TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 31, 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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Kids Magnetic Poetry Kit - McDonagh Brothers

Grades
K to 5
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Create and play with poetry using the magnetic poetry kit! Drag words from the word bank onto the blank board to build poems. Click the more words option to find ...more
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Create and play with poetry using the magnetic poetry kit! Drag words from the word bank onto the blank board to build poems. Click the more words option to find additional words for use. When finished, save and share to Facebook or via email using the form provided.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): poetry (229), sight words (37)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard for students to create. Use this site to practice sight words. The magnetic poetry kit would make an excellent center activity for use during Poetry Month. Create a shortcut on classroom computers and let students create their own poems. Share completed poems on a class bulletin board or your class website. Take a screenshot of the completed poems to remember them (PrntScrn button, then PASTE on a WIndows machine or Command+Shift+4 on a Mac to save a screenshot). View all of TeachersFirst's Editor's Choices for Poetry Month here.

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Art Lessons and Lesson Plans - Ken Rohrer

Grades
K to 12
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FInd an extensive collection of art and drama lesson plans for use in all grade levels. Choose a grade level from categories on the left side of the page. Pick ...more
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FInd an extensive collection of art and drama lesson plans for use in all grade levels. Choose a grade level from categories on the left side of the page. Pick from sub-categories such as type of medium, art period, or artist. One particularly useful category is by integration: ideas you can choose for lessons in subjects such as health, science, or language arts. Once you choose a lesson title, specific details include materials used, appropriate age levels, instructions, and images of projects. Many, but not all lessons also include correlation to national standards. Click on the printer friendly link to print lessons without all the clutter on the page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (277), artists (75), colors (79), geometric shapes (159), insects (68), japan (62), native americans (81), origami (17), painting (66), preK (275), recycling (57), symmetry (54)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for art projects throughout the year, especially if budget cuts have taken away your art teacher! Be sure to check out the link to Sub Lessons. Print and save a couple of these to have in your substitute folder for use if necessary. Share with your art teacher (if you have one) as a resource.

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Federal Student Aid - US Department of Education

Grades
7 to 12
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Sometimes it's best to go straight to the source. The US Department of Education offers advice, information, and links for those searching for financial aid to attend post-secondary...more
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Sometimes it's best to go straight to the source. The US Department of Education offers advice, information, and links for those searching for financial aid to attend post-secondary education. Not a fancy site, but all the relevant information is there: defining the kinds of financial aid, applying for financial aid, comparing financial aid offers from colleges, and understanding the repayment process. There is also a link to the new "College Scorecard" site that provides more guidance in comparing the potential financial costs of different colleges. In addition there are several infographics and videos (which link to YouTube) that provide important overviews in each of the broad categories covered on the site. 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): careers (129), college (43), financial aid (12), financial literacy (78)

In the Classroom

While this is certainly a good site for students and families to consult from home, it would also be useful as an authentic resource for lessons in financial literacy, career and college planning, and life planning. At the very least, a great bookmark to publicize or add to classroom computers. Be sure to share this link on your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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For Girls In Science - Loreal

Grades
4 to 12
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This website is for girls to learn about STEM careers and the various research and educational opportunities that exist for them. Famous women in STEM careers and other prominent women...more
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This website is for girls to learn about STEM careers and the various research and educational opportunities that exist for them. Famous women in STEM careers and other prominent women are a focus of this site. Learn about great STEM careers and how STEM impacts much of our world. Watch and learn from others, view video clips, take challenges, learn about careers, and more. 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.

tag(s): engineering (118), STEM (123), women (101)

In the Classroom

Use this site when researching science careers and scientists to be sure to give women their turn and to inspire another generation of female scientists. Share the video clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site during Women's history month. Challenge your students to learn more about present-day famous women in STEM careers and create their own interactive books. Have students use Page Flip-Flap (reviewed here) to turn their Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book, There is even a page-turning effect!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Shutter Cal - ShutterCal.com

Grades
K to 12
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password,...more
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password, and user name. Click on the date, upload an image, add a caption, then submit. ShutterCal resizes the image and places it into the calendar. Share your calendar using the unique url provided. Embed into your website or blog using the code offered under the "My stuff" link. Premium features allow your calendar to be private; however, that isn't included with the free membership. This is a public site that isn't moderated. So preview any other calendars you plan to share.

