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Roots of STEM: Books and ideas for real world problem solving in your classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find...more
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find entry points to explore problem solving and resources to apply in your own classroom. You will find many ideas in this article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), reading lists (73), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Start with the books as part of your reading lessons, and you have already given STEM a way to take root in your class! Incorporate STEM in accordance with Common Core reading/math or Next Gen Science standards using the many suggestions here. This article will help you begin with whole group lessons and move through the entire problem-solving process. Perhaps you will want to work together on a project with your grade level team.

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Dropmark - Oak Studios, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Dropmark is a tool for collaborating, curating, and presenting files, links, and text. Create your account and choose the basic (free) plan offering 250 MB of storage. Begin by dropping...more
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Dropmark is a tool for collaborating, curating, and presenting files, links, and text. Create your account and choose the basic (free) plan offering 250 MB of storage. Begin by dropping and dragging images or files from your computer onto your Dropmark collection. Add links to URLs and online media by choosing the + button and adding link information. Once complete, adjust privacy settings as desired and share using your unique URL. If you prefer, save your collection to your computer in ZIP format using the download link. You can also collaborate with others "in the cloud" by sharing files and links.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), organizational skills (122), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Use Dropmark to create a bank of resources to use for each content unit within your subject or classroom. Student can then download and use the raw materials you provide to make their own projects or to learn independently. Create a separate class account for students to curate their own lists or bookmarks and resources. Use this tool to compile web treasure hunts to learn or introduce any topic within your content area. Collect links to informational texts for students to read "closely" a la CCSS. With younger students, create links of audio books for children to view and listen to or simple interactives teaching colors, numbers and more. Have students create their own Dropmark as a place to store links for a project. Share a link to your Dropmarks on your class webpage. Save pictures of class activities with a Dropmark collections then share with parents.

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Paste to Grid (Beta) - pastetogrid.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create custom photo collages with Paste to Grid. Choose one of the templates that include up to 9 images. Select your border color and size, or select "no border." Click ...more
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Create custom photo collages with Paste to Grid. Choose one of the templates that include up to 9 images. Select your border color and size, or select "no border." Click in each box to add an image from your computer. Lesson learned from our editor: Be sure to select border options before adding images; choosing them after causes the images to disappear. The site's authors state this feature will be improved in the next version. When complete, choose to save as PNG or JPG file to your computer.

tag(s): collages (17), images (265), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Create and share collages of classroom activities, field trips, and much more. In lower grades, create the collage together with your students. Embed collages into your class website or blog for viewing at home. Have students create collages using their own pictures of land formations, types of plants, colors, words beginning with the same letter of the alphabet, and whatever else you can think of! This is a great tool for your visual learners. Special ed, speech and language, or ESL/ELL teachers can create collages of images together with their students to promote vocabulary development. World language classes could create them on their own or use them as prompts for oral language practice. A collage could feature articles of clothing or types of weather, for example. Create cards as gifts for moms or dads or for thank you's to members of the school community. Print the cards, fold over, and handwrite messages inside. Practice simple thank you notes on your own creative cards. Older students can use this tool to to create collages they can then annotate using a tools such as ThingLink, reviewed here.

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Fantastic Contraption - KONGREGATE

Grades
1 to 12
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Test out your logic, mechanical understanding, and creativity as you create amazing 2D contraptions! Each contraption uses wheels, wooden stationary logs, and power moving water rods...more
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Test out your logic, mechanical understanding, and creativity as you create amazing 2D contraptions! Each contraption uses wheels, wooden stationary logs, and power moving water rods to create a moving vehicle to push a target to the goal. Get a taste of the challenge by trying your hand at the introduction activity. Then begin your regular contraption. Each level adds more challenge. Use the delete button, and try again until you succeed. Registration is not required to use this site. However, more options are available if you register (FREE). As you progress through a level, earn points and badges. Save your designs and send your best designs to your friends using a specific url. You can turn off the (rather annoying) music by clicking the speaker icon.
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tag(s): creativity (109), energy (197), gifted (96), inventors and inventions (101), logic (235), machines (30), motion (58), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, develop logic, perseverance, and creativity for your gifted and high achieving students. These activities could be used with all learning levels. Use this activity as part of a unit on inventions or as a lead in to a Maker's Faire. Introduce this activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector and you will have all students hooked! Your ESL/ELL students and weaker readers will be on equal footing with their peers since this site requires very little reading after the introduction. Capture the attention of your students by gamifying science and logic. Continue with class discussions of movement, energy, logic, and strategy. Use as a stepping stone to begin a unit on geometry, energy, or motion. In elementary science classes, include this activity for students who have mastered required curriculum to go beyond the basics of simple machines and motion. Have students add a written explanation of the contraption to take sequencing to a new level. (A screenshot would help them illustrate their writing.) After drawing a scaled model, create the contraption using real objects. Discover the types of energy and movement that are in the model. Organize a contraption competition. Share this link on your class website for students (and their parents) to "tinker" with at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Know Your Body - Brent Barson

