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Central Park Conservancy - Central Park Conservancy

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There...more
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There is tour and event information, so whether you're planning a virtual field trip or an actual field trip to Central park, this site is worth your viewing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (320), environment (322), national parks (21), plants (176), trees (30), virtual field trips (54)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan a trip to the park. Or, create a virtual field trip by designating specific places on the website that students have to visit. Have students locate different buildings, art, and trees in the park. It could be a great way to do a virtual leaf collection (in this case - tree collection) with the site's tree database. Have students find at least ten different trees and then create a presentation providing different information about those trees, including their locations in the park. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use the site to help teach geography content such as latitude and longitude by having the students create a map to "escape the park."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How To SMILE - National Science Digital Library

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site...more
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site is constantly growing. There are several ways to use the site both as a registered user or without registration. Without registering for the site you can search and access lessons and information through the different search methods such as keywords, subjects, source institution, and more. Free registration allows the site to become much more personalized. After registering, you can make lists of resources for any different topic, share lists or searches with others, add comments, or add your own resources. Most activities on the site are free; however, there are some searches that deliver lessons that are paid - these are clearly indicated and not frequent enough to discourage use of this site. Searches can also filter out any paid activities and return only free items. Teachers may also want to subscribe to the site's blog and newsletter to receive updated information as it is added to the site.

In case you are wondering about the title, SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).

tag(s): resources (106), social networking (108), STEM (193), video (272)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect way to organize and sort lessons by topic or age range for future classroom use or to share with fellow teachers. Create a community list of lessons to use within your district. Share this site with other teachers in your building or district as a resource for STEM lessons. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Fall Science Lesson: Why Do Leaves Change Colors? - Melissa Matters

Grades
4 to 7
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Explore making a hypothesis and investigation methods with this fun fall lesson plan. The site includes step-by-step procedures for investigating why leaves change color along with...more
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Explore making a hypothesis and investigation methods with this fun fall lesson plan. The site includes step-by-step procedures for investigating why leaves change color along with links to suggested books to use with the lesson, PowerPoints, and student worksheets. Be sure to check out the links on the right side of the page to other resources with more information explaining leaf color change.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): scientific method (66), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Use this lesson plan in your classroom to explore local leaves changing color in your area. Create a bulletin board showing student investigations and results. Extend this activity for students to explore and label different types of leaves and the trees they came from. Meet another class online in a different part of the country (or world) and compare results from this investigation. Use a site such as Skype (reviewed here).

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Quizbox - Quizbox.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. ...more
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Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. Edit the questions and choices. Complete the quiz and place on your blog. At the end of the quiz, students click submit and get their score. Use the result editor to provide a feedback message depending upon their score.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quiz (84), quizzes (104), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Use as a pre-test at the start of a chapter or unit. Identify misconceptions or basic knowledge to help determine instruction. Identify interests of students at the start of the school year. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.
 

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Online Conversion - Robert Fogt

Grades
3 to 12
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This site is the ultimate resource for any measurement or conversion need. Calculators are included for Math, Science, Cooking, Time, and much more. Categories are listed in alphabetical...more
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This site is the ultimate resource for any measurement or conversion need. Calculators are included for Math, Science, Cooking, Time, and much more. Categories are listed in alphabetical order from Acceleration to Weight/Mass. Within each category are the different converters/calculators. For example, after choosing volume, choices include acres, barrels (dry, federal, liquid, and wine), cubic units, gallons, quarts teaspoons, yards, and more. Other interesting conversions include your weight on other planets, your age in dog years, and translations to and from Pig Latin. You are sure to find exactly the conversion for any need within this site along with others to use just for fun!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (28), measurement (178), temperature (33), time (138)

In the Classroom

Following a lesson on conversions, allow students to access the site to check answers. Mark this site in your favorites and share it on your TeachersFirst public age for quick access. Use as a handy resource on your interactive whiteboard or projector anytime that conversions come up in your classroom. Share this site with students through your class web page or TeachersFirst public page as a resource to use outside of class-- even when cooking with mom or dad!

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Student Produced Video Field Trips - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams ...more
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams the video (live and archived) to students, parents, and others unable to attend in person. TeachersFirst shares this how-to and why-to so you and your students will try it. Expand each point within these pages to learn what to do in detail---and skip the steps you already know or that don't apply!

tag(s): video (272)

In the Classroom

Read through the step by step and get started! TeachersFirst offers all the practical advice you need to try this 21st century approach to real world learning.

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Virtual Visit to a School Garden - TeachersFirst/Meriwether Lewis Elementary

Grades
3 to 8
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Watch the archived version of a live webcast from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School garden on Earth Day 2009, a cooperative project with TeachersFirst. See students explain concepts...more
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Watch the archived version of a live webcast from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School garden on Earth Day 2009, a cooperative project with TeachersFirst. See students explain concepts of organic vegetable gardening, natural building with cob, composting, rainwater collection, planting their new bioswale, Pacific Northwest native plants, and more. TeachersFirst's complete how-to information for making your own video field trips is linked from this page, as well.

tag(s): earth day (104), environment (322)

In the Classroom

Scroll down to a list of suggestions for using this archived webcast in your classroom. Talk about local sites where you might be able to take a team of students to create a local student created "video field trip" to share with other classes both in and outside of your school. See TeachersFirst's complete how-to information to try one of your own.

