TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 20, 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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360 Degrees of Financial Literacy - American Institute of CPAs

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
As the title implies, this site provides information and resources about financial literacy. It is organized along "life stages," beginning with teens and tweens and progressing through...more
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As the title implies, this site provides information and resources about financial literacy. It is organized along "life stages," beginning with teens and tweens and progressing through retirees. You can access information by selecting a life stage or by selecting a key word like "debt and credit" or "paying for education." Each section contains articles, Q&A exchanges, and other relevant resources.

tag(s): consumers (21), financial aid (12), financial literacy (80), money (192)

In the Classroom

A good site to recommend as a resource for students and families, this deserves a bookmark on your classroom list if you teach economics, personal finance, or consumer awareness. Guidance Counselors may want to recommend the resources organized under "paying for education." Student groups might use the site to research a particular topic or set of decisions, for example: "Should I get a credit card?" or "Should I borrow for college?" that could be presented to their peers or debated by opposing groups.

Comments

Excellent site. , OH, Grades: 10 - 12

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With Liberty and Justice for All - The Henry Ford Museum

Grades
4 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
    
With Liberty and Justice for All is a special exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The focus is on the American quest for equal rights, with a special ...more
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With Liberty and Justice for All is a special exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The focus is on the American quest for equal rights, with a special emphasis on the Women's Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The site includes a video tour of the exhibit and lesson plans with standards for grade levels between fourth grade and twelfth grade. The lesson plans presume a visit to the museum, but could be adapted fairly easily for groups who are unable to visit the museum itself.

tag(s): branches of government (48), civil rights (117), constitution (79), freedom of speech (10), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

While the site is focused on preparing students for a visit to the Henry Ford Museum, the site provides good resources and lesson plans for the study of both the Women's Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The video tour of the exhibit also provides a "virtual field trip" experience.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This is a virtual field trip that groups resources for 6-8 grades and will be extremely useful at all levels towards a discussion of justice through evidence evaluation, pro and con using various issues from our history. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Blobs - NetCent Communications

Grades
K to 8
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Blobs is a logical thinking game where you have to 'leap-frog' blobs in the correct order to make them all disappear. Increase the level of difficulty from from 1 to ...more
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Blobs is a logical thinking game where you have to 'leap-frog' blobs in the correct order to make them all disappear. Increase the level of difficulty from from 1 to 100 by sliding the bar at the bottom of the game board. Buttons let you reset the game, solve, get help, or generate a new game. Control volume with the slider bar on the game board. Warning: this game can be addictive!

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Use as a class center for students to encourage problem solving skills and planning strategy for multiple steps. Encourage students to move through increasing levels in difficulty. Display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to play together, having students share their strategies for game play while a student "emcee" operates the game. Have students keep track of their levels and number of moves. Have a student present his/her strategy, thinking out loud so others can see alternate approaches. Share this link on your class website for families to try at home!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vokle - Robert Kiraz

Grades
6 to 12
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Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required...more
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Vokle allows you and others to connect through an interactive video conference format. There are three main components to the program: text chat, audio, and video. Registration is required to host an "event" but isn't necessary for viewing recorded events available on the site. After registering, create an event (or series) by providing a title, description, and category. Schedule an event for a future time or go live immediately. Invite others to the event by embedding the code on your website, Facebook page, Twitter link, or by sharing the url. Encourage participation through viewer comments and questions that can be screened and chosen by the host. Sessions are recorded and can be viewed at a later time making this very useful for the classroom. Search for sessions by browsing events and viewing available categories. The learning category may be a useful starting point.

tag(s): chat (51), video (254)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect to use when collaborating with other classrooms, for holding an author visit, or for professional collaboration. After hosting an event, share the link with students (or parents) who could not attend or who want to watch it over again. Encourage students to host their own event with topics such as book talks, interactive discussions on solving difficult math problems, or discussions of current events. Create a Vokle for parents to view, sharing your educational philosophy, classroom procedures and expectations, and other school-related information. Create a Vokle for students who were absent from class or who may want to watch the lesson again. Even elementary classes can make a Vokle under teacher supervision for special events such as Earth Day or the 100th day of school.

