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NS Teens: Making Safer Online Choices - National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Grades
5 to 12
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If you teach teens, then you need to remind them continually of internet safety and protocol. This cool, upbeat site is fully loaded with teen-friendly music, videos, comic strips,...more
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If you teach teens, then you need to remind them continually of internet safety and protocol. This cool, upbeat site is fully loaded with teen-friendly music, videos, comic strips, and more, all communicating the need for internet responsibility. If you want general internet safety information, visit the sister site to NSTeens, NetSmartz Workshop: (reviewed here). ESL and ELL teachers will love the Spanish version of this site (including Spanish downloads). This site requires Flash.

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (46), internet safety (118), safety (91), social networking (111), spanish (111)

In the Classroom

Teachers, you will find plenty of resources for teaching net safety to teens when you click on 'teaching materials' at the bottom left of the homepage (this takes you to the sister site - NetSmartz Workshop). Videos, fact sheets, lesson plans and activities await you there.

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the video clips or comics. Have students create their own internet safety videos and share them using a tool such as YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). List this site on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. You will also want to share it with parents.
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College Grazing - College Grazing

Grades
9 to 12
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This site is another entry into the college search market. Designed to provide resources to prospective students, their parents, and their teachers or guidance counselors, the site...more
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This site is another entry into the college search market. Designed to provide resources to prospective students, their parents, and their teachers or guidance counselors, the site offers the usual links to financial aid information, advice on writing college essays and career guidance. Many of the links lead directly to resources developed by the US Department of Education or the US Department of Labor; reliable sources, but nothing new or innovative here. The fresh content here is a series of 13 short self-discovery quizzes that purport to help students sort out their feelings about college, and determine their relative readiness to attend. In keeping with the "grazing" theme (complete with cow logos and illustrations), these quizzes are called "munchings." It's kind of hokey, but it may be catchy enough to be effective. Once the student has completed all 13 "munchings," the site will generate a personalized report summarizing student responses. What is produced might generate interesting discussion among students or within families.

Using the site requires a log in (be sure to enable "cookies"). Log-in requires some personal information (first name, surname, email address, and description - if you are a student, parent, or teacher). Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using their own names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. 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.

There is no charge for using the site, and advertising is very minimal and fairly unobtrusive. Parts of this website require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): college (49), financial aid (16)

In the Classroom

Completing the 13 "munchings" might make a good independent assignment for college bound students, followed by some sort of reflection essay. The tips for writing a good college application essay might also prove helpful in a writing class. We'll pretend we didn't think about what generally results when a cow digests its "munchings" and hope for a higher quality end product.
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Ed Pubs - US Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures,...more
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures, posters, videotapes, newsletters, and more). The intended audiences include students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Many publications and also site information come in Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (106)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class website so parents can learn about this free resource. Include links to specific publications tha fit your class' needs. Or choose helpful information with your particular parents/students and share the pdf files as print-outs at conferences or via email to help parents.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Career Exploration: What Do You Like? - Bureau of Labor Statistics

Grades
7 to 12
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This site explores careers. Some of the choices include Computers, Food, Health Care, Law, Helping People, Managing Money, Science, Reading, Music, Building and Fixing Things, and many...more
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This site explores careers. Some of the choices include Computers, Food, Health Care, Law, Helping People, Managing Money, Science, Reading, Music, Building and Fixing Things, and many more. Once you click on "what they like," you are guided to another page that lists specific jobs in that area (each area provides about 5-6 job descriptions). Click on the specific job to learn about necessary preparation, pay, job availability, and possible futures. There is very thorough information and statistics about each career. Also included are links to jobs that share some of the same qualities and general links for further research. Teachers, don't miss the Teacher's Guide link.

tag(s): careers (144)

In the Classroom

Share this website with students as they plan for life after high school. Put this link on your teacher web page for families to use as well. This is definitely a link that guidance counselors should save in their favorites, along with any other teacher helping students make post-high school decisions. More advanced ESL and ELL students will enjoy learning about culture in the U.S. by looking at job descriptions here.

