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Numbersleuth: Magnifying the Universe - Science is Beautiful

Grades
K to 12
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This site shows the scale of items from the atom to the universe by using an interactive Infographic. Choose from nine items to begin comparison. Use the blue dot to ...more
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This site shows the scale of items from the atom to the universe by using an interactive Infographic. Choose from nine items to begin comparison. Use the blue dot to zoom in and out by sliding it up and down. The dial gives the difference in size. Be sure to view the Infographic full screen.

tag(s): animals (276), atoms (56), earth (228), measurement (159), planets (123), space (205)

In the Classroom

Provide time for student groups to explore this tool, record observations, discuss information they know, and generate questions. Research information to answer questions. Use this site before discussing the metric system or conversions between various units. It can be used to discuss the use of significant figures and errors in measurements and numbers. Use it as a springboard to measuring and comparing various items that students are familiar with. Embed this on to your class site for easy access by students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cool It! Tips for Going Green - National Wildlife Federation

Grades
2 to 12
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Cool It! Provides tons of realistic tips for conserving resources, recycling, and going green. Informational, logical articles featured are great for anyone interested in reducing their...more
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Cool It! Provides tons of realistic tips for conserving resources, recycling, and going green. Informational, logical articles featured are great for anyone interested in reducing their impact on the environment. This is a valuable resource for teachers, home owners, and gardeners alike! Put these practical ideas into motion and see the saving stack up!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earth day (112), energy (198), environment (317), recycling (57), water (130)

In the Classroom

If you are a science teacher, try using these topics as lesson content for Earth Day activities. Start by asking students, "What can you do to help the environment?" Lead them to this site and encourage them to hunt for at least three different things that they could each do. Involve parents by sharing this project and your goal of having kids change some of their habits to help the environment. Include the idea that these efforts can and will save parents money, and you have the start to a winning, real life learning activity.

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Cue Flash - cueflash.com

Grades
K to 12
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This tool is an Internet-based flashcard system. Create, edit, and re-mix flashcards for any topic or subject. The interface and flashcards are simple and the site is very easy to ...more
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This tool is an Internet-based flashcard system. Create, edit, and re-mix flashcards for any topic or subject. The interface and flashcards are simple and the site is very easy to use. Use the tag cloud or subject list to find existing flashcard sets.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (46), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for your classes -- or have them make their own. Try using them as an introduction to a concept, then again in the practice of the concept, and one more time as a final review. This would be great for teaching Latin prefixes and suffixes of words used in science terms or for standardized test preparation. Try having students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their own groups. Clicking on Discussion Group in the upper right corner to start a discussion thread about a flashcard to extend learning. Teach students in higher grades how to create flash cards with multiple blanks to challenge their brain to remember more pieces of the puzzle. Show them how to carefully read through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards together to review together before tests. Have students create flashcard sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports.

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Less is More: Making Your Presentations Zen-tastic! - Kim Cofino

Grades
6 to 12
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This short article presents several tips for making presentations more interesting and dynamic. The article is fairly short and is an easy read. Included are links to additional resources...more
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This short article presents several tips for making presentations more interesting and dynamic. The article is fairly short and is an easy read. Included are links to additional resources and suggestions. It is definitely worth a look before preparing classroom or professional presentations using PowerPoint, Prezi (reviewed here) or another presentation tool.

tag(s): media literacy (58)

In the Classroom

Share this article with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector before they begin preparing projects for presentation. Use information from the site for your own information when preparing presentations for the classroom or professionally.

