TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 23, 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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Museum of Obsolete Objects - MoooJvM

Grades
6 to 12
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View this interactive video timeline to look at obsolete technologies from the past, including rotary hand mixers, cassette tapes, and other technologies. These short videos share "obsolete"...more
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View this interactive video timeline to look at obsolete technologies from the past, including rotary hand mixers, cassette tapes, and other technologies. These short videos share "obsolete" items from the 1860s to 2000s. (Note: if your school blocks YouTube, this site will not be accessible. Ask to have this specific url unblocked).

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Use as a introductory video into science and technology. Identify the science understanding and concepts needed to change the technologies. Brainstorm other technologies that could be added to this list from the various decades. Brainstorm together using a tool such as Mindmeister (reviewed here). Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate a specific decade and determine what was a new invention then but is no longer used today. Have students create slideshows using Zoho Show (reviewed here). Display these on a blog or wiki for students to review and comment. Assign students to do a written or recorded interview of those who have used these old technologies to find out how life has changed before and after the technology.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Accompl.sh - Accomplsh, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is...more
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is not meant as a "to do" list but as a way to make meaningful changes toward life goals. Create your list by answering "I want to..." Create a title for the list, add 10 goals, then lock in the goals. Click on a goal to create a comment (these can be identified as progress reports using the checkbox below the comment box.) Accompl.sh has a user community that can help in motivating you towards your goals, so be aware that your input is visible to the public. Whether it is New Years or another milestone day, this is the tool to get you started.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Identify the goals needed to become a better student, be more organized, or other life or study skills that students would find useful. This is a great "tracking" system to help students in class and at home. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, so families can make group goals together. Promote solid study skills and project planning using this tool.

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Children's Books at Embracing the Child - Embracing the Child

Grades
K to 12
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At first glance this site may appear to be just a compilation of Newbery and Caldecott winning books; however, after diving in and exploring there is much more for classroom ...more
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At first glance this site may appear to be just a compilation of Newbery and Caldecott winning books; however, after diving in and exploring there is much more for classroom teachers, media specialists, and parents. Each week the site offers a synopsis of a Book of the Week; monthly there is an author interview. Archives share previous offerings all the way back to 2003 (at the time of this review). The links on the left side of the page make it easier to find specific books by topic, such as Black History, Recommendations for age 9 and up, and letters & sounds. Don't miss the section about children's illustrators, located in links on the left. It contains an incredibly long list of links to information about specific children's authors. (Note: some links were broken, but most are not.) The site also offers an email newsletter. Some of the descriptions offer the opportunity to purchase the book at Amazon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (120), baseball (36), black history (59), book lists (126), book reports (36), independent reading (126), literature (275), newbery (2)

In the Classroom

Classroom teachers and schools without access to a Media Specialist can use this site to stay current on children's literature offerings and book awards. Use this site before reading a book for information about the author to share with your classroom. Locate books geared toward specific student interests using the category links on the left. Share this site on your classroom blog or website as a resource for parents and students to find books for independent reading. Use this site to find books specific to classroom topics such as nature books, picture books, or science and math books. Set up literature circles based on a topic.

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Study Blue - StudyBlue

Grades
K to 12
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This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others ...more
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This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others for excellent collaboration. Study Blue also provides hints to help students study. Create a folder in "My Backpack." Make flashcards to get started or search flashcards already created by others.

tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Use as a study aid for students. This is a great tool for older students (who own cell phones). Students can study their flashcards on the bus, in the backseat of the family car, or while waiting for their dentist appointment! Have students create individual accounts and collaborate with others or create a class account for all to use. Have groups collaborate on the creation of flashcards for students to use or have groups create flashcards for specific parts of the unit. Learning support students can take their extra help along with them.

