TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 30, 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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Civil War Trust - Civil War Trust

Grades
6 to 12
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The Civil War Trust website is a comprehensive collection of all things related to the Civil War. Find battlefields by searching by state, year, or name of the battle. Each ...more
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The Civil War Trust website is a comprehensive collection of all things related to the Civil War. Find battlefields by searching by state, year, or name of the battle. Each battle listed includes a short recap with pertinent information such as dates, union and confederate commander names, number of forces engaged, casualties, and end result. Links to maps and other articles are also included. There are lists of sites offering many lesson plans for elementary through high school level, a glossary of civil war terms, links to primary sources, coloring book and crossword puzzle pages, and overviews of the Civil War. The student section contains links to photos, books for kids, and websites geared towards kids. Be sure to also check out the links to photos, battle apps, news, and more located under the site title at the top of the home page. Another great portion of the site is the gallery of pictures in 3-D. Click the link provided to receive a free pair of 3-D viewing glasses! There is so much more to see on this site. It is a must-see for anyone interested in Civil War resources.
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tag(s): battles (16), civil war (145), emancipation proclamation (12), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (85), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as an excellent resource for Civil War materials. Display different battle information on your interactive whiteboard to discuss as a class. Share this site with students to use as a resource for class projects. Have students use a mapping tool such as Google Earth (reviewed here) to create an audio (and visual) tour of pertinent battle sites. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of important battles. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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People's Pie - iCivics.org

Grades
5 to 12
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People's Pie is a simulation where YOU control all of the money of the United States. Start by setting taxes to fund government programs. Set the age for citizens to ...more
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People's Pie is a simulation where YOU control all of the money of the United States. Start by setting taxes to fund government programs. Set the age for citizens to receive entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare. Be careful; set taxes too high or entitlement age too high, and the citizens will be unhappy! Next, make funding decisions for services such as military, finances, and more while viewing citizen satisfaction along the way. Use available options for borrowing money, but beware of high interest rates! The goal is to make it through three budget years; however, the game ends early if citizen dissatisfaction is high. Be sure to check out the quick overview and instruction guide located here. Although login and registration are available on the site, they aren't necessary to play the game. Choose "no thanks" at the prompt to begin play.

tag(s): branches of government (48), financial literacy (78), game based learning (101)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the basic concepts of the challenge on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then allow students to play on their own on the whiteboard or classroom computers, keeping a log of their actions and results. Have students create "talking pictures" to debate funding (or lack of) for a particular budget item using Fotobabble reviewed here. Use this game as a springboard for an economics or government class to debate and discuss the impact of financial decisions on different segments of the community. Have students research current candidates' financial plans and play the game using the politician's strategies. Have students compare and contrast the impact on the economy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ClipChoose - ClipChoose.com

Grades
3 to 12
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ClipChoose makes polls based on YouTube videos -- not your typical polling/survey site. Create an account with only your email and password. Enter a question, then enter the URLs of...more
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ClipChoose makes polls based on YouTube videos -- not your typical polling/survey site. Create an account with only your email and password. Enter a question, then enter the URLs of up to eight YouTube videos. Share your poll by url or via Twitter or Facebook. The rest is up to your audience to make choices. The total votes for each choice show under the video clip. Not sure you want to make your own poll? Browse the site for polls already created. Be sure to choose before sharing with young people. This is a public site and content isn't moderated. Currently all polls are public; however, private polls and more management features will be available soon. View an example poll created here in less than 10 minutes. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district 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.

tag(s): polls and surveys (47)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to create their own polls then search for YouTube videos to support or explain each response. Create a ClipChoose poll as a teacher or whole class. Have students respond then write a response using quotes from videos to back up their choice. Administer a poll, then use the data for graphing practice. Display sample polls (made by you or the class) and data for practice with interpreting graphs. Collect parent or student opinions about any topic. Take a poll at back to school night to find out what parents' greatest concerns or misconceptions are. Obtain quick feedback from students about which curriculum topics are confusing them. Allow students to create polls as part of critical thinking exercises such as how poll wording may bias the results. Encourage students to include polls in oral presentations to increase audience engagement. Teach students about types of propaganda using up to 8 example videos in ClipChoose. Ask students to select the one that demonstrates the use of a particular propaganda technique.

