TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 21, 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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Shell Science Lab Challenge - NSTA and Shell

Grades
6 to 12
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NSTA and Shell sponsor this annual grant program to support science inquiry in schools, especially those with urban areas or with underrepresented populations. If you make innovative...more
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NSTA and Shell sponsor this annual grant program to support science inquiry in schools, especially those with urban areas or with underrepresented populations. If you make innovative use of limited facilities, use your ideas as part of an entry for a generous package of lab equipment, funds, and professional development support (NSTA membership and conference). The annual deadline is during November. Read details, criteria, and tips on the site. There is an archived video with tips for developing a strong application.

tag(s): grants (19)

In the Classroom

Take the time to earn a reward for "doing more with less." You and your students can share the many ways you manage science inquiry with limited facilities. Don't be afraid to include some student brainstorming and comments to explain your creative use of limited resources to make science real for your classes.

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Bedtime Math: Making Math a Fun Part of Kids' Everyday Lives - Laura Overdeck

Grades
K to 4
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Enjoy these engaging and "quick to solve" story problems every day of the year. Topics include content familiar to kids such as Dog Years, The 10 Second Rule, and House ...more
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Enjoy these engaging and "quick to solve" story problems every day of the year. Topics include content familiar to kids such as Dog Years, The 10 Second Rule, and House of Cards. Following each short story is a question for three different age groups - wee ones (preschool), little kids (k-2), and big kids (3rd grade and up). Sign up to receive problems daily by email or check the website daily for new problems.

tag(s): preK (281), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Do you have parents who want ideas to help with math (or make it fun) at home? Share this site as an easy way to do math and discuss problem solving at home. Instead of assigning endless worksheets, consider a family bedtime math challenge that parents and kids can do together. Use the problems in a math center - differentiate by choosing different questions from the stories for different student needs. After solving problems, change the numbers in questions to provide additional practice. Display the question of the day as a beginning of class activity or to use as a daily math journal entry.

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The Lost Museum - American Social History Productions

Grades
8 to 12
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The Lost Museum is a 3-D re-creation of P.T. Barnum's American Museum. This pre-eminent cultural institution of 19th century America was mysteriously destroyed by fire on July 13, 1865....more
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The Lost Museum is a 3-D re-creation of P.T. Barnum's American Museum. This pre-eminent cultural institution of 19th century America was mysteriously destroyed by fire on July 13, 1865. Roam freely among the four digitally re-created rooms. Move your mouse left and right or up and down when arrows indicate, to move around the room. Click"hot spots" indicated by a question mark "?" to access some of the vast number of items and exhibits Barnum displayed in his museum. Animations and close-up views reveal much of what the contemporary visitor to the museum might have experienced. An archive link appears beneath the museum window when viewing an item that has related documents in the Archive for viewing. Be sure to visit the classroom portion of the site for further materials and resources providing background on the social, cultural, and political history of antebellum and Civil War America. This interactive emphasizes issues of race, gender, reform, immigration, sectionalism, and popular culture. Several teaching activities are available with titles such as Fame and Fortune: The Marketing of Celebrity and The Debate Over Women's Roles in Public. This site mentions that it is not optimized for use on a Safari browser. You also must enable your pop-up windows.

tag(s): 1800s (44), civil war (145)

In the Classroom

View this site on your interactive whiteboard and use the teaching activities as a supplement to information in the museum. Divide students into groups to complete the different activities. Have groups share their information using Screenr (reviewed here). to make narrated recordings about information they find on this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Introducing the ELA Common Core - Kevin's Meandering Mind

Grades
K to 12
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View this Prezi to learn more about the focus and goals of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Among the highlights are reasons for the Common Core, shifts that ...more
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View this Prezi to learn more about the focus and goals of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Among the highlights are reasons for the Common Core, shifts that are taking place, video clips explaining WHAT the Common Core means, and where Common Core plans to go.

tag(s): commoncore (94)

In the Classroom

This Prezi is very useful for the introduction of the Common Core standards to faculty or parents. This would be a great presentation to share at faculty meetings, inservice, or even at Back to School Night (probably a short clip, not the entire presentation). Share this link on your class website for parents (and older students) to learn more about the Common Core.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Virtual Algebra Tiles - Michigan Virtual University

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore Algebra concepts using these virtual tile activities. This site includes eight Flash modules covering concepts of modeling and simplifying expressions, solving one and two-step...more
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Explore Algebra concepts using these virtual tile activities. This site includes eight Flash modules covering concepts of modeling and simplifying expressions, solving one and two-step equations, multiplication, factoring trinomials, and completing the square. Choose difficulty level from easy to hard or random problems. Correct responses receive a check mark.

