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Brainy Box - Russell Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even ...more
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even iPads and other tablets. Click through the tutorial by clicking the numbers under the cube and learn the details! When you are ready to create your own, click the New button to begin. Edit using standard web tools and click on a different cube face number to continue editing. Save your creation with a password to retrieve later. Be sure to save the url somewhere you can find it! Some of the introductory videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): creativity (109), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Create a cube with various aspects of information about curriculum content to be shared with students. Even the non-readers could navigate a teacher-created cube if videos (or graphics) are included instead of words. Use a Brainy Box cube to give directions and examples to a specific project assigned to students. Create a cube about a particular person or event from history. Decide on the parameters for each of the sides of the cube before assigning. Create a cube to include specific information from characters in novels. Create a Brainy box to include related images or words. Students can brainstorm how these images or words are related. Assign a Brainy Box with student's favorite artwork and reasons chosen from their work through the year. Use a Brainy Box as a visual aid for student presentations. Challenge students to create their own Brainy Box on nearly any subject. Some additional ideas shared from Brainy Box: Produce a "Who" cube with an image and five key aspects of a character; Summarize a key topic with two facts, two images, and two videos; and Summarize a key event looking at different times in history. The possibilities here are endless! See more ideas in this review of a similar tool (3D Photo Cube) that creates a cube of still images.

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Cacheopedia - Cacheopedia

Grades
4 to 12
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Interested in geocaching (or want to know what it is?) This wiki offers an encyclopedia of geocaching. Cacheopedia indexes everything about geocaching. Learn the basics of geocaching....more
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Interested in geocaching (or want to know what it is?) This wiki offers an encyclopedia of geocaching. Cacheopedia indexes everything about geocaching. Learn the basics of geocaching. Find vocabulary, guides, and even communities. Use GPS units or GPS-enabled smart phones to get started geocaching.

tag(s): latitude (13), longitude (13), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Incorporate geocaching into geography, math, science, history, English, and physical education curricula. Develop understanding of latitude, longitude, and basic geography. Create lessons (or even better, have students do the creating) to learn about the area in which your students live. Encourage students to focus on places they have not been and include local history. Design a scavenger hunt around the school to move students through various caches and information they should gather or items they should see. Have a resource others would like to see? Read the Contribute section of Cacheopedia to write and submit information that others may find useful. Your students could, for example, create a geocache with a token about local history or biological species and help others learn from them! You might even make the "cached" item a QR code that directs to a wiki page your students create telling all about the local historic site or species found at the cache location. Learn more about QR Codes in this archived OK2Ask recording.

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CurriConnects Booklist: Weather, Climate, and Earth's Atmosphere - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 9
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Brace yourself for the weather in these books about storm phenomena, weather disasters, climate change, and weather's causes and effects. These non-fiction selections offer possible...more
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Brace yourself for the weather in these books about storm phenomena, weather disasters, climate change, and weather's causes and effects. These non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills and experience with "close reading." The interest levels for this list are predominantly elementary and middle school but include selections for more able readers. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): atmosphere (26), book lists (126), climate (92), earth (228), independent reading (126), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to select from this list for independent reading to support your unit on disasters, weather, or the Earth's atmosphere. Share it with your school library/media specialist or public library, as well, for them to "pull" books in support of your science units. Extend the experience by having students create visual presentations of the concepts they learn. Share projects using one of these reviewed presentation tools from the TeachersFirst Edge.

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BookRX - Knight Lab Northwestern University

Grades
K to 12
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BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, ...more
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BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, a suggested book list appears based on information found in your Twitter feed! The site finds books based on hashtags used and other users you follow. Book recommendations appear in several categories such as food, business, or science and technology.

tag(s): book lists (126), independent reading (126), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use BookRX as a fun way to find book recommendations you may not otherwise know about. In lower grades, this is likely to be a teacher-only tool. Share with older students who actively use Twitter to help them find new reading material. Use with your classroom Twitter account to find books related to curriculum topics your class has been tweeting about or experts you have been following. Teachers at ANY level who have established a Twitter presence can use it to find professional reading materials. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
 

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MakeUseOf Cheat Sheets - makeuseof.com