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Dr. Seuss Went to War - UC San Diego

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore a rich collection of Dr. Seuss' political cartoons during World War II. Seuss shows his very serious side in this collection of over 400 political cartoons related to the ...more
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Explore a rich collection of Dr. Seuss' political cartoons during World War II. Seuss shows his very serious side in this collection of over 400 political cartoons related to the war. The collection is sorted by year and by battle, people, places, and issues. Each cartoon includes full citation and copyright information. Most are copyrighted and allow permission for scholarly use but cannot be copied or shared outside of "fair use." In other words, you cannot use them in online projects or make copies beyond classroom or offline student projects. You can easily share each cartoon via Twitter, Facebook, etc. Click the enlarge arrows to see the image in its own separate window and copy its url.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), dr seuss (13), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

This collection offers rich opportunities during the study of World War II. Students can trace the tensions and events of the war year by year or by issue. See this lesson planthat delves into a few of Seuss's cartoons, but this collection has many more examples so you can go even further. Have students create explanations using Thinglink, reviewed here, an image annotation tool that allows you to reference images by url.

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Flipped Learning Network - Jerry Overmyer

Grades
1 to 12
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Want to learn the basics of flipped classrooms? Join a professional learning community for teachers using screen casting in education. This professional site shows the basics of screen...more
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Want to learn the basics of flipped classrooms? Join a professional learning community for teachers using screen casting in education. This professional site shows the basics of screen casting and flipped classrooms. Join different groups, which focus on a single topic such as; Edmodo, AP/IB Chemistry, Secondary English, Writing Virtual textbooks, Chemistry, Middle School, First Time Flippers, and many others. Follow events in screen casting. Ask questions on the leader boards.

tag(s): professional development (123), teaching strategies (25)

In the Classroom

Find the time and resources to pique your students' interest as you venture into this newer teaching model. Use flipping in any subject, and any grade level. Meet on your own time and network with teachers with experience who know what will work in the classroom. Join focus groups that correlate to your teaching position.
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Word Root of the Day Archive - Membean - Ragav Satish, Brett Brunner, Micah Elliott

Grades
4 to 12
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Membean has root words galore! Find interactive flashcard-style information about individual roots. Click "Read more" at the bottom of each "card" to get an impressive display of information...more
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Membean has root words galore! Find interactive flashcard-style information about individual roots. Click "Read more" at the bottom of each "card" to get an impressive display of information for that root and lots of new words. See an interactive tree with words containing that root; when you click on the word the definition appears. There is also a short summary, a podcast (aka a "root cast"), and a "Memlet." A "Memlet" separates the parts of a word and describes how they combine to make meaning. Click on any word part, with a tree icon and a star, to see other words that use that root. You will also find related roots with similar meanings, and definitions of the word's affixes. Clicking on the question marks after the "memlet" offers a video about word parts and roots. Only some or the videos require Flash. This is a remarkably powerful and unique way to learn all about words.

tag(s): prefixes (16), root words (13), suffixes (14), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Root words are at the heart of any vocabulary development unit, or should be! Project this vocabulary website using your classroom whiteboard and projector, and share one of the root words. Have a student demonstrate how to navigate the different types of media to help them understand and learn the root. To assign certain roots for study, post their distinct URLs on your website, blog, wiki, or bookmark on the classroom computers. Once you are on the page for one of the roots, you will see a link that says "See an example word page." Show your students this example word page and analyze the parts together. Then assign individuals or small groups to develop word pages for words based on the roots you are studying. An engaging, visual way for them to present their results would be to use Sharalike, reviewed here , or Zeetings, reviewed here.
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Catch the Science Bug - Catch the Science Bug Foundation, Inc

