TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 12, 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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Stop the Beetle - USDA

Grades
4 to 12
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Wanted: The Emerald Ash Borer beetle. This insidious beetle is wreaking havoc on trees across America. The US Department of Agriculture is looking for others to help spot these bugs....more
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Wanted: The Emerald Ash Borer beetle. This insidious beetle is wreaking havoc on trees across America. The US Department of Agriculture is looking for others to help spot these bugs. If sighted, report the beetles' whereabouts via the Report EAB link. View a map of sightings. Read resources to understand why the Asian long-horned beetle is considered an invasive species. View photos depicting the telltale signs of infestation including exit holes in the tree bark and loss of leaves from the canopy.

tag(s): ecosystems (88), habitats (84), insects (68), species (29)

In the Classroom

Identify what makes a species an invasive one. Research the ecosystem in your area and identify why this pest can create loss of species there. Identify various invasive species found around the country and the world and the mechanisms that allowed them to become established in the first place. Create a campaign to teach those in the area how to identify and stop the spread of invasive species.
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Stick Figure Hamlet - Dan Carroll

Grades
9 to 12
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Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or ...more
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Stick Figure Hamlet brings comic visuals and imagery to this classic work of Shakespeare. Each act and scene is represented. Simply start at the beginning to view all cartoons or choose any act or scene desired. This site is sure to motivate and interest even the most reluctant reader!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), hamlet (13), literature (275), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Add Stick Figure Hamlet to your arsenal of tools when reading Shakespeare. Share images from the site throughout your class reading of Hamlet on your interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to interpret what is happening in the comics. Challenge students to find omissions in the retelling or to draw their own, better versions. Share the link for students to view at home. The images may be very helpful to visual learners in understanding the content of this work. Browse the TeachersFirst Shakespearean collection for other ideas to use with Hamlet. Use this site as inspiration and have students create their own comics for any piece of literature. Find many ideas at TeachersFirst's Comics Collection.

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Bingo Baker - Matt Johnson

Grades
K to 8
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Whip up a batch of Bingo cards in no time with Bingo Baker! Give your card a title and start typing words into the Bingo grid, change Bingo column headings ...more
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Whip up a batch of Bingo cards in no time with Bingo Baker! Give your card a title and start typing words into the Bingo grid, change Bingo column headings if desired. Use the option to leave the center space free or not by checking the box at the bottom of the page. When finished, click Generate to produce your cards. The free option is limited to printing 8 cards at a time. This may work best for centers and small group work instead of whole class activities.

tag(s): printables (37), worksheets (58)

In the Classroom

Use Bingo Baker to create Bingo games to review any topic with small groups. Instead of telling the word that is on the Bingo card give the definition (so students must find the term) or a math problem whose answer is among those on the card. Create sight word bingo cards for younger students. This is a great review tool for science or social studies. Put a short description of a vocabulary word into the space. Tell students the name of the vocabulary word and see if they can find it on the Bingo card. Or do the reverse and write the vocabulary word on the card and read the definition to the class. Encourage students to create bingo games for each other as review or to engage the audience during oral presentations. Learning support teachers can create them together with students as an engaging way to review. World language teachers (and students) can create bingo cards to reinforce vocabulary.
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Education Closet Lesson Plans - Susan Riley

Grades
K to 12
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Forge connections between the arts and other subjects through resources at Education Closet. Choose the lessons link to find many lessons for grades K-12. Each lesson preview contains...more
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Forge connections between the arts and other subjects through resources at Education Closet. Choose the lessons link to find many lessons for grades K-12. Each lesson preview contains a short description, information about classroom and fine arts content. Many also correlate to Common Core standards. You can search for lessons by grade levels (K-3, 4-8, or 9-12). Choose a lesson for a more complete description. Click to download the complete lesson in PDF format. Each lesson contains a list of materials, complete directions, assessments, and suggestions for extending the lesson.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (86), bullying (51), charts and graphs (195), civil war (145), dance (28), descriptive writing (41), energy (197), immigration (58), main idea (9), narrative (24), patterns (84), photography (160), poetry (229), ratios (52)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for integrating academic content and fine arts in any grade level. Share this site with your school's art teacher as a resource for collaborative planning. Search lessons by grade level. Bring a little creativity into your classroom and your lessons regardless of what grade or subject you teach!
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Rare Flags - Anthony Iasso

Grades
5 to 12
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Showcase the history of the American Flag through images and stories at Rare Flags. Visit the galleries of American and Civil War flags. Search the collection using the search bar....more
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Showcase the history of the American Flag through images and stories at Rare Flags. Visit the galleries of American and Civil War flags. Search the collection using the search bar. Click on the flag image to view a description of the image with an approximate date, location, and information about construction. Don't miss the Timeline. Although it isn't interactive, it does provide a wealth of information.

tag(s): american flag (11), flags (21)

In the Classroom

Use the Rare Flags site as part of any American History unit to view a flag of the time period. Show the timeline on your interactive whiteboard or projector to display changes of the flag over our history. Choose a few different styles of flags and ask students to choose their favorite. Use one of the many Poll and Quiz Tools available at the TeachersFirst Edge. Challenge students to design their own flags for 13, 48, or 50 states. Celebrate Flag Day using this site!

