TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 18, 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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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library - JFK Library

Grades
7 to 12
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information...more
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information about these newly released records, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews. For example, you can now download previously secret audio recordings that were made during White House meetings, transcripts of oral history interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and a rich archive of other materials related to the Kennedy Presidency. This newly released material gives us insight into Kennedy's brief time as President, including his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, his attitudes toward the Cold War relationship with the USSR and the build up of US troops in Vietnam. There are teacher resources and lesson plans that make use of the available archival material.

tag(s): history day (23), kennedy (27), presidents (129), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

All of these topics are of interest to students doing research into 20th century US and international history, and might be particularly useful to students working on in depth projects for National History Day. After researching a specific topic, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Copyright Q and A - Game Classroom

Grades
2 to 6
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Looking for simple answers to copyright questions? This resource provides common questions and easy to understand answers for elementary age students. Hover over a student in the game...more
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Looking for simple answers to copyright questions? This resource provides common questions and easy to understand answers for elementary age students. Hover over a student in the game to read a question and then click on the student to read the answer. You must click "Play the Game" to be redirected to the question/answer portion. The main page will appear as a brief activity description.

tag(s): copyright (47)

In the Classroom

As you use digital media, be sure to discuss copyright with students. Allow time for students to look at the questions and answers to discuss as a class how to use and reuse digital media in the classroom and in their lives. Be sure to include this link on your class website for quick reference. Share these questions/answers on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a set of rules or reminders as a class to post in the classroom or on a class website or blog. If creating a blog, have students use the site Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Alphabet Speed Test - Teacherled.com

Grades
K to 2
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Practice basic alphabet skills with this simple to use activity. Click GO to begin. A letter is shown, and you click the next letter in the alphabet. The activity is ...more
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Practice basic alphabet skills with this simple to use activity. Click GO to begin. A letter is shown, and you click the next letter in the alphabet. The activity is timed, and the score displays at the end. You can see the countdown remaining by watching colors disappear from the bars under each letter. If you click incorrectly, you don't earn a point for that question. The correct answer is not provided.

tag(s): alphabet (92), alphabetical order (19), preK (275)

In the Classroom

This site would be great to use on your interactive whiteboard or at computers as an alphabet activity center. Share the site with parents on your website or newsletter as a resource for at-home practice. Special Education teachers may be especially interested in this site as a fun way to think about alphabet practice beyond the typical reciting of letters or manipulation of letter pieces.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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24/7 Science - The Lawrence Hall of Science

Grades
K to 6
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24/7 Science by The Lawrence Hall of Science has interactives and hands-on activities for elementary school students. Some (such as Oobleck) are even appropriate for the pre-kindergarten...more
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24/7 Science by The Lawrence Hall of Science has interactives and hands-on activities for elementary school students. Some (such as Oobleck) are even appropriate for the pre-kindergarten crowd. The game section contains 25+ online educational interactive related to space, seasons, car design, body functions, Whale Sounds, and more. The hands-on activities area has numerous science learning activities that may require supervision: How Old is Your Penny?, Measure Yourself, Parachute Drop, Oobleck, and others. Be sure to scroll down past the activity, as many of them also include suggestions for related videos. The site contains a link to an educator's section that is coming soon.

tag(s): animals (277), human body (119), measurement (163), planets (122), plants (143), preK (275), seasons (37), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Share activities on your interactive whiteboard with students. Then allow them time to explore and practice on their own. Create a link on classroom students for students to try the educational "games," then journal about what they learned. Use these activities for Science nights at your school or as part of a STEM family focus. This is a great site to include for summer sites for students to explore!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Create Your Own Flowers - ZeFrank

