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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (159), digital storytelling (150), speech (92)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Halloween/Fall - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Halloween or Fall Festivals in this collection from TeachersFirst. Most are appropriate for younger grades with a few ideas for secondary....more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Halloween or Fall Festivals in this collection from TeachersFirst. Most are appropriate for younger grades with a few ideas for secondary.

tag(s): halloween (39)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Halloween or Fall Festival to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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Earth Day: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Earth Day presents a special opportunity to connect classroom curriculum with real-world experience, not only in science but also for lessons in math, language arts, social studies,...more
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Earth Day presents a special opportunity to connect classroom curriculum with real-world experience, not only in science but also for lessons in math, language arts, social studies, art, and more. With so many outstanding resources available on the web related to environmental concerns, TeachersFirst's editorial team has hand-selected this group of "Editors' Choices" for their potential to engage and involve your students in both the understanding of scientific concepts surrounding Earth Day and in environmental activism for any time of the year.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (111), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Share this list with your students and parents via your class web page not only on Earth Day but throughout the year to heighten awareness of environmental issues. Allow students to team up and select Earth Day projects or choose one effort for your entire school. There are options here for all ages.

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More Earth Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This extensive list is a full listing of TeachersFirst resources for Earth Day. Whether you seek ideas for a community service project for Earth Day or ways to use innovative ...more
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This extensive list is a full listing of TeachersFirst resources for Earth Day. Whether you seek ideas for a community service project for Earth Day or ways to use innovative technologies to bring the environment into your classroom, TeachersFIrst has the reviewed resources to meet your needs in this collection.

List too long? Explore our TeachersFirst Editors' Choice resources for Earth Day.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (111), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Share this long list as options for student projects or use the narrower TeachersFirst Editors' Choice listing. Either one is certain to make Earth Day more than a one-day event!

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Resources for Cinco de Mayo - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Cinco de Mayo in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Cinco de Mayo in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): hispanic (18), holidays (147), mexico (34)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Cinco de Mayo to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Columbus Day - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Columbus Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Columbus Day in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Columbus Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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TeachersFirst's Valentine's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Valentine's Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Valentine's Day in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): valentines day (14)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Valentine's Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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TeachersFirst's St. Patrick's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for St. Patrick's' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for St. Patrick's' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): st patricks day (14)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect St. Patrick's Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons. Give new meaning to "going green"!

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Water, Water Everywhere - National Center for Atmospheric Research

Grades
K to 5
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Although the main emphasis of this site is to offer information to students about the water cycle, there is much more valuable information to be found about many aspects of ...more
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Although the main emphasis of this site is to offer information to students about the water cycle, there is much more valuable information to be found about many aspects of our atmosphere. Learn about the water cycle by clicking different portions of the image found on the page, these links lead to child-friendly information about that portion of the water cycle. For example, click on lakes to learn about how water gets in and out of lakes, who needs lakes, and other pertinent information. Find out about stuff in the sky to learn about cloud types, the sun, pollution, and more. Each month a fun fact is offered with interesting information related to water or the atmosphere. There are links to games and picture galleries; however, they take you off the site so be sure to check them out before allowing students to freely explore all parts of the website.

tag(s): atmosphere (26), pollution (66), rivers (21), water (130), water cycle (34), weather (189)

In the Classroom

Explore the site with your class on your interactive whiteboard or projector during units on the water cycle, clouds, weather, and/or climate. Create a link to the site on classroom computers - assign sections of the site to different students and have them create a multimedia presentation on information found. Have students create simple commercials and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Choose the "Games" linked to the site to use as classroom centers. Share this site on your classroom newsletter or blog for students to explore at home.

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Kids' Habitat - San Diego Natural History Museum

Grades
1 to 6
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At the site you can explore the various activities offered by the San Diego Natural History Museum. In the Canine Corner learn about domestic dogs and their cousins, learn little-known...more
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At the site you can explore the various activities offered by the San Diego Natural History Museum. In the Canine Corner learn about domestic dogs and their cousins, learn little-known facts about canines, and read the glossary of canine terms. Learn about vision by exploring The Eyes Have It section, learn about dinosaurs in the Dinosaur Dig, and explore living light and bio luminescence in the Lights Alive section of the site.

tag(s): animal homes (42), animals (277), dinosaurs (57), light (46)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students to explore on their own to learn more about the canine family when learning about groups of animals. Use the recommended reading list as a resource for students who love dogs and canines. Complete the grow your own minerals activity when learning about rocks and minerals. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Scale of Universe - Primax Studio

