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Tally - Filip Minev

Grades
K to 12
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Create simple polls in no time using Tally. Start by typing in your question. Press enter and begin adding answer choices. Share your poll using the URL link or via ...more
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Create simple polls in no time using Tally. Start by typing in your question. Press enter and begin adding answer choices. Share your poll using the URL link or via Twitter. This is as easy as it gets! No registration is necessary.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create online polls without all of the bells and whistles (and time wasting doodads!). Create a poll as a review to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you have a 1:1 or BYOD class, make a quick poll question about a lesson-related controversy or common misconception to launch the lesson. Use the poll for pre- or post- assessments of units. In younger classrooms, use a whole class account to make quizzes together. Older students can create their own polls to use for review, as a peer challenge, or as a final project. Suggest that students create a poll as followup for their listeners after a class presentation.

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Somewhere - Benjamin Netter

Grades
6 to 12
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Visit the best places in the world through the eyes of random Instagram users via Somewhere. You don't have to be "connected" to Instagram to view the photos. Simply click ...more
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Visit the best places in the world through the eyes of random Instagram users via Somewhere. You don't have to be "connected" to Instagram to view the photos. Simply click your space bar to view a new location. Read a short description of the location and view a photo. Click the "read more" button to find more information about the location (provided by Wikipedia). Although very simple in concept and format, these stunning images will have you returning over and over for more! If you desire, you can click directly on the image to view it on Instagram. Be sure to preview since Instagram comments are not moderated! (Many schools may block Instagram, so test before assuming you can access this at school).

tag(s): images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Display Somewhere on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for quick geography lessons using stunning images. Cover up the description when displaying images on your whiteboard and challenge students to guess the location. Display any of the interesting images as a creative writing prompt. Allow world geography, world cultures, or world language students to use Somewhere to find locations to research for multimedia projects. Find many multimedia project options from the TeachersFirst Edge. Create your own world tour "bucket list" as a class!

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I Love PDF - ilovepdf.com

Grades
K to 12
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Merge several PDF files into one document or split a PDF document into different documents using I Love PDF. Choose your option and follow the links to upload and convert ...more
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Merge several PDF files into one document or split a PDF document into different documents using I Love PDF. Choose your option and follow the links to upload and convert your files. When complete, click the download link to open and save files to your computer. There is a premium option of this tool, but most features are free. The FREE option allows a total of 80 MB for all uploaded PDFs. Read the chart on the homepage to learn all that is included in the FREE option.

In the Classroom

Use this site to work with your PDF files in many ways. If you need just a page or two from a large PDF file (perhaps a worksheet to send home to an absentee student), easily extract it to send. Combine class projects received as individual PDF's to create a complete class book by merging all files. Combine several lessons into one complete unit by merging files. Make combined PDFs available as downloads from your class web page so students "get it all together." Teachers at all grades can use this tool, and older students may find it handy for their own use.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Surfly - Nicholas Piel and Denis Bilenko

Grades
K to 12
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Surfly is a sharing tool to share the web with others, almost as if their computer is watching over your shoulder. No special plug ins are required! Create an account ...more
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Surfly is a sharing tool to share the web with others, almost as if their computer is watching over your shoulder. No special plug ins are required! Create an account and use the Start a Session link to begin. Paste in the URL of any website, then share the Surfly URL generated for that site with anyone you wish. You provide the browsing experience while invitees are along for the ride! Invite others to join in at any time using links on the left or change the site URL with a quick click.

tag(s): computers (94), editing (60), homework (44), parent conferences (22)

In the Classroom

Screen share with students on individual computers to demonstrate how to locate information on websites, or when learning tech tools. Surfly is a great alternative if an interactive whiteboard or projector is not available. It is also very helpful for demonstrating with others at another location (such as students who are home sick). Use this tool to collaborate with other teachers when creating lesson plans or student documents. Have students on laptops share their screen with you during presentations to make information easier to view and assess. Share this site with students to use at home when collaborating on projects. Help a homebound student by sharing your class computer screen and opening an audio connection over the phone. Offer "extra help" sessions via screen share at predetermined "office hours," on snow days, or on certain evenings. Have students teach tech skills to their peers using this free sharing tool. Share a student's online work using a screen share during a parent phone conference. Show a parent how to navigate a practice site you want the family to use at home. Visual directions always work better!