tag(s): calendars (44), images (261)

In the Classroom

What a wonderful way to share your school year! Create a ShutterCal calendar to embed into your classroom blog or website. Forget a day? No problem, just click on the date and upload as usual. Have your student of the week be responsible for taking pictures for that week's calendar (and for uploading if savvy). This is a public site and content is not moderated. Take precautions when allowing students to view other calendars. In primary grades, a teacher can prepare a calendar for parents to access at home and have children talk about what they have learned. During science units, document the plants you grow or the labs you do using images on a daily calendar. Speech/language or ESL/ELL teachers can create calendars together with students to provide ways to practice oral language retelling events. Teacher-librarians can create calendars with a book a day or research questions shown as images.

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Bundlr - Filipe Batista and Sergio Santos

Grades
K to 12
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Bundlr allows you to curate, clip, aggregate, and share web content easily and instantly. Collect content on your own or collaborate with other Bundlr users to add sites to bundles....more
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Bundlr allows you to curate, clip, aggregate, and share web content easily and instantly. Collect content on your own or collaborate with other Bundlr users to add sites to bundles. Sign up with Bundlr using Twitter or Facebook to begin. Drag the bookmarklet to your toolbar or install the browser extension. Add pages, images, tweets, and more to your bundles by clicking the Bundle button. Add notes to bundles or invite others to collaborate. Share finished bundles with the share button provided to popular social media sites or via email. This site is NOT moderated for school use. Please PREVIEW before you share.

tag(s): bookmarks (59)

In the Classroom

Not ready to create your own bundles? Explore the site for ready-made bundles created by others for many topics. This site is not moderated, so it is best to explore on your own to locate bundles then share your appropriate findings. Share bundles on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Create bundles for any content or topic to share with students on your web page or blog. In primary grades, you can create bundles for different types of practice activities, even for non-readers. With older students, create a class account and allow students to add websites, images, tweets, and information to bundles, giving them the opportunity to curate and provide information on any subject. Talk about how to curate and decide which sites should be included and which ones excluded.

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Chronicling America - National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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Search America's historic newspapers from 1836-1922. Use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information located within American newspapers published between 1690-present. The front...more
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Search America's historic newspapers from 1836-1922. Use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information located within American newspapers published between 1690-present. The front page contains images and links to newspaper topics for the current date 100 years ago. Click on links to view more from each paper, such as additional pages or other issues. Use the search bar to narrow newspaper searches by date, state, and keywords. View content in PDF or text format, or clip image to print or download to your computer. If you get stuck on the site, click the "Ask a Librarian" button for advice and help.

tag(s): 1800s (44), 1900s (33), journalism (45), news (261), newspapers (94), primary sources (84)

In the Classroom

Make history come alive in your classroom using newspapers, the perfect primary source. Enter dates from history and different locations to find local news stories and information. When studying events over an extended period of time, find resources from the beginning, middle, and end of that period to compare and contrast information from the local newspapers. Read the evolution of American popular opinion before and after Pearl Harbor, for example. Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate or report events using Fotobabble reviewed here. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of events as reported in various news sources.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

Fabulous resource for American History/Social Studies. Primary sources you can search. Wasn't able to get phrases to work, but individual words do. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Picture History - Picture History LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Picture History contains licensed digital images covering 200 years of American History. Search the site using the search box or browse by category, decade, photographer, or anniversary....more
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Picture History contains licensed digital images covering 200 years of American History. Search the site using the search box or browse by category, decade, photographer, or anniversary. Images include information on the subject, date (or approximate date), and image size. Additional topics include nature, life cycles, politics & government, science, health, medicine, and much more. Be aware that these are copyrighted images intended for SALE. This means that Fair Use does not apply because you would be taking away the owner's opportunity to earn income from this property. Register to download high resolution images without watermarks (this option requires a fee). You can send an "e-card" using an image. Click the envelope below the image to send.

tag(s): 1800s (44), 1900s (33), architecture (83), business (57), digital storytelling (135), images (261), life cycles (25), lincoln (85), medicine (67), politics (98), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site to share during classroom lessons on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share with students as a place to explore to "get the picture" of various events in American History. Use the opportunity to explain why some sites charge for image downloads as a business venture and that taking them, even with a watermark, would be like "stealing." Have students send an e-card of an image to the entire class, written as a participant in the historic event. Use a whole-class email account to send and receive them.

