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Dihedral Figures - NCTM Illuminations

6 to 12

This site offers practice in recognizing dihedral symmetry. Students also practice reflections in figures and symmetry. Simply click on the red squares to alter and rotate the figures....more
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This site offers practice in recognizing dihedral symmetry. Students also practice reflections in figures and symmetry. Simply click on the red squares to alter and rotate the figures. There is also a lesson plan available (click on "Recognizing Transformations").

tag(s): rotation (12), symmetry (51)

In the Classroom

Have students explore this site on individual computers. If individual computers aren't available, share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you are a geometry teacher, be sure to list this link on your class website.

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Frieze Patterns - NCTM Illuminations

4 to 12

This site offers seven simple interactives that demonstrate various classes of Frieze patterns (patterns of symmetry). Students can experiment at this site with Glide Reflection and...more
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This site offers seven simple interactives that demonstrate various classes of Frieze patterns (patterns of symmetry). Students can experiment at this site with Glide Reflection and Rotation, Horizontal and Vertical Reflections, and Translations. Click on the small red circles to transform the figures, use the red "s" to stretch or shorten the pattern. Some of the terminology is even applicable in elementary math.

There is a link to a detailed lesson plan (including a few lesson plans, printables, and interactives). This site is aligned to national standards. The site requires both Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): rotation (12), transformations (19)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit about rotation and/or reflection. Have students work with partners to explore this site together. Have students create their own patterns using graph paper or a drawing program with lines of symmetry and simple "flip horizontal" or "flip vertical" commands. Take advantage of the ready to go lesson plans, printables, and more.

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Tower of Hanoi - NCTM Illuminations

6 to 12
This traditional "Tower of Hanoi" challenges secondary (and possibly gifted elementary) students to move all of the interactive discs from the left peg to the right peg. The goal is...more
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This traditional "Tower of Hanoi" challenges secondary (and possibly gifted elementary) students to move all of the interactive discs from the left peg to the right peg. The goal is to move the discs using the lowest number of moves. This site requires Java. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): brain (67), logic (247), puzzles (205)

In the Classroom

Use this activity for independent challenges at the beginning of your math class. List this site on your class blog or website for students to try at home. Ask your advanced students to generate a "how to" explanation for the challenge.

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Primary KRYPTO - NCTM Illuminations

2 to 7

This interactive activity is a primary Krypto using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You will build number sense as well as computation skills. The rules are simple:...more
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This interactive activity is a primary Krypto using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You will build number sense as well as computation skills. The rules are simple: combine five numbers and choose the operation in between to obtain the final "target" number. Primary Krypto uses the numbers 1-10 only. You simply "drag and drop" the numbers to the correct locations. To choose the operation, you click on the smaller boxes and the symbols (+, -, etc) appear. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): addition (224), division (157), multiplication (209), number sense (95), subtraction (186), vision (78)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is an excellent challenge for young gifted students. Have students work in pairs to try out these interactive puzzles. You may find them challenging each other to do more as they become addicted!

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Diffen - Diffen

2 to 12
Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the ...more
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the similarities and differences in a table format. View simple definitions under the information table. Need more information? Wikipedia style entries of information area also available on the page. There is a Top 5 list. At the time of this review, the Top 5 included "Gross vs. Net," "Affected vs. Effected," "Meiosis vs. Mitosis," "DNA vs. RNA," and "Fruit vs. Vegetable. While not ALL topics are included, the variety is impressive. You can add your own comparison of terms to the list. You may want to discuss with your class the fact that the information here is only as reliable as the people who submitted it, and ask them whether they agree with the comparisons you find here. NOTE: If you explore some of the ready-mades or requested topics, there are some topics "compared" that are not school oriented, such as comparisons of popular television characters. Preview before turning students loose or simply direct them to a specific "diffen."

tag(s): vocabulary (314)

In the Classroom

The options are endless. Search the differences between two types of soils, mitosis and meiosis, presidents or those running for office, of geometric figures, artists or musicians, places to visit. As a way to build higher order thinking skills, this site is ideal, since comparison of attributes requires analysis.

Try creating some lists of your own as a class after using the ready-made ones here. This activity would be easy to do on an interactive whiteboard, with students hand writing the characteristics and dragging them into Similarities and Differences columns before entering them into Diffen. This site could be used in nearly every subject area. Share this site on your class blog or website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. This is definitely one to save in your favorites.

