TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 9, 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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Our Little Earth - News for school, news for kids, current events for kids - OurLittleEarth.com

Grades
3 to 8
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Our Little Earth is a biweekly newspaper just for kids. View editions online or subscribe via email for email delivery. Each edition contains short articles from around the world. Some...more
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Our Little Earth is a biweekly newspaper just for kids. View editions online or subscribe via email for email delivery. Each edition contains short articles from around the world. Some include video and images. Articles are generally no longer than two to three paragraphs in length. View previous editions using the past editions link located near the top of the page.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Use as a learning center for students to read and journal. Assign different groups of students articles to read and present to the class. Practice with Main Idea or summarizing using these interesting informational texts. ESL/ELL learners can also find accessible news stories here. Provide this link for students to use at home to keep up with current events.
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Teaching Channel - Videos, Lesson Plans, and Other Resources for Teachers - Teaching Channel

Grades
K to 12
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Explore this video showcase of innovative and effective teaching practices from America's schools. The video library offers a wide range of subjects for grades K-12. Videos also include...more
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Explore this video showcase of innovative and effective teaching practices from America's schools. The video library offers a wide range of subjects for grades K-12. Videos also include information on alignment with Common Core State Standards and ancillary material for teachers to use in their own classrooms. Browse by grade level band, subject, or popular topics. Use the search box to find ideas for a specific topic, such as "earth" or "electricity." There are too many topics to list. Pretty much anything you are looking for academically, behaviorally, or professionally can be found here! See video length for each choice along with the title, subject and grade band. After choosing a video, view objectives, questions to consider, and information about the teacher in the video. Download or receive codes to embed videos using the links available with each video. Register on the site (free) to access the site's lesson planner features. Save, schedule, and receive reminders about great ideas after registering or follow teachers to receive notification of new uploads.

tag(s): assessment (100), behavior (46), classroom management (135), commoncore (94), differentiation (47), inquiry (37), newbies (18), professional development (123), rhythm (20), substitutes (21), video (254)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites for those times when you need inspiration. View videos as a way of finding fresh lesson ideas with practical suggestions for implementation. Share this site with other teachers, viewing videos together during professional development sessions. This site is a great site for mentoring new teachers to develop professional skills. There are even videos to share with your class on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dr. Seuss and WWII: Analyzing Political Cartoons - National WWII Museum

Grades
7 to 12
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We all know Dr. Seuss, but how many know the important contribution he made to political commentary during World War II? His political cartoons, created while he served in the ...more
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We all know Dr. Seuss, but how many know the important contribution he made to political commentary during World War II? His political cartoons, created while he served in the US Army Information and Education Division were part of the Army's campaign to affect morale and influence public opinion in favor of the war effort. This lesson plan designed for grades 7-12 provides examples of those cartoons, and encourages students to consider the power of cartoons to influence perception of political ideas and events. It's also a welcome change from the inevitable "Boss Tweed" cartoons of Thomas Nast that are the usual focus of discussions of political cartoons.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), dr seuss (13), politics (99), propaganda (12), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this lesson instead of your usual Thomas Nast lesson on political cartooning. Geisel's cartoons are more recent, and may be more accessible to today's students. Consider also using this lesson with older students on Dr. Seuss's birthday when the focus is usually on his children's literature. Share the cartoons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to create their own cartoons by drawing or using one of TeachersFirst's many reviewed comic/cartoon tools here.
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Common Core Instructional Support Tools - North Carolina Public Schools

Grades
K to 12
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Visit Common Core Instructional Support Tools to promote understanding and implementation of the Common Core Standards. Although produced by North Carolina Schools, the information...more
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Visit Common Core Instructional Support Tools to promote understanding and implementation of the Common Core Standards. Although produced by North Carolina Schools, the information is relevant to anyone implementing Common Core. It has several sections and includes information divided by subject and grade level. Most documents are in PDF format, making them easy to print and use. The "unpacking" section is especially useful as it takes each standard then puts the information into words explaining what a student must know and be able to do to meet each standard. This site is a "must-visit" for anyone beginning to implement Common Core Standards in their classroom.