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover better perspective on the size of the universe using this interactive. Use the slider at the bottom to move from the atomic, cellular, and human perspective all the way ...more
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Discover better perspective on the size of the universe using this interactive. Use the slider at the bottom to move from the atomic, cellular, and human perspective all the way to the size of the galaxy. Units are displayed alongside images. Warning: underneath the interactive, there is a public comment area. You may want to preview this area if allowing students to navigate on their own.

tag(s): atoms (56), cells (102), measurement (157), space (207)

In the Classroom

Use as an introductory unit to measurement, or when discussing atoms or cellular parts. Allow students time to roam the site in groups and notice the units given. Ask them to determine the relationships between the units as they move through the slider from the smallest to the largest. Use this to frame the size of microscopic items observed in class. Create a measurement unit scale for display in the room.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Youblisher.com - Youblisher

Grades
K to 12
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Have you ever wanted to share your class books online? Youblisher offers a wonderful, visual method for uploading pdf's to an online location and making them look like pages turning...more
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Have you ever wanted to share your class books online? Youblisher offers a wonderful, visual method for uploading pdf's to an online location and making them look like pages turning in a book. If you don't create with Acrobat, not to worry! You just need to scan your documents to convert them to a pdf file. Once you know how to generate pdf files, you are ready to go. Explore whether your computer can "print" to pdf files or learn how to use the scanner. If you use a Mac, the option to "print" from your word processor or other program to pdf is built right in. Once you have a file as pdf, upload the files to this site. Youblisher makes your files flippable like the pages of an interactive book. You receive a link (url) to add to your website. Check out the introductory video on the homepage. Students, teachers, and parents (and grandparents) will all love seeing classroom creations in this easy to view format.

tag(s): book reports (36), digital storytelling (150)

In the Classroom

Share interactive books created online for students to read at learning centers. Create a lesson via pdf files and share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Scan/convert and save students complete research projects, upload the pdf's as a way to share all information. Create a class book, or newsletter, including images, and upload the pdf "book" or newsletter to Youblisher. Then include the the url on your website to share with friends and family. Challenge students to create their own books (in cooperative learning groups) about a specific topic being taught in class. Have upper elementary or middle school students create online "little buddy books" they can share online with lower grade classrooms. If your interactive whiteboard program generates pdf files from in-class activities, why not share them in flippable form on your class web site for review or absentees?

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ArtsEdge - Kennedy Center

Grades
K to 12
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by ...more
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by subject, keyword, or grade level (K-4, 5-8, or 9-12). Some examples of topics include Native Americans, Civil War, Shakespeare, myths, melodrama, adjectives, baseball, and countless others! There are many interactive lessons: some with video, audio, or slideshows. The lessons provide an estimate of time required and complete, step-by-step instructions. There are printables included with some of the lessons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (113), baseball (36), civil war (145), comics and cartoons (74), dance (28), folktales (65), greece (26), habitats (86), immigration (58), literature (275), mexico (34), musical instruments (48), myths and legends (25), native americans (78), painting (67), surrealism (4)

In the Classroom

Search this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to do themselves in small groups.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Habitats: Forests - National Geographic

Grades
4 to 8
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A site about forests, this is a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. Be sure to check out...more
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A site about forests, this is a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. Be sure to check out the photo gallery, too.

tag(s): biomes (116)

In the Classroom

Try the Biomes unit to get your students involved and engaged with their own research. Have them work alone or with a partner on laptops or in a lab.

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VolcanoWorld - Oregon State University

Grades
K to 9
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If you are looking for an explosion of volcanic activity, you have come to the right place. This website offers a massive amount of information on volcanoes such as satellite ...more
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If you are looking for an explosion of volcanic activity, you have come to the right place. This website offers a massive amount of information on volcanoes such as satellite images, current eruptions, a volcanic history calendar, earth volcanoes, other world volcanoes, eruption videos, observatory links, expedition journals and photos, and a large amount of factual information. Don't miss the "Fun Stuff" link that includes virtual volcano field trips, an art gallery, and volcano games.

tag(s): volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Share the videos, photos, and more on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Provide this link on your class website for student to use both in and out of the classroom. Challenge students to watch for current volcanic activity and chart (or record) the activity using graphs or maps to find trends and other statistical data. Use an online graphing tool such as Amblegraph, (reviewed here). Have cooperative learning groups investigate various parts of this site and create a Thinglink, reviewed here, to share with the class. This site allows users to narrate a picture.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Enhanced Calorie Counter - Calories Count

