TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 9, 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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Fakebook - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create a "fake" Facebook-style page for anyone or anything! No membership required! Give your page a title and add an image from your computer. (They insert an image for you ...more
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Create a "fake" Facebook-style page for anyone or anything! No membership required! Give your page a title and add an image from your computer. (They insert an image for you if you do not select one.) Of course you will need to use a Creative Commons or other copyright-safe image. You can also use autoselect from a websearch, edit the profile, and your page is almost ready. You must add at least one post and one friend to save work. Choose "save" from the options on top right side of the page, enter a password, and your unique url for your Fakebook page appears. Be sure to copy and save this link as it is the only time it is given in the setup process. Here is an example created in less than a minute. Page creation is quick and easy with a small learning curve. Flash is needed only to watch the introduction video, not use the site/tool. There is a downloadable Word doc "startup guide" for those who prefer written, illustrated directions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book reports (36), creative writing (166), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Engage and create interest in classroom learning with Fakebook. This site is wonderful for creating interest in many subjects. In social studies, instead of a typical biographical report have students create a Fakebook page about their famous person. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artist, a civil war soldier, and much more. Have students create a timeline of any historical event (the page should be named for the event). Use Fakebook to outline the plot of a book, play, or film, then share with students while studying the material. To use Fakebook to study literature, create a page for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. For a unique twist is science class, create a Fakebook page for a periodic element or another science topic. Use the page to describe "the life" of that atom or element. In world language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the second language they are learning. Create a Fakebook page for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. Challenge students to create and share a page about themselves during the first week of school. Share a Fakebook page with students to demonstrate proper netiquette and social sharing. Be sure to share a rubric with students for all expectations of what should be included on their page. Make Fakebook one of the options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum. With no membership required, this tool is simple enough for younger gifted students who have parent permission to post work to the web. We could pretend that they do not know what Facebook looks like, but we would be deluding ourselves!

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Newsola - Nick Nicholaou

Grades
6 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
This free site provides a color-coded mashup of current news headlines, clickable to see the full articles. View various sections of the news separately by clicking on the colored icons...more
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This free site provides a color-coded mashup of current news headlines, clickable to see the full articles. View various sections of the news separately by clicking on the colored icons along the top. Sort into World, National, Finance, Tech, Showbiz, and Sport. To read the full article, click on the brief story (in the box). Use the drop-down feature to search news stories in a variety of other countries.

tag(s): countries (77), financial literacy (80), news (261), sports (96)

In the Classroom

Use this site to select current events for the day. Follow the same news thread for a period of time to look at changes and possible reasons for the change in the news. Be sure to check news stories from other countries for a different viewpoint on issues. Create a class discussion for the differences in viewpoints. Challenge cooperative learning groups to explore ONE of the subtopics (Showbiz, World, Finance, etc..) and present the highlights to the class. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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eBooks @ Adelaide - The University of Adelaide

Grades
6 to 12
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eBooks @ Adelaide offers an eclectic collection of free electronic books in an easy to use format. Search by authors, titles, or subject. (You may see an empty Twitter feed ...more
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eBooks @ Adelaide offers an eclectic collection of free electronic books in an easy to use format. Search by authors, titles, or subject. (You may see an empty Twitter feed on the home page if Twitter is blocked on your system. Simply go to the menus to search/browse.) Read online directly from the book link or download to Kindle or ePub format using quick links at the bottom of the page. Click on the information link with each book to read the author's biography along with a list of other books and short stories. The site continues to grow as new books are added weekly. Check the "New" link to view new additions. First time users may want to check out the FAQ to get started located here.

tag(s): ebooks (41), independent reading (126), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for eBooks. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference. Have students use this website to find their next piece of literature.

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Key Seeker - Keyboarding for Kindergarten - annrymer.com

Grades
K to 2
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Key Seeker offers an interactive practice with letters and keyboard skills. Using "monkey paws," follow the purple letters (meaning type with your left hand) and the green letters (type...more
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Key Seeker offers an interactive practice with letters and keyboard skills. Using "monkey paws," follow the purple letters (meaning type with your left hand) and the green letters (type with your right hand). Click on the monkey image to hear instructions before playing. View letters presented with an image beginning with the letter then type the correct letter from the keyboard to continue play. This site not only teaches basic keyboarding but also letter recognition to the very young.

tag(s): alphabet (92), keyboarding (38), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to play on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to try this site on their own on classroom computers or a center at the interactive whiteboard. Share this site on your class website or blog for students to play at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vodcast Book Trailers - Brian Dawson/Palm Beach Schools

Grades
K to 5
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Enjoy short book trailers similar to movie trailers on the Palm Beach Schools Vodcast page. These exciting book previews make choosing a new book easy! Scroll down the bar to ...more
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Enjoy short book trailers similar to movie trailers on the Palm Beach Schools Vodcast page. These exciting book previews make choosing a new book easy! Scroll down the bar to the right of the main video screen to view options. Each book trailer is approximately one minute in length. They are just right to inspire interest without giving away the whole book.

