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Brain Breaks for Students - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Regular brain breaks are a simple but powerful way to boost student focus, engagement, and retention in the classroom. These short periods of physical activity or mental rest re-energize...more
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Regular brain breaks are a simple but powerful way to boost student focus, engagement, and retention in the classroom. These short periods of physical activity or mental rest re-energize young minds when they start feeling tired or restless. Brain breaks improve how students think by increasing blood flow and brain connections. They also provide a much-needed reset when students feel overwhelmed or have checked out of the lesson. This collection highlights brain-break ideas, exercises, and activities that easily fit into lessons. Discover ways to get students moving, laughing, reflecting, and re-centering their attention. Using these resources will create a more active and focused learning environment in your classroom.

In the Classroom

Find new tools to try in your classroom for brain breaks. Each review includes classroom use ideas. Read the details of each tool and find the ones that will work for you and your students.

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All the World's a Stage: Incorporating Dramatic Arts and Dance into the Classroom - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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All the World's a Stage is part of the TeachersFirst Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist series reviewed here sharing book lists and ideas for...more
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All the World's a Stage is part of the TeachersFirst Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist series reviewed here sharing book lists and ideas for incorporating dramatic arts and dance into the classroom. The Background Knowledge section shares information on easing into the dramatic arts beginning with Reader's Theater activities, then extending into additional arts activities such as drama circles and dance. In addition to recommended books about the dramatic arts and artists, numerous classroom activities are available for students. Extension activities are also provided to encourage students to create art that represents various curriculum areas. Information includes correlation to ISTE and AASL standards.

tag(s): book lists (162), dance (26), readers theater (10)

In the Classroom

Include the books and activities this article suggests to engage students through movement and the arts. Have students create and share Reader's Theater productions to demonstrate learning of any content. Use Storyboard That, reviewed here to create storyboards as they plan their productions. After recording your students' Reader's Theater presentations, use Clipchamp, reviewed here to edit and transform your presentations into professional-looking productions.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zencastr - Zencastr

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6 to 12
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Zencastr is a podcast hosting and creation tool that provides many free resources for members. The free option includes unlimited audio and video recording, unlimited audio uploads...more
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Zencastr is a podcast hosting and creation tool that provides many free resources for members. The free option includes unlimited audio and video recording, unlimited audio uploads and hosting, options for recording on several tracks, and many other excellent features. Begin by creating and verifying your account. After logging in to your account, begin with the link to add information about your show. Next, follow the prompts to add a cover image and description of the podcast. Then, add an episode by uploading a file from your device or selecting the record button to record a new broadcast. Next, include up to twelve participants in your recording by providing access through the invite button. When finished, use the produce and publish link to complete the publication of your podcast episode. Finally, share podcasts using the share link that includes a custom URL or sharing to social media sites.

tag(s): podcasts (79), sound (73)

In the Classroom

Learn more about ways to incorporate podcasting in the classroom by viewing the archive of the OK2Ask: Podcasting 101: Using Podcasts in the Classroom, available here. Engage students in upcoming lessons by creating and sharing short podcasts as a preview for books to read or about historical characters featured in an upcoming unit. Use Zencastr to create videos for flipped or blended learning lessons. Enhance learning by asking students to create podcasts to share their learning and understanding of topics in a new way. For example, instead of writing a report about George Washington, ask students to create a multi-episode podcast that features important events in his life. Share student and teacher-created podcasts on your class website. Find several free and easy web page makers on TeachersFirst Edge.

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RedCircle - Red Circle Technologies, Inc.

