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October 2011 Big Deal Book of Technology eNewsletter
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October 3, 2011
Timely reminders, fabulous freebies, best sites & more "worth the surf"
In This Issue
Grants and Other Funding Sources
Awards, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities
Free and Inexpensive Resources
Game-Based Learning
"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites
Bookmark These!
In Partnership With:

Grants and Other Funding Sources

Provide Movement Activities for Children with Disabilities
CVS Caremark Community Grants provide funds of up to $5,000 for public school programs that promote a greater level of inclusion of children with disabilities in extracurricular activities. Proposed programs may include either physical activities or play opportunities for youth under age 21 and should address the specific needs of the population served.
Deadline: October 31, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Become a Mathematics Teacher-Leader
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics grants are intended to increase the breadth and depth of the mathematics content knowledge of K–5 teachers who have demonstrated commitment to mathematics teaching and learning. Applicants must have the support of their school principal in becoming a mathematics teacher-leader within their school or district. For the 2012–2013 school year, grants with a maximum of $6,000 each will be awarded. Only one teacher per school may receive the award. The grant recipient will be expected to provide ongoing professional development within the school or district to strengthen teachers’ mathematical understandings and instructional practices. Current (as of October 14, 2011) full individual or e-members of NCTM are eligible to apply for the grant.
Deadline: November 11, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Demonstrate the Connectivity of Mathematics
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Engaging Students in Learning grants are given to incorporate middle school classroom materials or lessons that actively engage students in tasks and experiences to deepen and connect their content knowledge. Materials may be in the form of books, visual displays, slideshows, videotapes or other appropriate media. The focus of these materials should be on showing the connectivity of mathematics to other fields or to the everyday world. Materials may not be calculators, computers or related equipment. Proposals must address one or more of the NCTM content standards (number and operations, geometry, measurement, algebra) and include a plan for developing and evaluating materials as well as a statement of the anticipated impact on student learning. To be eligible for a grant of up to $3,000, applicants must be current (as of October 14, 2011) full individual or e-members of NCTM or those teaching at a school with a current (as of October 14, 2011) NCTM preK–8 school membership who teach mathematics in grades 6–8 at least 50 percent of the school day.
Deadline: November 11, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Use Music to Increase Math Achievement
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Using Mathematics to Teach Music grant encourages the incorporation of music into the elementary school classroom to help young students learn mathematics. Any acquisition of equipment must support the proposed plan but not be the primary focus of the grant. Proposals must address the following: the combining of mathematics and music; the plan for improving students’ learning of mathematics; and the anticipated impact on students' achievement. To be eligible for a grant of up to $3,000, applicants must be current (as of October 14, 2011) full individual or e-members of NCTM or those teaching at a school with a current (as of October 14, 2011) NCTM preK–8 school membership.
Deadline: November 11, 2011
Click Here for More Information
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Awards, Competitions and Other "Winning” Opportunities

Share Innovative Teaching and Learning Materials
The Adobe Education Exchange has announced The 2011 Educators’ Choice Awards. Educators can win valuable prizes by producing and submitting innovative teaching and learning materials. Adobe’s education colleagues will rate your work, so impress them with exciting projects, lesson plans, curricula, tutorials and other submissions. Prizes—including laptop and tablet computers, digital cameras and Adobe software—will be awarded in four categories: Primary/Secondary Cross-Curricula; Primary/Secondary Digital Arts and Media; Higher Education Cross-Curricular; Higher Education Digital Arts and Media. The entry period is under way, so start submitting your entries today.
Deadline: October 14, 2011
Click Here for More Information
Bring the Wonder of Science to Life
In 2008, Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education launched a Web site emphasizing the importance of math and science in grades 4–6 through a day of free, fun and engaging hands-on science activities. Now in its fourth year, Siemens Science Day has expanded to reach all elementary students and teachers through engaging digital content and the chance to win an Ultimate Cool School Assembly. New standards-aligned science resources, hands-on activities and videos are available for K–6 classrooms.
Deadline: Entries for school assembly accepted through February 28, 2012
Click Here for More Information About Science Day
Click Here for More Information About Assembly
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Free and Inexpensive Resources

