TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 10, 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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The Brown Bookshelf - Paula Chase-Hyman

Grades
K to 12
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The Brown Bookcase showcases literature for young readers written by and featuring people of color. View archives going back to 2007 to find book reviews, author's chats, and some videos...more
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The Brown Bookcase showcases literature for young readers written by and featuring people of color. View archives going back to 2007 to find book reviews, author's chats, and some videos that accompany books featured on the site. A flagship feature of the site is the 28 Days Later portion. Each day during Black History Month features a different author. It is a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by African Americans to help parents, teachers, librarians and booksellers recommend good reads. Archives are available beginning with the 2008 campaign.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (114), black history (59), book lists (124), civil rights (117), literature (275), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year, not just during Black History Month. Create a link on classroom computers for students to explore and find books for reading. Share this link on your class website or blog for students to use at home. Showcase books found on this site for classroom readalouds. Have students create commercials for books found on this site and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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E is for Explore! - Erin Bittman

Grades
K to 6
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E is for Explore! offers many learning activities and opportunities for classroom exploration (and fun) that conforms to Common Core. Explore the blog by scrolling through the many...more
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E is for Explore! offers many learning activities and opportunities for classroom exploration (and fun) that conforms to Common Core. Explore the blog by scrolling through the many activities or search using keyword tags on the right of the page. Choose from popular posts such as Lego fractions or ABC handprints or St. Patrick's Day skittles. All activities include simple directions, and some include links to printables for completing activities. Be aware: some of the activities include comments from other users. At the time of this review all comments were appropriate.

tag(s): addition (252), alphabet (92), angles (86), branches of government (48), charts and graphs (195), density (21), dinosaurs (57), division (172), electricity (88), erosion (17), fractions (239), geology (81), geometric shapes (159), inferencing (5), literacy (102), logic (229), minerals (17), money (192), multiplication (227), place value (56), reading comprehension (114), rocks (49), senses (28), subtraction (209), transformations (17), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for great hands-on activities across the curriculum. Use the activities throughout the school year. Allow students to explore areas of the site to find activities to perform on their own. For example, click on the fractions tag and allow students to view the list of activities to choose their own exploration. When finished, 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 the activity and its outcome. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here).

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mailDiary - mailDiary.net

Grades
3 to 12
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Check out this online journal with a twist. Each day the site sends an email with questions about your day to prompt you to write. Respond to the email with ...more
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Check out this online journal with a twist. Each day the site sends an email with questions about your day to prompt you to write. Respond to the email with your entry for automatic posting. Images can also be added to entries. Personalize the site using your choice of color and fonts. View entries as a PDF for easy printing as desired. Register with an email and unique name for your diary.

tag(s): creative writing (167), journals (20), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Create a diary with a message to your students each day. Have students keep a diary of their first week at school. They can re-read this at the end of the school year. Have students keep a diary of a famous person for a character in a story that you have been reading in class. Ask students to write a diary about a picture that you have sent to them. Have students write diary entries from the point of view of soldiers, presidents, scientists, and more. Prompt a giving diary during the holiday season with students writing about what they GAVE to someone else each day.

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Pixabay - Pixabay

Grades
K to 12
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This is a wonderful site for finding quality images to use in projects. Use these images for either personal or professional projects. Registration is not necessary to download them....more
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This is a wonderful site for finding quality images to use in projects. Use these images for either personal or professional projects. Registration is not necessary to download them. All images are copyright free. Search images by name and filter by orientation (landscape or portrait) and image type (photo, clipart, or vector.) Be sure to use the filters at the top. Right click to download. Use good search terms to find the best pictures possible. You must know where to save images on your computer. Be sure to give credit to the person who took the picture and show their name wherever the image is used. Consider adding images to this site to increase the number of options and expand the ideas of Creative Commons. Adding images does require you to join the site (email required).

tag(s): creative commons (21), images (261), photography (160), search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom any time images are needed for projects, even if the project is not put on a website for others to see. Be sure students are aware that any time another person's image is used, they must give full credit for it, even if that owner cannot see it. Student groups can use Pixabay to collectively find the best image to use for a project. Challenge students to create personalized images (with text) using Pinwords reviewed here. Teachers can collect images for use on their interactive whiteboard for sorting activities (monocots and dicots, producers and consumers, etc). Use images as writing prompts or in poetry collections. Art teachers can find images for students to use as references or in photomontages (with credit). Elementary teachers can use images from this site as part of student-run interactive whiteboard activities, such as labeling parts of plants. Speech and language or ESL/ELL teachers can find images to use in vocabulary development activities. World language teachers can find cultural photos to use in oral exercises.