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6 to 12
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RedCircle is a podcast-hosting and support service. The free plan provides unlimited storage, bandwidth, and downloads supporting one podcast. Begin by creating and verifying your account,...more
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RedCircle is a podcast-hosting and support service. The free plan provides unlimited storage, bandwidth, and downloads supporting one podcast. Begin by creating and verifying your account, then select from the options to add a podcast. Options include importing a current podcast or creating a new podcast. To create a new podcast, add an image and complete the information boxes to add descriptive information. Then, follow the prompt to develop your podcast; next, select your podcast to manage, add, and edit episodes. Upload saved MP3 files from your device to each episode and set the time and date for publication. Share published episodes using the URL provided or copy the HTML code to embed a podcast player in an online document such as a website.

tag(s): podcasts (79), sound (73)

In the Classroom

Learn how to incorporate podcasting in the classroom by viewing the archive of the OK2Ask: Podcasting 101: Using Podcasts in the Classroom webinar available here. As an easy introduction to podcasting, ask students to create an audio recording of a read-aloud book, a story they created, or the morning announcements. Upload their podcast recording and share it on your class website or with parents. As students become familiar with creating podcasts, use this tool for several purposes, such as discussions of current lessons learned in math, an explanation of a science experiment, or a day in the life of a historical character. Extend learning by embedding or linking student podcasts as part of a larger multimedia project created using a webpage creator such as Webnode, reviewed here, or add a link within a timeline created using Canva's Timeline Infographic Templates, reviewed here.

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Pinecast - Pinecast

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6 to 12
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Pinecast is a podcast hosting service that offers a free option and helpful tips for creating and sharing podcasts. The free option includes uploads of up to 48MB, two free ...more
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Pinecast is a podcast hosting service that offers a free option and helpful tips for creating and sharing podcasts. The free option includes uploads of up to 48MB, two free shows with up to ten episodes, and no time limit. First, use your email to create and verify an account. Once logged in to your account, select the link to set up a podcast from scratch. Then, complete the information boxes to provide your podcast's name and description information. After completing the basic information, it is time to upload a new episode by following the steps that include providing a title, adding an MP3 file, date and time of the episode's release. Save when ready, then share your podcast using the custom URL provided.

tag(s): editing (90), podcasts (79), sound (73)

In the Classroom

Use Pinecast in a variety of ways in your classroom. First, let students become familiar with how to create audio files by practicing creating and sharing voice recordings of read-alouds. Then, as students become familiar with this tool, use it as a simple tool for uploading and sharing audio productions. For example, ask students to use Pinecast to record interviews with parents or other family members. For example, when studying immigration, ask students to record the story of a family member who immigrated to the U.S. Include student-created podcasts as a link within larger multimedia projects such as those created using Sway, reviewed here, or within an interactive map project made with Google My Maps, reviewed here.

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Experiment with Google: Arts & Culture Experiments - Google

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4 to 12
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Uncover a city with over 200 pyramids, search across Europe for your penguin friend, or test your knowledge of ancient artworks and artifacts, and much more at Google's Arts & ...more
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Uncover a city with over 200 pyramids, search across Europe for your penguin friend, or test your knowledge of ancient artworks and artifacts, and much more at Google's Arts & Culture Experiments. This large selection of experiments allows you to interact with artificial intelligence and interactive experiences to explore the arts in new and exciting ways. Hover over the icon for any investigation to launch the activity or see an overview that summarizes the experiment and information on tools used to build the experience.

tag(s): animation (62), art history (86), artificial intelligence (110), artists (78), climate change (88), colors (64), crosswords (19), drawing (60), egypt (48), emotions (47), environment (237), europe (75), france (37), glaciers (17), insects (69), july 4th (13), museums (44), music theory (45), nasa (29), nutrition (135), painting (55), patterns (62), poetry (190), pollution (51), robotics (22), women (137)

In the Classroom

Save this exciting site to use in several ways to engage students in arts and culture worldwide. For example, as students learn about Europe, add "Where is Hopper" to classroom computers as an activity center for students to explore independently. As students search for Hopper, ask them to use Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to add clues and information learned throughout their exploration. As a final project, as a class or within groups, have students create interactive maps of their travels using Google My Maps, reviewed here. Add images, text explanations of the clues, and videos to share information about each location.