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The Target is You! Alcohol Advertising Quiz - Media Awareness Network

Grades
4 to 10
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This eye-opening website provides an interactive quiz that is designed to enable students to understand the alcohol advertising market, and how the market really does aim towards youth...more
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This eye-opening website provides an interactive quiz that is designed to enable students to understand the alcohol advertising market, and how the market really does aim towards youth (which according to the website, accounts for about 20% of all alcohol consumption). Click "Begin Quiz Now." The quiz is designed for grades 6-8, but could be very useful in other grades. The website teaches students that alcohol advertisements are everywhere - TV commercials, TV shows, ads in magazines, branded clothing, sponsorships at sporting events, and more. This website also has links to lesson plans about Kids, Alcohol, and Advertising. The lesson plans include learning outcomes and many details. They are designed mainly for grades 4-8. The quiz requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): advertising (33)

In the Classroom

Share this informative on an interactive whiteboard or projector at the start of al alcohol unit. Have students guess at their seats what the correct answer would be (either on paper or by show of hands). Use the questions on the quiz as a springboard for a class discussion or class meeting about under-age drinking. Brainstorm a list together of times that they recall hearing or seeing an alcohol advertisement. Be sure to discuss the question involving the "deaths caused by driving under the influence of alcohol." 40% of vehicle deaths involve alcohol.

Come up with a list of ways for the students to avoid "being the target." Have the class journal, create short skits, or have small group discussions about how to handle the advertisements.

Teachers can also use this site during a drug unit or Red Ribbon Week as background information for students or student groups to make printable anti-drug posters using PicLits, reviewed here.
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Comic Creator - ReadWriteThink.org

Grades
2 to 12
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic...more
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic character, author, caption, and of course, the dialog that goes into the speech bubble. The 'creator' chooses the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props. Two actions are needed: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, and typing dialog into the bubbles. Then, presto....a genuine comic appears, ready for printing. The tool DOES support accent marks pasted from Word. (Unfortunately, there is no way to save your comic masterpieces.) This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (64), sequencing (29), summarizing (16)

In the Classroom

Instead of writing boring summaries, why not summarize through a comic strip. It's much like storyboarding, but the drawing has been left to the Comic Creator pros. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book will become the most read classroom book of all in an elementary classroom. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.
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Math in Daily Life - Annenberg Media

Grades
8 to 12
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This authentic website connects math to everyday life. The website offers informational text and numerous interactive "real life" math investigations. Topics include Playing to...more
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This authentic website connects math to everyday life. The website offers informational text and numerous interactive "real life" math investigations. Topics include Playing to Win, Savings and Credit, Population Growth, Home Decorating, Cooking by Numbers, The Universal Language, & Related References . Some examples of the interactive investigations include determining whether it is smarter to buy or lease a car and how much you will save for retirement (based on how much you invest each month and how many years the money remains in the bank).

tag(s): calculators (39), money (187), statistics (128)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous website to use in any economics, finance, or upper-level math class. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the website and activities. Then allow your students to explore independently and fill out the interactive investigations for their own futures.

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ConnectSafely - Tech Parenting Group

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more....more
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more. There are tips and advice for just about any medium kids and adults use today, as well as discussion forums where parents can ask questions and share information. Each article and advice section can be emailed at the click of a mouse. You can also download and share printable version (site creators do ask that you not modify them and that you simply tell them if you do download and share). While some posts may not represent your point of view, the important thing is to open dialog.

tag(s): internet safety (118), safety (91), social networking (111)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher or school web page for parents to access as part of a plan to work together. Consider using it as a hub for an evening discussion session with parents and students in a "round table" to air concerns and work together. Simply blocking or ignoring these tools is not educating or helping our kids. We want our students to grow into safe and responsible citizens both online and in person. If your school can involve and inform parents and students, you will have a better likelihood of using the new tools of the web in productive classroom settings, as well.

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Business Writing Help - Donna Shaw

Grades
8 to 12
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This website offers tips for business writing. Specific topics include memos, letters, creating visuals, proposals, reports, resumes, cover letters, and more. This site does an excellent...more
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This website offers tips for business writing. Specific topics include memos, letters, creating visuals, proposals, reports, resumes, cover letters, and more. This site does an excellent job breaking down the complexities of business writing to enable a student to walk through each step of the process. The website features easy-to-read instructions and samples of each type of business writing. There is also a Common English Errors link that includes audio; the information is available in text format, also. The audio feature requires FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): business (59)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous resource to preview on a projector before your students work independently. Utilize the various steps and examples provided to prepare your students for the "real world." Have your students create "visuals" or "reports," and then practice their presentation skills by sharing their projects with the class or beyond. Maybe have them use this site as they work in groups to request and prepare a presentation for the school board proposing a student-friendly solution to a school problem, using the tools of "the system" for their own goals. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to use as a reference when applying for jobs, etc.
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Make a Child Smile - Make a Child Smile Organization

