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Squishy Circuits - AnnMarie Thomas

Grades
2 to 10
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Squishy Circuits takes the fear out of electrical engineering and replaces it with fun! Using two different home-made play dough recipes, this scientist devised a way to teach her toddler...more
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Squishy Circuits takes the fear out of electrical engineering and replaces it with fun! Using two different home-made play dough recipes, this scientist devised a way to teach her toddler about electronics. Turning her kitchen into an electrical engineering lab was easier than you may think. Two different play dough recipes provide conductors and resistors. Demonstrate how electricity moves by attaching the play dough to a battery pack and using LED lights. All ages will love "playing" with electronics. Watch the short video explanation of how this project started, and see a great demonstration by the creator of the project. Directions are available video video or as a PDF.

tag(s): circuits (20), electricity (88)

In the Classroom

Budgets are tight and times are tough, but using these activities, we can still keep the lights on electrical engineering. Have students make the play dough in lab or make it in advance for them. Color the recipes with different food colors so that you can easily identify which recipe is which. Explain how the battery packs and indicator lights work, and then let them play with the play dough and the battery packs. Please advise students of safety hazards and caution them against putting sensors directly against the battery pack. Once they have had time to play, have them identify different circuit parts using correct electrical terminology. Challenge students to create more and use their imaginations to try different situations and scenarios. Have different groups share their findings with the class, and allow the groups to share ideas to reach even further.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TED - TED staff

Grades
6 to 12
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TED is the home of the award-winning TEDTalks video site, a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In the beginning, the TEDTalks mission was to bring together people from...more
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TED is the home of the award-winning TEDTalks video site, a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In the beginning, the TEDTalks mission was to bring together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. However, its scope has broadened to challenge the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers to give the talk of their lives (in approximately 18 minutes or less). At the time of this review, TED.com has more than 1,100 of the best talks and performances by speakers with powerful ideas from around the world. The talks are free and the collection continues to grow. The goal of the foundation is to foster the spread of great ideas, thus it aims to provide a platform for the world's smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries, and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future. Easily search the site by topics, disciplines, newest releases, or most favorite. TEDTalks offers subtitles in various languages which enhances the accessibility for the hearing-impaired, and for those who speak English as a second language.

tag(s): cultures (105), politics (99)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for a clearinghouse that offers free inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, this ever-evolving site is perfect for engaging your students with digital videos of the global issues facing our world today. Use your projector or interactive whiteboard to project videos. Watch your students' enthusiastic reactions in science, social studies, or English classrooms as they view a TED video and then follow-up with a debate on the future or the impact of technology on society, or use them as a springboard for interesting writing prompts or to spark a discussion connected with a unit of study. Challenge students to do a compare/contrast activity using an online Venn Diagram tool (reviewed here). Most of the videos are less than twenty minutes, which makes it real doable to embed in a one-period class lesson.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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AskKids.com - Ask.com

Grades
2 to 8
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AskKids is more than a search engine for elementary/middle school students. Here you will see reviews for movies and games. You can ask questions and search for information by typing...more
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AskKids is more than a search engine for elementary/middle school students. Here you will see reviews for movies and games. You can ask questions and search for information by typing in keywords. AskKids organizes search results in related images, current events, and encyclopedia results. The Ask.com editorial team selected each website as child appropriate or as a relevant and practical site for reference and learning.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Introduce AskKids on your interactive whiteboard or projector, showing the different options available. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. They can learn how to use a search engine, and how to ask questions to get the best results, by looking at this site with guidance from an adult. Post a link to AskKids.com on your webpage for easy access for students and parents. Make AskKids the home page on classroom computers for easy access.

