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Design for Change USA Challenge: the 2015 Winners Take on Recycling

February 10th, 2016

DESIGN FOR CHANGE (USA) is a global movement of young people who are changing the world! One of the opportunities that DFC offers youth groups is outlined below:

  • Who: Any group of young people (K-8) with an adult mentor e.g., teacher, parent, youth leader, coach.
  • How: Teams dream up and lead social change projects in their own schools/communities using DFC curriculum and training, along with the web portal and other resources.
  • What: Teams are expected to fully implement, present and submit their social change project to DFC USA by the deadline: May 15, 2016.
  • Winners will be announced May 30, 2016.  (Learn more about contest rules here.)

We are pleased to share with you one of the Design for Change USA projects from young people across the nation. We hope you will join them in BEING THE CHANGE!

DFC USA Winners 2015

John Winthorp Elementary School, Boston

MLK Spoken Word Contest

November 4th, 2015

The Metro Human Relations Commission (Nashville, TN)  is co-sponsoring the first annual Youth Spoken Word Competition for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  There are cash scholarship prizes.  Please pass this on to your staff so they may share it with churches, synagogues, mosques, and civic and community groups they are involved with.

High school and college students (or people between the ages of 14 and 22) are invited to start creating and uploading their videos. They can submit their videos now until December 1st. Participants can win cash prizes based on different categories as individuals or in groups.

The MHRC would like to give a big thank you to Neal & Harwell Law Firm and Meharry Medical Center for sponsoring the scholarships.

Find more information about the competition here:

The videos will be posted on the MLK Day YouTube page.

Technology Tools for Reflection

July 17th, 2013

need some new ideas for incorporating reflection into learning or serving?  try one of these:

10 Recommended YouTube Edu-tainment Channels

March 27th, 2013

10 Recommended YouTube Edu-tainment Channels

(There are some great educational resources on this list!!)

Game Developer Gives 7-Year-Old Best Birthday Present Ever

March 6th, 2013

If your kids are interested in technology, you might be able to use this resource:

10 Sites to use with Mobile Phones in Education

January 30th, 2013

thought teachers and youth workers might be interested in this article I just read:

10 Sites to use with Mobile Phones in Education

Educational Technology Spotlight: Plane Math Activities

November 26th, 2012

Help your youth learn math skills through these airplane games!

Header: PlaneMath Activities

Flight Path Flight Path: Find the shortest path between 2 cities. Plane Capacity Plane Capacity: How many people can board your plane? Runways & Takeoffs Runways & Takeoffs: Fly a herd of buffalo to the prairies.
Bird's Eye View Bird’s Eye View: Learn to fly a rescue helicopter. LiftOff LiftOff: An old fable helps explain how planes lift. TimeFlies TimeFlies: A rap group is landing. Can you tell when?
Pie in the Sky Pie in the Sky: When is an overcast sky really overcast? Go Fly a Kite Go Fly a Kite: Build your own kite! Fill 'Er Up Fill ‘Er Up: Plan a flight around the country.

Educational Technology Spotlight: Favorites from an Elementary Teacher

November 19th, 2012

Margie Christoffer is the computer teacher at Pleasant View Elementary School.  She compiled a list of educational websites to let grade school children use during computer class.  We thought you might like to see it too! – games – treasure hunt – universe info – science – history info – animals pictures – games – countries info – typing practice – galaxy live shots

h t t p :// – Cool Brain info – reading K-2 – games about words – math games – math games


Educational Technology Spotlight:

November 12th, 2012

Your art budget may be shrinking, but has lots of printables that you could use in your classroom, youth center or home:

Animal & Bug Friends

A Sun Box

polar bear

Bear Wagon


Bunny Bowling!


Marble Mice!


Snail Mail


Bug Box


Penny Butterfly


Butterfly Basket


Bunny Basket


Patrin’s Frog


Animal Friends


TRex Card


Racing Turtles

rocking horse

Rocking Horse


Panda Palace


Adventures of Florimel

koi kites

Koi Kites

polar bear

Polar Bear

dog finger puppets

Finger Puppets

horse shoe pony

Laughing Ponies

paper butterfly

Paper Butterflies

The Dog Show!

