TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 4, 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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Story Something - Jim Rose and Jonathan Ehrlich

Grades
K to 2
1 Favorites 0  Comments
StorySomething contains a large array of online stories that can be personalized to the individual reader. After choosing a story, a list of characters in the story (with a ...more
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StorySomething contains a large array of online stories that can be personalized to the individual reader. After choosing a story, a list of characters in the story (with a short description) appears. These names can be replaced with your choice of names. The story then appears with the new names. Optional sign-up on the site allows students to share their stories through email or save stories to the site. However, no sign-up is necessary to view the personalized stories.

tag(s): interactive stories (32), literacy (103), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Save this site on your computer favorites. During the first week of school, project a story on your interactive whiteboard or projector using students names in your class. Have students take turns reading the story to the class. Create a class account and allow students to personalize their own stories, then print the stories for students to read on their own or with a partner. Share the site on your classroom blog or website for students to use at home for reading practice. Ask your students to write their own stories where others can insert names, and share them on your interactive whiteboard or projector for reading fluency practice.

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WoogiWorld - WoogiWorld, Inc.

Grades
K to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Woogi World is a virtual networking technology used to teach students about cybersafety and related topics. It is a scalable online virtual educational platform that fosters peer-based,...more
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Woogi World is a virtual networking technology used to teach students about cybersafety and related topics. It is a scalable online virtual educational platform that fosters peer-based, social interactive learning for today's students. The Woogi World site has sections for Kids, Parents, and Educators. Students can play Woogi World by creating their own "Woogi." Before they can create a Woogi, Cyber Hero tells them that they need three things: A Parent Nearby; Parents' Permission; and a Parents' email address. Parents can manage their student's account and read about how Woogi World addresses Learning, Safety, Awards, and Upgrades. Educators can use the Woogi World Cyber Hero program for classroom instruction on Cyber Safety, Cyber Ethics, Cyber Security, and Cyber Health.

tag(s): cyberbullying (43), internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Send home information about the website and ask parents to create an account for their student. If there isn't internet access at home, obtain permission to create an account at school. Another option is to create one account for the classroom and display on the interactive whiteboard (or projector) and perform internet safety activities together as a class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Story Time for Me - Andrew Gitt

Grades
K to 2
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This site offers three series with online animated stories for young children. After choosing a series, readers pick from one of several books to see and hear the story. Several ...more
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This site offers three series with online animated stories for young children. After choosing a series, readers pick from one of several books to see and hear the story. Several choices are offered while books are read - narrated phrases can be highlited or not, pages can be turned automatically or one at a time, and pages can be replayed. There are also personalized activity books available for free download by teachers that can be used in the classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): audio books (32), literacy (103), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Share these stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or better yet, create a link to stories on your classroom computers and use this site as a reading center. (Don't forget headsets.) Share a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for parents to access the site with their student.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How To SMILE - National Science Digital Library

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
    
This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site...more
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site is constantly growing. There are several ways to use the site both as a registered user or without registration. Without registering for the site you can search and access lessons and information through the different search methods such as keywords, subjects, source institution, and more. Free registration allows the site to become much more personalized. After registering, you can make lists of resources for any different topic, share lists or searches with others, add comments, or add your own resources. Most activities on the site are free; however, there are some searches that deliver lessons that are paid - these are clearly indicated and not frequent enough to discourage use of this site. Searches can also filter out any paid activities and return only free items. Teachers may also want to subscribe to the site's blog and newsletter to receive updated information as it is added to the site.

In case you are wondering about the title, SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).

tag(s): resources (112), social networking (112), STEM (134), video (254)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect way to organize and sort lessons by topic or age range for future classroom use or to share with fellow teachers. Create a community list of lessons to use within your district. Share this site with other teachers in your building or district as a resource for STEM lessons. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Map Games - Maps.com

Grades
3 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Practice locating countries and states with these basic practice games and puzzles. Choose from 16 activities including all continents, US states, and US capitals. After the interactive...more
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Practice locating countries and states with these basic practice games and puzzles. Choose from 16 activities including all continents, US states, and US capitals. After the interactive loads, follow the prompt to click on the appropriate place on the map. If correct, you move on to the next question, if incorrect there is an option to skip that question or try again. Other activities include a USA jigsaw puzzle and crossword map game.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): capitals (24), continents (49), countries (76), maps (287), states (162)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use with an interactive whiteboard or computer "center" for small groups of students. If you don't have an interactive whiteboard, create a link on classroom computers or your class web page for students to use. Share this site on your classroom website or newsletter for students to practice at home.

