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yellow square - Over a million topics, covering people, places, words and names, drawn from reliable dictionaries, encyclopedias, websites, and more. Check out our Directory of content areas and sample topics.


Bridges4Kids Featured Resource: Khan Academy

You can learn anything. For free. For everyone. Forever.

Parent and child studying at home.

Soshiku – Tracking Homework with Cell Phones - Soshiku, a website created by 17-year old Andrew Shaper, is a simple and elegant web-based tool for tracking school assignments. Launched this September, I stumbled across it via a note on Twitter and I have to say I’m completely impressed.

As Homework Grows, So Do Arguments Against It - The nation's best-known researcher on homework has taken a new look at the subject, and here is what Duke University professor Harris Cooper has to say: Elementary school students get no academic benefit from homework -- except reading and some basic skills practice -- and yet schools require more than ever. High school students studying until dawn probably are wasting their time because there is no academic benefit after two hours a night; for middle-schoolers, 1 1/2 hours. And what's perhaps more important, he said, is that most teachers get little or no training on how to create homework assignments that advance learning.


New AOL Site Aims to be Tops in Homework Help - When it comes to educational search, AOL is determined to be at the head of the class. On August 9, the company launched a free search engine that scans thousands of teacher-approved Web sites for information to help students with everything from algebra homework to history reports. Youngsters who visit AOL's newly launched StudyBuddy search-engine site can access information culled from a database of 350,000 teacher-approved journals, encyclopedias and Web sites.


An Interview with Alfie Kohn: About the Homework Book - ”I began with the premise that, as parents know, homework is often responsible for stress and family conflict, that it gets in the way of other things kids would like to do after they finish six or seven hours of school, and that homework is viewed so negatively by children that it may diminish their interest in learning. But teachers continue to assign homework (in ever greater amounts, in fact, at least in the elementary grades) and parents continue to put up with it – presumably because they assume that the benefits outweigh the costs.”


Students Find Homework Help on Other Side of World - It was almost 3 a.m., Alex Del Monte recalled, and he was cramming. He gulped can after can of Red Bull to stay awake, but he knew he would flunk his statistics exam later that day if he didn't call his tutor for help. But so late? No problem if your tutor works 8,500 miles away and 9 1/2 hours ahead in Bangalore, India. In an hour-long session that cost $18, the Indian tutor, who said his name was Mike, spent an hour walking Del Monte through such esoteric concepts as confidence intervals and alpha divisions. He got an A on the final exam.

MA Students Lament Loss of Study Halls, Added Homework Load - Massachusetts kids want time to do their assignments in school and not have to lug their books home.


Where Some Give Credit, Others Say It's Not Due - Teachers frequently ask themselves: If a student shows significant effort but averages a D on her tests, should her hard work result in at least a C? Or does that render grades meaningless?


UK The Head Who Banned Homework - Spiritualists believe the village of Marlborough, in Wiltshire, lies at the heart of the modern-day crop circle phenomenon. Last week, however, a local headmaster achieved something even more mystical: he made homework disappear.


How to Help Students with Their Assignments - There were the complaints from the teachers: The students don’t do their homework. How am I supposed to teach when they do not come prepared? The students lose everything I give them. They never bring their materials—no pencils, no papers, and no signed papers!


Numbers Game Scores - MATHCOUNTS, a problem-solving version of a spelling bee that celebrates the unpredictability of mathematics, has spread to about 6,000 U.S. schools and continues to grow.


Education World's Educational Website Reviews (3/04)

The Molecular Workbench - A simulation that teaches molecular structure.
The U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Education Page - Invaluable resources for a key historical topic.
National Mental Health Information Center - The Department of Health and Human Services site on mental health info.


Grand Rapids Academic Summer Program For All Michigan Kids: The GRASP program is a nine week correspondence summer program written by Grand Rapids Public Schools staff in math and reading. It is designed for children who have completed grades K-8. Children receive a packet of materials for the nine weeks of summer, and mail in a lesson a week. The lessons are scored, results recorded, and lessons returned to the children.


