TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 18, 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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Book Lending - Catherine MacDonald

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Book Lending.com is the modern version of an elibrary online, a modern reader's online paradise. This is a social network...for books! Using a valid email, register to be able ...more
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Book Lending.com is the modern version of an elibrary online, a modern reader's online paradise. This is a social network...for books! Using a valid email, register to be able to lend or borrow an ebook for free! Registration does require an Amazon account. Register to "lend" your Kindle format, lendable ebooks to other people for a 14 day period while being able to borrow from other people. After some ebooks have been purchased, they come with the option of lending once to another person's account for 14 days. After 14 days, the original ebook is returned to the purchaser's account automatically. Be sure to visit the FAQ page that explains a lot about how to use this site. Also, this site is ONLY for Amazon's ebooks (Kindle format). While most books are available for lending, not all publishers are currently offering this capability... at least not yet.

Visit this fabulous tool that offers no late fees and no lost books! Join in sharing and borrowing of ebooks for free!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ebooks (40), independent reading (125)

In the Classroom

Finally, a way to expand class libraries with no budget limits! Book Lending.com opens up different titles that your students are requesting. Provide an extensive, ever growing library to Kindle devices or any device with the Kindle app. A valid email is required with no late fees or lost books, and with an ever-growing list of books. Fill the passions of your most avid readers with a wide variety. Students will take an active interest in selecting and in completing their book within the time limit. Motivation has no limit as your students can chose a book uniquely for them. Encourage families to join in their reading adventures. Be sure to add this site to your class webpage, wiki, or blog for a great free resource that encourages and supports literacy. This site is a must share for all readers!

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Stich - Stich.it

Grades
K to 12
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Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive ...more
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Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive text found at the top of each slide and written by the user. Follow the helpful information along the side for using Stich.

tag(s): bookmarks (59)

In the Classroom

Use Stich.it for Internet scavenger hunts. Create a Stich with all the links needed to complete a project or for the entire unit. Students can create a Stich that showcases the websites that they used to complete an assignment or project. Use this with even the youngest students by sharing a Stich on your class website for students and parents to explore. Make a Stich of sites to learn to count, a stich for sites to learn the branches of government, a stich of sites to learn about tough biology concepts, a stich of sites to practice trigonometry, and pretty much anything else you can imagine!

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Huffduffer - Huffduffer.com

Grades
9 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create a podcast out of any audio file on the web. Signing up is easy. Find an audio file online. Enter the URL, title, description of the site, and enter ...more
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Create a podcast out of any audio file on the web. Signing up is easy. Find an audio file online. Enter the URL, title, description of the site, and enter tags. Separate podcasts are created for the different tags that you use. Search the tags that are on Huffduffer to find specific audio files. Add the Huffduffer bookmarklet to Firefox or Chrome to instantly create a podcast from audio files you find online.

tag(s): listening (92), podcasts (51), stories and storytelling (30)

In the Classroom

When finding incredible audio files, be sure to huffduff them in order to share by specific tags. The most popular Huffduffer users are featured on the site, and many interesting podcasts can be found that way. Create podcasts of your own to host online and huffduff those to be tagged and listened to. Find podcasts to share with your students (or parents) on your website. Huffduff audio files from foreign language sites as a listening assignment in your world language class. Share the podcast url to assign the task. Have students create their own Huffduff podcasts of politician soundbytes, poetry readings, or music samplers.

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Twitario - Twitario

Grades
6 to 12
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Twitario allows you to see your tweets (or those of any Twitter user) in a diary format over a specified period of time. Enter a twitter username or sign in ...more
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Twitario allows you to see your tweets (or those of any Twitter user) in a diary format over a specified period of time. Enter a twitter username or sign in to your Twitter account. Share the collection of past tweets (cutely portrayed and dated as a diary) by clicking "share" at the bottom. Here is a sample diary of tweets from @teachersFirst. New to Twitter? Learn more from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

tag(s): twitter (51)

In the Classroom

This site could be used for students to submit an assignment of tweets they did over a period of time. Or use this site during a presentation on how Twitter works, showing the information contained in a succession of tweets. Have students submit a record of tweets that show their learning over time. Follow a Twitter user who provides resource links for a diary of resources that have been shared. Trace the tweets from the White House, any high profile political figure, or author over a period of time.

