TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 20, 2013

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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Sickweather - Sickweather, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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This tool uses reports from social media to generate a map of sickness. The map tracks cold, flu, allergy, depression, and other symptoms in real time. It "senses" your location ...more
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This tool uses reports from social media to generate a map of sickness. The map tracks cold, flu, allergy, depression, and other symptoms in real time. It "senses" your location based on your Internet connection. Choose a disease to track in the drop down to view a specific map (allergies, fifth disease, strep throat, and others). Click on the map to view the hot spot areas and to see individual cases and symptoms reported via social media. This tool connects with Facebook to identify illness within groups of friends. Enter your own symptoms directly into Sickweather. This is a user generated map of self-reported symptoms (collected by social media and direct reporting). Data are as reliable as what people are saying.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bacteria (30), diseases (66)

In the Classroom

Compare this with other disease symptom gathering sites such as this site or this tool to determine the difference in reporting and usefulness of each data tool. Identify common symptoms that would be reported for the various disease and how each is diagnosed in a patient. Research past occurrences of the diseases compared to the present and the reasons for the increase or decrease. This would be a great activity to use with the introduction of immunity and vaccinations and evolution of diseases. It is also a great way to connect discussions about health and hygiene to the real world. Government classes can discuss the role of public policy in public health. What should be the government role in public health and disease prevention?

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Laura Jernigan: Girl on a Whaleship - Martha's Vineyard Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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This website, produced by the Martha's Vineyard Museum, tells the story of Laura Jernegan and the journal she kept on her voyage on a whaling ship. In October 1868, Laura ...more
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This website, produced by the Martha's Vineyard Museum, tells the story of Laura Jernegan and the journal she kept on her voyage on a whaling ship. In October 1868, Laura Jernegan, a 6 year old girl from Edgartown, Massachusetts set out on a three year whaling voyage. Laura, her father, mother, brother and the ship's crew set off to the whaling grounds of the Pacific Ocean. The site also tells the adventurous history of whaling. Choose from many different topics for exploration such as information about whales, a timeline of whaling, interactive map, and explore the ship. Dive deeper to view artifacts, meet the crew, and view a picture gallery. Lesson plans (and complete units) are provided for grades 1-3, 4-5, and even high school.

tag(s): 1800s (44), whales (16)

In the Classroom

Include this site as you study 19th century America, New England, or maritime history. Use the teacher link at the bottom of the page to find units and lessons. Introduce the site to students and allow them to explore on their own. 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 a day in the life of one of the Jernegan family members. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). HIgh school classes could compare the whaling industry with other practices that have had an impact on our natural resources. How does this approach to whaling differ from the Native Alaskans? How does it differ from today's use of ocean resources?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Coursera - Coursera.org

Grades
9 to 12
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Take the world's best courses online for free! Choose courses from 33 universities in 20 different topics ranging from science, business, music and film, and the social sciences. Course...more
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Take the world's best courses online for free! Choose courses from 33 universities in 20 different topics ranging from science, business, music and film, and the social sciences. Course information displays start date, length of class, and the source offering the course. View a description/biography of the course instructor, a video explanation of each course, and information on the course format at the homepage for each class. Most courses offer a certificate of completion for successful completion of course requirements.

tag(s): china (66), climate change (64), computers (94), data (148), energy (197), engineering (125), financial literacy (80), gamification (65), greeks (30), immigrants (20), immigration (58), nutrition (154), professional development (123), psychology (64), scientific method (64), sociology (22), solar energy (38), space (205), sports (96)

In the Classroom

Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others in your building as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln Learning Hub - Dream Works

