TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 4, 2012

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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Dragontape - Dragontape Ltd. (Tamas and Peter Szakal)

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Dragontape allows you to create editable sequences of video and sound from different online sources, including YouTube. You can create up to a three hour long playlist of videos and...more
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Dragontape allows you to create editable sequences of video and sound from different online sources, including YouTube. You can create up to a three hour long playlist of videos and music, and share them through both URL and embed codes. Embed multiple videos in ONE box or page. You can add new clips during the playback. If you have a Twitter account, you can gather clips from feeds of those you follow and enjoy. You can trim and use the fade feature on video clips for more seamless viewing. Basically, you can create your own online "bookcase" for web based videos. This is a great collaborative tool for merging videos, and it is so easy to use that the creators have what they call "couch editor mode." This means you do not have to do anything but DRAG ON to tape, a great online equivalent to the tape recorders of the past.

tag(s): sounds (67), video (185)

In the Classroom

In class, register and use this to provide a single link to multiple video clips you can use or assign for a single class period. Pull different sources together to create a more complete and informative video presentation for your students. Or have students create their own Dragontapes for online, multimedia collage projects. Great for any class, but especially great for music, drama, and art classes. Some other project ideas: juxtaposing politicians, critics, authors talking about writing, or anything you want to compare/contrast. Student organizations could create playlists of current music for a school dance, saving money on a DJ as long as the school has the proper sound equipment to amplify the playlist.

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Virtual Math Museum - Richard Pailais

Grades
7 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
See beautiful, visual representations of mathematical concepts. The site is divided by topic such as plane curves, space curves, conformal maps (with Algebraic functions), fractals...more
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See beautiful, visual representations of mathematical concepts. The site is divided by topic such as plane curves, space curves, conformal maps (with Algebraic functions), fractals and chaos, and polyhedra. Be sure not to miss the Mathematical Art Gallery - this portion contains links to several different artists' pages with images of their art created using mathematics concepts such as symmetry. Each artist also explains a little about their background and work providing an interesting look into their thought processes.

tag(s): artists (59), geometric shapes (126), graphic design (31), sound (87), symmetry (49)

In the Classroom

Display this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate representations of mathematical figures being taught in class. Use this site to combine art and math in your own classroom. Challenge students to create their own artwork after viewing examples. Have them share the steps they took in creating their artwork by using a presentation tool such as Prezi reviewed here.

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Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census - The New York Times

Grades
4 to 12
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This interactive map project shows the population growth and decline, changes in racial and ethnic concentrations, and patterns of housing development in the U.S., based on information...more
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This interactive map project shows the population growth and decline, changes in racial and ethnic concentrations, and patterns of housing development in the U.S., based on information from the Census Bureau's 2010 survey. The map is zoomable so that you can view neighborhoods delineated by specific streets or zip codes.

tag(s): census (20), maps (246), population (52)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects and organization including making assumptions about neighborhood breakdowns, relationship to poverty levels, effects of industrialization and assumptions about why certain areas had an increase or decrease in population.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Thanks for Teaching Us - T.B.D.

Grades
3 to 12
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Whether you have a favorite professor or elementary teacher, here is a way to thank them publicly. It's very simple. There is no registration. Click on "Submit a Story" ...more
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Whether you have a favorite professor or elementary teacher, here is a way to thank them publicly. It's very simple. There is no registration. Click on "Submit a Story" to fill in the teacher name, what you are thanking him/her for, and other details. You can include your Twitter picture. You can even email the letter to the teacher. Read the letters posted by others. This site could be used for thanking a favorite past teacher, or anyone affiliated with a school. There is a multitude of people who work in schools and are kind to children.

tag(s): letter writing (18)

In the Classroom

What a nice way to teach letter writing! Teach your students how to write a friendly letter for an authentic audience. Have them put their final copy on Thanks for Teaching Us. In lower grades, work together to write letters to "community helpers" in your school. What about that favorite coach? The custodian who got the ball off the roof? The lunch lady who gave your student a lunch even though his/her account had no funds? The principal? Counselors? Avoid having students identify themselves on the Internet. Use first names only with parent permission.

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Free Online Pictograph Creator - Primary Technology

Grades
K to 4
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Create online pictographs easily and quickly with this simple, but very effective graph creator. Choose from a blank template or 3 pre-made graphs (choosing favorite color, sport, or...more
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Create online pictographs easily and quickly with this simple, but very effective graph creator. Choose from a blank template or 3 pre-made graphs (choosing favorite color, sport, or fruit). Creating a graph is simple: choose the blank template click on the box at the bottom of the graph and type in a response. The site recognizes many words and will display the word and an image. Click to the right and add another possible response and continue to do this until all options are completed. Once the chart is created, responses can be added by clicking above the word or picture indicated. Each response is added with an image. One great feature of this site is that the chart can be flipped to have the pictures on the y axis instead of the default x axis, showing the different ways information can be displayed. Results can be shared by embed code...in both editable and read-only versions

tag(s): charts and graphs (188)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a survey of the day for students to complete as they enter the classroom each day. Use the pictograph creator to make a graph to compare to a line or bar graph completed in class. Share read-only versions of graphs made in class today as embedded items on your class web page so students can review them or use them for homework questions tonight. Allow students to come up with topics for surveys and let them create the chart to be used. Have students create their own pictographs at an IWB center for "hands-on" practice with the concepts.

