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100Reporters - 100 Reporters

Grades
8 to 12
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One hundred of the World's top reporters have joined forces to take aim at corruption around the World. View news stories include various topics such as Agriculture, Business, Government,...more
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One hundred of the World's top reporters have joined forces to take aim at corruption around the World. View news stories include various topics such as Agriculture, Business, Government, and more. Be sure to click on the World tab to view articles by region. Build your own critical thinking as you read these articles and compare them with typical media sources. Although all articles appear perfectly appropriate for older students, we still suggest previewing this site before you share with students. Some of the topics are sensitive and/or graphic.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): media literacy (58), persuasive writing (55)

In the Classroom

In discussions of current events, find great news articles that get to the heart of the story. Compare them with other news outlets to discuss how money and the viewpoints of business owners can cloud the actual reporting. Be sure to discuss how to find parent websites by investigating the shortened address (url) of sites as well as the advertisements found on pages. Compare and contrast news stories found on a variety of news pages. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare two news stories. In world language or world cultures classes, discover what the "hot topics" are by looking at news stories from the region being studied. In writing classes, use these articles compared with those on the same topic from other sources for students to collect supporting evidence to use in essay writing.

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Brainy Box - Russell Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even ...more
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Create a 3-D animated cube where you choose the content for each of the sides. No membership is required. Your Brainy Box cube is viewable on any device - even iPads and other tablets. Click through the tutorial by clicking the numbers under the cube and learn the details! When you are ready to create your own, click the New button to begin. Edit using standard web tools and click on a different cube face number to continue editing. Save your creation with a password to retrieve later. Be sure to save the url somewhere you can find it! Some of the introductory videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos 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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tag(s): creativity (109), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Create a cube with various aspects of information about curriculum content to be shared with students. Even the non-readers could navigate a teacher-created cube if videos (or graphics) are included instead of words. Use a Brainy Box cube to give directions and examples to a specific project assigned to students. Create a cube about a particular person or event from history. Decide on the parameters for each of the sides of the cube before assigning. Create a cube to include specific information from characters in novels. Create a Brainy box to include related images or words. Students can brainstorm how these images or words are related. Assign a Brainy Box with student's favorite artwork and reasons chosen from their work through the year. Use a Brainy Box as a visual aid for student presentations. Challenge students to create their own Brainy Box on nearly any subject. Some additional ideas shared from Brainy Box: Produce a "Who" cube with an image and five key aspects of a character; Summarize a key topic with two facts, two images, and two videos; and Summarize a key event looking at different times in history. The possibilities here are endless! See more ideas in this review of a similar tool (3D Photo Cube) that creates a cube of still images.

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Cacheopedia - Cacheopedia

Grades
4 to 12
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Interested in geocaching (or want to know what it is?) This wiki offers an encyclopedia of geocaching. Cacheopedia indexes everything about geocaching. Learn the basics of geocaching....more
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Interested in geocaching (or want to know what it is?) This wiki offers an encyclopedia of geocaching. Cacheopedia indexes everything about geocaching. Learn the basics of geocaching. Find vocabulary, guides, and even communities. Use GPS units or GPS-enabled smart phones to get started geocaching.

tag(s): latitude (13), longitude (13), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Incorporate geocaching into geography, math, science, history, English, and physical education curricula. Develop understanding of latitude, longitude, and basic geography. Create lessons (or even better, have students do the creating) to learn about the area in which your students live. Encourage students to focus on places they have not been and include local history. Design a scavenger hunt around the school to move students through various caches and information they should gather or items they should see. Have a resource others would like to see? Read the Contribute section of Cacheopedia to write and submit information that others may find useful. Your students could, for example, create a geocache with a token about local history or biological species and help others learn from them! You might even make the "cached" item a QR code that directs to a wiki page your students create telling all about the local historic site or species found at the cache location. Learn more about QR Codes in this archived OK2Ask recording.