tag(s): equations (155), factoring (31), multimedia (57), square roots (24)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore on their own. Assign modules for homework. Then have students write a journal entry describing the mathematical concept and how to solve one of the problems. Have students make online "tours" to explain how to solve a problem using Screenr (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TIM - Arizona Technology Integration Matrix - Northeastern Arizona University

Grades
K to 12
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Arizona's TIM presents levels of technology integration with fifty exemplar lessons to show increasing expertise at enhancing learning with technology. Presented in a 25 cell matrix...more
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Arizona's TIM presents levels of technology integration with fifty exemplar lessons to show increasing expertise at enhancing learning with technology. Presented in a 25 cell matrix format, these lessons include five meaningful learning environments and five levels of technology integration (all defined on the grid). Each cell has two lessons with a short video. The lesson levels are K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. These detailed lessons also include Arizona State Curriculum and Technology Standards. The lesson page is printable, and the accompanying video is concise.

tag(s): professional development (123), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

If you want to improve and grow in how well you integrate technology in support of teaching and learning and not as an end in itself, the levels of this integration matrix provide a framework ( and vocabulary) for growth. Think about where you are now and about your goal for effective use of technology. Look at some of the lessons between where you are and your goal to find lessons you can use with your curriculum. If you are a teacher who is in the middle of this grid, this can be'?the nudge you need to get you moving towards the goals you have. Work together with a teaching buddy to support each other as you grow. Suggest this matrix to your principal or professional development planners as a way to structure self-directed, individualized professional development.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pause For Later - Pause For Later

Grades
K to 12
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Pause for Later is a browser extension that allows you to pause a YouTube, Vimeo, or Hulu video and resume playing it anywhere, anytime. You do have to download and ...more
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Pause for Later is a browser extension that allows you to pause a YouTube, Vimeo, or Hulu video and resume playing it anywhere, anytime. You do have to download and install the bookmarklet or extension. Sign up for a free account for the server to store details of your paused videos. The program also keeps a record of the videos you watch, saving you from having to bookmark or search for them later. The program has extensions or bookmarklets for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari. There is an "Action" button on the side of the video that allows you to restart from the beginning and mark it as unmarked. There are several other features. After installing the extension, you'll see a pause button in your browser. Continue your paused videos from any computer, not just the one where you paused them.

tag(s): video (254)

In the Classroom

If a video is too long to share during one class period, use this tool to pick up where you left the video. It is worthwhile to ask the techies to install it at least on your teacher machine if school machines are locked down. Share this with your students when you assign videos to be watched from home, queuing the video to the start point you want the to use. Encourage students to mark start points for videos they include in oral presentations. Save them time searching if they get interrupted while viewing. This would be a useful tool to share on your class website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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40 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
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Find ideas for using QR codes in the classroom. This slideshow is a must-see to get many unique ideas for using QR codes. Examples include adding QR codes to worksheets ...more
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Find ideas for using QR codes in the classroom. This slideshow is a must-see to get many unique ideas for using QR codes. Examples include adding QR codes to worksheets for students to check answers or to go to a video explanation for completing the worksheet. Another idea: print a QR code on a sticker and place into textbooks for students to access additional content. Add to displays or bulletin boards to make them interactive. There are many great ideas shared on this site. It is definitely worth a visit for anyone using or wanting to use QR codes in their classroom. Of course, you do need to have devices that can read the QR codes; smart phones and iTouches work well.

tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Choose one of the ideas suggested in the slideshow as a starting point for using QR codes. Try additional ideas one at a time. Share the slideshow with other teachers and split up the ideas for each to become an "expert" in one of the strategies. Share your experiences as you learn together. Challenge your students to dream up other uses for the codes. As a service project, students could create a QR code school "tour" or add QR codes for students to use while waiting in the cafeteria line to access nutrition information about today's menu.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twitter - Education Chats - Chat Scheduler

Grades
K to 12
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This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This ...more
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This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This is just the educational chats. You can find diverse chats about everything from leadership, to minimalist running enthusiasts, to 4th grade teachers, and more. You'll probably find something that piques your interest! Some of the chats occur live, but many are ongoing. Not free at a chat time? You can always read the tweets later.

tag(s): microblogging (44), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Explore the site to discover and follow educational and professional chats that match your interests and needs. Read the tweets about what is happening in other classrooms to gain some new/fresh ideas. Students in upper grades interested in a particular career or trying to find a mentor in an area of interest could use this. You may want to preview and pick out certain hashtags for your student(s). Want to know more about Twitter? See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Morphbank - Morphbank

Grades
7 to 12
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Find a growing database of high quality images used by science researchers. Photographs also include those taken under the microscope. You can use these images as long as you include...more
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Find a growing database of high quality images used by science researchers. Photographs also include those taken under the microscope. You can use these images as long as you include the copyright information from the copyright link. These are beautiful images for use in science!

