TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 3, 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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Digital Learning Day - Alliance for Excellent Education

Grades
K to 12
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Digital Learning Day is an annual February event spotlighting successful instructional practice and effective use of technology around the country. Choose the Learn and Explore option...more
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Digital Learning Day is an annual February event spotlighting successful instructional practice and effective use of technology around the country. Choose the Learn and Explore option to find out more about the goals of Digital Learning Day, begin with a detailed description listing the characteristics of digital learning. View exemplary models, showcases, lesson portals,and more using links provided. Sign up as a participant for Digital Learning Day then plan your own classroom activity, provide a presentation to parents, or choose from other ideas offered on the site. Explore the Take Action portion of the site to find digital toolkits sorted by subject area. Sign up isn't required; however, it does allow you to receive emails with updates and learning ideas throughout the year. In addition, The Alliance will provide all individuals signed up for Digital Learning Day with ten to twelve detailed lesson plans approximately two weeks before Digital Learning Day. The digital learning content demonstrations are conducted in four areas: math, science, language arts, and civics/social studies; critical areas, such as working with ELL or special education students, will be woven into the lessons.

tag(s): digital citizenship (58), digital storytelling (135), modeling (9), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Celebrate Digital Learning Day in your school by sharing this site and ideas for digital learning both in and out of school. Suggest to your PTO/PTA that they host a family digital learning evening on or about the same date. Bookmark and save this site to find digital learning ideas throughout the year and to plan special events for a midwinter Digital Learning Day celebration. Share with colleagues as a resource.

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Media4Math - Edward De Leon

Grades
7 to 12
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Media4Math offers math resources including videos, tutorials, and more. Begin with "Math in the News" to view SlideShare and YouTube presentations of math and current events. A large...more
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Media4Math offers math resources including videos, tutorials, and more. Begin with "Math in the News" to view SlideShare and YouTube presentations of math and current events. A large archive includes topics such as unemployment, earthquake statistics, and election coverage. Choose the tutorial tab to find many tutorials perfect for interactive whiteboard use on topics such as algebra tiles, solving equations, and linear functions. Choose the PowerPoint tab to download PowerPoints for Algebra Jeopardy, slope/function, and quadratic functions. Watch video tutorials for the TI-Nspire Clickpad and Touchpad at the Nspire tab. This site is worth a look for anyone teaching upper level mathematics. Registration is required (with email) for some of the features. Also be aware some of 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 site includes advertising.

tag(s): angles (86), charts and graphs (195), equations (155), functions (70), geometric shapes (159), polynomials (32), quadratics (32), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

View Math in the News presentations on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to help students understand the connection between higher level math and it's real world use. Share links to tutorials and presentations on your classroom webpage for students to access at home. Bookmark this site for use throughout the year as a resource for supplements to current classroom content.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Clay Piggy - Clay Piggy

Grades
3 to 5
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Learn about the value of money using Clay Piggy. Create an avatar, get a job, and earn and spend money. The goal of the game is to keep a positive ...more
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Learn about the value of money using Clay Piggy. Create an avatar, get a job, and earn and spend money. The goal of the game is to keep a positive money rating, B or above.

tag(s): counting (119), financial literacy (78), money (192)

In the Classroom

This is great site to use when you are teaching your unit on economics. This site requires that an adult approves the student accounts. Once the accounts are approved, they can add each other as buddies. Introduce the site using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then bring students to the computer lab or use a class set of laptops and have the students "play" the game each day during the unit of study. At the end of the unit give an award to the top three students who managed their money the best.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Experience the Planets - Greg Martin

Grades
5 to 12
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Experience The Planets is an ongoing art project that visualizes our solar system through the eyes of artists. Click on each image to read an explanation of the art. Choose ...more
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Experience The Planets is an ongoing art project that visualizes our solar system through the eyes of artists. Click on each image to read an explanation of the art. Choose the download link to save each image as HD wallpaper. Although the number of images is limited, the artwork is beautiful and is sure to be a great inspiration for any viewer. Many pieces have accompanying music and/or sounds. Be aware: there are icons to purchase the artwork. So discuss with students NOT to click on the icon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): planets (122), solar system (118)

