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Everyday Mysteries - Library of Congress

Grades
3 to 12
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Find answers to the most interesting and intriguing questions that can be asked. Uncover cool science facts by looking at these answers. Enter a search term to find related questions...more
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Find answers to the most interesting and intriguing questions that can be asked. Uncover cool science facts by looking at these answers. Enter a search term to find related questions and answers. Browse categories such as Agriculture, Zoology, Meteorolgy, Home Economics, and Technology. View related resources and other interesting information on each page.

tag(s): agriculture (58), animals (292), climate (91), energy (203), planets (126), plants (156), questioning (34), resources (109), seasons (38)

In the Classroom

Use as a reference to answer questions that students have. Use this site to also apply information learned in the classroom. For example, when discussing light energy and wavelengths, use the explanation of why it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter to apply the information about energy and wavelength. Follow the use of this site with related labs and other activities. Follow up also with more research. For example, after learning about how an hour glass works, research, report, or create other timepieces used throughout history focusing on the advantages and disadvantages as well as the limitations and changes in technology over time.

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Common Core Standards - Pearson Education, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Start investigating the world of common core Curriculum through Pearson education. Pearson Common Core standards website offers an introduction to Common Core standards, reading standards,...more
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Start investigating the world of common core Curriculum through Pearson education. Pearson Common Core standards website offers an introduction to Common Core standards, reading standards, math standards, and information on the transition to Common Core Curriculum. All but six states have adopted common Core standards and they will be transitioned into full use by 2014. Pearson currently employs several of the authors of common core curriculum. Free webinars offer information about introductions to common core, math and reading, and transitions into common core. Included on this site is a blog and parent information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): commoncore (96), professional development (162)

In the Classroom

Begin your transition in to the world of Common Core Curriculum by starting with great webinars and resources. The webinars are very informational and give great insight. Find ways to begin to align your own teaching by offering more rigor and challenge. Stay in touch with the latest blogs on Common Core Information.
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Colonial Gardener - Colonial Williamsburg

Grades
2 to 6
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Try your best to grow the beautiful gardens of Colonial Williamsburg! The more flowers you grow, the greater your point total. To grow beautiful flowers you need to hoe and ...more
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Try your best to grow the beautiful gardens of Colonial Williamsburg! The more flowers you grow, the greater your point total. To grow beautiful flowers you need to hoe and weed the gardens, the better you do, the more elaborate the garden. This activity is easy to follow, simply press on the x or z button to control the actions in the garden. Clicking on "more information" will give you information about the actual gardens and people of Colonial Williamsburg.

tag(s): colonial america (107), colonization (16), plants (156)

In the Classroom

Display and try the activity on the interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on plants to demonstrate the growth and care of plants in a garden. During a unit on Colonial Times allow students to try this activity to see what it was like to do chores in the Colonial Days. This is a great one for a learning station and/or cooperative learning groups!
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Doctor Doctor Lesson - Genki English

Grades
K to 4
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes...more
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes it easy for language learners to acquire body part name knowledge easily. The video and song lyrics make the "Body Part" lesson entertaining and memorable. There is also a "Make a Face" interactive. To use the video part, download the "Realvideo" player. This is about the only items that are FREE at this site, but they are still worth a look if teaching body parts or expressions of the face.

In order to get the "free" printable cards, worksheets, and acompanying language games you must buy the Teacher's Set, Superpack, or Download Pack. However, the video and songs ARE free and fun!
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tag(s): faces (4), human body (129), preK (291), video (276)

In the Classroom

Use the videos on this site to introduce basic English to ESL/ELL students in a fun and energetic way. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view that at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
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Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine - pcrm.org

Grades
4 to 12
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View excellent information from an organization of doctors dedicated to publishing the truth about the way our nation eats. Learn about fast food, issues with various types of foods,...more
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View excellent information from an organization of doctors dedicated to publishing the truth about the way our nation eats. Learn about fast food, issues with various types of foods, and characteristics of different types of diets. View issues of the day, current notes, and videos of hot topics.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): fitness (49), myplate (25), nutrition (153)