tag(s): book lists (126), book reports (36), guided reading (47), independent reading (126)

In the Classroom

Use this site to show a book trailer on your interactive whiteboard or projector before heading to the library for students to choose books. Create a link on classroom computers for students to view book trailers on their own. Use this site as a model and challenge students to create their own book trailers and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Share this site on your classroom website or blog using the embed code given.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive Triangle - e-beam.com

Grades
4 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This wonderful resource demonstrates angle measurements in triangles. Click a corner and drag it around the screen to change the measurement and view changes to other angles. Choose...more
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This wonderful resource demonstrates angle measurements in triangles. Click a corner and drag it around the screen to change the measurement and view changes to other angles. Choose from several different types of triangles to begin. Each change is shown on the equation which always displays a sum of 180 degrees as each of the angle measurements change. Learn about right triangles, obtuse triangles, scalene triangles, and more!

tag(s): angles (88), geometric shapes (163)

In the Classroom

Use this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate different kinds of triangles and angle measurements. Change triangle dimensions and ask students to define the category they fall into. Have volunteers come up to the whiteboard and change the measurements of a triangle, while the rest of the class guesses what type of triangle is now created. Create a work station using this site and allow students to explore the different measurements on their own.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Education Buzzword-o-matic 9000 - 121 Writing

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Get creative generating education buzzwords using this slot machine style word generator. Just click to generate buzzwords, watch the spinning words, and view the three education buzzwords...more
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Get creative generating education buzzwords using this slot machine style word generator. Just click to generate buzzwords, watch the spinning words, and view the three education buzzwords that pop up! Although it is a tongue in cheek offering, this site could be useful as a reference and self-checking tool. Do you know what the terms mean? Are you over-using these terms (especially with parents)?

tag(s): newbies (18), parent conferences (22), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Challenge yourself to avoid using these terms without explanation, or create a tongue in cheek faculty room game. Try this: spin the buzzword generator and the teacher who is "it" has to explain it in layman's terms in 30 seconds or less! Many of the terms are actually ones teachers should know. Ask mentor teachers to use the site to talk about pedagogy, politics, and the terms a new teacher MUST know. Share it with your student teacher or newbie teacher colleague as a humorous way to underscore the importance of staying up to date (and of avoiding jargon with parents). Teacher education programs can use this to acquaint teachers-to-be with the latest buzzwords - with a little sense of humor.

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Find the Data - FindTheBest.com

Grades
4 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
Find interesting facts and comparisons to almost anything with this site, perfect for trivia fans everywhere! Using data from public records, manufacturer websites, and public records,...more
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Find interesting facts and comparisons to almost anything with this site, perfect for trivia fans everywhere! Using data from public records, manufacturer websites, and public records, you can view and sort information to meet your needs. Choose from main topics including economics, education, government, and more. Choose a subcategory. Refine and sort searches using filters included with each category. Change results to sort by desired results. For example, choose job salaries then sort by job title, total employment, average annual salary, or mean hourly pay. Site registration is available but not necessary.

tag(s): countries (77), data (148), ecology (135), politics (99), sports (96), transportation (40), trivia (17)

In the Classroom

Find and compare data for almost anything your class needs! Compare salaries or life spans between countries. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Find and compare economic data for your state, look for the biggest meteor to hit the earth, or find the earliest recorded sighting of a meteor. Share with students to use when completing research projects. Have students share the information by creating a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Bookmark this site to use to find data or interesting facts at anytime.

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Fasten Seat Belts - 43 Films ASBL

Grades
5 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Fasten your seatbelt and get ready to take a trip to Asia or Europe! The site, Fasten Seat Belts shares videos explaining cultural norms in both Asia and Europe. There ...more
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Fasten your seatbelt and get ready to take a trip to Asia or Europe! The site, Fasten Seat Belts shares videos explaining cultural norms in both Asia and Europe. There are numerous videos and topics to choose from. Simply choose a continent from the map. Choose from the videos available explaining tips such as proper gift giving in China, where to stand on an escalator in the UK, or what color of ink is acceptable for use in Portugal. Each video is fairly short and includes a short explanation with a "Did You Know" fact in addition to the video. Use the search on the site to choose videos by country, theme, or type.

tag(s): asia (73), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), europe (75)

In the Classroom

World language teachers may want to use these videos throughout the year to discuss cultural norms. Use the videos to introduce the concept of "culture" in a world cultures or social studies class. View videos before taking students on field trips-- real or virtual -- to Asia or Europe. Introduce the site to students, then challenge them to find other tips to share and create their own videos to share using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Nourish Interactive - Maggie LaBarbera