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The Successful Web Reader - Neal Bastek-Content Developer-Colorado State

Grades
7 to 12
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The Successful Web Reader is an interesting guide loaded with links for anyone who would like to improve and speed up their Web page reading. Just as with print, we ...more
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The Successful Web Reader is an interesting guide loaded with links for anyone who would like to improve and speed up their Web page reading. Just as with print, we read on the Web for a variety of reasons. Whether it is to surf and browse for information, or to interact with people and texts around the world, the criteria for success is dependent upon skills and strategies that experienced online readers use as an approach to reading digital/electronic text. Find out how to take advantage of the functionality of your browser and make the most out of your visits to the Web with the helpful suggestions you will find on this site.

tag(s): reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45)

In the Classroom

Reading is a cross curricular activity. Every teacher, not only English, language arts, and reading teachers, should teach or review these strategies with students before asking them to find information and read on the Web. The Successful Web Reader provides teacher and student-friendly, practical tips and information to aid "critical linking" and path following, effective scanning, avoiding distractions, and how to get the most out of a quick visit. Bookmark this website in your favorites. Choose from the many links of helpful information to project on your whiteboard at opportune times.

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Newtools Powered by Aardvark - John Davitt

Grades
4 to 12
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Try this idea generator, called "learning events," to spark projects to show in-depth understanding. To give you an idea for what to expect, here are two examples: "do what the ...more
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Try this idea generator, called "learning events," to spark projects to show in-depth understanding. To give you an idea for what to expect, here are two examples: "do what the Magna Carta meant in a series of 5 photographs," or "do metamorphosis as a blues song." There are 2,500 of these ideas, and you will have to scroll through them until you find the one you like. All the learning events use the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy, synthesis (now called "creating"). This page is just the beginning! You will also find idea generators for geography and homework! Build creative flexibility and orginality with these prompts.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), flexibility (5), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Set up Newtools on a classroom computer. Make this one of several writing prompt options for blogs or other open-ended assignments. Allow students who finish work early or who need a journal idea to scroll through and try to find an idea that you have studied in class. Write several of these on your interactive whiteboard and then have students choose which one they would like to work on. Once all the projects are complete, rotate the students around the room to share with classmates who worked on a different project. Use this site to challenge gifted students to produce a higher level project. Some of the projects suggest using video or another presentation format. Be sure to check TeachersFirst Edge Presentation tools here to find one that is just right.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spreaker - Spreaker Online Radio

Grades
1 to 12
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Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google ...more
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Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google +, Soundcloud, Twitter, or add to the Spreaker website. Follow others, or invite others to follow your podcasts. With a click of a button you are creating a live podcast. To create a podcast you do not need Flash. However, there are several tutorials, and these tutorials require flash. There is a free version and a more deluxe premium version. This review is for the free version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (52), radio (27)

In the Classroom

Enjoy a live radio show from your classroom! Publish written pieces of writing, science reports, social studies reports, and any other reports you would like to share. Create a New Book or Book Review podcast for the media center. Link to your podcast URL on your class website. Publish directions to projects, explanations for difficult concepts, or even a radio show of you reading your favorite books for your students. Have upper elementary students take turns reading aloud for a podcast aimed at little reading buddies in kindergarten. Allow students to podcast to "pen pals" in faraway places. Record your school choir, orchestra group, poetry club, or drama club doing their best work or dramatic readings of Shakespeare soliloquies. Take your school newspaper to a new level with recorded radio articles. Be sure to include interviews with students, teachers, principals, parents, authors, artists, and almost anyone. In younger grades, use to save an audio portfolio of reading fluency, expression, or to aid with running records or even include writing. Be sure do this regularly throughout the year to analyze growth. Have fun at Halloween with your Halloween station filled with favorite spooky stories! Welcome your students to a new school year by sending them your message. Create messages for classmates who move away. Bring your foreign language classes an extra resource of your pronunciations whenever they need more practice. ESL/ELL, special education classes can often benefit from the extra explanations, practice, and elaborated instructions given at their own pace. The possibilities are endless! The site itself is a "web 2.0," social networking style site, so some schools may have it blocked. Ask about unblocking just YOUR teacher account so you can have students access it while at school and under your supervision.