Grades
K to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Make unique and creative flower designs. Choose a petal color and style; then drag the mouse inside the flower box to create your own flower. If the design isn't up ...more
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Make unique and creative flower designs. Choose a petal color and style; then drag the mouse inside the flower box to create your own flower. If the design isn't up to par, click "undo last petal" to erase. Other options include increasing and decreasing opacity of the color and number of petals to include. Multiple colors can be used in a single flower by adding petals onto the design. When the design is complete, it can be shared via email with others or directly on the site (with a title and name of city). Noe: the email window opens as a pop-ip, so you will need to allow pop-ups from this site. Once the email window is open, you can also COPY the image by right-clicking it tand choosing COPY image to paste it into a document, slide, etc. You don't even have to SEND the email. Other designs can be viewed by choosing the "load a flower" option to the right of the design screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (79), drawing (77), geometric shapes (159), mothers day (13)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your class computers. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to create their own designs and use those drawings as inspiration for an art project. Show them how to copy/paste from the "send by email" pop-up. Encourage re-creating flowers shared by others as a way to study shape, color, radial symmetry, and design. Create flowers to teach about analogous and complementary color schemes. In a language arts class, allow students to create poems or short rhymes to accompany their created flowers. Make Mothers Day email messages, cards, or thank you notes using these images. Teach letter writing or email "etiquette" at the same time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Duck Duck Go - ddg.gg

Grades
2 to 12
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Try Duck Duck Go, an open source search engine that protects your privacy by not tracking your search habits. Without tracking, you get true search results not tied to your ...more
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Try Duck Duck Go, an open source search engine that protects your privacy by not tracking your search habits. Without tracking, you get true search results not tied to your personality or search habits. Duck Duck Go shows search results in a unique way. The site is very clean and uncluttered. Results of your search term can provide a definition or other general information, labels on links that are an official site, and more. On the right side, find additional search ideas. Clicking on terms will add that term to your original search term and generate new results. Go to the settings page to change privacy settings. Change result settings, color settings, look and feel of the search results page, and interface settings also. Search for calculations, dates and events, and more. Be sure to click on Goodies under the search box to find an easy way to enter search terms. Instead of copying and pasting these search strings, change the information you need to alter in the box and press Go! An unbelievably easy way to search!

tag(s): search engines (64), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Provide a link to Duck Duck Go on your class website or as a start page on a classroom computer. Use Duck Duck Go to teach about search strategies and help students think of search terms. When discussing searching in class, compare Duck Duck Go to other search engines, noticing the differences between the search experience and results between the various search engines. Be sure to discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and reliability of the search results with each of the various search engines. Be sure to point out the additional search terms and how these terms can provide more targeted search results. Try a game where students predict what other terms might show up from a given starting search. This will teach the mental flexibility to realize what else the search engine might "think" you mean. For example, if we enter "apple," what other terms might we see?

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See Math - seemath.com

Grades
2 to 10
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Find animations to "see" many math concepts at this growing site. Choose a topic (base ten blocks, improper fractions, carrying tens and hundreds, and many others). View the math problem....more
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Find animations to "see" many math concepts at this growing site. Choose a topic (base ten blocks, improper fractions, carrying tens and hundreds, and many others). View the math problem. Press Play to show not only how to solve the problem, but receive an explanation and a visual to understand the solution. Adjust the speed up or down, go back and forward through the solution, and pause when needed. See Math can help with basic operations and problem solving up through algebra problems.

tag(s): base ten (12), decimals (133), equations (155), exponents (42), factors (42), fractions (239), mixed numbers (14), negative numbers (23), operations (126), place value (56), problem solving (258), ratios (52), whole numbers (16)

In the Classroom

Use these topics as an introduction to a unit of study or as a ready link for students to access for homework help. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the animations to visually see the solution to a math problem. Provide time for students to view the solution to a problem and write the steps in their own words. Give practice problems to groups to use their directions in the solution of the problems. If you are gearing up for high stakes tests that require students to write about how they solve math problems, you can use this site for the entire class to practice writing to explain solutions. Be sure to place this link on your website and classroom computer for easy access.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Springo Kids - Springo, Inc.