Grades
2 to 7
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This simple interactive shows the major organs and functions in the human body systems. Click on a system to see it appear on the human body. Hover over each part ...more
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This simple interactive shows the major organs and functions in the human body systems. Click on a system to see it appear on the human body. Hover over each part of the system to read about its function.

tag(s): body systems (57), human body (120)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Though it is very basic, the information on this site is useful for learning about the human body. Partner weaker readers with someone who can help them with the written explanations. As students look at the various systems of the body, collect questions they generate. Use these questions as starters for research or ideas for further lessons. Encourage students to find interesting facts about the human body to share. Have students create a simple infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tynker - Krishna Vedati

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn computer coding using simple and easy activities, lesson plans, and an interface sure to please all ages! Click Schools to access the free school activities, or click on Hour...more
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Learn computer coding using simple and easy activities, lesson plans, and an interface sure to please all ages! Click Schools to access the free school activities, or click on Hour of Code to find ones you can use at home or school. Build an animated character (everyone loves the zombie) and then animate it. Create Minecraft Mods and learn Game Design. Learn to code by dropping blocks of commands into sequence on the left side of the screen and seeing the results along the right. The lessons provide step by step instructions, missions, and other materials to learn to code. Teachers can create a class and add students to the class. Once lessons are assigned, the progress of students can be tracked. Click on student view of each lesson to see the tools and student tasks. Follow the instructions along the right panel. Note the tools that are along the top including undo and redo! This tool also features a question bar along the top. Note: This free portion of the resource offers three units of lessons, a visual programming environment, an art studio to draw and paint you own scenes, and a media gallery. The free units of lessons have unlimited student space.
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tag(s): animation (63), coding (47), computers (94), critical thinking (108), game based learning (103), gamification (65), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to "tinker" and see what they can make. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Be sure to recommend that students "ask three before me" (the teacher). Have students use a storyboard to write down what they plan to do/draw/say with their creation in order to keep tabs on students and their creations. When finished with these lessons, move to other free tools such as Scratch, reviewed here. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered math or science curriculum. Have them create a creature they can explain to the class or share with gifted peers in other classrooms.

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Readability - Arc90

Grades
K to 12
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This simple but powerful tool allows you to view ANY web page as simple, clear text. It removes all of the flashing, moving, distracting elements that interrupt concentration and understanding....more
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This simple but powerful tool allows you to view ANY web page as simple, clear text. It removes all of the flashing, moving, distracting elements that interrupt concentration and understanding. Visit the Apps and Add-ons page before making an account. Readability will recognize most browsers to download a Readability add-on or extension for your browser so you can "clean up" the pages you're viewing with a single click. You can also install a "bookmarklet," a simple mini-program that runs inside Internet Explorer, Firefox, or other web browsing software on your computer. "Installing" is then as simple as dragging the Readability button to the Favorites bar of your browser, a one-click button to scrub webpages clean of distractions. No Favorites or links bar to which to drag? Go to the View menu on your browser and click to turn on your Favorites or links bar. Once you have the Readability button, go to ANY web page and click "Readability" to see the page magically change to simple text passages, ready for your interactive whiteboard, easier for your young readers, or enlarged for tired eyes. Share your Readability links through email or Flipboard. There are also Readability Twitter clients as well as many other features offered on the Apps and Add-ons page of the Readability site. Note: Pages with content created in FLASH will not work in Readability, since FLASH text is actually an image to a computer. Test it first before planning to use it in class. Readability delivers a great reading experience on every platform and provides an avenue for connecting readers and publishers on the Web. iOS and Android apps for Readability are available to use on mobile devices.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), media literacy (58), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