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Spectra Visual Newsreader - MSNBC

Grades
5 to 12
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news ...more
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news categories such as politics, business, entertainment, health, technology, travel, and science. Each general category has up to 12 other choices of a more specific nature. After making those choices, a slideshow style player appears where readers can view a very brief summary of a news article to see if they would like to read the entire text. News videos and blogs are also available with just a click of your mouse. A "newscollector" allows readers to select and save featured stories for later reading.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94), reading comprehension (116), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject. Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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DIY - DIY Co

Grades
1 to 12
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Discover a free online portfolio or collection place specifically created for children to showcase things they make: projects, work, videos, and pictures. Upload videos or pictures...more
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Discover a free online portfolio or collection place specifically created for children to showcase things they make: projects, work, videos, and pictures. Upload videos or pictures of the projects from your computer or iOS app to the website. With an animal avatar identity and different name, children are not identifiable to outsiders. When a project is shown online, viewers can add stickers to show support. An Android app is "planned." Parents or teachers have a dashboard for reviewing all activity on the account. Students under 13 must provide a parent email for their parents to verify tha they give permission for the membership.

tag(s): portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Leap into the age of technology by making your student portfolios digital. Use DIY for student portfolios of class projects, explorations at home, and family fun. To get started, make a whole-class account to share class accomplishments. Then move to having each student create his/her own. The digital portfolio includes an extra bonus: parent involvement. Using parent emails, the work shared brings a close home-school connection going beyond just parents to extended family and friends. Have basic standards and requirements for posting to encourage quality control. Excite and motivate students using this easy portfolio. Use for an after school club, such as book club, photography club, Lego club, Odyssey of the Mind, chorus, or news team to keep a digital record of events, ideas, or projects. During science fair or any long-term project, record step by step progress. Use as a presentation tool, data notebook, or reflection tool. Teachers of gifted (or teachers who have gifted students in their class) can encourage these students to start collecting a portfolio of their best work, especially projects that go beyond the regular schools curriculum or school year. If a student has a special interest in poetry, rocketry, or forestry, encourage him/her to start documenting accomplishments with explanations, pictures, and links.

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Presentation Tube - Dr. Alaa Sadik

Grades
K to 12
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Add narration to your PowerPoint presentations to create a great resource for any use. Download Presentation Tube and use the video presentation recorder to produce high quality, easily...more
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Add narration to your PowerPoint presentations to create a great resource for any use. Download Presentation Tube and use the video presentation recorder to produce high quality, easily shared, interactive videos. Combine all parts of the lesson: video, PowerPoint, images, Web sites, and even handwritten notes into the presentation. Upload and publish the finished video presentations to Presentation Tube. You can also post the URL or use the embed code on your own website, Facebook, or Twitter.

tag(s): video (254)

In the Classroom

Be sure that your teaching style fits the use of Presentation Tube before using in the classroom. Easily create presentations for students to access. Be sure to play with the software before using to create your first real product. Provide links to presentations on your wiki, blog, site, or other courseware site.

Time is always short in the classroom, and sometimes it's hard to make time for oral presentations. Have the students use Presentation Tube to report out their research, and you and their peers can watch it and grade it any time. Or, have students post their Presentation Tube to your web page or TeacherTube reviewed here, and they can view and peer evaluate the projects. You may want to create your own rubric with student input for this. See a selection of rubric makers here on TeachersFirst. Another idea would be to have students create a Presentation Tube for the results of their research, and then pause and comment during an oral presentation to the class. Students with speech difficulties or challenges with English fluency will appreciate the opportunity to prerecord their presentations without an audience. High school students can also narrate a portfolio slide show for Art school applications or a show of accomplishments for college applications. Students can package book reviews or author reports to be shared in the media center. In primary grades, have students narrate their portion of a whole-class slide show, then share it with parents and grandparents by url. They can practice oral reading as they share their story slides.