In the Classroom

When discussing foods, biomolecules, or the food groups or portion control, use this site as a tremendous resource that discusses not only scientific facts but how nutrients act in the body. Use this information and search for other information to validate or dispute the information. Create a healthy discussion about web resources and credibility. Encourage students to pick a nutrition issue they would like to know more about and research to create a multimedia presentation (blog or wiki post, podcast, or video) or conventional (bulletin board, poster, or pamphlet) display of the information. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Do: NASA's site for Kids! - NASA

Grades
1 to 12
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Here is NASA's site full of space-related activities for kids! Activities range from at home to classroom activities, with all levels of ease. ...more
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Here is NASA's site full of space-related activities for kids! Activities range from at home to classroom activities, with all levels of ease.

tag(s): nasa (37), space (217)

In the Classroom

Make sure to check here for a unit on space, or recommend to parents for enrichment at home ideas.

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WordSift - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 12
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify ...more
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. After entering text several items will appear, first a word cloud will display the 50 most frequently used words in the text. The most frequently used word will display as a word web in a visual thesaurus. Google image and video search results are also shown. One interesting feature is the ability to click on any of the words in the word cloud to display it in the thesaurus and Google image and video searches. A great way to understand the WordSift tool is to try one of the sample texts offered, such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Be sure to check out the "About" link to discover many ideas for use in the classroom. Tips and videos are also available as guides. If you type in a shorter sentence, the site still creates a word cloud using their own related words (not in your original text). Be aware of the advertisements that appear with the word clouds. Advise students not to click on the ads.
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tag(s): dictionaries (57), reading comprehension (121), reading strategies (49), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (128), word clouds (11), word study (78)

In the Classroom

This is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.

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Little Lilly Polka Dot - Wendy Grimm

Grades
K to 1
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This site offers several resources for early readers including alphabet learning tools, number matches, and a story book. In Learning Tools, students roll over letters of the alphabet...more
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This site offers several resources for early readers including alphabet learning tools, number matches, and a story book. In Learning Tools, students roll over letters of the alphabet to hear the letter names (turn up the speakers). The games portion has a very simple number puzzle to put numbers 1-4 into place. The activities section has printable coloring pages. Be sure to check out the book, a story about Lilly Polka Dot and her fear of going to the doctor. The book provides audio or the sound can be turned off for someone else to read.

tag(s): alphabet (87), numbers (195), phonics (71)

In the Classroom

Share the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a health unit for students to learn that going to the doctor isn't scary. Create links to the alphabet and number activities on classroom computers for students to practice. Write (and decorate) your own Lilly Polka Dot stories. Provide this link on your class website for students (and parents) to easily access at home.
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NFB Kids: The Mission - NFB one

Grades
2 to 8
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Go to the Mission for a great science adventure. Missions involve many concepts in physical science, such as motion and forces. Music can be turned off using the checkbox below. ...more
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Go to the Mission for a great science adventure. Missions involve many concepts in physical science, such as motion and forces. Music can be turned off using the checkbox below. Hover over the eclectic array of devices in "The Lab" to see movement or to enter a portion of the lab. Read the beginning screens carefully for pointers on completing each mission. View related links and other materials in "The Desk." Learn about scientists, scientific facts, and other interesting information in "The Library." While playing the games, help screens do not appear to guide you. You are sent back to the start of the game or the section.

At the time of this review, the link to "Your Log" (at the lab) was not active. You may want students to use "traditional" paper to take notes for their log.

Note that the small black bar across the top of the screen takes you to other NFB ites and may lead students off track. The one notable option is to click "Francais" at top right and discover the same activities in French!

tag(s): electricity (88), elements (36), forces (44), magnetism (38), motion (61), rockets (15), space (217)

In the Classroom

Use these great interactives for individual work or as a group activity. For example, use the "Eyes on the Sky Mission Game" to explore the forces and fuels needed to launch a rocket, identification of various space objects, and other skills. The "Keep your Cool Mission" activity requires players to fill the compressor with freon and put all the articles back in place.

Many topics related to physical science can be researched and discussed from these activities. Discuss forces and motion, different types of fuels, how various appliances work, etc. Bring in related environmental and societal issues, especially changes throughout the years. Research various types of rocket design throughout the years and the technical advancements that caused these changes.

