TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 25, 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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Around the World (About 20,000 Times) - Wall Street Journal

Grades
5 to 12
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This site shares great summary of the U.S. space shuttle program. An interactive graph shows icons organized by year for each space mission. Clicking the icon shows the vital ...more
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This site shares great summary of the U.S. space shuttle program. An interactive graph shows icons organized by year for each space mission. Clicking the icon shows the vital information about each mission, including the date of the mission, distance it covered, the duration of its flight, its orbital altitude, and the number of earth orbits it made. Each icon has different symbols to describe the mission visually. There is a clear explanation of the icon meanings. Click on just one orbiter to see its missions; sort by date, mission type, mission duration, spacecraft, altitude, and number of orbits. There is a color coded summary of each of the shuttle (Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): nasa (40), space (206), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of part or all of the space program. Assign your students to find online visuals (in the public domain) of certain aspects of the space shuttle program. Then have students create an online book of images and captions about their mission choice using Bookr (reviewed here). (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr).

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SMART Board Goodies - Amber Coggin

Grades
K to 12
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This bright and cheerful blog offers original interactive whiteboard resources created by a certified SMARTboard trainer. The site is updated often, get notices of updates by email...more
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This bright and cheerful blog offers original interactive whiteboard resources created by a certified SMARTboard trainer. The site is updated often, get notices of updates by email or by following on Twitter or Facebook. To find archived files, search the site using the search box at the top of the page, search archived files by month, or find links to notebook files on the right-hand side of the home page. Especially helpful are the author's notes when posting new files as she offers tips on how to use it in the classroom. An example is the singing horses file (check it out, very funny!) that she uses to help students get used to using an interactive whiteboard while learning cause and effect. Be sure to check out the Facebook page template which includes a template for student use. Since this teacher uses SMART brand IWB, you may need to use SMART Notebook Express reviewed hereto open some files on another brand of whiteboard.

tag(s): iwb (31), literacy (102), numbers (203), resources (111)

In the Classroom

Shop the site for interactive whiteboard resources to download for classroom use. Use the singing horses to teach cause and effect. Use the Facebook page template for students to create biographies of famous people, of themselves for back to school, or of teachers in your building for Back to School nights! There is much to explore at this "gem" of a site!

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Find It - Lyndsey McCollam

Grades
K to 4
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Deceptively simple, this game offers the opportunity for students to test their observation skills. Within the big picture, try to find the small piece shown to one side. There are...more
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Deceptively simple, this game offers the opportunity for students to test their observation skills. Within the big picture, try to find the small piece shown to one side. There are two levels of difficulty for those wanting to test their skills further. When stuck, click on the help button to be shown the missing piece. Build your visual discrimination skills!

tag(s): logic (229), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Display on the interactive whiteboard or projector and allow students to explore on their own and improve visual discrimination that is useful for reading and more. Create a link on classroom or lab computers to use as a center. Discuss with students different strategies and clues provided within the game that helped them find the missing picture.

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The Bridges Organization - Bridges Organization

Grades
6 to 12
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Connect art and math using this site. The Bridges Organization was created in 1998 as an organization dedicated to promoting how Mathematics and the Arts work together. Each year they...more
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Connect art and math using this site. The Bridges Organization was created in 1998 as an organization dedicated to promoting how Mathematics and the Arts work together. Each year they hold an annual conference in cities from North America to Europe. Members include mathematicians, artists, sculptors, dancers, computer scientists, and many more. The website contains background information on the organization, links to past conferences, and current conference information. Perhaps of most interest to classroom teachers are the links to the galleries. Contained within these are hundreds of works of art that have been featured at the conferences (try the link to the 2010 Bridges Conference for example). Click on any of the links and find pictures of their work along with a short explanation of how math is used in the piece.

tag(s): art history (69), artists (75), geometric shapes (159), tessellations (6)

In the Classroom

What a wonderful way to connect to students' multiple intelligences! After viewing examples of the artwork with your students, team up with the Art teacher in your building to have students create their own pieces of art based on math examples. Tie in writing by assigning students to write about their artwork and the math used as the basis of their art piece. Display art work with the explanations for other students to enjoy. Or take pictures of the art work and challenge students to create voice narration for the photo using a tool such as Thinklink,reviewed here.

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Basket Math Interactive - Science Academy Software

Grades
4 to 10
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This ativity provides positive reinforcement of correct math answers with a basketball player taking a shot at the basket. Click Start or any of the questions in the Table of ...more
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This ativity provides positive reinforcement of correct math answers with a basketball player taking a shot at the basket. Click Start or any of the questions in the Table of Contents left of your window to see a mathematics question and animation. If you answer the question correctly, the result will be a basketball shot animation; incorrect responses yield the correct answer. Questions include various strands and levels of mathematics such as rounding numbers, perimeter, word problems, common factors, and much more. At the completion of each round, the score appears with the number of correct responses and percentage correct. You must either click the back button (if you want to remain within the same topic) or click on a new topic to move on to the next question. The game is available in Spanish.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), decimals (133), exponents (42), factors (42), fluency (23), map skills (80), number sense (97), operations (126), perimeter (32), problem solving (258), rounding (22)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Create a class graph of scores, and challenge students to increase their percentage of correct problems. Share as a Favorite on your TeachersFirst public page or on your class website or blog for students to access the site outside of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Super Sequencer - Mark Robinson

