TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 16, 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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Tackk - Creatively Share Your Message - Erick Bockmuller and Dan Klammer

Grades
3 to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tackk is a new way for sharing and creating web content. It is almost like designing a one page web site. Start with an image or idea, NO membership required ...more
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Tackk is a new way for sharing and creating web content. It is almost like designing a one page web site. Start with an image or idea, NO membership required (for short term pages). Personalize the look of your content using the editor to change colors, fonts, and background. You can also add tags. Choose from themes on the left to begin customization or just click on different portions of the page to upload a picture, edit your title, and write a description. Add additional information using links provided. Paste a link to your Youtube, Vimeo, Hulu, Instagram, or Soundcloud to embed songs, photos, and more. Sign up isn't required. However, your Tackk will only be available for a week if not registered on the site. Free registration allows multiple Tackks, available indefinitely. Savvy users can make a Tackk private (i.e. hidden from search engines), password protect your Tackks, add tags, and even collect them into Tackkboards by tag -- very handy for seeing a full class's work simply by having students use the same tag. Click the word Tackk then on the FAQ in the footer of the page to learn how to do all of these and more! Share completed Tackks using social media links at the bottom of the page or via the unique url created and available at the top of the page. People who wish to comment must do so using an account on Facebook or other social media, so the commenting feature is somewhat limited.

tag(s): creative writing (167), journals (20), multimedia (52), posters (35)

In the Classroom

Share any short term announcement visually without joining or set up a class account for all to use. One of the options when you click "Create" is Class Assignment! If students have email, they can set up individual accounts. Have students create a Tackk instead of a book report. Have students copy a story into Tackk and expand using multimedia and photos. Have students make Tackks as online posters advertising healthy eating or reminding others about grammar rules. Create a Tackk to introduce any unit or a webquest. Use it to compile review materials; then share the link on your classroom website. Have students create a Tackk for upcoming book fairs, math or science night, or any school activity then print the finished items for display around the classroom or school. As a back to school introduction, make a cooperative Tackk of class rules or allow students to make a Tackk introducing themselves without a photo. Have others try to match the Tackks to their classmates.

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Lingo Hut - lingohut.com

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Set your sights high to learn world languages! Find both visual and audio lessons. Choose a language from Chinese, Dutch, Japanese, Polish, Russian, or Spanish. A list of tutorials...more
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Set your sights high to learn world languages! Find both visual and audio lessons. Choose a language from Chinese, Dutch, Japanese, Polish, Russian, or Spanish. A list of tutorials appears including the tutorial's author and short description of lessons. Learn colors, counting, days of the week, common phrases, or more challenging language skills. Practice speaking using the microphone tab and say words on your own. Click on the links in the tabs of the tutorials to try the interactives: matching games, flashcards, and tic tac toe.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chinese (49), japanese (43), russian (27), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

This is a wonderful site to use with students to get a taste of other languages, including during study of world geography or cultures. Assign different tutorials that complement classroom activities. Share this site on your class website or blog as a resource for practice at home. Use this site on your interactive whiteboard to introduce and review world language terms. Obviously this site has many uses in the world language classroom. But this tool could also be used as enrichment for students or even an after-school club! Your verbal-linguistic gifted students would also enjoy learning and comparing basics in several languages. If you have ESL/ELL students who speak one of these languages, invite others to learn basics to converse with and respect their peers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Engage - ReadEngage.com

Grades
3 to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Engage is an Australian current affairs weekly magazine designed for elementary students. Although the magazine was created in Australia, it could be useful to students in any part...more
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Engage is an Australian current affairs weekly magazine designed for elementary students. Although the magazine was created in Australia, it could be useful to students in any part of the world. Each article includes a teacher's resource and student worksheet with additional activities. View previous magazines through the archive link sorted by current events, science, and other articles. Download current affairs trivia in SMART notebook or PowerPoint format. Some articles also contain links to online interactive activities related to the content. Check out the Teacher and Student Worksheets/Resources. Registration isn't required. However, registration allows you to receive a weekly email reminder of site updates.

tag(s): christmas (64), digital storytelling (135), holidays (147), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

View articles together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss the articles as a class, and have students complete accompanying activities. As you look for informational text practice for CCSS, try using some of these articles. Assign cooperative learning groups different articles to read and share their findings with the class. After students read articles, have them create magazine covers using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Reading Hawk - Clark Ness

Grades
K to 2
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Reading Hawk presents over 500 downloadable books for beginning readers. Choose from three categories: Dolch Sight Word Stories, Reading Hawk Library, and Single Word Stories. Download...more
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Reading Hawk presents over 500 downloadable books for beginning readers. Choose from three categories: Dolch Sight Word Stories, Reading Hawk Library, and Single Word Stories. Download stories in PDF format by reading level or choose individual stories to read online. Some of the stories also include audio to hear each page. (QuickTime is required.)

