TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 30, 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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25 Language Arts Graphic Organizers - Daily Teaching Tools

Grades
K to 9
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Find ready-made graphic organizers for Language Arts at this site. View organizers through the quick links containing titles such as 3 column notes, main idea web, or character map....more
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Find ready-made graphic organizers for Language Arts at this site. View organizers through the quick links containing titles such as 3 column notes, main idea web, or character map. Scroll down a bit further to see images of each of the organizers. Right click and save each image or choose the link provided at the very end of the page under "Free Download" to access and easily print the files in PDF format for all of the graphic organizers listed. The permissions say you can use them for one teacher. Tell your teaching colleagues to download for themselves.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): graphic organizers (42), process writing (40), writers workshop (30), writing (356)

In the Classroom

Many of these organizers are useful for Common Core standards. Print and save the graphic organizers for use throughout the year. These organizers should be especially helpful when teaching different text structures found in informational text as required in Common Core. Use as part of your writer's workshop or guided reading instruction. Share organizers when preparing for standardized tests to help students organize and understanding test materials.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Introducing Text Structures in Writing (5th Grade) - Utah Education Network

Grades
4 to 6
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Introducing Text Structures in Writing is a comprehensive lesson plan to introduce the idea that science writing organizes in identifiable patterns called text structures. Common Core...more
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Introducing Text Structures in Writing is a comprehensive lesson plan to introduce the idea that science writing organizes in identifiable patterns called text structures. Common Core Reading/LA Standards focus on these text structures in informational texts. Use the provided links to many materials such as word cards, sentence strips, definitions, and graphic organizers to print materials in PDF format. Lists include suggested books for different text structures such as sequence, description, and compare and contrast. Use extension and assessment ideas as additions to the lesson plan. Although labeled for 5th grade, this lesson would be appropriate for use in any classroom learning to read and understand non-fiction and informational text.

tag(s): process writing (40), reading comprehension (114), reading strategies (43), sequencing (31), writers workshop (30), writing (356)

In the Classroom

Print materials included with this lesson and use as an addition to a current writing and reading comprehension units. This would make an excellent addition to standardized test preparations to help students analyze and assess readings provided during testing. Extend this lesson beyond science texts. Use lesson components and ideas for social studies and all other non-fiction reading materials.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Take Me Back To - takemeback.to

Grades
4 to 12
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See what the world was like at that time with Take Me Back To. Type in any date you want to visit. Results offer a short text passage about who ...more
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See what the world was like at that time with Take Me Back To. Type in any date you want to visit. Results offer a short text passage about who was president and what music was popular (if available). See samples of movies, magazines, book charts, advertisements, and more. Unfortunately, the site doesn't go back beyond 1900, so any search before that time will default to that date in 1900. Searches can be done on dates up to the present. Note that clicking on some of the images offered takes you to paid services or current issues of the same magazine.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1900s (33), 1910s (9), 1920s (16), 1930s (15), 1940s (13), 1950s (12), 1960s (30), 1970s (12), 1980s (9), 20th century (50), decades (14), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Build context around historic dates using details of pop culture, magazines, and more. Have students search for their birthdate and write about significant events on that date. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of two different dates or of a past date with today. Ask students to generate questions about an important date, such as Pearl Harbor day, and use cultural details to generate a "snapshot" of what life was like before the world changed. What can you tell from the information shared here? How do you know? Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here to create timelines of events in the 1900's.

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Urgent Evoke - A Crash Course in Changing the World - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Grades
7 to 12
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Urgent Evoke is an online video game designed to help individuals across the world develop innovative, creative solutions to the globe's most pressing social problems. It also helps...more
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Urgent Evoke is an online video game designed to help individuals across the world develop innovative, creative solutions to the globe's most pressing social problems. It also helps to develop ten much-needed skills: collaboration, courage, creativity, entrepreneurship, local insight, knowledge sharing, resourcefulness, spark/example setting, sustainability, and vision. Unlike most typical online video games, accepting the mission on Urgent Evoke does not bring players to a new, simulated world within which to complete that mission. Rather, players act on the mission within their own communities and document efforts with video, photos, or a blog post. Be sure to watch the "How to Play" videos to get a full overview of the concept and how to play games.

tag(s): creativity (108), problem solving (258), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Use Urgent Evoke to stimulate innovation and creativity among students. Have students work in teams or individually to move through the ten-week game and complete missions. Provide context for the game and supplement with real-life encounters with activists, business people, and creative thinkers who are working to address these same problems in their own lives. Students don't have to play the whole game, choose missions that are appropriate to your classroom learning goals to present as problem solving and creative thinking activities. Teachers of gifted could use this game as a basis for a semester of intense projects.

