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ThinkCerca - ThinkCerca

Grades
4 to 12
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 ...more
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 lessons teaching students the art of argumentation. Each lesson is 30 minutes long. These lessons contain standards-aligned literacy concepts and vocabulary. Start with Cerca's baseline assessment for writing, and then proceed with the lessons in order since the lessons build on each other. Sign up with your email, first and last name, and school zip code. Create your class or classes, and have students enroll via a class code. Find prompts for ELA, Science, and Social Studies. Math is coming soon (as of this review). The support section has several categories which include specific help directions, and also includes Instructional Strategies, Personalized Learning Models, and Tips and Resources.
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tag(s): expository writing (43), persuasive writing (57), reading comprehension (124), writing (368)

In the Classroom

Students will need to click Sign Up and "I'm a Student." Students will enter their first name and last name so be sure you have parent permission. They will also need an email address. There is a work-a-round for the names and email address. For the first and last name you could have them enter a code, for example, the first two letters of their last name and first three letters of their first name. If students cannot have their own email accounts, ThinkCerca has a suggestion or consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Once your students have worked through the eight lessons here, you may want to look at 301 Prompts for Argumentative/Persuasive Writing, reviewed here, to help you differentiate future writing lessons.

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World Affairs Council - Resources

Grades
6 to 12
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The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you understand global issues. Find free lesson plans and templates categorized by Comparative World Affairs, Conflict Analysis/Mapping,...more
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The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you understand global issues. Find free lesson plans and templates categorized by Comparative World Affairs, Conflict Analysis/Mapping, Culture and Communication, Freedom of the Press, and Justice. You'll also find links to Other Materials and Webinars.
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tag(s): africa (168), climate change (68), cross cultural understanding (122), ecology (138), foreign policy (16), germany (28), news (261), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans and templates hosted by WAC. Use these in conjunction with their archive on YouTube for their weekly program World Affairs TODAY. Their YouTube channel contains various topics; some are specific such as Spying on Germany and Other Allies or Emerging Africa, and some are more general like global warming (or climate change) and the failure of the global economy.

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World Affairs Council - Washington, DC - World Affairs Council - Washington, DC

Grades
6 to 12
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In today's world, we need to understand and get involved in global issues. The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you do that. Click on About Us to ...more
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In today's world, we need to understand and get involved in global issues. The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you do that. Click on About Us to read the history of the World Affairs Council (WAC), find an explanation about their Global Education Program, information about their summer institute, and read about their Public Programs with the weekly national television program World Affairs TODAY; find out where to see the broadcast or get a link to the YouTube channel. There is a student section that describes their annual contest called WorldQuest. Explore the drop down menu tabs across the top and find free lesson plans and templates (under Resources), upcoming events, local WAC councils, and much more. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): africa (168), climate change (68), cross cultural understanding (122), ecology (138), foreign policy (16), germany (28), news (261), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Thanks to instantaneous news shows and social media, the students of the 21st Century are very aware of global issues. That is not to say they understand them. Start a current events program in your class, you may want to look at Newsela, reviewed here, TweenTribune, reviewed here, or Flocabulary, reviewed here. Then turn to the World Affairs Council and their YouTube channel to get explanations about global issues. The topics are extensive; some are specific and some are more general like global warming (or climate change) and the failure of the global economy. All are current, and all will give your students a different perspective on the topic. With older students, each week you could put a different small group in charge of featuring a current event and ask them to research its history, and see if they can also find the topic on the WAC YouTube channel. Have those students create an annotated, narrated image including text boxes and related links using a multimedia tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to present to the class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Bystander Revolution - Take the Power Out of Bullying - MacKenzie Bezos

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a stand against bullying with practical ideas and information from Bystander Revolution. Choose the All Videos link to filter solutions from different perspectives, or filter by...more
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Take a stand against bullying with practical ideas and information from Bystander Revolution. Choose the All Videos link to filter solutions from different perspectives, or filter by specific problems or solutions. Most videos run less than two minutes in length. The presenters include well-known celebrities as well as "typical" students. Sign up for the weekly newsletter that includes a simple transformative task to complete each week along with other helpful tips and videos. 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.

tag(s): bullying (51)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to talk to your class about bullying with these videos. Use this discussion to prompt a journal entry, skit, or other personal response on the topic of bullying and how to handle it. Provide this link for parents to view at home with their students. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos addressing bullying issues. Start with Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, for students to plan their skit. Share them on a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Be sure to share this site with your school's counselors and anyone else who deals with students who are being bullied.