Install Readability at the beginning of the year on any computer you use with interactive whiteboards so students can highlight key words from any web page and practice notetaking, main idea, summarizing or other comprehension skills to improve web literacy and overall reading skills. If your school computers are locked down, show it to tech staff and special ed/reading department chairs to convince them it is worth installing! Use Readability as you project any advertising-laden site or to help attention-deficit students stay focused on the words. Resource and ESL/ELL teachers will appreciate the ability to focus on the words without other distractions, allowing you to determine how much students are actually reading words vs. using images as context clues. Use this site to help your unfocused gifted students pay better attention! Try turning Readability on and off to show students how they can use images to help in comprehension once they find some meaning from the words on a page. All readers would benefit from stopping to compare how they construct meaning from words and text. Advanced art and design or media literacy students will enjoy examining the advertising techniques on a web page by stripping them away, then turning them back on. This tool also provides a clean way to make printable versions of web page text, even adjusting text size to your preferred option. Please consider the trees before getting carried away, though!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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eGFI - American Society for Engineering Education

Grades
K to 12
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eGFI (Engineering, Go For It!) is a delightful, interactive website dedicated to the exploration of all things engineering. Click on any of the images to learn about the different types...more
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eGFI (Engineering, Go For It!) is a delightful, interactive website dedicated to the exploration of all things engineering. Click on any of the images to learn about the different types of engineering, such as chemical, civil, or mechanical. Explore career options at "Engineer Your Path," including average salary information, strategies for success, and scholarship opportunities. "What's New?" offers the latest articles and information from all engineering fields. Don't miss the free lesson plans and class activities in the teacher section. There are classroom activities beginning as early as kindergarten!
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tag(s): engineering (125), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark eGFI as an excellent resource for STEM and career exploration activities. Have students choose one of the engineering fields to explore as part of a career unit. Download and share monthly magazines with students to include as part of independent reading activities or reading centers. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about an engineer in their chosen field. 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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Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media - PBS LearningMedia

Grades
K to 12
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Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media offers a large collection of media-based resources to bring engineering (and Next Gen Science) to students at all grade levels. Think...more
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Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media offers a large collection of media-based resources to bring engineering (and Next Gen Science) to students at all grade levels. Think of design as problem solving by applying science and math. Begin browsing by choosing from grade level options for descriptions of activities including grade level and type of resource offered. Each activity includes additional resource links, correlations to Next Gen Science Standards, and support materials. Discover the most popular resources by viewing the number of times other users designated them as favorites. Learn about wind powered vehicles, mechanical arms, designing a skyscraper, and much more. Everything on the site is free; however, after viewing three resources you will be prompted to create your free account. Account creation offers the ability to save and favorite resources.

tag(s): architecture (83), energy (197), engineering (125), problem solving (272), robotics (25), STEM (134), structures (24)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of many different STEM-based topics. Use this site for enrichment or to help non-readers understanding concepts through video. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle reviewed here, Tagxedo reviewed here, or WordItOut reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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WhenIsGood - Keith Harris

Grades
K to 12
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WhenIsGood is an easy to use tool to find out when all participants are free for an event or meeting. Choose "get started" and click all possible times and dates ...more
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WhenIsGood is an easy to use tool to find out when all participants are free for an event or meeting. Choose "get started" and click all possible times and dates for an event. Narrow times to particular days and time periods of 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Give the event a title. Additional options include specifying a time zone and viewing of only specific hours each day. After creating the event, write down the result code provided to receive the link to send to participants. Click the box to receive email alerts for any new responses. Participants highlight their choices and submit adding comments if desired. No registration is required to use this tool. You can register for an account to receive a few additional perks: edit or delete activities, no need for result codes with each event, and more.
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tag(s): calendars (44), parent conferences (22)

In the Classroom

Create a calendar for scheduling parent-teacher conferences to send to parents. Scheduling a special presentation and inviting parents? Use this tool to find out what date and time of day will work best. Use WhenIsGood to set up grade level or department meetings. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a tool for scheduling meetings, fundraisers, or book fairs.