Grades
4 to 12
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The Enhanced Calorie Calculator allows you to count calories by searching a food type by keyword. The calorie calculator (and fat gram calculator) provide the fat grams and calories...more
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The Enhanced Calorie Calculator allows you to count calories by searching a food type by keyword. The calorie calculator (and fat gram calculator) provide the fat grams and calories associated with the keyword. To use the site, enter a food item and see what options are shown. Some fast food calorie counts are included, for example, enter the keyword hamburger and counts are provided for lean and regular beef hamburgers, hamburger rolls, and McDonald's hamburgers. Individual items can be added to a list to provide a total calorie count for an entire meal. If your first search does not work, try shortening to fewer keywords.

tag(s): calories (9)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use during health and nutrition units. Ask students to create a daily food log then use the site to find daily fat and calorie totals. Have students estimate calorie and fat counts of common food items then search for them on the site to compare perception versus reality. Use this site for students to search for low calorie alternatives to common food items in their diets. Have students create simple online nutrition posters using PicLits (reviewed here).

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Space Science - European Space Agency

Grades
K to 12
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Find great images, links, and articles about the sun and Space on this interesting site. View a variety of different multimedia including videos, images (including high resolution,)...more
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Find great images, links, and articles about the sun and Space on this interesting site. View a variety of different multimedia including videos, images (including high resolution,) animations, sounds from space, and downloads. Find resources for further information as well as information about space missions. View and read related articles for a better understanding of current understandings of space objects. Also offered on the site is a free download of the JHelioviewer for learning more and exploring the Sun. This visualization tool developed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center allows everyone to understand more about the Sun by enabling you to bring up images of the Sun from the past 15 years. Create your own movies of the Sun or change the color of the images. Export your finished movies to view in a variety of formats. This open source downloaded program is virus/spam free and requires Java to operate.

tag(s): space (207), sun (71)

In the Classroom

Learn about the Sun using JHelioviewer. Create mashups of Sun images and learn more about the resource that provides the Earth with energy. Use the resources on this site to learn more about concepts and objects found in space. Use this site to ask questions that can be a springboard for further research and projects either by individual students or groups. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). 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). Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science of Everyday Life - Discovery Education

Grades
K to 12
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Explore science in everyday life to understand the impact of science and technology. Find information for students, educators, and families as well as lesson plans and activities. Lesson...more
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Explore science in everyday life to understand the impact of science and technology. Find information for students, educators, and families as well as lesson plans and activities. Lesson plans are standards based and divided into age groupings. (Note: at the time of this review, the lesson plans for grades 9-12 were still unavailable). View lessons and interactives to make science come alive. The videos even include the grade range! View the family section for great online labs and family activities. This site can make science accessible and interesting even to middle school girls who may begin to shy away from anything scientific.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (97)

In the Classroom

Use the many great activities to bring home basic science concepts such as collisions and motion in the activity "Cushion It!" Help students make real world connections that may interest them in a science career. Use the innovation activities as part of a unit in inventors and inventions. This site has something for every age level. This is a fabulous site to save in your class favorites for students to explore on their own. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific science topic and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class about their topic. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here). This is also a fabulous link to share on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Disney Healthy Kids - Disney

Grades
K to 7
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Use Disney's Healthy Kids to learn more about different foods and energy. Follow characters through challenges and quizzes to learn about balancing food, portion control, recipes, and...more
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Use Disney's Healthy Kids to learn more about different foods and energy. Follow characters through challenges and quizzes to learn about balancing food, portion control, recipes, and exercise for a healthy lifestyle. Directions are spoken and written for many types of learners. View the orientation video clip to learn more about this interactive site!

tag(s): fitness (50), myplate (28), nutrition (153)

In the Classroom

Use this as an introduction to a unit on nutrition or as a follow up to review what students have learned. Create a healthy living campaign at your school through creating of posters, newsletters, and mini lessons that when added up can make big changes. 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). Have students keep track of what they eat and compare diets to make recommendations for change. Consider creating a campaign of pledges that students and parents can take for healthier living.
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Healthy teeth - Nova Scotia Dental Association

Grades
2 to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Learn all about oral health with this informative site covering from baby teeth to braces. Learn about the whys and hows of oral health here. Learn about cavities, prevention, braces,...more
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Learn all about oral health with this informative site covering from baby teeth to braces. Learn about the whys and hows of oral health here. Learn about cavities, prevention, braces, a visit to the dentist, cutting out sugar, teeth and gum, and find experiments and other activities.

tag(s): hygiene (10)

In the Classroom

Use the easy to understand words and graphics to identify the do's and don'ts of tooth care. Use this site when discussing health in your classes. Consider bringing a dentist in live or via technology such as Skype as well for more discussion in the classes. Learn more about Skype (here). Use the information provided to set goals or create informative posters. 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). This site is the perfect addition to your Dental Health month lessons.
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