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Tinkercad - Tinkercad, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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Create 3D models with Tinkercad's easy drag and drop interface. Move objects into and out of other objects and zoom in and out with ease. Tinkercad is a free site ...more
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Create 3D models with Tinkercad's easy drag and drop interface. Move objects into and out of other objects and zoom in and out with ease. Tinkercad is a free site using a browser-based CAD program (no download required). Click on the Learn tab along the top of the main page to follow activities to learn new skills. Share your creations on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Want to save a picture? Use the screen shot function (command//shift/4 in a Mac or print screen in a PC). To print in 3D, you must use other applications or have access to a 3D printer. All designs made in Tinkercad are public. Others can copy and use your designs. (This Creative Commons license is another useful part of Tinkercad.)

tag(s): creativity (109), drawing (78), measurement (159), modeling (9)

In the Classroom

Bring out the budding engineer, scientist, or designer in your students. Create simple models or use one created by others in Tinkercad. Give ample time for students to play with the variety of shapes and letters. As they become proficient, create a 3D model science fair for products that solve problems. As part of a multidisciplinary unit in science, technology, economics, math, social studies, and English classes, use this site to create a culminating design project.

Have the final design project be a new museum or historical/tourist attraction to commemorate a local hero/heroine. In English classes, have students create a written grant for the design proposal. In economics, have the students discover how to construct the project for the best possible cost. In math and science classes, have the students "build" the project with accurate measurements. Then as a follow up, have students use Google Earth reviewed here to predict the environmental impact of the new construction. Or, in technology education or industrial arts class, use this as a way to submit project drafts for construction.

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Oolone Visual Search Engine - Oolone

Grades
1 to 12
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Oolone visual search engine searches the web and shows the results as thumbnail images of each webpage. Oolone is ideal for those who are visual learners. (If you often recognize ...more
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Oolone visual search engine searches the web and shows the results as thumbnail images of each webpage. Oolone is ideal for those who are visual learners. (If you often recognize sites by their look rather than their words, this tool will hep you find the site you recall but cannot name.) Although this search engine appears "plain vanilla," its best features aren't obvious until you start using it. Hover over the thumbnails to get an enlarged view of each site without having to leave your search results. This allows you to spend less time on sites that don't fit your needs. Oolone doesn't track you so no ads appear.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for your visual learners or weaker readers. Use this site on an interactive whiteboard to show students how to search for information. Use the page counter to show students how different search terms provide different results. Place on your class webpage for students to access at school and home. Be sure to check out their education page where you can find lesson ideas. Learning support and ESL/ELL students will appreciate being able to search without as much reading. Even very young students can LOOK for a site using this search tool, assuming they can type just a little bit.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Unscrew America - Lesley Chilcott

Grades
3 to 12
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Unscrew America provides information about the benefits of switching to energy efficient light bulbs. It provides resources, videos and links to help you transition to more energy efficient...more
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Unscrew America provides information about the benefits of switching to energy efficient light bulbs. It provides resources, videos and links to help you transition to more energy efficient living.

tag(s): electricity (89), energy (198), environment (317), light (46)

In the Classroom

Use Unscrew America to introduce your students to a unit on energy and the environment. View the site using a your LCD projector and/or interactive whiteboard. The site uses mouseovers so you will have to see if your whiteboard supports that. Group students and have them research the differences between CFL and LCD bulbs. Have them create a presentation on why to use these bulbs using Google Presentation Creator, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Just Beam It - Akshay Kannan, Hristo Oskov, and Pranava Adduri

Grades
4 to 12
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Share files hassle-free using Just Beam It! Drag your file into the designated space, share the URL link, and leave the WINDOW OPEN. You will get a message telling ...more
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Share files hassle-free using Just Beam It! Drag your file into the designated space, share the URL link, and leave the WINDOW OPEN. You will get a message telling you the transfer completed. At this point, it is safe to close the window. If you prefer the traditional file search to find sharable documents, there is a spot to click for that method of file identification. Just Beam It! works by streaming the file directly from your computer to your recipient, and is not stored on the website. Just remember, files cannot exceed 2 GB and keep the window open until the transfer is complete. Beam happily!

tag(s): computers (95)

In the Classroom

Have trouble sharing files with students because they do not have email? Do they need to share files with each other for collaborative projects ? Try using Just Beam It! No email or flash drive needed. File transfer is quick. Drag, drop and share! So easy, a savvy fourth grader could do it.
 

