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Pauly's Playhouse - paulysplayhouse.com

Grades
K to 3
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Pauly's Playhouse is a collection of early elementary level educational activities organized under the tabs of "Games," "Lab," and "Cartoons." Clicking on any of these items leads to...more
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Pauly's Playhouse is a collection of early elementary level educational activities organized under the tabs of "Games," "Lab," and "Cartoons." Clicking on any of these items leads to a visual of an educational activity; a summary of the activity appears in the middle of the screen. The activities vary from literacy to easy math to puzzles to alphabet games etc. At the "Games" tab there are activities for music, art, geography, science, math, language arts, and more.

At the time of this review, there was one cartoon available which was entertaining - however, not particularly educational.

tag(s): addition (238), alphabet (90), animals (285), division (167), logic (236), maps (290), multiplication (220), preK (288), puzzles (205), subtraction (198), vision (86), weather (193)

In the Classroom

Mark this site in Favorites on the computers in your classroom. Pair students on individual computers to try some of the activities. If individual computers aren't available, share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make an IWB "center" for small groups. Share this site with ESL or special education students who need to catch up on alphabet or math skills. This is a fabulous site to list in your class newsletter or on your class website or blog for extra practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twitter - Twitter, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Twitter users enter information to share with their "followers" by creating 140 character "tweets," and "followers" see what they are thinking, favorite links, etc., all from the brief...more
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Twitter users enter information to share with their "followers" by creating 140 character "tweets," and "followers" see what they are thinking, favorite links, etc., all from the brief "tweet." Tweets are much more than messages to share what you are eating for lunch! Use this popular microblogging and social networking tool for a great way to communicate with teaching peers and real world people you may not have a chance to otherwise meet. Reply to others to create conversations for some of the best professional development around. Each "tweet" or message may not seem extraordinary, but using the sum total of tweets from those you "meet" on Twitter can have an amazing impact. Use your profile and settings to add a bio and other information, change your security settings from public to protected, find those who follow you, and more. Post your tweets through the website, mobile devices, or myriad of applications to manage tweets and followers. Keep track of your favorite tweets by starring them. Refer to your favorites list as needed. Wish you could take back a tweet? Click the trash can beside the post to delete (however, others may have already seen and responded.) Find many opinions about Twitter on and off the Internet. Remember you will gain only as much as you put into this service. Build a network of helpful colleagues to become a better learner (and educator). Anyone can learn from Twitter, even a class of elementary students! Still not sure what Twitter is about? Find a great explanation of how it works in this review.

tag(s): microblogging (45), social media (17), social networking (115)

In the Classroom

Bring teaching and learning to new heights by using this service as a great form of professional development. At conferences, use Twitter as a backchannel to expand upon thoughts and ideas during presentations and after. Have a question to ask others' opinion about? Throw it out to Twitter to see the great perspectives given by those who follow you. Start out slowly and look at conversations that catch your eye. Follow people with experience in your areas of interest to gain from the conversations. Start off by following @teachersfirst or @cshively (our leader).

Learn about hashtags -- ways to mark, search, and follow conversations on a specific topic. For example, the #ntchat tag is for new and pre-service teachers and the #edchat hashtag is for all teachers. Participate in these chats which are scheduled at certain days and times or search for their tweets anytime. Find archived tweets from these chats to learn from some wonderful and motivated teachers when it is convenient for YOU. Use other Twitter applications to search or collect specific hashtags.

As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account to share what you are doing with parents and especially for your class to follow people in topics you study. Studying space? Follow NASA. Studying politics and government? Follow your congressional rep or the White House. Consider using your teacher or class account to send updates to other teachers across the country or across the globe. You can also teach about responsible digital citizenship by modeling and practicing it as a class. A whole-class, teacher account is the most likely way to gain permission to use Twitter in school, especially if you can demonstrate specific projects. That can be as simple as making sure you and that teacher are FOLLOWING each other, then sending a direct message (start the tweet with D and the other teacher's twitter name) or creating a group with your own hashtag for a project such as daily weather updates. Even if you are not "following" someone, you can send them a tweet using @theirtwittername in the body of the message. This is called a "mention" but can be seen by others, too. Compare what your class is observing in today's weather, which topics you will be discussing today, or ask for another class' opinions on a current events issue. Ask for updates about local concerns, such as talking to California schools about wildfires in their area or a Maine school about a blizzard. Challenge another class to tweet the feelings of a literacy character, such as Hamlet, and respond as Ophelia, all in 140 characters or less. Have gifted students? Connect your classroom with the outside world to find greater challenges and connections beyond your regular curriculum.

Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

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Thought Audio - thoughtaudio.com

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the...more
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This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, some Mark Twain, and a few Christmas recordings for children including "Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Gift of the Magi," and "Scrooge: A Christmas Carol."

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their mp3 players. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to access at home. Learning support teachers may want to use selections from this site as alternatives to reading print literature selections. Play a story on your computer speakers as a listening activity in younger grades.

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China Past and Present - Mrdonn.org

Grades
1 to 12
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This site from "Mr.Donn," hosts lesson plans, interactives, and other resources to supplement a unit on Ancient or Modern China. The resources are grouped by historical period, touching...more
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This site from "Mr.Donn," hosts lesson plans, interactives, and other resources to supplement a unit on Ancient or Modern China. The resources are grouped by historical period, touching upon topics such as the Song Dynasty, Marco Polo, and the Communist Revolution. Though TeachersFirst does not usually recommend lists of resources, this site has so many it made the exception!

tag(s): china (67), evolution (102)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use it as a resource to find supplementary materials or lesson plans for a lesson or unit on China. Several of the activities would make great learning centers or stations as a review tool before an assessment or after immediate instruction. Be sure to save the sites as favorite on classroom computers, making it easier for students to navigate there.

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Ancient China Online Games and Activities

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Though we don't often recommend "lists" of links, this site hosts 19 links to games about or related to Ancient China. The games vary in age level and topic, ranging ...more
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Though we don't often recommend "lists" of links, this site hosts 19 links to games about or related to Ancient China. The games vary in age level and topic, ranging from Tangram squares, to review games and Calligraphy how-to's.

tag(s): china (67)

In the Classroom

Browse through this site to find activities to fit your specific class during a unit on Ancient China. After you've found games that can work, save them as favorites on classroom computers and use them as learning centers or stations. This would be a great way to review before an assessment or immediately after a lecture introducing the topic.

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Geography Glossary - HMH School Publishers

Grades
4 to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This interactive site offers definitions for numerous geography terms. You can search by letter, or simply scroll over the map and click on the word. The map moves left and ...more
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This interactive site offers definitions for numerous geography terms. You can search by letter, or simply scroll over the map and click on the word. The map moves left and right by clicking the arrows underneath the map. The map shows small visuals of what the vocabulary word is describing. Once you click on a word, the definition appears in a separate box and a speaker appears that you can click on to hear the word and definition read to you. The box also provides a small map or picture further describing the specific term.

tag(s): landforms (45)

In the Classroom

What a great addition to any class studying landforms, continents, bodies of water, and many other geography concepts. Be sure to save this site in your favorites. Share this site "on the big screen" using your projector or interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Befunky - Tekin Tatar, Tolga Birdal, and Mehmet Ozkanoglu

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Turn photographs into oil paintings, stencils, line drawings and much more with Befunky. You can doctor photos with bad lighting, fuzzy image, or poor exposure. The humorous elements...more
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Turn photographs into oil paintings, stencils, line drawings and much more with Befunky. You can doctor photos with bad lighting, fuzzy image, or poor exposure. The humorous elements on the "goodies" screen will allow you to add glasses, facial hair, picture frames, doodles, or speech bubbles. The text feature contains 11 different kinds of fonts. Befunky can directly post photos onto social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Flicker, Bebo, PhotoBucket, and Picasa. Befunky will automatically store all original and manipulated photos into a private personal library. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. Photo effects come with a free account and pop up ads. Other subscriptions and site capabilities cost money. There are drawbacks: "Befunky.com" is in the bottom right corner of the final product, they continually ask about upgrades, and the photo file is the size of a thumbnail.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (167), design (82), impressionism (5)