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Quizbox - Quizbox.com

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. ...more
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Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. Edit the questions and choices. Complete the quiz and place on your blog. At the end of the quiz, students click submit and get their score. Use the result editor to provide a feedback message depending upon their score.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quiz (84), quizzes (96), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Use as a pre-test at the start of a chapter or unit. Identify misconceptions or basic knowledge to help determine instruction. Identify interests of students at the start of the school year. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.
 

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Max My Dream - Johnson and Johnson

Grades
K to 8
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Use 140 words about a dream beginning with, "I dreamed that..." When finished, click Play. This tool creates a visual representation of the dream in a surreal and ...more
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Use 140 words about a dream beginning with, "I dreamed that..." When finished, click Play. This tool creates a visual representation of the dream in a surreal and certainly not literal interpretation! Though not like an actual video, the elements of the dream do appear. Replay the dream, send by Twitter or Facebook, or embed in a blog, wiki, or site. The actual tool is an advertisement for a sleep aid, but you can ignore the ads!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), parts of speech (68), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Practice writing skills. Share an example on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Embed the dream in a blog or site and challenge others to guess the dream by trying to rewrite it. Create visual representations of writing. Or create visual prompts to spark others to write their own interpretations or "what would come next?" Ask students to guess what words the tool focuses in on. Does it pick up verbs or nouns? Your more inquisitive students will enjoy experimenting to figure out how it works.

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Musical Fraction Bars - Phil Tulga

Grades
3 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site connects your knowledge of fractions and length to musical pitch through many visual explanations and hands-on activities. The introductory page explains using fractions to...more
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This site connects your knowledge of fractions and length to musical pitch through many visual explanations and hands-on activities. The introductory page explains using fractions to create notes on a scale along with an interactive activity to create your own song using the fraction bars. Be sure to visit the page with instructions on creating your own fraction musical tubes using PVC pipe. You can even play your own song using virtual musical tubes right on the site! Other interesting parts of the site include drum notes from Ghana and ancient melodies from Mexico.

tag(s): fractions (239), musical notation (35), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own fraction tubes using PVC pipe (or drinking straws) based on instructions on the site. Create a link on classroom computers for students to explore tones created by fraction tubes (virtually). Share this site with the music teacher to use when coordinating math and music lessons.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Online Conversion - Robert Fogt

Grades
3 to 12
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This site is the ultimate resource for any measurement or conversion need. Calculators are included for Math, Science, Cooking, Time, and much more. Categories are listed in alphabetical...more
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This site is the ultimate resource for any measurement or conversion need. Calculators are included for Math, Science, Cooking, Time, and much more. Categories are listed in alphabetical order from Acceleration to Weight/Mass. Within each category are the different converters/calculators. For example, after choosing volume, choices include acres, barrels (dry, federal, liquid, and wine), cubic units, gallons, quarts teaspoons, yards, and more. Other interesting conversions include your weight on other planets, your age in dog years, and translations to and from Pig Latin. You are sure to find exactly the conversion for any need within this site along with others to use just for fun!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (23), measurement (159), temperature (29), time (144)

In the Classroom

Following a lesson on conversions, allow students to access the site to check answers. Mark this site in your favorites and share it on your TeachersFirst public age for quick access. Use as a handy resource on your interactive whiteboard or projector anytime that conversions come up in your classroom. Share this site with students through your class web page or TeachersFirst public page as a resource to use outside of class-- even when cooking with mom or dad!