Grades
5 to 12
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Lincoln Learning Hub is the DreamWork's companion site to the movie Lincoln. Four main components are the core of the site: a timeline, What Would Lincoln Do?, Team of Rivals,...more
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Lincoln Learning Hub is the DreamWork's companion site to the movie Lincoln. Four main components are the core of the site: a timeline, What Would Lincoln Do?, Team of Rivals, and Who's Who in Congress. Click on the timeline to view an interactive display of events leading to the end of slavery. Click on images for a short synopsis of each event. What Would Lincoln Do? offers a look at what Lincoln might do if faced with other national crises such as 9/11 or women's suffrage. Click and drag images to match cabinet posts in the Lincoln administration after reading a short biography. Explore and learn more about members of congress during Lincoln's time in the Who's Who in Congress portion of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1800s (44), civil war (145), emancipation proclamation (12), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

This site would make a great addition to any Civil War or Abraham Lincoln unit. View together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Create a link to the site on classroom computers. Use the What Would Lincoln Do portion of the site as a spring board for students to debate Lincoln's possible actions on other important world or national events. Have student groups or partners explore the activity and report to the class on their decisions. Challenge students to create a newspaper article about Civil War events using the Newspaper Clipping Generator.

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The Worst Jobs in History - Russel Tarr

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn about the dirtiest, most dangerous, and tiring jobs during the Medieval times, Early Modern times, and Modern times. This site has a more dated appearance, but the content is...more
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Learn about the dirtiest, most dangerous, and tiring jobs during the Medieval times, Early Modern times, and Modern times. This site has a more dated appearance, but the content is interesting. Most of the information is provided in text form. Read short descriptions of jobs and rank them according to how dirty, dangerous, or tiring you think that they are. After ranking the jobs, take a short online quiz about information read. There is also the option to download a worksheet to use with the activities. At the beginning of the activity, the site asks for your full name. (A fictitious name could always be used.)

tag(s): 1600s (11), 1700s (23), 1800s (44), 1900s (33), careers (132), industrial revolution (25), medieval (27)

In the Classroom

Use this site as part of your study of a certain era, of economics, or to open discussion about careers. Before introducing this site, have students brainstorm lists of what they consider to be dirty or dangerous jobs. Post responses using a tool such as Padlet (reviewed here) to create an online bulletin board to use to display their ideas. Share the site with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore and complete activities on their own. Have students complete the included worksheet while exploring dirty jobs. Talk about how society determines the pay for a job and what kind of job options people had at certain times in history. How do these opportunities differ from today?

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No Water River - Poetry Resources - Renee LaTulippe

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore and listen to poetry at No Water River. Choose from many poetry videos offered to view and hear poems, some read by the actual authors. If you want to ...more
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Explore and listen to poetry at No Water River. Choose from many poetry videos offered to view and hear poems, some read by the actual authors. If you want to see the whole post for a particular poem (including an interview with the poet and extension activities) just go back to the home page and search the poem or poet via the search box in the right sidebar. Choose the resource link to find tips for performing poetry and for big lists of children's poets, poetic forms, and poetic terms. Some of the video clips are hosted on YouTube. If your school 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 site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

View the author's video of "Doing Poetry Right" on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) after students have created or read poetry and are ready to perform readings. How many of these poetic terms do your students know? Review the list together then have students try Funnelbrain (reviewed here) to create flashcards or poetic terms to remember. Do the same with the big list of poetic forms. Use the videos as an example and have your students make their own video poetry readings. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. This site is a must for Poetry Month!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

The posts at No Water River are always first-rate. You'll find a Who's Who of poets reading their own work, plus the text of the poems and fun intros by Renee LaTulippe. I really love the Poet-A-Palooza post featuring David L. Harrison (hamming it up with his trombone) and the energetic Bill Nye-style video of Michael Salinger--so much FUN! janet, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Tv411 En Espanol - Adult Literacy Media Alliance

Grades
4 to 12
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TV411 En Espanol offers lessons covering several math, social studies, and science topics, all in Spanish. All lessons are offered in a slide format beginning with an introduction to...more
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TV411 En Espanol offers lessons covering several math, social studies, and science topics, all in Spanish. All lessons are offered in a slide format beginning with an introduction to the activity. Questions follow for students to answer and receive feedback. Choose a topic to view videos offered along with a short description. Each video includes links to related web lessons and some offer related print downloads.

