TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 12, 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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Enduring Voices Project - National Geographic

Grades
6 to 12
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Close the opening ad and learn what languages are dying out around the world. Hear vocal clips of native speakers. Information about the languages includes maps of language hotspots,...more
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Close the opening ad and learn what languages are dying out around the world. Hear vocal clips of native speakers. Information about the languages includes maps of language hotspots, ratings of the level of danger the languages are facing, and stories with photos and videos about National Geographic's visits to the language-endangered areas.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Social studies and language arts classes can discuss what makes languages "live" and "die" and explore the cultures that are also disappearing. Have students consider the idea that language is reflective of culture so the failure of a spoken language to thrive is a death knell for the culture, as well. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster featuring photos and interesting details about a culture experiencing language failure using Tackk, reviewed here, or GlogsterEDU, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Visit global landmarks with photo tours in Google Maps - Google

Grades
1 to 12
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Around the world in one website? See the world using photo tours in Google maps thanks to this blog post explaining how. Enter 3D photo scenes to immerse you in ...more
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Around the world in one website? See the world using photo tours in Google maps thanks to this blog post explaining how. Enter 3D photo scenes to immerse you in nearly 15,000 popular sites and cultures from around the world. Find blog tools and useful links to make your visit more interesting. This site works best in FireFox or Chrome, and you will need to download Google Maps' web GL.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earth (228), map skills (80), maps (287), natural resources (59), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Use photo tours in Google to expand your classroom into the world. The easy tutorial flies you off immediately into the world without budget, permission slips, or travel. Social studies and history come alive in the actual settings. Examine the real look at world cultures. Bring into a world language class for a field trip. In language arts, explore settings from around the world and see how they influence the story. Look at folktales from around the world with their settings. Current events come alive and meaningful through your visit. In language arts classes or math classes, plan an imaginary trip to a different place. Google photo tours make it concrete and allow you to experience the world. Transport your students to another place, and see if they can play Where in the World. In art classes, study architecture or nature to influence art pieces. Science classes can explore landscapes, earth surfaces, natural resources, mapping skills, and habitats. Now your classroom has no walls.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Polyhedra Investigation - The National Grid for Learning Cymru

Grades
3 to 6
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Explore and interact with 3-D polyhedra. Several sections are available on the site for exploration including a starter activity, main session, and plenary (lesson conclusion activity)....more
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Explore and interact with 3-D polyhedra. Several sections are available on the site for exploration including a starter activity, main session, and plenary (lesson conclusion activity). Hover your mouse over each of the large icons to view information about each activity, then click to access each section. As you explore the site, there is no option to use the back arrow to return to the home screen. Simply refresh the page to return.

tag(s): geometric shapes (159)

In the Classroom

All activities on the site are perfect to use as an introduction or review for polyhedra on your interactive whiteboard. Teacher notes and student worksheets are also available. After viewing as a class, allow students to explore on their own using classroom computers. Use ideas from the lesson plan to supplement current classroom activities. Print polyhedra shapes for students to create; then use them to develop a math writing activity to display on a bulletin board. Make holiday math decorations or student-made review manipulatives (for any subject) using the printables. Have them write a question on each face and "roll" the polyhedron to respond to the questions. Art teachers can use the printables for many craft projects.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Zinn Education Project - Zinn Education Project

Grades
6 to 12
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The Zinn Education Project provides teaching resources as a part of its effort to offer an alternative to traditional methods of teaching history. Inspired by the work of Howard Zinn,...more
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The Zinn Education Project provides teaching resources as a part of its effort to offer an alternative to traditional methods of teaching history. Inspired by the work of Howard Zinn, the site and its resources come from a clearly progressive point of view and focus heavily on issues of social justice. Understand there is a political agenda here. The website offers both lesson plans and other teaching materials and a bibliography of related books and other non-web-based resources. In order to access the teaching materials, you must register on the site.

tag(s): civil rights (117), hispanic (18), women (101)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for additional teaching materials that focus on issues of social justice, or which provide information from a progressive point of view, you can search by time period or theme (i.e. African American, LGBT, War and Anti-War, or Latino). The teaching materials are in PDF format you can download once you log in. Language arts teachers will find the articles here great for nonfiction reading and terrific as discussion starters!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kideo Player! - Tom Ajello

Grades
K to 2
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This kid-safe YouTube video player features videos such as entertaining and educational cartoons, language learning and animal programs; most programs are from PBS Kids or other "reliable"...more
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This kid-safe YouTube video player features videos such as entertaining and educational cartoons, language learning and animal programs; most programs are from PBS Kids or other "reliable" sources. Navigation is simple: just press the space bar to move on to the next video. Choose from "Just for Moms" or "Most Popular" options or simply allow programs to appear on their own. Small text ads do appear on some videos, but you can close them. Note that many schools block YouTube, so test to see if this site works at school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): preK (275), video (251)

