TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 13, 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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Font de Music - Rightwork, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Font de Music lets you add sound and movement to words. You write your text, select font, choose color, and add movement to your words by moving your mouse up ...more
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Font de Music lets you add sound and movement to words. You write your text, select font, choose color, and add movement to your words by moving your mouse up and down. Creations can be shared via a link or through Twitter. No limit on words is stated on the site, but it appears that you can put in a few words. Note: this site loads more slowly at high traffic times. You will notice that the site creators are not very good at spelling in English. Some directions are misspelled, but the tool works. Here is an example of a musical vocab word created by TeachersFirst.

tag(s): animation (59), vocabulary (323), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spice up some lessons around vocabulary -- what "mood" would you choose for an individual word? Or, if students were to create one of these musical pieces around their name, what decisions would they make for font, color and music? Students can use the site to make online presentations interesting, just link to their creation for inclusion in reports in Prezi reviewed here or other presentations. Use the site as an interesting way to begin a lesson and capture students' attention. Use this site as a first week of school activity. Have students write in their names and favorite hobby or color and put it to music!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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CyberWise - CyberWise

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
  
CyberWise provides tools for parents, educators, and kids to help them understand and use new media tools safely at home and in the classroom. The site provides an extensive collection...more
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CyberWise provides tools for parents, educators, and kids to help them understand and use new media tools safely at home and in the classroom. The site provides an extensive collection of videos and resources that explain current media tools and ways to use them. Guides include Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Blogger, Prezi, Glogster, Facebook, Snapchat, Vine, and many others. Enter any tool name into the search box to see if there is a guide. Find information about media literacy, digital citizenship, cyberbullying, sexting, and more. The CyberCivics blog has the latest issues, trends, and tools to keep you an informed digital citizen. Sign up for the free newsletter and subscribe to the blog to stay current with information included on the site. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cyberbullying (42), digital citizenship (58), internet safety (113), media literacy (56), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Share videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector with students to discuss media tools and how they are using them, or show before assigning projects using current media tools. Challenge students to create an online "scrapbook" on cyber safety using Smilebox, reviewed here, or ask them to create a simple infographic using Piktochart, reviewed here. Share videos with parents to help them understand current media tools and how to use them.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Great tool- always need all we can find to help teach this with students. Charlotte, AL, Grades: 0 - 12

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Memonic - Nektoon AG

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking to take bits of notes from a variety of web pages? Use Memonic to take notes or clip any web content. Easily take it with you wherever you go ...more
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Looking to take bits of notes from a variety of web pages? Use Memonic to take notes or clip any web content. Easily take it with you wherever you go and share it with others (or the entire world.) Using Memonic allows much more efficient printing. The free plan allows up to 100 notes and 3 groups.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): note taking (31)

In the Classroom

Use this site to collect your thoughts and information for class projects, research, and idea/data gathering. Create a group for others to share information with for a subject area, class, or a common interest. Use with classes to allow students to comment to any page you assign for discussion. Students can find pages of interest about a specific content topic and comment their likes and dislikes. Look at various political, environmental, or ethical viewpoints by adding URL's for both sides of the argument and allow time for commenting and voicing of opinion. Learning support teachers may want to create notes together with students, annotating assigned text to show understanding and learn target vocabulary.

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DIY Podcast - NASA

Grades
K to 12
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Create a podcast using audio and videos clips featuring NASA scientists! Follow the steps to create the podcast, including writing a production script, downloading clips, recording...more
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Create a podcast using audio and videos clips featuring NASA scientists! Follow the steps to create the podcast, including writing a production script, downloading clips, recording your narrations, and editing. Use a digital recorder, camcorder, or your computer to record the audio. Download a brochure or bookmark to remember the links for creating the DIY Podcast. Click on the links along the right side of the page for great resources such as the DIY Podcast Blog for some great ideas. Several examples along the side include creating a fitness podcast, lab safety, Newton's Laws, Rocket Science, and Solar Arrays.

tag(s): podcasts (51), scientists (68), space (206)

In the Classroom

Provide example topics to your class once they have tried this site, and let them go! Podcasts can be used in any subject area. In math, have students "teach" the class a new skill via podcast. Rather than a traditional book report, have students create a podcast highlighting the main character, plot, conflict, or storyline or a book. In current events, have cooperative learning groups create a podcast debating a current area of dispute. You could record your assignments or directions; you can record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have better readers record selected passages for your non-readers (perhaps older buddies). Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy! Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. Create great podcasts that can be shared on your wiki site, or blog!