tag(s): cells (102), images (266), microorganisms (14), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use these images of organisms and nature to illustrate concepts or ask visual questions. Use in student projects, on wikis or blogs, or anywhere a great picture is needed. Use to generate essays about the different types of organisms or have students make a "wanted" poster that discusses the habitat and niche of the various organisms. Use pictures when discussing characteristics of life or the classification of various organisms. Create simple drag and drop sorting activities for interactive whiteboard using these images to assess class understanding of different characteristics or classifications. Use this activity with one of the student centered activity formats from our Hands Off, Vanna ideas for student centered use of your interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Widbook - Flavio Aguiar

Grades
K to 12
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Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others...more
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Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others to make contributions to your books. Create a profile on the site to begin your book or collaborate with others (or you can skip this step). Books you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook members can add content and or comments to your books. You can change setting to allow comments and additions on a book or not. Likewise, you can search for others' books and contribute to their books. The only way to share your books is with others logged into Widbook or other social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest).

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44), paragraph writing (17), persuasive writing (55), process writing (42), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Create books on any subject for your students to review or learn. Set up a whole class account or use individual accounts with those 13 and older if school policy allows it. Challenge students to create a book as a multi-media presentation instead of a typical book report. This would be great to use for a student/star of the week presentation. Each week add a student's information. Do this together as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link (and log in) on classroom computers for students to view the book when they wish. Use this tool for groups to collaborate on science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool with a whole class account, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. Have students create a book as an end of the year culminatng/review project.

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Cropp.me - imagga

Grades
4 to 12
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Crop and resize your images using this online tool. Upload your images and select the desired size. There are several predefined sizes to choose from: an avatar image, gallery thumbnail,...more
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Crop and resize your images using this online tool. Upload your images and select the desired size. There are several predefined sizes to choose from: an avatar image, gallery thumbnail, Facebook timeline cover image, or you can select a custom size (width and height) for your particular purpose. Crop up to 5 images simultaneously. The site detects the most interesting part of each image to use when cropping. Adjust the placement as needed. When finished, select images to keep and download to your computer.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Quickly and easily crop pictures and images to any desired size for use in projects and presentations. Share with students to use with projects and presentations for making images uniform in size.
 

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Portfoliogen - Create a Free Teacher Portfolio Webpage - CG Solutions LLC

Grades
K to 12
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PortfolioGen is a platform where teachers and pre-service teachers can build simple webpages to highlight their professional portfolios. Write "about me" pages, highlight certifications,...more
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PortfolioGen is a platform where teachers and pre-service teachers can build simple webpages to highlight their professional portfolios. Write "about me" pages, highlight certifications, upload documents, and provide links. Use the included forms for potential employers to contact you. Create an account by choosing a username and inputting basic email and contact information. Choose from available templates or create your own using your own background image and colors. Upload documents such as resumes, lesson plans, transcripts, and more. Use of the site is free; however, the free version does have limited document uploads and file sizes.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): portfolios (28), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create an online portfolio even if you are not looking for a new job. Share it with your principal or administrator as part of your evaluation process. Share it with parents from a link on your class web page. Model a positive, professional online image so your students can see how important this is in the 21st century. Use this tool to create a URL for substitutes to use with pertinent information including: lesson plans, student background, websites to use for enrichment, recordings of songs sung daily, etc.

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Picturing America - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
5 to 12
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Picturing America brings masterpieces of art into classrooms and libraries. Click to "Enter the Gallery." or choose from many lesson plans from art available on the site. However, the...more
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Picturing America brings masterpieces of art into classrooms and libraries. Click to "Enter the Gallery." or choose from many lesson plans from art available on the site. However, the link is a little hard to find. Look on the bottom left-hand corner of the main site above the yellow bar to see the link to lesson plans and more. View a list of lessons by poster number and name. Enter the image gallery from the home page to view images along with a short description and biography of the artist. Choose View Resources for a list of resources to accompany the image. Move your mouse along the timeline at the bottom of the gallery to find images by date. Note: Posters of artwork were available for free to classrooms and libraries 2008-2010, but are no longer available. You can, however, download the "images for the Classroom" PowerPoint file to be used offline. Find it at the bottom of the Educator Resources page.

tag(s): 1800s (44), 1900s (33), african american (113), american revolution (86), art history (70), artists (75), civil war (145), industrial revolution (25), lincoln (86), native americans (78), north america (19), painting (66), presidents (131), war of 1812 (14), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Share artwork and descriptions on your interactive whiteboard or projector to accompany or introduce Social Studies units on the presidents, American Revolution, the 20th Century, and more. Assign different images to groups of students as a starting point for an artist study or biography of the portrait's subject. Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate or discuss content of an image using Fotobabble reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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