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Who Pooped? - Minnesota Zoo

Grades
2 to 8
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Its time to get a little gross but have a lot of fun! This site allows students to explore, classify, and learn about various kinds of animal poop. After being ...more
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Its time to get a little gross but have a lot of fun! This site allows students to explore, classify, and learn about various kinds of animal poop. After being shown 3 choices of poop, try to guess the animal it belongs to. You will learn about each animal, what it eats, and finally find out if you guessed correctly. You can even print out a poop expert certificate! This site is sure to create interest and excitement in your classroom. NOTE: Due to great popularity, this site can be VERY slow to open. Be patient!

tag(s): animals (276)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit on the digestive system or farm animals on a projector or interactive whiteboard (sure to get some giggles). After playing the online game take a "field trip" to the school's playground to find other examples of animal poop and encourage students to label where they came from.
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Elephant Odyssey - San Diego Zoo

Grades
2 to 6
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Learn about elephants through this engaging interactive that takes you back to the time of mammoths. Keep your elephant alive by finding food and avoiding dangers such as saber tooth...more
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Learn about elephants through this engaging interactive that takes you back to the time of mammoths. Keep your elephant alive by finding food and avoiding dangers such as saber tooth tigers. In addition, there are links to explore the elephant exhibit at the San Diego Zoo, meet the elephants and watch videos of the elephants in action.

tag(s): animals (276), conservation (127), ecology (135), environment (317), habitats (84)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center during your animal unit. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects on animals and their habitats.
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TeachersFirst Hurricane Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand hurricanes and the historic events surrounding major hurricanes. Explore...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand hurricanes and the historic events surrounding major hurricanes. Explore these resources during a unit on weather or disasters and include related projects and classroom activities. Classrooms in hurricane-prone areas may want to stop to observe anniversaries of local hurricane history or even to conduct local history projects in conjunction with some of these starter resources. Turn frightening natural disasters into positive learning using the background on these helpful sites.

tag(s): disasters (39), hurricanes (35), natural disasters (20), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this complete list as a research source for student projects during a unit on weather or choose one or two specific sites to use. These reviews all include ideas for classroom use.

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TeachersFirst's Oil Spill Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused by these environmental disasters. As students read and see images of animals, be aware that younger students may have more questions than they can explain.

tag(s): disasters (39), environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use these resources together with your class to help students find ways they can contribute to a greater good after such a devastating event spreads across the news. Extend the opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to legislators or the editor), careers in environmental science, and more.

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Mix Book - Andrew Laffoon

Grades
K to 12
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously...more
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously insert photos, text, and edit from separate computers. Authors can select from a wide variety of thematic designs, layout options, stickers, and backgrounds or design their own. Upload personal photos, scanned illustrations, or free public domain images directly into the image library. Inserting photos is a simple, intuitive process that requires a click and drag. The text comes in a variety of font options, and sizes. A complete transcript of the writing appears below the book. Viewers can enjoy the reading the book without needless advertising or redirection to another site. It is also possible to copy a book and easily create a customized edition for individual students. There is always the option to purchase books directly from the Mixbook. Go directly to this site and immediately create your masterpiece.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), ebooks (42)

In the Classroom

Use Mixbook to create collaborative projects, yearbooks, or to give writers workshop publishing a professional flare. History teachers may enjoy letting students photograph a re-enactment of a scene from the past and then write accompanying text. Combine yearly research reports with this multimedia option. Have students create collaborative projects that access fantastic photography collections from sites such as the Library of Congress . Primary school teachers can photograph student illustrations of familiar songs, poems, or rhymes and create "class" books. Project these books onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and revolutionize shared reading. Create parent education books that communicate how to help with their student's reading at home, or explain the stages of project-based learning. Students can also author books in a foreign language. Mixbook is useful for all areas of the school curriculum. Remember to embed student books into the school website for family and friends at home to enjoy.

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Common Core State Standards - Common Core State Standards Initiative Team

Grades
K to 12
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set...more
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set of educational standards which aligns benchmarks and expectations across state lines. This system builds on what states are already doing by providing an opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and lessons, while maintaining high expectations that insure the quality of education across America to enable our students to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy.