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iDoneThis - idonethis.com

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Keep track of what you have completed towards a goal. Everyday, iDoneThis sends an email asking what you have accomplished. Reply with a list of things completed. iDoneThis...more
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Keep track of what you have completed towards a goal. Everyday, iDoneThis sends an email asking what you have accomplished. Reply with a list of things completed. iDoneThis posts to your online calendar to keep up with your progress. Send an email to today@idonethis.com and it will post on the calendar day that the email is sent. Note that it does take some time for the information to appear on the online calendar and may not be viewable right away. Choose the time of day for your email to be sent asking you, "What have you done today?"

tag(s): calendars (44), organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

Keep motivation going by listing the little steps that students have achieved towards a bigger goal. Email reminders offer a little nudge gently and with humor when no steps have been taken toward the goal. Boost motivation by going back through the calendar to see all the work that you have finished instead of just focusing on what has not been completed. Use this resource to help students keep track of the baby steps towards the completion of larger projects or goals. Be sure to identify the little steps that need to be completed in order to complete the actual project or goal. Learning support and gifted students alike can benefit from this organizational tool for time management. Let them try this tool to motivate themselves.

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Letterboxing Kids - Letterboxing.org

Grades
K to 4
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LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest. The letterbox game is a treasure hunt...more
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LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest. The letterbox game is a treasure hunt using a compass and directional clues. Directions are simple to follow and would be a great activity for students just learning cardinal directions. Another portion of the site gives information on how to create your own rubber stamps using an art gum eraser with some simple tools or using adhesive foam pads.

tag(s): directions (20), map skills (80), maps (287), mysteries (25)

In the Classroom

After showing students how to follow directions for the online treasure hunt, create a link on classroom computers for students to practice on their own. Have students create their own treasure hunts using premade maps or one they make on their own. Create your own personalized stamps using directions from the site to use in the classroom as incentives or motivation. If time permits, host a letterboxing day for your class or include the activity as an instrctional part of a holiday party. Hide the treasures around the playground or school grounds. More than likely, your school already has a pre-created map/floorplan of at least the inside of the building. Make copies for students to use as guides. Create clues for the students (using geography vocabulary, of course).

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Business Insider Chart of the Day - Business Insider

Grades
7 to 12
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Find a new chart each day, based on real world events in different formats. Some days include more than one graph! The newer charts are shown first. Older charts are ...more
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Find a new chart each day, based on real world events in different formats. Some days include more than one graph! The newer charts are shown first. Older charts are available on the site by following the "older" link. Topics vary from world news to sports to economics and more. There is a great variety of topics and chart types. When you click on the chart, a new page opens containing the chart and a description with difficult vocabulary underlined. Click on a word to learn the definition. You can also sign up to receive the daily chart by email.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), cultures (105), data (149), financial literacy (78), infographics (42), sociology (22), sports (95)

In the Classroom

Share a daily chart on your interactive whiteboard or projector and have students recreate the chart into a different format (bar chart to pie chart or line graph). Have students use a tool such as Hohli reviewed here. Ask students to analyze information included on the daily chart as a math journal entry. Create a class chart comparing student information to the daily chart provided. Use the daily chart as a class warm-up - discuss trends, information provided, information not included that might be useful, etc. Social Studies teachers may want to use the charts as a tie-in to current events. Reading teachers charged with teaching about charts as part of informational texts will find a treasure trove of examples here, especially as prep for BIG reading tests.