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Skloog - Skloog, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places...more
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Use this visual bookmarking program to help you keep your online favorites/bookmarks organized. Choose to make shortcuts (tiles with the logo of the site you are bookmarking) for places you visit repeatedly. The tiles make it visual and so easy to use! Can't find the logo? Submit a site by clicking on a button at the bottom of the home page. Access and add to your Skloog bookmarks from anywhere using any computer, your mobile phone, or email. Make Skloog one of the tools on your browser's tool bar in order to add to your favorites quickly and easily. Add or change the preset category tabs that show at the top. Search your favorites by tags, URL, or website name. An added feature is the Skloog tab in the upper right corner of the menu on your short cut page. Click to find some of Skloog's favorite sites.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

This resource is best used as a teacher sharing tool for sharing links, RSS feeds, and other resources for students to use on specific projects or as general course links. Use this site to share with other professionals, team members, or parents. Use the categories to save bookmarks for different units you have in your classroom. Make your Skloog page the homepage for your computer, too.

Consider having a category for student use for webquests, tools you want them to use, and creative commons images, music, etc. Also, create a category where students update with suggestions from class members. Use different colored alphabet tiles on a Skloog for younger, non-reader students. For example, give each subject its own distinctive color. They will also recognize logos well before they read!

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What's Your News? - Warner Brothers Entertainment

Grades
K to 3
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This "news show" aimed at 4-7 year olds introduces you to the wider world from a newsroom staffed by ants. News includes information such as the arrival of a new ...more
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This "news show" aimed at 4-7 year olds introduces you to the wider world from a newsroom staffed by ants. News includes information such as the arrival of a new sibling, friends coming for a sleepover, or purchase of a new game. Play games that teach how news is reported, watch videos from What's Your News on Nick, Jr. or print activities to make your own newspaper.

tag(s): journalism (46), news (261), newspapers (94), preK (281)

In the Classroom

This site would be great to include with a community or neighbors unit - share classroom news by posting to the site. Choose weekly classroom reporters to interview students or teachers and come up with weekly headline. Video your reporters and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How To Make Digital Flashcards With Google Docs Spreadsheets - MakeUseOf

Grades
4 to 12
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Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making...more
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Want to make flashcards using tools you already know? Follow these step by step directions for making flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet. Directions also include screenshots, making the process much easier. You need a Google Doc account and some familiarity with using spreadsheets. This site does include comments. At the time of this review, all comments were appropriate for classroom use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (45)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards to share with your students. Students can run them from a computer or download an app that can read the two column format of a spreadsheet to view on the go. All information for using the flashcards is explained in this resource. Use for any subject matter for any age. Challenge students to create their own flashcards to use to study for the big test! This tool can be used in ALL subject areas.

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Mugeda - mugeda.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and...more
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and publish HTML5 animation. Basic tutorials guide you to create content with easy to follow instructions. Animation applications include; games, ads, cartoons, tutorials, or persuasive commercials. Use tablets, PCs, smartphones, or tablets. Note that HTML5 works on iPads and iTouches, where most Flash-based sites do not.

tag(s): animation (63), comics and cartoons (74), DAT device agnostic tool (198)

In the Classroom

Bring along Mugeda in your bag of tricks to capture and intrigue all of your students. Use Mugeda to illustrate class content, support debate, persuade, and entertain. The possibilities are endless! Add the creations to your website to share with your community. Use on school news programs to add student content without cost, and make information available for all levels of student abilities. Create commercials for your content or to convey information. In history classes go back in time to envision popular opinion that made history happen. Use during campaigns to promote your side of the debate. Science fairs will never be the same. Highlight projects to create anticipation. Send messages to students using the embedded tool. This programming tool has applications in all subject areas. Gifted students, ELL/ESL students, and remedial students will be captivated by this high interest way of expressing themselves.

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Box - Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith

Grades
4 to 12
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in ...more
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Save files to the cloud and access them on a variety of computers and devices. Download Box on the computers and devices you wish to use. Save a document in Box and it is accessible everywhere you use it. Copy, save, or move the document simply and easily. Syncing and sharing is simple. No access to Internet at one of your locations? No problem! Your Box file stays in your Box account, and the next time you are online it will upload it for you. Share Box files with others for easy collaboration. Apps for Box are available (at the time of this review) for Windows, iOS, iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others through the tabs in the Account Settings. Though not a complete back up of all your documents, Box can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any item you can work with using Word can be used with Box. Teams of teachers can also use this download to save tests, share activities, and more.

