TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 13, 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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101 Questions - Dan Myer

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to ...more
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At 101 Questions, look at the image or video, and then write a question for the picture. The question can only be 140 characters total. You can also click to skip a picture. Submit your own picture or video, and get points for the perplexity it inspires, or even join the top 10 lists. Save images to your favorites and classify by tags using your membership. Note that the public can participate so some responses may not be appropriate for younger viewers. Preview and monitor or have an adult operate the site together.

tag(s): creative writing (167), creativity (108), images (261), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Creative fluency begins here! Set up a whole class account. Use this site in language arts: discover main idea, details, cause and effect, or even an inspirational writing prompt. Find ways to group images together based on characteristics or attributes. Use in gifted or enrichment situations, for inspiration for problem-based learning. Sequence the images to find ways to form a logical plot. Find ways to make Perplexors out of the given image. In math, write short word problems to accompany images or videos. Find ways to illustrate vocabulary definitions with examples and non-examples. As a morning work challenge, find questions, details, or even other questions. As a writing challenge, look for the image that conveys the mood or feeling you are trying to convey. In science, submit examples to illustrate scientific concepts. Use to generate scientific method style questions based on the given image. In social studies, find images to convey feelings represented by the time being studied. Challenge students to make a historical statement or political statement by finding and adding to an appropriate image. ESL/ELL students can use this site to help acquire conversation/questioning skills. In world language class, have students generate questions in their new language, even if they do not post them. In art, find mood, theme, style, or self expression images. Be sure to monitor the blog content. Put similar content on your own classroom blog. Challenge students to create their own 101 question images or videos to share on your class blog, inviting viewers to respond with questions in the comments.

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Pomodoro Timer - Ryhan Hassan

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Manage time more effectively using this online timer that reflects the Pomodoro time management technique. Based on the belief that proper time management and use of materials will...more
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Manage time more effectively using this online timer that reflects the Pomodoro time management technique. Based on the belief that proper time management and use of materials will increase productivity, this timer is set for 25 minutes. This allows for a 5 minute rest period before restarting the activity. Click start and the timer counts back from 25 minutes with a digital display and timeline bar.

tag(s): organizational skills (120), time (144)

In the Classroom

Display the timer on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to encourage students to maintain focus and put forth effort for 25 minutes with the understanding that a break will follow. Challenge older students to research the Pomodoro time management method and share other time-management techniques.

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Rich Chart Live - Blue Pacific Software

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rich Chart Live is an online chart creator that instantly creates Flash charts (and other formats) that can be easily shared. Choose a template from the many options. Begin adding ...more
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Rich Chart Live is an online chart creator that instantly creates Flash charts (and other formats) that can be easily shared. Choose a template from the many options. Begin adding data, style choices, color options, and layout. An animation option is available to apply to the chart's axes and elements and can be customized with speed options. When finished, click Publish. Charts can be opened in a new page, saved to a PowerPoint, or embedded into a blog via copy and paste. You can also "drag and drop" the link to the char onto your desktop (and thus get its url). Opening the link in "free mode" asks for an email address first, but even abc@123.com works.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (149)

In the Classroom

Create colorful and interactive charts on the fly at anytime by using this website. Display the website on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Watch charts change by using different inputs and customization options. Challenge students to predict and draw what charts will look like before changes are applied. Use the site to compare and contrast different ways to present information and discuss styles that work best in different situations. Create a class wiki and embed different examples of charts with explanations of how the chart was created. Have student use the discussion on the wiki to explain what the chart tells them. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Oh Freedom! Teaching African American Civil Rights Through American Art at the Smithsonian - Smithsonian American Art Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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Oh Freedom! is an introduction to the Civil Rights movement through the art of the Smithsonian. The site provides educators with new ways to teach about the Civil Rights movement ...more
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Oh Freedom! is an introduction to the Civil Rights movement through the art of the Smithsonian. The site provides educators with new ways to teach about the Civil Rights movement visually. Through interactive timelines, artists, and lesson plans, students will learn in different ways.

