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Breaking News - NBC News Digital Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This current events site can take you places! Type in the topic you want to read about and view a list of headlines to stories about the topic. Choose one ...more
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This current events site can take you places! Type in the topic you want to read about and view a list of headlines to stories about the topic. Choose one of the headlines to read the story that comes from a variety of news sources. Click on the globe icon on the upper right of the news page to view the world map. This shows the location of where the stories originate. Clicking on the dots on the map also take you to the stories. This tool is available on web browsers, iOS, and Android devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), globe (14), maps (288), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for current events projects. Assign students various weeks through out the semester in which they are to be the class news reporter. The reports should keep their peers up to date and informed. Have students research what is going on via this news site, and give a small presentation at the beginning of class every day during their week. Students can do an oral presentation or create a short video summarizing the same information. View several news articles from different areas and discuss bias and point of view from other cities and countries. Choose dots on the map randomly from the various sections to see what is trending in different regions. Have students create news briefs and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Bob the Alien's Tour of the Solar System - James Adams

Grades
K to 8
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Take me to the Solar System! Choose a planet, (or asteroid, comets, the sun, and more) from the solar system to visit. View information about the planet. Choose from the ...more
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Take me to the Solar System! Choose a planet, (or asteroid, comets, the sun, and more) from the solar system to visit. View information about the planet. Choose from the tabs at the top of the screen for more topics of interest about that specific planet. Click Ask an Alien to submit a question through the online form. You might even see the answer to your question on the site. View planetary statistics in the Planets Table and definitions in the Space A-Z tab. Use the Exploration Timeline to see the history of space exploration.
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tag(s): planets (123), solar system (119), space (205), sun (71)

In the Classroom

Use this site to obtain information about various celestial bodies in space. The reading on this site will qualify for the informational text required by the Common Core Standards. Divide students in groups to look at a specific object and report findings to the class. Be sure to point out the hyperlinked words in the information for each of the planets and objects as they lead to further information to understanding the material. Have students create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Give time for students to develop questions they may have after reading or using the material. Vote for the best questions from the class to submit in the Ask an Alien section. Find games and printable materials in the Usable Resources and Bob's Extra Stuff sections. Place a link to this site on your class web page for students to explore during Astronomy units.

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XKCD - XKCD

Grades
8 to 12
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week ...more
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week find comics with stick figures featuring mathematical, scientific, and cultural humor. Dig through the archives to find the perfect one for you! Creative Commons License allows reprinting of the comics. Each comic has an individual URL that can be shared to direct students to that specific comic. Be sure to PREVIEW before you share any comics with your class. Our editors found a few that may be questionable depending on the maturity of your students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), humor (15)

In the Classroom

Add humor to your science, math, language, and current events classes to lighten the mood! Spice up professional presentations with humor, and keep your audience involved. Share the direct URL to any comic that relates to your curriculum or specific topics. Encourage students to create comics with your current content. Have students use one of the tools and ideas included in this collection. Keep your class website humorous with a few comics from XKCD.

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World Water Monitoring Challenge - World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC)

Grades
5 to 12
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Join others in over 50 countries around the world in the World Water Monitoring Challenge. The official kickoff for World Water Day is on March 22. However, the challenge continues...more
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Join others in over 50 countries around the world in the World Water Monitoring Challenge. The official kickoff for World Water Day is on March 22. However, the challenge continues through December 31. Register to monitor any lake, stream, bay, or any other nearby body of water with safe access. Follow directions to test and monitor your water. There are test kits available for purchase. However, you can create your own. Share data by logging into the site. Visit the Resources page to find activity worksheets, handouts, guides, and lesson plans.
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tag(s): earth day (112), environment (317), water (130)