In the Classroom

Create more compelling graphics for presentations, multi-media projects, reports, yearbooks, newsletters, or class websites. When publishing student writing, liven up the "About the Author" page with a more artistic photograph of the author. Instead of using a dull student mug shot for the class job board or for class routine charts, replace it with photo illustrations. Share class rules through interesting "characters" speaking on the bulletin board! The speech bubble option may help students learn to write in the first person narrative, or reveal the unspoken thoughts of a character from a book or point in time. Use BeFunky characters in a center for creative writing or as visual writing prompts for the entire class. Use the images for creating political posters for fictitious candidates and their platforms. Photograph a reenactment of scenes from a fairy tale or folktale. Transform these photos into illustrations for a wordless interactive online book using a tool such as on Bookemon reviewed here. Students participating in a social network for class such as a blog or wiki, will enjoy using Befunky to create entertaining profile pictures. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Many schools prohibit use of "social networking" sites. Check your school policies and/or obtain parent permission before allowing students to use social features. Spell out specific permissions and consequences. Of course you will also want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online gallery.

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Blank Game Board Templates - Donna Young

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This site, created for homeschooling families but useful in any classroom, provides downloadable game boards that can be used in any subject area. Game boards come in two varieties,...more
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This site, created for homeschooling families but useful in any classroom, provides downloadable game boards that can be used in any subject area. Game boards come in two varieties, start to finish and racetrack. The two varieties come in several different styles. Printable dice and game cards are also available as well as directions on how to assemble the game board.

tag(s): printables (37)

In the Classroom

This site is a great way to add creativity to your teaching. Make games boards that can be used to review curriculum in any subject area. These games can be used as a center to support your curriculum. These boards aren't just for the teacher, have pairs of students work together to create their own games. Perhaps have them research a topic, then share the information with peers in the form of a game. Then have students exchange games for other pairs to play. This is a great way to differentiate an assignment by providing different versions of a game or having students create their own at an appropriate level of difficulty. For students who need more support, provide partially completed versions for them to "create" the rest from a word bank.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Youth Leadership Initiative - Center for Politics - University of Virginia

Grades
3 to 12
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This site is a civic education program that encourages students to be involved in the electoral and policy making process of the US government. Through interactive multimedia, the site...more
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This site is a civic education program that encourages students to be involved in the electoral and policy making process of the US government. Through interactive multimedia, the site offers technology-based civic education resources that foster long-term civic engagement. There are parts of this site that are available to non-members, while other features are "member only." Membership requires name of school, email, and address. Teachers and curriculum leaders can sign up for a free account, and approval takes 2 - 3 days. Once approved, you will have access to several multimedia rich content areas.

tag(s): congress (33), elections (76), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Use the site with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work in cooperative groups and take part in the mock congress. They will develop critical thinking and collaboration skills as they research, draft, and pass original legislation. Use the downloadable campaign simulation software (free), and have your students role play and run a senatorial campaign.
br> If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Rubric Gallery - RCampus

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This site contains links to many different sources for rubrics. You can search by grade level, subject, or type making it easier to find an appropriate rubric. ...more
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This site contains links to many different sources for rubrics. You can search by grade level, subject, or type making it easier to find an appropriate rubric.

tag(s): assessment (106)

In the Classroom

Use this site to search for rubrics for any type of assignment or classroom use. Material isn't limited to academic use, it also includes attendance, homework, and other types of rubrics.

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Miamiopia - KidsKnowIt Network

Grades
1 to 6
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Miamiopia (currently in beta stage so not all features are fully operational) allows you to create a character called a Miamopian. Then the fun begins! "Miamiopia is where balloons...more
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Miamiopia (currently in beta stage so not all features are fully operational) allows you to create a character called a Miamopian. Then the fun begins! "Miamiopia is where balloons go when they escape from the hands of humans." The balloons seek to improve themselves by learning about the world around them. Learning activities are located in each building found on the map and include music, history, dinosaurs and more. You then can customize the Miamiopian by earning coins as you play games, the coins can be used to purchase hair, clothing, and other accessories.

tag(s): dinosaurs (58), logic (236), problem solving (271), puzzles (205), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

Check school policies about setting up student accounts and passwords and be sure to keep a record of student passwords! No email is required. Set up at the computer center and keep a chart for each student's progress and points collected. Demonstrate on the interactive whiteboard or projector, record terms used during the games (ex: history - iron age, stone age, and bronze age) to research. This would be an ideal link to provide on your class website for students to access at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Owl & Mouse Online Interactive Maps - Owl & Mouse Educational Software