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BrainBashers - Kevin Stone

Grades
3 to 12
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BrainBashers offers many different types of puzzles, riddles, brain teasers, and optical illusions. The site is updated daily so new material is always readily available. Each time...more
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BrainBashers offers many different types of puzzles, riddles, brain teasers, and optical illusions. The site is updated daily so new material is always readily available. Each time you open the site, find a new fun fact along with an odd word and its definition. The site is organized into puzzles, games, illusions, fun stuff, and logic games. Sudoku puzzles of different difficulty levels are also available. The link for teachers includes puzzles for schools and useful pages including optical illusions, memory tests, and logic puzzles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), puzzles (208), riddles (15)

In the Classroom

Use the odd words daily for students to learn new vocabulary. Share the fun fact on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter. Print and share Sudoku and other puzzles as challenge activities. Use logic puzzles in class for practice with problem solving skills. Share the site on your classroom website or blog for students to access at home.

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Money Instructor - Money Instructor

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a wonderful resource for any teacher looking for lessons, worksheets, activities, and articles related to money. Although this is a subscription site, many of the resources...more
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This site is a wonderful resource for any teacher looking for lessons, worksheets, activities, and articles related to money. Although this is a subscription site, many of the resources are free without any kind of registration. You can also register to receive limited access to some of the site's other resources. Categories include basic money skills, earning/spending, saving/investing, and careers/business. Elementary lessons include worksheets, coloring pages, and activities that include printables and online games. Other categories include lessons on taxes, insurance, investing, using an ATM and much more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), careers (132), financial literacy (80), investing (10), money (193)

In the Classroom

Print off worksheets to use in your classroom. Search for lessons on any money-related topic you are studying in your classroom. Elementary teachers: be sure to check out the lesson "Teaching Elementary Money Skills." In secondary classrooms, check out the lessons on savings and investing, business and career, and more. Create a link to the interactives on your classroom computers to use as a center or for free time.

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Numberlines - Mark Robinson

Grades
1 to 6
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Numberline, a projectable interactive, helps students understand number sequencing and patterns. The number line comes with 7 colored squares that you can use to cover the numbers so...more
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Numberline, a projectable interactive, helps students understand number sequencing and patterns. The number line comes with 7 colored squares that you can use to cover the numbers so that students have to calculate what number is missing. At the bottom of the screen, there are blue buttons with options for different types of number lines: 1's, 10's, 100's, 0.1's, 0.5's, -5 through 5, or create your own under the section titled "Make a Line." Just specify the number you want the line to begin at and the increments to count up by and click "Go." You end up with your own personalized line!

tag(s): decimals (133), multiplication (227), number lines (22), number sense (97), patterns (85), sequencing (31)

In the Classroom

Display on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class lesson for learning decimals, counting by 10's, 100's, etc. Create your own number line for students to discover what is missing. Practice multiplication facts by creating a number line with missing facts. Place a missing block on the line and have students create a number line that will get you to that number. Make a sidebar center with your IWB where students develop their own number lines to challenge classmates to determine patterns and missing numbers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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National Phenology Network - USA National Phenology Network

Grades
8 to 12
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What is Phenology? It is the study of cycles in nature from bird and animal migration to changing of leaf colors. Many of our actions on the planet are affected ...more
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What is Phenology? It is the study of cycles in nature from bird and animal migration to changing of leaf colors. Many of our actions on the planet are affected by phenology. This site invites the general public to become observers. Identify the variety of plants and animals in your region and submit data after registering. You can also help in recoveringand recording historical data by entering scanned observation cards into a database.

tag(s): environment (317), food chains (22), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Identify global issues and their consequences through participation on this site. Learn about seasonal changes with animals and plants, adaptations of organisms, and the interrelationships among organisms. Ask students the following questions: Could using herbicides and pesticides at other times of the year yield a better result? What cycles would you need to look at? What natural resources can be managed more efficiently if we followed cycles? What animal or plant cycles have been affected by environmental changes? Students can enter the information from the scanned cards for a community service project or a graduation project. By looking at data such as when insects emerge and when migrating songbirds arrive, students could also learn about the interdependence of plants and animals, and possibly more importantly, the consequences when that interdependence is interrupted by human activity. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate a specific topic on this website and make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Or challenge student groups to make an infographic that depicts the impact of a specific human activity.

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