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Explore America - Ballard-Tighe

Grades
5 to 12
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This site is an excellent way for ESL/ELL students to learn more about the history of America. Beginning before Columbus discovered America, and continuing into the present, it presents...more
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This site is an excellent way for ESL/ELL students to learn more about the history of America. Beginning before Columbus discovered America, and continuing into the present, it presents interactive activities, reference assistance, vocabulary activities, and a glossary to ensure student interest and comprehension. Authentic sounds and great attention to detail make the site attractive to students. Complete lesson plans help instructors incorporate the website material with background knowledge using a variety of skills. The Student Research Guide suggests fiction and nonfiction books to read. A built-in dictionary allows students to translate key terms into Spanish, Arabic, Korean and Hmong.

tag(s): colonial america (108), cross cultural understanding (120), cultures (110)

In the Classroom

The interactive activities would work well at a learning station or in a computer lab. The text portions might be challenging. Pair weaker readers with a stronger reader. After completing the interactive activities, have students create their own comics to highlight a specific historical era using comic-creation tools from TeachersFirst's Comic Resources. Or challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast, reviewed here, to create timelines of important historical events and periods.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MediaFire - MediaFire

Grades
6 to 12
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer...more
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Get organized with Media Fire. Store and sync files, folders, and media (photos, music, video). Access them from any computer or mobile device. Download the program to your computer for times when there is no Internet access. MediaFire Desktop keeps your online and locally stored files safe and in sync. View and edit all files and folders privately or share them to collaborate. Find a comprehensive Getting Started PDF manual on the left side menu. Signing up is as easy as typing in your email. MediaFire claims to be "the only online storage solution to offer unlimited downloads, download resuming, zero wait times and more, all for free."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170)

In the Classroom

Use MediaFire to transfer files and images between devices quickly in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Student groups working on projects in class can gather and share data easily from anywhere. Use for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others. What a great way for students to turn their work into you when completed on their devices! During curriculum development and other professional development activities, members of a department (or even school-wide) can share resources and documents easily with each other.

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Random Name Generator Tool - Instant Classroom

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K to 12
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. ...more
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Call on a different student every time with the Random Name Generator tool. Each class can have up to 100 names. First, type a new group name to check availability. Next, enter a password, display name, and your email address. Either copy and paste the information that comes next or save the email you are sent to retrieve the group and list of names quickly. The Random Name Generator will work with iPads or on any Internet browser.

tag(s): classroom management (150), probability (132)

In the Classroom

Use the Random Name Generator to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name generator to choose the classmate who comes next. Create your list at the beginning of the year and SAVE it to use throughout the year. Use the Random Name Generator as part of your probability unit to chart how often names appear with random spins.

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Paperhouses - Paperhouses

Grades
7 to 12
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Peek into the architectural design process or even participate in it via this public sharing site of blueprints from some of the world's best and most innovative and respected architects....more
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Peek into the architectural design process or even participate in it via this public sharing site of blueprints from some of the world's best and most innovative and respected architects. Join for free to access "architecture in open source" to see how new materials are being used, read blog posts by designers, and browse designs and actual blueprints. See how architects are solving challenges of sustainability and more.

tag(s): architecture (84), design (83), engineering (127), environment (318), structures (24)

In the Classroom

Share this site as part of a simple unit on measurement and scale (blueprints!) or in discussions about the environment, engineering, and the impact of human behavior on our world. Include it as a link on your class web page for art classes, gifted classes, or environmental issues. If you teach CAD or tech ed, this site is a wonderful example of drafting put to use in the real world. Have your science students research some of the materials used in the designs or analyze the structures' load bearing properties in a physics class. Share this site as part of career explorations so students can explore what architects say and do. Encourage students to select designs and share their analysis or discussions about them as a blog post or wiki page. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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STEAM Education - Sarah Weaver

Grades
4 to 7
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Enhance STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, Math) through great ideas found on the this blog. The ideas demonstrate activities for use including instructions...more
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Enhance STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, Math) through great ideas found on the this blog. The ideas demonstrate activities for use including instructions and images of students completing activities. View archives for additional lessons. Find art, articles, lessons, or resources under the categories link. Add your email for notification of new posts and updates.

tag(s): blogs (90), STEM (153)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this blog or sign up for updates to continue to receive great ideas for incorporating STEAM into your classroom. Collaborate with your school's art teacher to teach lessons found on the site. Share ideas from this blog with parents for entertaining at-home activities. Use ideas from the site for a Math/Science fair at school.

