TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 7, 2011

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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32 Interesting Ways to Get to Know Your New Class - Tom Barrett

Grades
K to 12
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If you are looking for new ideas to use the first week of school, this site is sure to offer some useful suggestions. This Google Document includes suggestions from creating ...more
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If you are looking for new ideas to use the first week of school, this site is sure to offer some useful suggestions. This Google Document includes suggestions from creating a class autobiography to administering the "hardest test of the year." Ideas are available for all age ranges and can be modified to fit your needs and available resources. This is a public document so if you have a great idea, be sure to add it to the document for other teachers to use!

tag(s): back to school (58), newbies (18), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Use these fabulous ideas for getting to know you activities at the beginning of the school year. Have a great idea that you use in your class? Be sure to share it on this site.

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Global Clouds - Kyucon.com

Grades
4 to 12
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See where clouds form throughout the globe. Rotate the globe to view the clouds at the moment. This site updates the cloud maps every three hours. Watch the movement and ...more
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See where clouds form throughout the globe. Rotate the globe to view the clouds at the moment. This site updates the cloud maps every three hours. Watch the movement and location of clouds around the Earth.

tag(s): climate (92), deserts (10), earth (228), water cycle (33), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this tool as part of a lesson on the weather, water cycle, or desertification with this 3D globe. Provide time for students to identify where clouds seem to form, the direction that they move, and the type of clouds. Use to help determine the wind patterns on the Earth and where the water cycle begins. Follow with a more extensive look at weather patterns in the local area or at specific places across the globe. Focus on hurricane formation off Africa or winter weather patterns. Create conventional or multimedia posters that shows the types of clouds and portions of the weather cycle. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Clockwords - Gabob

Grades
4 to 8
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Improve vocabulary skills in this engaging activity while helping the inventor discover the secrets to the magical machine. Beautiful graphics and sound make this game an intriguing...more
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Improve vocabulary skills in this engaging activity while helping the inventor discover the secrets to the magical machine. Beautiful graphics and sound make this game an intriguing delight. Find words including specified letters, and defend to eliminate the invading bugs. Different games offer different levels to make a challenging game. At the time of this review, Act 1 of the activity is available. Act 2 and 3 will be coming soon. Compete against other players from all over the world to achieve the high score. In order to compete against others, a valid email address is required. Be sure to check with your school to conform to guidelines on student email use. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. The option for a free installation on your computer allows this game readily available.

tag(s): game based learning (101), spelling (168), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, use Clockwords as a center activity, reward activity, or team game with your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your students by using vocabulary words from science, math, or language arts. Within your class, look for high scores among students or teams. Be sure to provide this link on your class website. Incorrectly spelled words are not counted as valid words. Help this by supplying a dictionary or an online dictionary link.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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GoGo News - Golnar Khosrowshahi

Grades
2 to 8
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
"Big news for little people," this website is targeted news for kids ages 7-14 and provides news from around the world in an entertaining format. Each day a new article ...more
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"Big news for little people," this website is targeted news for kids ages 7-14 and provides news from around the world in an entertaining format. Each day a new article is posted on the home page featuring current news. Vocabulary words are highlighted, and there is an icon to listen to the article. Be sure to check out all of the links such as "Planet" which features news about space, the solar system, and various locations around Earth. "Cool & Fun Stuff" featuring this day in history events, and "Joyful Jokes" featuring famous birthdays or jokes and riddles.

tag(s): literacy (102), news (261), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the site on your board when discussing current events, use as a learning center for students to read and journal, or have students look up vocabulary words featured on the site. Practice with Main Idea or summarizing using these interesting informational texts. ESL/ELL learners can also find accessible news stories here. Provide this link for students to use at home to keep up with current events.