In the Classroom

Explore this site with your students on your projector or interactive whiteboard (turn up the speakers). Share with your art teacher as examples of beautiful artwork. Allow students to explore the site before creating their own solar system art. Use artwork as inspiration for creative writing projects. Discuss the music and/or sounds included, what emotions does the music create? How can science become inspiration for art?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Student CPR - ProTrainings, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn the conventional classroom portion of CPR training. This course can be used as an online awareness level course or as part of a community based certification program. (This would...more
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Learn the conventional classroom portion of CPR training. This course can be used as an online awareness level course or as part of a community based certification program. (This would require a licensed teacher and hands on materials such as a CPR mannequin.) Schools can register students and staff and manage/view course progress through the dashboard. Most students can complete the course within an hour.

tag(s): body systems (56), heart (42)

In the Classroom

This site does have a Twitter feed and blog with public interaction, so you may want to use the site with the entire class or discuss consequences of inappropriate behavior. At the time of this review there were no inappropriate comments, but it is always best to preview. Use this site as part of the Health or Physical Education curriculum in your school. Provide awareness to students as knowledge is power in knowing when and how to act when situations arise in real life. During the study of human body systems, have students research about CPR via this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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History of Education Timeline - Brian Tate

Grades
K to 12
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Follow an interactive timeline of the history of education beginning with Plato in 0427 BC through the present. Slide the bar through the years to view developments in education. (Hint:...more
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Follow an interactive timeline of the history of education beginning with Plato in 0427 BC through the present. Slide the bar through the years to view developments in education. (Hint: small purple dots above the year indicate that there is content in that time period.) Each entry includes a small pop-up with an image, an introduction to the event, and a link to more information. The sources are available at the very end of the timeline as a link from the last "event." While this site is amazing, our reviewers did notice a few minor spelling errors.

tag(s): cultures (105), professional development (123), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This is worth some time to scroll through and watch the evolution of education throughout time. Share during professional development with other staff members. Especially interesting is the large number of events in recent time compared to just a few decades ago! Share with older students and brainstorm a list of what the class believes will be "next" in education. As your class talks about cultures, include this for discussion about the role of education in a culture.

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Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms - Newberry Library's Hermon Dunlap Smith Center

Grades
K to 12
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Find maps for use at all grade levels. There are lessons plans, objectives, extension activities and more supporting the use of historic map documents. Information at the K-2 level...more
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Find maps for use at all grade levels. There are lessons plans, objectives, extension activities and more supporting the use of historic map documents. Information at the K-2 level supports information acquisition skills while higher grades address history, geography, and social studies concepts. Instructions for Teachers gives an overview of the site including standards addressed and information on how to display and print supplied images. The map index presents themes such as "Exploration and Encounter" and "The Historical Geography of Transportation." Each theme contains several lessons, all include a printable map and lessons categorized by grade levels from K-12. Many themes also include curator's notes with supplemental images and resources.

tag(s): colonial america (107), explorers (61), map skills (80), maps (287), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

This is a wonderful site to include with your bookmarks for units on transportation, maps, explorers, Colonial America, and more. Print and display maps in your classroom when using the included lesson plans. Have students use a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to create an online bulletin board for information they learn from the maps. Have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a fictitious radio news story from a location they learn about.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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MIT+ K12 - Ian Waitz, MIT's Dean of Engineering

Grades
1 to 12
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MIT + K12 is an excellent site where MIT students create videos and teach science concepts to K-12 students. It is created to be used as an avenue for current ...more
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MIT + K12 is an excellent site where MIT students create videos and teach science concepts to K-12 students. It is created to be used as an avenue for current engineering, science, and math students. The goal is to change the perception of these roles for young students and encourage development in STEM skills. Choose videos sorted by topic or grade level. If you sort by grade levels, be aware there aren't as many choices for the younger grades. Do a keyword search for specific terms. Each video includes the assignment (question addressed in the video), the MIT's student's proposal for the video, and the short video explanation. Don't see what you need? Create an educator account and pose an assignment for a MIT student to address in a video lesson. The videos are mainly shared 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.