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Password Bird - Kevin Sheurs and Andres Galante

Grades
K to 12
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At a loss for a new password? Use this simple online tool to make easy-to-remember passwords that offer decent security and are safe. Answer a few quick questions such as ...more
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At a loss for a new password? Use this simple online tool to make easy-to-remember passwords that offer decent security and are safe. Answer a few quick questions such as your name, a special word, and date that has significance to you. Click "Create Password" and PasswordBird creates a one of a kind password for you. Note: These passwords may not be unbreakable but do offer a level of security better than using the same passwords over and over or using exact words and numbers.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (98)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to generate passwords for tools being used in class by you or your students. Be sure to keep a record of the passwords generated for students for access when they forget (we do too!) Create passwords for class logins used by a number of students. Share this link on your class web page for students (and parents) to use, too!
 

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Payscale Cost of Living Calculator - Payscale, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Try this excellent tool when teaching budgeting, comparing salaries and cost of living in different areas, and money management. Enter two locations and a salary and occupation. Graphs...more
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Try this excellent tool when teaching budgeting, comparing salaries and cost of living in different areas, and money management. Enter two locations and a salary and occupation. Graphs show the difference between cost of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care in the two places. A comparison shows how much salary you would need to maintain the present standard of living in the other location. You can also compare the cost of living to other major cities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (112), money (177)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to determine how far a dollar goes in various locations. Allow students the opportunity to play with a standard salary and occupation to look at the differences in costs of living. Report on trends for cities in different areas of the country. Create a list locally of the various items that would be found in each category and the salary for that occupation where you live. Create a budget that allows for savings and vacation or large purchases. Use the data for practice with graphing and creating infographics. In government classes, use this tool and census data to make hypotheses or draw conclusions about patterns of population movement and economic trends in various areas of the country, especially in connection with political trends and election data.

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Lab Out Loud - Brian Bartel and Dale Basler

Grades
6 to 12
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This site hosts podcasts created and produced by science teachers Brian Bartel and Dale Basler. The creators discuss science news and science education with scientists, researchers,...more
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This site hosts podcasts created and produced by science teachers Brian Bartel and Dale Basler. The creators discuss science news and science education with scientists, researchers, writers, and notable science figures. The topics range from standard curricular topics to latest science news. Science no longer lives inside the classroom. View the links and notes that accompany the episodes.

tag(s): podcasts (42), scientists (47)

In the Classroom

Use the links and notes to dig deeper into the science topics discussed in each podcast. Find a variety of science topics to discuss from environmental to science breakthroughs to science education. Assign student groups to choose and listen to their choice of podcast during a unit on scientists and scientific method, then report back to the class on what modern scientists are doing that interests them. Have the role-play as one of the scientists or make a Voki recording as the scientist, explaining their research. See a Voki review here.

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Rubrics for Assessment - Joan Vandervelde

Grades
K to 12
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This site provides many rubrics for assessing portfolios, cooperative projects, oral presentations, and much more. Quick links lead to different categories such as web 2.0 and content...more
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This site provides many rubrics for assessing portfolios, cooperative projects, oral presentations, and much more. Quick links lead to different categories such as web 2.0 and content areas of math, art, and science. Each rubric is in a table form with criteria listed vertically and rating categories are horizontal, all contain well-defined expectations and explanations of each category of scoring. Be sure to check out the section with rubrics for primary grades including a kindergarten writing rubric and rubrics for teamwork. Print any of the rubrics using the PDF link located near the top of the page.

tag(s): assessment (64), rubrics (25)

In the Classroom

Bookmark (or mark as a favorite) and save this site as a resource for assessment of class projects. Give a copy of the rubric to students before beginning projects to define expectations.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Explore Ancient Egypt - PBS NOVA

Grades
6 to 12
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It's certainly not difficult to find websites about Ancient Egypt, but NOVA provides an absolutely stunning interactive look at major Egyptian historical landmarks and objects. Take...more
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It's certainly not difficult to find websites about Ancient Egypt, but NOVA provides an absolutely stunning interactive look at major Egyptian historical landmarks and objects. Take a 360-degree glance at the Great Pyramid or an ancient tomb, browse photo galleries, study cross-sections or examine artifacts from every possible vantage point. You can access these features from a number of search options: chronological, geographical, or by media type.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): egypt (62), pyramids (28)

In the Classroom

Sites like this are what interactive whiteboards (or projectors) are made for! The visual impact is striking, and using this site as an adjunct to classroom discovery about the wonders of Ancient Egypt will do much to bring the topic alive for students. Of course, students might also browse the site from classroom computer clusters, using the information for research or enrichment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Running for Office--Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman - The National Archives

Grades
7 to 12
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th...more
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th century and US Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Harry Truman. This site profiles both the cartoons themselves, and the issues and personalities behind the cartoons. Visually attractive, the site also permits downloading cartoons so they can be printed and studied.

As an important primary source, political cartoons provide an important insight into the issues and controversies of their time period. More than simply who did what, and what happened where, these drawings show us the emotions and conflict involved in the ugly and messy business of politics.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (73), elections (63), politics (83), presidents (114)

In the Classroom

Students can gain insight into the events of the first half of the 20th century as well as draw parallels between the issues of that time and today. How are Presidential campaigns different and how are they similar? Challenge students to create their own political comics using one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.

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