Grades
2 to 6
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Solve science puzzles, do scientific investigations, or learn more about what scientists do on the job with this lively and entertaining site. Based on the PBS science series of the...more
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Solve science puzzles, do scientific investigations, or learn more about what scientists do on the job with this lively and entertaining site. Based on the PBS science series of the same name, the goal of this site is to get children, especially girls and minorities, excited about science. Choose from different components of the site such as the Science Files. Here you will find adventures include engineering enigmas, great pumpkins, and several other topics. Topics include a short explanation, video, and several activities including worksheets with investigation logs. Scibug Investigators offers several activities to complete in your backyard. View videos and read about scientists connected with the series. Be sure to check out the Reading Bug link with an extensive list of books listed by topic. There is a teacher's guide for the site but it is a little hard to find. Go to the About Us section. Scroll down to Parents and Teachers. Here you will find links to the teacher's guide with a complete list of activities included on the site along with a short description, topics taught, and topics activities can supplement.

tag(s): animals (277), birds (51), data (149), engineering (118), environment (317), plants (143), solar energy (38), trees (30), water (130)

In the Classroom

Although the standards listed are for grades K-4, much of the material has far higher reading levels. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a class when introducing a science unit. Then complete activities provided on the site. The text passages on this site are at upper elementary to middle school level, so you may need to read them aloud or have weaker and stronger readers work together. The visual materials are quite useful for elementary and up. View videos and read biographies of the scientists during a career unit. Share this site as a resource for fun science activities to do at home and with gifted students for self-exploration. Add this to your list of recommended sites to prevent "summer slide." The teacher's guide on the site is an excellent resource for finding activities. Bookmark this on your computer or print and include in your lesson planning guide to use when planning lessons and units. Choose books from the reading list to include with guided reading instruction. For more science reading selections, check out TeachersFirst's CurriConnects lists for various science topics.
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What is nano? - Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network

Grades
K to 12
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Interested in learning more about the vast nano-sized world? Easy to understand, basic information coupled with current advances give you a taste of what is possible with nanotechnology....more
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Interested in learning more about the vast nano-sized world? Easy to understand, basic information coupled with current advances give you a taste of what is possible with nanotechnology. Be sure to navigate near the bottom right side of the page where there is a tab labeled DIY Nano. Here are some sensational activities to assist in visualizing and experimenting with nano-scale! Thoughts will charge as you think, learn, and wonder about nano-science! The site includes activity and classroom ideas for grades K-12.

tag(s): atoms (55), engineering (118), gravity (45), matter (56), measurement (163)

In the Classroom

Teaching nanotechnology theory can be hard. Make the abstract idea concrete with the activities in the DIY Nano section of this website. Use the activities in the lab. In no time at all, students will be wrapping their minds around the tiny world of nanometers and nanotechnology. Encourage students to download the application if they have a smart phone and experiment further at home with their parents. (It's FREE!) This could really ignite a worthwhile career for aspiring scientists!
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3D Photo Cube - Hame

Grades
K to 12
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Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how ...more
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Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how it spins. Copy the html code into your MySpace, blog, or website.
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tag(s): creativity (108), images (261), photography (160)

In the Classroom

This tool is obviously too complicated for your elementary students to use independently. However, it could be used as a whole group/teacher led activity with any grade level. Visualize photo cubes with pictures of special class events, field trips, or just the usual day! Change the cube daily, to feature different activities, subjects, or kids. Bring into subject area content and add public domain images to add visual information for the content you are studying. For vocabulary words, add images to explain. Use photo cubes to show the main idea of historical events, literature, or even math concepts. Make a photo cube with related or unrelated images and use as a writing prompt. Use photo cubes for sequencing practice. Have fun with extra curricular clubs and highlighting events. Begin your school news show featuring the cube from different places in your school during the day. Have older students create their own photo cubes to accompany poetry in an online literary magazine (using Creative Commons or their own images). Art students can create a cube with images of their own work as an opener to a portfolio web site. Share this tool as an option for a "visual aid" during speech units pr to present images as art of a research report. Embed cubes on your class wiki to support conepts such as environmental concerns or local history. Challenge gifted students to create visual "puzzles" where viewers must guess the word or concept that the images have in common. Teach creative flexibility!