Visit this website to find out exactly what the national K-12 standards are for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technology, as well as mathematics, and to find out if your state is one many states (at the time of this review) that have already committed to adopt the Common Core State Standards. Watch videos and the recorded webinar, and read about the key points and rigorous curriculum standards, including the content and skills related to the use of media and technology for critical analysis and production.

tag(s): commoncore (94)

In the Classroom

Take a look at exemplars and sample performance tasks and students' writing to consider how you can integrate these ideas into your own planning to prepare students for the growing challenges of today's world. You can also sign up to receive updates via email. For more information about the Common Core and implementing it in your classes, see TeachersFirst's Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction, a Q/A article for elementary teachers, and TeachersFirst's resources tagged Common Core for many helpful sites.
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September 11 Teacher Awards - Tribute World Trade Center Organization

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York ...more
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York City presents awards to honor teachers who have created exemplary educational projects for students to express and sustain the memory of September 11th. This site shares their projects from the globe and involving all aspects of the arts and humanities, including history, language arts, visual, media and performing arts. Although this site is mainly designed for grades 5-12, there are some activities for younger elementary students found in the "Resources for Your Classroom" section of the site.

tag(s): sept11 (21), terrorism (49), terrorist (16), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Use these award winning ideas to commemorate September 11 in a lesson to demonstrate unity or build worldwide understanding. Use the concepts as a springboard to a collaborative project. Ideas vary from sending chains of origami cranes as a wish for peace, composing and singing a song for unity with an online tool such as Woices (beta) reviewed here), writing letters to local politicians, creating poems and transforming them into digital videos or multimedia presentations using ThingLink, reviewed here, or taking responsibility for the environment while creating a sense of community by planting gardens. Choose from many ways to inspire students to recognize the importance of September 11 and to involve them in working together to become a more tolerant society. You might be so amazed with the results that you will want to submit your students' projects to be considered for next year's Tribute Center September 11th Teacher Awards. The annual award ceremony takes place on February 26, to commemorate the 1993 first attack on the World Trade Center.
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School by Fire - Museum of Glass

Grades
4 to 12
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Let your class transform hot molten glass into art without having to call the fire department. School by Fire is a virtual interactive glassblowing activity that demonstrates the process...more
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Let your class transform hot molten glass into art without having to call the fire department. School by Fire is a virtual interactive glassblowing activity that demonstrates the process of creating "macchia" glass. Students experience the complete sequence of steps while keeping a close eye on the temperature of the fire. When students finish their glass project, they can print it out. The Museum of Glass has other interactive features such as "Spontaneous Design," videos, and live Hot Shop viewing of glassmaking. There is also a "Museum of Glass" YouTube channel full of interviews and glassblowing demonstrations.

tag(s): artists (74), sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and then let students explore the site alone. Art and science teachers could use this interactive technology to demonstrate the interconnected nature of the two disciplines. Art teachers can use this interactive to give students a chance to understand an art form not available at school. Science teachers could use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on heat and molecules. Science and Chemistry students may enjoy the "Science and Glass" page found under the "Learn" tab. World history courses studying ancient Rome, Middle Ages and Renaissance could use this fun interactive and their video "Fire Gods" to launch a comparative study development of how glassblowing (art) effect the social and economic influence of a region. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Schools in the Tacoma Washington area can take advantage of the Science and Art curriculum, schedule field trips, or look into having the Mobile Hot Spot come to your school.
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Wikimedia Commons - Wkimedia Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using ...more
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using the same technology as Wikipedia, you can edit, upload, and embed media file projects into any Wikimedia project. Every media file comes with a description, name of the author and complete licensing details. Search for videos, images, or sound media by keyword, content categories, nature, science, or society. This is an amazing resource to use when searching for any multimedia content.

tag(s): creative commons (21)

In the Classroom

Address the needs of the visual learner and include media files as part of the research process. Wikipedia Commons offers a way for students to gain an understanding of content through images, sounds, and video. Give students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge by narrating a slideshow of images found on Wikipedia Commons or create multimedia presentations on a site such as Glogster (reviewed here). These free media files will also help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. This site is a valuable resource for imagery useful when creating presentations, lectures, digital stories, reports or to include on a class websites. Students learning a foreign language may benefit from using Wikipedia Commons to learn about more about the culture and lifestyle of the country whose language they are studying.

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Grabba Beast - Tangible Worldwide

Grades
K to 12
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Grabba Beast lets you build your own beast. It is similar to Mr. Potato Head (with some additional art elements). Students will enjoy choosing from an extensive library of body ...more
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Grabba Beast lets you build your own beast. It is similar to Mr. Potato Head (with some additional art elements). Students will enjoy choosing from an extensive library of body types and parts and then assembling them into a repulsive, darling, or absurd beast. Viewers can build their own beast, edit those belonging to other users, or generate a completely random creation. Fully grown beasts can either stay in their on-line gallery, turn into an ecard, change into desktop wallpaper, or travel to a social networking site. Saving the beast requires a student to enter their name but does not ask for additional information beyond that. Using a pseudonym might be a good alternative to real names. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online gallery. Unfortunately, it is not possible to download the beast as a decent size JPG. Grabba Beast in the winner of both the "Best of Entertainment" and "Best of Show" 2010 WebVisionary Awards. This site is just plain fun (and educational)!

tag(s): creativity (108)