Grades
K to 12
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for ...more
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, Shortcuts For Special Characters on Windows, Evernote Search Tips & Tricks, Skype Shortcuts for Mac OSX, YouTube Tips, and several others. View by clicking the thumbnail or use the download link to print in PDF format.
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tag(s): computers (94), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Useful both with students or personally, this is a site that you will definitely want to bookmark or save in your favorites. Print the guides for use with classroom computers, in computer labs, and to tape in student notebooks. Create a permanent link to these guides on your class website or blog for students (and parents) to use at home. Encourage students to use these sheets to become "techsperts" at a certain program and to share their expertise during byod activities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Iris the Dragon - Gayle Grass

Grades
K to 6
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Iris the Dragon offers children's books to educate young children on mental health and wellness. The site has several FREE, downloadable e-books. There are other materials and offerings...more
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Iris the Dragon offers children's books to educate young children on mental health and wellness. The site has several FREE, downloadable e-books. There are other materials and offerings advertised on the site, but no purchase is needed to obtain the free e-Books. Topics include ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, School Anxiety, Anger, Worry, and more. A few e-books are also available in French. Fill in the simple form with your name, books desired, and how you plan to use the books. (No email address is necessary, but can be provided if you want email updates from the website.) There is no "wait" period. E-books are available for immediate use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): adhd (28), aspergers (6), autism (22), ebooks (41), mental health (26)

In the Classroom

Download books from Iris the Dragon for use in mental health lessons or to address specific classroom concerns. Use books as a read-aloud and display on your interactive whiteboard or projector during class meetings. Print and laminate books for use in guided reading lessons. Share this site on your class website for students (and parents) to read together at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Howcast - The best how-to videos on the web - Howcast Media

Grades
6 to 12
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Howcast is an aggregator of the "best" how-to videos across the Internet. These short, easy to follow videos cover a wide range of topics, including pop-culture. They are created by...more
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Howcast is an aggregator of the "best" how-to videos across the Internet. These short, easy to follow videos cover a wide range of topics, including pop-culture. They are created by HowCast "experts." One very handy feature is the text transcript included with each video (scroll down to see it). Browse through the categories or type a search term into the search box to view available videos. Categories include Fitness, Home, Food, Health, Arts, Tech, and more. Click "Share" on each video page to share via social networking sites or copy the embed code to share the video on a website or blog. The HowCast videos are not simply YouTube searches, so they have different offerings from what you might find there. Not all content at this site is appropriate for the classroom. Please be sure to preview before you share with your students. This is not one that you want students to explore on their own.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), careers (132), computers (94), financial literacy (80), money (193), politics (99), sports (96), video (253)

In the Classroom

The brief video clips on this site make it ideal for use when introducing or researching information. View together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Cue up and pause your video at a point AFTER the opening ad to save class time! Embed onto your class website or blog for students to view at home. Use the transcripts as examples of how-to speeches and have students both read and watch to analyze the details of how to organize such a speech before making their own videos or giving live informational speeches. Bookmark and save for use as How To questions arise throughout the year. For example, if you have a question about using Microsoft Excel, search Howcast to find about 30 videos explaining different tools and tricks within the program. Preview any search results before sharing with the class. Use Howcast videos as examples in any subject area and challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Haiku Deck - haikudeck.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit...more
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit layouts, and add notes to personalize each slide. Upload your own images or type a phrase to find images included in Haiku Deck's extensive library. Save and share using social networking links or embed code when finished. Finished decks may also be saved as a PDF or exported to SlideShare reviewed here. Set your privacy options as public, restricted to only those with the url, or private. At the time of this review, Haiku was available on the web and iPad platforms only.

tag(s): images (265), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Create slide presentations for any lesson or teach students to create slides for class projects. In lower grades, create a project together on your interactive whiteboard or create them for your students to use. Create a presentation for use during Open Houses, class trips, or school events. Embed the slides on your class blog. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. The possibilities are unlimited. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here. If you are lucky enough to have iPads for use in your classroom, download the app for students to create slide shows on their own.

