TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 23, 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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Bullying Preventation Resources - National Association of School Psychologists

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources, research, books, and other information at this bullying prevention resource from National Association of School Psychologists. The site is not visually interesting,...more
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Find resources, research, books, and other information at this bullying prevention resource from National Association of School Psychologists. The site is not visually interesting, but the materials are excellent. Categories include statements and guidelines, resources for families and educators, research, and books and products. Many of the resources are in PDF format, making them perfect to easily copy and share. One exceptional resource is Bullies and Victims: A Primer for Parents. It contains very specific descriptions of bullying behavior (including cyber bullying) along with interventions for bullies and victims.

tag(s): bullying (51), cyberbullying (42), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to use as a professional resource within any school or district especially when developing policies to address bullying. Share information with parents during Open House sessions. Share this site with PTA or parent organizations and discuss ways to address bullying in your school. Share with school counselors as an addition to their bullying resources. Include the link on the school web page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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AllSides - John Gable

Grades
4 to 12
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Look at political, national and international issues from all sides: left, right, and center. Colored banners identify the perspective. Current content focuses on political discussions,...more
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Look at political, national and international issues from all sides: left, right, and center. Colored banners identify the perspective. Current content focuses on political discussions, but as the site evolves the plan is to include other topics such as health care, finances, and parenting. Find other specific topics by choosing the issues tab, then choosing from keywords such as energy, taxes, or violence in America. Choose from different tabs to view issues, bias, and the site's blog. Especially interesting is the bias section. Users rate their own bias on several issues to determine their bias toward left, center, or right. Email signup is available to become involved with the site but isn't necessary to access all of the articles and content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (73), media literacy (56), politics (98)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to easily find topics presented from various points of view. Use articles with students to demonstrate point of view in writing, bias in media, or for students to use as points for debates. Use an online tool such as Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to create a visual comparison of different points of view.

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Overlap Maps - Sunflower Education

Grades
2 to 12
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Overlap Maps is a wonderful resource to easily and instantly compare any two places on earth! Choose from countries, lakes, states, man-made features, other natural resources, or wildfires...more
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Overlap Maps is a wonderful resource to easily and instantly compare any two places on earth! Choose from countries, lakes, states, man-made features, other natural resources, or wildfires in each of the two columns. (The site states that new categories will be added soon.) Then click the arrow to see the result. The first choice is instantly displayed as an overlay on top of the second via Google maps, along with a description stating what the map shows. Find the URL to your map by clicking Share. You can also share via Twitter or Facebook. There is an option to print your map.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (65), continents (50), countries (77), map skills (80), maps (287), measurement (163), rivers (21), states (163), visualizations (14)

In the Classroom

Use an overlap map on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to compare states, countries, rivers, and more. Use this to give students a perspective on geographic size of earth features that they can't see by looking at a standard map. Challenge students to find states or countries that are similar in size, then compare and contrast geographic features. This tool would be especially important when explaining the concept of map scale or square miles/meters. In math class, use it to show a practical application of the concept of area. Have students use an overlap map when presenting state reports. Find a similar sized state (or country), then use the map as part of the presentation. Have a new student from another state or country? Create an overlap map to begin discussion of comparative size of where they came from to where your classroom is located. Try an overlap map to compare locations students read about in Globetracker's Mission or books they are reading. Include it in discussions about the impact of a country's size on its culture in world language or cultures classes.

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ScootPad - Bharat Kumar and Maya Gadde

Grades
K to 5
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Practice the Common Core standards for math and reading in grades K-5 at Scootpad. Change proficiency settings to meet desired targets and goals. Modify content to meet the needs ...more
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Practice the Common Core standards for math and reading in grades K-5 at Scootpad. Change proficiency settings to meet desired targets and goals. Modify content to meet the needs of specific students by choosing topics from any grade level. View classroom data quickly on your dashboard, or see individual progress with one click. Assign, view and grade homework online through ScootPad, and provide feedback using the comments area. Use your class wall on the site to engage and inform students, post notes, and engage in conversations. Lively interactives with rewards such as coins, certificates, badges, and more keep students engaged and returning for more. Be sure to watch ScootPad's 2 minute video to get a comprehensive overview of the features and how to use the site. Download and use available apps for any tablet or smart phone.

tag(s): addition (252), alphabet (92), alphabetical order (19), charts and graphs (195), division (172), fractions (239), game based learning (101), geometric shapes (159), grammar (217), literacy (102), multiplication (227), phonics (75), preK (275), subtraction (209), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Share this site with parents to view homework information or as a resource to practice Common Core skills at home. Create a link on classroom computers and use as a center for when students complete work or as a Guided Reading or Math center. Create a link on your classroom website or blog for students to complete ScootPad activities at home. Are you lucky enough to have tablets in your classroom? Download the free apps for student use during any free time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sub Hub - Rachel Friedrich