In the Classroom

Grabba Beast offers an opportunity to improve the imaginary talent of students and stimulate their ability to produce several creative ideas. The site provides the opportunity to continually modify and change beasts. This demonstrates to students that new ideas often originate from combining of materials and characteristics in different ways. Have students describe the attributes of their monster, create a character profile, or write clues to help others identify their beast. Push student's creative abilities even further by asking them to adjust their monster so that it can perform various tasks. You can also have them create beasts that fit mythical environments through adaptations, thus reinforcing science concepts creatively. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops.
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A New Way to Lecture - Michael Zimmer

Grades
4 to 12
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you ...more
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you and your students? Take a look at this online slide show, and choose one of fourteen different programs to convert just one of your PowerPoint lectures. Not only is each program explained, but many have suggestions for integrating your lectures with the program. Take a look. Learn about some great web 2.0 sites (Glogster, Prezi, TypeWith.me, Animoto, ToonDoo, and many others). Note that many of the tools mentioned are also reviewed on TeachersFirst in greater detail if you want to learn more.

tag(s): chat (51), comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (144)

In the Classroom

Surprise your students and yourself with how effective any one of these programs can be with your material or THEIR presentations. Create a comic strip to replace a traditional grammar lesson. Use a class wiki to discuss and debate topics in history class. Create an online poster "glog" on using Glogster to demonstrate a new math concept. Once you see a tool that sounds interesting, read its full review on TeachersFirst to find even more ways to use it.
 
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PWSRCAC - PWSRCAC

Grades
K to 12
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Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council provides a free curriculum that is geared toward teaching about oil and oil spills. While this curriculum is about Alaska's...more
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Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council provides a free curriculum that is geared toward teaching about oil and oil spills. While this curriculum is about Alaska's Exxon Valdez oil spill, the information would be very helpful in teaching about other oil spills in recent news. It would be a great place to help develop lessons where students compare and contrast two spills, their magnitude and their effects on the environment.

tag(s): environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use the whole curriculum in environmental science classes or pick and choose pieces that you want to incorporate into your curriculum. Have students research and understand about oil spills in general using this tool, and then have students expand by comparing and contrasting the Exxon spill to the BP spill in 2010. Have students create Venn Diagrams using a tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare these two spills or other oil spills.

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PhotoPeach - Nota, Inc

Grades
3 to 12
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample ...more
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample here. Shows can be shared or embedded into other social networking type sites.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160), slides (63)

In the Classroom

You also must be able to locate files on your computer to upload. Follow onscreen instructions to create a project. The instructions are very easy to understand. In a few short steps, there is a finished product. Share the finished show by URL or embed code (for those who know how to copy/paste this code).

Use this site in science class to make a slideshow of a completed lab as an alternative to a laboratory report. Use this in history class to create short videos about different people and places in history. Use in math to have students explain a word problem or complex algebra problems in a slide by slide (step by step) manner. In lower grades, use a whole class account to create a slideshow about a class project or special event such as pumpkin day and all the calculations you do with pumpkin seeds, the weight of pumpkins, etc. Share the slideshow as an embedded object on your class web page/wiki or share the link with parents so they can ask their child about the activity and reinforce the concepts simply by having him/her talk about it at home.

If students create their own shows using images from the web, be sure they are using Creative Commons licensed photos or images without copyright restrictions, sine the products are shared online. Of course you will want to require a credit for any photo used to be included in the show.

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MathSlice

Grades
1 to 12
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The mission of MathSlice is to provide interactives and worksheets for elementary aged children; however this site contains much more. Basic math worksheets are available in many different...more
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The mission of MathSlice is to provide interactives and worksheets for elementary aged children; however this site contains much more. Basic math worksheets are available in many different areas of math concepts beginning with addition going up through scientific notation and percentages. In addition, there are links to ipad games that teach math skills. Many other interactives are available on the site including math millionaire, scrabble, connect 4 and dozens more. In addition to Math, there are activities for Geography, science, music, early literacy, and Spanish.

tag(s): light (46), logic (235), puzzles (208), sight words (37), sound (101), worksheets (60)

In the Classroom

Display games on the interactive whiteboard or projector for students during indoor recess times. Allow students to try the interactives during computer time to reinforce current concepts taught. This is a great link to post on your class website for students (and parents) to try at home.
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Calculator Soup - Edward Furey and Southborough Website Design

Grades
K to 12
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Calculator Soup collects all sorts of online calculators in one free site. Calculators range from basic to complicated and have specific functions like conversion, time, finance, and...more
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Calculator Soup collects all sorts of online calculators in one free site. Calculators range from basic to complicated and have specific functions like conversion, time, finance, and chemistry. A great tool for students who do not have specific calculators or forget them.

tag(s): calculators (41)