Prepare Students for the New Literacies
"HOT Blogging: A Framework to Promote Higher Order Thinking” provides teachers with a systematic way to integrate blogs, deepen comprehension and teach the new literacies of online reading comprehension. This freearticle, by Lisa Zawilinski at the University of Connecticut, describes four kinds of blogs (Classroom News Blogs, Mirror Blogs, Showcase Blogs and Literature Response Blogs) and presents examples by type. In addition, for teachers who wish to begin their own blogging journey, the article includes a simple four-step process as well as links to classroom blog service providers. The article also includes a Synthesis Scaffold for Thinking Across Text for Deeper Understanding.
Click Here to Download Blogging Framework
Switch Facebook into Study Mode
The Facebook application seeks to turn Facebook into a study tool for students. The app diverts students away from their wall and news feed and asks them, "What are you working on?” It then connects students with live group-study sessions on their chosen topic. These sessions can use group videoconferencing, which Facebook itself doesn’t yet offer, as well as the "smart chat” function. Smart chat allows you to type mathematical formulas in English, which are then automatically translated into mathematical notation. A screen-sharing option is coming soon. also saves and archives the study sessions so that users can search for answers in other, older study sessions.
Click Here to Access Free Facebook App
Enhance Students’ Global Awareness
Annually, a committee of the CL/R SIG (Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group) of the International Reading Association (IRA) selects 25 outstanding trade books for enhancing students’ understanding of people and cultures throughout the world. The outstanding books selected for K–12 represent the year’s best in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. To be eligible for the Notable Books for a Global Society (NBGS) annual list, a book must have been published in the United States the previous year. For example, the books on the 2010 list were published in 2009.
Click Here to Access Free Notable Book List for 2010
Plus: A printable list of notable books from 2005 through 2009 is accessible from the NBGS Web site.
Click Here to Access Free Book Lists for 2005–2009
Connect Students with the Power of Film
ITVS’s Community Classroom brings innovative media resources to educators in high schools and other youth-serving organizations. In tandem with the community engagement program Community Cinema, Community Classroom provides educational video modules drawn from ITVS’s acclaimed documentary films and pairs them with standards-based lesson plans, activities and other interactive content. The films are selected from among those aired on the PBS series Independent Lens and produced through ITVS International’s Global Perspectives Project. The resources connect 21st century students with video content from independent filmmakers who share new perspectives about a diverse range of people, places, moments in history and history-in-the-making. The film modules and lesson plans are designed to be accessible and appropriate for a variety of learning environments. Students and participants can complete each activity in one class period, or teachers can combine multiple activities to create a unit lasting one to two weeks. At home, students can complete assignments through freestreaming video on the program’s Web site and access many of the full-length programs online.
Click Here to Access Free Resources
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Game-Based Learning

Make Decisions to Broker Peace in the Middle East
Innovative teachers are exposing students to serious social issues through computer games such as PeaceMaker, a simulation of the Middle East peace process. In fact, students have to win PeaceMaker twice—once while playing as the Israeli prime minister and once as the Palestinian president. In both cases, students must respond to a rapidly evolving political situation by choosing which actions—building settlements, launching rockets, making speeches—are most likely to broker peace. Play the demo and watch the trailer online.
Click Here to Play PeaceMaker Demo
Frame Complicated Issues As Personal Quests
Makes You Think is a collection of socially positive games from the British game developer Red Redemption. Each Makes You Think game allows students to make discoveries about the subject while they play. For example, in the Climate Challenge game, students take the "hot seat” to guide Europe through the 21st century, making tough choices that could make the difference between a safe or dangerous future for humanity. Will their ideas save the planet, or will they get voted out of power?
Click Here to Play Climate Challenge Game
Plus: Energy waste in the office is a major cause of carbon dioxide emissions. In the Trouble Shooter! game, students have 90 seconds to go through a typical office and turn off machines that are not being used or are wasting energy. But they need to be careful not to turn off things people are using, or they will lose commonsense points.
Click Here to Play Trouble Shooter Game
Step into the Shoes of a Teen-Aged Immigrant
Last year, Breakthrough, a human rights nonprofit group, rolled out a game called ICED (ICan End Deportation), for teenagers. In the game, students role-play an immigrant teen trying to earn citizenship. Even players who attempt to avoid trouble with the law can be sent to an immigration detention center for minor infractions—a possibility confronted by legal as well as illegal U.S. immigrants. As a result, game play can feel arbitrary, frustrating or even frightening; players sent to solitary confinement find themselves staring at a black screen. That’s intentional—to give the player a sense of the kinds of constraints that immigrant youth have to live under. To make sure the game accurately reflects these concerns, 100 high school students—many of them undocumented immigrants—participated in the game’s creation, helping come up with everything from the characters to the backdrop concepts.
Click Here to Play ICED Game
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Discover Why Leaves Change Color
Plant pigments play an important role in capturing light for photosynthesis. These pigments give leaves their colors. In this hands-on activity from the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, students use chromatography to separate the pigments in leaves and see what they’re made of.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Tackle Science in Pursuit of Learning
Science of NFL Football is a 10-part video series created by NBC Learn in partnership with the National Football League (NFL). Featuring exclusive footage and contributions from NFL players and scientists from the National Science Foundation, the series helps teach students concepts such as nutrition, kinematics and projectile motion. Lessonopoly has created student activities and lesson plans to support the video series.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
See Scientists in Action
All kinds of people become scientists, and scientists do all kinds of things. On Scientists @ the Smithsonian, students can watch and read about 21 scientists at the Smithsonian, including Liz Cottrell, volcano watcher; Conrad Labandeira, fossel hunter; the Freer Team, art scientists, Stefan Schnitzer, jungle explorer, and Mary Hagedorn, reef doctor. The site also includes Women in Science—an archive of photographs showing women scientists and engineers at work as well as women trained in science and engineering who work outside the laboratory as librarians, writers, political activists or in other areas where their work informed or was informed by science.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Click Here to Access Women in Science Archive
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"Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites

Explore the U.S. Senate Through Art
The art in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol and the Senate office buildings has been acquired principally for its public, patriotic and commemorative characteristics. The Senate’s art is intended to commit to posterity the persons and events of our national history, centered on the institution of the Senate and the founding of the Republic. This Web site presents paintings spanning over 200 years of American history by some of the country’s preeminent artists; a sculpture collection that celebrates the great figures of our national history; and more than 1,000 graphic images that document the Senate, the Capitol and American political history. The site also features online exhibits about the Senate’s history, as seen through its art and historical collections, and specialized collections, including presidential inaugural memorabilia.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Plus: Tap into a glossary of terms—from act to yield time—related to the Senate and its responsibilities.
Click Here to Access Glossary
Examine Stories Revealing Social Change
One of the most popular PBS programs ever was The Political Dr. Seuss, which revealed how children’s author Theodor Geisel advocated social change, teaching generations of children not only how to be better readers but better people as well. On the Independent Lens Web site, you’ll find video clips from the program as well as two free, downloadable lessons that examine how the famed children’s author was influenced by the political and social issues of the day, including racism, injustice and especially World War II. Students can also examine how important ideas and themes are addressed in their own favorite books and analyze political cartoons, past and present. These lessons are directed toward grades 7–12 for use in the following subject areas: language arts, social studies, art and civics.
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Click Here to Download Free Lessons
Click Here to Visit Cartoon Gallery
Grab the Scuba Gear and Go on a Virtual Dive
Summer may be over, but your students can still explore the underwater world of coral reefs. At the Chicago Field Museum’s WhyReef site, students will learn the signs of a healthy reef and find out what can make it sick. They’ll swim with the different creatures that live in and around a coral reef and play WhyReef’s food web game to find out who eats whom on a reef. Encourage students to dive into WhyReef at different times of the day. They never know when a great white shark or a giant sea turtle might swim by!
Click Here to Visit Web Site
Plus: Visit the WhyReef YouTube Channel for instructional videos on how to use WhyReef in your classroom. You can also download the WhyReef Educator Guide from the WhyReef site.
Click Here to Visit WhyReef YouTube Channel
Click Here to Download Free Educator Guide
Get Tips for Using YouTube in the Classroom
YouTube has launched a new channel designed specifically for educators that provides tips on how to use the tool in the classroom. The tips show everything from organizing videos to sparking lively discussions to help struggling students through videos. The channel also offers a new mailing list, the YouTube Teachers Community, to allow educators to share their own tips and ideas.
Click Here to Visit YouTube Teachers Channel
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Bookmark These!

Browse for a wide variety of products published by leading K–12 education companies, all of them delivered digitally. Many of the ebooks can be used on interactive whiteboards and various mobile reading devices. All of the books whose covers you see displayed are on sale at a 15% discount. To stay informed about what’s going on with ebooks in K–12 schools, sign up for the freeenewsletter, K12 TeacherFile.
Get a freecopy of The Big Deal eBook of Resources for 21st Century Teaching & Learning:Information, Media and Digital Literacies. Explore this collection of resources to help students locate, evaluate, use and mange information efficiently; interpret and communicate messages effectively; and master the digital tools to become informed citizens and productive 21st century workers.
Sign up at The Big Deal Book Website for hELLo!, afree quarterly ELL e-newsletter that includes a wealth of information on interactive resources for students, teachers, librarians, principals and others involved in the education of English language learners.
Download a free eBook of the popular print edition of The Big Deal Book of Technology for K–12 Educators. Explore the many opportunities to fund your special programs, access timely reports and articles, locate free and inexpensive resources and identify engaging interactive Web sites.
Register online to download the Big Deal eBook for Educators of English Language Learners. Inside this free eBook, you’ll find links to resources and a range of ideas to engage your English language learners.
Join The Big Deal Book of Technology’s "Amazing Resources for Educators” community on the edWeb to get more frequent updates on grant deadlines, freeresources and hot new sites for 21st century learning. And, of course, you can share any great new resources that you’ve unearthed!
Browse the new Big Deal eBookstore, in partnership with! Find thousands of titles from your favorite educational publishers.
Explore the Web Wednesday feature on Here you’ll find new interactive experiences and resources that incorporate 21st century themes and skills into the study of core subjects.
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