In the Classroom

Suggest Kideos to parents as an alternative to YouTube for their little ones. Kids will be able to find all the content they are looking for without any of the inappropriate comments found on some YouTube videos. Mark this site in classroom Favorites to use as a student-directed interactive whiteboard center without fear of "bad" content. If students discover videos you would like to use in lessons, you can click "View on YouTube" to open in YouTube's usual page and copy the video url. Use a tool such as ViewPure, reviewed here, to show specific videos without the YouTube clutter.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Virtual Sentence Board - North Baddesley Infant School

Grades
K to 2
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Practice sentence writing or sight word skills with this drag and drop sentence board. Drag words from the sets at the bottom of the board onto the board in any ...more
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Practice sentence writing or sight word skills with this drag and drop sentence board. Drag words from the sets at the bottom of the board onto the board in any order, and rearrange as needed. Included are four sets; change by using the drop box on the page. Type in any word to use on the drawing board. One limitation of the site is that each word set stands alone and will not mix with other word sets. Adapt this by typing in your own words as needed. This site will work on iOS tablet devices because it does not require Flash.

tag(s): preK (275), sentences (52), sight words (37)

In the Classroom

Practice sight word recognition by having students drag words they can read to the sentence board. See how many they can read from each set. Create a link on classroom computers for students to practice creating sentences from word sets. Use on your interactive whiteboard to create sentences as a class or a student-run center. Share with parents through your classroom website or newsletter for sight word practice at home.

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DearReader - Suzanne Beecher

Grades
4 to 12
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Don't know what to read next? No problem. Sign up and, based on your interests, you will receive short excerpts via email for suggested books every day. See a quick ...more
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Don't know what to read next? No problem. Sign up and, based on your interests, you will receive short excerpts via email for suggested books every day. See a quick look at a book before deciding to read the entire novel. Join email book clubs at local libraries with the book club links on this site.

tag(s): independent reading (125), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Sign up for DearReader and receive daily emails with book excerpts. Share the excerpts with your class as a way to hook some into reading or to offer book suggestions. Use the emails as an example of a service that students may want to try; have students choose an interesting excerpt from a book they are reading and share with others via email or your classroom blog or website. Consider having students create "talking pictures" to read their excerpt using Fotobabble reviewed here. Use excerpts as a discussion starter in literacy circles or writers workshops.

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Numberphile - Brady Haran

Grades
7 to 12
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Are you interested in numbers? This site has a variety of videos about math theories that are at the forefront of research. Easy, understandable language presents each topic, and this...more
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Are you interested in numbers? This site has a variety of videos about math theories that are at the forefront of research. Easy, understandable language presents each topic, and this is an entertaining way for anyone to learn fascinating facts about numbers. The Numberphile covers a very broad scope of topics such as Why do people hate mathematics, AMAZING Dice Rolls, and Sounds of PI. Videos vary in length, although most remain well under 15 minutes. Even those who believe they are not good at math will like learning interesting facts about numbers. The site is not in Flash, but all the videos are. If your district blocks YouTube, 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.

tag(s): calculators (41), negative numbers (23), number lines (22), numbers (203), pi (22), prime numbers (31), video (251)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector as wonderful math journal and discussion starters. Choose a video about an interesting number fact that can be used to hook students into a particular lesson or unit. Use the videos to show the fascinating side of mathematics. For example, 666 and its peculiarity in mathematics would be interesting to students. Make a math enrichment center for your gifted students or "hook" math-haters (or girls) by letting them select and critique their own video choice from this site. Embed a video on your class wiki and have students use the discussion tab to comment on what they like about it or were surprised to learn. FLIP your classroom and have students view the videos at home to discuss the next day in class. (This is a great option if YouTube is blocked in your school.) Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students (and their families) to access at home. Consider having students make their own advertising videos about their favorite or "lucky" number using a tool such as and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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KIDSINCO - KIDSINCO.com

Grades
1 to 6
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KIDSINCO offers an easy set of readers' theater scripts for kids. Fairy tales, fables, Greek myths, or stories with moral values such as friendship, generosity, honesty, patriotism,...more
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KIDSINCO offers an easy set of readers' theater scripts for kids. Fairy tales, fables, Greek myths, or stories with moral values such as friendship, generosity, honesty, patriotism, perseverance, respect, tolerance, trust, and hard work are all easily printed and ready for your eager actors. Patterns for animal masks, and stories in Spanish are also available. Scroll down to find an author listing on the left side to explore the options.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): readers theater (17)

In the Classroom

Spice up language arts with exciting readers theater scripts readily prepared for all occasions. Begin as a whole group activity to model expression, and fluency. Continue in groups, or even in centers. Use the scripts as an example to help students turn stories into script format. Have your class make recorded scripts for younger class buddies. Challenge students to create narration and soundtracks for photos and images using UtellStory, reviewed here. Have older brothers or sisters make a memorable dramatized story for their younger sibling. Use the scripts in high school world language classes; translate into Spanish, French, or German. Determine what stories are missing from KIDSINCO and make up your own scripts to complete the list.