tag(s): african american (114), art history (69), artists (75), civil rights (117)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for any Art, Art History, or Social Studies classroom. The site really lends itself to discussion. Visit the Artists area, choose an artist, and project the artwork on an interactive whiteboard. Using the "looking questions" have a class discussion. Assign groups and give each group a different picture. Let them discuss using the questions and then jigsaw them so they can share with each other.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zotero - Center for History and New Media at George Mason University

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool...more
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versaions run as a stand-alone or as a add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool saves information several ways: through a click at the bottom of the web browser, by a click on favorite/bookmark bar, or manually. Files already on computers can be included with files saved from the internet. Items can be grouped and sorted according to individual needs. Information saved through Zotero can be accessed on any computer that has the extension installed. The site includes a helpful quick start video guide explaining features included with the program.

tag(s): citations (32), evaluating sources (12), note taking (31), primary sources (84)

In the Classroom

Depending on school computer settings, you may need to have tech support install the program for you. Use Zotero to collect and organize classroom resources. Share with older students as a resource for gathering and citing information. Demonstrate how to use the site on your interactive whiteboard including showing the quick-start video. One of the advanced features of the site is the creation of groups. Share this with students who may be capable of using the feature to collaborate with others.

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Picturing US History - American Social History Project at CUNY

Grades
6 to 12
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This art based site uses "lessons in looking" as a way to view artwork to better understand U.S. History. Guided questions help walk students through the images. Topics include ...more
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This art based site uses "lessons in looking" as a way to view artwork to better understand U.S. History. Guided questions help walk students through the images. Topics include race, Colonial America, Civil War, and more.

tag(s): african american (114), civil war (145), colonial america (107), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

The site offers several "lessons in looking." Project the site on an interactive whiteboard and use the discussion questions to guide students through a look at history. The site provides a way for you to zoom into the artwork so students can get up and personal as if they were in a museum. Use the zoom tool to assist you with your classroom discussion.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NetSmartzKids - National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Grades
K to 8
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NetSmartz''''® is an interactive, Internet safety resource that uses 3-D activities to teach how to stay safe. Games, videos, and activities provide information using three characters...more
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NetSmartz''''® is an interactive, Internet safety resource that uses 3-D activities to teach how to stay safe. Games, videos, and activities provide information using three characters - Clickie, Nettie, and Webster. This site has more than just your typical topics, such as: Inbox Defender Don't Open That File: A Computer Virus Game, The Password Rap, and much more. Router's Birthday Surprise is a new addition to the site and it includes a teacher's guide for classroom use along with an ongoing activity that can be saved and revisited at a later time. Although this site states that it is designed for ages 5-17, our editors found most of the activities were designed for elementary and middle school ages.

tag(s): computers (78), internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Use this site to reinforce and teach Internet safety rules. Ask students to complete a quiz on Internet safety before allowing computer access. Provide those who pass with NetSmartz UYN club cards provided on the site to use as a "computer driving license." This is a great site to share on your class wiki, blog, or website for families to peruse together.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Geometry - 2D Shapes - Smart Tutor

Grades
K to 2
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Practice finding shapes based on a given description with this geometry challenge. Listen to the directions, then click on the shape described. If correct, the shape changes color;...more
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Practice finding shapes based on a given description with this geometry challenge. Listen to the directions, then click on the shape described. If correct, the shape changes color; an incorrect guess prompts you to try again. Two different activities are included. When complete, a message tells how much time you took to complete both tasks and your accuracy rate.

tag(s): geometric shapes (159), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Use this site on classroom computers as a math center. Challenge students to record completion time and accuracy percentage each time played in an effort to improve each time. Display the site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) when teaching basic geometric shapes. After the description is given ask students to name the shape given. Take advantage of incorrect student responses to compare and contrast shapes. Share this link on your class website for students to practice both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cellular Visions - Harvard University