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TeachersFirst Brain Twister - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
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These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, changed each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz...more
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These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, changed each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz presents ten questions, one at a time. You have only ONE try to pick the correct answer, so think carefully. You get points for each correct answer, totaling up to a possible 100. When you finish, you see your score and how long you spent. Questions are intended to stretch your thinking. Printable versions are available along with answers to the previous week's Twister. A new version of the Twister is mobile-friendly and adjusts to any screen size. Take the Twister with you wherever you go!

In the Classroom

Since elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five-point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.

Do the questions as a whole-class activity with a projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.

Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model and teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.

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Interactive Whiteboard Resources - Woodland Grange Primary School

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers a growing bank of resources for elementary teachers to use with interactive whiteboards or projectors. If you don't have a whiteboard, files can be opened on computers...more
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This site offers a growing bank of resources for elementary teachers to use with interactive whiteboards or projectors. If you don't have a whiteboard, files can be opened on computers for individual use. Files include Excel, Flash, PowerPoint, Word and other formats to download. Use the links at the top of the page to find the appropriate grade range beginning with preschool (foundation) through KS3 (roughly equivalent to middle school). Within each grade level are resources divided by topic such as mathematics, literacy or science. Be sure to check out the "Amusements" section as it isn't just for fun; this category includes activities such as jumbled words and memory games. Sign up for the free mailing list to be notified when new activities are added. You can also add your own resources to the site for others to use. While testing this site, the editor noticed a few of the links either take extremely long to open or don't work at all. However, we still felt this was a great find, since nearly everything else worked perfectly.

tag(s): fluency (25), iwb (33), literacy (105), number sense (94), numbers (194)

In the Classroom

Introduce activities to your classroom then use this site as a learning center (use on computer if you don't have an interactive whiteboard.) These activities are perfect for at-home practice so share the site with parents through your classroom newsletter or blog and include practice for homework.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Biomes of the World - TeachersFirst

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4 to 8
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Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh...more
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Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh water, desert, and the savannah. Each link includes information and pictures. Students can complete an on-line research project on a biome of their choice, using selected web resources, or they can learn the basics of biomes with the information provided in the unit. There are links to the introduction, to learn more about the project, and even a teachers link (with a TON of class activity ideas).

tag(s): biomes (139), earth (223), earth day (104), ecosystems (91)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups to explore this site. Challenge students to create multimedia presentations about the biomes. How about a Powerpoint? Or have students narrate a photo of the biome using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Other options include creating a wiki, blog, or video.
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Earthquake Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also included are sites and tools well suited for projects about earthquakes.

tag(s): earthquakes (51), plate tectonics (22)

In the Classroom

Share this collection as a Favorite on your TeachersFirst public page so students can use the resources as part of a project during your unit on plate tectonics or natural disasters. Use the collection as a starting point, noting the resources that are more challenging for your more able students.

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Learning to Give - Points of Light Institute

Grades
K to 12
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson ...more
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson plans for teachers, parents, and community leaders. Lessons are coded to state standards and can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject, or academic or philanthropy standard. Some lessons are geared toward private or religious schools and are clearly labeled as such. Lessons include subject, key concepts, vocabulary, objectives, materials needed, approximate time, procedures, extensions, handouts, and much more. An example of a grade 3-5 lesson would be Cool Kids Compost which explores responsible use of resources by gathering data about lunchroom waste. Don't let the concept of philanthropy keep you from exploring the site, there are many great classroom lessons available for all subjects.

tag(s): african american (108), animal homes (62), animals (320), charts and graphs (197), colonial america (108), communities (38), data (157), diversity (33), ecology (133), environment (322), heroes (24), money (184), recycling (59)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Piktochart, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Rooclick.

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Earth Science Teaching Lessons - Compiled by Christy Pratt

Grades
4 to 12
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes,...more
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes, Rocks and Minerals, and others. Within each category are links to information, webquests, and videos, as well as lesson plans. One excellent portion of the site may be easy to overlook so be sure to look on the left side of the page for Categories. Here you will find a wealth of information on diverse topics such as historical geography, tsunamis, world records, careers, and more. Within these links are news, videos, and popular items. Note: many of the links will take you to different websites so you will want to review before using with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earthquakes (51), erosion (19), fossils (45), hurricanes (40), maps (295), rocks (52), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (67), water (132), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to view videos and images from the site with your class. Use lesson plans provided as additional resources within Earth Science units. Assign students different portions of the site to review and prepare multimedia projects to share with the class. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to narrate an image using a site such as Thinklink, reviewed here.
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iNudge - Hobnox

Grades
3 to 12
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear ...more
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear sound patterns. Add more instruments to get the mix you want. Combine them, change the tempo, and add other effects. Share by URL or using the embed code.

tag(s): musical notation (39), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use the songs in a writing class as a story prompt. In a language class, list the adjectives and adverbs come to mind while listening to the music prompt. Create music to describe a biome or an animal or plant. Use music to represent culture or reactions to an event in history. Use music to add pizazz to a blog or site. Identify various sounds and the mood they create. View the most listened and newest iNudges found on the site.