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Wordsmyth Kids! - Wordsmyth

Grades
K to 5
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Wordsmyth Kids! is a visual dictionary for young children. Search for any word to read the definition, view an image, see the Spanish translation, and hear the word pronounced (click...more
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Wordsmyth Kids! is a visual dictionary for young children. Search for any word to read the definition, view an image, see the Spanish translation, and hear the word pronounced (click the little speaker). Choose "Places with this word" to find books and activities that include the word. Every icon will "speak" if you roll the mouse over it, so navigating is easy for almost anyone, even low level readers. Be sure to check out tools at the bottom of the page in the World portion of the site to add labels, highlight different areas of pictures, and launch activities using the kite icon.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), parts of speech (68), spanish (108), thesaurus (24), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-add to any elementary classroom's bookmarks! Demonstrate Wordsmyth Kids! on your classroom whiteboard or projector, bookmark it in your favorites, and make it directly available to students from your class webpage. Tell parents about it, too. Elementary students will enjoy defining their spelling words or content area vocabulary. Have students categorize words by parts of speech or create a list of synonyms. Have students create their own word "sticky note boards" for new vocabulary words using a tool such as Lino, reviewed here (no membership required) to create and share their sticky notes. Be sure to share this site with parents for use at home too! Speech and language and ESL/ELL teachers will love the audio possibilities and the activities related to many of the basic vocabulary groups, such as animals, etc.
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Eventbrite - Kevin and Julia Hartz

Grades
K to 12
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Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of...more
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Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of the option for creating bar coded tickets to send to participants (choose free tickets for the free account, paid tickets have a small charge to cover credit card costs). Once your event page is ready, get the word out using Eventbrite tools such as emailing personalized invitations or various social media options. Use the mobile features to check attendees in at your event and scan bar coded invitations.
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tag(s): calendars (44)

In the Classroom

Use Eventbrite to increase excitement for any classroom event. Be creative and have students attend an "event" to review for exams (with bar coded tickets they can earn by sharing a student-made review activity). Offer tickets to in class enrichment "events" for those who test out of a unit. Have student groups design "events" instead of giving class presentations. The "event" could be a quiz show or game session that teaches a curriculum topic, such as "World War Wonders." Have your class work together to plan a culminating "event" such as a tea for famous Americans, and issue invitations and tickets to students who play the parts of the people they researched. Invite parents to Open Houses and Conferences. (Perhaps provide a small door prize for those using the Eventbrite app as their admission ticket!) Use Eventbrite to manage events with limited seating or a limited number of participants. If you provide professional development sessions, this is an excellent way to spread the word and manage participation. If you are an advisor for a school club, this tool would make club-sponsored events easier to organize.

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Powtoon - powtoon.com

Grades
K to 12
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PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description....more
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PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description. Modify slides by changing text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Change styles easily by choosing a different style within the program. Select from the royalty free music options offered by Powtoon to enhance your presentation. Share the finished presentation via social media buttons on your page to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other popular pages or export to YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then using YouTube may not be your best option. Use the embed code provided to easily embed in your website or blog -- or simply share your Powtoon using the URL provided. Exports are not included with the free membership plan. Email is required to register and use Powtoon.
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tag(s): animation (63), digital storytelling (142), movies (64), multimedia (57), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own PowToons. Students can use PowToon to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. The possibilities are really endless, and students will come up with hundreds more uses. Flip your classroom using PowToon presentations. Use PowToon to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to share information with the class when a substitute is in your classroom. Embed your PowToon creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a PowToon on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use PowToon to create movies or presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create PowToon book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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Me Make Monster! Custom - Me Make Monster

Grades
K to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Calling all Frankenstein scientists (and artists) to create a monster! Create your own creatures by choosing from faces, eyes, mouth, nose, hair, eyebrows, legs, arms, skin, clothes,...more
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Calling all Frankenstein scientists (and artists) to create a monster! Create your own creatures by choosing from faces, eyes, mouth, nose, hair, eyebrows, legs, arms, skin, clothes, and more! Give your monster a name, and you are done. Share using various social networks or email. You can also easily save your monster to your own computer.
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tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), halloween (40)