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Physics animations - physics-animations.com

Grades
11 to 12
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Watch easy to understand animations to explain even the most complex ideas of Physics. Choose from Waves, Optics, Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Electricity. View an animated image,...more
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Watch easy to understand animations to explain even the most complex ideas of Physics. Choose from Waves, Optics, Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Electricity. View an animated image, the explanation of the theory, and a video for each concept. Some of the videos require specific plug-ins, depending on your browser. So preview before you share.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): electricity (88), heat (15), optics (13), waves (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Save this link on your class webpage for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Use this site to help explain many physics concepts that may be difficult to understand. Use in conjunction with other interactives, animations, and laboratory experiences to provide better understanding of the concept.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Reach Every Child - Horace Mann

Grades
K to 12
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This blog offers at least 12,000 free resources and has over 200 features for every kind of teacher. Find features about the latest classroom innovations, lesson plans, information...more
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This blog offers at least 12,000 free resources and has over 200 features for every kind of teacher. Find features about the latest classroom innovations, lesson plans, information about scholarships, contests, and awards, and much more. Guest bloggers cover different areas of education.

tag(s): blogs (88), printables (38)

In the Classroom

Share ideas from the blog with other teachers and use images for inspiration in your classroom. Print and use free resources from the site such as bulletin board ideas, lesson plans, and more. Post a link to this blog on the school's website for others on your campus to use.

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Power My Learning - CFY

Grades
K to 12
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Find practice and skill interactives for many grade levels at PowerMyLearning. This site collects learning games, videos, and other activities from around the web and presents them...more
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Find practice and skill interactives for many grade levels at PowerMyLearning. This site collects learning games, videos, and other activities from around the web and presents them via simple search so you can learn and practice concepts across many curriculum areas. The actual interactives and videos are created by other organizations and displayed within PowerMyLearning's colorful frame and subject/grade level organizational structure. Brief descriptions and keywording accompany activity listings. To view an activity on full screen and in a new tab/window (with its own url), click the "expand window" arrow in the top right corner. The site is designed for cooperative use by teachers, parents, and students and has been used successfully in schoolwide efforts to raise student achievement in targeted cities. To actually view any of the activities, you must join the free site. There are varied management options for students, teachers, and parents.

tag(s): operations (125)

In the Classroom

Set up a teacher account so you can offer a "playlist" for certain students who may need skills reinforcement. If you want to know more about some of the specific activities within PowerMyLearning, TeachersFirst most likely has a complete review of them. Search the name of the game or site using TeachersFirst's keyword search for our full review. PowerMyLearning offers lesson plans for some activities and invites you to contribute your own, if you wish.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Picturing Words: The Power of Book Illustrations - Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Grades
6 to 10
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Picturing Words is an online exhibit featuring 40 illustrated, rare books from history, science, and art. The illustrated books go back to the 1400's with illuminated manuscripts from...more
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Picturing Words is an online exhibit featuring 40 illustrated, rare books from history, science, and art. The illustrated books go back to the 1400's with illuminated manuscripts from The Canon of Medicine (980-1037) up to 1996 and The Graphic Alphabet. The categories include: Inspires, Informs, or Influences. Also included is a section on the process of illustration, detailed images, and examples organized by theme. Suddenly, you will notice illustrations!

tag(s): artists (74), medieval (27), primary sources (86), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

History and English teachers studying the Medieval time period can show the primary source of the illuminated alphabet script on The Canon of Medicine. Then have students create a mini-bio for themselves, starting with illuminating the first letter of their name. Use this site to study how the power of pictures can enhance text. The Process section explains how the Gutenberg Press used wood blocks or metal cuts along with the letterpress to print a book with images. Have your students view the "Process" part of this site, and look at several books printed in the Gutenberg time period. You may want them to further investigate the workings of the Gutenberg Press and what it took to make a book (materials and time). Then have your students make a simple, illustrated book using a program like Bookemon reviewed here. Have them use Dipity reviewed here. to display the differences between publishing then and now. Dipity will display as a flip book, timeline, map, or list. In a gifted class, try some of these activities as you discuss Gutenberg, then ask how those illustrations compare in ease and efficiency to the digital means we have to add visual enhancements today. WHich do they consider more "valuable"?