tag(s): guided reading (46), phonics (75), preK (275), printables (37), sight words (37)

In the Classroom

Learning support teachers, reading specialists, and ESL/ELL teachers can use this site to individualize reading materials for students. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link with your families using your class website or wiki. Send home specific pdfs for students to practice at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Map is Not the Territory Blog - Malke Rosenfeld

Grades
K to 4
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Explore and discover math in the world around you using ideas from this creative blog. Based on the author's experiences with her daughter, find and discuss math using everyday items....more
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Explore and discover math in the world around you using ideas from this creative blog. Based on the author's experiences with her daughter, find and discuss math using everyday items. Discover how to teach multiplication using grids found on the sidewalk, use UNO to teach more or less, make attribute matching games, and much more. Scroll down the page to search by recent post titles or labels such as making math or problem solving. Search for specific topics or keywords using the search bar on the site. Stay up to date with all site activity by subscribing via Twitter, Facebook, or follow by email. Some book images are links to Amazon, but no one is asking you to buy anything to try the activities. Many topics have videos (hosted by YouTube). If your district blocks YouTube, 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.

tag(s): addition (252), division (172), geometric shapes (159), logic (229), multiplication (227), number sense (97), numbers (203), origami (17), patterns (84), problem solving (258), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use as a resource for great hands-on (or feet on!) math activities. Share activities with parents as suggestions to promote math talk at home. Use ideas from the site for math centers, homework, math fairs, and more! Create a math GAME DAY using ideas from this site. Share videos on the site with parents embedded in your website or blog or during an open house. Challenge your students to create their own "everyday math" videos and/or activities to share with the class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Have a Math Fun Day and share the videos and activities. If able, invite parents in to participate.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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DigitWhiz - Kasey Brown and Elliot Feinberg

Grades
4 to 8
5 Favorites 0  Comments
DigitWhiz is an amazing math program (set up like a game) that guides mastery in five key math skills: multiplication, division, integer operations, like terms, and solving operations....more
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DigitWhiz is an amazing math program (set up like a game) that guides mastery in five key math skills: multiplication, division, integer operations, like terms, and solving operations. It is geared for ages 8+. Playing the interactives allows the program to evaluate skills and prescribe activities leading to mastery and development. This tool differentiates the difficulty levels for each student. Activities are easy to follow and include directions. Set up an account for an entire classroom to view class or individual student progress. Import names from a current list or add names manually. The full site is in Flash so does not work on iOS devices; however, there is a link to a free iPad version.

tag(s): division (172), integers (41), multiplication (227), operations (126), order of operations (33), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a classroom account and allow students to use the program on classroom computers. Share this site with parents to use at home. Parents can create their own account. Use this site as a math intervention resource for students that need additional practice in mastering math skills addressed by this program. More advanced students could use this site for enrichment and advancement as this site caters to students' current levels.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SoundCities - Stanza

Grades
4 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
 
SoundCities is an open database of thousands of sounds from around the world. The site itself uses GoogleMaps. However, some of the world maps take you to Google Earth. Recordings ...more
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SoundCities is an open database of thousands of sounds from around the world. The site itself uses GoogleMaps. However, some of the world maps take you to Google Earth. Recordings range from car sounds to airport announcements and thousands of other typical city sounds. Choose a city from the list at the top of the page. Choose from pins on the map or the list of available sounds on the page. View the site's database to listen to sounds by mood such as mechanical, rhythm, or weather.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), maps (287), sound (100), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use SoundCities as a complement to information found on any map to give students another perspective of what it would be like to be in any city. Compare and contrast sounds from any included city to what is found in your community. Talk about what development does to noise and sound. Ask students to create a list of sounds found in your community (or school) that could be included in the site. During a unit on sound, talk about the ways communities handle excessive sound, applying principles of sound waves and sound transmission. In world language classes, use this site to "hear" the culture in far off cities. Allow students to create similar projects using Zeemaps, reviewed here. This tool allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map). Students could also use Google Earth, reviewed here.

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Bite Sci-zed Videos - Alex Dainis

Grades
3 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This YouTube channel covers a variety of science topics. Use the videos to explore the WHY that many students wonder. Some of the topics at the time of this review ...more
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This YouTube channel covers a variety of science topics. Use the videos to explore the WHY that many students wonder. Some of the topics at the time of this review included: Diet Coke and Mentos, Digestion of a Hamburger, Viruses and the Common Cold, and many others. If your district blocks YouTube, 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 site includes advertising.

tag(s): dna (69), human body (119), nutrition (154), scientific method (64)

In the Classroom

Use the basic concept in each video to poll students about what they already understand about the concept. Uncover misconceptions, show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept. Use specific videos to "flip" your classroom by assigning the videos to be viewed in advance as homework. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here and create a shortcut directly on the desktop. Students can create a mini-lesson which can be shared with the class or on a blog, wiki, or site. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Make Word Mosaic - Image Chef