In the Classroom

Share how to use this engaging site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students create and share their monster creature as an icebreaker activity. In language arts classes, use monsters as an avatar in introducing lesson concepts, reviewing, and questioning sessions. Create stories featuring the students' monsters! Monsters can give summary reviews of correct or incorrect information. Create multimedia stories describing the monsters and have students present information using their creatures using UTellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows narrating and adding text to a picture. Create Halloween fun monsters galore! As a class incentive, earn monsters as a reward system for academic achievement or behavior. In science create monsters suited to different habitats, predators, jobs, or adaptations. Create monsters during the first week of school for students to introduce themselves, and post them on your class wiki along with their explanations.

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Space Weather Center - Space Science Institute

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore the powerful forces of space weather through articles, pictures, and interactives at Space Weather Center. Choose from the topics of Amazing Plasmas, Living with a Star, Protective...more
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Explore the powerful forces of space weather through articles, pictures, and interactives at Space Weather Center. Choose from the topics of Amazing Plasmas, Living with a Star, Protective Shield, and Storm Alert. Each topic begins with a short overview, some interactives, and a list of links to extended information. The Education section offers Curricular Guides, PowerPoint Presentations, and more for easy download in PDF format. You can even send a "spacy weather" ecard!

tag(s): earth (228), magnetism (35), matter (56), space (205), stars (61), sun (71), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use information at Space Weather Center with any study of the universe, stars, or weather. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare weather in outer space to weather on earth. Have students create a word cloud (sorry about the pun) of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Share this site on your class website or blog for students to explore at home or during computer time at school. Include a link to games and activities on classroom computers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Green Forest - jayzeebear.com

Grades
K to 4
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Enter the Green Forest for early literacy and math activities for preschool and early elementary. Find interactives with ABC's, colors, numbers, and memory with Dreamer, the Baby Blue...more
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Enter the Green Forest for early literacy and math activities for preschool and early elementary. Find interactives with ABC's, colors, numbers, and memory with Dreamer, the Baby Blue Bird. Jayzee Bear's world (for ages 4 and up) includes interactives for practicing counting, beginning letter sounds, identifying shapes, coloring, memory games, and more. In Conkee's world, ages 6 and up, enjoy singing along, practicing time, reading books, and solving math problems. Red's house, ages 8 and up, explores outer space, goes on map adventures, finds nocturnal animals, unscrambles words, reads illustrated books, practices math skills, and shows how to make origami creations. Tito's world, ages 9 and up, practices time concepts, math, reading with books, discovering germs and bacteria, and a word search puzzle. Some of the activities require Java. You may need to adjust security settings on your computer for them to run.

tag(s): alphabet (92), bacteria (30), colors (79), counting (120), geometric shapes (163), literacy (103), maps (288), preK (279), songs (52), space (205), time (144)

In the Classroom

If you teach preschool or early elementary, take a look at this eclectic website. You are sure to find plenty to use as a learning center. You may want to demonstrate how to use the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. This is an excellent site to use for remedial work or to challenge with the extra motivation of technology! Offer it on your class website for offer parents to reinforce concepts at home. Reinforce early phonological awareness and phonemic awareness concepts, math practice, reading, science, and geography. Differentiation is easy with this site's many different levels and activities. After school programs can bookmark this site for all ages and abilities. Share it at parent nights for families to use at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Florida Memory - The State Archives of Florida

Grades
4 to 12
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The State Archives of Florida provides online access to resources that had a significant impact in Florida's history. The collection includes over 176,000 photographs, more than 110...more
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The State Archives of Florida provides online access to resources that had a significant impact in Florida's history. The collection includes over 176,000 photographs, more than 110 videos, an audio collection, historical and genealogical collection, exhibits, and an online classroom. The online classroom contains lesson plans, online activities, and primary documents of Florida's past. Enjoy folk music from Florida's past or look at Florida in the Civil War. There is a lot here to explore about Florida and beyond.

