TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 30, 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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Exam General - Examgeneral.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Create and administer tests easily with this resource. ExamGeneral is free to use (unless you decide to sell your tests). ExamGeneral receives a portion of the revenue as well as ...more
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Create and administer tests easily with this resource. ExamGeneral is free to use (unless you decide to sell your tests). ExamGeneral receives a portion of the revenue as well as a nominal up-front fee if you do sell. Follow the detailed tutorial for help in using the site. Create a class and even define whether students require a subscription. Use the class ID for students to use to join your class. Create test templates, tests, schedule tests, and view results from your dashboard. Secret URL's are generated for each exam. Choose to auto grade your exam, create a time limit, and other parameters of the exam.

tag(s): quizzes (95), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Create an easy way to enter tests and grade them. Create pre- and post- assessment tests as well as unit tests. Create practice rest for end of the year type exams. Be sure to save this site in your favorites! Students could also create peer "tests" as review activities or as follow up after student presentations.

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Portfoliovillage - Site Maker Software Company

Grades
4 to 12
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and ...more
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PortfolioVillage is a powerful eportfolio site where you or your students can showcase all types of work. PortfolioVillage is a free and easy to use program. Their unique drag and drop editor makes it easy. There are also editable flash widgets and the thousands of stock images and animations. You can create a flash portfolio website with media rich components: videos, audio, a play list, create forms, chats, and blogs. Be sure to watch the introduction video and read about the features provided.

PortfolioVillage must be updated every six months to stay free. Your portfolio will be deleted if not updated.

For those of you with iPads, this Flash site won't work for you. However, you might try Google Swiffy reviewed here. Google Swiffy is a tool that lets you convert Flash SWF files to HTML5 to view on non-Flash devices such as iTouch, iPad, and iPhone.

tag(s): creativity (108), portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

There are a gazillion ways to use an eportfolio! Have your students upload their current and past work that they think they might want to showcase. They can have an area for all their different talents whether it is drawing, writing, acting, creating games or codes, designing anything, or athletic prowess. Students could create an online presence to share in college or job applications.

You may want to start out slowly, allowing your students to choose a talent that may fit within traditional curriculum. Have students select several pieces to demonstrate their talent and upload it to a working portfolio. You can then have the students reflect on each piece in writing. Students should then choose one artifact to showcase; have them write about why that was their choice. The eportfolio can be presented in class by students using a projector or an interactive whiteboard. Teachers who have students for more than one year (such as in a gifted program or Art classes) can encourage students to show growth in their talents.

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Strike - Zurb

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create and collaborate on to-do lists with this easy-to-use tool. You can create an account or not. If you do not create an account, be sure to SAVE the URL ...more
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Create and collaborate on to-do lists with this easy-to-use tool. You can create an account or not. If you do not create an account, be sure to SAVE the URL of your list to return later. Mark list items as completed by dragging them to the left or right of the list window or simply check them off. Double click the list item to edit it as needed then click off of it to save. Send the url for your list to collaborate with others. See what others have done by clicking on the small person icon across the top. When making changes, enter your name, and the site keeps track of who completed specific items. What a great twist on your "to do" list.

tag(s): organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

Use this simple tool to create "to do" lists for group projects or research. Be sure to spend time breaking down complex tasks into smaller, manageable pieces. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. This is a great tool to help students learn time management when organizing a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be known and the best steps to take to complete the project. Organize tasks and set due dates to assist students in being timely completing projects. Use the tool together a few times on a projector or interactive whiteboard, returning to check off items, then have student groups try it as they do projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers at all levels will appreciate this tool for professional organization of their own tasks, especially during busy times like report cards!

Comments

Excellent for time management, long term projects, even personal projects! Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Focus on Animation - National Film Board of Canada

Grades
K to 6
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This site is useful for learning about both the technical and historical aspects of animation. Over seventy animated shorts date back as far as 1941. Several informative films explain...more
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This site is useful for learning about both the technical and historical aspects of animation. Over seventy animated shorts date back as far as 1941. Several informative films explain a variety of processes animators' use and include biography pages. The section, "My Film Class", is specifically for children. It contains games, films, and activities for students. Many of the films on this site reflect on the human condition and have a strong philosophical message. The National Film Board of Canada organizes films into seven main themes such as citizenship, folk tales or rights and responsibility. There are a few postings for film competitions. This site is a "work in progress" with new material being added often, so be sure to check back.

tag(s): animation (59), comics and cartoons (74), drawing (77), french (89)