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Merlot - California State University Long Beach

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K to 12
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Merlot (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is a curated collection of free learning and support materials for educators that includes almost 100,000 learning...more
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Merlot (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is a curated collection of free learning and support materials for educators that includes almost 100,000 learning resources in all content areas and grade levels. Search information on the site in several ways, such as using a keyword or searching by ISBN, materials, or members. Use the dropdown box labeled "Browse" at the top of the page to conduct a more focused search by grade level, content, type of material, and mobile platform. All available content includes clickable peer reviews and user ratings with an overview of the material, recommended uses, and target student population. Registration isn't required; however, it allows you to bookmark and save topics. In addition, registration offers access to Merlot's Content Builder (website maker) and a Course ePortfolio.

tag(s): OER (43), preK (258), professional development (393)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save Merlot to use for professional development and planning purposes. Create an account to save and access bookmarks at any time throughout the year. Due to the size of this site, consider including it as part of your professional development activities with grade-level or department peers to explore by sections. For example, during one session, examine options of assessment tools, and explore the included collections about your course content at another meeting. Consider using a curation tool such as Netboard, reviewed here, or Milanote, reviewed here, to collect and share saved resources.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Get up and Moving... Physical Education - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Get up and get moving with this collection of resources designed to encourage students to stay active. Keeping students active may help many students to stay focused better and to ...more
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Get up and get moving with this collection of resources designed to encourage students to stay active. Keeping students active may help many students to stay focused better and to lead a healthier/more active lifestyle. Whether used in PE, during movement breaks, or other times in your lessons... this curated list includes resources to get students moving and learning about sports, dance, exercise, and other forms of movement. We have included resources for all grades.

tag(s): dance (26), fitness (38), nutrition (135), sports (78)

In the Classroom

Find new tools to try when planning your physical education lessons. Each review includes technology integration ideas. Read the details of each tool and find the ones that will make your students get and get moving.

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The Kennedy Center Ballet Collection - The Kennedy Center

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K to 12
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This extensive collection from The Kennedy Center features many lessons, media resources, and articles relating to ballet. Use this site to learn about ballerinas as athletes and discover...more
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This extensive collection from The Kennedy Center features many lessons, media resources, and articles relating to ballet. Use this site to learn about ballerinas as athletes and discover the history of ballet and its influence on cultures, politics, and art. Scroll through the home page to find articles on bringing community connections through dance, learn how to prevent injuries, and prepare for a visit to the ballet. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): dance (26), russia (33), stories and storytelling (42)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to use when introducing students to ballet as a form of dance or as an option to use with girls who are interested in athletics and sports. Consider including resources found on the ballet site as part of a storytelling unit or sharing ideas with students for finding role models when writing biographies. As you share information from this site and others, consider using curation tools such as Symbaloo, reviewed here, and Wakelet, reviewed here, to share information with students in an organized manner. Add information from this collection into an interactive lesson using Curipod, reviewed here. Include videos, articles, quizzes, and documents as part of your interactive lesson.

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The Kennedy Center Dance Collection - The Kennedy Center

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K to 12
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Discover the culture and history of dance worldwide and its importance in telling stories through movement and music using this rich and varied collection of resources. This site contains...more
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Discover the culture and history of dance worldwide and its importance in telling stories through movement and music using this rich and varied collection of resources. This site contains groups, lessons, information from featured artists, and more, covering many dance genres. In addition, media resources feature videos that teach dance, provide information on dance companies worldwide, and visit featured artists.

tag(s): chinese new year (5), cross cultural understanding (155), cultures (132), dance (26), hispanic (28), jazz (17), native americans (91), poetry (190), stories and storytelling (42)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free resources on this site to add dance to music lessons and cultural units and enrich topics featuring people and places worldwide. Each resource includes tags, and the lessons include suggested grade levels, use these links to find additional resources for classroom use. As you include information from this site, use an online whiteboard tool such as Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to engage students in learning. For example, add a link to a video from the site about a featured artist and ask students to share their learning or post questions to explore further. Ask students to share their understanding using one of the many tools found Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here. For example, ask students to create a website of a featured dance style, while other students create a video sharing dance and cultural information about their chosen group of people or country.