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Science Underground - Ainissa Ramirez

Grades
5 to 12
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Science Underground is a weekly two-minute podcast featuring science concepts presented in an uncomplicated manner. As the creator states, "...it's a mix of Bill Nye and Science Friday."...more
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Science Underground is a weekly two-minute podcast featuring science concepts presented in an uncomplicated manner. As the creator states, "...it's a mix of Bill Nye and Science Friday." Topics range from Football Science to How Chameleons Change Color. Choose any podcast to listen online and view the corresponding text. Use the tags for each podcast to find other offerings with related content. Either sign up to receive an email notification or check back often for new podcasts, also, see the archives to listen to any previous podcasts.

tag(s): podcasts (59), science fairs (26), scientists (70)

In the Classroom

Listen to weekly podcasts together in class to stimulate discussion and interest in science topics. Assign the weekly podcast as listening homework. Have students create a series of questions to ask each other about issues discussed on the podcast. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic, reviewed here.

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Global Virtual Classroom - AT&T and Give Something Back International Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time...more
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time and has learned what is needed to create global citizens. They've done everything for you from Lessons, Resources, and a Web Design Contest, to directions for becoming part of the community, providing a list of other educators who would like to participate, and a Clubhouse for your students. Be sure to register by mid September each year!

tag(s): competitions (14), cross cultural understanding (122), cultures (106), wikis (21)

In the Classroom

Take students to another place, encourage them to understand other cultures and create global citizens by signing up to join GVC. After introducing GVC on an interactive whiteboard or projector, create a quick poll (with no membership required) using SurveyRock, reviewed here, to vote for which country or region to communicate with and share information. Begin a blog for each student to share reflections. Consider asking the partner teacher to have their students blog, too, and encourage students to respond to each others' blogs. Students' writing improves when they have an authentic audience. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

Another idea would be to use a projector and Lino, reviewed here, (no membership required) to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom students will be working. Lino creates virtual sticky notes on a bulletin board. Once the project is underway, go back to Lino occasionally, and add what they learned and whether it coincides with the students' original ideas. Before culminating the project, ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Lino. Consider starting a lunch time or after school club for students to have more time to participate in the Clubhouse.

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Ourboox - Mel Rosenberg & Ran Shternin

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, ...more
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, add a title, choose the style of your book (Square Book - a picture book with up to 15 lines of text, or a text-oriented book, more like a long story or novel). Choosing a Square Book enables the ability to have an image (jpeg, png). You can also upload animated GIFs or embed a YouTube Video. Ourboox will step you through the process of getting your book online and publishing it. The pages of the book will flip, and the tool has an accommodation for languages that read from right to left. It can take up to 24 hours for new books to process. Before starting on your own book, you may want to look at others' books to get ideas about the format.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), ebooks (43), writing (368)

In the Classroom

There is no end to the ideas for stories! Now you can easily publish and share them with Ourboox. At the beginning of the year have students develop stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Create a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. In science, create a photo story of famous inventors or have students explain their understanding of cell division. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales from their home countries. Encourage your older students to use this tool for digital storytelling projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of GMail subaccounts (managed by you), explained here. This tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Add Text - FlamingText.com Pty Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change ...more
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change the color of the text or elect to add more text. Share using FaceBook, Twitter, or Google+ or the URL given. At the time of this review, all images in the Gallery were appropriate for the classroom. However, we recommend to preview the images before you share with younger students.
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tag(s): creativity (121), DAT device agnostic tool (177), digital storytelling (151), editing (71), images (274)

In the Classroom

Use Add Text to add captions to images to create memes or posters for your bulletin boards. Use this easy tool with students during back to school time as a way for them to get to know each other. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyrics?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. Use after a field trip for students to write captions on the photos they took. Be sure to share the photos on your class webpage, blog, or wiki. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Help ESL/ELL learn English by labeling the images. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with a picture that explains it.

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Cell Phone Recycling - Help Yourself to a Little Humanity - eCycle Best

Grades
2 to 12
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Did you know that four cell phones a second end up in landfills? That E-waste represents 70% of our toxic waste? Learn about conservation of precious resources, energy efficiency, and...more
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Did you know that four cell phones a second end up in landfills? That E-waste represents 70% of our toxic waste? Learn about conservation of precious resources, energy efficiency, and how to recycle cell phones for cash or to support a good cause with this infographic. The causes supported by eCycle Best include organizations who conduct medical research, save women from abuse, support our troops, and help endangered species and pets. Use the tabs at the top of the infographic to see how to trade in your iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Smart Phone, and many brands of Cell Phones, Laptops, and Tablets. Under those tabs, you'll see a link for other related infographics that may be of interest such as Life & Death After Usage, Man & His Mobile: A Toxic Relationship, Electronic Waste Recycling Methods, and several more.