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Fantastic contraption - InXile Entertainment

3 to 10

Use this physics mechanism creator to build amazing contraptions. Stretch your brain with the puzzles and contraptions to move the object in to the goal. Use simple URLS to share ...more
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Use this physics mechanism creator to build amazing contraptions. Stretch your brain with the puzzles and contraptions to move the object in to the goal. Use simple URLS to share your fantastic creations with your friends. Follow the simple instructions and tutorial. Visit the forum for challenges and fixes to activities.

tag(s): machines (26), newton (25), simple machines (35)

In the Classroom

Share the tutorial on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students make a contraption and then discuss the simple machines used to create the contraption. Create a contest for the most elaborate contraption or for creativity in reaching the goal. Share the student created contraption (providing the URL) on you class website or blog. Have students write an explanation of their contraption on the blog or wiki, using terms from physics and Newton's laws. More able students can create several alternate machines to accomplish the same task and compare them.

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Thanksgiving Day Vocabulary - Myvocabulary.com

3 to 8

As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Thanksgiving. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Thanksgiving...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Thanksgiving. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Thanksgiving vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): thanksgiving (33), vocabulary (314)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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KENKEN - Nextoy, LLC

4 to 12

The KENKEN craze is spreading quickly across the world! Created in 2004 by Japanese Math Teacher, Tetsuya Miyamoto, these puzzles are fun, educational, and addictive. At first, these...more
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The KENKEN craze is spreading quickly across the world! Created in 2004 by Japanese Math Teacher, Tetsuya Miyamoto, these puzzles are fun, educational, and addictive. At first, these puzzles appear very similar to Sudoku puzzles. They have a few added components (more math and logic required). There are various levels of difficulties (3x3 puzzles through 9x9 puzzles). For 3x3 puzzles, you use only numbers 1-3, for 4x4 puzzles you use only numbers 1-4, and so on. At the time of our review of this brand-new puzzle, the 3x3 puzzles had not been created. But they add new puzzles daily, so check back! The rules are simple: each number can only be used once in any row or column. There are also "cages" which are represented by heavily outlined sets of squares. The goal is to produce the target number (in the corner of the cage). Numbers can be repeated within one cage, just so the number is not already in the row or column. Want to learn more? View the How to Play link that includes written instructions and a tutorial video. Puzzles are also PRINTABLE. Don't miss the link for teachers. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): addition (224), division (157), logic (247), multiplication (209), puzzles (205), subtraction (186), sudoku (16), vision (78)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore the puzzles on their own. Use this site to differentiate for various students. Be certain to save this site in your favorites and check back often. List this link on your class website so students can "play" both in and out of the classroom. Have older students attempt to create their own KENKEN puzzles. It's not as easy as you think.

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Presidential Baseball - Northwestern University

6 to 12

You'll need to be a real baseball fan to avoid striking out at this online game that compares presidents and baseball players. The players are mostly obscure, but even a ...more
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You'll need to be a real baseball fan to avoid striking out at this online game that compares presidents and baseball players. The players are mostly obscure, but even a good guess or two makes this one fun. It's done by the folks who created Northwestern University's Oyez, Oyez about the Supreme Court. Different, but worth a visit. This site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): baseball (35), presidents (124)

In the Classroom

Divide your class into two teams and play a round of Presidential Baseball! Share the questions on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Virtual Fish Tank - Nearlife, Inc.

4 to 8

The business of furnishing your own fish tank lets students pick fish based on a series of environmental conditions, then see how the various fish interact with one another. Registered...more
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The business of furnishing your own fish tank lets students pick fish based on a series of environmental conditions, then see how the various fish interact with one another. Registered users you can create a fish, save the fish for later, and some other "extra" features. With creating the fish, students will learn more about the food chain, the hunger (mouth) of various fish, the eyes (fear) of various fish, interests of the fish, and the depth the fish typically will swim in the aquarium.

The site allows you to take a tour, or register for free. Registration requires about 30-seconds and you do not need to provide an email account or address of any form. This site requires ShockWave. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fish (24), habitats (110), oceans (165)

In the Classroom

This site is ready to go for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work individually or with partners to create accounts and create their own fish. Then have the students share their creations on the interactive whiteboard or projector. This site offers some good research for projects about marine animals.