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WickEd Math Interactives - Ministry of Education, New Zealand

Grades
K to 4
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WickEd, a website from New Zealand, offers several engaging activities for practicing math skills. Levels can adjust to player's skills and timers are included in some games for speed...more
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WickEd, a website from New Zealand, offers several engaging activities for practicing math skills. Levels can adjust to player's skills and timers are included in some games for speed practice. Skills practice is available in problem solving, fractions, symmetry, and fact practice. Matho 1 and 2 are especially fun as up to 4 "challengers" can participate.

tag(s): addition (252), division (172), fluency (23), multiplication (227), operations (126), preK (275), puzzles (208), subtraction (209)

In the Classroom

These activities are perfect for use on the interactive whiteboard or projector, especially the multi-player ones. Share during recess time or for individual student practice. Share a link to the site through your classroom website or blog for students to use for at-home practice. Create a link on classroom computers for students to use as a center or during lab time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Energyville - Chevron

Grades
6 to 12
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Try this simulation where players must make decisions to balance environmental concerns with their community's power needs. Need help in with this interactive? Start by using "Guided...more
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Try this simulation where players must make decisions to balance environmental concerns with their community's power needs. Need help in with this interactive? Start by using "Guided play." Create a city name, drag and drop various sources of energy for your city and be certain to gauge the economy, environment, and security of your city as you play. Click on the question marks along the side for more information about these scores. Compare impacts among these using the icons on the bottom right. Be sure to read the information that comes up as you make your choices. Click on How to Play for more game tips.

tag(s): energy (197), environment (317), nuclear energy (24), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

Identify the trade offs in economic, environmental, and security concerns with the various types of energy used to power the city. Research the types of energy, including the advantages and disadvantages to each. Provide time for students to play and brainstorm the problems certain cities have and the mix of energy sources that seem to work. Research the various technologies and where they are currently used including research into uses around the world and comparisons among countries. Use as a part of a unit on the environment or energy. Follow up with a debate about the type of power generation that should be used in your community.

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Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms - Karen Janowski

Grades
K to 12
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Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms is the reference tool that gives you all the necessary free websites to promote learning for all students. UDL, or Universal Design...more
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Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms is the reference tool that gives you all the necessary free websites to promote learning for all students. UDL, or Universal Design for Learning, is a concept promoting learning for all learners using assistive technology to promote motivated, strategic, flexible, lifelong learners. UDL reduces barriers and offers support and challenge for each individual learner. Create a free account to make your own wiki or to join in another wiki. Some available resources are free text-to-speech, graphic organizers, multimedia and digital storytelling, study skills tools, literacy tools, writing tools, collaborative tools, research tools, math tools, and tools that compensate for handwriting issues.

tag(s): differentiation (47), graphic organizers (42), literacy (102)

In the Classroom

Refer to this site when you have a struggling learner who needs more support or the student who needs a challenge. Dig through these sites to use in your classroom. Go down the list and incorporate two a week. Many are also reviewed in more detail on TeachersFirst, so don't forget to search for our in-depth reviews to learn more. Ask your student technology crew to investigate and find their favorite from a list of three sites. Add to your class website as a reference. Use this site at Back to School Night to help parents jump into educational technology! Add more to the list! This only opens the doors to technology.

Comments

Deborah, LA, Grades: 0 - 12

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Learn About Color - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
K to 2
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Learn about primary, secondary, and intermediate colors while painting an Egyptian hippo named William. This interactive Metropolitan Art Museum site provides interesting historical...more
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Learn about primary, secondary, and intermediate colors while painting an Egyptian hippo named William. This interactive Metropolitan Art Museum site provides interesting historical information about an ancient figurine while also explaining the basics of color theory. This site does a nice job helping young students understand how to create new colors by mixing colors together.

tag(s): art history (69), colors (79), egypt (66), museums (49)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a lesson about the color wheel or mixing primary colors together. Play the animated presentation with a projector or interactive whiteboard and then let students independently enjoy coloring the Hippo. Use your interactive whiteboard as a learning center and allow students to manipulate the whiteboard themselves and change the color of the hippo. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Be sure to take the time to also share the story behind this "cute" little figurine.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sound Sleeping - Flashaltman