tag(s): commoncore (94), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use in implementing and understand Common Core Standards. Share this site with other teachers and administrators in your building.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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KIPTOWN - Kindergartners In Progress - Asset-Eight, Arizona PBS

Grades
K to 1
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Kiptown is a site to develop kindergarten readiness skills. The town contains five locations, each with an opportunity to practice different skills. Practice literacy, math, science,...more
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Kiptown is a site to develop kindergarten readiness skills. The town contains five locations, each with an opportunity to practice different skills. Practice literacy, math, science, social/emotional, and other skills. Visit the school, firehouse, restaurant, or grocery store. Hover over a location to find the link, then click to enter. Listen to directions in each area. You get feedback with each attempt and an apple at the completion of each section. Be sure to check out the information for parents and caregivers as well as standards, books to use, and other websites for kindergarten readiness.

tag(s): communities (35), literacy (103), number sense (97), patterns (85), preK (281), sequences (16), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

This site would be wonderful to use in a pre-K or kindergarten classroom with students who need further development of basic skills. Create a link on classroom computers or use on your interactive whiteboard with students who may need intervention help. Use this tool with ESL/ELL students. Provide this link on your class website for students who need extra practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kristin, MN, Grades: 0 - 1

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Membean Word Maps - Ragav Satish, Brett Brunner, Micah Elliott

Grades
1 to 12
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The Membean Word Map displays all the synonyms and closely related words for any word you enter. Clicking on a synonym for the word will bring up a word map ...more
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The Membean Word Map displays all the synonyms and closely related words for any word you enter. Clicking on a synonym for the word will bring up a word map for that synonym, but your original search word will remain in the box at the top. What a fantastic way to look up a word that is unfamiliar to you or find alternatives. See words via relationships instead of in isolation.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Project this word map page using your interactive whiteboard and projector, and type in a word. Show students how easy it is to examine the different synonyms and their meanings used to help them understand the original word. What an easy way show students the different nuances and connotations of the meanings, and that not all synonyms fit in a specific sentence. You may want to post this page on your website or wiki and bookmark it on the classroom computers for parent and student use.
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The Art of Storytelling - Delaware Art Museum

Grades
3 to 12
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At The Art of Storytelling you can view artwork from the from the Delaware Art Museum and interact with the artwork, create your own art, and tell its story. Tell ...more
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At The Art of Storytelling you can view artwork from the from the Delaware Art Museum and interact with the artwork, create your own art, and tell its story. Tell a story about a piece you are viewing or you can read a story about the piece but written by someone else. Use the tabs at the top: Experience a Story, Tell a Story, or Picture a Story. Experience a Story is where you read stories written by others inspired by the artwork. Choose a story by genre, most recently told, and most recently pictured. Tell a Story has you pick the artwork that inspires you and create your own story. Picture a Story is where you interact with the artwork and change it, then write your story. At the left, choose Kids Only for kids to record the story they write.

tag(s): art history (70), creative writing (166)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans to spark class ideas. Use this site on your interactive whiteboard to introduce and explore with your students. Create a class story about one of the works of art. What a great learning center this would make on a class computer! For older students, flip your classroom and briefly introduce the different sections you want them to explore at home. Have them choose one of the writing sections and come back to class with questions, ready to work and share.
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American Sign Language University - Lifeprint

Grades
K to 12
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Learn about American Sign Language. Join Dr. Bill Vicars at the American Sign Language University. Find resources and free classes (videos) in American Sign Language. The FREE resources...more
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Learn about American Sign Language. Join Dr. Bill Vicars at the American Sign Language University. Find resources and free classes (videos) in American Sign Language. The FREE resources included are a dictionary, numbers, jokes, numbers, wallpaper, fingerspelling art for signs or posters, and lessons. Email is available for questions. Find information for presentations in American Sign Language. There are also workbook pages, practice cards, and quizzes to help guide your learning.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): sign language (8)

