Grants and Other Funding Sources
Boost Your Classroom ResourcesThe online charity DonorsChoose.org matches classroom needs with anonymous benefactors. Most of the requests are from educators in low-income communities. Requests range from pencils for a poetry-writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class. A new donor community recently came to life on DonorsChoose.org: community members are working together to fund classroom projects to support students with autism. On the Web site, find a Teacher Tutorial describing what you can request, as well as tips for success and sample projects.
Inspire the Next Generation of Problem SolversConnect a Million Minds is an initiative of Time Warner Cable that supports and inspires today’s youth to develop the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills they will need in order to become the problem solvers of tomorrow. Organizations for youth aged 11–18 may apply for cash support, which includes grants, project support and scholarships, or in-kind support, which includes free/reduced PSA airtime, video production and free/discounted services.
Encourage Teen-Driver SafetyProject Ignition, sponsored by the State Farm Companies Foundation and the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC), is an annual competition for students in grades 9–12 to promote teen-driver safety. Teams of students create “awareness campaigns” that employ any type or combination of media—television commercials, radio spots, print ads, direct mail, websites, special events, hip-hop performances, art exhibitions and more. To participate, teams submit their proposals to NYLC. The top 25 teams each receive a $2,000 grant to turn their proposals into a real campaign. Those campaigns are then judged, with the top 10 teams each awarded an additional $5,000 to support their participation in a significant national conference or event. These 10 schools could also receive an additional $2,500 to go deeper with their campaigns during the 2012–2013 school year.
Deadline: November 15, 2011
Awards, Competitions and Other “Winning” Opportunities
Examine Freedom of Religion and ConscienceThe First Freedom Center’s First Freedom Student Competition is a national essay and video contest that offers students in grades 9–12 an opportunity to compete for $2,500 awards as they examine the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the history and implementation of religious freedom and freedom of conscience in American democracy and the world today. For topic, guidelines, classroom poster, student flyer and registration, visit the First Freedom Center’s Web site; then click on the red tab (in the center column), First Freedom Student Competition.
Deadlines: Student online registration required on or before November 14, 2011; postmark deadline for mailing essay or video and accompanying entry materials is November 26, 2011
Portray a Historical Figure That Reflects OneselfSamsung Techwin America’s Electronic Imaging Division has announced its fall SUPERHERO Competition. Any K–12 student who attends school in a United States or federal territory is eligible to enter a digital video of from one to three minutes in length. Students are to portray a historical character and will be judged on presentation performance, character and content accuracy, and content quality. One student winner will be selected and will receive $500. In addition, a SAMCAM 860 document camera will be given to the student’s class. The MSRP of the Samsung SAMCAM 860 is $799.
Deadline: Fall competition entries due November 30, 2011
Enhance Science Learning Through InquiryThe Delta Education/Frey-Neo/CPO Science Awards for Excellence in Inquiry-based Science Teaching recognize and honor three full-time preK–12 teachers of science who successfully use inquiry-based science to enhance teaching and learning in their classroom. The award consists of $1,500 toward expenses to attend the NSTA National Conference and $1,500 for the awardee.
Deadline: November 30, 2011
Turn Passion into ActionBank of America is looking for leaders who are high school juniors and seniors in the United States. Five young Bank of America Student Leaders will participate in an eight-week paid internship at a nonprofit/charitable organization and a week-long Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. (July) to gain civic, social and business leadership skills (all expenses paid as part of the Bank of America Student Leaders Program).
Deadline: Application period runs through January 16, 2012
Free and Inexpensive Resources
Start Your Students on an Interactive Learning JourneyThe Big Bus engages students with fun, interactive learning activities that reinforce classroom teaching in reading and writing, math and science. Covering skills from preK to grade 5, teachers and students explore one of three worlds, depending on age range and ability. The Big Bus offers hundreds of games to develop 21st century thinking skills, and all activities are aligned to core learning standards. Make your students’ learning journey fun with a free 30-day trial of The Big Bus 2.0. You’ll get access to all of the interactive experiences that will engage students, while developing skills across the curriculum.