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Make any quotation, passage of text, or poem into a "word mosaic" (graphical display). Paste in any text to create an word image. Choose your own colors, background, and shape/symbol:...more
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Make any quotation, passage of text, or poem into a "word mosaic" (graphical display). Paste in any text to create an word image. Choose your own colors, background, and shape/symbol: star, smiley faces, initials, and more. You can print creations or share via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Play with options under Layout, Color, and Font menus to change the look. There are links on this site to public galleries of remixes and symbols associated with another application.Save the image in one of three sizes using the export option. Be sure to preview before sharing from the homepage or Gallery.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), vocabulary (323), word clouds (10), word study (80)

In the Classroom

This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word mosaics of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Make Dolch word/sight word mosaics for students to take home for practice. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings (such as different ways to say "walk"). Have students make mosaics for each part of speech to help them remember examples. Decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Another idea: use this site during the first week of school. Have students create word mosaics about themselves and create a bulletin board introducing your students (and yourself). In elementary grades, create greeting cards for holidays and special occasions using spelling words and holiday words.

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Planboard - Lesson Planning Organizer - Vetica

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Plan and view your academic year using this online lesson plan organizer. Integrate standards by choosing from Common Core, Ontario Curriculums, or your own custom-created standards...more
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Plan and view your academic year using this online lesson plan organizer. Integrate standards by choosing from Common Core, Ontario Curriculums, or your own custom-created standards (or IEP goals?). Select your own schedule by choosing days of the week and time periods. The site also supports custom rotations up to an eight-day length. Attach files, edit, set off days, or share schedules easily with links in the software. Print finished plans or save as a PDF. You can also email plans at any time. The free version of this application supports up to 100 lesson plans and 25 MB of storage.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (130)

In the Classroom

Create your lesson plans using this application easily from anywhere you have computer access. Share lesson plans with other teachers when team planning. If you need a printed copy of lesson plans, easily print them in PDF format upon completion of planning. Use this tool to email "last-minute" substitute lesson plans into school.

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Desktop QR code reader - DANSL

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Learn what a QR code is and how it works. These little images have amazing powers! This blog post includes a link to install a QR reader onto your computer ...more
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Learn what a QR code is and how it works. These little images have amazing powers! This blog post includes a link to install a QR reader onto your computer (works with your webcam). This site/tool works with both Mac and Windows/Linux.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

The use of QR codes in the classroom is limitless. Set up student computers with a QR desktop code reader, and it is easily assessable by all students young or old. Share this link on your website so families can download the QR reader onto home computers. Create QR codes for assignments for directions, rubric information, editing instructions, or the places in which to find resources. For a model, create QR codes to describe any part of the model. Create a QR code to go home on student planners reminding them about homework. Place outside your classroom door to describe your classroom. Add another QR code to tell your schedule, or learning goals. Send home audio announcements of special events to your families. When students are absent, create podcasts of missed class discussions, shared on a QR code. For study guides, provide a QR code with answers so students can self -check. Create a living history museum with in-depth explanations in QR codes. For vocabulary words in English or any other language, provide correct pronunciations and definitions of each word. Have student create QR codes as study guides or a way to present information. Create a problem solving page which is completed by each student. Using a QR code, scan to self check. QR codes can be used everywhere!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ClassTools - Russel Tarr

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Classtools offers online game, quiz, and concept map generators to use in any classroom with any subject. Templates make it easy. NO registration is necessary. Just start right in!...more
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Classtools offers online game, quiz, and concept map generators to use in any classroom with any subject. Templates make it easy. NO registration is necessary. Just start right in! Make games public on their website or blog using the link provided upon completion. Templates include Fakebook, Tweet Generator, an SMS conversation (text message) simulator, QR Treasure Hunt, Fishbone, Random Name Generator, Burger Diagram (essay writing), Countdown Timer, and many more. The complete list of templates is on the right sidebar of the site. Follow the easy step-by step directions provided. View the video tutorials on the main page to learn more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): essays (21), qr codes (21), social networking (112), spelling (168), twitter (51), vocabulary (323), word choice (26), word study (80)

In the Classroom

The possibilities abound in nearly any subject area. Be sure to check out all of the free templates to use. Use the many tools yourself or have your students create a Fakebook page or use the Tweet Generator to present information in any subject area. Create a Fakebook page about a famous historical person or government figure in social studies or science class. Share the Burger Diagram for writing essays. Use the Arcade Game Maker to create practice activities for students who need the extra help. Create a random word generator with vocabulary from a Science or Social Studies unit to review before testing. Allow students to create Venn diagrams to be posted on the class website using information from current lessons. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Save this site in your Favorites on your teacher computer!

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