In the Classroom

Provide background information about the filmmaker and the animation process used, before projecting a film shirt to the whole class. Download free lesson plans for each of their thematic units. Each lesson consists of three activities and a closing lesson. The content of the films will stretch a student's ability to think metaphorically, and understand symbolism. Use this site to inspire future animators. Encourage students to create their own films. Share the films on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Provide opportunities for students to create stop motion films that use clay, paper cut outs or object animation. Explore the other various techniques they mention on this site. Younger children will enjoy the activities on "Animacat's House." Be sure to screen each film before playing them for your class. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lessons of a Widowmaker - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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Look at the cool aircraft tested by NASA over the years with this interactive site. Click on an image of an aircraft to view the specifications, overview, and images. Click ...more
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Look at the cool aircraft tested by NASA over the years with this interactive site. Click on an image of an aircraft to view the specifications, overview, and images. Click on the phone on the table to view great videos of testing of aircraft. Learn how aircraft make the journey from prototype to production of the plane. Play an Aero Match Game or an Air War card game for added fun.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), air (163), aircraft (24), nasa (40), space (206)

In the Classroom

Use in a History or Science class. View the scientific principles, outline the aspects of the scientific method important to testing, or similarities and differences of the aircraft. Challenge students to answer how the development of the aircraft has changed the space program. Identify historical significance, economic, and social factors that have changed not only aircraft design but the space program as well. Identify and research other technological feats, materials, and inventions that have revolutionized aircraft and space exploration. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SlateBox - SlateBox

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial...more
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial after sign up for the basics. The FREE account is only for ONE user. So if you plan to have students use the site, you will have to have each student register individually, or each group create an individual account. Note that free accounts make all your "slates" public for others to collaborate/change.

View the video for a quick introduction on copying, moving, and linking boxes. Use the template panel to drop nodes needed for your new slate into the drop panel. Hovering over the box shows tools for editing text, creating links to other boxes (click and hold on the icon while dragging to another box.) Control the colors, borders, template, etc. in the right navigation pane. Export your slate to a pdf document or create an embed code to place into a wiki or blog.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Create a template mindmap and add collaborator leaders (perhaps one in each group) who can --in turn-- add the rest of the group to collaborate. Assign portions of a template to a group of students. Groups can collaborate on paper or your whiteboard and then choose the best ideas for the slate being created. You can also use Slatebox with a whole-class account. Show SlateBox creations using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit or change elements easily with class input. Use for mapping content being studied in the current unit, problem solving, vocabulary, and more. Use this site to help students interact with and organize ideas. Construct points of a short story, identify main points of passages, or generate a map of the basic points of paragraph development. Wrap up a lesson by having the students create a "diagram of the day" (the main points of the lesson). Students can use this site to map ideas in passages of a textbook. If each student or group maps a specific passage, ideas from chapters can be seen visually. Be sure to include the links to student-created "diagrams" on a class wiki or web page so students can use them for review. If your students have Internet access outside of class, assign them to create a simple diagram of an assigned reading as homework and embed it into a wiki or blog.

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Homework hotline - homeworkhotline.org

Grades
3 to 12
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Have a student stumped by homework? Find exercises and extra help in various subject areas in this kid friendly site. Navigate through the various resources and friendly graphics to...more
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Have a student stumped by homework? Find exercises and extra help in various subject areas in this kid friendly site. Navigate through the various resources and friendly graphics to areas of the site such as "Sweet Stuff" which features neat interactives, "Needed Knowledge" with great tips, "Book review" to view video book reviews, and "Getting Historical." Watch informative (don't confuse with boring) videos of various math problems whether it be basic math, solving word problems, or even geometry. Find videos for other subjects such as science, language arts, social studies, health, and art. Review information in various subjects by trying age-appropriate interactives. This site also boasts "Dial A Teacher." Students can use a toll-free number to speak with a real teacher Monday through Thursday between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. EST.

tag(s): homework (43), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Visit the "Boring Stuff' link for parents and teachers to find a PDF of 10 Ways to Use the Homework Helper Site in Your Classroom. Find segment guides, scripts, and book reviews beneficial for in class or use by students outside of class. Share this link at Back to School Night and put the link directly on your class website. Encourage middle schoolers to build independent work habits using this site.

Consider creating helpful information, videos, and tutorials of information students need answers to and creating your own help site as a school. Use students to create book reviews, math tutorials, etc. Use a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here to share the videos.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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