TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 27, 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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Twtrland - Twtrland.com

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use Twtrland to turn the entire Twitter timeline of any Twitter user into a profile page before you decide to follow the user. Enter the Twitter username and view profile ...more
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Use Twtrland to turn the entire Twitter timeline of any Twitter user into a profile page before you decide to follow the user. Enter the Twitter username and view profile information, including retweeting of the user and number of tweets. View your own profile to look at your Twitter history and evaluate your Twitter sources. This is great for determining whether someone is a good expert to follow or can be seen as a "thought leader." It is good for both teachers or students building a list of Twitter users to follow. A person must have sent at least 16 tweets in order for their profile to be included.

tag(s): microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use to create profiles of famous Twitter users. Use to determine the use of Twitter in marketing of brands. Easily tell who is tweeting for advertising purposes and whose tweets have substance. Use to follow political candidates and others that are in the news. Use to show digital citizenship and appropriate use of social networking. 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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American Indian/Alaskan Native Book List - Talk Story

Grades
K to 12
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Search this list for children's books about American Indians and Alaskans. Choose from a wide range of selections: Picture Books, Elementary School Books, Middle School Books, Young...more
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Search this list for children's books about American Indians and Alaskans. Choose from a wide range of selections: Picture Books, Elementary School Books, Middle School Books, Young Adult Books, and Additional Resources. Learn tips about how to select the best books for your needs. If you are interested in similar book lists, TeachersFirst's CurriConnects found here offers several other curriculum-related, leveled booklists.

tag(s): alaska (25), cross cultural understanding (115), independent reading (126), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to select books about a culture that interests them. Include this list during a multicultural unit. Have students create an online book of images and captions about their target culture using bookr (reviewed here). (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr reviewed here.)
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Asian Pacific American Book List - Amer. Indian Lib. Assn & the Asian/Pacific American Lib. Assn.

Grades
K to 12
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Enjoy perusing this list of Asian American children's books, divided by country. Select the area of your interest: Cambodian, Hawaiian, Japanese, Mongolian, Tibetan, and several others....more
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Enjoy perusing this list of Asian American children's books, divided by country. Select the area of your interest: Cambodian, Hawaiian, Japanese, Mongolian, Tibetan, and several others. The lists include a wide range of selections, from picture books to young adult books and from folk tales to non-fiction titles. There is also a list of recommended authors and illustrators. If you are interested in similar book lists, TeachersFirst's CurriConnects found here offers several other curriculum-related, leveled booklists.

tag(s): asia (73), book lists (126), chinese (48), cross cultural understanding (115), hawaii (7), independent reading (126), japanese (42), korea (15), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Refer your class to this list for multicultural reading and reports. If you have any ESL/ELL students from these areas, they may enjoy reading literature from (or about) their homeland. Challenge students to read one of the books on this list and research the location. Have cooperative learning groups create a mash-up map using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Tools reviewed here.

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Gickr - Gickr.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create gif animations easily from uploaded images using this site. Images can be uploaded from computer files, pulled from Flickr, or pulled from YouTube videos. Choose up to four images,...more
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Create gif animations easily from uploaded images using this site. Images can be uploaded from computer files, pulled from Flickr, or pulled from YouTube videos. Choose up to four images, select size and speed, then select the continue button in the right-hand corner of the screen. Images can take up to a few minutes to process before seeing the resulting gif. When the animated gif is created, share using links on the page to many popular social sharing sites or download to your computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (63), images (265)

In the Classroom

Create an animated gif for any subject as an introduction to a new unit. Include images to spark student conversation as a way of determining background knowledge before teaching. Share this site with students to use when creating multimedia projects. Create a fun image to use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) when introducing the student of the week. Share student-created images on your classroom website or blog to enhance or inspire student writing or poetry projects. Make a class mascot image to include on your wiki or blog and have young students write stories about it.

