TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 2, 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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Common Core Tasks, Units, and Student Work - New York City Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
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Search a growing assortment of Common Core-aligned tasks, units and student work by keyword, grade level (preK through 12), subject area and Common Core Learning Standard. This site...more
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Search a growing assortment of Common Core-aligned tasks, units and student work by keyword, grade level (preK through 12), subject area and Common Core Learning Standard. This site is provided by the New York City Department of Education. Search results provide a short description of packets including the length of units and mathematics concepts addressed. Units are very detailed and include descriptions, standards addressed, student work pages, rubrics, student work examples, support for ESL/ELL students, and support for special education students. Print each unit from the PDF link included.

tag(s): literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year for Common Core units and lessons. Share with other teachers in your building and district as a resource for Common Core lessons. Explore the site during Common Core professional development days.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Infographic Visual Resumes (A Pinterest Pinboard) - Randy Krum

Grades
6 to 12
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This PInterest pinboard is a collection of infographics that serve as resumes for artists, writers, tech designers, digital workers, and many other 21st century creative professionals....more
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This PInterest pinboard is a collection of infographics that serve as resumes for artists, writers, tech designers, digital workers, and many other 21st century creative professionals. Click any infographic to see it in its original home on the web so you can zoom in and see the details. This collection represents strengths of both Pinterest (reviewed here) and the infographic medium. Explore to see how it's done!

tag(s): careers (132), infographics (42), portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Share this visual collection with students as an example of one way they can portray their strengths and interests to potential employers or college admissions offices. Don't wait until they are seniors, however. Middle school students in an art or career exploration class can create a resume infographic about themselves to use for summer jobs or even on a flyer to get part time work around the neighborhood. Not creative? Allow students to explore the "resumes" to learn more about digital careers and the credentials they require. In high school art classes, have students explore the hot topics in digital design by checking out the resumes. In history or literature classes, offer the infographic resume as a possible project alternative for students for literature study or researching a figure in history. They could create an infographic resume for their figure, literary character, or author. These examples can inspire them.

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The Poem Farm - Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Grades
K to 8
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The Poem Farm is a wonderful resource for poems of all kinds by poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Browse the Poetry Peeks section to peek into poetry creations in classrooms everywhere....more
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The Poem Farm is a wonderful resource for poems of all kinds by poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Browse the Poetry Peeks section to peek into poetry creations in classrooms everywhere. Find poems sorted by topic. Beware, there is an extensive list of topics! Looking for poems using different techniques? Search through the site for mask poems, riddle poems, personification, and much more. Another interesting portion of the website is the dictionary hike. View and listen to a poem for each letter of the alphabet. One unique feature of the website is that the author includes additional information with each poem such as teaching techniques, thought process during the poem's creation, and other ideas for creating similar poetry. There are also some lesson plans to explore.

tag(s): poetry (227), rhymes (33), riddles (15)

In the Classroom

Use this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as inspiration for lessons in poetry writing. Share it on your teacher web page for enrichment. Have students create their own poems using this site as inspiration then create podcasts of a poetry reading. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

It's impossible to have writer's block after visiting this blog--there are always so many inspiring writing prompts and ideas to try here. (And the blog has a very comfortable, inviting, homey feeling--feels like visiting a friend for tea.) janet, , Grades: 0 - 12

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WishyBox - WishyBox.com

Grades
K to 12
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Organize an online wishlist. Create an account using your Google, Facebook, Yahoo, or Windows Live login, then begin creating a list. Add items including links to any website for purchase....more
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Organize an online wishlist. Create an account using your Google, Facebook, Yahoo, or Windows Live login, then begin creating a list. Add items including links to any website for purchase. Organize using the drag and drop features on the site. Make your list private or share with family, friends, or the world. Gift purchases are not shared with the owner of the list, only family or friends, thus keeping the surprise of gift giving alive!

tag(s): service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Parents often want to donate items to classrooms or schools but may not know what is needed. Create a WishyBox list for your classroom so others can share the joyful gift of learning! This is a great tool to share at Back to School Night! Make a list of books needed for your classroom library, items needed for classroom centers, extra supplies, etc. Share with your Parent Teacher Organization as a resource for creating a wish list for items for the school library, playground, or any other school items. Use this site for a community service project for your classroom. Create a WishyBox list for a family in need in your community and have students bring in items to donate. Use WishyBox as a real world way to extend the text to show.