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PDF Converter - pdfconverter.com

Grades
K to 12
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Quickly and easily convert PDF to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Create a PDF from almost any file using the converter. To use, select the type of conversion. Locate the PDF ...more
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Quickly and easily convert PDF to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Create a PDF from almost any file using the converter. To use, select the type of conversion. Locate the PDF file you want to convert on your computer (even if it is only in your download folder). Enter your email address. You will receive an email with a link to your converted file. Be sure to check your "junk filter" on your email in case it does not show up directly in your inbox. Click on the attachment and download your brand new Word file! Maximum file size of an uploaded file is 2MB.
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tag(s): worksheets (58)

In the Classroom

Ever find really neat activity sheets, but they need to be tweaked a little to make them work for your classes? This tool helps you save time by allowing you to edit PDF files in Word to avoid reinventing the wheel. (Beware of copyrighted materials, however). Science teachers can take lab activities and refine questions or add instructions as needed for their classrooms. English teachers can add standardized test prompts to preexisting general worksheets to tailor the activity to suit their state's test needs. This is a helpful utility for students entering contests or completing applications offered only in pdf form.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Projectile Motion Game - Math Playground

Grades
3 to 7
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Practice angle and velocity with this interactive that takes you on a mission to send supplies to a village under siege. Once you have mastered a skill, the next task ...more
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Practice angle and velocity with this interactive that takes you on a mission to send supplies to a village under siege. Once you have mastered a skill, the next task will be more difficult. Adjust the missile using settings for angle and velocity to launch the object over a wall and into the village. Options are available for setting a grid over the image as well as displaying data. Accuracy and timing will determine your score.
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tag(s): angles (86), motion (58)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard as well as on classroom computers. Demonstrate on your interactive whiteboard, and allow students to discuss the effect of making changes to angles and velocity. Use the game as a prompt for math journals. Have students write about their efforts in launching the object over the wall and their thought process as they made changes.
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Handspeak - Jolanta Lapiak, Handspeak

Grades
K to 12
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Handspeak is an online American Sign Language dictionary and tutorial resource. Find literature in American Sign Language as well as research, kid talk, finger spelling, video clips,...more
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Handspeak is an online American Sign Language dictionary and tutorial resource. Find literature in American Sign Language as well as research, kid talk, finger spelling, video clips, and news. Stay current with the ASL word of the Day and the Phrase of the week. Jump into the different leveled lessons to learn manners, greetings, and numbers.
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tag(s): sign language (8)

In the Classroom

With Handspeak, students can easily learn and acquire ASL in a simple straightforward method. Use as a world language option or as a supplement in your ASL class. Experiment with the world of non-hearing people, and find ways to communicate. Use on your interactive whiteboard for whole group instruction. Or use it as centers for individual learning. Use as a supplement to your units on senses, sound, or human body in science. At your health fair, provide the information as a station for expanding knowledge and understanding. Use as an analogy to figuring out vocabulary words in context. Add background to literature about differences, discrimination, or hearing impairment. Include in your list with inventors and inventions.
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Quipper - Quipper

Grades
4 to 12
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Quipper is a wonderful quiz maker. Click the "Make Your Own Quiz" to get started. The quizzes then are approved by the website and published as an App available via ...more
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Quipper is a wonderful quiz maker. Click the "Make Your Own Quiz" to get started. The quizzes then are approved by the website and published as an App available via Google Play or at the Apple App Store. Make your own multiple choice quiz and easily add images and files. Quizzes can be made public or private by the creator. You can also add explanations to accompany the answers. Quizzes can be made by entering each question separately or uploading a spreadsheet of questions and answers. Be sure to make your quiz in advance to allow time for it to be available through the app. The site states that it takes approximately 24 hours for a quiz to appear as an app. Note: the home page may display a quiz that is not classroom appropriate, so this tool is for ADULT use in creating quizzes or for use under adult supervision. Click to RELOAD the page if a quiz is showing that you do not wish to share with younger users.

tag(s): quizzes (95)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for creating practice quizzes for your students to take on their Android and iOS devices. Students can save their place in the quiz and return to it later. Students can also review previously taken quizzes. Pretest your gifted students and allow them to "test out" of material they already know. Use as a formative assessment to see what material needs more review with classes. Have students each write a review question and combine them to create a quiz together as a class during review days a few days prior to a major test or semester final. Students can take the quiz on their own for at-home study.

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