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One Zoom Tree of Life Explorer - One Zoom 2012

Grades
8 to 12
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View and zoom into areas of the Tree of Life Explorer interactive viewer. Click on an area of the tree to zoom in to identify how species are related to ...more
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View and zoom into areas of the Tree of Life Explorer interactive viewer. Click on an area of the tree to zoom in to identify how species are related to one another and the evolutionary relationships that exist between species. Find where paths diverged in the past to create new branches of the tree of life. More trees are planned for the future to explore other classes of animals. At the time of this review topics included: the tree of bird life, the tree of mammal life, the tree of amphibian life, and a tutorial.

tag(s): amphibians (20), biodiversity (38), birds (51), evolution (100), mammals (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site to view how organisms are related and identify the evolutionary relationships among the different animals and biodiversity. Use this site as a springboard to discussions in class. Share the videos and interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Research information that explains and shows the evolutionary evidence that exists. Have students create their own simple infographic of a single species in relationship to its "relatives."

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TV411 - Finance - Adult Literacy Media Alliance

Grades
6 to 12
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Find web lessons, videos, and downloads about timely and necessary financial topics. Learn about credit card financing, hidden costs, and paychecks. Each lesson begins with an introduction...more
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Find web lessons, videos, and downloads about timely and necessary financial topics. Learn about credit card financing, hidden costs, and paychecks. Each lesson begins with an introduction to the activity including questions to answer. Feedback is given to the questions, including an explanation of the correct answer. Use the print downloads for creating a budget to use as an activity in class.

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

In the Classroom

Include this site in a course on personal finance, business, or consumer science. It would also be very useful as a real world application for math skills. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce or review financial topics. Take advantage of the free lesson plans. Share the videos with your class as you study finance and the economy. Share this site with parents through your classroom website or blog.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mr A, Mr C and Mr D Present KS2 Songs - Mr. Dix

Grades
1 to 7
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Bring learning to life with fun music from Mr. A, Mr. C, and Mr. D's blog from the UK! Song topics include literacy, math ("maths" in the UK), and science. ...more
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Bring learning to life with fun music from Mr. A, Mr. C, and Mr. D's blog from the UK! Song topics include literacy, math ("maths" in the UK), and science. Each entry contains two mp3 versions of a song: one with lyrics and one without. In addition, lyrics are posted along with links to download lyrics and music. See additional videos that demonstrate a similar form of the same type of music at the link "Now Listen to How Its Really Done!" A few of the terms used are distinctly British (such as pounds for money), but most of the songs are universal for any English-speaking classroom. By the way, KS2 is about the same as grades 2-5 in the U.S., but curriculum topics vary.

tag(s): forces (44), geometric shapes (159), literacy (102), matter (56), mean (25), median (22), mode (15), plants (143), punctuation (43), recycling (57), sounds (68), synonyms (38), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Songs on this site would be great to use to introduce and review concepts addressed in the songs: onomatopoeia, prime numbers, or plants. Share songs with students and challenge them to write their own songs. Share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Create a link on your class website for students to access from home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Navajo Code Talkers - Navajo Code Talkers Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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The Navajo Code Talkers Foundation site tells the story of young Navajo men who transmitted secret communications on the battlefields of World War II. Their unbreakable code played...more
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The Navajo Code Talkers Foundation site tells the story of young Navajo men who transmitted secret communications on the battlefields of World War II. Their unbreakable code played a pivotal role in saving countless lives and hastening the war's end. Choose the link to the "Code Talkers" to read their story from beginning, through the battles, and coming home. Learn more about the code in that portion of the site by scrolling over words to view the translation and understand more about the only unbroken code in modern military history. Meet four of the code talkers through their bio and photos available on the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): native americans (81), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your students on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) during your World War II unit or a unit on Native Americans. This would be a great link to share during Native American Heritage Month. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of the Code Talkers vs other World War II battle units or cryptographers.
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Where In The Roman World? - k12 for Districts and Schools

Grades
5 to 12
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Use riddles to identify famous Roman landmarks on maps of Rome and the Roman Empire. Listen to the clue and replay if necessary; then choose the correct item on the ...more
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Use riddles to identify famous Roman landmarks on maps of Rome and the Roman Empire. Listen to the clue and replay if necessary; then choose the correct item on the map. A short animation rewards correct responses. "Try again" prompts you to choose another landmark after incorrect answers. Move through different levels using correct responses to progress through the entire Roman World review.