tag(s): earth day (110), environment (321), natural resources (59), recycling (58), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Students love their cell phones and want whatever is the latest and greatest. Create interest by starting a discussion about what's new on the device front. Then ask students what they do with their old cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Assign them to count, that evening, how many of these items they have at home that they could recycle. When they come to class the next day do a quick tally and have students multiply this by however many classes are meeting at the same time on your campus. They should start getting the idea that there are many devices out there that can be recycled. Next, share the Cell Phone Recycling infographic with your students using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Does your school encourage giving to the less fortunate during the holidays? For a class project, initiate a recycling campaign and create a center for recycling e-waste. How about holding a 'green' competition to see which classroom submits the most items. Assign small groups to create a public service announcement for your school or community to encourage recycling. Use one of the many multimedia tools reviewed by TeachersFirst here. Donate the cash collected to the school's charity of choice, or one of the charities listed on this infographic. Get parents involved. Make sure they are aware via your website and newsletter about submitting these items to the school. Many parents will be able to contribute items from their workplace that was otherwise destined for the landfill.This site is full of information such as kids and recycling, electronics in education, and many more. Find these by clicking Resources.

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Makewaves - Mark and Tim Riches

Grades
1 to 12
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Makewaves is a social learning platform for schools to create and publish blogs, videos, pictures, and audio. Free accounts allow you to create a school site with any number of ...more
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Makewaves is a social learning platform for schools to create and publish blogs, videos, pictures, and audio. Free accounts allow you to create a school site with any number of teachers and students. Audio and video uploads are limited to 30 minutes and you can create three badges. Use personalized badges to create your own missions that relate to classroom studies or current events. Take advantage of the many badges already available on the site. The teacher dashboard allows teachers to monitor and manage student content.
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tag(s): classroom management (157), gamification (81)

In the Classroom

Create a class account as a tool for sharing and publishing student creations on Makewave's secure platform. Even if you aren't ready to join Makewave, take advantage of the many lessons and badge activities to incorporate into your teaching units. Share Makewave with parents as a resource for individual learning projects for their student.

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ProjectEd Videos - Amplify Education, Inc

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6 to 12
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ProjectEd offers a series of videos explaining science, vocabulary, and grammar concepts. Choose one of the categories, or scroll through the page to choose and view videos. Most videos...more
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ProjectEd offers a series of videos explaining science, vocabulary, and grammar concepts. Choose one of the categories, or scroll through the page to choose and view videos. Most videos run less than two minutes and clearly define a specific word or term. Use tags and suggestions below the videos to find additional videos with similar concepts. 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.

tag(s): cells (104), genetics (94), homonyms (9), homophones (13), idioms (45), matter (59), parts of speech (66), sentences (49), tides (7), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Share videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce or reinforce concepts. Be sure to share a link to videos on your class website for students to use at home for reference. Use videos as a model, and challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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How to Put a Human on Mars - BBC

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore how humans can get to Mars. Use the interactives and videos to learn what accommodations will need to be in place when putting humans on Mars. Look around Mars ...more
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Explore how humans can get to Mars. Use the interactives and videos to learn what accommodations will need to be in place when putting humans on Mars. Look around Mars and the outside of the spacecraft. Watch the astronauts share how they would survive, land, and explore. Lastly, see how the people will get back safely from Mars. For further learning, explore the Mission to Mars series at the bottom of the landing page.

tag(s): mars (40), planets (128), space (221)

In the Classroom

Students can use this site to research information about how humans can land on Mars. They will gain a deep understanding of not only how it is possible, but why scientists have to make certain decisions, and why considerations need to be in place. You can use the activities for the whole class to learn about processes that astronauts go through to travel and explore another planet. Pieces of it can also be used as an anticipatory set to introduce a study of planets, space, or astronauts.
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Connect Fours - Russell Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Connect Fours is an interactive that is a takeoff of the popular British Gameshow Only Connect. Create a game show using a minimum of 16 cards with word sets or ...more
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Connect Fours is an interactive that is a takeoff of the popular British Gameshow Only Connect. Create a game show using a minimum of 16 cards with word sets or phrases that will fit into four or more categories. After clicking "Create a New Quiz" you can upload a CVS spreadsheet or simply type in the words. Clicking Help, Example, or Submit will bring up directions for the exact formatting needed to have for the successful creation of a quiz. Don't forget to title your quiz! Save the URL or bookmark it to share it with others. Tip: when clicking the cards they ding. You may want to turn the sound down on the computer.

tag(s): game based learning (128), quiz (88), quizzes (102)

In the Classroom

Create a Connect Fours game with various aspects of information about curriculum content to share with students. Develop activities to review any topic and save for use as a classroom center. Have students create review Connect Fours as a study tool. Be sure to demonstrate how to make and share Create Fours before having students set up their own. Ideas for categorization activities are unlimited, but can include categorizing types of animals, literary elements in novels, habitats, characteristics of geographic areas, and much more.