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Opus - Common Core Math Problems for Middle School - opusmath.com

Grades
6 to 9
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Search for problems and build assignments for middle school math using Opus. Begin by searching the Common Core standards list or choose a grade level and a topic content. Click ...more
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Search for problems and build assignments for middle school math using Opus. Begin by searching the Common Core standards list or choose a grade level and a topic content. Click to view available problems. You can click thumbs up or down to find more problems similar to what you are searching for. You can also choose to highlight all of a particular topics (such as probability). Tick the box next to problems to save. When finished, choose to save problems in a Word or Google Document. Generate answer sheets using your Opus account, if desired. An Opus account is required to save and generate documents. Create your account using your name, email, and a password.

tag(s): angles (86), area (65), charts and graphs (195), decimals (133), fractions (239), functions (70), multiples (34), number lines (22), percent (82), probability (130), pythagorean theorem (34), ratios (52), square roots (24), statistics (122), test prep (95), transformations (17), volume (46)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and use Opus as a resource for math problems aligned to Common Core standards. Don't keep this site to yourself! Create your own homework or review sheets using problems found on Opus. Use this tool to create individualized "study guides" for students to use to better prepare for state testing. You can easily differentiate to find the specific topics that certain students are struggling to understand. Better yet, have students choose their own topics to investigate and study. Share with students to use as a problem bank for additional practice in all common core and middle school math skills. Provide this link on your class website, wiki, or blog for student practice at home.

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Forensic Outreach - forensicoutreach.com

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is bound to fascinate any reader interested in forensic science. Connections to popular crime shows, discussions about careers in forensics, and various ways Forensics are...more
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This site is bound to fascinate any reader interested in forensic science. Connections to popular crime shows, discussions about careers in forensics, and various ways Forensics are used "out in the field" are topics worth investigating on this site. Students are likely to find the articles under "Bodies + Bones," "Criminal Minds," and "Law and Order" to be the most interesting. Some of the more recent articles at the time of this review include: uncovering ancient fingerprints, painful archaeology (handling mass graves), becoming a forensic photography, analyzing bloodstains, and more. Future plans for this site include a CSI Interactive Laboratory. These are informational texts that do far more than simply inform!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (32), careers (129), egypt (66), forensics (27), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find great articles that tie science content in the classroom to application in the real world. Experience science literacy with fascinating topics! Have students review articles on this site for presentation to the class or in discussion on a wiki or blog. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Make a science outreach display in your classroom or on your class wiki for students to see connections between their class work and fascinating research.

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Professor Word - professorword.com

Grades
8 to 12
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ProfessorWord is a free bookmarklet to get the definition of any word within any website. Click to identify more than 5,000 SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Install the bookmarklet on...more
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ProfessorWord is a free bookmarklet to get the definition of any word within any website. Click to identify more than 5,000 SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Install the bookmarklet on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. Click on the bookmarklet while on any Internet page to highlight SAT or ACT vocabulary words on the page. Highlight any word to view definitions through the bookmarklet. View the Daily Reader on the site's blog to find three reading selections full of vocabulary words. Teacher accounts (coming soon, at the time of this review) will allow teachers to oversee a group of student accounts, assign readings, and track student progress: articles read, words looked up and saved, and more. The introduction video (how to) is 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): dictionaries (55), test prep (95), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Install the Professor Word bookmarklet on the computer that is hooked up to your interactive whiteboard. Use as needed to find word definitions or highlight and discuss SAT/ACT terms. Share this site with students as a resource for finding definitions and reviewing vocabulary. List this link on your class website for student to use both in and out of the classroom. Use the Daily Reader portion of the site as a resource for introducing SAT/ACT vocabulary terms. As your students work with informational texts, have them form an approximate "definition" of unknown words from context as they read, then check the actual definition using this tool.
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Muzy - Muzy

Grades
8 to 12
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Muzy is the newest in blogging and will appeal to your creative side! Muzy makes it easy to upload photos, edit them, and arrange them in different layouts (with or ...more
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Muzy is the newest in blogging and will appeal to your creative side! Muzy makes it easy to upload photos, edit them, and arrange them in different layouts (with or without text). Layouts include collage, versus, photo pile, photo box, pic monkey, and word play. Frame your pictures with one of the dozens of available backgrounds. Add unique effects to any photo. Try sepia, black and white, and a function where you can grey out an image and selectively retain color in certain areas. The word play feature displays your comments in different, random fonts and colors. The templates are all there to choose and use. Just upload your photos and share them (or not) via Twitter, Instagram, email, SMS, or Facebook.

tag(s): blogs (87), digital storytelling (135), images (261)

In the Classroom

You and your students can use Muzy for any presentation. Have science students display photos and information about lab work or research findings about a famous scientist. Language arts students can use this to frame the main character in a book. In literature circles the entire group can use one Muzy to present the book and its different characters. This would also be a creative way to present current events.