UK Homework Fails to Make the Grade - Children have long suspected it, and now research confirms it: homework is a waste of time. Anxiety, boredom, fatigue and emotional exhaustion are all side-effects of bringing schoolwork home, according to a review of 75 years of study into the issue.


Homework help for your kids - The do’s and don’ts of helping your child with school assignments.

Experiencia: Program Connects Classroom and Home Instruction Through Immersive Learning for 3rd - 6th Graders - What is Experiencia? Experiencia is pioneering a proprietary learning system, Immersive Learning™, that enhances and connects classroom and home instruction with vivid learning experiences at interactive simulation sites. Experiencia programs transform teaching and learning by brining theory and best practices to life.

 Math Resources


Also see IEP Issues - Math Resources


Graphing Puppies - How do you get a middle schooler stoked about graphs? One word: puppies!


Home Design-Inspired Activities for Kids - What better way to learn about geometry and other core concepts than designing a room or even a whole home?


10 Enjoyable Math Crafts And Activities For World Maths Day - If your student thinks they’re destined to hate math because they prefer to use the creative side of their brain, give a few of these activities a try.


70 Cool Math Games - If you disguise math as a game (or 70!), kids won’t mind learning arithmetic.


Cooking with Recipes - Kids won’t be able to resist learning about fractions, multiplication and division if their favorite recipe plays a part. This lesson also has customizable, printable worksheets.


Featured Resource: Khan Academy - You can learn anything. For free. For everyone. Forever.


Featured Resource! Math Doctor - Algebra Help


Mike's Math Club: Math can be fun! Check out Mike's "Do the Math" downloadable activities and Teacher-directed activities that will bring your math lessons to life!


Bridges4Kids Book Review: The Monstrously Fun Fraction Book - click here.


Despite High School Algebra Focus, More Students Need Remedial College Math - Five years ago, California took a bold step and began requiring algebra of every graduating high school senior. The grumbling ran deep. The work was hard. The underlying equation came through loud and clear: More math in high school would equal more students prepared for college. For many, it hasn't added up.

CA At L.A. school, Singapore Math Has Added Value - Here's a little math problem: In 2005, just 45% of the fifth-graders at Ramona Elementary School in Hollywood scored at grade level on a standardized state test. In 2006, that figure rose to 76%. What was the difference?

Parent Resource Sharing: Exceptional Math Homework Sites - "On these websites, you can ask mathematicians to help answer homework and other math questions for kids. We've done it and they're fantastic!" Check out Mike's Math Club and Dr. Math today!


The Online Math League - Here's a great new contest to get students excited about learning math: The Online Math League! You'll get: challenging, but fun tests that are aligned to State of Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations, separate grade-level contests for students in 3rd through 8th grade, plus separate Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Advanced Math contests, instant scoring, and impressive plaques and trophies. Individual schools, classrooms, and even students can participate. No computers are required to take the tests. If you've never had your students participate in a math contest such as this, you will be amazed at the enthusiasm it can generate. They will be thrilled as they watch scores show up online in real time. For more information about the Online Math League's 2005-2006 contests, to download free sample tests, or to register visit their website.


Why American Kids Aren't Learning Math - A simmering controversy about the math programs in the Penfield schools should be of equal interest to a good number of other school districts that have been using "reform" mathematics programs. An article about the Penfield dispute characterized the disagreement as if it were a question of style: "The new curriculum encourages students to develop problem-solving strategies instead of giving them a list of formulas to memorize." But this is not the issue. Arithmetic is not trivial mathematics, and it certainly will not be "discovered" by school children. It must be taught, and practiced. A good mathematics program takes advantage of the mathematical discoveries of thousands of years of civilized effort, while Penfield has them counting with sticks, starting history all over again.


The One-size-fits-all Way Girls Are Taughts Explains Their Differences With Boys - A distinguished Harvard professor suggests women may be innately less capable of scholarship at the highest levels and asserts that the pursuit of an academic career will cause a woman's body to shunt blood away from the uterus toward the brain, rendering that woman "irritable and infertile." A flurry of press coverage ensues.


