TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 11, 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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Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness - U. S. National Library of Health and Medicine

Grades
4 to 12
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Native Voices takes an extensive look at Native Peoples' health and beliefs through several different media approaches. Begin with a video introductory message from the Director of...more
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Native Voices takes an extensive look at Native Peoples' health and beliefs through several different media approaches. Begin with a video introductory message from the Director of the National Library of Medicine. The video explains content on the site and the background of the exhibition. Watch interviews of health professionals, healers, and other community leaders organized by theme, name, or region. An extensive timeline highlights key events searchable by time period, tribe, or keyword. The resources area provides links to lessons, online activities, suggested reading, and more. Explore the exhibition to view Native American art and stories about healing. This site is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about Native American's beliefs in regard to health and healing.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), medicine (67), native americans (81)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for Native American, American History, health, and other units. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) together. Have groups of students view videos on individual tribes, then challenge students to create a newspaper article using the Newspaper Clipping Generator or use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of tribal beliefs-- or perhaps comparing with "mainstream" beliefs in their own culture.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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IWitness - USC Shoah Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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At its core, IWitness is a collection of over 1,000 audio and video interviews with Holocaust Survivors. That by itself would make it a worthy site. However, the site also ...more
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At its core, IWitness is a collection of over 1,000 audio and video interviews with Holocaust Survivors. That by itself would make it a worthy site. However, the site also permits you to search the interview database by keyword, and to edit the interviews to create your own video projects. There are links to further resources about the Holocaust and suggested lesson plans or activities in conjunction with the site. You MUST register for this site in advance, in order to be approved by the site's sponsors. Allow at least 24 or 48 hours for registration to be approved and for you to activate your membership. Read all of the tech requirements here. Most importantly please note the required browsers. Anyone using the site also needs to have Adobe Flash Player 11 or higher and RealPlayer 10 or higher installed. While the site does appear to have a lot of "tech requirements" this one is WORTH the hassle!

tag(s): digital storytelling (135), holocaust (38), jews (19), pearl harbor (12), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

This is a tremendously rich resource for bringing home the reality of the Holocaust using the words and images of survivors. The number of Holocaust Survivors is dwindling, and we risk losing the full impact of their experience without sites like IWitness. Search the interview archives by keyword or subject and view individual stories. Use the editing tools to collect portions of interviews into a new video presentation. Create class projects and group them by classroom section and collect multiple student presentations. The site is flexible and geared toward educators. Because it is in Beta, feedback is actively solicited, and teachers can help shape how the site can be used. Don't miss the lesson plans and activity plans as well as a good collection of other resources. The site has clearly delineated technology requirements; it would be wise to consult those prior to planning an activity.

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FBI - Safe Online Surfing - Federal Bureau of Investigation

Grades
3 to 8
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The FBI - SOS (Safe Online Surfing) Challenge offers activities aimed at learning about cyber safety. The site features six grade-specific "islands" for students in grades 3-8. Activities...more
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The FBI - SOS (Safe Online Surfing) Challenge offers activities aimed at learning about cyber safety. The site features six grade-specific "islands" for students in grades 3-8. Activities highlight various aspects of cyber security through educational games, videos, and other interactive features. Each island has either seven or eight interactive areas to explore--with a specific cyber safety lesson. Islands also have central characters and visual themes. For example, fourth grade features Ice Island, complete with falling snow and penguins. There is also a testing component to complete upon teacher sign-up of classes and completion of all grade level activities. Free sign up isn't required to use the online activities but is necessary to take the final exam as the site requires an access key.

tag(s): cyberbullying (42), internet safety (117)

In the Classroom

Use this full site as a free mini-curriculum on cyber-safety, possibly using it in all grades at your school. Enroll your class and assign students to complete the activities and exams for homework. Share the SOS on your class website for parents and students to access at home. Display the site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and complete activities together as a class. Share with other teachers who are teaching units on online safety. Have students create an online or printed simple comic with one or two characters with Comic Creator, reviewed here, or create a comic strip using Cartoonist, reviewed here, to show what they've learned about cyber-safey.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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AirPano - AirPano.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Airpano is a stunning collection of aerial panoramic 360 degree images of famous locations around the world. They are incorporated with Google map technology. Peer down at the hustle...more
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Airpano is a stunning collection of aerial panoramic 360 degree images of famous locations around the world. They are incorporated with Google map technology. Peer down at the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong harbour or the tranquil scenery of Fiordland in New Zealand. At the time of this review, there were well over 100 AMAZING images to view. Rotate any 3D image and zoom in to see the details in finer clarity. Click on links within images to view nearby sites of interests. Read articles included with panoramas for an overview of locations. Embed a rotating image on to your site using the link found at the top left corner of each panoramic image. Zoom in and out of images, read articles about each location, turn sound on and off using links included with images. Based on the device used for viewing, choose from high or low resolution and iphone or ipad links to view panoramas. Panoramas open in a new tab/window.