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Dramatic Arts and Dance Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Discover resources in this collection to infuse drama and dance into your lessons. This curated list includes musicals, readers theater, dance instruction, and more. You may find it...more
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Discover resources in this collection to infuse drama and dance into your lessons. This curated list includes musicals, readers theater, dance instruction, and more. You may find it helpful to use ideas from this list to plan your physical education and language arts lessons. This list includes resources for all grades.

tag(s): acting (18), dance (26), fitness (38), plays (27), readers theater (10)

In the Classroom

Encourage your students' understanding of drama and dance using this curated collection. Share these resources with your colleagues and students by emailing the page or sharing the link from your school web page and in your school newsletter. Find resources to incorporate into your dance and drama lessons.

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Unsung Hero Projects - Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes

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4 to 12
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The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes celebrates the untold stories of heroes worldwide and throughout history by sharing student-created project-based learning activities. First,...more
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The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes celebrates the untold stories of heroes worldwide and throughout history by sharing student-created project-based learning activities. First, browse through the shared projects page to find stories about lesser-known heroes of civil rights, wars, or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Then, open any project to learn about the featured unsung hero and the storytellers that created the project. In addition to the completed projects, this site shares a project-based learning tool that provides a ten-step tutorial for creating and sharing student projects.

tag(s): american revolution (82), civil rights (195), civil war (134), heroes (22), Project Based Learning (24), STEM (265), vietnam (35), world war 1 (72), world war 2 (150)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students to learn more about the "everyday" people involved with historical events. Consider starting a project-based learning activity for your students. Learn more about project-based learning at the TeachersFirst Special Topics Page devoted to project-based learning, found here. Help students organize resources found in their research using Wakelet, reviewed here. Create Wakelet collections for each project that includes links to articles, videos, and other relevant information to be used in their project. As students prepare to complete their projects, share a storyboard creation tool such as Storyboarder, reviewed here, to help plan videos, podcasts, websites, or plays.

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myShakespeare - Richard Clark and Greg Watson

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8 to 12
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myShakespeare provides interactive content, including videos and study tools to accompany six of the most well-known Shakespeare plays. In addition to the play's complete text, the...more
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myShakespeare provides interactive content, including videos and study tools to accompany six of the most well-known Shakespeare plays. In addition to the play's complete text, the supplemental materials include video performances of key scenes, character discussions, complete audio recordings, and pop-up notes that share insight into the literary devices used within the text. Another option includes viewing portions of each play in modern language to help guide comprehension of the material. The Notebook portion of the site offers study tools that have comprehension questions and includes the ability for students to highlight and annotate the text. Finished notebooks can be saved, shared, and exported to teacher accounts. Select any play to begin; at the top of the page, you will find links to the materials, including a summary, the number of videos, toggle glossed words on or off (alternative words for items in the text), and notebook activities. Then, as you scroll through the page, available items appear next to the selected area on the right side of the screen. Use the links to share to your Google Classroom account as desired.

tag(s): england (50), literature (218), plays (27), shakespeare (93)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-have for teachers of Shakespeare! Engage students by sharing the video performances to help students understand key events during any of the plays. Share and point out the glossed (bold) words to help students understand difficult language. Find the tool for glossed words in the top menu to turn it on and off. Have students answer the comprehension questions as a formative assessment for their self-reflection and to guide your lesson planning. This site is perfect for use in remote classrooms or as a flipped learning activity. Assign portions of the text to students to read before class discussions. Using myShakespeare in this way offers many tools for students to view the material in different formats as they complete the reading. Use Flip, reviewed here, to enhance student learning throughout your Shakespeare unit by asking clarifying questions and have students post video responses. Extend learning further by asking students to create short video explainers of different scenes of the play using Adobe Express Video Maker, reviewed here.