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Infotopia - Dr. Michael Bell and Carole Bell

Grades
2 to 12
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This free tool is an academic search engine that uses resources trusted by educators. Choose from various subjects at the top or enter your search term directly into the search ...more
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This free tool is an academic search engine that uses resources trusted by educators. Choose from various subjects at the top or enter your search term directly into the search bar. Infotopia uses a Google Custom search to find information that is appropriate for students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students in class. Have students use this site for research. Be sure to link to this site on your blog, wiki, or class website. Make this site the home page for your classroom computer.

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Crash Course - John and Hank Green

Grades
6 to 12
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Join John and Hank Green on the you Tube channel, Crash Course. Crash Course consists of highly engaging video presentations that explain the basics on many topics: about 10-15 minute...more
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Join John and Hank Green on the you Tube channel, Crash Course. Crash Course consists of highly engaging video presentations that explain the basics on many topics: about 10-15 minute in length, humorous, and engaging! The general topic areas include World History, Literature, and US History. At the time of this review, biology topics include: the carbon cycle, water cycle, molecules, nutrition, animal and plant cells, photosynthesis, heredity, DNA, mitosis, meiosis, natural selection, evolution, genetics, taxonomy, evolution, simple animals, complex animals, animal behavior, various systems of the body, bacteria, protists, and even more. In literature, five videos cover subjects from Romeo and Juliet to The Great Gatsby. There are over forty world history topics: Agricultural revolution, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, The Persians and Greeks, Buddha and Ashoka, Chinese History, Alexander the Great, The Roman Empire, Christianity from Judaism to Constantine, Fall of the Roman Empire, Islam the Quran, and the Five Pillars, Venice and Ottoman Empire, Russia, Columbus, The Spanish Empire, The French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Capitalism, Socialism, Imperialism, and many more. 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.

Tip: to watch or share a video without the ads and clutter, use a tool such as ViewPure, reviewed here to watch the video ad-free!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (277), bacteria (30), bill of rights (28), body systems (56), chinese (49), constitution (79), declaration of independence (13), evolution (100), genetics (90), greeks (29), literature (275), meiosis (15), mitosis (11), nutrition (154), religions (61), rome (26), romeo and juliet (6), russia (39), shakespeare (131), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Use as a way to introduce new topics or subjects to establish background knowledge. Share these videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard to provide an introduction (or review) on various topics. Use as an alternate way to help motivate your tech savvy students. Use as an example for a group project with the students planning, writing, and producing an informational video in the subject you are studying. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Be sure to point out the steps followed in teaching and learning in the videos. Independent learners and gifted students will love the opportunity to learn on their own using these videos. Instead of "games" for times when student finish work early, why not share the link to this YouTube channel and encourage them to keep a blog about what they discover.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Plagtracker - Plagtracker

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this free online plagiarism checker to make sure your work is unquestionably your own. Depending on the amount of traffic the site is experiencing, results may appear online ...more
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Use this free online plagiarism checker to make sure your work is unquestionably your own. Depending on the amount of traffic the site is experiencing, results may appear online immediately, or they may be emailed within 15 minutes. Our test showed that the email took a little over 15 minutes and included a log-in password to view the results. The report tells how much of the writing is non-unique and how many sources the writing can be found in. By clicking on the highlighted sentences, the report will list all the sources where the highlighted portion can be found. Plagtracker works with six different languages, checks 14 billion web pages, and has access to university databases. It can check over 5 million academic papers. You do not have to sign up for an account to occasionally check written work. However, signing up for a free account allows you to save a report for a week, monitor the status of submitted documents, and review the history of all your plagiarism reports. On the site's blog, you will find true stories about plagiarism. The site does NOT take ownership of your submitted work. They do try to "sell" their services to help you improve your paper.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (47), digital citizenship (58), plagiarism (33)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use this program to check student papers for originality, but why not introduce this program to your students and have them take responsibility to check their work themselves? Share the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. This would work beautifully if the class studied or reviewed copyright and plagiarism before assigning a report. On Plagtracker's blog you can find true stories about people who have plagiarized. It might be a good idea to share the stories with your students. You might even want students to "test" several examples of plagiarized writing in small groups as an exercise for students to check and correct. Ideally this should happen before they copy/paste their way to trouble in a research assignment. Another interesting exercise for researchers is to locate an article on a how-to topic, such as "How to Paint a Room," then see how many sites use the same text. As a class, discuss whether this proliferation is good or bad (is the web spreading misinformation, too?).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Trace Effects - U.S. Department of State