tag(s): asia (73), australia (35), canada (30), china (66), england (57), europe (74), france (40), germany (28), images (261), india (36), italy (17), maps (287), new york (26), north america (20), pyramids (29), russia (39), south africa (10), south america (39)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use when discussing well-known places around the world. View 3D panoramic images on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take your students to Moscow, Paris, Vietnam, the Grand Canyon, on a hot air balloon, or many other options. This tool could be useful in science, social studies, and current event classes. Share these panoramas with world language and world cultures classes as well as when literature settings include some of these famous sites. Have students give a class :tour", explaining as they navigate on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the embed function to embed panoramas on your website or blog for student use at home. Share this site with students to use for research projects.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teach Your Monster to Read - Usborne Foundation

Grades
K to 2
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Teach Your Monster to Read is a free early reading program built on the principles of synthetic phonics. Activities develop speed and accuracy of letter recognition by taking...more
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Teach Your Monster to Read is a free early reading program built on the principles of synthetic phonics. Activities develop speed and accuracy of letter recognition by taking a fantastic adventure through a magical world where you meet island kings and collect letters to win prizes. The program also explores blending and segmenting, and introduces "tricky" words in a fun, interactive setting. Registration with email and a password enables you to save games and track progress. Get an overview of the game by playing the demo without registration. This site was created in Great Britain so some words may have British English spellings and pronunciation.

tag(s): alphabet (92), phonics (75), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Share this site with parents for fun at-home reading practice. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create an account for each student. Use this site as a reading center on classroom computers. Don't forget headsets!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Josie's Poems - Josie Whitehead

Grades
1 to 12
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Enjoy Josie Whitehead's poems, written to charm children into a love of poetry. Choose the main poetry index to browse categories such as funny poems, performance poems, narrative poems,...more
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Enjoy Josie Whitehead's poems, written to charm children into a love of poetry. Choose the main poetry index to browse categories such as funny poems, performance poems, narrative poems, and more. Another link leads to poems suitable for teens and adults. This site presents lots of poetry in an easy to see format. A few poems on the site are only available after the purchase of the author's books; however, the large majority of poems are free. This site was created in the United Kingdom, so American English speakers may notice some slightly different spellings and/or vocabulary.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): poetry (229)

In the Classroom

Use poems in this collection as the core of a poetry unit or simply to honor National Poetry Month. Mark it in your favorites to use from year to year. Project these easy-view poems on an interactive whiteboard to mark rhyme scheme, etc. Most poems are short with a simple cadence making them perfect to use as inspiration for students to create their own poetry. Have your students create an online "scrapbook" of poems using Scrapblog (reviewed here). View all of TeachersFirst's Editor's Choices for Poetry Monthhere for further ideas for using poetry in the classroom.

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Mind Maple Mind Mapping Software - MindMaple Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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Download this EASY, FREE mind-mapping tool available in iOS or Windows ("lite") versions. No Mac version is available. Begin with the "central idea" box to start growing ideas. Create...more
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Download this EASY, FREE mind-mapping tool available in iOS or Windows ("lite") versions. No Mac version is available. Begin with the "central idea" box to start growing ideas. Create as many subtopics as you want by clicking and dragging from your central idea. Expand subtopics by adding more subtopics under them. Add symbols and pictures from the gallery or find your own pictures from your desktop. Attach notes and give hyperlinks, attach documents, edit, and save them on MindMaple. Change the colors, background, the layout and the style of your mind map to add your personal touch. There is a paid version that includes additional features; however, the free version contains all features above for easy use. The FREE version includes two map themes and a few backgrounds and clipart options. Files can be shared with others who have the free software/app or exported as Microsoft Excel, Word, Powerpoint, image files, TXT and HTML.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (42), mind map (24), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Have student groups create presentations on MindMaple. The subtopics can serve as talking points when it is their turn to talk. Have students begin projects by making an outline with MindMaple and sharing it with the teacher. As a whole class, create a MindMaple at the beginning of the unit showing what the class knows. Add information to the MindMaple throughout the unit. Create lesson plans on MindMaple by outlining the lessons with the order of topics, links, and the documents that you will be using. Take notes about lessons/units using MindMaple. Pass the mind map to the class as a visual guide and summary of what you have taught including visuals, documents, and links. Share completed maps with learning support teachers and parents to help struggling students. Ask students to create a mind map of a book or a chapter. Outline characters, setting, and events taking place in stories. Use MindMaple to create a graphic organizer/timeline of important historical events.