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Travel By Drone - Jan Hiersemenzel

Grades
K to 12
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different ...more
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See spectacular Drone views of many different locations by clicking on a circle or pin on the Google interactive map. The circles will have a number for how many different views of the area are provided. Search for specific cities, select editors' choices, or see the "Latest" drone footage. As with any Google map there are the usual navigation tools. To see if the area you want to view has footage, scroll through the map. The Drone footage is 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): cities (25), countries (77), landforms (47), landmarks (27), news (265), setting (11), video (276)

In the Classroom

This site is continually adding new places to see. If you don't find what you want, check back frequently. Make geography come to life by showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this tool to explore how it looks in the country or city studied in world cultures (or languages). Explore geography concepts, historical locations, famous battle locations, and more. Students creating a multimedia presentation with a setting can look at Travel By Drone to see if there is footage they can use.

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Comment Bubble - Vivek Agrawal and Jean-Sebastien Legare

Grades
4 to 12
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" ...more
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Get explicit feedback for any video you want to share with others. Comment Bubble has a feedback feature that allows viewers to react to your video using five "Quick Comment" colored buttons (without pausing the video). Type in the information you want to know on the button. Viewers click on that button when they see it in the video. Viewers can also comment via text, audio, or video. Share the video with the URL provided or make it public for anyone to see. Comment Bubble will record and graph where in the video the audience reacted. See viewers' names with each comment. The demo video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it 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): assessment (107), video (276)

In the Classroom

Introduce Comment Bubble on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a video you have prepared. It could be a video you use in conjunction with your lesson or a video of you actually giving the lesson. Show students how they can click on the Quick Comment buttons and also make text or verbal comments. Use Comment Bubble for flipping your class lectures. Have buttons for students to click when things are unclear or when they strongly disagree. Record student presentations and upload for self-evaluation or peer and teacher comments and questions. Use this tool for formative assessment. ESL/ELL and resource teachers could record students reading or conversing with a group and create a Comment Bubble for the students to self score their activity.

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Elementary Science Resource Kit - Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 8
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and...more
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Meet Science and Common Core English Language Arts standards using these seven ready-made project plans. Study biomes, the life cycle of a butterfly, the solar system, animals, and famous inventors. While learning about the famous inventors, also learn the value of scientific thinking! Build thinking skills with the challenging culmination piece. These range from creating riddles to creating brochures and journals. All units include step by step directions, Science Content Standards (NSES), ELA Common Core Anchor Standards, and NETS. In addition, there is a list of resources to use and a suggestion for assessment. You MUST register to view the lessons. To register simply give your name and email, and download all seven of these units for free!
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tag(s): animal homes (44), animals (288), biomes (100), butterflies (13), famous people (21), inventors and inventions (95), life cycles (24), planets (127), scientific method (67), scientists (70), solar system (121)

In the Classroom

Immerse students in hands-on, inquiry projects with these seven plans. Introduce them on your interactive whiteboard or projector and select a class project to complete. Have student groups choose a topic to research. Created for grades 1 to 5, with one for 5-8, any of the plans could be adjusted to fit any of these grade levels. The science kit lesson plans are free, and so are some of the resources they suggest using, such as Pics4Learning, reviewed here. However, the Pixie and Wixie program that the lesson advises using is not free. Instead, use QwikSlides, reviewed here, or RawShorts, reviewed here. Be sure to bookmark these units for future use.

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Useful Science - Jaan Altosaar

Grades
7 to 12
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Useful Science is a newsfeed of one-sentence summaries of articles from peer-reviewed scientific publications and journals. Browse through the home page for the newest summaries. View...more
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Useful Science is a newsfeed of one-sentence summaries of articles from peer-reviewed scientific publications and journals. Browse through the home page for the newest summaries. View content sorted by topics: Creativity, Fitness, Happiness, Healthy, Nutrition, Sleep, Parenting, and more. Click the summary to view the entire journal article (or abstract). Some of the summaries link to the entire journal article, while others only offer an abstract of the full text. Warning: Some of these articles are not appropriate for less-mature students. Please remember to preview before you share.
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tag(s): creativity (119), fitness (51), nutrition (159), parents (59), science fairs (26), trivia (18)

In the Classroom

Use Useful Science on a projector or whiteboard as an excellent source for quick scientific facts or trivia. Share this site with students as a resource for finding ideas for science fairs or research. Challenge students to explore topics further and find additional articles supporting or disputing summaries found on the site. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Viewers can also add unmoderated comments.

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Scrim - Basem

Grades
4 to 12
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your ...more
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Protect your email address and reduce spam with Scrim. Scrim converts your email address into a short, safe link for sharing on Twitter, forums, or any public site. Enter your email and add a unique ending to the Scrim URL to receive your unique code. Copy and paste the code for use on social networking sites, documents, or forums.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Use Scrim whenever sharing your email address on Twitter or other social networking sites to avoid receiving spam. Share with older students as part of your cyber safety lessons.
 