Grades
K to 6
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Nourish Interactive is a great source of nutrition tips, tools, and interactives. Play interactive activities from topics including food groups, balanced meals, the food pyramid, healthy...more
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Nourish Interactive is a great source of nutrition tips, tools, and interactives. Play interactive activities from topics including food groups, balanced meals, the food pyramid, healthy messages, and nutrition word games. Choose the teacher portion of the site to find lesson plans to accompany each of the "games." View and print many free printables on the site including holiday themed activities, gardening, calendars, and goal setting pledge sheets. Find many nutritional recipes just for kids under the "What's Cooking with Chef Solus" portion of the site. Choose from recipes broken into categories by meal type and snacks. Vegan and vegetarian recipes offer something for everyone!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): myplate (28), nutrition (154), obesity (19), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for your nutrition unit. Find healthy recipes to make with your class. Send recipes home and ask parents to send them in for a healthy eating day. Several printables include games such as matching fruits, puzzles, and checklists - use these in classroom centers. Create links to games on classroom computers and share via your classroom website or blog for students to try at home. As a class, make an interactive healthy cookbook using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here and share it with parents to read together at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ipod Physics - Derrick McNeill

Grades
10 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
iPod Physics provides key vocabulary words (with clickable definitions), homework assignments to check for understanding, links to lab simulations, videos, text resources, and quizlet...more
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iPod Physics provides key vocabulary words (with clickable definitions), homework assignments to check for understanding, links to lab simulations, videos, text resources, and quizlet flashcards. This site is easy to use on any computer (including an iPad/iPod touch). Use the link to the Students Solutions page to check their answers. The videos are hosted on YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): energy (197), gravity (45), nuclear energy (24), waves (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site to reinforce ideas from the classroom and check students' knowledge. Use any of the resources as a tutorial, concept check, or additional practice before tests or quizzes. 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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UnShortMe - Unshort.me

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This tool reveals full urls for links that have been shortened using URL shortener tools (like bit.ly, tinyurl.com and others). Many of the URLs created by the shortening sites are...more
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This tool reveals full urls for links that have been shortened using URL shortener tools (like bit.ly, tinyurl.com and others). Many of the URLs created by the shortening sites are blocked by school content filters (because the shortener websites are actually blocked). Try un-shortening the URL with this tool to access the content and to know what you are headed for! Enter the URL and click the button. Shortened urls can also hide undesirable content, so seeing the "real" url can prevent embarrassment such as opening something unexpected in front of others.

tag(s): internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Use this to access sites especially those shared with your PLN through RSS or Twitter. Many times, the original link is not blocked but the shortened URL is because of the shortener service's url. Save this tool in your favorites to access when needed.
 

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Page Flip-Flap - Pageflip-flap.com

Grades
K to 12
24 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Turn your Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book with page-turning effects. Choose a file from your computer, add your email, and wait for your flip book to ...more
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Turn your Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book with page-turning effects. Choose a file from your computer, add your email, and wait for your flip book to show up in your email. Upload documents, images, photos, and even videos. You can zoom in, search, browse, and print. Share the finished product via url, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, or embedded into a website or blog. Although this site does require an email, they promise not to email you with anything other than you "ready to go" flip book.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book reports (36), digital storytelling (142)

In the Classroom

Transform PowerPoint presentations into a flip book as an alternative to traditional presentations. Create a book featuring student work for any project such as biographies, book reports, math illustrations, and more. Lure your weaker readers into practicing sight words or learning support students into writing more when they see the results as an online book. Use this in art class to create a book to share about one of the genres of art. Create a book each quarter to share on your classroom website or blog featuring student work. Demonstrate how to create a book and allow students to share books for classroom projects. Share interactive books created online for students to read at learning centers. Create a lesson via pdf files and share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Scan/convert and save students complete research projects. Upload the pdf's as a way to share all information. Create a class book, or newsletter, including images, and upload the pdf "book" or newsletter to PageFlip-Flap. Include the url on your website to share with friends and family. Challenge students to create their own books (in cooperative learning groups) about a specific topic being taught in class. Have upper elementary or middle school students create online "little buddy books" they can share online with lower grade classrooms. If your interactive whiteboard program generates pdf files from in-class activities, why not share them in flippable form on your class website for review or absentees?

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PBLU - Buck Institute for Education

Grades
3 to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find several ready to go, Common Core aligned, Math and English/Language Arts projects free for your use. Developed by the Buck Institute for Education, who are THE experts for project...more
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Find several ready to go, Common Core aligned, Math and English/Language Arts projects free for your use. Developed by the Buck Institute for Education, who are THE experts for project based learning, the PBLU projects are designed to save you time in the project based learning process. However, each project is flexible enough to customize it to your needs. Along with these projects, also find several two-week online classes that can result in your becoming PBL certified. The classes are free, but not required to use the projects with your students. If none of the projects they have now are appealing, sign up for their newsletter to stay updated about new project development. You can even suggest a project for them to create through the Community Wish List.

tag(s): problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

There are a variety of projects presented at different grade levels. Don't hesitate to look at one that seems beyond or below your grade level. They are easily adaptable. For instance, the one by Biz World created for third through fifth grade students to experience entrepreneurship can easily be adapted to a product that high school students might be interested in such as earrings, designing a class ring, or a video explaining how to conquer levels in a video game.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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