In the Classroom

Use American Sign Language University as the way to fulfill your world language requirement. Teach yourself sign language! Add to your presentation skills with a focus of communicating non-verbally. Proceed at your own rate with this free guided learning series. Include this site in your study of science, sound, or differences and discrimination. Use individually with students or in a whole group.
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ToolsforEnglish - toolsforenglish.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Create exercises and quizzes for English language and other subjects quickly and easily with ToolsforEnglish. Copy and paste any text and create worksheets by filtering out prepositions,...more
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Create exercises and quizzes for English language and other subjects quickly and easily with ToolsforEnglish. Copy and paste any text and create worksheets by filtering out prepositions, conjunctions, modal verbs, and articles. You can also create documents that scramble words, sentences, or paragraphs, and for matching, multiple choice and true/false questions. Your choices create a worksheet and answer sheet to print right away or create a PDF file that you can save on your computer for later use. The introduction video requires Flash.

tag(s): quizzes (97), word study (80), worksheets (60)

In the Classroom

Despite the name, ToolsforEnglish is for ANY teacher who creates reviews before a test or quiz. Use the gap fill tool on your projector or interactive whiteboard and have students fill in key words to complete the exercise. Assign as homework for a study aid. Create study aids for ELL/ESL, or learning support students to review and learn. Even better: Let students take control! Have students create the tests, in order to find the keywords or quiz each other. Use in centers for a review of current vocabulary, concepts, or even mathematical practice. Divide the class into cooperative learning groups to cover all aspects of one topic. The subject options are limitless. Use as a competition. Post this link on your website as a resource for parents to help at home.
 
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Oxford Owl Maths - Oxford University Press

Grades
K to 2
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Find math advice, tips, ideas, games, and e-books to help bring math alive. Activities focus on two age groups, 3 - 5 and 5 - 7. The free e-books have ...more
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Find math advice, tips, ideas, games, and e-books to help bring math alive. Activities focus on two age groups, 3 - 5 and 5 - 7. The free e-books have math themes. The site's origin is British, so the "maths" curriculum or terms may be slightly different from the U.S. But numbers are still numbers! The standards are from the U.K. Don't miss the "jargon busters" under the Expert Help menu for parents to understand the math terms teachers may use. Although the site has links to items for sale, there is enough free material to be worthwhile. On some of the interactives you must click the "mark it" check mark to see if your answer is correct or not.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (251), counting (120), multiplication (227), numbers (204), preK (281), subtraction (208), time (144)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your class web page for students and parents to use as a reference. Share the activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for math learning centers/stations.
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Rhymenlearn - The World's Greatest Math and Science Rap - Rhyme 'n Learn Records, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Rhymenlearn offers twenty-five "squeaky clean" math and science rap videos about a variety of topics. They are constantly adding to this site, so you will probably find even more than...more
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Rhymenlearn offers twenty-five "squeaky clean" math and science rap videos about a variety of topics. They are constantly adding to this site, so you will probably find even more than twenty-five! Sort by math or science using the tabs at the top. Subtitles are given along with the YouTube video. These videos are perfect for the classroom. While seeing a Heart Rap or Pi Rap may make you giggle, many learn best from hearing words to music. These are simple to understand and include many words and diagrams.You can also sign up for more free math and science raps with your email (no SPAM). YouTube videos use Flash. If your school 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): acids and bases (11), angles (88), atoms (56), body systems (57), brain (72), cells (102), chemicals (40), differentiation (47), dna (69), equations (155), fractions (239), heart (43), human body (121), number lines (22), percent (82), photosynthesis (33), probability (130), pythagorean theorem (35), quadratics (32), ratios (53), songs (52), statistics (122), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use these videos to introduce or reinforce topics. Though corny, they are catchy and can help students learn and retain concepts. Provide this link on your class website for students to use as a review at home. If you don't want students to access the entire site, you may want to provide the URL directly to the specific video. Consider having your class create simple videos or songs that help other students learn various topics. share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iBioSeminars - iBioSeminars