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Mathematics in Movies - Oliver Knill

6 to 12

This site features engaging movie scenes (in Quicktime and Flash formats) that involve Math problems. Beside each clip and title is an explanation of the Math concept in the clip. ...more
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This site features engaging movie scenes (in Quicktime and Flash formats) that involve Math problems. Beside each clip and title is an explanation of the Math concept in the clip. Most are secondary level, but a few are for lower grades. If you click on the TITLE of the movie, you will be lead to a site to purchase, rate, and/or view the movie in its entirety. To avoid this confusion, be sure to click on the "Play the Flash Version or QuickTime" links. These links lead directly to the "math clip." Links at the bottom lead to other movie collections websites.

tag(s): logic (247), movies (69), patterns (87)

In the Classroom

Use the links "Begin of Lectures in College teaching" and "The end of lectures in college teaching" to identify effective and ineffective teaching elements at all levels. Use these clips for anticipatory set or activators at the start of a lesson or introduction of a concept. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss the concepts as a class or have students work in cooperative learning groups. See if students can identify any other movie or television show that has used math concepts. If time permits, have students create their own mini-dramas that include discussion of math concepts within the story.

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St. Patrick's Day Theme Unit - edhelper.com

K to 8

Visit this site to find "ready-to-go" critical thinking activities, math activities, reading comprehension activities, language arts fun, puzzles and more! The math and language arts...more
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Visit this site to find "ready-to-go" critical thinking activities, math activities, reading comprehension activities, language arts fun, puzzles and more! The math and language arts activities include grade levels. There is Irish Sudoku, the story of "Leprechauns at the Amusement Park" and many more highly diverse and educational activities. Some activities are for "members only", but most of the activities are open to everyone.

tag(s): st patricks day (13)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and challenge your students with this St. Patrick's Day fun!

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Sharp Brains - Sharpbrains

6 to 12

Do you see the gorilla? Use the basketball mind stretcher to find out! This site offers some traditional and not so traditional mind stretchers. The general topic areas include How...more
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Do you see the gorilla? Use the basketball mind stretcher to find out! This site offers some traditional and not so traditional mind stretchers. The general topic areas include How Your Brain Works, Attention, Memory, Pattern Recognition and Planning, Visual Workouts, Visual Illusions, Language and Logic, and others. Some of the activities are quick (less than a minute) while others require more time. The activities could be used in many subject areas; there are language activities, math, general logic, and even some for physical education.

Be aware: each mind stretcher activity includes a blog. Some of the blog comments may not be appropriate, so be sure to READ any blogs that you plan to share. You may want to make these activities a group challenge, rather than individual exploration. Many are interactive and require Flash or Java. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): brain (67), logic (247), puzzles (205), stress (12)

In the Classroom

Start your class (any subject area) with a mind stretcher or include this as part of a psychology or biology lesson on how the brain works. Share the puzzle or challenge on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your students to create their own logic activities and create a class "Logic" wiki.

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More

2 to 10
This site offers some fabulous (and addicting) mind stretchers. There are both visual and verbal puzzles. There is also a puzzle archive featuring a variety of puzzles for various grade...more
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This site offers some fabulous (and addicting) mind stretchers. There are both visual and verbal puzzles. There is also a puzzle archive featuring a variety of puzzles for various grade levels. Some of the puzzles are interactive and you complete them online, while others are printable. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): logic (247), puzzles (205)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites. Use a logic puzzle as a class opener to "warm up" brains. Display the puzzle on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Print out the logic puzzles for students to complete for additional enrichment. Use this site with your gifted students. Provide a link to this site on your class website for students to use at home. Challenge your students to create some puzzlers of their own and share them on a class wiki.

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Think Tank - ALTEC at the University of Kansas

4 to 8
The next time a research project comes along, send students to this site to help them get organized. Think Tank is designed to assist in the development of topics and ...more
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The next time a research project comes along, send students to this site to help them get organized. Think Tank is designed to assist in the development of topics and subtopics for reports and projects. After defining their subject or perusing a list of suggestions, students are asked to narrow the scope of their project by choosing from a collection of subtopics. Results may be printed.

tag(s): air (144), science fairs (25)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your students before a new research project is assigned. Have students explore the site on individual computers while you model how to navigate the site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site to help students narrow down their research topic.