No Simple Solution on U.S. Math Classes - Confused by the latest ''good news-bad news" headlines about how US students compare in math with their peers in foreign lands? Wondering whether the math program at your child's school is teaching addition better than another program might?


A Website Where Students Can Go Figure - UCLA's problem-solving site demands more critical thinking than multiple-choice tests. It also lets teachers track students' methods. Visit for more information.


MI Michigan Launches New Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE) - Michigan’s new nationally recognized GLCE provide schools, teachers, and parents with the detailed information they need to understand what students are expected to know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The new annual MEAP (Michigan Education Assessment Program) will be aligned to the GLCE. Download a copy of the new grade level content expectations and Michigan curriculum framework for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, as well as teacher professional development materials, a parent guide, a list of frequently asked questions, and other resources.


UK Researcher: Children Who Memorize Times Tables Multiply Faster and More Accurately - Speaking at a conference for British math teachers, Dr. Sylvia Steel said studies indicate that auditory rote learning of multiplication tables is the most successful way for children to master multiplication facts. Math teachers say rote learning was less popular ten years ago, but note that times tables are still being taught today, along with other numeracy strategies.


An Everyday Effort to Improve Education - Karen Budd is one of those parents that school administrators try to avoid. To begin with, she understands math, having a bachelor's degree in the subject, plus some graduate work in engineering, from the University of Pittsburgh. Every school superintendent who has ever attended a PTA meeting knows the math-savvy parents are the worst.


Mike's Math Club: Math can be fun! Check out Mike's "Do the Math" downloadable activities and Teacher-directed activities that will bring your math lessons to life!


Math: ENC Online - has gathered nearly 700 lessons & resources for teaching math & organized them by topic: number & operations, algebra, measurement, reasoning & proof, problem solving, patterns, history, careers, geometry, data analysis & probability, applied math, & advanced math (calculus, discrete mathematics, functions, precalculus, trigonometry). (ED)

Check out the Math Forum at


Math Resources: offers tip sheets for basic math all the way through calculus in a well-organized way. offers student-created tip sheets for adult math learners, complete with cheerful music to keep you relaxed while surfing.


TX By Putting Math to Music, Teacher Captivates Minds - Texas Educator Uses Rhythmic Methods To Connect With Students, Influence Peers. (Free registration/login required to read this story.)


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 English, Reading & Language Arts Resources


Online Guide to Writing and Grammar - Includes easy-to-follow rules of grammar, sentence construction, quizzes, how to write an essay and a thesis, PowerPoint tips…in short, everything you need to properly express yourself.  The Guide to Grammar and Writing is sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation, a nonprofit 501 c-3 organization that supports scholarships, faculty development, and curriculum innovation.


MI Michigan Launches New Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE) - Michigan’s new nationally recognized GLCE provide schools, teachers, and parents with the detailed information they need to understand what students are expected to know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The new annual MEAP (Michigan Education Assessment Program) will be aligned to the GLCE. Download a copy of the new grade level content expectations and Michigan curriculum framework for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, as well as teacher professional development materials, a parent guide, a list of frequently asked questions, and other resources.


"Piers Plowman Electronic Archive" offers a hypertext archive of the three versions of the William Langland's 14th-century allegorical poem "Piers Plowman." The poem was reproduced by scribes & early editors, & the surviving 54 manuscripts are full of errors -- some the result of incompetence, others the product of sophisticated re-writing. This electronic edition differs from most printed editions in that it does not suppress editorial disagreement among the manuscripts. It embraces the provisional nature of scholarly editing & proposes a set of solutions to editorial problems without suggesting they will have the final authority. (NEH)


Reading A-Z supports a balanced approach to literacy by providing a rich selection of resources that will help children become fluent readers. In addition to 237 leveled reading books, 621 guided reading lesson plans and worksheets, Reading A-Z provides phonics resources such as 57 decodable books, 18 read-aloud books, 116 worksheets, and over 1500 flashcards. All are downloadable with Adobe Acrobat.  You can preview a sampling of 30 books with accompanying lesson plans and worksheets and sample leveled readers, decodable books, read-alouds, and alphabet books.  If you decide to join, an individual subscription is for one person only and can only be used on that person's work or home computer. A six month subscription is $29.95 and 12 months is $49.95.