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Three Ring - Michael Lindsay, Steve Silvius and Alec Turnbill

Grades
K to 12
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Securely upload photos of student work to create digital portfolios. Sign up with your email, password, and add your school information. This site is completely compatible with iOS...more
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Securely upload photos of student work to create digital portfolios. Sign up with your email, password, and add your school information. This site is completely compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. Add students' names quickly by typing them or adding them through a spreadsheet. Sort uploads by class, student, or custom tag to easily find the artifact you're looking for. Take a photo with your smartphone and tag it before you upload it. Take a picture while in class or grading work. Log in to the website to view all uploaded images. Upload images, videos, or voice recordings.

tag(s): assessment (99), DAT device agnostic tool (192), organizational skills (120), portfolios (25)

In the Classroom

Upload student work throughout the year and share with parents and/or students during conferences. Instead of creating an account for teacher use only, teach students to upload their own work. Be sure to assign specific tags by assignment, student, and/or standard. Use this to show finished projects or to demonstrate changes in a project from start to finish. Upload examples of finished work to share with students before beginning a project to set expectations for completed products. Create a link on your class website to share projects and information. Students can also take ownership of their own portfolios that show progress and products across several years.

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Surging Seas: Sea Level Rise Analysis - Cimate Central

Grades
6 to 12
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What is the impact of changes in sea levels? Use this interactive tool to show various effects with different feet of sea level rise. There is plenty of data showing ...more
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What is the impact of changes in sea levels? Use this interactive tool to show various effects with different feet of sea level rise. There is plenty of data showing that sea levels have already risen eight inches since 1880. Most people are unaware of the areas of the world that are at risk, though hurricanes may make us temporarily aware. This interactive map gives incredible detail by zooming into neighborhoods and understanding the possible changes that can occur with sea level change. Enter a city, zip code, or click on the US map to begin. Use the slider to change the sea level from 1 to 10 feet. Choose various other data such as social vulnerability, population, income, and property values. The application is based upon two independently written, easily accessible, peer-reviewed papers. Note: An older and still active version of the site can be found here.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64), earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to discuss how climate change is affecting sea level, as well as other weather events that have been in the news. Be sure to talk about energy and how it is produced and why all combustion reactions produce carbon dioxide. Research the composition of the atmosphere and why changes in certain gases can cause such a problem. Be sure to have students check out the validity of different sources and sites for accuracy and statistics and data that backs up the viewpoint. Rather than scare students, discuss ways that everyone in the world can create a greener Earth for tomorrow. Challenge students to research and then create multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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HHMI - BioInteractive - Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grades
8 to 12
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HHMI's BioInteractive five lab collection allows you to explore genetics, heart diseases, nerve cells, and the immune system without any mess to clean or supplie to buy! Learn about...more
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HHMI's BioInteractive five lab collection allows you to explore genetics, heart diseases, nerve cells, and the immune system without any mess to clean or supplie to buy! Learn about changing fly DNA or play the role of a doctor's intern to better understand how heart disease works. These activities have interactive lab areas with learning objectives, a notebooking area, quizzes, extra resources, and a help area. They are complete with teaching suggestions and learning objectives. The bacterial identification lab and immunology lab are even available as apps for your mobile devices. Some areas of this site require Shockwave.

tag(s): bacteria (30), body systems (56), genetics (90), heart (42), human body (119)

In the Classroom

Spice up your life science or biology curriculum with these activities. Use them as dry labs prior to the hands-on or classroom "wet lab." Alternatively, they could be used as a substitute laboratory when supplies are low, if students are learning online or from a distance, or if students have ethical objections to using live specimens. Thinking about flipping your classroom even just a little? These activties are great because they can take some of the practice typically done in class to the home setting, allowing you to further delve into student driven experiments and inquiry in the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Inanimate Alice - Kate Pullinger

Grades
4 to 12
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If you love to read, try this award-winning, interactive narrative. Inanimate Alice is a digital, interactive, graphic novel set in the 21st century. We meet Alice at the age of ...more
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If you love to read, try this award-winning, interactive narrative. Inanimate Alice is a digital, interactive, graphic novel set in the 21st century. We meet Alice at the age of eight and follow her episodic story into her twenties, when she becomes a world class animator and designer for a huge company. Your actions and choices take the story forward. As a little girl, Alice likes to draw and create games on her handheld device. She animates her imaginary friend, Brad. Visit the About link to learn more about this intriguing and interactive story. There is also a Teach With Alice page. The American Association of School Librarians recognized Inanimate Alice as a 2012 Best Website for Teaching and Learning.

tag(s): digital storytelling (135), reading comprehension (114)

In the Classroom

This polished site offers a Starters Activity Booklet (immediately available for download) and a Teacher Education Pack available through registration with an email address. These are comprehensive lessons aligned with Reading Literature: Common Core State Standards in language arts. From the makers of Inanimate Alice: "... the level of interactivity starts out low in episode one, increasing with each subsequent episode in order to reflect Alice's own growing abilities, we've found that we can take an audience unfamiliar with multimedia fiction with us. Educators like Inanimate Alice because of this; students from primary to post-graduate level find the work engaging."

You can use this site with younger children on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Older students will enjoy exploring the story on their own using headphones or earbuds. Have older students work in small groups, completing the lessons provided. Be prepared for lots of "on task" chatter from your students about this delightful site.

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