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Squareleaf - Squareleaf.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color...more
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color coding and different shaped boxes. Separate information from your personal life and daily tasks. Easily manage daily, weekly or monthly tasks by using this simple to use tool. You can review your post-its from any web connected device.

tag(s): note taking (43)

In the Classroom

Students can easily store their notes and share with others. Use this tool to manage projects and schedule tasks. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be done and the intermediate steps to completing projects. Use different colors and shapes to manage different projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers can use this tool to manage and plan short term tasks, longer term units, and graduate class assignments from their busy lives.

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Project Based Learning for the 21st Century - Buck Institute for Education

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of...more
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of free materials. Read about PBL, watch videos, or download word or pdf documents found under the Tools section. Sign up to participate in the forum for more interaction with the content and other educators using PBL. Click the PBL Do-It Yourself bar along the right side for more information and links. Be sure to check out the tweets on the bottom of the front page for great ideas and links to use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (117)

In the Classroom

Use these ideas in any subject area classroom. Aspects of PBL can be used in introductory activities or whole units. Use driving questions to stimulate student curiosity to know more about how curriculum applies to their lives. Use this PBL framework to give students freedom to research aspects of the content or problem of personal interest. Be sure to view the resources to adequately plan for a successful unit project that incorporates 21st century skills utilizing engaging activities and content.
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Welcome to the Planets - GLS

Grades
2 to 12
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Enjoy NASA's images of planets and spacecraft used in space exploration. This site is a great reference site for concise information about planets, and spacecraft. An online glossary...more
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Enjoy NASA's images of planets and spacecraft used in space exploration. This site is a great reference site for concise information about planets, and spacecraft. An online glossary contains space terms, and the origins of names for planets, moons, or spacecraft that are from Greek mythology, Latin, or famous people. Spacecraft information includes the assembly, lift off, and mission information. Spacecraft information comes in an audio format too. A CD is offered for sale from the National Space Science Data Center.

tag(s): earth (223), planets (131), solar system (121), space (226)

In the Classroom

In science, this site easily lends itself to planetary studies. Science classes can compare mass, density, atmospheric components, and surface materials. Math classes can use information provided for many real life math applications comparing distances, revolutions, temperatures, distance from the sun, mass, and diameter. Practice place value and estimation in a universal way. An extra challenge for gifted students can easily lend itself to mean, median, and mode as well as graphing possibilities. Consider Earth day activities to focus on the uniqueness of our planet and the qualities of our planet to maintain life as we know it. Include as a reference on your web site, or as an informational piece to web quests in math or science. Challenge students to create multimedia presentation highlighting one of the planets or spacecrafts. Have students narrate an image using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here. For quicker projects, create electronic "posters" or word graphics for adopted word using tools such as Piclits, (reviewed here,) or Typogenerator, (reviewed here).

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Why Leaves Change Color - US Forest Service

Grades
4 to 6
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The annual transformation of summer foliage to vivid autumn colors in explained in this simple, informative site. Natural pigments and weather conditions affecting leaf color are described...more
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The annual transformation of summer foliage to vivid autumn colors in explained in this simple, informative site. Natural pigments and weather conditions affecting leaf color are described in easy-to-understand text. Before sending your students to the sight, you may want pull out and introduce some related vocabulary words.

tag(s): fall (11), trees (30)

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International Toys in Space - NASA

Grades
3 to 6
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What happens to your favorite wind-up toy if you try to use it in zero gravity? A NASA shuttle mission took a box of toys into space to find out ...more
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What happens to your favorite wind-up toy if you try to use it in zero gravity? A NASA shuttle mission took a box of toys into space to find out the answer. This site asks your students to predict how various toys would behave in a weightless environment. It's a new twist on formulating hypotheses.

tag(s): space (226)

In the Classroom

Ask your students what their favorite toys are. Have them make a blog entry listing their favorites. Then explore this site together to see what the effects of being in space are on certain toys. Challenge students to blog about their observations using Have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here. Then have students imagine and write about what other toys might do if put on the next research space ship!

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Astronomy Picture of the Day - NASA

Grades
2 to 12
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NASA offers a daily selection of pictures from its various space exploration on this site. Each day the image is explained by a professional astronomer. ...more
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NASA offers a daily selection of pictures from its various space exploration on this site. Each day the image is explained by a professional astronomer.

tag(s): planets (131), space (226), stars (69)

In the Classroom

The daily images would be an excellent stepping-stone to study other aspects of space and space exploration. Visit the archive to find any one item of particular interest. Better yet, allow students to choose an image from the archive for further exploration and research. Results could be reported as an infographic using Visme, reviewed here, for beginning technology teachers and students, or as an interactive newsletter using Sway, reviewed here, for those more advance in the use of technology with their class. Since this site is constantly updated, post a link on your webpage for those students and parents who want to check back frequently.

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