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Figment: Write Yourself In - Jacob Lewis and Dana Goodyear

Grades
6 to 12
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Figment: Write Yourself In is a terrific program for both readers and writers! Looking for something new to read? Want to get your student's or your own writing published? You ...more
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Figment: Write Yourself In is a terrific program for both readers and writers! Looking for something new to read? Want to get your student's or your own writing published? You don't even have to register to read or listen to a book. It's all free. If you or your students are aspiring authors you can register and publish your writing here. Figment also has contests where the community votes for the best piece of writing for a certain prompt. Books are tagged, so you can search by tag. The Figment library has all the genres listed for you to click on and search, a section for "newest additions," "recently updated," and "all the rage." For reading and listening, the only skill you will need to know is to know how to search the site. If your intent is to publish yours or your student's writing, you will need to register. Be aware that Figment is designed for ALL kinds of writers and may include some writing that is not "kid friendly." Click the Educators link in the footer to access newer features specifically for teachers.

tag(s): digital storytelling (135), persuasive writing (54), poetry (229), short stories (26), writing (356)

In the Classroom

There are several ways you can use this site as a place to publish. Some may involve using other tools. For example, with younger students: Once your students have completed a piece of writing, have them submit it to the class using MixedInk reviewed here. The class can then collaborate by choosing ideas from any of the pieces submitted and publishing a "class" approved story, poem, etc. on Figment. With older students: Have them submit their poems, short stories, current event articles, or persuasive writing to MixedInk for peer edit and advice. After the class has collaborated on the writing, submit to Figment for a more general audience. Some teachers have their students write novels for National Novel Writing Month, and at "Figment: Write Yourself In" they will be able to publish them.

Students will need a screen name that is not their real name, and a password. See the Profile area for Scholastic's "You Are What You Read" reviewed here for several suggestions for creating a screen name. For younger students you may want to have a "class account" and supply the password. Be sure you and your students write their screen name and password down. Just make sure they sign their writing with their screen name. With older students you can use the same procedure as above, or students can sign up with their own email. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

If school policies and parents allow it, You may want to introduce your gifted student-writers to this site as a place where they can publish and get feedback from a broader audience. The safest way may be to set up groups as a teacher, including other student writers from other classrooms and grade levels. Gifted students interact well in multi-age settings, especially if they have common interests. Have the history buffs work together on accurate historical fiction related to the time periods you are studying or have your advanced science students write up their research collaboratively using Figment. They might even try their had at writing some science fiction based on concepts you are studying.

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Math 3 Under the Sea! - LearnAlberta.ca

Grades
1 to 3
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This interactive and colorful math activity lets students practice math skills in several different areas. All activities take place in an under the sea environment with included help...more
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This interactive and colorful math activity lets students practice math skills in several different areas. All activities take place in an under the sea environment with included help and vocabulary support. Please note that this site is from Canada, so the money activity uses Canadian currency.

tag(s): differentiation (47), numbers (203), operations (126), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector with the sound turned up. Play the introduction to orient your students. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center (maybe on the IWB). For students that are having trouble with math vocabulary, use the provided glossary for explanations of common math terms. Parent/teacher information is available for each of the lessons. Most of the activities have different levels so activities can be differentiated for students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Corridos sin Fronteras - Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

Grades
5 to 12
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Corridos sin Fronteras (Ballads without Borders) is the companion site to the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition of the same name. This site teaches students about the history of how...more
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Corridos sin Fronteras (Ballads without Borders) is the companion site to the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition of the same name. This site teaches students about the history of how stories, history, and narratives of Mexico and parts of the US were preserved by ballads. The site uses text, video and music to teach students. The site is available both in English and Spanish. The site launches pop-ups, so be sure to tell your computer to allow the pop=ups from this site. The Teachers section includes lesson plans.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): hispanic (18), mexico (34), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

This site will be a nice addition to your Hispanic Heritage month resources or units on multiculturalism. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Be sure you have speakers attached to your computer and listen to the different ballads. The lyrics are even provided for you. Have the students listen to the songs and then have them work in pairs or groups to write their own ballads. Take a screen shot of the lyrics and give to students. Have them compare the lyrics and write what they have in common.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Flashcard Maker - ProProfs.com