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Draw.io - JGraph, Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows...more
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Take a look at this online graphic organizer creator/drawing tool that requires NO membership. Although a bit "plain vanilla" in appearance, this is a wonderful tool! Research shows that graphic organizers promote strong thinking skills and comprehension for all ages. Draw.io is a simple, free online tool for creating mind maps -- or diagrams for any purpose -- using shapes and arrows. Just drop and drag the shapes (or nodes) you want to the panel, connect the nodes by dragging the arrow, and double-click in the shape to add text. Use the simple toolbar at the top to insert images, change, bold, color and enlarge text, etc. Printing and exporting is also an option. If you click on the "Help" tab at the top, you will see "Video Tutorial" which uses flash. Draw.io uses JavaScript, not Flash, so it works on iOS devices.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25), venn diagrams (16), visual thinking (10)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate creating a mind map or other diagram on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use Draw.io to create family trees or flow charts. Learning support students could team up to map out the important concepts from a unit visually as a review activity. Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature, social studies, or science. Have students demonstrate their understanding by creating a graphic organizer about the main points or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle). Be sure they name their organizer BEFORE they start work with their name --or code name-- so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in. Anonymously share and compare different students' "views" of a unit so students can "see it through someone else's eyes."

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ChronoZoom - Microsoft Research

Grades
8 to 12
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time ...more
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time of this review), that seeks to create zoomable, interactive timelines for the entire history of time. At present, the site is still under construction, but it is visually stunning and a little overwhelming. You will need to set aside some time to watch the video tour and to tinker with the site before presenting it to students. Every move of the mouse, every click, seems to create "explosions" of graphs and timelines; you'll need to be patient and get the hang of navigation.

The site's creators freely admit that they don't really know where the project will lead, and what technologies might emerge that will help them create more content for the site. There are some caveats for using the site. First, the site assumes a particular theory of the creation of the universe, and the timeline of its existence. Second, the site can lend itself to aimless "mousing," or the temptation to simply click and move the mouse to see how the site will react, with no attention to the content at all.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), evolution (100), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This is a big idea, still in its early stages. Obviously it has usefulness as a way of visually demonstrating the sheer immensity of time, and the relative insignificance of human existence in comparison. You could use this site as an intro to any history or geology class simply to generate BIG questions that students want to know. Consider asking gifted students, or students interested in technology applications to imagine what the site COULD be. How would they create a visual overview of--forever? How can one prioritize what matters? But on an interactive whiteboard--WOW! If you, as current students seem to be, are comfortable with imagining the world as a series of hyperlinks rather than a linear march, this site has limitless potential.

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Teach21 Inquiry Based Lesson Plans - West Virginia Department of Education

Grades
K to 6
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Find elementary level math and science inquiry based lesson plans on this simple website. Choose math or science, then a grade level - kindergarten through 6th grade. Each lesson plan...more
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Find elementary level math and science inquiry based lesson plans on this simple website. Choose math or science, then a grade level - kindergarten through 6th grade. Each lesson plan is very thorough and includes essential questions, content standards, differentiation strategies, lesson expansion suggestions, and downloads for student materials. At the time of this review, not all grade levels had both math and science lessons available.

tag(s): chemicals (40), geometric shapes (163), inquiry (37), magnetism (36), rocks (49)

In the Classroom

Search the site for lessons that correspond to curriculum used in your classroom, or explore the resources linked in the site to use as a supplement to your current materials.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Energy ebook - IKT Forlaget