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Google Archive News Search - Google

Grades
3 to 12
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods...more
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods by using the advance search table that pops up on the landing page.

tag(s): journalism (46), primary sources (86), search engines (65), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This site will complement any social studies, history class, or English class. Use the search to bring history alive for students. Show actual news articles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students use this tool for research. Have them use the advanced search table that pops up to find events that happened during a particular time period. English teachers will also find this a useful tool to show how journalism has evolved through the years.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Global SchoolNet - Global School Net

Grades
4 to 12
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Find ways to include your class in online, project based learning. This site offers living curriculum in a world laboratory that promotes lifelong learning. A series of different programs,...more
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Find ways to include your class in online, project based learning. This site offers living curriculum in a world laboratory that promotes lifelong learning. A series of different programs, including International school Cyber Fair, Doors to Diplomacy, Mosaics of Life, Geogame, Online Expedition, and Letters to Santa all encourage global technology. Global SchoolNet engages youth in project based, online learning activities to promote creativity and communication, while increasing global understanding. A Projects Registry and Collaborative Learning Center contains great ideas for projects. Webby award winner Global SchoolNet has been a top ten educational website for five years in a row. This is a great resource for busy teachers!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Go global with your class this year! Set your technology goals to include many of the different global project based learning sites in a condensed easy to find manner. Link your class to other classes around the world. Join in online expeditions, competitions for your students, or even an online teacher award. Join in the Newsday Project and have your students publish articles for the world to see. Several International resources provide lesson plans for teachers for problem based technology projects. Information for different competitions bring your class into the cutting edge of global technology problem based learning. Join the list serve to keep updated with the latest happening in global education.

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Powers of Ten - Charles and Ray Eames

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers dramatic, visual views of changes when zooming in or out by powers of ten. Simply click on the start page to begin the journey by looking at ...more
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This site offers dramatic, visual views of changes when zooming in or out by powers of ten. Simply click on the start page to begin the journey by looking at roses as we normally see them. By clicking on each of the numbers on the ruler below, you can see what happens at +10 squared and beyond up to 10 to the 26th value (the largest scale picture ever taken). You can also go to negative powers of 10 up to -15, the study of quarks. According to TeachersFirst user C.G., this site is based on a video. Watch the video here. Consider offering this site as a starter and the YouTube video (if accessible at school) for students who wish to know more. If your district blocks YouTube, then this may not be viewable. You could always view that at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): exponents (42), negative numbers (22), place value (56), square roots (24)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to help students visualize the dramatic changes between powers of ten. Allow students to experiment with the site on classroom computers. Provide a link on your class website to this interesting activity. Make ten even more "powerful" by having students write abstract poems about what they might see at different "powers."

Comments

Show your students video "The Powers of Ten" which is what the site was based on. It's fascinating. I don't know who was more amazed - my 5th graders or me. [Ed note: thanks for the video link. We have added it to the review!] Cindy, TX, Grades: 5 - 6

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Aesthetic Computing for Mathematics Teachers - Paul Fishwick

Grades
7 to 12
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"Aesthetic computing" is an approach to algebra that focuses on students representing algebraic equations as pictures and stories to increase student involvement and understanding....more
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"Aesthetic computing" is an approach to algebra that focuses on students representing algebraic equations as pictures and stories to increase student involvement and understanding. The goal is to engage students who would benefit through hands-on and visual approaches to learning. The site includes a 5 minute video describing the approach, an introduction to the theory including lesson plans and handouts, and learning outcomes. Lesson plans are divided into Middle School and High School categories. One interesting inclusion to the site is the online chat and group for teachers interested in trying the approach. The group is very small but might be worthwhile to use for networking with others using this approach.

tag(s): operations (126), problem solving (272), visualizations (14)

In the Classroom

Share this site with Special Education and Gifted teachers as the hands-on approach will appeal to both types of learners. Display and share students' pictures and stories in your classroom or on your classroom website. Challenge students to find the equation within the pictures and stories.