tag(s): black history (59), civil war (145), florida (11), hurricanes (35), states (163)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, integrate primary documents in addition to your text to get a broader picture of history, even if you are not teaching specifically about Florida. Take a closer look at history, through the multiple aspects of video, audio, laws, and land grants. Look at perspectives of Civil War from a southern state. Make biographies of Florida residents come alive with the culture of their time. Compare and contrast Florida and another state. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Examine the history of space through NASA. You and your students can discover how Civil Rights progressed in Florida. Look at the history of the Seminole tribe as you study native Americans. Challenge students to create an infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here, about a certain period in Florida's history or to compare Florida and other states. Before beginning the infographic, have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!). Use this resource to meet Common Core standards about primary sources or writing. Challenge students to produce digital writing and interact with others online.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wibki - Roy Pessis

Grades
K to 12
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Bookmark your favorite web resources in a visual interface with Wibki. Instead of just creating a long list of bookmarks, use Wibki to organize your favorite resources through categories...more
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Bookmark your favorite web resources in a visual interface with Wibki. Instead of just creating a long list of bookmarks, use Wibki to organize your favorite resources through categories and labels you choose. Through the use of icons, Wibki displays each bookmark in a visually appealing display, making them easy to find and use. View up to 40 icons at one time. This view is especially handy on a tablet. Registration is required (with email.) Share any link on Twitter or Facebook by clicking the edit (pencil) icon in the link. Use the Discover link to find new favorites offered by Wibki editors weekly. Click on the star to add to any of your categories. Add the bookmarklet to your browser bar to quickly add any website as a favorite. Wibki works well with touch and click features on any device.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), DAT device agnostic tool (196)

In the Classroom

Create a Wibki of the most used sites for your class. Link to teacher web pages, webquests, resource sites for your subject, and any other resource that is helpful for students. Consider creating a login for the whole class to update with suggestions from class members. Be sure to link your Wibki on a computer center in your room for easy access. Since icons are shown rather than words, you could use this site with your nonreaders. Create a Wibki mix for parents and students to access at home before tests. Team up with other teachers in your subject/grade to create chapter by chapter Wibkis for all your students.

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Noisli - Stefano Merlo

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds and colors to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that...more
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Stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds and colors to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that sooth and relax while promoting creative productivity. These sounds are much better than plain, white noise. Classic sounds for relaxation include thunder, rain, waves, summer night, forest, white noise, and more. Even Coffee House is a sound that is the general hum of a business and not distracting to your work. As the music plays, the background color changes through a variety of harmonious colors to match the mood of the sound. Click on multiple sounds to create your own mix that is sure to please. Note: Be patient for the music to start, and be sure to click the icon again to stop it before choosing another sound if not mixing them. There is also a link to click and be taken to a blank writing page. (It may not be a white background though, but rather red, yellow, or green.) Click on the lines on the right side of the site to access the writing area. Click the arrow to SAVE your work. Use the music to inspire your writing.

tag(s): creative writing (166), learning styles (19), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students (and their parents) looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use these background sounds as mood music to set the stage for your story. Why not listen to waves or water while studying it! Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Let a student "DJ" create a class relaxation or creativity soundscape. Consider using as background sounds for student presentations. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use the writing tool available at this site to motivate your students with music, color, and more. If you talk with students about discovering their own learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support (and autistic support) teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students. Some students may find them overstimulating, while others may find the sounds very helpful.

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Bringit - Lisa Bouchard and Charles Forcey

Grades
K to 12
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Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets...more
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Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets for easy online access. (Those signing up do not need a Bringit account.) Add items, times, tasks, or whatever you need to your sign up sheet. Share the link using the URL or share through social networking links. Customize your sign up sheet to allow others to add information if desired. Two days before the date of the event, those who sign up will receive an automated reminder.

tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are endless. Use this for planning parties, bringing in materials for projects, and any other activity that requires coordination. If you have limited technology availability, this is a great way for teachers or students to sign up for time slots to use laptops, iPads, video cameras, or a podcast recording station. Go paperless with your signups! Organize your parent/teacher conferences. Plan student research of class projects using this resource. Help students build organizational skills by having them "plan" a mythical (or actual) event such as a museum opening for their Famous Americans exhibit. Use this tool for your high school club or sports team to organize their own events.

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