In the Classroom

Sign up your classroom or science club to participate in the World Water Monitoring Challenge. Follow directions on the site for how to collect and submit data. Take advantage of lesson plans found on the site in both English and Spanish. Use the lessons and resources as part of an environmental or Earth Day unit. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) sharing their findings.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Science Fair - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description ...more
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description of the prizes, past winners, key dates, and judges. Students must have a Google Student Account. The Teacher and Parent's section has ideas for involving young participants and how to support them. There are also lesson plans (by grade levels), posters (in PDF format), and more. Get inspired by watching the Google Science Fair Channel on YouTube! Encourage the young inventors you know, and they might win one of the many fabulous prizes. The yearly submission deadline is around mid-May. Regional winners are announced in July. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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.

tag(s): computers (94), engineering (125), science fairs (25), scientific method (64), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Why not take the next step in science fairs? Let Google walk you through this competition! Introduce the project to students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. A particularly useful start for students is the Idea Springboard. Here young innovators can get help generating ideas for a science fair project across all scientific fields! Be sure to post a link to the Google Science Fair on your class webpage for students to share with their parents at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Ancestral Pueblo People - National Park Service

Grades
6 to 10
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Discover a wealth of information about the Bandelier National Monument, the Pueblo people in New Mexico and their historical significance beginning 15,000 years ago. Gorgeous pictures...more
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Discover a wealth of information about the Bandelier National Monument, the Pueblo people in New Mexico and their historical significance beginning 15,000 years ago. Gorgeous pictures bring the history of the Pueblo people to life in screens with short, informative pieces to read. After an introduction, there are interactive tasks to complete. For example, learn about building materials or gardening practices and, after reading brief passages, get to choose the correct materials to complete the picture.

tag(s): archeology (32), geology (81), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Assign this activity in pairs when studying native Americans. The interactive activity would work well at a learning station or in a computer lab. The activity takes about 20 minutes. The student challenges teach about the Ancestral Pueblo people and how they adapted to their harsh environment. The text portions might be challenging. Pair weak readers with a strong reader. Allow your ESL/ELL students to try using Sound Gecko, reviewed here, a text to speech program, that will allow these students to follow the text as the article or passage is read to them.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Explore America - Ballard-Tighe

Grades
5 to 12
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This site is an excellent way for ESL/ELL students to learn more about the history of America. Beginning before Columbus discovered America, and continuing into the present, it presents...more
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This site is an excellent way for ESL/ELL students to learn more about the history of America. Beginning before Columbus discovered America, and continuing into the present, it presents interactive activities, reference assistance, vocabulary activities, and a glossary to ensure student interest and comprehension. Authentic sounds and great attention to detail make the site attractive to students. Complete lesson plans help instructors incorporate the website material with background knowledge using a variety of skills. The Student Research Guide suggests fiction and nonfiction books to read. A built-in dictionary allows students to translate key terms into Spanish, Arabic, Korean and Hmong.

tag(s): colonial america (107), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105)

In the Classroom

The interactive activities would work well at a learning station or in a computer lab. The text portions might be challenging. Pair weaker readers with a stronger reader. After completing the interactive activities, have students create their own comics to highlight a specific historical era using comic-creation tools from TeachersFirst's Comic Resources. Or challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast, reviewed here, to create timelines of important historical events and periods.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Stanford School of Medicine, Khan Academy - Stanford School of Medicine

Grades
8 to 12
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Partnering with Khan Academy, the Stanford School of Medicine aims to share information about health and medicine with this special section. Not just background information, this section...more
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Partnering with Khan Academy, the Stanford School of Medicine aims to share information about health and medicine with this special section. Not just background information, this section tackles subject matter such as Breastfeeding, Tuberculosis, Influenza, Asthma, and Growth and Metabolism. Some 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.

tag(s): diseases (66), human body (120), medicine (67)

In the Classroom

Use these videos when discussing health issues or when applying classroom information to students lives. Use the Influenza and Tuberculosis videos when discussing viruses and immunity. Use Growth and Metabolism when discussing the digestive system or during a unit on biological macromolecules (protein, carbohydrates, and lipids.) Students can record questions that arise during the videos to either ask on the Khan Academy site, or to enter in a wiki for further research by other students in the class.