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Vidtionary - vidtionary.com

Grades
K to 12
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in...more
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in the background. Browse entries using the search bar or view featured collections. Browse alphabetically or explore collections. Because of the wide range of topics and difficulty levels, these vocabulary words could be used with any age. Video lengths run less than one minute per definition, many as short as 10-15 seconds. Originally designed to teach English to speakers of Korean and Japanese, the visual nature of the site appeals to all language learners.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

While this site is ideal for any student learning new vocabulary, it is especially useful for ESL/ELL students or speech/language students with vocabulary deficits. Share selected videos in primary grades to help students see how new words are defined and spelled. Challenge your gifted students to find new vocabulary words to share with the class. Use in any classroom as a model (sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Then assign cooperative learning groups to create Vidtionary inspired videos of their own to explain curriculum terms, world language vocabulary, or SAT words. Use a tool like Moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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GIFMaker - GIFmaker.me

Grades
K to 12
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and...more
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and upload the images that you want to use (in PNG, GIF, or JPG format). Choose your animation speed and image size. You can even choose an image from your smartphone. Animations can be run backwards to create another different animation. Download the finished creation to your desktop.

tag(s): animation (63), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Create animations of any image! Animate inanimate objects such as a leaf or other object by taking two different pictures of it so it can "change." Use your animations as a focus for story creation or free writing. Animate images used by students for their individual web pages to set the scene for their "About Me" introductions. Design and shoot images to animate as an introduction to a project or report. Challenge older students to create their own animated GIF images. (No registration is required.) Photograph and create GIFs to show two stages of insect development, the growth of a plant, or other scientific concepts.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ImageCodr - Xteq Systems

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this tool to correctly use and give proper credit for images from Flickr Creative Commons on any web age or wiki. Search for images using Flickr Creative Commons reviewed ...more
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Use this tool to correctly use and give proper credit for images from Flickr Creative Commons on any web age or wiki. Search for images using Flickr Creative Commons reviewed here or from the handy link provided on ImageCodr. Enter the URL for the picture page from Flickr, and ImageCodr will generate a block of HTML code for you to include on your web page or other online project. This code will make both the image AND the appropriate credit display. A brief licensing summary shows as a caption when you use the embed code. Note that this tool does not work for including images and credits in offline projects such as PowerPoint slides. It will work in any online tool that allows embed codes!

tag(s): creative commons (21), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use this tool whenever Flickr Creative Commons pictures are used for any classwork or project. Be sure students understand the different types of images available and use ones that are licensed correctly. Use the embed code wherever you need to place the image, and BOTH the image AND the licensing will be displayed. Be sure to model use of this tool whenever using images from Flickr. What a handy way to include images on your own class web page! Post images as writing prompts, you-name-it science questions, or world language conversation starters, all from a simple Flickr CC image search!

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Class Messenger - Learn Anything, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting...more
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting up an account takes you about 30 seconds! Create an account and a class. Students and/or parents create accounts as well. Parents (or students) then search for teacher name, class, or username to join. You can choose messages to be received through the app, by text message, or via email. Requests to join must first be approved by the teacher before receiving any messages. From the teacher dashboard, compose the type of message you wish to send, choose the recipients of the message, and type the body of the message. Messages are sent to each of the recipients using their chosen method. If students choose the SMS option, be sure they obtain parental permission FIRST, as standard messaging rates apply.

tag(s): classroom management (134), DAT device agnostic tool (196), homework (44), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a Snow Day. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. Don't forget any extracurricular activities. You could also use this to communicate with parents. (Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page.) Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Learning Support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add your own messages to help parents know how to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Class Messenger. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.

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Powerful Pairings: Read-Alouds for Working with the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Discover powerful pairings of books for read-alouds, books that will help you and your students delve into the Common Core State Standards for both literature and informational text....more
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Discover powerful pairings of books for read-alouds, books that will help you and your students delve into the Common Core State Standards for both literature and informational text. There are six pairings for each of the K-6 grade level bands--lower, middle, and upper elementary, with attention to all three sections of the standards: Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. By pairing the books as read-alouds, you can help students experience and understand major concepts from the CCSS.

tag(s): book lists (126), commoncore (92), independent reading (126), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

Choose from these pairings or read the descriptions to get the idea of how books can be "pairs." Then select your own perfect pair read-alouds from your classroom or school library. ( Remember you can also borrow books via interlibrary loan if you do not have the selections on this list!) Use an Interactive Venn Diagram tool, reviewed here, to help students map out the similarities and differences in the fiction and informational texts on similar topics. After exploring some of these read-alouds together as a class, challenge your students to find and read "powerful pairs" of books on their own: one fiction, one informational.