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Addition of Three Digit Numbers - Harcourt School

Grades
2 to 5
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This site provides practice with addition of three digit numbers with and without regrouping, shown via base 10 blocks. Students input their own numbers to add, so you can use ...more
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This site provides practice with addition of three digit numbers with and without regrouping, shown via base 10 blocks. Students input their own numbers to add, so you can use the site without repetition of problems. Once you choose two numbers, the representation of both numbers shows vertically using as base 10 blocks. The tool adds up each column for the student to see where they need to regrouping. If regrouping is necessary, the blocks combine and move to the appropriate column. Turn on audio by clicking on the yellow volume icon. What a fabulous way to learn the thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones.

tag(s): addition (251), regrouping (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set to introduce a unit or lesson on regrouping on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have a student operate the site with classmates helping to direct him/her. Stop and discuss each step of the problem to demonstrate how and why regrouping takes place. Ask students to follow each of the steps with base 10 blocks at their seats. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers to use it as a center. Create a classroom bulletin board using a problem created by the class to demonstrate steps needed when regrouping.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Visual MD - Anatomical Travelogue, LLC

Grades
9 to 12
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View The Visual MD site for an unbelievable visual experience about the human body. Learn and understand about health content, and interact for better understanding. View unique 3D...more
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View The Visual MD site for an unbelievable visual experience about the human body. Learn and understand about health content, and interact for better understanding. View unique 3D resources in a format that educates and informs about health and wellness issues: depression, back pain, heart attack angina, hypertension, kidney disease, asthma, and more. Use these fascinating visuals, produced with real human data from medical scans including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT) ultrasound, and confocal laser scans. View the body as never seen before, with lifelike computer imaging and enhancement. Find important advice and information on many aspects of health care. Search the interactive library, view videos, or read content.

tag(s): body systems (57), diseases (66), heart (42), human body (120)

In the Classroom

Take the discussion in Health and Biology one step further by connecting class content with health issues. Since diseases are breakdowns of processes at the cellular level, students can identify these as well as the body's responses. Many of the topics and materials on this site are advanced for some students, so teachers should keep in mind the maturity level of their students. Use this site to research and present health topics to the class. Answer the questions that students often ask via research on this site. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate health topics and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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A Window Into Life - Kenneth Eward

Grades
8 to 12
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This website offers an artistic Flash animation of cell processes. It shows the fluid motion and dimensionality of cell existence and internal cell processes. The only drawback could...more
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This website offers an artistic Flash animation of cell processes. It shows the fluid motion and dimensionality of cell existence and internal cell processes. The only drawback could be that organelles are not labeled.

tag(s): animation (63), cells (102)

In the Classroom

Looking for something to make your students think? Share this cell animation. This site would be ideal for an interactive whiteboard (or projector) activity during a unit on cells. Help your students visualize a cell and help them think differently about cell processes. Use as an introduction to cells and their functions. The accompanying music sets the stage for the lesson and underscores the mystery of living things, so turn up the speakers. This would also be a great way to introduce art students to the art of science modeling. It could help inspire a cross curricular lesson between art and science classes. After viewing this website, create a class wiki about cell processes and have students add a quick 2-3 sentence comment about what they learned from this animation. Encourage them to use their best descriptive words. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Fold It - UW Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Grades
9 to 12
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Use this (site) project to apply puzzle-solving skills to determine how proteins are folded. Proteins are fascinating, but their structures are difficult to comprehend. Why study the...more
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Use this (site) project to apply puzzle-solving skills to determine how proteins are folded. Proteins are fascinating, but their structures are difficult to comprehend. Why study the folding of proteins? The folding determines how they function and has implications for human health and how we live with materials and the environment. Bring out thinking processes with this downloadable interactive. Each protein becomes a puzzle. Players manipulate the protein into the form that provides the most efficiency. Researchers are tapping into the potential of the human brain to identify patterns. Understand the formation and breakdown of proteins through game play. Identify the four structures in proteins and their role in the functions and specificity of proteins. Download is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. There is an option to "join" for a fee. However, this is necessary only if you wish to comment on the site. As a "real world" connection showing the impact of this "game," see this article about the discoveries about HIV/AIDS that resulted from Fold It.

tag(s): atoms (55), hiv/aids (18), molecules (43)

In the Classroom

Allow students time to manipulate this site and learn the structures of proteins prior to the discussion of the content of the unit. Brainstorm what students have learned to develop notes or major content points. Identify the specific proteins and functions and determine why certain proteins have specific shapes. Identify the roles of proteins in the bodies of all living organisms. Connect these proteins with proteins in the diet and discuss the importance. Determine protein sources that are more beneficial for the human body. Think you have found the best way to fold the proteins? Register on the site and discuss the pattern.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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