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newhive - Zach Verdin, Cara Bucciferro, Abram Clark

Grades
2 to 12
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Use newhive as a clean slate to express your ideas, artwork, videos, and more. Begin by using an email address to sign up for a free account. You will then ...more
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Use newhive as a clean slate to express your ideas, artwork, videos, and more. Begin by using an email address to sign up for a free account. You will then see a blank white slate to start. Easily add text, images, video, audio, files, and shapes. Once you are finished adding content, save to your account by giving your multimedia project a title and tags. Then decide if you want it public or searchable. This tool is simple, quick, and easy to use. The tool requires that a member be age 13 or older.

tag(s): multimedia (63), portfolios (35), writing (368)

In the Classroom

Students can use newhive to demonstrate learning of any kind across grade levels and content areas. They can practice good digital citizenship by citing images, videos, and online content properly or use student-created images, videos, and other content. Use this tool as a portfolio for any subject. Art, music, and language arts are naturals for collecting original student work, but what about science? Students can photograph experiments and write up labs and post to newhive for their portfolio. Teachers can use the site as a jump page to guide a lesson or create WebQuests. Make a work prototype page and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. The uses for this tool are wide open!

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shortText - shortText.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Post text online quickly and easily, without registration using shortText. Type or paste text into the text box and click Create URL. Instantly receive the URL to share or use ...more
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Post text online quickly and easily, without registration using shortText. Type or paste text into the text box and click Create URL. Instantly receive the URL to share or use as desired. Options allow users to include a link to a video or image, allow comments, or make the message private.

tag(s): blogs (86), creative writing (167), descriptive writing (42), writers workshop (33), writing (368)

In the Classroom

Use shortText for quick writing projects on an interactive whiteboard or projector. When modeling writing or notetaking in class, open shortText instead of a word document! Enabling comments would allow students to ask questions about the assignment. When finished, share on your class website using the URL created. Have students use shortText in your classroom when using mobile devices to write a short journal entry or exit ticket at the end of a lesson. Be sure to give students the URL for this and have them identify themselves, so you don't end up with 30 URLs to open and assess. Use this site in world language classes to have students write a blog entry in the new language. Have students write about how they solved a math problem and include an image of their work. Create a standing assignment for elementary and middle schoolers on snow days. Have students write a post about the snow using shortText and share the URL on a class wiki.

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Lifeboat to Mars - PBS Kids

Grades
5 to 8
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Lifeboat to Mars is an online biology simulation interactive. It includes 48 simulation scenarios, each includes goals and objectives found in the two different phases. Phase 1 sends...more
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Lifeboat to Mars is an online biology simulation interactive. It includes 48 simulation scenarios, each includes goals and objectives found in the two different phases. Phase 1 sends you to Microworld and Ecoland to train for the lifeboat mission by learning about microbes and balancing the space ship's ecosystem. Complete the lifeboat mission in Phase 2 once training is complete. Accomplished users receive "Modding" opportunities, allowing you to design your own scenarios, including goals and objectives for winning. No registration is required to use the simulation; however, saving enables you to save progress and upload scenarios to the site. Be sure to check out the included teacher's guides with suggested activities and lessons for the classroom.

tag(s): ecosystems (88), organisms (22), photosynthesis (33)

In the Classroom

Share Lifeboat to Mars on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore on their own. Challenge students to complete different levels and share their game strategies with other students. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Be sure to include a link to the site on your class blog or web page.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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pechaflickr - Alan Levine, cogdog productions

Grades
1 to 12
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Use this delightful tool to flip through 20 Flickr pictures. Every image is on the screen for only 20 seconds. Advanced options allow for changing the time and the number ...more
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Use this delightful tool to flip through 20 Flickr pictures. Every image is on the screen for only 20 seconds. Advanced options allow for changing the time and the number of images. See if you can build a story from the pictures with this entertaining tool.

tag(s): acting (26), images (274), speaking (26), speeches (19)

In the Classroom

What a delightful tool to use for impromptu speeches in any class or improvisation in a drama class. Consider uploading images for your curriculum topic to Flickr, reviewed here, and creating a specific tag or tags for the images, and then use pechaflickr as a review tool. Pechaflickr can be a great lesson starter, particularly on those dreary days when kids don't want to work. For lower level kids, it is a brain exercise for such things as an alphabet game (which is more difficult than it first seems!). In an ELA or ESL/ELL class have students create a complete sentence for as many pictures as they can, trying to improve the number of sentences written each time, or they can choose one of the sentences to create a story.