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Hamilton Education Program Online - Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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Hamilton Education Program Online uses digital resources for educators to guide students through research using primary resources to create a performance piece such as a poem or song....more
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Hamilton Education Program Online uses digital resources for educators to guide students through research using primary resources to create a performance piece such as a poem or song. Included is a video welcome from Lin-Manuel Miranda, highlights of past student performances, video clips featuring scenes from the play, and a selection of primary documents that correlate to classroom activities.

tag(s): american revolution (82), poetry (190), songs (44), washington (25)

In the Classroom

Include this resource with your remote learning resources for teaching social studies. Engage students in learning about the founding of the United States through the music and words of Hamilton. Include activities available through this site along with your selected videos, documents, websites, and more to create a complete online lesson using ActivelyLearn, reviewed here. Have students use Canva Edu, reviewed here, to create posters for the play using information learned from the primary sources included with this site. Extend learning even further by challenging students to write a play about the American Revolution using ActiveTextbook, reviewed here, to create an interactive experience with videos, images, and more. For students who prefer drama and music presentations, ask them to share their learning with podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Have students create podcasts telling the story as if they were a participant in the revolution and share their stories from different points of view.
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Audacity - Audacity

Grades
6 to 12
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Audacity is a free, open-source audio editor and recording tool that works across most computer platforms. Follow the links to download the software onto your computer to use with a...more
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Audacity is a free, open-source audio editor and recording tool that works across most computer platforms. Follow the links to download the software onto your computer to use with a variety of recording needs. Create audio using your files or create new files using your microphone or uploaded files. This is the perfect place to create your mixtapes!

tag(s): editing (90), podcasts (79), songs (44), sound (73)

In the Classroom

Use Audacity in a variety of ways in your classroom. Let students become familiar with creating audio files by practicing voice recordings and experimenting with Audacity's editing tools. As students become familiar with this tool, use its many features to create background audio for podcasts, to create podcasts, or to record audio instructions for lessons. Ask students to use Audacity to record interviews of parents or other family members. For example, when studying immigration, ask students to record the story of a family member who immigrated to the U.S.

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Cooper-Hewitt Lesson Plans - Cooper-Hewitt & The Smithsonian Institution

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K to 12
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Cooper-Hewitt Lesson Plans shares almost 500 lesson plans for educators from PreK through high school. Topics include all content areas, including the arts and technology. Use the site's...more
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Cooper-Hewitt Lesson Plans shares almost 500 lesson plans for educators from PreK through high school. Topics include all content areas, including the arts and technology. Use the site's filters to search for lessons by content and grade level or sort by newest first to find the most recent additions to the collection. Each lesson is correlated to Common Core Standards and includes attachments with supplemental materials when indicated as part of lesson activities.

tag(s): commoncore (75), preK (258), Teacher Utilities (148), teaching strategies (41)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to find lessons to supplement your current curriculum in any subject. As you plan and teach any of these lessons, consider different options for using technology to enhance and extend student learning. Take advantage of the many resources found at Class Tools, reviewed here, for your or your students to create quizzes, graphic organizers, timelines, and more. As you include the lessons into your teaching unit, use bookmarking sites to organize information for your students. Symbaloo, reviewed here, is excellent for use with younger students because of the simple, easy to follow design. For older students, try Raindrop.io, reviewed here. Raindrop.io includes tools for you to collaborate and add notes while saving and sharing resources. Extend learning for students of all ages with Edublog, reviewed here. Consider using Edublog for students to write blogs, respond to their peers, and interact with a larger global community.

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Open Course Library - Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Grades
10 to 12
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Open Course Library is an impressive collection of free, downloadable course materials. Materials include syllabi, activities, readings, assessments, and more. The course topics cover...more
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Open Course Library is an impressive collection of free, downloadable course materials. Materials include syllabi, activities, readings, assessments, and more. The course topics cover a variety of content in all subject areas. Use the search feature to narrow down available information. Most links lead to course information found on shareable Google Documents.

tag(s): anthropology (10), business (47), careers (139), cells (81), communication (135), french (74), geology (64), literature (218), media literacy (103), nutrition (135), oceans (150), OER (43), psychology (67), sign language (10), spanish (105), speech (66), statistics (116), women (137), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Use these excellent free course materials in a variety of ways. Share courses with students with specific career interests not covered by traditional curriculums such as aerospace or anthropology. Provide students the opportunity to participate in college-level learning experiences without risk by using materials found in the courses on the site. These courses are perfect for use with gifted students to offer them content at a level that challenges them. As students learn from the information found in the courses on this site, ask them to reflect and share their learning through a digital portfolio created with Pathbrite, reviewed here. Students can even include their digital portfolio as part of their college application process at many universities.