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Edheads - Edheads.org

Grades
7 to 12
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This free tool provides math and science interactives that encourage critical thinking. Click to choose an activity: Crash Scene Investigation, Stem Cell Transplant, Design a Cell Phone,...more
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This free tool provides math and science interactives that encourage critical thinking. Click to choose an activity: Crash Scene Investigation, Stem Cell Transplant, Design a Cell Phone, Deep Brain Stimulation, and Virtual Knee Replacement Surgery. These topics are sure to grab your attention! Be sure to check out the Teacher Resource Center to find and submit great ideas. Subtitles can be turned on in each of the activities. Actual photos can be viewed by clicking on the camera icon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): medicine (67), simple machines (37), STEM (134), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use these engaging activities on an Interactive Whiteboard or on individual computers. Students can record vital information they have learned about each of the interactives to share in a class discussion at the end. Ask questions that connect your class content to the interactives. How is Math or Science useful here? Students can journal what they feel watching these interactives and infer what a person working in that interactive would be thinking or feeling.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BookRX - Knight Lab Northwestern University

Grades
K to 12
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BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, ...more
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BookRX finds and recommends books for you to read based on your Twitter feed. Allow the site access to your Twitter account and enter your handle. In a few seconds, a suggested book list appears based on information found in your Twitter feed! The site finds books based on hashtags used and other users you follow. Book recommendations appear in several categories such as food, business, or science and technology.

tag(s): book lists (128), independent reading (128), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use BookRX as a fun way to find book recommendations you may not otherwise know about. In lower grades, this is likely to be a teacher-only tool. Share with older students who actively use Twitter to help them find new reading material. Use with your classroom Twitter account to find books related to curriculum topics your class has been tweeting about or experts you have been following. Teachers at ANY level who have established a Twitter presence can use it to find professional reading materials. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
 

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Word Counter - Word Counter

Grades
4 to 12
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Word Counter is a powerful, simple tool for anyone who writes. Paste in the text of your own writing (a paper, a blog post, a letter, etc.) and see how ...more
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Word Counter is a powerful, simple tool for anyone who writes. Paste in the text of your own writing (a paper, a blog post, a letter, etc.) and see how many times you repeat a word. Choose to include "small words" (the, it, etc.) in the count or not. Search your writing by roots and choose how many words you want the site to list. Repetition of words is boring for your reader and often shows "lazy" word choice. Try using this program and Big Huge Thesaurus, reviewed here, to spice up your writing. Make revision for word choice one of the steps in your writing process.
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tag(s): process writing (42), word choice (26), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the use of Word Counter on your Interactive Whiteboard. Once the redundant words have appeared on the program, display the text they came from and have students make suggestions for stating the sentences in a different way, or using synonyms. Post a link to Word Counter on your webpage for parents and students to use at home. Use Word Counter for your own writing in newsletters home, emails to parents, graduate work, and notes to administration. Be sure to share Word Counter with your colleagues.

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Presidential Classroom - Miller Center, University of Virgina

Grades
6 to 12
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The Presidential Classroom offers resources for students and teachers that provide insight into historic events, the presidency, and U.S. government. Contents include lesson plans,...more
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The Presidential Classroom offers resources for students and teachers that provide insight into historic events, the presidency, and U.S. government. Contents include lesson plans, presidential profiles, video clips, and teachable exhibits. Explore exhibits by historical event or sort by administration. Exhibits provide a look at specific moments during a presidential administration including transcripts, videos, and audio of events. Choose the presidents link to get a look at each of the US presidents including quick facts, personal information, and cabinet members. Lesson plans include topics such as Space, Vietnam, and Cuba and include correlations to Virginia state standards.

tag(s): jefferson (19), kennedy (27), lincoln (86), presidents (131), space (205), vietnam (36), washington (36), white house (14)

In the Classroom

If your students do Presidential biographies or projects, this is a perfect site to share. Have students explore the exhibits while doing research on presidents and historical events. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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50 Amazing Facts About Earth - Jason Major

