TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 7, 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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We Read - WeRead.org

Grades
K to 3
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We Read is a website designed to help adults teach and encourage children to read. Information is presented in a clear and easy to read manner. Choose a topic such ...more
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We Read is a website designed to help adults teach and encourage children to read. Information is presented in a clear and easy to read manner. Choose a topic such as planning reading sessions. View specific plans for sessions with non-readers and early readers for specific times for sessions and appropriate activities. Other interesting topics include the Parents' Corner, Reading Skills, and information on Reading Logs. Although very simple, this site is an excellent resource for anyone beginning to work with early readers. The site includes links to helpful resources from many other places on the web.

tag(s): literacy (102), parents (55), preK (275), reading comprehension (114)

In the Classroom

Share information from this site with classroom volunteers and parents or use information to add to literature you distribute at Meet the Teacher/Back to School night or conferences. The Planning Reading Sessions information may be especially useful to share with parents as a framework for reading at home. Include a link to this site on your class website or blog as a resource for parents to use when reading at home with their child.

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Drama in the ESL Classroom - Jessica Davis

Grades
2 to 12
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Find a wealth of resources for using drama in the ESL/ELL classroom. The same activities can also be useful for other subjects. The improvisation resources are especially exciting,...more
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Find a wealth of resources for using drama in the ESL/ELL classroom. The same activities can also be useful for other subjects. The improvisation resources are especially exciting, offering definitions, examples of activities, links, and visual examples of how you can use improvisational techniques. In addition, information and activities on using plays, process drama, and reader's theater for language teaching abound. Use play writing for another aspect of language teaching. There is a complete curriculum for offering an independent class in drama for ESL/ELL students. Although this site may appear plain vanilla, there are sprinkles throughout, making this tool very valuable and informative.

tag(s): acting (27), creative writing (167), plays (37)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for group projects like having the students write and produce their own play(s). This is a great find for gifted students as well as students studying any modern language as the play writing and acting techniques can easily be adapted. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos of the plays they write and produce. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Helping With Math - HelpingWithMath.com

Grades
K to 9
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Help students with math using the tools at this website. Beyond its many worksheets, there are other valuable resources available for classroom use. The interactives portion of the...more
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Help students with math using the tools at this website. Beyond its many worksheets, there are other valuable resources available for classroom use. The interactives portion of the site contains activities, calculators, flash cards, and lessons for grade levels K-8. Be sure to check out the lessons, which are actually animated slide shows containing several fraction lessons. Resources have also been aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose a grade to find skills and related resources. Use the links at the top of each page to search for printables, interactives, grade level activities, and more. The advertisements on this site can be rather distracting, but the content is worth the distractions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (252), counting (119), data (149), division (172), equations (155), fractions (239), geometric shapes (159), integers (41), measurement (163), multiplication (227), number sense (97), numbers (203), ratios (52), rounding (22), subtraction (209), volume (46)

In the Classroom

Share this site with parents and students for at-home practice. Choose games to play on your interactive whiteboard or projector or to assign at a class center (individualized or small group). Some students will be confused by the many ads or cluttered layout, so be sure to demonstrate how the activities work. Print and use the flash cards in the classroom or for take-home practice.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Th!nk - Prestance, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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With all these technology tools at my fingertips, what do I do with them? Find some comfort at Th!nk. Providing step by step, picture by picture, instructions on how to ...more
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With all these technology tools at my fingertips, what do I do with them? Find some comfort at Th!nk. Providing step by step, picture by picture, instructions on how to complete tasks on anything from your smart phone to popular spreadsheet programs, this site is impressive and even universal. There are over 1,000 tutorials. Several topics appear on the main page, or you can search using the search box on the top of the screen. If you need help navigating your Internet browser, using your word processing software, operating your smart phone, using online payment services, using various social networking tools, or even playing some more complicated online games, this site will help. Serving you like your own technological personal assistant, share this. There is something for everyone!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): computers (78), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Share this website with your students early in the school year so that they can reference it as needed. As you utilize word processing programs, spreadsheets, graphing programs, Moodle, or even Blackboard, share specific tutorials on how to do tasks with students before problems arise. Show that you are all learning this together. Then include links to those specific tutorials in student instructions so that they can go back as needed through out the lesson. This is a win-win. Students do not feel embarrassed asking you repeatedly how to do a simple step, and you do not get frustrated repeating yourself. If you teach younger students, bookmark this for your own professional use. Parents will surely appreciate the link to Th!nk, as well.

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The Mind is a Metaphor - Brad Pasanek

Grades
7 to 12
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The Mind is a Metaphor is something like a dictionary for finding metaphors. There are over ten thousand of them. Though many are mental metaphors, there are some that don't ...more
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The Mind is a Metaphor is something like a dictionary for finding metaphors. There are over ten thousand of them. Though many are mental metaphors, there are some that don't relate to the mind. This site originally started with an "expanded eighteenth century" list, but now has metaphors from as late as the 1990's. Search for a metaphor by literary period, author, genre, gender, and several others. You may also enjoy the creator's blog with his interpretations of his favorite metaphors at Blog for The Mind is a Metaphor.

tag(s): literary devices (11)

In the Classroom

High school AP literature and history teachers or IB capstone classes will especially love this site. Share a metaphor a day as students are entering the class or on your class web site. Allow a student to choose one as today's Metaphor Master! Discuss the meaning together or use it as a quick writing prompt. Use the time period to discuss the historical context of the metaphor. Use these in your own presentations or require students to create a presentation explaining the metaphors you assign. Younger students just beginning to study metaphors can benefit from trying to interpret the metaphors as a group and presenting them to the class. Challenge students to try to create their own metaphors. Develop a class Metaphor Wiki for students to share metaphors. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Koshland Science Museum Challenges - Koshland Museum of Science