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Wordless News - Maria Fabrizio

Grades
5 to 12
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"See" daily news headlines in illustration form on this clever blog created by illustrator/designer Maria Fabrizio. Each day she chooses a headline to illustrate in a sort of visual...more
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"See" daily news headlines in illustration form on this clever blog created by illustrator/designer Maria Fabrizio. Each day she chooses a headline to illustrate in a sort of visual riddle, and she also includes the link to the article that inspired it. The result: an engaging visual prompt that tempts your guess at one of the day's top stories. The news sources vary among various mainstream U.S. news sources, such as the New York Times, NBC, NPR, or USA Today. Challenge yourself to stay up to date and think visually. Cycle back through the daily entries since early 2013 or search by clickable tags to see the breadth of news represented here and find related stories. You can also sign up to receive the daily stories via email.

tag(s): news (261), visual thinking (10)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to connect with current events by sharing the daily post (or one per week) on your projector or interactive whiteboard as students enter homeroom or settle in for the start of class. If you teach reading, this is the perfect way to entice students to READ informational texts with a visual image in mind, adding a purpose to their reading of non-fiction. This is a very creative way to practice close reading, as students look for the reasons behind the illustrator's choices. Extend the activity by challenging students in reading OR social studies classes to create their own Wordless News illustrations to reflect a news story they find on their own. Share the challenges on a class wiki for other students to "guess" and include the links to the stories. Art teachers can use this blog as an example of the many ways artists find inspiration in everyday life. Even the very young can "draw" a news story they read. ESL/ELL teachers can use these illustrations to build speaking vocabulary as students discuss and guess the news stories and practice their language skills reading the actual text. Use this blog in social studies class to inspire historic " wordless news" stories with accompanying articles written by students (or primary source stories from the time). What would the illustration and article be like for the Emancipation Proclamation?

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Letters of Note - Shaun Usher

Grades
8 to 12
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Letters of Note is a blog that shares letters from a book of the same name, but you never have to buy the book! The collection includes over 900 interesting ...more
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Letters of Note is a blog that shares letters from a book of the same name, but you never have to buy the book! The collection includes over 900 interesting letters from many different sources such as Leonardo da Vinci's 's job application, a letter from Steve Albini to the band Nirvana, and Virginia Woolf's suicide letter. Start from the archives to find over 900 more examples sorted in different ways such as typed/handwritten, by date, name, or correspondence type. Or click in the sidebar to access most popular or even view a random letter. Most letters include an image along with a short description of the context of the correspondence included. Letters include the original language so be sure to read for yourself before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acting (27), authors (120), europe (75), letter writing (21), politics (99), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Find letters from authors to read when studying their novels. Choose letters from different time periods to share with students as an authentic look at life during that time (primary sources!). Have students share what they learned using a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person.

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PledgeCents - pledgecents.com

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need funds for a classroom project or equipment? PledgeCents is a quick and easy solution to classroom and school fundraising. Begin with a fundraising idea and a goal. ...more
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Do you need funds for a classroom project or equipment? PledgeCents is a quick and easy solution to classroom and school fundraising. Begin with a fundraising idea and a goal. Create your class page with a project description, pictures, videos, and other relevant information. Share your page through social media links to Facebook, Twitter, and more. More simply, share the link on your class web page. Donors click to "invest" in your cause and are guided through a simple process to donate either by name or anonymously. After the project deadline, collect funds easily and safely for use with your project.

tag(s): grants (19), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a potential funding source or make a donation. Join the site (free). Then take the time to write up a clearly-worded project proposal along with pictures and video. You can even make the project a challenge to your school community, if you wish. If you are a student council or Key Club adviser, make one or more of the projects on this site your targeted service project for the year. Or use this venue to collect funds to purchase materials for your own school or club service projects. Encourage philanthropy to support good causes: kids helping kids! Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a fundraising tool for any and all projects. Don't forget to send the project descriptions with local media such as small town newspapers, local TV, or service groups who might make a donation.

