism, ask your principal if you can spend part of an inservice day reading and exploring this and other TeachersFirst resources listings on autism. This independent study may save your sanity and benefit students who really need our understanding.
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Autism Reveals Social Roots of Language - NPR- Jon Hamilton

Grades
K to 12
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This article (or online broadcast) from NPR explains new research about autism, language, and social functioning. The article is from 2006. The brain-based approach explains the research...more
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This article (or online broadcast) from NPR explains new research about autism, language, and social functioning. The article is from 2006. The brain-based approach explains the research in layman's terms. This could be a very helpful article as you struggle to understand an autistic child in your classroom or try to help your teaching peers understand your students, if you are a special ed teacher. There is an attention-grabbing interactive to help you visualize. This site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): autism (22)

In the Classroom

Be sure to list this link on your class website. The interactive would be ideal for an in-service (or independent) exploration.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Organization for Autism Research - Organization for Autism Research

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
If you are looking for information on autism or Asperger's Syndrome, this organization's resources and information will be very helpful. You can find general background information,...more
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If you are looking for information on autism or Asperger's Syndrome, this organization's resources and information will be very helpful. You can find general background information, downloadable "guides" and worksheets for parents and educators, and current research. The guides include advice on how to "be a savvy customer of autism sources of information," a wise idea when investigating a topic with such emotion and so much in the forefront at this time. Some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

Look under "Resources" for Recommended Reading. The "Education and Service Providers" section offers a great starting point for teachers! These downloadable files can be read only or printed out to share with concerned parties. Share this link on your class website, for parents to easily find and investigate.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Race Bridges for Schools - Race Bridges for Schools

Grades
3 to 12
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity,...more
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity, discrimination, multiculturalism, and tolerance. Each plan focuses on a person or event of a specific racial group, or a problem common to all multicultural groups. The plans do not specify a grade level, though many could be adapted for use from middle elementary level to high school. From Japanese internment to celebrating Thanksgiving in an American school, the plans and activities are excellent, varied, and fresh. The lesson plans are VERY detailed and provide objectives, but no correlation to standards. Many of the individual stories are available in MP3 format. You can listen to the stories using Windows Media Player or on any MP3 player, as well. Some of the lesson plans require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): black history (59), diversity (36), native americans (78), racism (18)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans that are relevant to your class as you study different cultures, history, racial tensions in the U.S. , or even character education. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With older students, have cooperative learning groups explore different lessons. Have the groups create a multi-media presentation sharing their discoveries. Have the groups create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon . You could also use this site as the core of a contemporary topics debate series.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

You need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on your computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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Poll Junkie (beta) - eppyjerk.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use this site to create polls for your students (or have students create their own). The polls are embeddable in your wiki, blog, or class website. The site is still ...more
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Use this site to create polls for your students (or have students create their own). The polls are embeddable in your wiki, blog, or class website. The site is still in beta. You can create a name, an expiration date for the survey, questions (multiple choice, yes or no, and ranking), and input your email address to be informed as results come into the site. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Registration is not required to use this site. There are some advertisements and external links at this site (all appropriate at the time of this review). So if you allow students to use this site on their own, be sure to watch carefully.

tag(s): data (148), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Use this site to collect data for math activities and graphing. Use it for people to rate student-created projects or for social studies projects about elections, or other social issues. Have students make wiki pages on an issue and include a poll and then graph the poll results in math class. Poll parents and grandparents on your class web page to involve them in decisions or use their experiences to help students understand times "long ago."

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Pete's Powerpoint Station - mrdonn and phillip martin

Grades
K to 12
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Need a PowerPoint? Check this site first to find one on a topic you need from the vast array available. The free PowerPoints and interactive activities are easily downloaded. To ...more
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Need a PowerPoint? Check this site first to find one on a topic you need from the vast array available. The free PowerPoints and interactive activities are easily downloaded. To find the FREE PowerPoint presentations, click on the FREE Presentations in PowerPoint Format link found directly under the red train. There are literally hundreds of topics (over 1,200 at the time of this review). Topics are listed in alphabetical order. There are so many topics: Plagiarism, Integers, Interjections, IQ Tests, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Graphic Organizers, Graphs, Gold Rush, the Bible, Economics, Amelia Earhart (and many other heroes), Descriptive Writing, Coral Reefs, Civil Rights Movement, Autism, Ancient Civilizations, Presidents, Louisiana Purchase, Money, Music Instruments, How to Write an Outline, Rosa Parks, Resumes, Terrorism, Vietnam War, and many MANY others. Primary teachers will appreciate simple activities on Dolch words and other sight vocabulary! Pages are arranged in topics such as "Plants and Animals," "World History," "Biology, Chemistry, and Physics," and "Problem Solving." There are many professional topics on exceptionalities, as well. Each page includes a vast array of subtopics. Other links on the page include "Greta's Game Station" and "Hannah's Help" which offers information on researching. Some of the links at "Greta's Game Station" require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): adhd (28), back to school (58), electricity (89), inventors and inventions (101), literature (275), parts of speech (68), polar (19), speech (92), states (162)