Grades
7 to 12
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The U.S. Department of State designed this interactive game to help ESL/ELL learners to learn American English. However, many non-ESL/ELL students could greatly benefit (and enjoy)...more
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The U.S. Department of State designed this interactive game to help ESL/ELL learners to learn American English. However, many non-ESL/ELL students could greatly benefit (and enjoy) this highly interactive experience and look at U.S. culture. Download Unity Player to begin. Registration is free, but does require an email address. Begin your mission with Trace, a teen back in time from the year 2045. Help Trace return to his regular time by completing several challenges. Trace must follow directions (called objectives) on each screen. He travels to 8 separate locations around the U.S. Learn about entrepreneurship, community activism, empowering women, science and innovation, environmental conservation, and conflict resolution. Travel to Kansas, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Complete 28 practice activities. You will also find 4 multi-player practice challenges, 7 graphic novels for extension activities, and an American English dictionary integration activity. The game is so involved, that you will not even realize that you are also learning English.

tag(s): communities (35), conflict resolution (8), conservation (127), cross cultural understanding (115), women (101)

In the Classroom

This site offers a window on American culture that you can use in comparing cultures. It is a great way to engage ESL/ELL teens as they practice English skills. Since the State Department created it, an AP Civics or Government class might even want to critique or discuss its portrayal of U.S. culture. Have ESL/ELL students work on individual laptops and explore this site alone or with a partner. Provide this link for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Challenge your students to collaboratively write the dialogue for an additional visit Trace might make to a community near you using Google Docs/Drive reviewed here. Your more technologically savvy students may like to create another version of a Trace visit to go along with the dialog! In a world language class, have students work collaboratively to create a visit to a cultural site using this game as a model.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Let's Make Compound Words - Ministry of Education, Toronto Canada

Grades
1 to 3
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Let's Make Compound Words provides practice in creating compound words. Use with the sound on or off, then drag images from one of two boxes to create compound words. If ...more
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Let's Make Compound Words provides practice in creating compound words. Use with the sound on or off, then drag images from one of two boxes to create compound words. If the two words correctly create a compound word those images disappear. When all images are used, the next activity appears (dragging compound words to complete sentences.) Click the link next to the sentence to hear the sentence read aloud. When finished, reset to complete activities again. The site originates in Canada, so keep an eye out for spelling variations. Our editors also noticed that creative users may come up with alternative compound words that the site may not "think of," such as shoefly. These less common options do not work.

tag(s): word study (80)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector or allow students to navigate it on their own on classroom computers. Have students use the compound words provided to begin a collection of compound words that they already know and post to a tool such as Padlet, (reviewed here) to create an online bulletin board display compound words.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TV411 - Vocabulary - Education Development Center, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about dictionaries, thesaurus, and "How Words Work." Each video includes a short description of content and...more
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about dictionaries, thesaurus, and "How Words Work." Each video includes a short description of content and the skills addressed. Most videos are approximately three minutes long and include links to related web lessons and print downloads. This site was originally created for adult basic literacy students. However, many of these lessons could be useful with younger students learning the basics of vocabulary. Preview the video for appropriateness before sharing with younger students.

tag(s): antonyms (26), dictionaries (55), prefixes (16), reading comprehension (114), root words (13), spelling (168), suffixes (14), synonyms (38), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Any vocabulary development unit needs to include lessons about how dictionaries and thesaurus' work. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of your dictionary/word-study unit. Use on an as-needed basis to address classroom deficiencies in particular areas. Have students complete the web lessons on their own during computer center time. Create links to particular videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Check out the Teachers portion of the site to find activities for specific skills along with ideas for using the videos in the classroom. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to provide suggestions on improving vocabulary and writing skills. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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