Grades
K to 12
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Who wouldn't want to make a child smile? This tax-exempt organization solicits cards to be sent to their featured children. Click on the "Send a Card" area in the ...more
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Who wouldn't want to make a child smile? This tax-exempt organization solicits cards to be sent to their featured children. Click on the "Send a Card" area in the center of the home page. Each month different children with dire physical ailments are featured. The site provides addresses of each of these children in hopes of their receiving much encouraging mail. Your students will enjoy reading about the different children featured.

tag(s): holidays (140), service projects (23)

In the Classroom

Classroom teachers are always on the lookout for ways to teach generosity, caring, and service to others. Students can choose one child to "adopt" during the school year. Cards and letters (and gifts?) can be sent throughout the year, and especially during any of the holiday periods, when the spirit of 'giving' is foremost on our minds. Adopting a child through this organization promotes acceptance of diverse physically-challenged children. School counselors should embrace this site to promote the goodwill of men (children). Perhaps your student council or service club is looking for a project. Share this site as a possibility.

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Understanding and Raising Boys - PBS

Grades
K to 12
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help ...more
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help parents to raise boys who feel confident, succeed in school, and grow up resilient and responsible. The interactive features include slideshows and videos. The topics of this helpful website include "Boys in School," "The Search for Masculinity," "Active or Aggressive Boys," and "Emotionally Strong Boys". There is also a question/answer section. Some of the activities require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Provide this website in your class newsletter or as a link from your teacher web page. There is also pertinent information for teachers at this website. Use this site to help better understand the boys in your class before you pick up the phone to call home.
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Icebreakers, Games, and Fun Group Activities - icebreakers.ws

Grades
K to 12
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Start the first day of school or a new marking period with a getting-to-know you activity from this great, searchable collection. The activities are designed for all ages, so some ...more
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Start the first day of school or a new marking period with a getting-to-know you activity from this great, searchable collection. The activities are designed for all ages, so some will not work well with very young ones (such as writing things on slips of paper). The site is easy to navigate and sorts ideas by group size and activity level for easy retrieval. You are also invited to submit your own ideas. Since the site is designed for general use, not for schools, some ideas may be impractical in a classroom setting but could be easily adapted.

tag(s): newbies (15)

In the Classroom

New or veteran teachers who want students to get to know each other as they enter a new school (starting middle school, for example), want to observe them so YOU get to know them, or need to build better team skills with a challenging class or club, will find ideas to try. Mark this one as a Favorite so you can find it again, since "first day" activities tend to get lost in the flurry ---and in the fading memory-- during the year.

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TryEngineering - TryEngineering

Grades
2 to 12
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Whether you are teaching about plastics, robots, electricity or many other science topics, check this website out! This site provides information about the world of engineering and...more
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Whether you are teaching about plastics, robots, electricity or many other science topics, check this website out! This site provides information about the world of engineering and engineering careers, as well. There are 42 lesson plans that are ready to go, and many involve technology. The lesson plans have standards, objectives and age levels. Counselors will like the career section's detailed and helpful information. The website also provides numerous interactive games.

tag(s): circuits (23), electricity (92), engineering (133), machines (27), plastics (8), simple machines (35)

In the Classroom

The lesson plans are detailed and simple to follow. The interactive games will have your students' talking about the activity long after class is over. Share the link on your teacher web page so they can visit over and over. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity for students to ask questions to real-live engineers, as well. Bring the real world into your classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National Center For School Crisis & Bereavement - Child Bereavement UK

Grades
K to 12
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This site provides a wealth of information for teachers, administrators and others that work with children. Guidelines are provides to help students deal with bereavement and other...more
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This site provides a wealth of information for teachers, administrators and others that work with children. Guidelines are provides to help students deal with bereavement and other losses that affect the school and/or community.

tag(s): parents (57)

In the Classroom

Include a link to this helpful information in your next classroom newsletter or print it out for individual students and parents who may need it. Much of this information is useful to parents and other adults helping the students deal with loss. Be sure to tell your guidance staff about it, as well.