Grades
K to 12
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Flashcard Maker, as the title implies, is an online tool to create flashcards. This site also has a healthy bank of prefabricated flashcards that could easily save time in meeting ...more
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Flashcard Maker, as the title implies, is an online tool to create flashcards. This site also has a healthy bank of prefabricated flashcards that could easily save time in meeting your needs. The link to "Explore Flashcards" allows you to search for prefabricated cards sorted by subject and topic. You can save as sets of cards with tags and share with friends. You can add images to cards, making them not only more interesting to use, but also more versatile since you can identify and learn more visual things than standard flashcards. You can change the flashcard theme, font size, and viewing order.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (45), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for your classes using Flashcard Maker-- or have them make their own. Try using them as a introduction to a concept, then again in the practice of the concept, and again as a final review. It is a nice three for one creation deal! This would be great for teaching Latin prefixes and suffixes of words to students, use in science terms, or for standardized test preparation. Try having students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their own groups. Teach students in higher grades how to create flash cards with multiple blanks to challenge their brain to remember more pieces of the puzzle. Show them how to carefully read through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards together to review together before tests. Have students create flashcard sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports.

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Muvee Cloud - Muvee

Grades
6 to 12
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Muvee Cloud is a photo sharing site that allows you to save, share, and make videos of your photos. The tool also allows you to merge your photos and movies ...more
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Muvee Cloud is a photo sharing site that allows you to save, share, and make videos of your photos. The tool also allows you to merge your photos and movies with your friends' and family's photos and videos to create amazing videos. The power of this site -- in contrast to most slide based shows -- is the collaboration and addition of others' pictures, the ability to pull in images from any webpage, and the ease of adding video clips to the shows. If it can be uploaded to your computer, it can be added to the show!

tag(s): photography (160), video (251)

In the Classroom

Have students create their own advertisements for upcoming school events such as fundraisers or plays and musicals. Have students in the yearbook club use the site to submit pictures for publication in the school yearbook. Have students use this tool to make digital portfolios in science class by having them take pictures of their labs and activities and use as a final project grade. Rather than a tradition report on a country, person, or invention...have students use this colorful tool to create a multimedia presentation!

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Celestia - Celestia Development Team

Grades
9 to 12
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This free software offers real time views of outer space, and you can select where you want to view. It has zoom capabilities, settings for labels, and a neat demo ...more
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This free software offers real time views of outer space, and you can select where you want to view. It has zoom capabilities, settings for labels, and a neat demo of what the software can do. Not for the casual user, this interactive download requires some practice. This is not the type of tool to put in the hands of students and just say, "play," unless the students are advanced. One caution with downloads such as these: be sure to have administrative access or permission to install on computers. If it cannot be installed on student computers, then it could still be used with the your computer and an interactive whiteboard.

tag(s): geology (81), planets (122), solar system (118), space (206), stars (61), sun (71)

In the Classroom

Use this software first on the interactive whiteboard for students. While multiple activities are going on in the classroom, have students visit the whiteboard as just one station. The first time students are exposed to the program, they may be a little overwhelmed. Use a student tech team to help orient others to this tool.

Have students watch the demo provided. Then have them create their own space tours using an interactive poster tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here). This would be a nice alternative to a brochure on traveling to different planets.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tin Eye - Idee Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use Tineye as a reverse image search engine. Tineye's unique image search engine looks for the same actual image -- not the description. This is a great way to ...more
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Use Tineye as a reverse image search engine. Tineye's unique image search engine looks for the same actual image -- not the description. This is a great way to find out where else an image is in use on the Internet. To use this simple and free service: upload or enter the link to an image on the Internet. Tineye will search the Internet to find the same image even if it has been rotated, altered or cropped by using image recognition technology. What a terrific way to discover the origin of an image or find those using it without permission. Note that the maximum upload size is 1 MB. Use this free service without registering. Create an account to use other features such as saving your searches. Registration does require email verification. Download the applet for Firefox or Chrome for ability to instantly use the service. You must have the ability to install browser add-ons to use the add-on version of the tool.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (261), photography (160), plagiarism (33), search engines (64)

In the Classroom

This tool is best used by a teacher to determine whether class pictures have been used elsewhere or determine the origin of pictures students have used in projects. Check the origin of student-used pictures to determine source. Determine whether pictures (yours or others) have been used without permission. Easily determine whether pictures have also been altered.

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