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Critical Past Stock Footage Archive - Jim and Andy Erickson

Grades
6 to 12
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage....more
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage. The site is in the business of selling these images and clips. "Royalty free" means that purchasing an image/clip will not require additional fees to the photographer, but it does NOT mean that the images/clips are "free" to download and use at will. Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources. All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook. Search the site either by decade, topic, or keyword. Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find "related videos" that correlate to the current search.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (51), afghanistan (7), africa (180), american revolution (86), china (66), europe (75), north america (19), south america (39), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use photos or videos on Critical Past to help illustrate what students are learning in history. Ask students to be "eyewitnesses" of history and watch a video before they have context for it. Students can write or blog about what they think they are witnessing. Afterward they can research the event in more depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the clip. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here to create timelines of topics researched on the site. Use images from public domain sites, such as the collections reviewed here, to illustrate the events.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Battleship Numberline - Power My Learning

Grades
2 to 6
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Locate battleships along a numberline with this engaging activity. Use a variety of math skills including whole numbers, fractions, decimals, visual estimation, and measurement. Choose...more
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Locate battleships along a numberline with this engaging activity. Use a variety of math skills including whole numbers, fractions, decimals, visual estimation, and measurement. Choose a skill to enter and move the battleship to the given number, or enter a number to denote the ship's placement. Accurate choices show as "hits" along with the percentage of accuracy. Near misses, hits, and misses contribute to the accuracy percentage that shows on the screen. Move through different levels of difficulty while progressing through the game.

tag(s): decimals (133), estimation (46), fractions (239), measurement (157), whole numbers (16)

In the Classroom

This site is great to use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a math center or as a short practice filler. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to use during math centers. Share this site with parents through your classroom newsletter or website to use at home for number practice. Have students create an accuracy log for activities and challenge them to increase accuracy levels.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Budd:e Cybersecurity Education - Commonwealth of Australia

Grades
K to 12
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Budd:e is an engaging learning experience that offers interactives to play for points, while teaching important cybersecurity and safety behaviors. The site keeps your interest through...more
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Budd:e is an engaging learning experience that offers interactives to play for points, while teaching important cybersecurity and safety behaviors. The site keeps your interest through the building of a personalized robot or cyborg. Cybersecurity and safety topics covered in the package include advice on malware, securing personal information online and tips for safe social networking. Choose from primary or secondary activities based on age range, then begin. A demo is available to try without sign-in; however, registration is required to fully use resources on the site such as saving and resuming previous activities. Teachers will find a vast library of resources such as lesson plans, video explanations of the online activities, and Australian curriculum maps. This site was created in Australia, so American English speakers may notice some slight differences in vocabulary and/or spelling.

tag(s): cyberbullying (43), internet safety (106)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account and share activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link on classroom computers or in the computer lab for students to use on their own using the demo component of the site or by logging in with a classroom-created account. Share a link to this site with parents through your classroom website or newsletter as a resource for teaching Internet awareness and safety.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Surface Languages - Moonface

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Surface Languages is free site to learn basic survival words and phrases on a variety of topics in 37 different languages. Learn phrases in Afrikaans, Slovak, Arabic, Spanish, Bosnian,...more
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Surface Languages is free site to learn basic survival words and phrases on a variety of topics in 37 different languages. Learn phrases in Afrikaans, Slovak, Arabic, Spanish, Bosnian, Swahili, Bulgarian, Swedish, Catalan, Turkish, Chinese, Ukrainian, Croatian, Urdu, Czech, Welsh, Danish, Yiddish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Russian. Phrases are organized into topics so use is simple. In addition to reading and hearing the words and phrases pronounced, the site has the capability of creating flash cards for each lesson. You choose yes or no to indicate if the card has the correct meaning. It also offers multiple choice items to test listening skills for the language and translating from English to the target language.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): arabic (20), chinese (48), cultures (105), french (88), german (64), greek (41), hebrew (14), italian (33), latin (22), phrases (6), portuguese (18), russian (26), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

This site would be very handy in introduction (and level 1) world language classes. Use this site as a learning station or center. Use this site as a reference for checking meanings of foreign words and phrases. Use this site when students are preparing a project about another culture. If you have students in world language, world culture, or even language arts classes who need enrichment - send them to this site to learn the basics of a new language or look for roots that show in English. self-motivated gifted students or those planning a semester abroad can learn language basics on their own here. Be sure to include this site during "Children of the World Day" or family heritage day activities.