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Something Fishy - Inland Fisheries Ireland

Grades
4 to 6
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Something Fishy educates about water quality, fish, and the environment. Choose from the children's portion of the site or the section for teachers and parents. Children participate...more
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Something Fishy educates about water quality, fish, and the environment. Choose from the children's portion of the site or the section for teachers and parents. Children participate in a series of eight lessons beginning with "Water, Water, Everywhere" through "Will There Be Any Left For Me?" Lessons include short stories and slideshows. Teachers and Parents can download a teaching manual and work cards along with an overview and lesson plan for each activity.

tag(s): environment (317), fish (24), oceans (148), pollution (66), rivers (21), water (130), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

The children's activities are excellent for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. View and discuss the lessons together as part of your environmental unit or lessons on the water cycle. Have students view lessons on classroom computers on their own then summarize learning using a talking avatar with a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain water quality topics found on the site. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Reading Like a Historian - Stanford History Education Group

Grades
6 to 12
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The Reading Like a Historian curriculum engages you in historical inquiry. Each of the 75 lessons revolves around a central historical question. Each lesson features sets of...more
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The Reading Like a Historian curriculum engages you in historical inquiry. Each of the 75 lessons revolves around a central historical question. Each lesson features sets of primary documents modified for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities. This curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and more. Instead of memorizing historical facts, students evaluate the trustworthiness of multiple perspectives on issues from King Philip's War to the Montgomery Bus Boycott (and more). Next, they make historical claims backed by documentary evidence. Choose from the units menu to find lessons divided into 12 units: introduction through the Cold War Culture/Civil Rights. Read a short overview, then choose from the list of included lessons. Most lessons are in PDF format and may include PowerPoint presentations with additional images and/or maps to use with the lesson.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil rights (117), civil war (145), cold war (29), colonial america (107), colonization (16), emancipation proclamation (12), new deal (6), slavery (72), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for American history lessons throughout the year. The final segment of each lesson, the "Central Historical Question," has been noted as the most important part. If you don't have time for the full lesson, incorporate the historical question into your lesson plans as part of your classroom discussion, or journal activities. Perhaps you can use it as an essential question for your unit. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain the central historical question. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Center for Civic Education - Center for Civic Education

Grades
5 to 12
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The Center for Civic Education offers this site loaded with information and resources that support the democratic process. Choose the resources tab to take advantage of many lesson...more
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The Center for Civic Education offers this site loaded with information and resources that support the democratic process. Choose the resources tab to take advantage of many lesson plans for all grade levels on topics such as President's Day, voting, Women's History Month, and many more. Choose the More Lesson Plans link to see a list of all lessons sorted by grade levels from K-12. Another interesting portion of the site is found at the media tab. Choose from video or photo galleries or the 60 Second Civics option. 60 Second Civics is a daily podcast accompanied with a short question. Previous podcasts are archived for access at your convenience. Subscribe with iTunes or Podcast Alley or visit the page to listen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): branches of government (48), civil rights (117), constitution (79), democracy (12), elections (75), electoral college (16), lincoln (86), martin luther king (37), presidents (130), sept11 (21), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the podcasts via your web page or blog. Have students answer the daily question then respond with a short journal entry or with comments on your webpage. Use lesson resources to supplement your current curriculum or commemorate events such as 9/11, MLK Day, Presidents Day, or Constitution Day. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Assign videos to groups of students to view then report to the class. Rather than a traditional report, challenge cooperative learning groups to collaborate on a topic found on the site using Titanpad reviewed here to share ideas and information.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science 360 - National Science Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch these five minute science content videos about a variety of topics such as Green Energy or Football Kinematics. Browse by category or content topic. Use the search box found ...more
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Watch these five minute science content videos about a variety of topics such as Green Energy or Football Kinematics. Browse by category or content topic. Use the search box found at the top of the page. The videos are engaging and informative. Topics vary greatly. Some topics cross over into Social Studies as scientists excavate ancient sites. Be sure to check out videos about difficult topics such as Climate Change (To What Degree).