Grades
5 to 12
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This Infographic offers 50 Amazing Facts not well known about the Earth. The Infographic is separated into different sections by themes including Space, Atmosphere, Sea, Under Earth,...more
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This Infographic offers 50 Amazing Facts not well known about the Earth. The Infographic is separated into different sections by themes including Space, Atmosphere, Sea, Under Earth, Ground, and Man. Take a look to learn something new... and possibly to wonder whether everything it says is true.
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tag(s): atmosphere (26), geology (81), landforms (45), oceans (148), soil (17), space (205)

In the Classroom

This site would be a great introduction into digital literacy. Ask students how they know that these facts are actually true? Discuss how you can research the author, the quality of the site itself, the comments made, etc. Compare this site to others that are deemed to be "authorities" and with those that are not. Each student could choose one or two of these facts to do further research, not only to determine whether the facts are true, but to find important background information that can make the fact relevant to other students and the class. Be sure to check out the comments to see those who dispute some of the "facts" in the Infographic. Use research to determine which facts are correct. Why are some of the facts correct or incorrect, and what misconceptions exist about these facts? For quick projects, have students create instant graphics of important words about the Earth using a tool such as Typogenerator (reviewed here) or Wordle (reviewed here).

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MakeUseOf Cheat Sheets - makeuseof.com

Grades
K to 12
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for ...more
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, Shortcuts For Special Characters on Windows, Evernote Search Tips & Tricks, Skype Shortcuts for Mac OSX, YouTube Tips, and several others. View by clicking the thumbnail or use the download link to print in PDF format.
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tag(s): computers (95), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Useful both with students or personally, this is a site that you will definitely want to bookmark or save in your favorites. Print the guides for use with classroom computers, in computer labs, and to tape in student notebooks. Create a permanent link to these guides on your class website or blog for students (and parents) to use at home. Encourage students to use these sheets to become "techsperts" at a certain program and to share their expertise during byod activities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Howcast - The best how-to videos on the web - Howcast Media

Grades
6 to 12
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Howcast is an aggregator of the "best" how-to videos across the Internet. These short, easy to follow videos cover a wide range of topics, including pop-culture. They are created by...more
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Howcast is an aggregator of the "best" how-to videos across the Internet. These short, easy to follow videos cover a wide range of topics, including pop-culture. They are created by HowCast "experts." One very handy feature is the text transcript included with each video (scroll down to see it). Browse through the categories or type a search term into the search box to view available videos. Categories include Fitness, Home, Food, Health, Arts, Tech, and more. Click "Share" on each video page to share via social networking sites or copy the embed code to share the video on a website or blog. The HowCast videos are not simply YouTube searches, so they have different offerings from what you might find there. Not all content at this site is appropriate for the classroom. Please be sure to preview before you share with your students. This is not one that you want students to explore on their own.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), careers (132), computers (95), financial literacy (80), money (193), politics (99), sports (97), video (254)

In the Classroom

The brief video clips on this site make it ideal for use when introducing or researching information. View together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Cue up and pause your video at a point AFTER the opening ad to save class time! Embed onto your class website or blog for students to view at home. Use the transcripts as examples of how-to speeches and have students both read and watch to analyze the details of how to organize such a speech before making their own videos or giving live informational speeches. Bookmark and save for use as How To questions arise throughout the year. For example, if you have a question about using Microsoft Excel, search Howcast to find about 30 videos explaining different tools and tricks within the program. Preview any search results before sharing with the class. Use Howcast videos as examples in any subject area and challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Haiku Deck - haikudeck.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit...more
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Create presentations that inspire with Haiku Deck presentation software. Sign up using your email, Facebook, or Twitter login to begin creating slides. Add words and backgrounds, edit layouts, and add notes to personalize each slide. Upload your own images or type a phrase to find images included in Haiku Deck's extensive library. Save and share using social networking links or embed code when finished. Finished decks may also be saved as a PDF or exported to SlideShare reviewed here. Set your privacy options as public, restricted to only those with the url, or private. At the time of this review, Haiku was available on the web and iPad platforms only.

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

In the Classroom

Create slide presentations for any lesson or teach students to create slides for class projects. In lower grades, create a project together on your interactive whiteboard or create them for your students to use. Create a presentation for use during Open Houses, class trips, or school events. Embed the slides on your class blog. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. The possibilities are unlimited. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here. If you are lucky enough to have iPads for use in your classroom, download the app for students to create slide shows on their own.