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TeachersFirst's Editors' Choices for Geography Awareness and Exploration - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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TeachersFirst's editors selected these resources to inspire interest and explorations of world geography in any classroom from kindergarten through high school. There are many ways...more
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TeachersFirst's editors selected these resources to inspire interest and explorations of world geography in any classroom from kindergarten through high school. There are many ways to view and learn about our world: maps, statistics, photographs, narratives, interactive navigation systems, and mobile apps. Exploring geography and seeing relationships between natural resources, maps, landforms, climate, and human activity can seem overwhelming, but these resources will entice even the most reluctant student or adult to take a new "view" of the world.

tag(s): map skills (80), maps (288), natural resources (59), population (60)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites for Geography Awareness Week each November. Include the link on your class web page for students to access both in class and at home. Ask students to explore and choose their favorite geography resource, then give a "tour" of it to the rest of the class on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center - Pacer Center, Inc.

Grades
K to 10
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Visit Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center (PNBC) to discover resources for implementing a bullying prevention program in your community and school. There are many pages to explore...more
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Visit Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center (PNBC) to discover resources for implementing a bullying prevention program in your community and school. There are many pages to explore through clicking on the menu tabs at the top. There are over sixty videos of special interest for all age groups. The Students with Disabilities section has ten facts everyone needs to know, and you can download it in PDF format. Investigate the Educator Toolkits and Activities. Activities for Youth is for young students to help them prevent bullying. Classroom Toolkits are available for elementary, middle and high school classrooms. Community Toolkits have ideas for holding a rally, organizing a run, or creating an advocacy program. The Student Created Toolkits include videos, music, and artwork designed by students for students. There are New and Featured Toolkits for you to explore, too. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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 (52)

In the Classroom

Introduce a bullying discussion in your class by viewing a video appropriate for your age group. Continue with a class discussion. Have students do a quick write about how they feel about bullying. Begin a school and community-wide campaign against bullying by sharing this resource with your school leadership team, PTA/PTO, and other teachers. This tool would be a great project for the school's student council to undertake. There are a ton of resources; someone just needs to get this program going!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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PixTeller - Alexandru Roznovat and Ovidiu Farauanu

Grades
5 to 12
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Turn words into beautiful images to use on posters, greeting cards, and more with PixTeller. Choose "Create Poster" to begin creating your design. Choose a background with your choice...more
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Turn words into beautiful images to use on posters, greeting cards, and more with PixTeller. Choose "Create Poster" to begin creating your design. Choose a background with your choice of colors, images, and size. Move through the rest of the steps to add text, icons, and other design elements. Create a PixTeller account to save your design and remove the watermark. When finished, share the image through social networking options or with a direct URL.

tag(s): book reports (36), collages (17), images (265), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Use PixTeller to create a simple end of unit or novel study project. Use posters for covers for research projects or a quick and colorful classroom display. Have students make posters "advertising" books from independent reading on your bulletin board, on the wall outside your classroom, or in the library/media center. Advertise a curriculum concept with posters such as "The Exciting Life and Times of Pi," "Plate Tectonic Superheroes," or "The Misunderstood Sentence Fragment." To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.

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TUZZit - Christophe Fruytier

Grades
4 to 12
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TUZZit is an online graphic organizer with several options for organizing information. Choose from the canvases in the library or start with a blank board. Use TUZZit's tools to add...more
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TUZZit is an online graphic organizer with several options for organizing information. Choose from the canvases in the library or start with a blank board. Use TUZZit's tools to add text, images from Flickr, stickers, maps, and more. When finished, save your work. Share using the export option to receive the URL for your board. Add a password for privacy if you wish. Account registration isn't required to create a graphic organizer, but it is needed to save and share any projects.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Have student groups create presentations on TUZZit. The subtopics can serve as talking points. Have students begin projects by making an outline with TUZZit and sharing it with the teacher. As a whole class create a TUZZit organizer at the beginning of the unit showing what the class knows. Add information to the TUZZit throughout the unit. Create lesson plans on TUZZit by outlining the order of topics, links, and documents you will be using. Take notes about lessons/units using TUZZit. Hand out (or provide a link to) the organizer as a visual guide and summary of what they have learned, including documents and links. Share completed organizers with learning support teachers and parents to help struggling students. Ask students to create an organizer of a book or a chapter. Outline characters, setting, and events taking place in stories. Use TUZZit to create a graphic organizer or timeline of important historical events.