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All Science Fair Projects - All Science Fair Projects

Grades
2 to 12
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With topics from Biology to Engineering, and Environmental Science to Sports Science you'll find a science fair project to suit your interests. All Science Fair Projects has thousands...more
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With topics from Biology to Engineering, and Environmental Science to Sports Science you'll find a science fair project to suit your interests. All Science Fair Projects has thousands of projects from which to choose. Search by keyword or category. For instance, searching for "cell" produced four pages of projects, and these are NOT just the normal ones about human or plant cells. Find projects for cell phones, Galvanic cells, solar cells, nicotine and cancer, sunscreen and cells, and more. Not only will you have names and a brief description of the project, but the grade level and category. Clicking a project that looks interesting will get you a summary of the project and a link for the exact details. Also listed on that page are links to the "all time most popular science projects" and "you might also like these projects."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): experiments (73), science fairs (26)

In the Classroom

Introduce this tool to students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link on your class website for students and parents to access at home. Assign a science experiment for students to try at home on a bi-weekly basis; this will help students and parents be prepared when science fair time comes around. Allow older students to work together in small groups to investigate and complete the experiments. They could physically work together, or do the projects on their own and report the results and findings back to their group. Use a tool such as Live, reviewed here, or Simply Circle, reviewed here, to help students keep their group organized and communicating. For younger students use Simply Circle and include their parents to keep them informed about which project is due and when.

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Voxopop - Voxopop/Chinswing Pty Ltd.

Grades
K to 12
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Create a voice recorded message board with Voxopop. Set up a public, restricted, or private talk group. Anyone can listen to public discussions, but you must have an account to ...more
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Create a voice recorded message board with Voxopop. Set up a public, restricted, or private talk group. Anyone can listen to public discussions, but you must have an account to contribute to a talk group, create a talk group or set up email notifications to know when someone has contributed to your talk groups.

tag(s): chat (54), listening (92), social media (22), speaking (26), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use Voxopop with any language learning students, both ELL/ESL and world languages. Students can practice speaking and listening in their new language. Create small groups to discuss anything from current events, how to complete a math problem, to contributions for group research projects. Use the site with early readers in your Daily 5 literacy for oral reading and listening to others read. Reluctant writers could use this tool to brainstorm their thoughts for a writing piece.

Think about how you want to use this program. Having a restricted talk group means you would invite students via email. When signing up one is asked to give their country, email, and whether you are a student, teacher, or other. There is also an option to give your town/city. With students under 13 consider setting up a class account using a global login. Students would need to give their first name when contributing so you will know who is speaking. With students who are a little older, it might be easier to set up small groups. Consider using Gmail subaccounts, explained here, this tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Dotstorming - Gareth Marland

Grades
2 to 12
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Create an online bulletin board (much like Padlet, reviewed here, or Lino, reviewed here) for brainstorming and...more
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Create an online bulletin board (much like Padlet, reviewed here, or Lino, reviewed here) for brainstorming and VOTING on any topic. The voting is what makes this tool different. Create an account. There is no waiting for email approval. Add a board, title, select how many votes the participants will have (up to 10), and start adding posts with text, images, and video. Add images and video via URL or upload from your computer. When participants join, they give their name. Participants can add posts. Names of participants using the board appear below the chat box. Participants name's appear when they make a comment in the chat. However, comments on posts don't have the participant name. Once the board is complete, the creator can finalize the board so no new ideas can be posted, but the voting feature is still open.

tag(s): bulletin boards (18), gamification (81), images (274)

In the Classroom

Share your board with a projector or interactive whiteboard. Put the URL link on your website for students to access. If you don't want to share the link that way, then use a tool such as Google URL Shortener, reviewed here, for students to type in (and reduce input mistakes). You may want to think about students using only their first name or their code to participate. Dotstorming does not show which posts belong to which student, so you may want to require that students identify their post and comment by putting their initials, their first name, or their code on their contributions to get credit. If you plan to allow all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss Internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences.

Use Dotstorming to collect WebQuest links and information to share with students. Assign a student project. For example, have students create a board about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a board around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. The voting is perfect for that idea! Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a board. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use Dotstorming to create a board with class news and updates.

Use Dotstorming as an "idea bin" where students can collect ideas, images, quotes, and more for a project. Require them to share a brainstorming Dotstorming board to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and rank by votes) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or a "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Dotstorming as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.

Use Dotstorming as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Have students submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on.

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