tag(s): bacteria (30), colors (79), energy (197), engineering (118), glaciers (14), nuclear energy (24), planets (122), plants (143), reproduction (9), scientific method (64), STEM (123), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Science teachers will want to bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year. Browse the various "ready to go" topics to find something useful in your classroom. Share the video on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have cooperative learning groups view different videos and "report back" to the class about what they learned. Submit proposals to MIT for video explanations of any topic you wish. Ask students to address a question based on their knowledge, then watch videos for the scientific explanation.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Martha Speaks - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 3
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Join Martha (the dog) from the book and animated children's series, Martha Speaks. This interactive website focuses on vocabulary and word usage. The site includes interactives,...more
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Join Martha (the dog) from the book and animated children's series, Martha Speaks. This interactive website focuses on vocabulary and word usage. The site includes interactives, printables, videos, and "Martha's Stories" for students to explore. Make newspapers, dog tags, vocabulary word pictures, and more. Vocabulary introduced are not necessarily sight words, yet specialized content area words. Apply and learn new vocabulary in a wide variety of interactive ways. Some game features require Shockwave and/or a webcam. Don't worry. It does not keep your picture.

tag(s): literacy (102), preK (275), rhymes (33), sight words (37), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Intrigue your students to follow the dog, Martha, into new vocabulary learning. Share a book (or video of the show) with your students before introducing this site. Students from Kindergarten through second grade will benefit from the variety of learning activities. Add this site to your centers for an engaging way to learn vocabulary. Add this link to your class website for review or enrichment.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teachem - the School of You - FurtherEd

Grades
4 to 12
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Build and view online courses created from pieces of YouTube videos using Teachem. Teachem "courses" include review questions and more to supplement the video you build. Browse current...more
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Build and view online courses created from pieces of YouTube videos using Teachem. Teachem "courses" include review questions and more to supplement the video you build. Browse current offerings by date added, number of flashcards, title, or categories from abs to YouTube. Create your own courses after registering with the site, add the YouTube url and type in questions. Teachem presents the video without YouTube's usual clutter, too! Courses can be public or private for only those with the link. See the FAQ link to answer your "how do I do this?" questions. If your district blocks YouTube, then this tool may be a bit more challenging. Before you spend too much time preparing a "course," test some of those available on Teachem to see whether they will open at school. If so, you could always view the YouTube videos at home and create your "Teachem" presentation.

tag(s): test prep (95), video (251)

In the Classroom

Teachem is perfect for use in the "flipped" classroom. Create your own courses for students to view including notes and comments. Have students create their own Teachem videos to share information on any topic. There is no better way to learn, than to become the teacher! Browse and search for courses already created to use in your classroom to introduce or review any topic. Embed courses on your website or blog for students to access from home. Encourage students to share any helpful course they discover on Teachem as alternative presentations or review of the concepts you are studying in class. Learning support teachers might want to work together with small groups of students to prepare a review and self-test "course" before major tests, assuming you can find the appropriate YouTube videos to help.

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Findery - Makes Places Come Alive! - Caterina Fake

Grades
3 to 12
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Findery lets you place notes and images on a virtual map that others can see (if you make it public.) Type in a location to go anywhere in the world. ...more
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Findery lets you place notes and images on a virtual map that others can see (if you make it public.) Type in a location to go anywhere in the world. Google map technology shows that location along with any notes that exist there. Add your own notes and images after registering on the site. Use the regular search bar for other searches of places such as Great Wall and countless other locations. Since the general public can add notes to locations, previewing is a good idea!

tag(s): earth (228), map skills (80), maps (287), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Use this site anytime you discuss a world location. Search the site to find notes placed by people and images of the actual location. Have your class take pictures and upload your own notes of your school and community. Use this in world language classes to explore other countries and cultures. Going on a field trip? Search Findery to see if there are notes about the location. You may find some interesting information to have in mind before leaving! Upon your return, have students place their own images and write notes for others to view. Create a class account then ask students to find items placed on the maps. Next, have them save as favorites to use with a larger project or to be included as part of a newspaper article about their topic using the Newspaper Clipping Generator.

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