tag(s): archeology (32), brain (72), climate (92), climate change (64), environment (317), plants (144), solar energy (38), sports (96), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use the videos to tie content into students real lives. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Provide this link on a wiki, blog, or site for students to find interesting information and report to the class on what they have learned. Challenge students to create their own five minute videos about a topic that you are learning about in science (or another subject). Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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HD Downloader - hddownloader.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use the HD Downloader to easily download videos and music from YouTube. Paste your YouTube URL to the space provided on HD Downloader. Then select whether to copy as a ...more
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Use the HD Downloader to easily download videos and music from YouTube. Paste your YouTube URL to the space provided on HD Downloader. Then select whether to copy as a video or an MP3 music file (selecting the quality), convert to a RingTone, or scan the MP3 to a Mobile Phone. When selecting to download a video there are several choices of formats: 3GP medium and high quality, FLV low and medium quality, and MP4 high quality. The MP4 high quality seemed to download the fastest, and the resulting download is viewable in full screen mode. All the selections work on both PC and MAC computers. At the time of this review, HD Downloader seems to download best using Internet Explorer (I.E.) on a Windows computer, and Safari on a MAC computer. When using I.E. on the Windows computer, a box might appear that says: "the digital signature cannot be verified" and will ask if you want to run the application anyway. Click on RUN. Once you've downloaded the video, you can copy it to a USB stick, and it will also play on a MAC computer. Be aware: there are MANY advertisements at this site, so this may not be a site that you want students to explore independently.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

Mark this tool in your favorites for easy access, and as a "work-around" when YouTube is blocked at your school. Use this tool at home to save YouTube videos on a stick and take them to school. Teachers should model ethical use of electronic resources (other people's work) for students. Be sure to give proper credit for videos and other files you save locally under Fair Use.

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Infinite Canvas - Microsoft Live Labs

Grades
K to 12
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Use this virtual canvas to montage online images, create image-only comic strips, slideshows, and more. NO membership is required! Choose Create, then add images for your "canvas"...more
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Use this virtual canvas to montage online images, create image-only comic strips, slideshows, and more. NO membership is required! Choose Create, then add images for your "canvas" presentation using image URLs. To add multiple images, use a semi-colon after each URL. All added images will appear according to the sequence in which you have added the URLs. At the time of this review, Infinite Canvas does not support uploading images directly. You can use any online image, so place your images on a web services such as Flickr, Photobucket, ImageShack or Imgur. Browse such services to fetch interesting Creative Commons licensed images. Note that there is no way to add text unless it is an online image. After you have entered the image URLs, click Save and enter your "Comic Name", "Comic Passcode." Author's name, and Save again. Remember your passcode, or you will not be able to save edits. You can prevent projects from showing in the public pages by unchecking the "Publish to Directory" box, but you will need to SAVE the url on your own so you can find it again. This might be a safer option for content created by classes or students. Note:There are many publicly created comic strips/presentations on the main page. Several are not classroom appropriate. Please preview any that you plan to share with students or direct them to the tool itself, bypassing the shared projects.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (265), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Map your entire lesson, chapter, or unit visually on one canvas. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students to help them visualize as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great review if you were doing this on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or you could post this to your wiki, web page, or even give students the URL of the Infinite Canvas for them to review as needed. However, you do not have to stop there. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create visual timelinesor photo montages of events relevant to the curriculum. Have students create an Infinite Canvas for different events, and then post the link of their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Infinite Canvases. Speech/language teachers, ESL/ELL teachers, or world language teachers could create "comics" to have students discuss orally as a way to practice vocabulary and language skills. Art classes can collect images to illustrate a design element or a period in Art History. Create a visual "name it and claim it" montage of paintings for students to identify the artist or time period.