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Anki - Flashcard creator - ankisrs.net

Grades
2 to 12
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Anki is a flashcard creator with a twist. The program is used everyday, and each response is rated as Easy, Very easy, Good, or Again. Very easy questions won't be ...more
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Anki is a flashcard creator with a twist. The program is used everyday, and each response is rated as Easy, Very easy, Good, or Again. Very easy questions won't be shown again for 7 days, Again responses will be shown again during the same session. Choose the number of flashcards to use for each session, time to spend, and number of questions to be offered. Search by topic to find readymade flashcards or create your own. This program needs to be downloaded to your computer following the onsite directions. Windows, Mac, and Linux versions are available.

tag(s): flash cards (46), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for your classes using Anki -- or have them make their own. Try using them as an 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 this site to learn 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 (even counterexamples). 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. Since this program is a download, flashcards may be difficult to share - one suggestion is to download the program onto a USB stick to be shared as needed. Students can also create flashcards for classmates to try after watching peer's presentations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Logo Type Maker - LogoTypeMaker.com

Grades
K to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create and save text-based logos instantly with this easy to use application. Make the logo short, about 50 characters. Type in a class name, title, mythical creature, anything you...more
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Create and save text-based logos instantly with this easy to use application. Make the logo short, about 50 characters. Type in a class name, title, mythical creature, anything you wish, and generate several different logo possibilities. Click Generate logo again to see more choices. You can bookmark or download and save the ones you like. Save the logo "as is" or modify elements of the logo such as background, font type, or uploading your own image. Download the image as a png file to your computer. Only one free download allowed per day so you may want to plan accordingly.

tag(s): design (84), drawing (78), graphic design (35), images (265)

In the Classroom

Have students create custom logos to go along with book reports, classroom presentations, and more. They can create logos for themselves (using a screen name or slogan) to include on a class wiki or in other online projects. Create your own classroom logo for use on your class website, wiki or classroom stationary. Display the site on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate how to use different fonts and colors within the program. Share this tool on your class web page so students can create logos any time. For a first week of school activity, if you have access to multiple computers, have students create individual logos of "taglines"about themselves, such as "Lego master" or "Expert dog trainer" and put them on a class wiki page for others to guess/match identities as a getting to know you activity. Others can offer their guesses using the discussion tab on the wiki page.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Survey Legend - Jasko Mahmutovic

Grades
K to 12
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This simple (yet fantastic) survey creator uses images for the multiple choices instead of text. Video tutorials on the site demonstrate how to create a survey; however, the process...more
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This simple (yet fantastic) survey creator uses images for the multiple choices instead of text. Video tutorials on the site demonstrate how to create a survey; however, the process is easy to follow. Click on Create a survey, choose a title, layout, and theme and start filling in your survey questions. Upload a picture for each response, and personalize the survey as desired. Completed surveys can be shared via url, Facebook, and Twitter or embedded into websites or blogs. Up to 100 responses are allowed using the free version.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Share polls on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit. Ask questions about the material. Discuss in groups why those in class would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for daily quiz questions to gain knowledge of student understanding and as a means of formative assessment. Have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase reader involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections, or for critical thinking activities dealing with interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students on issues that matter to them. Use visual polls to identify cells or other scientific images as a formative assessment.

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Jigsaw Planet - Tibo Software

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create quick and simple custom jigsaw puzzles. Upload a jpeg image to the site. Choose how many pieces you want and the shape. Jigsaw Planet does the rest. Instantly create ...more
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Create quick and simple custom jigsaw puzzles. Upload a jpeg image to the site. Choose how many pieces you want and the shape. Jigsaw Planet does the rest. Instantly create a custom interactive puzzle for your students to play! Change the background using tools at the bottom of the puzzle. Puzzles can be saved for your own account, shared with students via a url, or embedded into your classroom website for easy access. This site requires Java.

tag(s): images (265), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Use these puzzles on your projector or interactive whiteboard! Each puzzle is timed as you put it together. Split students into teams to see which team can complete the puzzle the fastest. Instead of the typical PowerPoint type presentation to teach students facts, create a puzzle for them to put together and have them read the fact once the puzzle has been completed. Turn your classroom rules into a series of jigsaw puzzles for students to put together. Honor your star student of the week by creating a puzzle of that student. Just take a picture of the student and upload to Jigsaw Planet. Students can use Jigsaw Planet to create their own puzzles. This is a great place for them to study. They can upload spelling words, math facts, maps, etc. Students will love creating their own jigsaw puzzles. If you have a projector or an interactive whiteboard, have students create a puzzle all about them. They can create a collage of things they like in a presentation program, take a screen shot of it, and upload the puzzle to Jigsaw Planet. Students can put together each other's puzzles and guess who the student is based on the pictures. This would be a great getting to know you activity for the first week of school!