NEH -- National Endowment for the Humanities

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 Science Resources


NEW! An Overview of Simple Machines: A Resource Developed by Marcus Kirby, Student


TestToob Allows Young Scientists to Collaborate - TestToob, an online community where young people can collaborate on science, was "born in the backyard and incubated on the kitchen table," its founder says. Now the promising Louisville startup is leaving the nursery.


Who's Afraid of Intelligent Design? - My favorite high school teacher, Al Ladendorff, conducted his American history class like an extended version of "Meet the Press." Nothing, not even the textbooks other teachers treated as Holy Writ, was safe from attack. I looked forward to that class every day. My biology class, sadly, was another story.

Visit NASAThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration where you will find special sections for students, teachers, researchers, etc. and the latest information on space travel and exploration as well as fascinating looks into how space exploration is affecting research on earth.


"Exploring Earth: Visualizations" features more than 100 animations & images that illuminate key concepts in earth science. Animations show coal forming, nuclear fission, the growth of a continent, tectonic plate movement, volcanoes & earthquakes, fault motion, the formation of the Himalayas, a geyser eruption, how waves move, tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms, & more. Students can observe a single place on earth from multiple views, 3-D models of water & common molecules, images of different climate zones, & seasonal changes in the amount of sunlight reaching locations on earth. Visualizations are organized by topic: earth as a system, earth's structure & motions, rocks, atoms to minerals, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, mountain building, weathering & erosion, water, wind & currents, atmosphere, weather, oceans, planets, & others. (NSF)
"Science: ENC Online" has collected more than 400 lessons & resources for teaching science & organized them by topic: earth & space science, history of science, life science, physical science, careers, & informal education. (ED) 
"Teachers' Domain" is a digital library of multimedia for teaching & studying life sciences -- ecology & ecosystems, evolution, adaptation, genetics, the cell (structure & function, DNA, differentiation), & more. It includes more than 150 broadcast clips & video modules from WGBH Boston's programs such as NOVA, A Science Odyssey, & ZOOM; interview segments; out-take footage; & interactive web-based activities. Photos, animations, images, & text are catalogued & presented with contextual information designed to help teachers present science concepts & for independent study by students. (NSF)


Education links and resourcesLinks to Sites About Science


"Exploring Earth: Investigations" provides more than 75 earth science investigations. Each investigation is organized around a question: What stories do rocks tell? Could Mars support life? How can one volcano change the world? Photos & text (& sometimes video) help students answer each question. Among the topics: earth's layers, rocks, volcanoes & plate tectonics, earthquakes & mountains, surface & ground water, wind & currents, atmosphere & weather, climate change, oceans, our moon & solar system, & earth's history. (NSF)
"Red Rock Adventures: A Teacher's Guide to Canyon Country Outdoor Education"  provides 100 science activities for Grades 1-6. Topics include the water cycle, air & weather, rocks, seasonal changes in plants & animals, habitats, ecosystems, biodiversity, geological features & geographical concepts, & microorganisms of the desert & wetlands. The guide also outlines 18 one-day field trips. While best suited to the high desert of southeastern Utah, many field trips can be adapted for other sites. (NPS)
"Watershed Ecology" introduces basic watershed ecology concepts. It examines physical forces that shape watershed ecosystems, plants & animals that inhabit watersheds, typical watershed structures, & how watersheds function -- at different geographic scales & over time. (EPA)


EPA -- Environmental Protection Agency
NPS -- National Park Service
NSF -- National Science Foundation

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 History/Geography/Social Studies Resources


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