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Ottobib - Jonathan Otto

Grades
3 to 12
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Make a free, easy, "ottomatic" bibliography with Ottobib.com. Type in the ISBN number of any book (without the dashes), choose the style, MLA, APA, Chicago, or Bibtex, and create your...more
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Make a free, easy, "ottomatic" bibliography with Ottobib.com. Type in the ISBN number of any book (without the dashes), choose the style, MLA, APA, Chicago, or Bibtex, and create your perfect book citation. You can also enter multiple books by inserting a comma between the ISBN numbers. Select from linking to the bibliography, having a printed page, or finding at your library through a link to Worldcat, an online library catalog.

tag(s): book reports (35), citations (34)

In the Classroom

Use Ottobib.com as a lesson on citing sources and bibliography on your interactive whiteboard. Include Ottobib.com as a saved favorite on all student computers as well as a link on your webpage. Use as a springboard to discuss styles of documentation including MLA, APA, Chicago, and Bibtex. Be sure to use in writing your own professional articles, books, or classes, as well as a reference for your students.

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Now I See! Infographics as content scaffold and creative, formative assessment - TeachersFirst: Candace Hackett Shively and Louise Maine

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover how to use student-created infographics as scaffold or assessment for learning in any middle or high school subject. Many teachers are not "visual" people and struggle to implement...more
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Discover how to use student-created infographics as scaffold or assessment for learning in any middle or high school subject. Many teachers are not "visual" people and struggle to implement infographics because they do not know how to help students. Whether you are a visual person or a "data" person, these pages will help your class get started. See the story of one teacher's journey into using infographics and learn from her experience. Find downloadable files to help: a PowerPoint you can use with students, and a customizable rubric. Don't miss the extensive Resources and Tools page for examples, background articles, and more. These pages grew out of a presentation at ISTE 2012.

tag(s): infographics (42)

In the Classroom

Read through this professional tutorial if you have even considered trying infographics with your students. You will find just the encouragement you need. Mark this one in your Favorites and share the many examples with your students, including student-created examples from a ninth grade class, as you launch your own infographics projects. Let your students "show what they know" in a new way.

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Nature Works Everywhere - The Nature Conservancy

Grades
3 to 9
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Explore and understand nature through the use of these great videos, interactives, and lessons. Learn the science behind nature and why it is very important for every living thing on...more
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Explore and understand nature through the use of these great videos, interactives, and lessons. Learn the science behind nature and why it is very important for every living thing on this planet. Find overarching topics such as Water, Stuff (how nature creates the stuff that we use), and more! View featured educational games, scientist biographies, and featured videos on the homepage. Take a video tour of the site, find lesson plans, and read about scientists involved in the project through the tabs along the top.

tag(s): conservation (127), natural resources (59), scientists (69), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save (bookmark) this page on your blog, wiki, or class website for easy access. Provide a link on a classroom computer for ease of access during an ecology unit. Allow opportunity for students to look at the information on the site to find a topic of interest to them for further research. Or choose a project to do together as a class or school in connection with Earth Day. Create an awareness campaign for students to educate others in the community about the science behind nature, why it is important to conserve, and simple actions that everyone can do. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Connect the science learned in your class with the nature around your students lives.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Makerspace - MAKE