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A Soft Murmur - Gabriel Martin

Grades
4 to 12
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Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds...more
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Are you feeling stressed? Unable to concentrate or complete a task? This tool will generate background sounds to create a positive thinking environment! Choose from a variety of sounds that sooth and relax while promoting creative productivity. These sounds are much better than plain, white noise. Classic sounds for relaxation include thunder, rain, waves, summer night, forest, white noise, and more. Use the slider bar at the top of the page to adjust sound levels as needed.

tag(s): creative writing (171), learning styles (20)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students (and their parents) looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Does your class have silent reading time, or are you reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use a background sound as mood music to set the stage for your story. Use the sounds during creative writing exercises. Why not listen to waves or water while studying them?! Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Consider using as background sounds for student presentations. If you talk with students about discovering their own learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support (and autistic support) teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students. Some students may find them over stimulating while others may find the sounds very helpful.

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Marvin and Milo - physics.org

Grades
2 to 7
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Marvin and Milo demonstrate a simple physics experiment through cartoons, offering a new experiment each month. Try activities such as the Fork Balancer or Cloud in a Glass following...more
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Marvin and Milo demonstrate a simple physics experiment through cartoons, offering a new experiment each month. Try activities such as the Fork Balancer or Cloud in a Glass following the easy step by step directions. In addition to the cartoon, each activity includes a list of ingredients, instructions, and results and explanations. Use the dropdown menu to view countless past experiments.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (69), experiments (73), science fairs (26)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as an excellent resource for science experiments. Use activities from the site for science fair projects. If you are lucky enough to have a parent helper in your classroom, allow them to come in and complete experiments with your students each month using ideas found on the site. Challenge students to complete experiments at home and share results with the class. Have students create videos sharing the experiment and results. Use a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Vox - Vox Media

Grades
7 to 12
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Find thoughtful articles written to explain today's news, especially the stories that are most difficult to understand. The article topics vary widely and include offerings from sports,...more
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Find thoughtful articles written to explain today's news, especially the stories that are most difficult to understand. The article topics vary widely and include offerings from sports, politics, pop culture, public policy, world affairs, food, business, health, and many other topics. Just as the news may include tough or adult topics, so may Vox. You might want to preview or direct less mature young people to a specific article instead of allowing them to browse the entire site.
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tag(s): news (265)

In the Classroom

Share specific articles from this site -- or a collection of them-- for students to gain experience with informational texts that demystify the headlines they are seeing on the TV screen crawl. Use examples from this site as models for student groups to do research to explain a science or economics topic that has been in the news and share it with peers as a digital poster showing the top ten things they should know about X. Use a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to create a "poster" of sticky notes. Not only will your students gain experience reading for understanding, but also choosing the most important things to know from an article. Use this approach for students to research and share articles in health class (such as on new vaccines or discoveries) or on national issues during an election cycle. Be sure to include this link on your class web page for upper grade students to find current events articles (along with a disclaimer that some topics may be controversial).

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Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears - The Ohio State University, College of Ed. and Human Ecology

Grades
K to 12
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What comes to mind when you think of the Arctic? For most it is penguins and polar bears. Learn more about the Arctic with this interesting site. Click on various ...more
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What comes to mind when you think of the Arctic? For most it is penguins and polar bears. Learn more about the Arctic with this interesting site. Click on various topics such as Polar Plants, Icebergs and Glaciers, Keeping Warm, and more. Click on each topic for short information about the Arctic. Each topic includes Professional Learning, In the Field: Scientists at Work, Science and Literacy (see lesson plans), and Across the Curriculum. Be sure to look at the links below each topic. Share this photo gallery with your students. Be sure to also view the links at the top including the Photo Gallery and Stories for Students.

tag(s): animals (288), arctic (45), climate (90), energy (202), habitats (84), plants (153), tundra (14), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site for information about the arctic. Use this site for students to research and report to the class. Use the information for a Did You Know poster activity or as an introduction to lessons in class. Take advantage of the many free lesson plans! Have student groups explore specific topics and create an interactive book to share with the class. Try Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.

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slides - Whim, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides...more
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Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides uses html5 to accommodate iOS. Sharing slides is a cinch with all the features offered to creators, and this site accommodates your presentation preferences. Send a Slides presentation through email, print as a .pdf, present offline, or sync with your DropBox account (reviewed here). Collaborate with a teammate or keep your work secure and private. Custom CSS is available for your own themes or tweak slides templates provided for your convenience. Slides offers other fantastic features such as math formulas to insert in your presentations as well as a revision history. The many style options make slides a slick site to create presentations. Premium options are available for purchase. However, this review only highlights the free features of the site.
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tag(s): slides (64)

In the Classroom

Use slides to support presentations in the classroom. Challenge your writers to create short stories that include their artwork, and publish with slides. Search for Creative Commons licensed images related to classroom content using Compfight reviewed here to create a slideshow. Slides is a great resource for your BYOD classroom. Create supporting presentations for lessons and take advantage of the math formula feature. Encourage students to create presentations to support book talks and share them on a library website. Slides is your collaboration destination for students to work together on assignments.