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Autodesk Digital STEAM Workshop - Autodesk, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
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Do you want to use STEM with better learning through design? Bring project based learning through design along with science, technology, engineering, math, AND art with this tool. The...more
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Do you want to use STEM with better learning through design? Bring project based learning through design along with science, technology, engineering, math, AND art with this tool. The Digital STEAM Workshop is a curriculum using Autodesk products, such as AutoCAD and Inventor. Worried you do not know how to use the software? Don't fear! The student materials include extensive information about completing the projects. These projects are real world, engaging challenges for students. Teacher resources are extensive and include project briefs, lesson plans, pre/post tests, and extensive materials for students. Be sure to note the available materials includes prerequisites, ideas for differentiation, extension ideas, and STEAM connections. Be sure to check the For Educators section, as well as the How-To videos. Teacher materials are available as a download. Be sure to look over all the information on the site including the free download link for the software found in the upper right corner. Discuss the installation and use of the software with your Administration or Technology departments to see if it will work on school computers. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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.

tag(s): animation (63), architecture (83), engineering (125), STEM (134), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

View the basic information. "Start Here" is a good place to start! Choose from the three different levels of information and projects. Be sure to view the lessons and materials under the Teacher Resources section. Select from projects labeled Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced as appropriate. Use a project from the curriculum in place of one activity normally planned through the year. As you become comfortable with using authentic project-based curriculum, consider adding more. Choose from subjects: Architecture, Animation, Engineering, Manufacturing, Maker, STEAM, or Sustainability. These activities would be wonderful challenges for gifted students. Consider looking at student curriculum and creating a class that fits a STEAM model. Incorporate many of these activities into the curriculum. Use projects such as Urban Planning in a variety of different courses in school.

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MediaFire - MediaFire

Grades
6 to 12
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer...more
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer for times when there is no Internet access. MediaFire Desktop keeps your online and locally stored files safe and in sync. View and edit all files and folders privately or share them to collaborate. Find a comprehensive Getting Started PDF manual on the left side menu. Signing up is as easy as typing in your email. MediaFire claims to be "the only online storage solution to offer unlimited downloads, download resuming, zero wait times and more, all for free."
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196)

In the Classroom

Use MediaFire to transfer files and images between devices quickly in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Student groups working on projects in class can gather and share data easily from anywhere. Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others. What a great way for students to turn their work into you when completed on their devices! During curriculum development and other professional development activities, members of a department (or even school-wide) can share resources and documents easily with each other.

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Random Name Generator Tool - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. ...more
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. Next, enter a password, display name, and your email address. Either copy and paste the information that comes next or save the email you are sent to retrieve the group and list of names quickly. The Random Name Generator will work with iPads or on any Internet browser.

tag(s): classroom management (134), probability (130)

In the Classroom

Use the Random Name Generator to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator to choose the classmate who comes next. Create your list at the beginning of the year and SAVE it to use throughout the year. Use the Random Name Generator as part of your probability unit to chart how often names appear with random spins.

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Paperhouses - Paperhouses

Grades
7 to 12
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Peek into the architectural design process or even participate in it via this public sharing site of blueprints from some of the world's best and most innovative and respected architects....more
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Peek into the architectural design process or even participate in it via this public sharing site of blueprints from some of the world's best and most innovative and respected architects. Join for free to access "architecture in open source" to see how new materials are being used, read blog posts by designers, and browse designs and actual blueprints. See how architects are solving challenges of sustainability and more.

tag(s): architecture (83), design (84), engineering (125), environment (317), structures (24)