Grades
K to 12
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This blog offers ideas and resources to help substitute teachers make the most out of every day. It includes practical ideas such as what to bring to school as a ...more
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This blog offers ideas and resources to help substitute teachers make the most out of every day. It includes practical ideas such as what to bring to school as a substitute (who would have thought to bring your own "teacher-friendly" pencil sharpener?). There are also free k-5 lesson plans. The best part is all of the tips, support, and stories provided for substitute teachers "in the trenches." Although geared toward elementary teachers, ideas and suggestions are appropriate for any grade level.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (129), newbies (18), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Regular classroom teachers might want to share this in their emergency lesson plans for subs. Substitutes, don't go into the classroom empty handed. Bookmark this useful website (or make it a TeachersFirst Favorite so you can find it anytime) and be prepared for the unexpected! New teachers and student teachers can learn from the many tips. If you are mentoring or working with a student teacher, share some of these ideas. For even more, be sure to check out Teachers First's Ideas and Resources for Substitutes here.

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RoohIt: Instant Web Highlighter - RoohIt, Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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Highlight and share specific information within web pages with this application. Roohit is an instant highlighter for highlighting information on web pages while web surfing. Automatically...more
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Highlight and share specific information within web pages with this application. Roohit is an instant highlighter for highlighting information on web pages while web surfing. Automatically clip, collect, bookmark, and share online content via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and more with just one click. Create highlights using several different methods. Install the bookmarklet on your browser's tool bar then click the bookmarklet before highlighting information. You can also try entering rooh.it/ before the http of any webpage url and your cursor turns into a highlighter. It is actually easiest to simply enter the site url in the box on the main rooh.it page. Here is a sample highlighted page.

tag(s): bookmarks (59)

In the Classroom

Consider using this tool as a way to direct students to specific points of web pages. Include directions in your notes. Assign specific tasks, such as pre-reading questions using the notes feature. Even without "sharing" a URL, use this resource to keep track of specific points for discussion later. Have students use this tool for research papers and other projects. Share current events with others. Simply paste the highlighted URLs into a word doc to save and reopen later. Use this resource as an organizational tool for content found on the web. Have students annotate their own pages including their own pre-reading questions, main idea sentences, or summaries using highlighting and notes on a text-based page. Have them explicate poetry, annotate motifs in online literary works, point out fallacies in arguments used in blog posts, or highlight evidence of bias in web page content. They can "turn in" their assignments to you or share them with classmates by URL.

Keep a word document with the URLs to your annotated pages and notes about what they are if you plan to assign them to students. If you plan to use this as a TEACHER only, there are no safety/security concerns at all. Be sure to check with your IT department about installing bookmarklets and using this site on district computers. No registration is required. Encourage students to use this responsibly and not highlight information considered inappropriate for school.

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Mathematical Quotations Server - Mark Woodard, Furman University

Grades
6 to 12
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Find endless mathematical quotations. Search the site by keyword, browse by first letter of the authors' last names, or follow a link to receive a random quote. Download the entire...more
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Find endless mathematical quotations. Search the site by keyword, browse by first letter of the authors' last names, or follow a link to receive a random quote. Download the entire collection (83 pages) using the link on the home page.

tag(s): probability (130), quotations (24), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find a quote of the week for your math classroom. Ask students to respond with their own thoughts. Begin each new unit with an appropriate quotation to spark classroom discussion and determine prior knowledge. Hang the quote on your wall throughout the unit. Use the list as examples of mathematical quotes and challenge students to create their own quote. Then ask them to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced) using a tool such as Blabberize (reviewed here). The avatars can be say the quotation.

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Symphony of science - John Boswell

Grades
8 to 12
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This project "spreads scientific knowledge and philosophy through musical remixes." Audio and video snippets of television programs that feature popular scientists and educators are...more
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This project "spreads scientific knowledge and philosophy through musical remixes." Audio and video snippets of television programs that feature popular scientists and educators are used to explain phenomena and theories. The audio and video mashups are set to music. Be sure to check out two of the popular videos: "A Glorious Dawn" and "We are All Connected" to encourage discussion of the topics and themes being "discussed." Some topics may have offer a distinct side of a multi-faceted issue, but the videos will engage you and really get you thinking.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atoms (55), ecology (135), life cycles (25), matter (56), space (206), video (251)