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Skim.it - Lloyd Jennings and Jack Hampson

Grades
6 to 12
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Skim.it is a Chrome extension that turns text intensive articles and websites into an easy to read 100 word summary. Save summaries into a topic-based Canvas for sharing and collaboration....more
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Skim.it is a Chrome extension that turns text intensive articles and websites into an easy to read 100 word summary. Save summaries into a topic-based Canvas for sharing and collaboration. To download the extension, follow the directions and the link on the home page. Once installed, click the toolbar button to skim any website or right-click on any section of the site to skim that part.

tag(s): summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Share Skim.it with students working on research projects as a way to quickly determine content and viability of using websites. Use to differentiate instruction with students. Use with learning support students as a resource to make content easier to understand (and shorter to read). Use Skim.it summaries when teaching how to summarize in English class. Compare the summary you create as a class or in small groups with the "automated" one. Are there subtleties or important distinctions that this tool misses? As a challenge for your more critical thinkers, have them try to figure out what signals the tool uses to create its summary.

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Just Flip A Coin - My Tech Tailor

Grades
K to 12
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Do you sometimes wish you had a coin in your pocket to make a quick decision? Just Flip A Coin does it for you! Open the site and watch the ...more
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Do you sometimes wish you had a coin in your pocket to make a quick decision? Just Flip A Coin does it for you! Open the site and watch the coin flip a few times before landing on heads or tails. Choose "Flip Again" for a do-over!

tag(s): classroom management (134), probability (130)

In the Classroom

Although this site is extremely simple, you will find many classroom uses. Be sure to bookmark it for later use. Use Just Flip A Coin on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to choose leaders of teams, decide between options for classroom games or activities, or decide between two book choices. Have students use an actual coin to flip and compare results with Just Flip A Coin for a math probability lesson.

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Wall Street Survivor - Greg Isenberg and Rory Olson

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about the Stock Market and the world of finances without spending a cent with Wall Street Survivor. Create a free account to access free courses and stock market simulations....more
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Learn about the Stock Market and the world of finances without spending a cent with Wall Street Survivor. Create a free account to access free courses and stock market simulations. Once registered, join stock market leagues. Set up your own practice portfolio for a no-risk option to dabble in stock trading and buying. Play against friends using your own settings and options for trading and selling. In addition to investing options, be sure to check out the large library of articles and tutorials teaching how the stock market works. Not all courses are free, but several basic introductory finance courses offer free lessons in an easy to understand format. If your district blocks YouTube, videos 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share articles on personal finance, investing, and more. Challenge students (or groups) to create their own Stock Market Leagues to learn about investing and trading. Use Wall Street Survivor as an after-school program for students to learn about finances and investing. Share this link on your class website for students to explore on their own. Your math-savvy gifted students and finance aficionados will love this one.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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EarthEcho International - Philippe Cousteau Jr.

Grades
6 to 12
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EarthEcho International offers a collection of videos, lesson plans, and other materials designed to support high-quality classroom experiences and the exploration and protection of...more
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EarthEcho International offers a collection of videos, lesson plans, and other materials designed to support high-quality classroom experiences and the exploration and protection of natural resources. Many are correlated to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Find and choose resources by filtering program offerings, grade levels, and type of activity. Program offerings include topics such as rethinking waste, water quality, energy, marine debris, and much more. Register with your email address for free access to materials.

In addition to teaching materials, follow EarthEcho expeditions with day by day updates from the field, including lesson plans, audio and video materials, and much more. If your district blocks YouTube, 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): environment (317), oceans (148), recycling (57), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to take advantage of lesson plans and teaching materials found on the site. Create a link on classroom computers and share on your class website for students to explore expeditions on their own. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to demonstrate information found on EarthEcho. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students create maps of explorations using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Free Video Lectures - Free Video Lectures (FVL)

Grades
9 to 12
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Free Video Lectures is a resource offering over 1000 free (upper high school and college level) online courses and 25,000 video lectures from more than 30 universities. Begin your search...more
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Free Video Lectures is a resource offering over 1000 free (upper high school and college level) online courses and 25,000 video lectures from more than 30 universities. Begin your search by choosing a subject or university to explore. Use the search bar to find specific content. Icons for each course offer a short description along with the number of included videos. Find topics ranging from accounting to web designing to business management and many others. Download or embed any videos using links and download instructions. Ignore the advertising; the site content is worth it. Note that these videos are NOT hosted on YouTube so may or may not be locked at your school. Downloading at home is easy -- if necessary. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), cultures (105), genetics (90), literature (275), medicine (67), oceans (148), psychology (64), video (253)

In the Classroom

If you are flipping your classroom, use videos from this site to introduce content to students. Embed videos onto your class website or blog for easy student access. Free Video Lectures is perfect for use with gifted students. Use videos to provide advanced instruction and lessons in content not offered in your school. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from a video using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here) or WordItOut (reviewed here). Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) to show what the have learned.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Rootbook - Rootbook