Grades
K to 7
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The Super Sequencer lets you practice number patterns using any number including decimals. Just input your starting number, decide on the increment (change), and you are off! You can...more
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The Super Sequencer lets you practice number patterns using any number including decimals. Just input your starting number, decide on the increment (change), and you are off! You can even choose a counting speed of slow, medium or fast. Sound effects are included! This would be a great resource to practice counting by two, five, etc. or multiplication facts. Increase fluency and number sense.

tag(s): counting (119), decimals (133), fluency (23), fractions (239), multiplication (227), number sense (97)

In the Classroom

Use on your interactive whiteboard or projector to practice multiplication facts. Start at 0, input the number fact you want to practice, choose a speed and challenge students to keep up! Demonstrate the change when adding decimals by inputting decimal amounts and watching the increasing values. Create a learning station with this site on your whiteboard for small groups to practice multiplication, number patterns, basic counting, or decimals.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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News English Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and...more
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and many teaching materials to go with them. Though the look of the site is cluttered with advertising and plain text, the content is worthwhile. Developed for ESL/ELL students and teachers, the site would also work well in a subject area, learning support, or reading classroom. There are MANY articles "ready to go," including mp3 audio files to listen to the articles. At the time of this review there were 200+ new additions! Each article includes several types of activities such as "online gap fill" (a Cloze reading activity), vocabulary flashcards, and hangman, and matching. A full script is available in pdf form. There is also an online, interactive quiz for students. The articles, and a lot more activities, can be downloaded and printed, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): diseases (66), listening (92), news (261)

In the Classroom

The articles are short and interesting, a perfect match for non-fiction reading comprehension. With so many different activities to choose from, it will be easy for the classroom teacher to differentiate. There is an mp3 audio version of each article so students can listen as they read. Assign small groups of students to present the news each week, using the interactive whiteboard to show others the country and city from which the article originated. Make the newscasting experience even more real by having students read scripts of these news stories or their own original stories using a Easyprompter, reviewed here. Students can then go to another news source such as "Mapeas" (reviewed here) and click on the country of origin to see what else is happening in the news there. For a project, have the small groups create a "talking map" using a site such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (where their article/story took place). What a fabulous way to share the article with the rest of the class!

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Speak Up - Cartoon Network

Grades
2 to 8
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and...more
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and conflicts from which students can choose. Creating cartoons is an effective way to teach students how to write stories with a clear storyline and structure. The story problem section allows students to write in their own scenarios. Students are responsible for creating the solution to the story problem themselves. Each cartoon strip contains six boxes, allows two characters per page, and speaking bubbles as well as narrative box across the bottom of the page.

tag(s): bullying (51), comics and cartoons (74), creative writing (167), digital storytelling (135), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

Use "Speak Up" as part of a mini-lesson about problem and solution or dialogue. Have students create their own cartoons as part of a craft lesson. Print out the cartoon and students can use it as an outline to help them write narrative text or plays. Demonstrate how to combine narration with dialogue in one text from this cartoon outline.

Use scenarios of social conflicts your class may be facing or are currently discussing in character education. For example, use bullying or peer pressure issues. Pair up classmates to re-tell a conflict similar to those students face during recess, in class, or from home. Together they can discuss ways to solve these conflicts. Use the results to open up dialogue about student issues and as a tool to brainstorm constructive ways to solve them.

World language teachers or ESL/ELL teachers can also use this tool for students to practice written dialog and appropriate social interaction.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cadaver Dissection Videos - Lawrence Galtman

Grades
7 to 12
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Find actual anatomy and physiology images of the human body. Search through the images categorized by system. There are videos that range in length and topic (split pelvis, gastrointestinal...more
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Find actual anatomy and physiology images of the human body. Search through the images categorized by system. There are videos that range in length and topic (split pelvis, gastrointestinal track, and several others). Some videos are only 5-7 minutes while others are nearly 30 minutes. Warning: These are graphic displays of human cadavers used for medical training purposes. You will want to preview videos before you share with middle school students. Check whether your school has any policies about obtaining parent permission before sharing graphic images.

tag(s): body systems (56), human body (119), organisms (21)

In the Classroom

Identify how structure is related to function through discussing how different structures are related to their functions and how they compare with a other organisms. Compare images from your own class discussions to identify the similarities and differences among organisms. Consider sharing (appropriate) videos on your interactive whiteboards or projectors.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science.Gov - CENDI

Grades
8 to 12
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This is a searchable database of science research on many topics. It is entirely governmental science research that is available for public viewing. Search over 40 other databases and...more
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This is a searchable database of science research on many topics. It is entirely governmental science research that is available for public viewing. Search over 40 other databases and 200 million web pages of science information. Talk about a one stop shop! It is easy to search - just type and enter!

tag(s): data (149), resources (111)

In the Classroom

Use this as resource when researching for scientific papers, getting ideas for experiments, or just staying apprised of the latest scientific research on a specific topic.

If your students are doing scientific research you might want to supply them with links from Science.gov using Diigo-Education reviewed here.

Comments

Would like to see better search features within subject categories. Kathleen, VT, Grades: 0 - 12

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