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Science of NFL Football - NBC

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore ten videos, each of which focuses on a certain aspect of science used in professional football. From the Pythagorean theorem to vectors to hydration and health, each video selects...more
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Explore ten videos, each of which focuses on a certain aspect of science used in professional football. From the Pythagorean theorem to vectors to hydration and health, each video selects an important aspect of science or math that contributes to successfully playing football. The practical application of these puzzling science and math concepts will surely make this site appeal to students! Don't miss the lesson plans and transcripts available with each video. While this activity is FREE, there are other parts of the NBC Learn site that are not.

tag(s): motion (59), newton (25), nutrition (154), pythagorean theorem (35), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Have students create online posters showing applications of the science or math described using their favorite teams as subjects. Create posters together as a class. Use a site such as Project Poster (reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vidtionary - vidtionary.com

Grades
K to 12
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in...more
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in the background. Browse entries using the search bar or view featured collections. Browse alphabetically or explore collections. Because of the wide range of topics and difficulty levels, these vocabulary words could be used with any age. Video lengths run less than one minute per definition, many as short as 10-15 seconds. Originally designed to teach English to speakers of Korean and Japanese, the visual nature of the site appeals to all language learners.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

While this site is ideal for any student learning new vocabulary, it is especially useful for ESL/ELL students or speech/language students with vocabulary deficits. Share selected videos in primary grades to help students see how new words are defined and spelled. Challenge your gifted students to find new vocabulary words to share with the class. Use in any classroom as a model (sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Then assign cooperative learning groups to create Vidtionary inspired videos of their own to explain curriculum terms, world language vocabulary, or SAT words. Use a tool like Moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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GIFMaker - GIFmaker.me

Grades
K to 12
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and...more
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Create animated GIF images FREE and EASY using GIFMaker. Animated GIFs are images that change from one image to another automatically. There is no registration required. Select and upload the images that you want to use (in PNG, GIF, or JPG format). Choose your animation speed and image size. You can even choose an image from your smartphone. Animations can be run backwards to create another different animation. Download the finished creation to your desktop.

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

In the Classroom

Create animations of any image! Animate inanimate objects such as a leaf or other object by taking two different pictures of it so it can "change." Use your animations as a focus for story creation or free writing. Animate images used by students for their individual web pages to set the scene for their "About Me" introductions. Design and shoot images to animate as an introduction to a project or report. Challenge older students to create their own animated GIF images. (No registration is required.) Photograph and create GIFs to show two stages of insect development, the growth of a plant, or other scientific concepts.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ImageCodr - Xteq Systems

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this tool to correctly use and give proper credit for images from Flickr Creative Commons on any web age or wiki. Search for images using Flickr Creative Commons reviewed ...more
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Use this tool to correctly use and give proper credit for images from Flickr Creative Commons on any web age or wiki. Search for images using Flickr Creative Commons reviewed here or from the handy link provided on ImageCodr. Enter the URL for the picture page from Flickr, and ImageCodr will generate a block of HTML code for you to include on your web page or other online project. This code will make both the image AND the appropriate credit display. A brief licensing summary shows as a caption when you use the embed code. Note that this tool does not work for including images and credits in offline projects such as PowerPoint slides. It will work in any online tool that allows embed codes!

tag(s): creative commons (21), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use this tool whenever Flickr Creative Commons pictures are used for any classwork or project. Be sure students understand the different types of images available and use ones that are licensed correctly. Use the embed code wherever you need to place the image, and BOTH the image AND the licensing will be displayed. Be sure to model use of this tool whenever using images from Flickr. What a handy way to include images on your own class web page! Post images as writing prompts, you-name-it science questions, or world language conversation starters, all from a simple Flickr CC image search!