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Generate Data - Form Tools

Grades
7 to 12
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Generate the data you need quickly. You can easily generate large volumes of custom data in a variety of formats. Enter a column title, choose from a variety of data ...more
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Generate the data you need quickly. You can easily generate large volumes of custom data in a variety of formats. Enter a column title, choose from a variety of data types, and include options as necessary. Choose result types such as HTML, XML, SCV, or Excel files among others. Also choose data from specific countries such as US, UK, Netherlands, and Canada. Choose the number of results to be displayed. Databases are used to randomly bring in the results.

tag(s): data (149), mean (25), median (22), mode (15), population (60), variables (22)

In the Classroom

Use this site to generate data that can be used to determine averages, mean, or median. Use the data to practice with graphing or analyzing data. Download results to computers and allow time for groups of students to make sense of any portion of the data and present their findings to the class. Use as an introduction to a discussion of data and how results can be interpreted. Discuss the use of bias in reporting results and different ways that results can be presented.

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Thought Questions - Marc and Angel Hack Life

Grades
5 to 12
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How do you know when you're happy? What's one bad habit that makes you miserable? Find open-ended questions on Thought Questions daily. A gorgeous photograph complements each...more
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How do you know when you're happy? What's one bad habit that makes you miserable? Find open-ended questions on Thought Questions daily. A gorgeous photograph complements each question. The site provides a space for you to answer these questions online or not. Maximize the benefits of self-reflection by taking the time to think! Visit this site daily, weekly, or monthly. There are over 900 questions and photos to contemplate, and they post a new one daily. There are advertisements between pictures, but their arrangement is such that they are not visible on the screen unless you are scrolling through the pictures. The public is able to answer the questions on the site, so you may want to only use this on an adult's computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): critical thinking (92), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This is the perfect site to start your students' day or end your day with them. Use these questions as writing prompts or quick writes. You may want to ask students to choose their favorite and form small groups to discuss their answers. Post some of the same questions on bulletin boards. Discussing or debating these questions would be a powerful community builder at the beginning of the year or when forming new small groups. To avoid the advertising, have your question on the screen before projecting it on your screen or whiteboard. IF your class includes gifted students, they may react well to such thought-provokers. Encourage them to collect favorite prompts and responses in a writing journal or "idea bin" to use at times when they are ahead of the class or need extra writing challenges.

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Sound City Reading - Kathy Davis

Grades
K to 2
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Come to Sound City Reading to find a phonics program for beginning readers. Choose from readiness levels 1-5 and materials to accompany Reading Street for First Grade....more
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Come to Sound City Reading to find a phonics program for beginning readers. Choose from readiness levels 1-5 and materials to accompany Reading Street for First Grade. Print and use accompanying sound pictures for each of the booklets. Choose from several versions of wall charts for classroom use. Other resources include games and word cards to print and use. The site states that Mac users may have trouble pulling up the Reading Street tests correctly, but our editors tested the activities on a Mac and experienced no issues.

tag(s): alphabet (92), independent reading (125), phonics (75), preK (275), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Browse the site for materials to use along with your current classroom curriculum. Print books and sound pictures for students to take home for practice. Share a link to the site on your class website for parents to access additional reading materials. Use materials with ESL/ELL students for additional reading practice. Use with learning support students for extra support in reading.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mr. Anker Tests - Henry Anker

Grades
K to 7
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This "must-see" site includes many flash tests for Kindergarten through grade 7. Activities support California State Standards and Common Core Standards. Each activity includes a link...more
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This "must-see" site includes many flash tests for Kindergarten through grade 7. Activities support California State Standards and Common Core Standards. Each activity includes a link with standards addressed. Choose by grade level or topic. Each topic has a drop-down box to further refine choice by grade level and content. Although the site is in Flash, a few tests include iPad versions. Find them in the blue box on the main page.