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Math and Children's Literature - Let's Read Math

Grades
K to 12
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If you integrate children's literature with math (and who doesn't?) this is a must-see site. Choose from several different elementary topics or go to links for middle and high school...more
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If you integrate children's literature with math (and who doesn't?) this is a must-see site. Choose from several different elementary topics or go to links for middle and high school teachers to find book suggestions. Each topic provides a list of matching books including author, grade, and comments. This site, though rather "plain vanilla," offers highly useful booklists that you will want to save!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): counting (120), decimals (133), fractions (239), literature (275), logic (235), measurement (159), money (193), number sense (97), operations (126), percent (82), preK (279), probability (130), ratios (53), statistics (122), time (144)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for finding literature to match to math content throughout the school year. You may want to list this link on your class website for parents to use to find literature to read to their younger student. Challenge your secondary students to read one of the books... for math class! For further math-related, leveled book suggestions for student independent reading, try TeachersFirst's CurriConnects list, Math in Use.

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Teachable Moments - Walch Education

Grades
5 to 12
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Find several "teachable moments" lesson plans based on articles and current topics, ready for download in PDF format. Topics include a variety of topics such as Pluto is no Longer ...more
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Find several "teachable moments" lesson plans based on articles and current topics, ready for download in PDF format. Topics include a variety of topics such as Pluto is no Longer a Planet, Vending Machine Bans in Schools, and Is the Internet Making us Dumber? Click to download and view each lesson including background information, standards, worksheets, and options for use. The lesson plans are quite thorough and include links to related articles. They encourage "close reading" a la CCSS with engaging material in science, social studies, and other subjects. You can ignore the ads for purchase of "related materials."

tag(s): canada (30), civil rights (117), differentiation (47), energy (197), planets (123), poetry (227), politics (99), population (60), recycling (57), slavery (72), sports (96)

In the Classroom

These interesting, topical lessons would make a great resource for days when a substitute will be in your classroom or may fit perfectly in your regular curriculum. The Internet plan is well suited for digital citizenship and/or research curriculum. Save in your sub folder for a ready-to-go class activity. Print and use lessons as part of class debates and projects. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here) for students to present results.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zidbits - Zidbits media

Grades
3 to 12
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This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do...more
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This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do trees die from old age?" or "What is the most lethal poison?" Find facts for history, science, health, entertainment, and news on this site as well as fun facts. This site doesn't provide just a quick tidbit, but also gives background information and additional details.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): infographics (42), questioning (31), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

This resource is useful to hook your students at the beginning of your lessons or simply to get them reading non-fiction text. Use these as hooks to get your students thinking about content that will be introduced in the lesson. Students can find a Zidbit they are interested in. Poll students about possible answers and then report the actual answer and content needed in order to understand and explain it. Learn a new Zidbit yourself every week. If you teach public speaking skills, have students use these stories as inspiration or "hooks" for informational speeches, as well.

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Hindsight is always 20/20 - Luke Dubois

Grades
8 to 12
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Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines State of the Union addresses through a metaphor of vision charts (and words). This site highlights the sixty-six most used words in the annual...more
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Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines State of the Union addresses through a metaphor of vision charts (and words). This site highlights the sixty-six most used words in the annual State of the Union addresses given by former Presidents. Each address is exhibited in the style of a Snellen eye chart. Find the most frequently used words in place of the eye-chart characters, with the most often used word on the top line. Find a thumbnail of all the presidents along the bottom. Scroll over each one to view the chart. The name of the president and the period of time served is found along the bottom right of the chart. As the words are unique to each chart, the chart itself is a snapshot of each presidency and the time period each president served.

tag(s): presidents (130), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Share this tool in January, before the annual State of the Union. Allow time for groups of students to view specific charts and report upon the words used and their meanings. Students can research the time period the president served to understand the cultural, religious, and political climate of the day. Does the most common word (or top 10) appear in more than one presidency? Are there presidents who faced the same challenges even if not from the same time period? How did their State of the Union addresses differ (or were similar?) Discuss the uses of various words of which students may be unfamiliar.

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