Grades
3 to 12
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This interactive book about energy is great for all learners. The actual "book" opens in a new window. In addition to the text and bold images, there is clickable audio ...more
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This interactive book about energy is great for all learners. The actual "book" opens in a new window. In addition to the text and bold images, there is clickable audio to make this an audio book! Easy to follow directions are on the main page before accessing the book. Click on the video icons to watch related videos. You can also download related images from some of the films for use in projects and to help build understanding. Additional resources and links within the book add more for teachers, parents, and students. Note that you can click pages to make them full screen.

tag(s): energy (198), solar energy (38), water (130)

In the Classroom

If you study energy in your science curriculum this ebook is a super resource and addition to your classroom library. Set up the ebook on classroom computers during independent reading time for some non-fiction reading material. The ebook is great for all levels of readers. Confident readers can read the book independently while struggling readers may want to read along with the audio. Use the ebook as a "big book" on an interactive whiteboard or projector to read about energy as a class or center. Brainstorm with Edistorm (reviewed here), having students add sticky notes of things they learn - or questions-- about energy on the online shared whiteboard.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Explore the Seafloor Physics Teacher's Pack - TSL Education

Grades
8 to 12
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This site contains a complete lesson plan and teaching materials developed as part of the Explore the Seafloor Project. The site aims to support the curriculum by providing a real-life...more
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This site contains a complete lesson plan and teaching materials developed as part of the Explore the Seafloor Project. The site aims to support the curriculum by providing a real-life example of techniques in the workplace. Included with this lesson is a teaching PowerPoint, videos, quiz, and interactive whiteboard activities. Registration with email required.

tag(s): marine biology (33), oceans (148)

In the Classroom

Use materials included on this site as part of a unit teaching about marine biology, the ocean, or marine geography. Share with students as a resource for classroom projects.
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Spider Scribe - spiderscribe.net

Grades
2 to 12
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SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. Organize ideas by connecting notes, files, maps, calendar events, and more. Use this tool to collaborate and share maps...more
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SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. Organize ideas by connecting notes, files, maps, calendar events, and more. Use this tool to collaborate and share maps online with others. SpiderScribe has an easy to use interface. Drag the various stencils (elements) to the screen to begin. Watch the demo video to understand the basics of this free tool. You will be started in less than a minute!

tag(s): brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Easily add images to maps for young students, ELL learners, or non-readers to understand relationships and learn vocabulary. Or you can assign students to "map" out a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Cite U Like - citeulike.org

Grades
9 to 12
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Use CiteULike to organize and share scholarly information for and from research. The first step is to register (email required). Simply click on Post URL to save it. Add the ...more
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Use CiteULike to organize and share scholarly information for and from research. The first step is to register (email required). Simply click on Post URL to save it. Add the app to your web browser for easy use. How easy? Click on the button, and the paper/reference will be added to your personal library. The tool extracts the citation details automatically. No more forgetting to cite materials! Access your library from any computer.
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tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to record and organize research found on the Internet. Consider creating a class account to collect materials found throughout the school year. Be sure to talk to students about organizing information and sources. Students can maintain their own archive and show their collection at the end of the year. This tool will also be very handy for graduate projects teachers may be doing.

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NOVA Body and Brain - NOVA/PBS

Grades
3 to 12
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Find great information and interactive activities about the human body and brain on this exciting site. Choose from tabs along the top from Body and Brain as well as Nature, ...more
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Find great information and interactive activities about the human body and brain on this exciting site. Choose from tabs along the top from Body and Brain as well as Nature, Planet Earth, and more. Click on the NOVA Education tab to find great lessons and ideas to use these materials for a variety of subjects and ages. View video clips as well as slide shows and other information. Preview these resources before sharing in class. Some parents/communities may consider some material controversial or inappropriate for younger students.
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tag(s): carbon dioxide (17), carbon footprint (11), earth (228), environment (317), human body (121), nuclear energy (24), nutrition (154), solar energy (38), space (205)

In the Classroom

Discover some terrific lessons about a variety of topics. For example, under Environment find a great lesson for Capturing Carbon: Where Do We Put It? Find background information to understand the material and questions for discussion that can be used with your class. Find additional resources along the side.
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