tag(s): bacteria (30), heat (15), nutrition (154), photosynthesis (33), spanish (108), water (130)

In the Classroom

Include a link to videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Use the Share button located near the bottom of the page to share the link via email or other social media sharing sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This site is perfect to use with Spanish speaking students for help with explaining concepts. In Spanish class, show videos to challenge your students to make their own videos for any topic. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Games: Institute for New Media Studies- Ethanol Issues - Institute for New Media Studies/University of Minnesota

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore multiple ways to learn about "Ethanol as Fuel." Navigate through the simulation city (You be the Reporter) to be the reporter in learning about Ethanol. Click on the areas ...more
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Explore multiple ways to learn about "Ethanol as Fuel." Navigate through the simulation city (You be the Reporter) to be the reporter in learning about Ethanol. Click on the areas of the city where information is located and access the knowledge from people and other sources by locating the glowing items. Visit the farm, government office, university, park, and other locations. Follow the information to learn and be a reporter of facts. Play the Ethanol Issues board game to learn facts about the use of ethanol as a fuel source. This site also offers the relevant information as a text story, a topics information page, or a short story containing relevant links. The activities were originally developed as part of a research project on delivering the news using games.

tag(s): energy (197), fossil fuels (18)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this site on a classroom computer or provide the link on a classroom site or blog. use this site in a unit on energy and society or issues in energy use and production. You can also use the text story as practice with informational text a la Common Core. Be sure to find other sources that provide additional information to support or refute information discussed in this site. Try a keyword of TeachersFirst for the phrases carbon footprint and fossil fuel.
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Thirty Something and Fabulous: Using Marzano Question Stems in a High School Classroom - Stacy

Grades
6 to 12
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Stacy at "Thirty Something and Fabulous" has taken Marzano's rework of Bloom's Taxonomy and created questions that "address all the literary elements as well as purpose and style" for...more
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Stacy at "Thirty Something and Fabulous" has taken Marzano's rework of Bloom's Taxonomy and created questions that "address all the literary elements as well as purpose and style" for all levels and categories on the taxonomy. Use these questions with any type of reading. They are downloadable (with credit) from her blog. With Common Core and its emphasis on critical thinking and reading nonfiction, these questions are helpful. This review is for the May 17, 2012 blog entry only. TeachersFirst feels this blog post was valuable for teaching. The remainder of the blog is off topic and not a part of this review.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), critical thinking (108), independent reading (126), literature (275), reading strategies (44), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

If you like to compare fiction or poetry with nonfiction, you can choose a few of these questions for students to answer for both pieces. Then ask students to compare which answers are similar and different for both pieces, and why that happens. If you would like to start pairing fiction with nonfiction you can start by using a site such as Earth Care reviewed here. You will find a link for Focus on Books that has lessons for The Lorax, Diary of a Worm, and several others.

If your students write in reading journals, you may want to assign a few of these questions as prompts for reflection. Challenge your students to think of additional writing prompts following this same pattern.
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Mrs. Meacham's Classroom Snapshots - Jessica Meacham

Grades
K to 4
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Come to Mrs. (Jessica) Meacham's Classroom Snapshots to find elementary ideas and materials that are organized and ready to share! Choose from many downloads and teaching ideas all...more
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Come to Mrs. (Jessica) Meacham's Classroom Snapshots to find elementary ideas and materials that are organized and ready to share! Choose from many downloads and teaching ideas all organized by alphabetical order. Sample topics include: assessment, classroom management, organization, graphing, 100th Day, and many more. Learn about math tubs, download files, print emergent reader books, and so much more! Visit Jessica's page/site on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media and/or organization sites.

tag(s): alphabet (92), behavior (46), copyright (47), dr seuss (13), graphic organizers (43), guided reading (47), handwriting (18), iwb (31), literature circles (5), organizational skills (122), preK (279), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and use this site throughout the year for downloads and classroom ideas. Explore the site for ideas that can be modified and used in your classroom. This site is ideal for a new teacher, substitute, or seasoned professional.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Textivate - TaskMagic