Have students complete multimedia research projects to share their findings. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

French teachers will enjoy the various French language versions of the games to give students practice following instructions and applied language in engaging activities. Great practice!
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LiveBinders4Teachers - Barbara Tallent

Grades
K to 12
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This website is a compilation of completed LiveBinders. LiveBinders4Teachers is separated by subject, grade, and general usage. This would be a great way for a new teacher to get ideas...more
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This website is a compilation of completed LiveBinders. LiveBinders4Teachers is separated by subject, grade, and general usage. This would be a great way for a new teacher to get ideas for teaching units. Using a pre-made binder saves time and sheds light on some of the potential of the application. Anyone interested in setting up their own LiveBinders would benefit from using this resource. To learn more about Livebinders and how to make your own, see our full review of LiveBinders here.

tag(s): classroom management (155), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Use these prefabricated binders as the base for your own binders! Also, connect with other adventurous technology using teachers to glean new ideas and discover even more new tools.

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Kidnetic - IFIC Foundation

Grades
4 to 7
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Learn about the body, food, fun, and nutrition with this great site! Take quizzes, find recipes under "Eat," games under "Move," and read bits of information through the "bright papers"...more
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Learn about the body, food, fun, and nutrition with this great site! Take quizzes, find recipes under "Eat," games under "Move," and read bits of information through the "bright papers" under "Learn."

tag(s): cooking (32), fitness (49), nutrition (153)

In the Classroom

Use the Leader's Guide for lessons that educators can use in the classroom. Assign different students or groups of students different bright papers to read in order to glean bits of material worth sharing. Give time for mini presentations, creation of conventional or multimedia projects, create a wiki of essential information and more. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Assign a food journal to students to maintain and have other students analyze the diaries and make suggestions for improvements and deficiencies.
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Science Bob Q&A - Steve Galgas

Grades
3 to 9
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer. ...more
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer.

tag(s): questioning (34)

In the Classroom

Use questions as a good bank of "hooks" to start classroom discussions on various topics. Allow students time to expand the question and arrive at their own answers, and then have them view the actual given answer. From here, students can accept or reject the answer by finding more information on the topic.
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Know It All Healthy - Sounth Carolina ETV

Grades
K to 5
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A series of easy-to-use exercise videos, coloring pages, and links to related PBS television programming, this site makes taking care of young bodies interesting for all. Learn about...more
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A series of easy-to-use exercise videos, coloring pages, and links to related PBS television programming, this site makes taking care of young bodies interesting for all. Learn about the flu (from Elmo), Yoga for students, and more. Don't miss the link for "Get Health

tag(s): diseases (72), h1n1 (13), obesity (18)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share these videos with your students. Share this link with parents on your teacher web site or in your newsletter. The exercises will be fun for everyone.
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How to Make a Comet - The Nuffield Foundation

Grades
4 to 10
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This page offers instructions on how to create your own comet at home or in class. This activity would integrate nicely into elementary or middle level classes as an introduction ...more
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This page offers instructions on how to create your own comet at home or in class. This activity would integrate nicely into elementary or middle level classes as an introduction to space science. It could also be used with secondary students who are studying astronomy. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. The page is printable as well.

tag(s): experiments (73), space (217)

In the Classroom

It is recommended to use this experiment as a demonstration rather than having students create their own comets. Read safety instructions and practice the demonstration at least once before using it with a class. Have students calculate mass and kinetic energy of their class comet. Then have them speculate on the size of a comet, such as Haley's comet, and research the actual size online.

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Department of Energy Lesson Plans - Department of energy

Grades
K to 12
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This site provides photos, project ideas, research information/articles, and information on age/grade and subject matter resources for "energy." Search from a vast collection of resources...more
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This site provides photos, project ideas, research information/articles, and information on age/grade and subject matter resources for "energy." Search from a vast collection of resources that can be used with students of all ages. Choose from simple activities taking minutes, to those that can be extended into projects for greater understanding and application.

tag(s): conservation (125), electricity (88), energy (203)

In the Classroom

Find great resources that help answer "What is energy?," the different energy sources, and using and saving energy. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the articles of interest on this page and create a multimedia project using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary - University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a vast array of lessons and resources on plant and growing technologies on this diverse site. Lessons include Case Studies that can be examined as an introduction to many ...more
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Find a vast array of lessons and resources on plant and growing technologies on this diverse site. Lessons include Case Studies that can be examined as an introduction to many Biology and Ecology topics.