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Exhibition Monet - RMN-Grand Palais

Grades
2 to 12
8 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Sit back and enjoy an exquisite escape into the beautiful world of Claude Monet's paintings. The RMN-Grand Palais, and Musee d'Orsay transformed their 2010 exhibition, "Claude Monet...more
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Sit back and enjoy an exquisite escape into the beautiful world of Claude Monet's paintings. The RMN-Grand Palais, and Musee d'Orsay transformed their 2010 exhibition, "Claude Monet 1840- 1926," into a virtual gallery space that transcends time and space. You have the opportunity to examine over 100 digital paintings. The zoom-in feature provides a unique opportunity to observe the brushstrokes closer than any security guard would ever allow! The graphics, animations and interactive features are outstanding. You will enjoy reading interesting tidbits of information about each individual painting, and exploring Monet's timeline available in the gallery. There is also an interactive journey that accesses your web cam and asks you to spill an inkwell, blow poppy petals into the wind, change the seasons of a painting and spook a bird into flight. The Exhibition Monet is an innovative and incredibly beautiful virtual gallery experience. Please be patient: this site loads a bit slow at peak times of the day. But it is WELL worth the wait.

tag(s): art history (69), artists (75), drawing (77), europe (74), france (40), impressionism (5), painting (66)

In the Classroom

This site will bring the world of art history alive for students. Project and share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then break students into small groups to explore independently. Consider using this site before starting a unit on Impressionism or visiting a local art museum. History teachers might want to ask students to find examples of how industrialization may of effected Claude Monet's paintings. Use this site in science to show how light interacts and effects our environment (and of course, take an observational detour into the world of impressionism.) Consider asking students how scientific discoveries about color and light in the late 1800's affected this group of painters. Create a resource link on the school webpage to this site so that families can enjoy exploring Monet's paintings together at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This is an incredible site and I will definitely use this with my art classes. Marilyn, , Grades: 3 - 12

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Vi Hart's Blog - Vi Hart

Grades
5 to 12
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Vi Hart's math videos, featured on this blog, have become very popular. They have even been featured on various cable shows. She also includes her Twitter information, so you can ...more
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Vi Hart's math videos, featured on this blog, have become very popular. They have even been featured on various cable shows. She also includes her Twitter information, so you can follow her. In the link, "Math Doodling," are several videos on doodling in the math classroom sure to entertain Math teachers and students alike. Each video also includes a written transcript. Titles include Stop-Motion Silly Band Fight, Sick Number Games, Snakes + Graphs, Stars, Binary Trees, and others. Be sure to also check out the link to Mathematical Food which contains demonstrations of slicing apples into Platonic Solids, slicing a cubic apple to find a regular hexagon, and how to arrange candy corn into Sierpinski's Triangle. Another wonderful resource is the link on balloons. Directions for making tetrahedrons, icosahedrons, and other shapes are all included.

tag(s): geometric shapes (159), humor (15)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for a Math fun day! Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector or set them up as stations on laptops. After catching students doodling during Math class, show one of the doodling videos to show students how their doodles can really be productive! Your visual learners will love it. Have fun with balloons creating shapes demonstrated on the balloon page. Challenge students to create the shapes after being shown a picture -- but before seeing directions. Use some of the topics when researching ideas for Math Fairs or Math Nights at school. Provide this link for student to explore outside of the classroom. Even girls may find they like math presented in such humorous ways.

The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view that at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tax Basics for Middle Schoolers: intuit - Scholastic

Grades
5 to 9
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Scholastic teamed up with Mint.com to create this financial literacy program for middle-school students. There are 2 one hour lessons and 2 bonus lessons. Each lesson also includes...more
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Scholastic teamed up with Mint.com to create this financial literacy program for middle-school students. There are 2 one hour lessons and 2 bonus lessons. Each lesson also includes links to related articles, resources, worksheets, and online activities. Be sure to check out the online activities which provide engaging practice with the concepts from the lessons.

tag(s): financial literacy (78), money (192)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans to teach the financial literary concepts then allow students to explore the online activities on their own at a center or in the computer lab. After completing the worksheets provided with the lessons, have students create their own worksheets for other classmates to complete. Challenge students to create their own financial literacy newsletter for students in their school including money-saving suggestions, job ideas for students, and tips for creating a budget. Have students create posters sharing their newsletter using a site such as Padlet (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science Fix - Darren Fix