Butterfly Card

Paper Birds

Educational Technology Spotlight: National Gallery of Art

November 5th, 2012

National Gallery of Art presents a series on exploring art through technology.  Here are their featured programs, all available for free:

Collage MachineMobilePixelFace3-D TwirlerCubitsDiamondsDutch House Photo OpPaintBox

WalloversRiverRunSwatchBoxFlowJungleBrushsterStill Life • Faces and Places • Sea-Saws

NGAkids Home

Educational Technology Spotlight: Neuroscience for Kids

October 29th, 2012

Neuroscience for Kids – Letting kids take a trip inside of a brain.  Check out all of these resources that help kids figure out how their brains work:

Brain Games
Can your eyes deceive you? How good is your memory? Do you like to play games or challenge your friends? Then check out the brain teasers, puzzles, games and jokes related to the nervous system. Also, get in on the neuroscience web search treasure hunt and compete for the “Golden Neuron Award”.

Outside Games
Anyone ready for a game of “Synaptic Tag”?

Neuroscience Coloring Book
Color any or all of these pictures to make your own coloring book.

Brain Worksheets and Lessons
Games, puzzles, activities and lesson ready to print. Some require access to this site; others are great off-line activities to keep your brain busy.

Creative Writing Projects
Don’t settle for a boring report. Try a creative writing project!

Quick! What was that? Jump, kick, and grab it before it hits the floor. How good are your reflexes? Quick and easy experiments are here for you to try.

The Senses: Taste–Smell–Vision–Touch–Hearing
Lots of experiments to explore how we learn about the world around us: smell, taste, touch, see and hear. Great teacher resources and plenty of links. Perhaps a science fair project too.

Most people are right-handed. Are they also right-footed? Right-eyed? Right-eared? Find out here.

Sleep and Dreaming
Do you remember your dreams? How much do animals sleep? Why do we sleep? Go here to find out.

Memory and Learning
Would you be a good detective? Have you noticed what color eyes your best friend has? Can you remember what you had for dinner last night? Techniques and activities to help us remember and understand how our brain “arranges” information.

Biological Rhythms
Keeping track of time with our internal clock. Our sleep patterns, body temperature, and our alertness are controlled by an internal clock. Would this internal clock still work if you were in the dark 24 hours a day? Do other animals have an internal clock? Find out…

Brain Injury
Protect your brain! It’s the only one you’ve got.

Working Students
See photographs of students working on “Neuroscience for Kids” projects.

Gallery of Student’s Work
See what projects and artwork some students have created and add your own masterpiece to the collection.

Brain Songs
Sing along with songs about the nervous system.

Friday Playday: Games That Give

October 26th, 2012 is a new website that allows you to play online games free, and they make donations to the charity of your choice. I love it!  I’ve included some of the games below.  They don’t have direct academic correlations, but you can use the opportunity to educate youth about some great charities, including Ronald McDonald House, CityYear, DoSomething, United Way, and many others.  So go play – and feel great about the time you spend building your brain AND your community!

Bricks Squasher 2
Marble Lines
Bricks Hex
Bricks Breaking
Tower Blocks
Ball Separation
Ball Lines
Pile of Balls
Snakes Classic
Crazy Taxi
Mini Golf

Educational Technology Spotlight: Math is Fun

October 22nd, 2012

My mother-in-law is a 3rd grade teacher, so she enjoys collecting online resources that build a commitment to learning. She sent me a great website for helping kids realize that math is much more than just boring numbers.

Math is Fun is a free website with games, worksheets, puzzles, and activities that help children practice and master math skills – while having fun!
It’s a great resource for teachers, after-school program coordinators and parents to introduce to children!

Educational Technology Spotlight: Charitii Crossword Game

October 15th, 2012

Play a crossword-like multiple choice word game at and donate money to charity for each question you answer correctly.  You get to choose the charity for your donations – see the list here.

**This builds the Commitment to Learning Assets**

Educational Technology Spotlight:

August 27th, 2012 is full of unit studies for elementary school.    Click on the links below, or visit their site for more info.

Table of Contents

 Reading and Writing
  Reading Comprehension
  Read and Color Books
  Literature Units
  Writing Prompts
  Reading Skills

  PreK-3 Themes
  Basic Units
  Writing Cursive Letters

  English Language Arts
  Enter Word Lists

 Special Education
  Special Education

 Foreign Languages
  Foreign Languages

 Word Puzzle Makers
  Word Searches
  Crossword Puzzles
  Printable Puzzles

  Monthly Themes
  Daily Skills Review
  Free Worksheets

  Math Worksheets
  Middle School Math

 Critical Thinking
  Critical Thinking

  Make Puzzles
  Quick Prints

 Social Studies
  Social Studies
  United States
  50 States


  Bulletin Board Ideas
  Charts for Classroom
  Classroom Helpers
  Book Reports
  Learning Centers

 Test Prep
  Test Prep

  First Grade
  Second Grade
  Third Grade
  Fourth Grade
  Fifth Grade
  Sixth Grade
  High School