In the Classroom

Find exactly the calculator you need for students to operate on the interactive whiteboard or at computers. As an enrichment project, have students select a calculator and design problems to use it. Students can share their problems with classmates and be exposed to various types of math problems and calculators. Challenge students to create a video to "advertise" a certain calculator and share using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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Inventors and Their Inventions - Time Magazine

Grades
4 to 12
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Time Magazine presents 9 current inventors and their inventions. These little known inventors have created items that are familiar to many of us today - items include the sticky note...more
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Time Magazine presents 9 current inventors and their inventions. These little known inventors have created items that are familiar to many of us today - items include the sticky note (Post-It), a pizza box with perforated sections for plates, and a huggable pacifier. This slideshow is easy to use. Just click on the next button after each slide to find the next inventor.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (97)

In the Classroom

After presenting the slideshow on your interactive whiteboard or projector, ask students to create their own list of modern inventions that are in general use. Students can then research their inventors and how the invention came about. Have a "Create an Invention" Day where students design and build their own invention that would make their lives easier. Have students share their inventions and how they work on video. Share the videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). Another possibility is to include this slideshow in your study of the Industrial Revolution. Share TeachersFirst's interactive introduction to Inventors of the Industrial Revolution, and ask students to compare the circumstances around successful inventions today vs then.

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Oil Spill Lesson Plans and Resources - NOAA

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn about the impact of oil spills. Use these lessons and information to compare the impact of spills past and present. The site provides details about cleaning up oil spills, ...more
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Learn about the impact of oil spills. Use these lessons and information to compare the impact of spills past and present. The site provides details about cleaning up oil spills, as well as the science of oil dispersal, how to clean animals, and more.

tag(s): disasters (39), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities on this site! Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on. Students can select different aspects of oil spill cleanup and mitigation and play the role of experts in a mock blog post playing their role. Have students continue their role play by commenting on each other's posts.

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Oil Spill Crisis Map

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn about the impact of oil spills, specifically the BP spill of 2010. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site ...more
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Learn about the impact of oil spills, specifically the BP spill of 2010. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site provides details about the land, animals and human health that have been negatively affected by the spill - all in map form.

tag(s): oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Have student groups explore various aspects of the map, and report back to the class how the environment, wildlife, and humans in the area were affected. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Ifitwasmyhome - Ifitwasmyhome.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site hosts an interactive map, along with bountiful information about the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. The interactive map updates daily during the aftermath of the ...more
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This site hosts an interactive map, along with bountiful information about the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. The interactive map updates daily during the aftermath of the spill, allowing users to chart the gradual growth of the spill in the Gulf Coast. It also allows users to "move the spill" to their hometown, providing a better perspective of how big the spill actually is. The information on the site is mostly specific to this spill, but there are connections to how wildlife has been affected by this and others like it in the past. Note the links on the bottom that host information about other spills, and the dramatic pictures of the wildlife suffering from the sludge. The images are graphic, so use with caution in an elementary classroom where students are apt to react strongly to images of animals suffering.

tag(s): oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

This site and information it hosts are great at capturing two essential skills in Social Studies. To begin with, it's an excellent map reading source, especially to demonstrate regarding map distortions and how they can change the shape of something like a projected oil spill. It also highlights concerns about deep-sea drilling, a heavily contested topic, particularly after the oil spill of 2010. Both government and earth science classrooms could investigate aspects of drilling as real world topics related to the curriculum.

Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing cooperative learning groups to explore, giving the teacher a chance to explain how the map works and what kind of information is on the site. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site and summarize important details, such as how people and wildlife are affected by environmental disasters. This would be a great review activity before a debate on deep-sea drilling. Classes can also chart the growth of the spill for a period of days to trace how much it changes, providing evidence for the debate. Government classes could use this and other references as part of a simulation on how the U.S. government reacts to environmental disasters and discussions of related policy issues. Younger students will need assistance reading some of the text-based material.

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Building Schoolwide Literacy With Free Web 2.0 Tools: A Grade by Grade Elementary Model - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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TeachersFirst offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students,...more
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TeachersFirst offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students, teachers, and parents. The free web 2.0 tools suggested here are by no means the only tools that might work. These exemplary tools were chosen by the TeachersFirst Editors for ease of use and versatility in classroom and home use, and could easily be implemented at grade levels other than those suggested here. As students and teachers master a new tool at each grade level, they develop rich literacy skills and vital technology skills, all in the context of reading, writing, speaking and listening across the curriculum.

tag(s): listening (91), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

Explore the tools and project suggestions by grade for your individual use as a teacher or work together with others in your school to build literacy across all subjects and grades by systematically adopting and repeatedly using a fixed collection of tools so students master the tool skills as an aside to reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Try the practical suggestions for implementing this model in your school or grade level team.

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