tag(s): agriculture (58), ecology (138), erosion (16), plants (156)

In the Classroom

Find specific lessons on a topic such as Erosion. Use the simple and effective lesson plans and activities to learn about the processes and effects of erosion on the land. Research additional information such as losses attributed to erosion, natural events that disrupt human and other animal populations, and other related environmental problems. Use Google Maps or Google Earth (reviewed here) to map out the case studies presented in the resource. Create placemarks in either application that provide information about erosion, the causes, and the problems created. Research additional items to include in maps or Earth such as images, videos, or news articles that can be viewed to understand the problems. You might consider having students use a tool such as Middlespot, reviewed here, an innovative website for bookmarking in a unique, visual way. Add search material from anywhere on the web by dragging and dropping elements around the screen. Students would use this to help them keep track of their findings. Use with food and fiber activities that identify how many grown products are used not only as food but for building and other materials.

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Topmark Interactive Whiteboard Resources - Topmarks

Grades
K to 12
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This wonderful collection of interactive whiteboard activities is designed for students ages 3 to 18. Topics include Math, Literacy, Science, Physics, History, Art, Music, and Religion....more
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This wonderful collection of interactive whiteboard activities is designed for students ages 3 to 18. Topics include Math, Literacy, Science, Physics, History, Art, Music, and Religion. Within each topic are categories to help narrow down search results. Activities contain a short summary, a link to the resource, and some have objectives. Because this is a British site, be aware that some vocabulary and content may be unfamiliar to American students, so preview carefully before using.

tag(s): descriptive writing (42), energy (203), environment (321), forces (44), grammar (209), literacy (107), literature (271), map skills (81), maps (292), novels (23), persuasive writing (55), poetry (221), preK (291), religions (68), rhythm (21), rivers (24), seasons (38), shakespeare (112), speeches (18), spelling (168), water cycle (32), weather (197)

In the Classroom

Use activities offered on the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector either as a whole class activity or use your whiteboard as one of the learning centers in your class. Share with parents on your blog or classroom newsletter as a resource for practice at home.
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Central Park Conservancy - Central Park Conservancy

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There...more
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There is tour and event information, so whether you're planning a virtual field trip or an actual field trip to Central park, this site is worth your viewing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (292), environment (321), national parks (20), plants (156), trees (28), virtual field trips (51)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan a trip to the park. Or, create a virtual field trip by designating specific places on the website that students have to visit. Have students locate different buildings, art, and trees in the park. It could be a great way to do a virtual leaf collection (in this case - tree collection) with the site's tree database. Have students find at least ten different trees and then create a presentation providing different information about those trees, including their locations in the park. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use the site to help teach geography content such as latitude and longitude by having the students create a map to "escape the park."
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Flu Trends - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the ...more
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the time of this review, the graphs were updated through 2009. Google uses aggregated data to make the flu trend data into graphic form. In an accompanying narrative, Google suggests that people who search for flu trends are often suffering from flu themselves. The site also compares the data Google collects and the published data from each country's health services.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), medicine (70)

In the Classroom

Use this site when teaching graph reading and also data collection presentation when students are doing research. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on graphic organizers on a projector or interactive whiteboard. The site includes an active graph that adds data by time period as students view it. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create a different type of online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Discuss with your students other types of data that Google might be able to collect in a more up-to-date manner than public agencies.
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How To SMILE - National Science Digital Library

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
    
This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site...more
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site is constantly growing. There are several ways to use the site both as a registered user or without registration. Without registering for the site you can search and access lessons and information through the different search methods such as keywords, subjects, source institution, and more. Free registration allows the site to become much more personalized. After registering, you can make lists of resources for any different topic, share lists or searches with others, add comments, or add your own resources. Most activities on the site are free; however, there are some searches that deliver lessons that are paid - these are clearly indicated and not frequent enough to discourage use of this site. Searches can also filter out any paid activities and return only free items. Teachers may also want to subscribe to the site's blog and newsletter to receive updated information as it is added to the site.

In case you are wondering about the title, SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).

tag(s): resources (109), social networking (113), STEM (164), video (276)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect way to organize and sort lessons by topic or age range for future classroom use or to share with fellow teachers. Create a community list of lessons to use within your district. Share this site with other teachers in your building or district as a resource for STEM lessons. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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