tag(s): addition (252), alphabetical order (19), capitalization (19), compasses (4), decimals (133), division (172), earth (228), fractions (239), geometric shapes (159), homophones (17), keyboarding (38), map skills (80), maps (287), money (192), multiplication (227), number sense (97), reading comprehension (114), sign language (8), spelling (168), subtraction (209), synonyms (38), time (144), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Create a link to activities and tests on classroom computers to use for review. Share a link to the site on your class website or blog for practice at home. Assign the "tests" for homework practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Advertising Artwork of Dr. Seuss - Mandeville Special Collections Library, UC San Diego

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore a rich collection of Dr. Seuss' advertising artwork for magazines created before becoming a successful children's author. Choose from various companies (Ford, Holly Sugar, GE,...more
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Explore a rich collection of Dr. Seuss' advertising artwork for magazines created before becoming a successful children's author. Choose from various companies (Ford, Holly Sugar, GE, and others) to view artwork for their advertisements. Each image includes citation information including date, title, and creator. Most are copyrighted and allow permission for scholarly use but cannot be copied or shared outside of "fair use." In other words, you cannot use them in online projects or make copies beyond classroom or offline student projects. You can easily share each cartoon via Twitter, Facebook, etc. Click the enlarge arrows to see the image in its own separate window and copy its url.

tag(s): 20th century (50), advertising (33), comics and cartoons (74), dr seuss (13), primary sources (84)

In the Classroom

Use during art class or studies of the decades of 20th century as examples of advertising artwork. How does advertising represent a culture and what is important to us? How do these ads differ from today's? Extend your study of history through primary sources with these engaging examples. Include in social studies, reading, or art class during Seuss's birthday celebrations to demonstrate his other creative avenues. This is a great way for older students to celebrate the wonderful Dr. Seuss! Challenge your students to create their own cartoons/comics about Dr. Seuss using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection.

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Annotary - Ashok Nayar and Travis Hardman

Grades
6 to 12
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Annotary is a social bookmarking and annotation service provided through an extension for Google Chrome and Firefox. Bookmark sites, highlight portions of pages, and annotate pages...more
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Annotary is a social bookmarking and annotation service provided through an extension for Google Chrome and Firefox. Bookmark sites, highlight portions of pages, and annotate pages with sticky notes. Create as many collections as you like for each project, topic, or idea. Share bookmarks using icons on each page for most major social networks. Search by user, keyword, or collection names. Sign up with your Facebook account or use your email and a user name.

tag(s): bookmarks (59), social networking (113)

In the Classroom

There are so many applications and possibilities for this site! Use prompts on articles to build Common Core skills analyzing informational texts. How many times have we heard students complain during a group project, "But I couldn't get to his or her house to work on it?" Tell them to use Annotary to interact online. The research and conversations created through highlighting and annotating what they read can greatly enhance both their research skills and their online interaction on academic level skills. Or use the site to post and share discussion assignments on specific articles or even parts of articles using the highlighting tool. Find a relevant article to your subject, highlight the part that you want students to read. (If students are younger keep it short to reduce the intimidating reality of too much information for kids.) Attach a note with a discussion question for the students. Have them comment on the link in a "class discussion" as an outside assignment. If you are fortunate enough to have all students with computer access in your class and at home, such as in one to one laptop program schools, you can use this essentially to run your class. Post assignments or post readings. Science teachers can post online interactive labs, and more. The site even allows students to submit work via the comment.