Grades
4 to 12
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Empower your students to get involved and solve some of the world's pressing problems. Join Koshland's Museum of Science Challenges. Join in by learning new skills, thinking critically,...more
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Empower your students to get involved and solve some of the world's pressing problems. Join Koshland's Museum of Science Challenges. Join in by learning new skills, thinking critically, and solving a problem. Challenges include background information. Look at the past challenges and discover the critical thinking and unique problem solving that won. Peek into future challenges to lead your students in new directions. Find resources, lesson plans, activities, virtual field trips, and web quests. Share your challenges and solutions on Facebook.

tag(s): brain (70), climate change (64), critical thinking (92), diseases (66), dna (69), energy (197), light (46), pollution (66), problem solving (258), space (206), water (130)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, offer challenges first as a problem based learning situation. Have students discover the background information and thought processes involved. Using these skills, apply to your own community. Start challenges at your school, community, state, or country level. Create a challenges competition at your school. Explore the teacher resources that apply to your classes.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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VCISE: Drosophila - Science Courseware

Grades
9 to 12
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Discover the principles of genetic inheritance with this online tool. Use fruit flies to obtain and analyze data about various traits. Propose hypotheses, design experiments, and analyze...more
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Discover the principles of genetic inheritance with this online tool. Use fruit flies to obtain and analyze data about various traits. Propose hypotheses, design experiments, and analyze and interpret data. Non-"users" can login as a guest. Notebooks of activities and information cannot be saved as a guest. To learn more click on the "Tour" button. There is also a link to standards for all of the individual US states. Teachers can register (free) for the project here to obtain a class code for students to register and use enhanced features.

tag(s): genetics (90)

In the Classroom

Learn the various techniques for using fruit flies for genetics and create your own experiments to analyze. Experiment before discussing the principles of genetics. Students can record their observations to share with the rest of the class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive periodic table - abpischools

Grades
7 to 12
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How well do you know the periodic table? Test yourself using this "quiz" tool. It provides information by clicking on the number along the top and sides of the periodic ...more
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How well do you know the periodic table? Test yourself using this "quiz" tool. It provides information by clicking on the number along the top and sides of the periodic table to view the trends that occur as you go through each column and row. Read the brief instructions and click start. Choose to be quizzed among the first 22 elements, well known elements, or the whole periodic table. Choose from different levels to change the challenge of the game.

tag(s): atoms (55), elements (36), periodic table (50)

In the Classroom

Need more practice with the elements and the periodic table? Use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector for some team competition. Provide this link on your class website for students to access at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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25 Trends - 25Trends

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related...more
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This site provides "Twitter analytics for the masses." Enter a hashtag to find the conversations. This site finds the conversations, analyzes them, then provides the data with related buzzwords and information in a visually appealing way. This site updates information every 10 minutes. Please preview/pretest a few minutes before you share with students or children. Our editors noticed that some keywords pull up vulgar language. (We searched "school.")
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): twitter (51)

In the Classroom

Use current trending topics (such as elections or other current events from around the world). Revisit the hashtag or trending topic periodically to see the changes in the topic, including the buzzwords that change over time. Look at news reports or causes for the change in the trend. Twitter trends could be useful in any subject area but especially useful for current events, civics, health, and economics. New to Twitter and hashtags? Find information to help you here.

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PDFmyURL - OpenTracker.net

Grades
K to 12
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Turn any web page into a PDF document instantly with this incredibly easy tool! Simply type or copy and paste the url into the box and click the "P" button. ...more
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Turn any web page into a PDF document instantly with this incredibly easy tool! Simply type or copy and paste the url into the box and click the "P" button. Instantly the page converts to a PDF document and downloads to your computer for immediate use. Drag the site's bookmarklet onto your browser's toolbar for easy use at any time with any page.

In the Classroom

Use this site to print any web page without all of the headings and other extras that generally appear. Make print outs for students to practice highlighting and looking for main ideas in informational texts (especially if you do not have an interactive whiteboard to do this). Upload PDF's to your website for student use of single pages of websites instead of having students go through unneeded pages. Be sure to show students that you must make a note of the DATE when you made the pdf, since you should always include the "date accessed" in a project bibliography entry for a web site. Talk about "fair use" in making web page copies for temporary use as part of research or class activities vs copying web pages to hang them up as locker decorations! This may be a good site to share with parents via your website. (Help them save paper and print only what they need, not an entire website.)
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National Mock Election - National Student/Parent Mock Election

Grades
3 to 12
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The My Voice National Student Mock Election is facilitating comprehensive online voting through a registration process. They are also providing curriculum resources for elementary through...more
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The My Voice National Student Mock Election is facilitating comprehensive online voting through a registration process. They are also providing curriculum resources for elementary through high school grade levels. Registration is optional. It provides access to online voting beginning in October (exact date will change yearly). Choose the curriculum link to find lesson plans with assessments, collaborative learning options, and handouts. Also click the Curriculum Resources link and then Educational Resources to find interactives, links to teacher resources, and current campaign advertisements.

tag(s): civil rights (117), constitution (79), elections (73)

In the Classroom

Use this website to enlighten your students about the election process. The website can be used anytime (not just during the election season). Use the open-ended questions provided as writing prompts for students to write in their journals or class blog. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) to display responses to prompts. Generate ideas for a related research project--or simply have students create a quick "concept collection" of what they learn about elections by making word clouds using Word It Out reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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