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Mail Chimp - Ben Chestnut

Grades
K to 12
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MailChimp lets you create email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. MailChimp handles all of this with lists....more
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MailChimp lets you create email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. MailChimp handles all of this with lists. You can subscribe, edit, and remove yourself from lists as you please. Send your newsletter immediately or schedule delivery for the future. Test the email using the popup window to send to your own email address. Create your own template or choose from one of the many pre-designed templates available on the site. Content is rendered for easy use on mobile devices for viewing and through the app for creating and sending content. The site offers a long list of free features for use if you have under 2,000 subscribers and you can send up to 12,000 emails a month - at no charge! Free features include templates, auto translate into other languages, group creation, Facebook and social media integration, and much more. Import recipient information from your online address book or an Excel spreadsheet. Choose to send your emails to your entire list, or a specific segment of your list. Your newsletters can include images and text, and can be personalized by merging "subscriber" information into the body of your message.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communities (35), DAT device agnostic tool (196), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for schools and classrooms to manage newsletters. Your class can generate a monthly newsletter or create newspapers from a period in time and share them with parents, school principals, and the school community. Share this site with the person responsible for creating and sharing content at your school. Send a nice end of the year message of thanks to parents with links for summer activities and even a year-end online slideshow. Send an informative beginning of the year newsletter with classroom information and introducing yourself to parents. Send out departmental information to parents through the group feature of MailChimp specifically to those involved. Use the merge feature to make emails personal. How much nicer would it be for parents to see news addressed to Dear Mr. & Mrs. Jones, as opposed to Dear Parent(s)? School counselors can share information about college and career fairs, important deadlines, and more using Mail Chimp.

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Checkthis - Checkthis

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful online posters at Checkthis, a free, instant web publishing program. Add text, website links, pictures, videos, maps, sounds, tweets, web links, polls, and more....more
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Create beautiful online posters at Checkthis, a free, instant web publishing program. Add text, website links, pictures, videos, maps, sounds, tweets, web links, polls, and more. An optional account lets you save your poster creations, customize URLs for the products, and return to edit later. If you wish to simply share a non-editable version, click Share and choose "no edit." Choose to share by email to see and copy the URL. Here is a sample. Every poster you create has its own URL, customizable if you create an account. You can also share via Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Develop your own "poster" in a few clicks. Check This offers a wide variety of uses for no cost. Be aware: There could be questionable posters and/or comments on the homepage or by clicking "explore." Please preview before sharing this site with students.

tag(s): blogs (88), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Checkthis can be used for school, personal, or family use. No class blog? Use Checkthis to create a free instant blog without memberships. Use for students to create their own personal posters. In lower grades, create posters together featuring class rules, sight words, and more. Share the finished products ad links from your class web page for parents and students to access together from home to reinforce concepts. Projects, written work, posters, blog posts, etc... become "published" with the unique URL given when you simply push the Publish button. Keep student portfolios under a whole class account so you can easily review and update from any computer (even from home). Students can read your comments and reflect. Create a class poster/page about famous inventors, habitats, natural resources, authors, scientists, parts of speech, science experiments, role-plays, character sketches, or math riddles. Have students illustrate idioms or vocabulary and terms using posters (in English or a world language). Have students (or groups) make health, nutrition, of fitness posters. Add each student's URL on your class website to share all student work without space limitations. Enhance writing portfolios with sound, video, and website links. Keep guided notes in your own space so you won't lose them. Share your lesson plans, ideas, and suggestions in an easy to find place, your own account! Create pages for after school clubs to keep current information. Add a parent blog to encourage communication between your class families. Your room parent will appreciate his/her own web page. Have each student create study pages for any content area. The sky is the limit for what each page includes. Your gifted students will love being able to publish a quick blog or poster and receive comments from gifted students in other classes or schools. Set up a blog hop using Checkthis in collaboration with other teachers you find via #gtchat in Twitter.

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