In the Classroom

Share this site as part of a simple unit on measurement and scale (blueprints!) or in discussions about the environment, engineering, and the impact of human behavior on our world. Include it as a link on your class web page for art classes, gifted classes, or environmental issues. If you teach CAD or tech ed, this site is a wonderful example of drafting put to use in the real world. Have your science students research some of the materials used in the designs or analyze the structures' load bearing properties in a physics class. Share this site as part of career explorations so students can explore what architects say and do. Encourage students to select designs and share their analysis or discussions about them as a blog post or wiki page. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Nautilus - Nautilus

Grades
9 to 12
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Explore science through fascinating articles in this episodic monthly magazine. Although you can subscribe for a fee, you can also check out past and current issues online for free....more
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Explore science through fascinating articles in this episodic monthly magazine. Although you can subscribe for a fee, you can also check out past and current issues online for free. As they describe themselves, "We deliver big-picture science by reporting on a single monthly topic from multiple perspectives." The combined perspectives include, "the sciences, culture and philosophy into a single story told by the world's leading thinkers and writers." Each Thursday the site publishes a new "chapter" of that month's thematic issue. Past issue themes include Creativity, Illusions, Genius, Big Bangs, and more. Expect to be fascinated by the many angles. You will want to talk and share about what you learn!
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tag(s): careers (132), expository writing (44), scientists (68), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Share these articles as part of a broad discussion of the role of science in our world, such as during a unit on scientists or careers. Share Nautilus with your gifted or science-focused students to spark interests in scientific fields that are new to them. Assign gifted students to select an article and research it further when they have tested out of regular curriculum. They can share their discoveries as a multimedia presentation or write a blog post about them. Use articles from the magazine as fodder for class debates in English class or pull excerpts to use as writing prompts for informational or expository writing. The reading levels are high school and up, so be sure to partner weaker readers with a more capable reader if using this for class assignments. Check specific reading levels of an article by pasting its url into the Juicy Studio Readability Test, reviewed here.

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STEAM Education - Sarah Weaver

Grades
4 to 7
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Enhance STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, Math) through great ideas found on the this blog. The ideas demonstrate activities for use including instructions...more
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Enhance STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, Math) through great ideas found on the this blog. The ideas demonstrate activities for use including instructions and images of students completing activities. View archives for additional lessons. Find art, articles, lessons, or resources under the categories link. Add your email for notification of new posts and updates.

tag(s): blogs (88), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this blog or sign up for updates to continue to receive great ideas for incorporating STEAM into your classroom. Collaborate with your school's art teacher to teach lessons found on the site. Share ideas from this blog with parents for entertaining at-home activities. Use ideas from the site for a Math/Science fair at school.

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Travel By Drone - Jan Hiersemenzel

Grades
K to 12
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different ...more
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different views of the area are provided. Search for specific cities, select editors' choices, or see the "Latest" drone footage. As with any Google map there are the usual navigation tools. To see if the area you want to view has footage, scroll through the map. The Drone footage is 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): cities (25), countries (77), landforms (45), landmarks (26), news (261), setting (11), video (253)

In the Classroom

This site is continually adding new places to see. If you don't find what you want, check back frequently. Make geography come to life by showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this tool to explore how it looks in the country or city studied in world cultures (or languages). Explore geography concepts, historical locations, famous battle locations, and more. Students creating a multimedia presentation with a setting can look at Travel By Drone to see if there is footage they can use.

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SlideRule - Parul Gupta and Gautam Tambay

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover some of the world's best online courses with SlideRule's search engine. Enter what you want to learn into the search bar. Explore the offerings provided or browse by subject,...more
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Discover some of the world's best online courses with SlideRule's search engine. Enter what you want to learn into the search bar. Explore the offerings provided or browse by subject, university, or providers. Narrow results down by starting date, teaching method, or credentials. Each entry includes a short description of the course, fees (many are free!), start dates, length of course, and skill level required. Many classes also include reviews from other SlideRule users. Click the "Enroll" link to go directly to the course or save to your wish list after creating a free account. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. Most do not require Flash. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): professional development (123), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Share SlideRule with your gifted students as a resource for finding enrichment resources or content not taught by your school. Search for and share free courses for all students to use for review of any topic. Use the SlideRule search engine to find professional development courses for your own personal use.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Comment Bubble - Vivek Agrawal and Jean-Sebastien Legare