In the Classroom

Use these PowerPoints to provide background information for projects or further inquiry in class. For example, use a PowerPoint on cells to give background information. Create questions for students to answer while viewing the PowerPoint or add your own "lecture" notes while showing to a class. Remember that PowerPoint does not HAVE to be shown on a screen. Students can watch them as tutorials at a center or computer cluster. Learning support teachers will appreciate having an alternate way to present basic concepts to visual learners. Assign students a particular cell part to research more information about the part. Explore professional topics on your own or together with colleagues during inservice time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Crisis Management Institute Downloads - Cheri Lovre- Crisis Management Institute

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of downloadable, printable pdfs for K-12 teachers covers a wide range of topics for managing crisis and traumatic experiences among children and teens. The Crisis Management...more
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This collection of downloadable, printable pdfs for K-12 teachers covers a wide range of topics for managing crisis and traumatic experiences among children and teens. The Crisis Management Institute provides fee-based training and support services for schools, but they offer these downloads for free, as long as users abide by copyright restrictions in printing them exactly as-is and NOT excerpting or adapting content. The downloads are written for different audiences: teachers, parents, administrators, and counselors, and cover many topics of school violence, terrorism, grief, trauma, suicide, school crisis management, Hurricane aftermath, helping displaced students, and more. There are several printables on 9/11 and handling the anniversaries of this traumatic day. The printable section is searchable, as well.

tag(s): school violence (12), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

When you need this information you usually need it quickly, so all teachers and administrators will want to mark this resource in your favorites and tell your colleagues about it. Familiarize yourself with what is available here, then be sure to share the information with colleagues and parents when/if an incident throws your school into crisis.
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CSDSmarties - Rachel Carter, Lisa, Linda

Grades
K to 8
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This site is a blog created by a three teachers (in New Hampshire?) for other teachers - all about using technology (especially interactive whiteboard) with math lessons! The subject...more
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This site is a blog created by a three teachers (in New Hampshire?) for other teachers - all about using technology (especially interactive whiteboard) with math lessons! The subject is math, and the topics vary from basic arithmetic to geometry to patterns. Learn how to use your interactive whiteboard to teach lessons, see examples, view lesson ideas, watch videos of teacher experiences, and much more. There are many demonstrations and activities in a variety of math subjects. The content changes often, and additions are frequently added. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): counting (120), patterns (85), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Find ideas for your own classroom at this site. Save this site in your favorites, and check back frequently, as new material is added. Then try the lessons yourself. Don't be shy about commenting back on the blog, but be sure to tell them you found them on TeachersFirst!
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Native American Booklist - NEA

Grades
K to 12
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This site celebrates the major works by Native American authors. There are three booklist levels, grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12 and above. As part of NEA's Read Across ...more
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This site celebrates the major works by Native American authors. There are three booklist levels, grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12 and above. As part of NEA's Read Across America program, links to tools to help parents and teachers encourage more reading among the young. Books include fiction, essays, poetry, and nonfiction articles.

tag(s): book lists (128), literature (275), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a reference when picking extra reading materials during a Native American unit or as you approach November and Thanksgiving. Teach students how to find book reviews online after they've selected a book they would like to read. Have students create multi-media book "reports." Give students choices like a wiki, blog, PowerPoint, or even an online book review using a tool such at Bookemon (reviewed here).

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Helping Children Cope in Unsettling Times:The Economic Crisis; Tips for Parents and Teachers - NASP

Grades
K to 12
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This informative and friendly article from the National Association of School Psychologists provides easy-to-implement suggestions for teacher and parents in helping children and teens...more
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This informative and friendly article from the National Association of School Psychologists provides easy-to-implement suggestions for teacher and parents in helping children and teens cope tough economic times. Many of the tips are similar to what we may already know about helping students in times of stress, but this article refocuses adults to tune into the economic crisis from the point of view of the child/teen.

tag(s): recession (3), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Take the time to read and implement the classroom suggestions for all ages, including taking time to note any signs of students "at risk." Share this printable pdf with your colleagues and with parents via a link from your teacher web page or as an insert in a school or classroom newsletter. If you have an information table at PTO/PTA functions or in your conference waiting area, this is a good handout to include.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst Resources on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Asperger's - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources will help you to better understand these students with special challenges and find strategies for working with them in your classroom. ...more
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This collection of reviewed resources will help you to better understand these students with special challenges and find strategies for working with them in your classroom.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Share this collection with parents and colleagues using the "email this" link.

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Winning Lesson Plans - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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These lesson plans for many subjects and grade levels were among the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored by TeachersFirst. TeachersFirst editors have since revisited these plans...more
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These lesson plans for many subjects and grade levels were among the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored by TeachersFirst. TeachersFirst editors have since revisited these plans and added technology options where appropriate.

In the Classroom

Many of the project ideas in these lessons are adaptable to other content. "Hitchhike" on the technology suggestions and web resources to adapt these ideas for your curriculum.

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NEH Summer Seminars - NEH

Grades
K to 12
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A collection of summer seminars provided by NEH. ...more
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A collection of summer seminars provided by NEH.

tag(s): grants (19)

In the Classroom

Share this opportunity with your colleagues in social studies, world cultures, and more. If you do take the trip, TeachersFirst encourages you to create a travel blog so that others may share in your experience or follow up by sharing lesson plans that come out of your experiences. Maybe the participants would like to cretae a wiki? Learn more about blogs and wikis from TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom and TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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