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Cool Spot - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Grades
6 to 12
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This attractive, interactive site offers information to teens about the effects of drinking alcohol and peer pressure. Topics included range from a quiz on alcohol, information on...more
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This attractive, interactive site offers information to teens about the effects of drinking alcohol and peer pressure. Topics included range from a quiz on alcohol, information on how much alcohol is in a typical drink, and suggestions on how to resist alcohol use and peer more. A list of characteristics of the effects of too much drinking will help teens measure the effects of alcohol among their friends. Typical teen questions include "Dear Ashley" columns for each covered topic. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on the dangers of drinking. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who are dealing with this challenge.

Teachers can also use this site during your drug unit or Red Ribbon Week as background information for students or student groups to make antidrug "radio" ads using Podomatic, reviewed here.
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Traumatized children: Tips for Parents and Educators - Stephen E. Brock, PhD, NASP

Grades
K to 12
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Parents and educators can find valuable information on helping students handle traumatic situations, both close by and in the media, by reading this article offered by the National...more
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Parents and educators can find valuable information on helping students handle traumatic situations, both close by and in the media, by reading this article offered by the National Association of School Psychologists. Requires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): school violence (14)

In the Classroom

Share this article with colleagues and parents at times of crisis.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tips for School Administrators for Reinforcing School Safety - NASP

Grades
K to 12
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Though titled for administrators, this article is a must-read for all education professionals interested in making their schools safe and secure. There are ideas for planning, communication,...more
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Though titled for administrators, this article is a must-read for all education professionals interested in making their schools safe and secure. There are ideas for planning, communication, parent information, and general security that should be automatic in every school.

tag(s): safety (91), school violence (14)

In the Classroom

Share this with your building faculty, perhaps at a meeting so you can all be on the "same page." There is a printable version available for download (Acrobat file)so you can include it with your agenda.
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Safe Schools and Springtime Stress: Prevention Issues - Scott Poland, EdD, NCSP, NASP

Grades
K to 12
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This offering from the National Association of School Psychologists provides prevention ideas to avoid crisis at times of stress, such as spring. The article points out the stressors,...more
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This offering from the National Association of School Psychologists provides prevention ideas to avoid crisis at times of stress, such as spring. The article points out the stressors, both real and perceived, that occur in te spring of the school year and outlines strategies schools can take to prevent problems for mushrooming for students and staff.

tag(s): school violence (14), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Education professionals should read this brief article for proactive strategies that could head off serious situations. Perhaps a faculty meeting should follow with discussion of specific ideas for implementation in your school. Share this with your teachers/administrator.

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PTSD: Coping After a Crisis - NASP

Grades
K to 12
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The National Association of School Psychologists offers this resource for helping recognize and deal with post traumatic stress disorder. In today's world of school violence, suicides,...more
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The National Association of School Psychologists offers this resource for helping recognize and deal with post traumatic stress disorder. In today's world of school violence, suicides, weather emergencies, war, and disasters, school professionals need information to help them help their students (and peers) in the aftermath of the unthinkable. TeachersFirst hopes you will never need this resource, but it is a must-read for anyone who might someday face crisis.

tag(s): school violence (14), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Administrators, guidance counselors, and teacher leaders will want to keep this one in their favorite "just in case."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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L D Online - WETA

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
When you bill yourself as the world's leading website on Learning Disabilities and ADHD, you'd better prove it. LD OnLine does that and more. LD OnLine provides in-depth ...more
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When you bill yourself as the world's leading website on Learning Disabilities and ADHD, you'd better prove it. LD OnLine does that and more. LD OnLine provides in-depth professional and parent articles, expert advice columns, forums, and disability/differences resources for parents and educators within this easily-navigated site. Many of those articles offer strategies to help deal with the disabilities. The site also includes a convenient yellow pages directory for those who need further professional advice.

tag(s): adhd (27), dyslexia (8), learning disability (17)

In the Classroom

The first-hand stories by famous and not-so-famous Americans are priceless. Teachers and guidance counselors will boost the self-esteem in their struggling students by sharing stories by these 'overcomers.' There is even a section where students can submit stories (make sure you have parent permission).

Find information to help you understand your students' disabilities. Visit one of the forums to collaborate and get ideas from other online viewers. Share this site (or sections of it) with colleagues and parents (and even older students) to help build cooperation and understanding. Educators may wish there were more specific curriculum support.

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