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Seussville - Random House

K to 8

Find everything Seuss in one place: interactive games, classroom activities, printables, and much more. Audio cues help non-readers to navigate the site (and can be turned off at top...more
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Find everything Seuss in one place: interactive games, classroom activities, printables, and much more. Audio cues help non-readers to navigate the site (and can be turned off at top right). Find videos, author information, and learning games featuring the famous Seuss characters. The Educator link takes you to lesson plans and teaching ideas for use throughout the year, not just for Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2! This site seems to work best with the Edge browser. This is where you will find Read Across America printables and more. Since the publisher obviously wants to sell books, there is complete information for purchasing books, as well, but it is not offensive.

tag(s): dr seuss (11), read across america (6)

In the Classroom

Primary grade teachers will want to share this site on their teacher web page for students to visit over and over both in school and out. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector to show students where to find all the best learning activities, then have students explore on individual computers or at a center. This is a great "indoor recess" option! Teachers of students in older grades-- even middle school -- can use this site during Read Across America celebrations. Have student groups create a Seuss-style book-in-verse on a current curriculum topic, using this site for inspiration. How about a book about electricity or alternative energy? Have them create their new interactive "book" using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Kids Memory - kidsknowitnetwork

1 to 8

This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers,...more
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers, one in which you click on bulbs that light up after the lights turn off, and one that has you click on parts of faces to improve sequential memory. Most of the games have several levels so these activities can easily be differentiated for your students. The site provides specific ideas for ways teachers can use the activities.

There are some minor advertisements included at this website. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or computer station for higher scores or better times than another team. Learning support teachers may want to try it as a memory improvement tool. Our editors really do not know if it works or not. Leave a comment on this review if you try it(TF members can do this)!

Save this site in your favorites. Use the site for enrichment, or test it out as a memory tool as you try out different study skills. You may want to list this site in your class newsletter and on your class website for students to use at home.

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Up and Down Words - Merriam Webster

3 to 10

In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second ...more
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second word.That, in turn, becomes the first part of the next answer. The goal is to get to the 7th word combo whose second half started the game. Clickable hints assist students with the first letter missing word. You are able to click on the clues (to get more letters) as often as needed to solve the puzzle. There are new puzzles every weekday and archived puzzles from previous dates. There are two difficulty levels. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (208), idioms (42), puzzles (205), spelling (165)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for vocabulary enhancement and understanding of idioms. Speech and language teachers may want to use it to teach word combinations, as well. Students can easily play this game in pairs. Since teachers can also print the blank activity, you can use it for a desk activity or homework assignment. After students get used to this idea, have them make their own word ladders on the interactive whiteboard, as a sequence of animated PowerPoint slides, or collaboratively as a graphic organizer using an online tool such as Gliffy or Mindomo.

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Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles - Alexander Bogomolny

3 to 12
Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). ...more
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Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). The activities are divided up into the following categories: Arithmetic, Math Games & Puzzles, Logic, Fractals & Chaos, Fallacies, Calculus, Combinatorial Games, Algebra, Visual Illusions, Computer Math Magic, Combinatorics, Geometry, Eye Opener Series, Social Science, Mathematical Droodles, and Analog Devices. Each category has numerous interactive activities included. The site is frequently updated. There are some small advertisements at the site. This site is simple to use and offers a wealth of options for many grade levels. The activities are not time-consuming and offer simple explanations with the applets.

tag(s): angles (87), logic (247), money (184), puzzles (205)

In the Classroom

Use these applets on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a lesson in math class. Have students work independently on the logic and puzzle activities. These activities are ideal for gifted students (for advancement and/or enrichment) or extra practice for struggling students. Provide this link on your class website, so students can explore at home or as review.

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Mike's Math Club - Milken Family Foundation

K to 7
This website presents math activities in a clever format. Although this math link is mainly PDF files that are printable, many of the activities could be projected on a screen ...more
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This website presents math activities in a clever format. Although this math link is mainly PDF files that are printable, many of the activities could be projected on a screen or interactive whiteboard while students work independently at their seats. This website offers "ready to print," motivating practice pages in vibrant color. Activities are also available in Spanish. Topics include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra, coding, puzzles, fractions, factors, and many more. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): addition (224), division (157), factors (40), fractions (231), multiplication (209), puzzles (205), subtraction (186), vision (78)

In the Classroom

Project the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector while students work independently (or in pairs) at their seats. There is also a Teachers Corner with many lesson ideas - check it out!