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ArtsNow - ArtsNow.org

Grades
K to 12
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ArtsNow provides a large variety of resources for teaching and integrating art across the curriculum. Choose from Curriculum Guides, Modules, or Integrated Units to begin. Browse the...more
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ArtsNow provides a large variety of resources for teaching and integrating art across the curriculum. Choose from Curriculum Guides, Modules, or Integrated Units to begin. Browse the Curriculum Guides by grade level or content. Download any guide in PDF format for a complete lesson overview including, correlation to National and Georgia state standards. This site also includes several integrated units for grades K-7. Download any unit for all unit resources including, activities, rubrics, and suggestions for differentiation. Choose modules for grades K-5 that integrate STEAM activities. Modules include a strong focus on integrating the arts with science concepts such as magnets and ecosystems. Don't miss the Video Modules and the At Home Resources found under the Resources tab at the top right corner of the page.

tag(s): animals (284), art history (86), civil war (134), geometric shapes (136), maps (207), matter (46), seasons (36), STEM (265), stories and storytelling (42), temperature (35), weather (165)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans and classroom activities to integrate art into your everyday classroom activities. Consider coordinating lessons with your school's art and music teachers. Expand upon the ideas found on this site to bring other art forms into the lessons. For example, take advantage of poetry resources and interactives found at ReadWriteThink, reviewed here, and have students create diamante, acrostic, and haiku poems relating to your lessons. Enhance student learning further by asking students or groups of students to create webpages sharing their learning activities using a resource like Carrd, reviewed here. This very simple tool allows users to add images and text to create a beautiful website using the provided templates. Be sure to ask students to include a reflective writing piece describing their learning throughout your unit. Take learning to the highest level and ask students to design and create a series of podcasts using Anchor, reviewed here. Ask students to discuss their learning activities, and also hypothesize on different outcomes of experiments when changing elements or activities. For example, if creating a podcast discussing changes in matter, have students share their thoughts on how the room and outdoor temperature affects outcomes. What if they used juice instead of water? Would the change from ice to liquid take the same amount of time?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Eleanor Amplified - WHYY Philadelphia

Grades
3 to 12
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Eleanor Amplified is a podcast about a reporter who crosses land, sea, and air trying to discover the truth about an evil corporation. Each episode runs less than 15 minutes ...more
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Eleanor Amplified is a podcast about a reporter who crosses land, sea, and air trying to discover the truth about an evil corporation. Each episode runs less than 15 minutes and recreates the feel of radio dramas from the past. The author states that the four significant lessons learned from the project are "Don't be greedy, ambition has its limits, commercialism can have side effects, seeking truth and speaking truth is important in and of itself."

tag(s): behavior (43), character education (75), creative writing (119), journalism (72), listening (71), podcasts (79)

In the Classroom

Listen to podcasts together as a class. Ask students to share key information from each episode and share using an online bulletin board like Pinside, reviewed here. After each episode, have students use the Breaking News Generator, reviewed here, to entice others to listen to the podcast or as a short summary of the episode. Challenge students to create their own podcast adventure and share using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Buzzsprout offers up to 2 hours per month of free podcast hosting.

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MakerSpace Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the MakerSpace movement and mindset. Engage your students, challenge their...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the MakerSpace movement and mindset. Engage your students, challenge their minds, teach cooperative learning, and more. There is no right or wrong way to do a MakerSpace. Use the tools provided to find digital options to use in your MakerSpace area. Read the professional information to educate yourself about the mindset of MakerSpace.

tag(s): circuits (20), coding (90), creativity (91), engineering (120), makerspace (41), musical instruments (47), robotics (22), STEM (265)

In the Classroom

Use these resources for your digital MakerSpace. Find tools for all grades. Don't miss the Twitter Chat for teachers just starting a MakerSpace. There are also a few sites that have more information for educators just learning about MakerSpace. Some of these resources are ideal for individual devices.

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