Grades
9 to 12
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Find great videos of animations (including narration) of the inner life of the cell, the mitochondria, and other topics. Each video opens in a new window, and the web address ...more
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Find great videos of animations (including narration) of the inner life of the cell, the mitochondria, and other topics. Each video opens in a new window, and the web address can be copied to be shared on a blog, wiki, or website. The inner life videos also can be found without audio. Some of the videos require Flash; others require QuickTime.

tag(s): cells (102)

In the Classroom

Use the animations without audio as an introduction to cell biology. Allow time for students to note what they observe and to guess which cell parts that these may be. Show the video with audio to marvel at what we now know about the internal working of the cell and the cell parts. Follow the video with activities that allow for modeling of the cell on a larger scale to learn the parts.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Credit Report 101 - YourWealthPuzzle.com

Grades
6 to 12
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What is a credit score? Why is it important? How do you build a credit score? Find answers to these and more with this puzzle/infographic. Follow through the puzzle to ...more
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What is a credit score? Why is it important? How do you build a credit score? Find answers to these and more with this puzzle/infographic. Follow through the puzzle to find out what information is used in a credit score and the best way to build your credit.

tag(s): banks (11), financial literacy (78)

In the Classroom

Embed the puzzle/infographic in a wiki using the embed code found above the puzzle. Students can research the basic aspects of the credit score and add more information to help others. Create discussions about the aspects of credit building. Discuss the best ways to rebuild a credit score as well. Generate a list of personality traits or activities that a person would have or do if they were a person with a poor credit score or one with a better credit score. Have students create a public service announcement (video) or poster to help fellow teens get off on the right foor with their credit.

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Metro: Sustainable Living - Metro

Grades
6 to 12
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality...more
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Make steps towards sustainable living. Find practical and inspiring tips to use at your job, at home, or when traveling. Find incredible resources, ideas, and tips for a better quality life for you, your family, and the planet.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): environment (317), natural resources (59), recycling (57), resources (111), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Though originally for residents of Portland, Oregon, anyone, anywhere can use this resource. Use as a start for good ideas and search for additional information for better understanding. Create blog posts, websites, posters, or other media to share ideas with others to create community involvement in sustainable living. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. When researching and discussing environmental issues, be sure to add practical ways for others to DO something. Challenge your students to create their own community of young people at your school to become involved in sustainable living. Use this site for ideas to launch Earth Day initiatives and public service announcements.

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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos 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): biographies (85), independent reading (125), interviews (15), politics (98)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Guess the Title - Big Huge Labs

Grades
7 to 12
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This is a "Wheel of Fortune" style guess-the-title game. There are 60 seconds on a visible count-down clock. To start, you must type in a nickname. (You could simply ...more
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This is a "Wheel of Fortune" style guess-the-title game. There are 60 seconds on a visible count-down clock. To start, you must type in a nickname. (You could simply type in your initials.) The challenge is to quickly type in letters to guess the title of the displayed picture. Immediate feedback is provided and as the seconds tick away; clue letters appear to provide hints. The titles are not limited to books, stories, or movies. As a matter of fact, they could be just about anything that names the picture. When the 60 seconds are up, a new picture automatically reloads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): main idea (9), puzzles (208), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Guess the Title is a quick and "addicting" way to teach, practice, and reinforce the skill of main idea -- done visually. It also teaches creative flexibility as brains cycle through possibilities to find the correct approach to the picture. Bookmark it in your favorites to provide easy access for projecting it on your interactive whiteboard. Use it whenever you have a few minutes before or after a lesson and need a motivational time filler. Include it in the "useful links" section of your class page for students to access in school or at home. Remember, it always helps to have easily accessible, "do now" activities in your "bag of tricks" to keep students engaged while using technology, when others may still be working on an assignment.

Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

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