In the Classroom

Provide a link to the site on a classroom computer or class website. Introduce Big Ideas or themes in Science with one of the videos to encourage discussions and generate questions for research. Share the mashups on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Capitalize on gifted students' powerful sense of justice and concern about social issues and spark some truly creative music/science projects by sharing these examples in your gifted program.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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365 ESL Short Stories - eslyes.com

Grades
4 to 10
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Find a story a day (365, at the time of this review) to practice English and reading. Follow up with using the free vocabulary definitions, yes/no questions, cloze activities, crosswords,...more
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Find a story a day (365, at the time of this review) to practice English and reading. Follow up with using the free vocabulary definitions, yes/no questions, cloze activities, crosswords, and dictation. Most stories take place in New York City. The stories do provide audio, but some of the clips aren't completely clear - so preview! You can set the pace to faster or slower. Although this site's design is plain vanilla, the variety of stories and review activities is good.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): reading comprehension (114), short stories (26), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use these short stories for your reluctant readers and students reading below grade level. Share this site with your ESL/ELL students for additional practice with reading. Reading these stories would work well for an individual or group of students in a lab or on laptops. Or print out some of the stories and have a supply ready to send home for those without online access. After using the main stories with the activities, have students write their own questions and quizzes about New York City or your own hometown. Share their stories on a blogging tool such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TipJar: Take a Tip, Share a Tip - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Submit a suggestion on Tip Jar! Some of the general topic areas include food, finance, travel, kids & family, and others. Find money saving tips from organizations like americasaves.org,...more
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Submit a suggestion on Tip Jar! Some of the general topic areas include food, finance, travel, kids & family, and others. Find money saving tips from organizations like americasaves.org, betterbudgeting.com, and choosetosave. Find tips for yourself, add your own ideas, and vote on the usefulness of specific tips.

tag(s): financial literacy (78), money (192)

In the Classroom

Include the tip jar as a resource with your unit on personal finance. Have students submit questions and comments for the tips, individually or using a class account. Use the TipJar idea as an model for tips on for classroom behavior, study habits, striving to be your best, and leadership qualities. Use the idea by creating your own Tip Jar Wiki for your classroom to share study tips, homework help, and more. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Dr. Carlson's Science Theater - Dr. Carlson Science Theater

Grades
6 to 12
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Find your way to the "home of the best science demonstrations on the web." Included are videos, interviews about chemistry, physics, and science and "Extras." Find videos such Walking...more
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Find your way to the "home of the best science demonstrations on the web." Included are videos, interviews about chemistry, physics, and science and "Extras." Find videos such Walking on Water, The Heisenberg Uncertainty, The Sweat Episode, The Bernoulli Effect, Inertia, Pendulums, Protein Folding and many others. Interviews with scientists give a clearer explanation of scientific concepts. If interested, subscribe by rss feed, email, or iTunes. Videos are mp4 files, so you may need to load a plug-in or "allow" your browser to play them.

tag(s): electricity (88), light (46), matter (56), motion (58), newton (25), optics (13), scientific method (64), waves (21), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use as a reinforcement or enrichment tool, depending on the students' needs. Embed or link to relevant videos on your website, blog, or wiki for students to view (and review) outside of the classroom. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and use as an anticipatory guide for science concepts presented -- or even as a review. Use as a creative example of a presentation in a subject area content. Challenge students to create their own videos about a specific science topic. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Duplichecker - Duplichecker

Grades
4 to 12
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Take advantage of this FREE online plagiarism checker. Scroll down slightly to find the text entry boxes. Copy and paste your text to be checked or upload the file as ...more
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Take advantage of this FREE online plagiarism checker. Scroll down slightly to find the text entry boxes. Copy and paste your text to be checked or upload the file as a .txt file (maximum 1000 words) . Choose whether the quotes will be checked as a group of words (Without Quotes) or as a quote by clicking the appropriate button. Choose your choice of search engine: Google, Yahoo, MSN, or other. When choosing between the Advanced search option and New Version, the New Version option appears to provide the best results.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): plagiarism (33)

In the Classroom

Students can use this plagiarism checker to be sure they are turning in original work. Teachers can use this service to check the work of students (if submitted electronically). Model this site to explain what plagiarism IS and how students can avoid it. Share this site at the beginning of the school year. The hands-on experience will help them understand this challenging concept. You might even want to provide several examples of plagiarized writing as an exercise for student to check and correct before they copy/paste their way to trouble in a research assignment. Another interesting exercise for researchers is to locate an article on a how-to topic, such as "How to Paint a Room," then see how many sites use the exact same text. As a class, discuss whether this proliferation is good or bad (is the web spreading misinformation, too?).

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