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After the Deadline - polishmywriting.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Revise your writing using After the Deadline's grammar checker. At this simple demonstration you copy and paste any text or document into the box. Click on "Check Writing" to receive...more
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Revise your writing using After the Deadline's grammar checker. At this simple demonstration you copy and paste any text or document into the box. Click on "Check Writing" to receive feedback. The site provides color-coded suggestions for revisions in spelling, grammar, or style. If you like After the Deadline, they offer an add-on for the Firefox web browser and an extension for the Google Chrome web browser. There are also plug-ins for self-hosted WordPress blogs and forums.

tag(s): editing (69), proofreading (24), writing (369)

In the Classroom

Use this visual revision program with your students who are ready to refine and improve their writing. After the Deadline is a wonderful program to use for revision after self-editing of grammar and mechanics is complete. Put the URL on your website for students and parents to use from home. Remind seniors to use it for their college essays. Use this tool to polish your professional writing, parent newsletters, blog posts, and papers for grad classes!

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Group Maker Tool - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
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Create random groups quickly with the Group Maker Tool. Click "Create a Group Now" to begin and follow prompts to set up your groups. You will need to provide an ...more
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Create random groups quickly with the Group Maker Tool. Click "Create a Group Now" to begin and follow prompts to set up your groups. You will need to provide an email and create a password for your group. Add up to 100 names to your class list. Choose the number of groups to make. You can even choose to make pairs!

In the Classroom

Although a bit awkward and slow to get started, this tool is helpful for creating random groups for many purposes. It is best to create your class list ahead of time then you can easily create groups anytime on the fly! Use this tool to create groups for cooperative learning, class plays, presentations, computer centers, field trips, and much more.

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Deep Sea Dive - Harvey Water Softeners

Grades
1 to 10
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What will you find at the various depths of the ocean? Harvey Water Softeners takes you on a deep-sea dive to find out. Simply scroll down through this page to ...more
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What will you find at the various depths of the ocean? Harvey Water Softeners takes you on a deep-sea dive to find out. Simply scroll down through this page to view facts in bubbles beginning at the surface level down to 36,000 feet below the surface at the ocean's deepest point.

tag(s): animal homes (44), animals (288), habitats (84), oceans (150), plants (153)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive Deep Sea Dive as an interesting way to introduce an oceans unit. After viewing, have students research different ocean animals and plants, use this information to create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Visme, reviewed here. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to explore ocean animal adaptations. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of locations used with the Deep Sea Dive (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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CoderDojo - CoderDojo Foundation

Grades
1 to 8
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Interested in coding and looking for others who are interested as well? CoderDojo is an open source movement of free coding clubs for young kids that is led by volunteers ...more
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Interested in coding and looking for others who are interested as well? CoderDojo is an open source movement of free coding clubs for young kids that is led by volunteers and found around the World. Activities vary with each "club" but all focus on coding. Click "Organize a Dojo" to become a volunteer organizer. You are then responsible for setting up and maintaining the dojo. Not a coding master? Don't let that discourage you. Organizers are responsible for bringing learners and technical experts together. Students can click "Attend a Dojo" to find a location nearby to join. Volunteers can also find a dojo nearby to offer their services.

tag(s): coding (52), computers (92), engineering (127), STEM (153)

In the Classroom

When asked, explain that coding is just another "world language" in today's world. Team up with the PTA/ PTO or other groups in your community to find others interested in being part of a Coderdojo. Your Coderdojo can be considered an after school club, but on a larger scale can bring students from various backgrounds together for the common purpose of learning to code.

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Dowce - Dowce

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for an easy to use way to take a screenshot in Windows? Look no further! Download this tool. Once installed, a button appears along the top in your toolbar ...more
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Looking for an easy to use way to take a screenshot in Windows? Look no further! Download this tool. Once installed, a button appears along the top in your toolbar (look for the red "d"). When you wish to take a screenshot of something, click on the "d" button, then "Make new selection." Use your mouse to highlight the portion on your screen. Choose from one of the saving options available in a pop-up window: Save to dowce, save to the clipboard, or save to your computer. Note: This is for Windows computer only. Mac users can easily take a screenshot by holding down the Command-Shift-4 buttons then using the mouse to drag the cross hair over the items to be saved as a screenshot.

tag(s): images (274)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to copy items to share on your blog or site. Use to copy graphs, images, specific text, or other items useful to share either with your students or with colleagues. Remember to follow copyright and always cite your source when sharing the item in the screenshot.
 

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