Grades
10 to 12
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Join the movement of educators and students who are focusing on making instead of consuming. Students identify an interest and work on a project of their creation to present at ...more
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Join the movement of educators and students who are focusing on making instead of consuming. Students identify an interest and work on a project of their creation to present at a Maker Faire. Unlike Science Fairs which focus mostly on competition, Maker Faires showcase student work and innovation. With focus now on STEM and doing science, Maker Faires are a great way to increase excitement in the STEM areas and careers. The Maker Playbook is an easy way to become familiar with the movement.

tag(s): inquiry (37), science fairs (25), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Increase the amount of DIY learning in your classroom by joining the Maker Faire movement. Not close to an actual Maker Faire? Implement ideas in the playbook to increase the amount of STEM in your class and a new way to learn to engage your students and create excitement in careers they have not thought about. Consider holding an in-school Maker Faire of your own with parent help.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Make an Animation - ABCya!

Grades
2 to 8
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This cool tool, developed especially for older elementary to middle school students, allows you to create simple animations. You are provided with 40 frames. Click to choose your color,...more
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This cool tool, developed especially for older elementary to middle school students, allows you to create simple animations. You are provided with 40 frames. Click to choose your color, brush size, and more. The site includes the options to copy a frame, draw with a pencil instead of a brush, save, undo, clear and start over, and more. This is a simple to use tool. More in-depth instructions are provided on the site. Animations are saved as a .gif file. Read the tips on the home page to learn how to open your downloaded .gif.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (63), creativity (109)

In the Classroom

This site is useful for both teachers and students. During the first day of school, create a simple animation to share with your class. Highlight information about yourself, class rules, highlights from the year, and more. Create math animations showing different geometric shapes on 2-3 slides (just click to copy a frame, rather than remaking the slide) and giving the students a chance to guess the shape before the answer is provided on the next slide. Challenge students to create their own animations "introducing themselves" to the class. Students could also create animations to demonstrate what they have learned about a piece of literature, a science unit, social studies theme or unit, or more. Save the students' work and share the animations on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your gifted students to create animations about their in-depth interests or curriculum concepts they have pretested out of so others in the class can learn from them. This tool is simple enough for bright students in early elementary to navigate on their own, a real asset when your gifted ones are working alone while you teach others.

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Wikipedia Race - Wikipedia

Grades
6 to 12
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Concerned that Wikipedia doesn't encourage higher-level thinking or is just the lazy way out? Here is a novel use for Wikipedia that teaches intellectual flexibility and creativity,...more
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Concerned that Wikipedia doesn't encourage higher-level thinking or is just the lazy way out? Here is a novel use for Wikipedia that teaches intellectual flexibility and creativity, and it's a whole lot of fun! While the site does all the set up for you, Wikipedia races require only a couple of computers and the Internet. Here's how it works. Choose as the destination a topic or word that has its own Wikipedia page. Try things like "apple pie" or "quilts" or nearly anything. Each "racer" goes to the Wikipedia main page and chooses "random article," and this page becomes his or her start page. The object of the challenge is to get from the random start page to the destination page by clicking on the hyperlinks within Wikipedia pages. No searching, just clicking. To make it more challenging, make some of the most broadly aggregated pages (like "United States" for example) off limits. First racer to the destination page wins. An example? Imagine your random start page is the biography page of a NASCAR driver, and your destination is "flashlight." One possible pathway might go from driver to automobile to car battery, to C battery, to flashlight.

tag(s): creative fluency (8), creativity (109), trivia (17)

In the Classroom

Wikipedia Races reward thinking that is divergent and flexible. Rather than having to narrowly focus on one right answer, racers win when they can generate lots of different associations among disparate ideas or items. Use Wikipedia Races when you have a little time left at the end of the period. A single race will last only 3 to 5 minutes for older students. It can be an individual competition among two or more racers, or students can work in small teams with one student at the mouse taking suggestions from the team. Consider being strategic with your destination pages, choosing topics related to your unit lesson, so students will need to have a broad understanding of those topics. ESL/ELL teachers can use this as a vocabulary development activity.

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