tag(s): egypt (66), landmarks (26), romans (35), rome (26)

In the Classroom

Display this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to review landmarks in Rome and the Roman Empire. Share with students via your class website or blog to use for at-home review. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted for reproduction). Use the avatars to explain one of the landmarks used on this site. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Latin teachers can use this very simple site as a model for students to create their own "what am I" activities about Roman culture, possibly in Latin?
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ClassBadges (Beta) - ClassBadges.com

Grades
K to 12
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Track goals and accomplishments, for both students and teachers. Create classes by uploading a .csv (Excel) file or using the template provided on the site. Then create goals for the...more
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Track goals and accomplishments, for both students and teachers. Create classes by uploading a .csv (Excel) file or using the template provided on the site. Then create goals for the entire class or individuals as desired. Choose from hundreds of badges such as mathlete, completed outline, perfect attendance, etc. Don't see a badge you want? No problem -- create your own! Award badges for learning activities completed with partner museums in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and San Francisco. View awards by class, or individuals may view their own badges using their access code provided with creation of the class account. View the introductory video to get started using ClassBadges. Sign-up is by invitation only. Request an invitation and wait for an acceptance email, generally received within a day.

tag(s): behavior (46), classroom management (130), game based learning (101), gamification (63), organizational skills (121), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

Badges are the "stickers' of today and much more. Use ClassBadges to keep track of student progress with large assignments, rewarding badges for each completed step. Present awards using badges such as Student of the Month, Math Hero, Perfect Attendance, and more. Share this site the first week of school as you set up your classroom expectations. Autistic support and behavior support teachers will find this tool useful and easy to use for reinforcement and tracking. Gamify your class using badges as reward levels. Challenge students to progress through different achievement levels by providing badges along the way. Share student login information with parents so they can track progress and accomplishments at home. (Be sure to keep the login information yourself too. Just in case students misplace their login.) Keep track of mastery of various topics or skills, much like a sticker chart! Students can embed their class badges in other sites, such as personal blogs, using the embed code. Use with Wikispaces, Facebook, Edmodo, blogs, and more!

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CloudMagic - Webyog, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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CloudMagic is a search engine for your personal data. Sign up using your email address and a password, then link to other social accounts such as Twitter, GMail, Google Docs, ...more
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CloudMagic is a search engine for your personal data. Sign up using your email address and a password, then link to other social accounts such as Twitter, GMail, Google Docs, EverNote, DropBox, and more. After synching accounts, type in a search term to find matching items from all your accounts. Narrow the search using buttons on the site to find only events, contacts, mail, tweets, etc. Use this tool on any browser or download the app for all mobile devices for on the go search capability.

tag(s): organizational skills (121), search engines (64)

In the Classroom

"It's in here somewhere!" Use this site as a teacher organization tool for your classroom resources, parent contacts, and more. Are you trying to find your updated class list or notes for your Algebra 2 review? Search for class list or Algebra 2 to find it without having to search through all of your online and email accounts. Share this site with older students as a resource for organizing and finding their online resources.

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Learn English - Goodwill Community Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Check out the GCFLearnFree Reading program. Click on the flag from the country that speaks your native language to learn English using that language. A link for teachers provides detailed...more
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Check out the GCFLearnFree Reading program. Click on the flag from the country that speaks your native language to learn English using that language. A link for teachers provides detailed information about the four different offerings for each word category. Or click on the link Learn in Simple English to go to a wide variety of activities designed to assist English learning for ESL/ELL students. This part of the site is in English and could be useful for non-ESL students as well. Activities include a Word Explorer for learning vocabulary, a Text Explorer to complete readings that include words of that category, a Video Dictionary where you can see words illustrated in a video, and an activity for review and use of new words. It is easy to navigate the site using icons, so weak readers can find their way.

tag(s): reading comprehension (114), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use these activities with ESL/ELL students or learning support students to reinforce vocabulary visually and with sounds. Speech and Language teachers can use the Word Explorer to illustrate many words with video, sound, and spoken/written sentences. Share the many interactives and/or video clips on your interactive whiteboard, on a projector, or in a learning center. World language teachers might want to use the word explorer as a model for students to create their own vocabulary reinforcement activities created on video or even using a simple slideshow tool such as PowerPoint or a presentation tool from the Edge. This is an excellent site to share on your class website so students (and families) can check it out at home.
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