Grades
5 to 12
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ScienceFix is one man's blog to show the world his educational and scientific demonstrations. It is clear, straight forward, and entertaining. These video clips and explanations are...more
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ScienceFix is one man's blog to show the world his educational and scientific demonstrations. It is clear, straight forward, and entertaining. These video clips and explanations are fantastic. The site offers a great variety of topics: What Makes a Planet a Planet, Water Bottle Rockets, Flaming Dollar, Books Smash Eggs, Magnesium Reacts with Oxygen, Isotopes, and much more. At the time of this review, there were eighteen pages worth of science videos (and fun). This is truly a MUST SEE for any science class. The videos are all hosted on YouTube. These demonstrations would be great for science classes, students experimenting at home, or independent science fair projects.

tag(s): blogs (87), density (21), experiments (71), fire (25), motion (58), planets (122), rockets (14), space (206)

In the Classroom

Share demonstration videos classes of students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This helps if funds or time for actual labs are limited. Or they can be used to show students how to carry out an experiment before they are unleashed into the laboratory to do it on their own. Challenge students to create their own science videos (sharing an experiment and explanation.) Share these videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may be blocked at school. You could always view that at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. An additional bonus to doing this is that you know that it will play. Sometimes there are problems with streaming video due to bandwidth issues on school networks.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Radio Lingua Network: One Minute Languages - Radio Lingua

Grades
3 to 12
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Find quick language lessons of 2 - 3 minutes each for a wide variety of languages: Portuguese, Japanese, Catalan, Danish, Gaelic, Greek, Irish, Luxembourghish, Mandarin, Norwegian,...more
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Find quick language lessons of 2 - 3 minutes each for a wide variety of languages: Portuguese, Japanese, Catalan, Danish, Gaelic, Greek, Irish, Luxembourghish, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish, and more. Each separate language site has a total of ten lessons. All the lessons have audio support. Most language packs cover basic conversational skills including greetings, counting, numbers, and common words and phrases. Although more advanced lessons are available for purchase, the 10 quick lessons are free.

tag(s): greek (41), japanese (43), portuguese (18), russian (27)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of a specific country or new language. Mark this site on your classroom or lab computers so students can take advantage of the free lessons and use them for review. List this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. In a world cultures class, have cooperative learning groups spend a class/period learning the basics of a new language. Have the groups create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here and share their new language with the class. Gifted students would love to compare new languages discovered on this site.

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Protagonize - Taunt Media

Grades
5 to 12
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories...more
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories are available for others to comment on or add to. You can easily specify two endings like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series or leave the story's ending unfinished. Alternatively, choose to create different "chapters" of a story. Before writing, choose from many different story genres. If you prefer not to have outside input on the story, you can select "solo" writing. It is easy to change solo to collaborative writing, however. There is also an option to digitally link the chapters. The site is very flexible, and you can write poetry, drama, song lyrics, and writing exercises including role plays. Before writing, students set up "story guidelines" so that future contributors can see the parameters of the piece. Students can also view the work of others. Mature content is marked with a "Mature" marker. Students and other writers have an obligation to report inappropriate content. PDF format or RSS feeds allow the created work to be saved to another format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (167), digital storytelling (135), expository writing (44), narrative (24), persuasive writing (54), poetry (229), six traits of writing (8), songs (52), stories and storytelling (30), word choice (26), writers workshop (30), writing (355)

In the Classroom

You may wish to set up a group or class account, so that you can keep a careful eye on what outside additions are made (use an RSS feed!) . Students would then need to sign their writing or their comments on other class members writing, with a code known by you. Or you can invite students through email, and then create a group on the program that would include your students; however this group would also be open to the public.

Create groups of students who would like to work together on a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story connected to a science or social studies topic. Have the students create the story guidelines and parameters. Once the students have started the story, have them use your projector and interactive whiteboard and get feedback from class members about the different directions the story could take. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

Have your students create "solo" stories, and then have them switch to "collaborative" to receive comments and input from other members in their writing group or class. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

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