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Autism Games - Swinburne University's Multimedia Design Program

Grades
K to 5
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This site is for parents and teachers of autistic and ASD children, as well as the children themselves. Find games and background information to support learning. Six games support...more
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This site is for parents and teachers of autistic and ASD children, as well as the children themselves. Find games and background information to support learning. Six games support development of life skills such as coping with change. There are also activities dealing with social interactions, such as taking turns and using eye contact. Information for adults accompanies each game including keywords and specific discussion of skills taught and how they can be used in a classroom setting.

tag(s): autism (22)

In the Classroom

Share games with students on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to discuss or practice life skills taught. Make the games an IWB or computer center for individual practice. Share this site with parents of autistic students as a resource for learning life skills.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Digital Booktalk - Florida Gulf Coast University

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
On the Digital Book Talk site, you will find high quality book trailers that will whet your appetite for a good book. Search for books by content level and interests. ...more
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On the Digital Book Talk site, you will find high quality book trailers that will whet your appetite for a good book. Search for books by content level and interests. Then click on a book to be taken to the book's page. Included on each page is a short video (some created by students), book synopsis, lexile level, publication date, number of pages, genre, and ISBN number. Teachers and library/media specialists can join the project and contribute videos. Read the "UB the Director" area ( UB=You Be).

tag(s): book lists (126), independent reading (126)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent place for students to start their search for a book that will hold their interest. Find a book trailer to introduce a novel that the whole class will be reading or set up classroom computers with a link to Digital Book Talk where students can be inspired to find their next read. Have students create their own book talks and share the videos using a tool such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Share this site on your teacher web page for students and families to access during summer.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

What a terrific summer resource for students and parents! Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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The Write-n-ator! - New Hampshire Public Television

Grades
2 to 5
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View video clips about words and vocabulary. After completing the clip, try a related writing challenge. Clips and challenges are all related to writing, word recognition, and vocabulary...more
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View video clips about words and vocabulary. After completing the clip, try a related writing challenge. Clips and challenges are all related to writing, word recognition, and vocabulary development and feature titles such as "Favorite Word" and "Mr. Big's Plan." Standards are included. Clips can be replayed as necessary. View other responses to each challenge with the link above the submission form.

tag(s): antonyms (26), grammar (216), grammar review (37), synonyms (38), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Offer these challenges to your class using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Watch the video clip and create a class response to add to the challenge. Alternately, each student can take the challenge in a writing journal. These videos and challenges make for a writing warm up. There are 20 video clips and challenges. To demonstrate what students have learned from the site, have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Memrise - Ed Cooke and Greg Detre

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use innovative new techniques to teach languages as well as other useful topics: Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, French, Hebrew, Scots, and more. Learning is based on the use of three ingredients...more
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Use innovative new techniques to teach languages as well as other useful topics: Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, French, Hebrew, Scots, and more. Learning is based on the use of three ingredients - science, fun, and community. One interesting "language" included is SAT vocabulary! "Mems" are used to help form vivid memories while including simple quizzes along the way to test knowledge. Grow gardens of knowledge along the way. Water your garden occasionally through review of previous topics. Find all topics on the site by choosing the topics link located at the top, right-hand side of the home page to find included activities such as famous people, animals, and world geography. Registration isn't required to use resources on the site; however, activities can be saved and reentered by creating a free account with a Facebook login or email information. This site is in Beta at the time of this review.

tag(s): chinese (48), french (88), german (64), italian (33), japanese (42), russian (26), spanish (108), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

World language teachers can use this site as a center or homework activity for increasing vocabulary skills. Share with students to use for SAT prep. Use the site to help students learn and understand languages used by classmates. If you teach a unit on study skills or work with learning support students, use the mnemonics on this site as examples to help students generate their own "memory jogging" tricks to use when studying for tests. Stop to analyze together how these activities reinforce new memorization. Get your students thinking about thinking! After learning some basic language skills, have students create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to demonstrate new language skills learned. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

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Genographic Project - National Geographic Society

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This tool provides videos, interactives, and lesson plans to understand the genetics of humans and to explain migration, genetic markers, and more. Use these lessons to understand more...more
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This tool provides videos, interactives, and lesson plans to understand the genetics of humans and to explain migration, genetic markers, and more. Use these lessons to understand more about genetics across many disciplines. Suggested test kits are not required for the activities, though they might add interest if your school permits.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): genealogy (7), genetics (90)

In the Classroom

Bring many genetic topics to light and answer the question "Where do I come from?" The lesson plans are an important means to understand the scientific, political, and social impact of how we are all interconnected.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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