Grades
K to 5
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Springo is a portal designed for preschool and elementary students to surf for age appropriate websites and information. Click if you are under 8 or over 8, and a list ...more
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Springo is a portal designed for preschool and elementary students to surf for age appropriate websites and information. Click if you are under 8 or over 8, and a list of links appears. Choose if you are a boy or girl to find activities geared more towards gender stereotypes (car activities for boys, princess games for girls, etc.). Note that the actual content is NOT part of Springo. All links on this site are approved by Springo staff; however. Picture icons help you find information like homework help, sports websites, online research resources, art activities, educational interactives, and (of course) games. Sample topics in the Under 8 section include: Educational Games, Coloring Pages, Learning, Characters, Sports, Hobbies, Games for Girls, and many more. If you are over 8, some of the sample activities include: Reference, Science, Math, Learning, Making Friends (warning: some of these sites involve social networking), Hobbies, and more!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (59), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Have younger students use this site when doing research or information searches. You can feel more comfortable allowing students to search the web. Show them how to mark it as a Favorite or make a shortcut on classroom computers to access it directly. Share some of these activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a small group center. Allow students to explore the sites shared on their own.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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New Math - Craig Damrauer

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper ...more
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper again, unicycle = bicycle + oddness, among many others. Some of the concepts relate to life, government, and current events, not "math." Slides can be viewed in several different ways: choose random to view a random slide from the selections, or change the view to scrolling to go down the catalog of slides offered. Each slide contains a link so you can share it in through Facebook, Twitter, email, and more. The SHARE button is on the bottom left side of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (108), logic (229), puzzles (208), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Display a new slide on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) weekly as a conversation-starter in a math class, social studies class, or gifted classroom. Ask students to explain what the equation might mean. Challenge students to create their own new math word equations and share them using a talking avatar using a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced). Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Much of the vocabulary used with the equations is very advanced. Use this in English class for vocabulary development. Then challenge students to create some of their own "equations" with other new vocabulary words.

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Money Management - Money Management International

Grades
2 to 12
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Teach students how to manage money using the resources and tools available at Money Management International. Be sure to investigate the resource section where you'll find calculators,...more
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Teach students how to manage money using the resources and tools available at Money Management International. Be sure to investigate the resource section where you'll find calculators, articles, quizzes, infographics, videos, and lesson plans. The lesson plan section contains over 50 lesson plans and activities for classroom use. Many appealing stories for children and adolescents are the focus for the financial explanations and advice. The lessons are quite thorough including objectives, assessments, extensions, and printables for activities. Another useful resource on the site is Youth and Money found under the Financial Education link. There is a great section for teens to explore when considering buying a first car, as well as videos from kids offering money advice to adults. This site is worth spending some time exploring for the many resources offered.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate financial concepts learned on the site using Fotobabble reviewed here. Have students take the online quizzes on the site including the one asking kids how much allowance they should get. Compare the online results to your classroom results. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Poster My Wall - 250 Mills LCC

Grades
4 to 12
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Poster My Wall is a simple online tool to create posters. Make and download simple posters for free and without registration. Note that free downloads are not high-quality print resolution,...more
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Poster My Wall is a simple online tool to create posters. Make and download simple posters for free and without registration. Note that free downloads are not high-quality print resolution, so they may appear "fuzzy" if printed in large formats. The simple tools look and feel like a computer program. Choose or upload photos, backgrounds, Flickr photos, and clip-art. You can move and re-size using the floating symbols. Register to be able to email products to friends. (Registration requires email, but there is no waiting for a confirmation.) Obtain the poster url by emailing to yourself. (In the email, click "view larger" to get the link). Check out the reviewer sample here .

tag(s): collages (17), posters (35)

In the Classroom

Have students create posters to demonstrate understanding. After an assigned reading, have them create a poster to explain the text. Have students email their finished product to you as an informal assessment. Create a quick presentation of the best posters to share with the class when discussing the reading the next day. Offer posters as one of several options for students to share what they know with you and their peers. Of course, you will want to require proper credit for any images students use in their posters. Use student-made posters to reinforce class rules at the start of the year or to visually display concepts such as branches of government or story elements.