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Study Droid - StudyDroid.com

Grades
K to 12
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StudyDroid is an online flashcard creator (with a new twist). They have a database of over 3 million sets of cards. Create cards online or on a mobile device. Take ...more
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StudyDroid is an online flashcard creator (with a new twist). They have a database of over 3 million sets of cards. Create cards online or on a mobile device. Take pictures from your mobile phone to include on flash cards; then sync to the site to download for mobile use. Register using your email to save and access cards from anywhere. Use the search feature to find flashcards available. Choose the study online option or print to have a printed copy. Share card sets using the share button to email or share via common social networking sites. When viewing online, click in the large box displaying the question to see the correct answer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (45), test prep (95), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for your classes or have them make their own. Try using them as an introduction to a concept, then again in the practice of the concept, and again as a final review. It is a nice three for one creation deal! This would be great for teaching Latin prefixes and suffixes of words to students. Use in science terms, or for standardized test preparation. Try having students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their own groups. Teach students in higher grades how to create flash cards with multiple blanks to challenge their brain to remember more pieces of the puzzle. Show them how to carefully read through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards together to review before tests. Have students create flashcard sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports. Be sure to check the data base for already created sets to save you time making them yourself!

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wevideo - Jostein Svendsen

Grades
3 to 12
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WeVideo is a collaborative video creation tool that uses GoogleDrive for online storage and access. Upload your own media clips or use stock media clips to produce your video. Use ...more
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WeVideo is a collaborative video creation tool that uses GoogleDrive for online storage and access. Upload your own media clips or use stock media clips to produce your video. Use video editor tools to trim the length of display. Drag and drop items onto the timeline to create layers and organize projects. Invite other people to create and edit with you as you would any other Google document. The free plan allows you to upload your videos to YouTube and Vimeo but does not allow local downloads. The basics of the free plan include: 5GB of storage space, 1 user license, 15 minutes of export time per month, and 5 invites per project.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (251)

In the Classroom

You may want to consider allowing your older students to create their own account, depending on school policies. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Upload pictures and videos once a month to share through your classroom website or blog. Or allow a group of students to create each month's review. Create a project site for students to upload images and videos found when studying any subject. Upload images with squares, triangles, rectangles, etc. when learning about shapes. Upload pictures of plants for a science unit, etc. Have students upload family pictures when learning about families. World language students can create digital photo stories they can narrate to use new vocabulary. Share this site when students work on any collaborative project. Present teacher professional development or an end of year display. Have other staff members upload images and videos from the year of school activities.

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MyHistro Interactive Timelines - Jaanus Vihand

Grades
3 to 12
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Create interactive timelines of geographically-located events on Google Maps and share them on the web for free. Hover over events on the Google map (or use Google Earth) to enlarge...more
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Create interactive timelines of geographically-located events on Google Maps and share them on the web for free. Hover over events on the Google map (or use Google Earth) to enlarge and view a summary of relevant information. Click play to scroll through events in chronological order. Create your own or browse many of the timelines on the site. No registration is necessary to view timelines already created by others. Sign up with an email account to create or comment on timelines. Create a new timeline, including a title, select a category, and add as many stops on the timeline as you wish. Share using Facebook, Twitter or an RSS feed. Click "embed/share" to copy a url to share with others or an embed code to use in a blog, wiki, or other site. Choose from three privacy level settings to customize viewing options. Be aware: the comments are not moderated, so please preview.

tag(s): timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Consider creating a class account with a single login and password. Ask students to initial their timelines as well to indicate ownership. There are many ways to include this in class. Every topic in history, literature, sciences, and the arts has dates and recorded events. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to learn about the history of the Olympics, famous people, events, literature, and more. Have students create timelines to share research projects. Use the timeline as a visual tool to discuss events in literary works or the life of a scientist, political figure, or pop artist. Create animal life cycles mapped to their habitat, author or presidential biographies, or even timelines of the events and causes leading to a war. Make a timeline using local, national, or international current events. Elementary students could even interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents' generation for Grandparents' Day. For collaboration, link up with another classroom in another town (or another country) to build a timeline that shares events in each local area so students can see what was happening at the same time in another location (maybe in the opposite hemisphere: compare weather and seasons!) Students can use the timeline as a visual aid during presentations. Student groups can work on different aspects of the same time period to share with the rest of the class. For example, in studying World War II, one student group can create a timeline of Japanese occupation, another of the German occupation, and so forth. The timelines are perfect to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector as well as on a class wiki.

Challenge your gifted students by having them create mapped timelines of contrasts: The life cycles (and locations) of two migrating species, the events leading to the end of World War II in Europe and the Pacific, the lives of two famous Americans from two different centuries. They could embed the results in a wiki page so other students can view and comment (or ask questions).

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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