Grades
2 to 12
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Rootbook is a choose your own adventure interactive story reading and writing program. Without signing up, you can read Game Books and add what is called a Bookmark (a branch) ...more
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Rootbook is a choose your own adventure interactive story reading and writing program. Without signing up, you can read Game Books and add what is called a Bookmark (a branch) to the stories. Once registered (requires an email, player name & password), you can create your own stories to save. You can also save the bookmarks you add to other stories. Registering allows you to submit reviews of the interactive stories available on the site. Rootbook says they will soon have filters to monitor inappropriate language. Until then, read stories and branches prior to sharing with young people. Leave a comment if you find anything offensive, and they will remove it.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), interactive stories (32), narrative (24), writing (358)

In the Classroom

To use Rootbook and save work, students will need an email account. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail sub-accounts, explained here. This will provide anonymous interaction within your class, and you (as the Gmail account holder) will be able to go into each Rootbook account to check progress. Begin by choosing a story and reading it as a class. Give the students scratch paper to create storyboards and have them continue the story. Then collect the papers and have them write their continuation again on someone else's paper. Next, ask students to end the story and switch again, and write their ending on this new paper. Doing this will help younger students understand the "branching" story line. If students are sitting in groups of four, they can just rotate the papers around for this activity. When students want to create their story on Rootbook, be sure to have them upload an image for the cover first and plan the story using a graphic organizer! As subject matter for stories in any curriculum area, tell a science story, such as the life of a butterfly or a history story such as what happened (and could have happened) at the Boston Tea Party.

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SurveyRock - surveyrock.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Design, personalize, and distribute surveys easily with SurveyRock. Create surveys with up to 15 response items/questions and 125 responses/answers per survey using the free version...more
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Design, personalize, and distribute surveys easily with SurveyRock. Create surveys with up to 15 response items/questions and 125 responses/answers per survey using the free version of the site. Choose from several different formats such as multiple choice, textbox, and rating scales. You can also decide to make questions mandatory or optional. Add an optional start and end date. Share your survey using the unique URL or social networking links. Receive results on your reporting page in real-time as surveys are complete.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Copy/paste the link to the poll or use embed code to place in a wiki, blog, or a website. Be sure that students use the poll appropriately and that personal information is not offered in poll responses. Use polls to record quick responses to questions. Have students create a poll about their interests and allow time to analyze responses and report findings. Use this site to vote on correct answers in math class, project ideas for science or social studies, social issues in current events, and practically any other subject area. Encourage students to incorporate polls during class presentations. Provide options for students to gain confidence in generating and analyzing statistics they have created. Make a quick parent poll to include on a class website to keep the lines of communication open.

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Bouncy Balls - Practicon

Grades
K to 12
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Manage your classroom noise level with this visual presentation from Bouncy Balls. Bouncy Balls monitors noise levels from your surroundings. The quieter your environment is, the more...more
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Manage your classroom noise level with this visual presentation from Bouncy Balls. Bouncy Balls monitors noise levels from your surroundings. The quieter your environment is, the more settled the balls remain. If there is more noise, the balls start flying and jumping around the screen. In addition to bouncy balls, choose from bubbles, eyeballs, and smiley face icons. There is also a full screen option. Our editors had some trouble trying to figure out HOW to enable the microphones. Here are some tips that we learned. If you are using Firefox or Chrome, you must allow pop-ups. You should get a message in the narrow band below the address bar asking you to "Allow Microphone" for this site. At the time of this review, this site was not working properly on the Safari browser. Even so, this is still one site you will want to explore and "have a ball."

tag(s): classroom management (134)

In the Classroom

Display Bouncy Balls on your interactive whiteboard or projector anytime you want to monitor classroom noise levels. Share this tool with your class and let them "tech it out" by making noise and seeing how the balls react. Of course, the first time you use it, students will want to see just how MUCH noise they can make. Discuss how much the balls should be moving throughout the day. Use this tool during the Daily 5, learning stations, DEAR time, or other quiet times throughout the day. Challenge students to keep the balls as still as possible for the activity.