Grades
4 to 12
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Textivate is a simple web tool to automatically generate a range of online activities based on any text you enter (up to 500 words). Type or paste a chunk of ...more
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Textivate is a simple web tool to automatically generate a range of online activities based on any text you enter (up to 500 words). Type or paste a chunk of text into the text box on the Textivate front page and click on the "Textivate Now" button to see the available exercises that can be generated from that text. Choose from various activities based on the amount of text used such as drag and drop, sorting, or fill in the gaps. View an example on evaporation located here. Register on the site for further options such as uploading text, embedding your textivate onto a website, or share via hyperlink.

tag(s): grammar review (37), process writing (42), sequencing (31), summarizing (13), word order (5), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Create Textivates to introduce or review any topic. Type in a summary of information and have students place chunks of sentences in order or choose the missing word option for students to insert missing words. Instantly create sequencing activities to build comprehension and vocabulary skills. Paste in a passage from a well-known text and experiment with word order. What would happen if you tried to rearrange the wording in a famous poem? Paste in text during a world language class so students can rearrange words to practice vocabulary, word order, and various skills. Use the embed feature to insert a Textivate activity for homework. Create activities for small group practice on an interactive whiteboard center. Have students create their own Textivate activities to summarize information. Share them with classmates to complete activities. Learning support teachers can have students create and swap review activities. Be sure to share this one with parents for them to use at home for review fun!

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Draggo - 2012 Draggo LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Draggo is a convenient way to save, share, and organize your bookmarks from anywhere. With Draggo, you use the web to store your favorite links, preventing loss from computer problems....more
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Draggo is a convenient way to save, share, and organize your bookmarks from anywhere. With Draggo, you use the web to store your favorite links, preventing loss from computer problems. Join for free. Inside your account, add pages to store, share, and organize links. Add the browser button or drag links into Draggo to put in your inbox; organize when you have time. You can have up to 10 tabs to save your important links. Choose to keep private or make public via your own personalized Draggo URL. Editing is not possible without a user name and password. The introduction video to this site is the only part of the site that appears to require Flash.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), classroom management (134)

In the Classroom

Use public and private options to collect different links. If you want to make your personal page (with your personal favorites) private, you can share school related links on a public page. Share resources with other teachers. Make group work easy for any age group with easily accessible links. Link directly to single categories or embed categories on other websites. No more students typing in the URL incorrectly! Younger children can easily use your recommended online activities, or enrichment sites. Label sites according to subject, or grade level. Older students can create their own accounts. Sharing links during group collaboration is a snap. Add Draggo as a link on your class website or blog. Explore using Draggo with your professional development opportunities.

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IFTTT - IFTTT

Grades
9 to 12
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IFTTT is a service that connects and consolidates social media tools. With this service, you can browse "recipes" for having social tools interact with each other. Some examples are:...more
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IFTTT is a service that connects and consolidates social media tools. With this service, you can browse "recipes" for having social tools interact with each other. Some examples are: text the morning weather, send free nook books from Barnes and Noble to your Gmail account, send the iTunes app of the week to your email, or download videos you like to your Dropbox. Create your own recipes to help you make life easier by having one social media communicate with another.

tag(s): organizational skills (122), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

IFTTT can make recipes for students and teachers alike. Teachers can drop photos into Dropbox and automatically send them to a place they have chosen. This will help save time with classroom photos, field trips, and other events. Be reminded of birthdays for students and friends. Send amazing professional website bookmarks to your Gmail. Older students can receive emails or text messages about classes, tests, quizzes. Students can receive immediate feedback when they turn in assignments. Add tweeting to students' own personal learning networks. Have technology classes find unique and creative ways to create recipes to save time and improve productivity. What kind of recipes can you create? Hold an IFTTT "potluck" where you and your savvy colleagues (and students) swap "recipes" to save time and effort. Invite your more savvy students to share a recipe a week with fellow students. Your better organized ones can perhaps teach others how to become more organized!

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