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Eyejot - Eyejot, inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Send email messages as video with this easy to use tool. Sometimes information is just too hard to convey in an email. Perhaps the information is too complicated to type ...more
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Send email messages as video with this easy to use tool. Sometimes information is just too hard to convey in an email. Perhaps the information is too complicated to type out or it is hard to relay the tone in a message. Sending an email with a video message helps to take care of these problems. To use the site you will need to create a free account. Once the account is created, just login, record or upload your video message, and send. Your recipient will receive an email letting them know they have a new video message. Just one click will get them to the message for viewing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (120), video (251)

In the Classroom

Have fun with this website, and make classwork more interesting for students! Create a classroom email account, and have students send short summaries of reading passages instead of writing reports. If your students have school email accounts, send a short video message each week including reminders of upcoming activities and reminders for items to bring to class. Teacher mentors can send encouraging videos to mentees with suggestions and classroom tips. Administrators can send videos to staff with reminders of staff meetings or upcoming due dates. Send a short video to parents with upcoming class information such as conferences, field trips, and testing dates. Appoint a new video master each week to record the homework reminders for the class. That is one classroom "job" elementary students will love to have, especially those who like being the center of attention.

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MailFreezr - Duncan McLaud

Grades
K to 12
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Use this memorable service to store your emails waiting to be sent. This site will deliver your emails after a given number of years. Emails can be sent to any ...more
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Use this memorable service to store your emails waiting to be sent. This site will deliver your emails after a given number of years. Emails can be sent to any address and can be sent in 1 year increments from 1-100 years! Just type in your name, email, the recipient's email, and your message. Choose how many years to freeze the email and you are done. Of course, there are many limitations: will these email addresses be available 100 years from now? What happens if you change your mind? Although the site would be much more useful if the dates could be personalized more to specific dates or months, it might be worth using for simple items.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new years (11), organizational skills (120), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

A good use for this would be for emails to yourself with reminders for annual events, not for personal use. Send an email to yourself at the end of a unit with information on resources that worked, classroom tips, where to find additional information, etc. Set up emails when you receive your annual schedule with reminders before each event. Use this tool as a writing prompt. Ask students to write an email to themselves as a high school senior or even to themselves at the end of the next year to see if they have met personal goals such as New Years resolutions. Have your entire "graduating" elementary class write a class time capsule about what was important to them in the year 20XX and "send" it to themselves, set to deliver at the end of middle or high school.

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Brainshark - Joe Gustafson

Grades
5 to 12
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Add narration to any of your PowerPoints, documents, photos, video clips, podcasts, etc. You simply upload your content and add the audio by phone, microphone, or an MP3 upload. ...more
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Add narration to any of your PowerPoints, documents, photos, video clips, podcasts, etc. You simply upload your content and add the audio by phone, microphone, or an MP3 upload. Brainshark has a patented system that will guide you through the process. Instantly you will have voice-enriched online video presentations. You'll receive your presentation link via email. You and your students will be able to view the presentations on a computer or by using the free Brainshark App on your Android, iPhone, or iPad,

tag(s): podcasts (51), slides (60), video (251)

In the Classroom

Consider adding your voice to your PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi (reviewed here) lectures and posting them online for students to use as a review before a big unit test. Or, use Brainshark and add your voice to your PowerPoint or Keynote lectures for substitutes to use when you have to be out of the classroom. Have your students use Prezi (reviewed here), PowerPoint, or another program to create a book trailer, or any other type of presentation. Brainshark will animate the presentation and then the creator can add their own voices, and music to create a professional looking video. Allow shy students or those with speech difficulties to pre-narrate presentations without the stress of all those eyes staring at them. If you have students who create stellar examples you would like to retain for another school year, ask them to narrate their presentations for an archive you can keep and share next year.

Professors, teachers of online courses, and teachers at alternative high schools may want their students to use Brainshark for presentations and submit them to you. This would be a rather unique way to get to know those students you don't get to "see" very often!

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