Grades
4 to 12
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" ...more
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" colored buttons (without pausing the video). Type in the information you want to know on the button. Viewers click on that button when they see it in the video. Viewers can also comment via text, audio, or video. Share the video with the URL provided or make it public for anyone to see. Comment Bubble will record and graph where in the video the audience reacted. See viewers' names with each comment. The demo video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it 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.

tag(s): assessment (99), video (253)

In the Classroom

Introduce Comment Bubble on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a video you have prepared. It could be a video you use in conjunction with your lesson or a video of you actually giving the lesson. Show students how they can click on the Quick Comment buttons and also make text or verbal comments. Use Comment Bubble for flipping your class lectures. Have buttons for students to click when things are unclear or when they strongly disagree. Record student presentations and upload for self-evaluation or peer and teacher comments and questions. Use this tool for formative assessment. ESL/ELL and resource teachers could record students reading or conversing with a group and create a Comment Bubble for the students to self score their activity.

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Elementary Science Resource Kit - Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 8
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and...more
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and famous inventors. While learning about the famous inventors, also learn the value of scientific thinking! Build thinking skills with the challenging culmination piece. These range from creating riddles to creating brochures and journals. All units include step by step directions, Science Content Standards (NSES), ELA Common Core Anchor Standards, and NETS. In addition, there is a list of resources to use and a suggestion for assessment. You MUST register to view the lessons. To register simply give your name and email, and download all seven of these units for free!
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tag(s): animal homes (41), animals (276), biomes (116), butterflies (13), famous people (19), inventors and inventions (101), life cycles (25), planets (123), scientific method (64), scientists (68), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

Immerse students in hands-on, inquiry projects with these seven plans. Introduce them on your interactive whiteboard or projector and select a class project to complete. Have student groups choose a topic to research. Created for grades 1 to 5, with one for 5-8, any of the plans could be adjusted to fit any of these grade levels. The science kit lesson plans are free, and so are some of the resources they suggest using, such as Pics4Learning, reviewed here. However, the Pixie and Wixie program that the lesson advises using is not free. Instead, use QwikSlides, reviewed here, or RawShorts, reviewed here. Be sure to bookmark these units for future use.

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Useful Science - Jaan Altosaar

Grades
7 to 12
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Useful Science is a newsfeed of one-sentence summaries of articles from peer-reviewed scientific publications and journals. Browse through the home page for the newest summaries. View...more
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Useful Science is a newsfeed of one-sentence summaries of articles from peer-reviewed scientific publications and journals. Browse through the home page for the newest summaries. View content sorted by topics: Creativity, Fitness, Happiness, Healthy, Nutrition, Sleep, Parenting, and more. Click the summary to view the entire journal article (or abstract). Some of the summaries link to the entire journal article, while others only offer an abstract of the full text. Warning: Some of these articles are not appropriate for less-mature students. Please remember to preview before you share.
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tag(s): creativity (109), fitness (49), nutrition (154), parents (56), science fairs (25), trivia (17)

In the Classroom

Use Useful Science on a projector or whiteboard as an excellent source for quick scientific facts or trivia. Share this site with students as a resource for finding ideas for science fairs or research. Challenge students to explore topics further and find additional articles supporting or disputing summaries found on the site. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Viewers can also add unmoderated comments.

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Scrim - Basem

Grades
4 to 12
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your ...more
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your email and add a unique ending to the Scrim URL to receive your unique code. Copy and paste the code for use on social networking sites, documents, or forums.
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tag(s): internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Use Scrim whenever sharing your email address on Twitter or other social networking sites to avoid receiving spam. Share with older students as part of your cyber safety lessons.
 

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