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Collection: Museum of the American Revolution

Grades
6 to 12
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The Collection Page from the American Revolution Center website includes images and descriptions of their large collection of objects, artwork, and manuscripts. Another highlight...more
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The Collection Page from the American Revolution Center website includes images and descriptions of their large collection of objects, artwork, and manuscripts. Another highlight of the site is the Interactive Timeline. Slide the bar at the bottom of the screen to choose a date then click on any image to view it in high quality along with a description of the item and how it was used. Some items also include a video. Search the LEARN portion of the site for lesson plans.

tag(s): american revolution (86), boston (14), declaration of independence (13), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), great britain (16), lincoln (85), war of 1812 (14), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Allow students to explore the site and timeline. Challenge them to create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of locations and events shared on the website. They could also create a Mapskip about your own town's history (with audio stories and pictures included)! Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about an American Revolution event or famous figure.
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If It Were My Home - Andy Lintner

Grades
3 to 12
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If it Were My Home compares living conditions of one country to those of another. Allow the site to use your location when accessing the home page. This allows a ...more
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If it Were My Home compares living conditions of one country to those of another. Allow the site to use your location when accessing the home page. This allows a comparison from your location to others places around the globe. Select a region on the globe to compare. Choose from countries included in that region. View a map comparison. See statistics and comparisons such as oil consumption, economic statistics, and birth rates. Expand comparisons by clicking on the arrow. Scroll down the page to view more information and suggested reading materials about your chosen country. Share comparisons using social media buttons located below the map or email using the link provided.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (181), asia (73), australia (35), canada (30), cross cultural understanding (115), diseases (66), europe (74), globe (14), hiv/aids (18), south america (39), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Ask each student to choose a country to compare to their country of origin. Have students pair up with a partner and compare their chosen countries to the country of origin. Tie in a creative writing project, and have students imagine that they are moving from their country of origin to their chosen country. Students can use the information and comparison as inspiration for their fictional story about what life would be like in their new home. Use the statistical data in If it Were My Home for some real world mathematical comparison between countries. Create infographics to compare the two countries using a tool such as Venngage, reviewed here.

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Word Tamer - Judy Waite

Grades
4 to 8
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Word Tamer is an interactive and highly creative "story-writing" website. Choose your first challenge: Snare a Setting, Capture a Character, Grapple with Genre, Prowl Through Plot,...more
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Word Tamer is an interactive and highly creative "story-writing" website. Choose your first challenge: Snare a Setting, Capture a Character, Grapple with Genre, Prowl Through Plot, or a few others. Continue through all interactive challenges to change your story's characters, plot, or other elements. Read and view stories. Click to change elements of your story-in-progress until you are satisfied. Finished stories can be saved and printed.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): characterization (16), creative writing (167), plot (10), setting (11)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to teach storytelling techniques and elements such as setting, genre, or plot. Choose different options within each element to view how writing and word choice changes the story. Use this site to demonstrate (or introduce) genres, characterization, and more. Allow students to explore the site to create their own story starter. Save the finished product and share with families on your class website.
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Grammar Practice Park Grade 4 - Harcourt School Publishers

Grades
3 to 5
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Practice grammar skills at Grammar Play Park! Some of the topics include plurals, verb tense, possessives, homophones, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, punctuation, and many others....more
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Practice grammar skills at Grammar Play Park! Some of the topics include plurals, verb tense, possessives, homophones, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, punctuation, and many others. The activities are designed like games, sure to excite students to learn! Each activity includes short instructions and links to the multimedia grammar glossary. There you will find an explanation of terms used. Although matched to the 4th Grade Harcourt series, this site is useful for anyone needing practice with the specific skills.

tag(s): grammar (217), grammar review (37), homophones (17), parts of speech (68), sentences (52), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Assign specific activities to students for individual practice. This site is great for differentiation. Meet your students' needs by assigning them a subject/activity that relates to what they are learning. Create a link on classroom computers. Share this site with parents in your classroom newsletter or website as a resource for grammar practice. Be sure to point out the glossary included with each game for learning and understanding grammar concepts.
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