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Super Bugs - mylearning.org

Grades
2 to 7
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Use this terrific science challenge to build your own "bug" and learn about invertebrates. Choose the best parts of bugs to make a bug that can survive beyond others and ...more
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Use this terrific science challenge to build your own "bug" and learn about invertebrates. Choose the best parts of bugs to make a bug that can survive beyond others and be able to live in a specific environment.

tag(s): adaptations (17), habitats (84), insects (68)

In the Classroom

Allow students or groups of students to create bugs, and learn from their mistakes, to make the best superbug. Then have students write their observations about the body parts and super powers chosen to learn more about invertebrates. Create a competition for the best bug design and declare a winner. Students can screenshot their creation (Command-shift-4 on a Mac or Print screen on a PC). Bring the observations learned to a class discussion on invertebrates and how they all demonstrate the characteristics of life. Consider using a program such as Kwout reviewed here, to display all screen shots in one place on your wiki or blog for parents to see, too. Students could write about their creations on the class wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science Video Animation - Russell Kightley media

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore an impressive set of science and engineering animations to help explain difficult concepts. View animations and posters. Understand what the visual is about by reading the background...more
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Explore an impressive set of science and engineering animations to help explain difficult concepts. View animations and posters. Understand what the visual is about by reading the background information. Animations and posters cannot be used off the site without purchasing, but this is an excellent resource for viewing and sharing in its online version. Topics include different types of engines, how an eye works and vision problems, convection, waves, and more. There are also several animations about geometric solids.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atoms (55), cells (102), colors (79), diseases (66), dna (69), earth (228), electricity (88), energy (197), engineering (118), geometric shapes (159), light (46), machines (30), molecules (43), solar system (118), sun (71), vision (87), waves (21)

In the Classroom

Use the simulations to help explain topics and concepts in class. Language arts teachers can use this site as a source for nonfiction reading comprehension. Science and language arts teachers can use the site as a learning center for students who need enrichment. Find great animations to help visualize various topics from different viruses to diesel engines, the Doppler Effect, to the garden sundial, and the vertical sundial to name just a few. Check the readability of the animations you want students to use on their own by using the The Readability Test Tool reviewed here.

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WhatWasThere - Enlighten Ventures, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Search for any place in the world and view images of "what was there" in the past using a Google Maps street view. Find your location on Google Maps, then ...more
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Search for any place in the world and view images of "what was there" in the past using a Google Maps street view. Find your location on Google Maps, then search through the list of available photographs. View the photo details or view in Google Street View (the little orange man). Photo details include date taken, title, description, and copyright information. Roll over the photo for a magnified view. In Street View, you can fade in and out through the photograph. You can upload photos, too. This tool is also available as an iPhone app.

tag(s): communities (35), images (261), local history (13), maps (287), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to explore the changes in your local area or elsewhere. Compare medicine, education, nutrition, and more from each of the time periods. Create a campaign to showcase your local area today by cataloguing various neighborhoods with your classes. Write stories about life in each of the historical periods. Research headline news of those days, political figures, and major achievements. In elementary grades, show how towns and cities change over time by projecting the photos and maps as part of your Communities unit. In very early grades, introduce the very idea of history by showing "what was there" at familiar local sites. Have students write stories about what happened there "once upon a time."

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Wolfram Education Portal - Wolfram

Grades
8 to 12
7 Favorites 1  Comments
     
This site from Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica offers dynamic tools and materials for learning math topics and MUCH more. The tool has an interactive textbook and lesson plans aligned...more
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This site from Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica offers dynamic tools and materials for learning math topics and MUCH more. The tool has an interactive textbook and lesson plans aligned to the Common Core standards. Check out the supplemental materials that include demonstrations and videos. Currently the portal contains FULL materials for Algebra and some material for Calculus. Coming soon is Pre-Calculus, along with additional features like problem generators. The interactive Algebra textbook uses the CK-12 Flexbook, Wolfram|Alpha widgets and links, and demonstrations created in Mathematica. You must set up a free account to see all that is available. Most content requires the free CDF player software, available for download.

tag(s): ebooks (40), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent resource for math teachers and students alike. Use the variety of lessons, links, and demonstrations to help students in your class. Set up a computer in your class -- or the computer lab -- with the like problem generator so students who are struggling with a particular concept can practice.

Comments

I like this because Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica are used in the real world for a students future career. It exposes them to tools they can use when they are older. They will be more advanced because they have been using them as students. Thank you, Heather Heather, CA, Grades: 9 - 12

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