Get Children Thinking CreativelyThe Classics for Kids website introduces children to classical music. The interactives in the Games section help children learn more about music, rhythm and composers. In the Instruments of the Orchestra section, students hear the sounds of musical instruments and view pictures of them. The Musical Dictionary provides music definitions and audio samples of various kinds of music. The site also includes Audio of Classics for Kids Programs, as well as Collections of Music from Periods in Music History: Baroque, Impressionist, Romantic and more.
Plus: Classics for Kids lesson plans provide practical activities for kindergarten-grade 5 to help teach the basics of music to students. The lessons are based on national and state standards as well as on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Each set of lesson plans focuses on an individual classical music composer and a selected piece of music.
Find Books Young Readers Will EnjoyEach year thousands of children, young adults, teachers and librarians around the United States select their favorite recently published books for the “Choices” reading lists to help young readers find books they will enjoy. Children’s Choices is co-sponsored by the Children’s Book Council. The list includes brief reviews of approximately 100 titles, each of which has been recommended by children themselves. Teachers’ Choices identifies approximately 30 books rated by teams of teachers, librarians and reading specialists as outstanding for curriculum use. Young Adults’ Choices provides descriptions of approximately 30 books selected by teenage reviewers. The “Choices” reading lists from 1998–2011 are available for free downloading on the International Reading Association (IRA) website. Also find free, downloadable bookmarks for the winning book titles from 2006 through 2010.
Gain Insight into Jefferson’s Views on Life and LibertyLife and Liberty: Reflections on the Pursuit of Happiness is Jefferson’s autobiography. On this website, you’ll find the complete text, divided into sections for easy access. The autobiography includes Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence with the changes that Congress made noted thereon.
Explore Abstract ExpressionismIntegrate the work of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and other Abstract Expressionist artists into your curriculum with resources from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Abstract Expressionism, a MoMA Learning site, is designed for teachers and students alike. Teachers can download customizable PowerPoints, lesson plans, activities and worksheets for their classroom and then direct their students to the follow-up activities and questions on the Abstract Expressionism website. Students can explore Abstract Expressionism on their own using the audio guide content; discussion questions and activities; tips for thinking about and learning with art; videos that explore the artists’ processes and materials; and Art Terms in Action, a video glossary demonstrating key art-related vocabulary.
Plus: Designed for ages 6 and up, the Family Activity Guide is a fun-filled introduction to Abstract Expressionism for students, their families and early childhood educators.
Experience Civil Resistance—VirtuallyPeople Power is a game of civil resistance. It’s about politics, strategy and social change. As a leader of a popular movement, students fight against tough adversaries who control the police, the army and bureaucracy, even the media. The only weapon in their hand is their strategic skill and ingenuity. The Scenario Builder tool lets students create their own scenarios to play in the People Power game. They can create scenarios based on historical struggles, fictional situations or present-day ongoing civil resistance struggles, anywhere in the world.
Become the Leader of a CountryCommander in Chief is an economic and geopolitical simulator game for PC. Players become the head of state or government (president, monarch, prime minister) of a country they select and may control all the following activities: the economy, social issues, the military, government agencies, interior policy, foreign diplomacy, ecology, culture and others. Every country in the world is featured along with its unique features and data, with more than 400 actual data and figures per country updated as of January 2009. Players have more than 1,000 different actions to perform—for example, legislation, taxes, economic contracts, meetings and military operations.
Build Vocabulary and Make a Difference in the WorldFreeRice, a nonprofit Web vocabulary game run by the United Nations World Food Programme, has captured the imagination of millions of people around the world. The FreeRice site has two goals: to provide education to everyone for free and to help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free. To achieve these goals, the site has created a range of games encompassing the humanities, math, English, language learning, chemistry and geography. In the middle of the FreeRice home page, students will see a vocabulary question. To play the game, students click on the definition that they think is correct. If they get it right, FreeRice donates 10 grains of rice to help end hunger. Students then move on to the next question. They can play as long as they want and donate as much rice as they like.