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Voting America: United States Politics 1840-2008 - University of Richmond

Grades
7 to 12
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Find interactive maps examining the results of elections from 1840 through 2008. With US politics increasingly dominated by election year strategizing, a historical look at how Americans...more
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Find interactive maps examining the results of elections from 1840 through 2008. With US politics increasingly dominated by election year strategizing, a historical look at how Americans have voted in both Presidential and Congressional elections can provide useful context. In a democracy, the power of popular elections to affect the lives of all citizens cannot be understated. In order to understand how changes in population--demography and distribution--have affected popular elections, it's important to see those changes in perspective. On this site, you can look at Presidential elections or Congressional elections, as well as population maps focused on African American and White population changes over the time period. Most of the maps are based on an advancing time line that maps data over time. For Presidential elections, there are also more detailed maps for each separate election.

tag(s): congress (33), elections (75), electoral college (16), maps (288), presidents (130), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

These maps, powerful when projected on an interactive whiteboard (or projector), make the impact of changes in population demographics and distribution visual. The maps might also provide a good resource for students studying a particular President or time period. Challenge students to create a newspaper about what they have learned (about the President or time period). Use a tool such as Zinepal (reviewed here). Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."

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ContextU: Understand Your World - ContextU

Grades
7 to 12
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Although it is still in Beta, ContextU seeks to provide important context to major events in US History. With its American Revolution and Civil War modules up and running, a ...more
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Although it is still in Beta, ContextU seeks to provide important context to major events in US History. With its American Revolution and Civil War modules up and running, a table of contents allows you to select a person, place, event or theme relating to the broader subject. From that starting point, you can easily jump to a map, a brief biography of important characters, a hyperlinked timeline of events, or a flow chart of causes and effects. When so much of traditional instruction on US history consists of looking at discrete events without always understanding the larger framework and connections for these events, ContextU offers an important perspective for learning. Based on the site's table of context, future modules are planned for each of the larger wartime eras in US history.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil war (145), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Consider using the ContextU organizing framework as a regular touchpoint for a unit on either the American Revolution or the American Civil War. As you progress through the important events that comprise each era, return to the larger context to help students "see the forest" as well as the trees. ContextU might also be added to your storehouse of bookmarks for each unit so students could access it while doing outside assignments or projects. Find age-appropriate literature to share with your students about Colonial America and the Revolution or The Civil War and Slavery at TeachersFirst's CurriConnects booklists for all ages. Use class discussions or student essays to draw together what they learn from independent reading, this site, and their "regular" curriculum.

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Blog Post Ideas Generator - Matthew Loomis

Grades
4 to 12
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Get some great ideas for writing ... anything... using this tool. Though the title says Blog Post, use these ideas for any writing. Click on the Generate a Blog Post ...more
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Get some great ideas for writing ... anything... using this tool. Though the title says Blog Post, use these ideas for any writing. Click on the Generate a Blog Post button to get an open-ended sentence starter to write about. Don't like that one? Click again until you find one you like. You can also contribute your own ideas!

tag(s): writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Scroll through the prompts ahead of time to find one for the entire class. Or have a student emcee choose the idea for today's freewriting time. Many of the ideas could be adapted for writing in science or social studies classes by substituting in a curriculum term or writing from the point of view of a historic figure. Scroll through with your class allowing them to pick one on their own. If you have class blogs, that's great. If you don't, that's O.K. Use the prompts for journals and quick writes, too. Ask students for prompts to add to the site. Post the URL for this site on your class webpage for students to use at home. Want to learn more about blogs and how to use them in any classroom? Try TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom.

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Where We Came From and Where We Went State by State - New York Times

Grades
7 to 12
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The New York Times looks at each state in the US and charts movement both into the state and out of the state since 1900. With immigration in the news, ...more
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The New York Times looks at each state in the US and charts movement both into the state and out of the state since 1900. With immigration in the news, it's sometimes helpful to remember that with a country as large as the United States, there has been a great deal of INTRA-state movement over the country's history. Explore the states via these interactive charts. Mousing over each component of each chart brings additional clarifying information about that state's intra-state migration statistics. The set of charts begins with California, Florida, and Nevada, three states with the most dynamic population changes. The remainder of the charts follow in alphabetical order. Each state's chart also contains a brief narrative explaining significant components.

tag(s): census (19), demographics (19), immigrants (20), immigration (58), migration (59), states (163), transportation (40), westward expansion (29)

In the Classroom

A great introduction to population change and the changing nature of social and physical mobility in the United States, these charts can prompt discussion about why families move. Although the charts begin in 1900, they are still useful in looking at Westward Migration in the US. Also explore such issues as changing job markets, natural resources and industries, movement between high density and low density areas, and the places where non-native born residents are most likely to settle. Invite students to create their own infographics about a certain state or region based on what they discover here. Learn about infographics in the classroom and the tools to make them in TeachersFirst's Now I See!.

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