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JPL Infographics - Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA

Grades
9 to 12
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Discover great Infographics from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Use this tool to create your own Infographics or upload ones already created. Easy directions are provided. Grab data...more
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Discover great Infographics from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Use this tool to create your own Infographics or upload ones already created. Easy directions are provided. Grab data from NASA to create your Infographic. Downloadable data includes images, data sets, and more. Share using social media. Be sure to view the gallery for very interesting uses of the data. You can download full resolution pdf files of the infographics (large files).

tag(s): infographics (42), nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Use Infographics from the gallery to begin a new unit or lesson. Share the infographics on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Annotate them on the whiteboard to "dig deeply" into the information. Engage students in brainstorming, critical thinking, or asking questions. Create Infographics to share with others by choosing relevant information from the NASA archives. Connect information learned in class to real world space information. Use this information as part of a project to report upon an aspect of space.

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Class Messenger - Learn Anything, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting...more
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting up an account takes you about 30 seconds! Create an account and a class. Students and/or parents create accounts as well. Parents (or students) then search for teacher name, class, or username to join. You can choose messages to be received through the app, by text message, or via email. Requests to join must first be approved by the teacher before receiving any messages. From the teacher dashboard, compose the type of message you wish to send, choose the recipients of the message, and type the body of the message. Messages are sent to each of the recipients using their chosen method. If students choose the SMS option, be sure they obtain parental permission FIRST, as standard messaging rates apply.

tag(s): classroom management (135), DAT device agnostic tool (198), homework (44), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a Snow Day. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. Don't forget any extracurricular activities. You could also use this to communicate with parents. (Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page.) Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Learning Support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add your own messages to help parents know how to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Class Messenger. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.

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Science and Engineering of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games - NBC Learn

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Explore ten dynamic videos all related to the winter Olympics. This site, updated in 2014, was created in partnership by NBC Learn, NBC Sports, and the National Science Foundation....more
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Explore ten dynamic videos all related to the winter Olympics. This site, updated in 2014, was created in partnership by NBC Learn, NBC Sports, and the National Science Foundation. View the free videos and explore the engineering, science, technology, and math behind many of your favorite Olympic events. Topics vary from Science of Snow to Physics of Figure Skating to Olympic Movement and Robotic Design. Most videos are 5-6 minutes in length.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): olympics (47), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use these video clips to bring the Olympics alive in your science or math classes. Great for current events and STEM lessons, these clips are quick and simple - yet full of information. Share the clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or better yet, challenge cooperative learning groups to view one of the videos and create a project to share with the class demonstrating the science (or math) concepts highlighted in the video. For quick projects, create electronic graphics of important words using a tool such as Typogenerator (reviewed here) or Wordle (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Most Severe Weather: Hail - FEMA.gov

Grades
2 to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This interactive site shows citizens everything they need to know about hail including basics, facts, frequency, size, and formation. In addition, you can see a slideshow about what...more
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This interactive site shows citizens everything they need to know about hail including basics, facts, frequency, size, and formation. In addition, you can see a slideshow about what hail looks like in its vast variety of sizes! Finally, get tips about what to do during a hailstorm.

tag(s): weather (188)

In the Classroom

Have students comb newspaper archives to collect pictures of historical hail storms. Challenge students to move past PowerPoint and create an online Prezi presentation, reviewed here, or another reviewed tool from the TeachersFirst Edge Presentations to explain the formation and incidence of hail events.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Most Severe Weather: Tornado - FEMA.gov

Grades
2 to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This detailed site shows a map of past tornadoes, state by state. There is also an explanation of the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale (measuring tornado strength). Find information on how...more
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This detailed site shows a map of past tornadoes, state by state. There is also an explanation of the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale (measuring tornado strength). Find information on how tornadoes form and how to survive one. Details are provided about the most significant tornadoes to strike the U.S., and data about where and when they strike. Additionally, there are photographs showing what the different levels of the EF scale look like.

tag(s): natural disasters (20), tornadoes (16), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Show pictures of the different levels of devastation before preparing students in your school for the tornado drill and preparation. Have students comb newspaper archives for similar images of tornadoes that have hit your state, if applicable. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of when the tornadoes hit. Students could create an online presentation about local tornadoes using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from TeachersFirst Edge.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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