Grades
10 to 12
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iBioSeminars features lectures and videos about biology, ecology, health (and more) that begin with broad introductions and progress to specific research. Most videos require QuickTime....more
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iBioSeminars features lectures and videos about biology, ecology, health (and more) that begin with broad introductions and progress to specific research. Most videos require QuickTime. Search by top picks or category. You can also try entering a biology term in the search box. Click on Teaching Tools to find related materials for use with the lectures. Many lectures are as long as an hour. Don't miss the "short clips" menu for videos more applicable in high school settings. Subtitles in English, Spanish, and French are also available. You can subscribe to the lectures using iTunesU. There is also a link to view the video clips on YouTube.

tag(s): cells (102), ecology (135), energy (198), evolution (100), medicine (67)

In the Classroom

Use iBioSeminars to bring the human side of biological research to the classroom. Use the lectures as an introduction to a biology concept or when connecting the topic to students' everyday lives. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Save this in your favorites as a possible tool for substitutes to share with the class (if the topic is applicable). Use this site along with other related sites for students to pick from when assigning current events in your science class. Challenge students to familiarize themselves with a topic by watching a video and then have cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation to share with the class using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Explore Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emmissions - EPA

Grades
7 to 12
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Confused about climate change and the evaluation of the data? View this free site from the EPA that compiles current greenhouse gas emissions data into an interactive map. This site...more
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Confused about climate change and the evaluation of the data? View this free site from the EPA that compiles current greenhouse gas emissions data into an interactive map. This site visualizes the biggest emitters. Included are polluters of more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. Unfortunately, not shown in the data are the smaller polluters. When using the site, keep in mind that polluters like transportation, residential, or agricultural sources are missing. This tool is useful for looking at how industry and power contribute to climate change, and which type of fuel source (coal provides 50%) provides power generation. Click on the US map and then specific blue circles (the numbers inside represent the total number of facilities) to zoom in and find the list of facilities in the left navigation panel. Clicking on each facility brings up the data of emissions. Search by specific gas emission (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, or methane). Change the overall view by list, map, or graph to customize how best students view the data.

tag(s): carbon dioxide (17), climate change (64), fossil fuels (18)

In the Classroom

Use this site during a unit on pollution. First be sure to discuss what combustion is. Choose facilities found within your state to investigate. Compare similar facilities across various states to compare emissions. Have students or groups compare by facility type (especially different types of power generation) then research the type of fuel used to determine the different emissions. Research how emissions compare to the driving of automobiles and the use of agriculture. Research the types of changes and alternatives that could change these numbers. Have students make simple infographics to show comparisons and conclusions. Try using a tool such as Venngage, reviewed here.

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The Naked Scientists - University of Cambridge

Grades
5 to 12
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Love science? Find ideas, extraordinary information, and experiments on this entertaining site. Listen to the weekly science podcasts and archives that cover a vast array of topics...more
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Love science? Find ideas, extraordinary information, and experiments on this entertaining site. Listen to the weekly science podcasts and archives that cover a vast array of topics including those that may seem unbelievable. This realistic and scientific site looks at topics like aliens and telepathy as well as ballistics and volcanoes. Find in-depth information explained with scientific clarity, even complex topics, explained in terms that everyone can understand and from multiple perspectives.

tag(s): experiments (71), genetics (90), oceans (148), podcasts (52), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Use Naked Science to explore topics as an introduction in class. Or use these articles to hook students during a start-of-school "what is science" unit. Use the site to find answers to many of the tough questions that students can pose during classroom instruction. Provide time for students to research the facets of a topic as a group for lively group or class discussions. Discuss the set up of the problems, description of the theories, or how to separate fact from opinion. Research the backgrounds of the experts on this site. Teachers of gifted students and regular classroom teachers seeking ways to adapt for gifted students will find this site well-suited to the eclectic interests and angles of out-of-the-box thinkers. Be sure to share the link on your class web page.
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