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NASA eClips - NASA

Grades
K to 12
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This NASA site showcases vast educational resources. eClips videos are arranged by grade level: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Be sure to check out the general public section. The short video...more
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This NASA site showcases vast educational resources. eClips videos are arranged by grade level: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Be sure to check out the general public section. The short video clips are designed to showcase NASA work and its importance and impact on everyday life here on Earth. The clip lengths make them perfect for classroom use or for young people to view on their own. Each age range has a different focus. K-5 videos show students how NASA research provides information about the Earth and our solar system. 6-8 videos focus on real-world problem solving. Problem solving is the central theme for 9-12 videos. View the videos online or download onto a computer. The entire eClips library is also available on YouTube here for those who want to use YouTube tools with the videos. There is closed captioning available from the CC button on all the videos.

tag(s): earth (228), nasa (39), problem solving (272), solar system (119), space (205), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Find viewing guides and project ideas to use in the classroom. Use the YouTube versions to embed a video in your class wiki and have students respond to questions there. As a STEM career exploration, have students watch a video of their choice and write a plan for how they might become a scientist involved in such a project.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BioMedia - BioMEDIA Associates, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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This site features unbelievable microscope images and videos to engage you in tiny life you cannot see with your eye alone. Though a commercial site that actually sells images and ...more
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This site features unbelievable microscope images and videos to engage you in tiny life you cannot see with your eye alone. Though a commercial site that actually sells images and footage, several tabs are worth a close look. The "Micronaturalist Notebook" tells a story about the organisms with detailed and labeled pictures. Use the information to learn about the intricacies of microscopic life. Find specific organisms in the "Biogalleries." Many of the pictures showcase the larva and the adult forms of these organisms.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), microorganisms (14), microscopes (13)

In the Classroom

Use these organisms to discuss various Phyla or Classes of organisms to identify the similarity and differences among them. Use the Micronaturalist Notebook as a template for students to create information pages about what they see in their class lab. Create pages on a blog, wiki, or site to share with others. Use these images on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) and make them larger than life! Ask stimulating questions such as "How do these organisms show that they are indeed living?" or "Which of these organisms are most like another?" Share the responses to identify the characteristics of living things or discuss the similarity of structure and function among them.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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VocabAhead Vocabulary Videos - VocabAhead Team

Grades
9 to 12
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Use VocabAhead in your classroom for teaching SAT and ACT vocabulary words (or simply to build vocabulary). This free vocabulary building system offers vocabulary videos, searchable...more
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Use VocabAhead in your classroom for teaching SAT and ACT vocabulary words (or simply to build vocabulary). This free vocabulary building system offers vocabulary videos, searchable by beginning letter of the word. You can also create your own word lists, share your lists with students, use flash cards for quick review, and test yourself by taking the online quizzes. You will welcome the fresh perspectives and interactive learning activities for teaching and practicing ACT and SAT words.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Project this vocabulary website on your classroom whiteboard or projector and share a few quick ready-made vocabulary videos. They are quick, fun, and memorable. They also provide a way to associate words and make the definitions stick. This will especially have value for visual learners and ESL/ELL students. Use the easy to navigate, alphabetized word lists as they appear on the website, or create your own sets from the lists for assignments. Sign up to receive the Word of the Day. Share the link to this site on your web page for students to access at home. Let your students create their own vocabulary videos to share with your class. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Spreeder - 7-Speed-Reading

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn to read at a faster pace with much better reading comprehension using Spreeder, a free online speed reading service. Use passages of your choice by simply loading (or copy ...more
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Learn to read at a faster pace with much better reading comprehension using Spreeder, a free online speed reading service. Use passages of your choice by simply loading (or copy and paste) the text, and Spreeder will pace through it at a speed you set. You can adjust your speed as your reading comprehension increases. There is also a feature to increase "chunk" size, an effective strategy used in reading instruction. Get the free app for Chrome or use the practice box on the site. There is a paid "training" portion for this tool. This review is only for the free portion.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): reading comprehension (116), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

In this era of high-stakes testing, it is imperative that students be able to read and comprehend at an expected rate in order to complete the tasks within the designated time. Think about the implications for improving state test scores and PSAT or SAT college entrance exams! Demonstrate Spreeder on your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard by copying and pasting practice passages from your state's Department of Education link to state testing. Link to SAT practice sites such as College Board SAT Preparation Center, reviewed here, or Test Prep Review, reviewed here. Provide opportunities for students to try it on individual classroom computers. Provide a direct link to Spreeder from your classroom web page or wiki. This will enable motivated students to take charge of increasing their own reading speed, or you may want to incorporate it with homework assignments and make parents aware of it.

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