Grades
K to 12
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Sound Sleeping contains a great interactive sound-mixing tool. Create music with soundtracks of drums or flutes and the ambient sounds of nature. This soundboard helps you generate...more
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Sound Sleeping contains a great interactive sound-mixing tool. Create music with soundtracks of drums or flutes and the ambient sounds of nature. This soundboard helps you generate background music perfect for meditation, yoga, napping, writing, or quiet reflection.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (46), mental health (26), senses (28), sound (100), sounds (68), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Enhance student listening ability with this sound-mixing tool. Ask students to visit this site to create their own musical mix. Afterward, ask others to guess the tracks in the music. Students can also identify which speaker the soundboard's pan tool is sending various sounds. Activities such as these are the perfect addition to a science unit about the five senses. Consider having students create a their own personal mix to use while learning deep breathing, practicing creative visualizations, or engaging in class relaxation exercises. You could also plan these sounds during creative writing exercises or independent reading time. Headphones or speakers are necessary for this site, if you don't wish to share with the entire class. Students in need of "cooling off" time may enjoy playing Bubble Burst. Choose to create music with the vibes soundboard and student creations will automatically play with Flickr photographs of nature. Emotional support teachers may find this tool useful in helping students develop self-control mechanisms. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter and suggest ways to enhance relaxation techniques at home.

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22Frames.com - 22frames.com

Grades
5 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site aggregates all types of videos from around the world. Captioning makes these enhanced YouTube videos accessible to English language learners, speakers of different languages,...more
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This site aggregates all types of videos from around the world. Captioning makes these enhanced YouTube videos accessible to English language learners, speakers of different languages, and those who need language support in general. You can search for videos by categories which are constantly being updated. Find current events, music, and more. In addition to offering the captioning with the news clips, all news items offer "tags" to provide some important vocabulary. Also, there are separate sections on the website for common mispronunciations, idioms, and slang, targeted specifically at ESL/ELL students. You should preview and preselect the videos rather than allowing students to randomly search at this site, since some content may not be fitting for your classroom. Many schools block YouTube, so verify availability at school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): hearing impaired (6), news (261)

In the Classroom

If filtering blocks your at-school access, use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to convert online videos such as the ones you find on YouTube into a portable format you can play at school. World language students will enjoy hearing the news in other languages, but also seeing the English translations. If you have students in your classroom who are reading below grade level, have them watch the video twice: once to listen to the words, and the second time to read along with the dialog. Have students view these sample videos and then work in cooperative learning groups to create their own videos on topics they are currently learning in science, current events, or nearly any other subject area. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. High school social studies classes can compare news coverage from different countries/cultures about the same event to analyze the "spin" or bias.

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Digital Roman Forum - University of California, Los Angelos

Grades
6 to 12
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Here you will find a digital model of the Roman Forum as it appeared in 400 A.D. Are you ready to travel back in time? Take the virtual tour of ...more
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Here you will find a digital model of the Roman Forum as it appeared in 400 A.D. Are you ready to travel back in time? Take the virtual tour of the Roman Forum! This massive site is part of UCLA's Rome Rebuilt program. Using the Timemap feature, the button above the first paragraph, allows you to view the ruins, and the model at the same time. A very cool aspect of this feature is as you click and rotate the upper picture, which is the virtual model, the lower picture, which is the present day ruin, will rotate, too, and you will see a 360 degree panoramic view of both the old and the new. Clicking on the Timemap also allows you to search by Primary Source (Cicero, Festus, etc.), by Function (Religious Structures, Residential Buildings, etc.), and by Types (columns, arches, etc.).

tag(s): architecture (83), forum (9), latin (22), romans (35)

In the Classroom

You may want to investigate the first feature with the entire class using your interactive whiteboard or projector for annotations to show them how to get around on the site. Then allow the students to play with and study the Roman Forum model and ruins in the Timemap area at a designated station in your classroom, or on laptops with a partner. Once all students have become familiar with the Roman Forum features, have small groups choose one to investigate, starting with one of the primary sources listed on the site When the student or student groups complete their investigations, have them create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here, to share their findings.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Preceden - Matt Mazur

Grades
3 to 12
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Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the...more
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Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the sequence of events in several different ways. You can input your own time increments such as by day, week, month, year, decade, etc. In addition, you can create your own labels for events. You need to create a FREE account to make a timeline. Timelines can be embedded on your blog or shared by url.

tag(s): timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Create an ever-growing timeline throughout the school year by adding events discussed in class so students understand where events relate to each other in history. Create a timeline with events in American History and add a layer of authors' works to connect literature's time periods to history.

Have your students use Preceden to create a timeline of their life and their family's life. Then use events from their life for writing a memoir, poetry, etc. Science students could create a timeline for the stages of mitosis for a cell or the life cycle of a forest or an animal. Have students in government or history create timelines related to topics you are learning about in class.

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