Grades
2 to 12
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This site includes interactive maps for students to see and learn about countries and continents. There are maps for all the continents except Antarctica. The site also lets you show...more
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This site includes interactive maps for students to see and learn about countries and continents. There are maps for all the continents except Antarctica. The site also lets you show or hide names. If you choose to hide names, clicking on each country will provide you with the country name and it's capital. Be aware: there are some minor google advertisements at this website.

tag(s): continents (49), maps (290)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge of countries, states, and capitals. The site also provides printable maps so you can have students write the names of countries, etc and then use the interactive map to self check. In addition, since it is a blank map, teachers can use the pens from their interactive whiteboard to draw in other physical features like rivers or mountain ranges.

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The Jewish Trivia Quiz - www.jewish-trivia.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site provides a good introduction to Jewish history and culture. You are able to choose from 14 different topics and 836 questions to quiz themselves. You are able to ...more
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This site provides a good introduction to Jewish history and culture. You are able to choose from 14 different topics and 836 questions to quiz themselves. You are able to select the topic, level, timer, and number of questions. A database of all of the questions and answers is also provided.

tag(s): rosh hashanah (7), yom kippur (7)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Working in groups have a class competition to see who can answer the most questions in the shortest amount of time. Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and use it as a spring board for a unit study on various Jewish holidays. Have cooperative learning groups create a quiz to test their classmates. Use a site such as Quiz School: Create a Quiz Online (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Lincoln Log - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Grades
4 to 10
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by ...more
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by clicking on search this day. Links to supporting documents and additional information is embedded in the entries.

tag(s): lincoln (86), primary sources (88)

In the Classroom

This site will fit perfectly into any social studies or history class. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. Create a class job for a student called Historian. They can check the website to see what was happening that day and report it to the class. Have students choose an event from the site, find an image of Lincoln and upload it to Blabberize reviewed here They can then have Lincoln "talk" about an important day of his life.

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Polar Bear Plunge - San Diego Zoo

Grades
2 to 6
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Learn about the challenges facing polar bears due to climate change with this interactive site. Keep Walluk, the polar bear, moving by placing floating pieces of ice together to make...more
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Learn about the challenges facing polar bears due to climate change with this interactive site. Keep Walluk, the polar bear, moving by placing floating pieces of ice together to make a path to the end of the path. The activity increases in difficulty throughout the levels. In Chinook's Beat the Heat game, block the heat to bring platforms together, too much heat and they will melt. Tatqiq's Keep it Cool game challenges players to keep the thermometer as cool as possible for the polar bears. Links are also included to San Diego Zoo's polar bear exhibit and polar blogs.

tag(s): animals (285), climate (93), conservation (125), polar (19)

In the Classroom

Use the site as a starting point for a conservation unit and explore the impact of climate change on polar bears. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this site on your classroom website or newsletter to be explored at home. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation such as an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Elephant Odyssey - San Diego Zoo

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

tag(s): animals (285), conservation (125), ecology (135), environment (318), habitats (85)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center during your animal unit. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects on animals and their habitats.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst Hurricane Resources - TeachersFirst

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

tag(s): disasters (39), hurricanes (38), natural disasters (20), weather (193)

In the Classroom

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

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TeachersFirst's Oil Spill Resources - TeachersFirst

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

tag(s): disasters (39), environment (318), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

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

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9/11: The Day that Changed America - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
1 to 8
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This site explains the events of 9/11 in kid friendly language and provides ideas for activities and lesson plans. It includes information on how kids and schools in the New ...more
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This site explains the events of 9/11 in kid friendly language and provides ideas for activities and lesson plans. It includes information on how kids and schools in the New York area were affected by the attacks, as well as an understandable summary of the events that transpired.

tag(s): sept11 (21)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use the lesson plans and activities in your classroom during a lesson or unit on 9/11. Use the articles as a reading activity, allowing reading pairs to read the articles after a discussion on the topic. Be sure to pair students, allowing weaker readers a partner to help them. Have students write and record a podcast "news" story about 9/11 using a simple tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here.

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Mix Book - Andrew Laffoon

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

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), ebooks (43)

In the Classroom

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

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