Of Special Interest
Win Back the Support of the Public in Public EducationK12 Insight provides district leaders and school boards a proven way to build highly engaged and trusted relationships with parents, teachers, students and members of the community. Leaders of 300 school districts use K12 Insight to grow trust and increase civic engagement in their communities because, without ongoing two-way dialogue with key stakeholders, making the right district-wide decisions becomes much harder, if not impossible. For your copy of case studies from a variety of school districts—big and small, urban and rural, rich and poor—contact Jesse Leib at 703.956.6460 x313 or via email at email@example.com. And watch video testimonials of K12 Insight success stories at K12insight.com/testimonials.
Join a Celebration of WritingPeople of all ages will celebrate I Love To Write Day on November 15. Founded in 2002 by Delaware author John Riddle, I Love To Write Day is now celebrated in more than 25,000 schools all across the United States. Bookstores, libraries, community centers and everyday people also join in the fun. The goal for I Love To Write Day is to have people of all ages spend time writing. They can write a poem, a greeting card, an essay, a short story; they can start a novel, finish a novel ... the possibilities are endless. The project website offers ideas and tips on how to join this celebration of writing.
Tour the Solar SystemYour students can explore the planets, visit the moon and gaze at the stars in this 3-D interactive model of the solar system. With one click, they can visit Saturn, Venus or the other planets and then spin and explore them in three dimensions. The interface uses NASA calculations to precisely position all celestial bodies. Students click to watch the positions of the planets and moon change as time passes. If they’re impatient, they can click ahead to see how the stars align in the year 2100.
Use Technology to Observe AnimalsThe Secret Lives of Wild Animals looks at new technologies being used to observe animals in their natural environments. Students can view video clips and read stories about tracking white-tailed deer, ocelots, agoutis, dragonflies, zebras and seals.
Study Science in the FieldThe question of how many different species exist in a particular environment is central to the understanding of why it is important to promote and preserve species diversity. Biodiversity Counts, sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, helps middle school teachers get their students out into their own backyards to gather and identify plants and arthropods (spiders, insects and more). Lesson plans, essays and interactives focus on dozens of topics: how to capture arthropods, mount dried plants, make a net, keep a field journal, set up guest quarters for visiting arthropods, establish rules for field trips and find local specialists. The web-based interactives help students explore, analyze and apply their field observations.
Explore Science and Technology Discoveries—Then and NowA Science Odyssey is a PBS television series that highlights some of the most spectacular discoveries in science and technology during the 20th century. The Then + Now section of the program’s website compares what we knew in 1900 to what we know today. In That’s My Theory, students meet some of the scientists who made twentieth-century history on a made-for-the-web game show. On the Edge is a set of comic-book-style stories that take students back through time, introducing them to scientists soon after they made their discoveries. You Try It includes cool activities, including Atom Builder, Probe the Brain, Radio Transmission, Technology at Home, and Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker. And People and Discoveries features a databank of biographies of scientists and descriptions of key events and discoveries. In addition, the site presents an Educator’s Guide with activities, discussion questions and information for using A Science Odyssey in the classroom. A resource list supplies information on books and other websites and videos related to the programs or activities.
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“Worth-the-Surf” Web Sites
Explore Museums from Around the WorldThe Google Art Project is a unique collaboration with some of the world’s most acclaimed art museums to enable people to discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail. You can explore museums with Google’s Street View technology: virtually move around the museum’s galleries, selecting works of art that interest you, navigate though interactive floor plans and learn more about the museum as you explore. With Artwork View, you can discover featured artworks at high resolution and use the custom viewer to zoom into paintings. Expanding the info panel allows you to read more about an artwork, find more works by that artist and watch related YouTube videos. The Create an Artwork Collection feature allows you to save specific views of any of the more than 1,000 artworks and build your own personalized collection. Comments can be added to each painting, and the whole collection can then be shared with friends and family.
Connect Young People to the Power of LanguagePerformance poetry, or “spoken word,” is a force among American teens—with roots as diverse as the West African griot tradition, to Native American storytelling, to Beat bebop. In the Youth Voices section of the Poetic License website, young people can discover the rhythms of language and express it through their writing, from fiction to Haikus to spoken word poetry. The discussion area is a place for young writers to meet, share, discuss and support each other. Students can also find out if there is a youth poetry organization near them or a teen spoken word event coming up. And they can sign up for the Poetic Licence enewsletter and stay up to date about all the latest teen poetry happenings. The Teacher’s Lounge is an outlet for youth poetry resources and creative dialogue among educators. This section offers some tools to help integrate spoken word poetry into the classroom or an after-school workshop.
Plus: The documentary film Poetic License captures the excitement of the teen poetry and spoken word movement sweeping across America. The Poetic License Curriculum Packet, an extensive set of standards-based tools for educators, will help you bring this excitement into your classroom or after-school workshop. The curriculum packet includes the documentary film, a viewer’s guide, a teacher’s guide and a double CD with a collection of live audio performances that capture the variety of poetic styles represented in this youth literacy movement.
Help Students Gain Business InsightsKnowledge@Wharton High School—KWHS, for short—is an online journal for students interested in finding out more about the world of business. Students can explore feature stories about teen-run companies and business trends; read articles on how the economy works and how careers take shape; listen to and view audio and video podcasts spotlighting business’s most creative and colorful characters in fields such as sports, entertainment, retail and hi-tech. As part of Knowledge@Wharton, a network of global online business publications published by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, KWHS is where students can discover business now.
Plus: The Teachers’ Room portal—featuring teacher blogs, classroom lesson plans, curricula and listed events, webcasts and other resources—is a place for teachers from around the world to gather insights about high school business education. Submit a blog post detailing a useful seminar you attended or discussing a topic you feel passionately about. Share with other teachers your most effective lesson plans and keep your colleagues up to speed on valuable district or statewide curricula. The KWHS Teacher Portal is the place on the web for you to further the conversation about high school business education in ways that can help your students become enlightened adults, forward-thinking entrepreneurs and marketable employees. This portal is also accessible in Spanish.
Click Here to Visit Teachers’ Room [English]
Click Here to Visit Teachers’ Room [Spanish]
Share Your Teaching StoriesHaving trouble getting your first graders to transition from recess to class? Want some tips on how to teach the concept of density to middle schoolers? Many thousands of other teachers are dealing with the same thing. Teacher Wall, backed by the Gates Foundation, is a virtual town hall that gives teachers an opportunity to talk about the things that are most important to them—from challenges to “Aha! moments,” from lessons learned to job satisfaction, from curriculum to parent engagement. The topics tackled on the Teacher Wall showcase a wide range of voices and provide teachers with a chance to interact and share with one another, all while adding to the conversation on America’s schools.
Browse K12TeacherStore.com 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 free enewsletter, K12 TeacherFile.
Get a free copy of The Big Deal eBook of Resources for 21st Century Teaching and Learning: From the 3Rs to the 4Cs. Explore this collection of resources to help students move beyond the 3Rs and embrace the 4Cs—Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity—the 21st century skills cited by industry as keys to innovation and invention in an increasingly challenging global economy.
Sign up at The Big Deal Book Web site for hELLo!, a free 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, free resources 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 K12TeacherStore.com! Find thousands of titles from your favorite educational publishers.
· Start Your Students on an Interactive Learning Journey
· Get Children Thinking Creatively
· Find Books Young Readers Will Enjoy
· Gain Insight into Jefferson’s Views on Life and Liberty
· Explore Abstract Expressionism