TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 2, 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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All Things Science - All Things Science

Grades
6 to 12
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All Things Science is an aggregator of short, top quality science videos for educational use. Search for specific content topics using the search bar. Browse through recent, top rated,...more
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All Things Science is an aggregator of short, top quality science videos for educational use. Search for specific content topics using the search bar. Browse through recent, top rated, most discussed, or random videos. Interested in seeing how a germ travels with a sneeze and makes you sick with a virus? There is a detailed video on that topic and SO much more. Read short descriptions of videos before viewing. Share using social media links provided, with a direct url, or with the embed code directly onto your website. Free registration on All Things Science allows you to save videos to favorites, add comments, and upload video. Note that videos can be submitted by members, so it is advisable to preview before sharing with young people.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (277), cells (102), climate (92), climate change (64), genetics (90), human body (119), medicine (67), scientific method (64), scientists (68), solar energy (38), solar system (118), space (206), video (251), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Save this site to use as a resource throughout the year with any science topic. Embed videos onto your classroom website for viewing at home or independently during class. (Embedding avoids displaying other areas of the site.) Have students create online posters after they learn about the topic individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create similar videos about science topics being discussed in class. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here or on All Things Science, if permitted by school policies.

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Forecast - Dark Sky Company

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this tool to find current weather for any location. The site senses your current location, or you can enter one. Find out your seven day forecast. But there is ...more
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Use this tool to find current weather for any location. The site senses your current location, or you can enter one. Find out your seven day forecast. But there is more: go back in time to explore weather for any location on any previous date. Explore what the temperature was the day you were born, the first day of school this year, or any other time. Dates go back as far as 1945. View current temperatures and forecast by adding a location to the search bar or choose the time machine to go back in time to view weather at that location for any date. View the hourly temperature along with wind speed, humidity, and visibility. Choose either Fahrenheit or Celsius displays.

tag(s): weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use Forecast as an interesting addition to any history lesson. Choose the location and date that you are studying to find what the actual weather was at that time. Dates go back as far as 1945. Have students debate the impact of weather on historical events. What was the temperature in Dallas on the day JFK was assassinated? The possibilities are endless! Have students compare temperatures from different years during your weather unit, then create an online graph using Amblegraph (reviewed here). Have students research climate change questions using actual data from this site.

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Preschool and Kindergarten Games - Sheppard Software

Grades
K to 2
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Choose from many preschool and kindergarten interactives to develop and reinforce basic academic skills. This highly colorful site includes: animals, alphabet, numbers, colors, and...more
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Choose from many preschool and kindergarten interactives to develop and reinforce basic academic skills. This highly colorful site includes: animals, alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes. Most activities are very simple. Simply roll the mouse over objects to hear the object name and color, or click on arrows to view flashcards. Play alphabet activities to learn letters. Test your skills with a quick quiz. Choose from an extensive array of activities in the animal portion of the site sorted into categories of look, create, play, learn, find, and count.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), animals (277), colors (79), geometric shapes (159), numbers (203), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate games on your interactive whiteboard or projector before students play on their own. Demonstrate how to choose games while avoiding advertising on the site. Bookmark specific games or activities on classroom computers for students to explore and discover during center time. Be sure to share this site with parents for fun learning at home! List this site on your class website or in your class newsletter.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dinosphere at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis - The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Grades
K to 8
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Journey back 65 million years to discover and learn all about dinosaurs and their time on earth. Choose a section to explore from links provided: teachers, parents, or kids. The ...more
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Journey back 65 million years to discover and learn all about dinosaurs and their time on earth. Choose a section to explore from links provided: teachers, parents, or kids. The kids portion contains an excellent FAQ with answers to common questions about dinosaurs. You can select several interactives and activities by age ranges. One great one to try is the Build a Dino activity: choose body parts to create your own dino then receive a progress report and test your dino to see if he can survive! The Teachers area of the site includes units of study for students in grade K-8 (there are webquests designed especially for grades 3-8), links to academic standards reinforced by visits to the dinosaur image gallery, and resources including reading lists. The webquests are also available in Spanish.

tag(s): dinosaurs (57), fossils (44)

In the Classroom

Have students create their own dino using the Build a Dino activity. Challenge students to draw and describe their dinosaur with an explanation of how and why different body parts were chosen. Use this as a descriptive writing piece. Create a class book of Dinosaur Creations! Choose from the webquests offered on the site for your class. Use webquests not only to learn about dinosaurs but also to sharpen research and debate skills. Have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to record where dinosaur fossils have been found. This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.
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Tally Game - Sums Math

Grades
K to 2
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Use tally marks to count cars with the Tally Game. When cars appear, click on the color that appears and watch tally marks display as the count keeps going. After ...more
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Use tally marks to count cars with the Tally Game. When cars appear, click on the color that appears and watch tally marks display as the count keeps going. After 20 cars have appeared, enter a total for each color using the prompts. View the finished results to see how you did.

tag(s): counting (119), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate how to use tally marks for counting. Be sure to read the instructions aloud for students not reading on their own yet. This is a great site for students learning about tally marks for counting and one to one correspondence. Create a link on classroom computers for students to explore on their own at a learning center. List the site on your class web page for students to practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Titanic Interactive - The History Channel

Grades
4 to 12
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Come aboard and explore the Titanic from construction through the disaster and the aftermath. Read tales of survivors. Explore the different accommodations, food, and activities for...more
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Come aboard and explore the Titanic from construction through the disaster and the aftermath. Read tales of survivors. Explore the different accommodations, food, and activities for the first, second, and third class passengers. Take a look at a route map or timeline using links on each side of the interactive title. Each section of the interactive includes the story of events as well as captioned images, videos, and video animations of events. Be sure to check out links to related activities located on the site such the Titanic by the Numbers interactive and related video clips.

tag(s): 1910s (9), 20th century (50), disasters (39), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Take your class on an adventure as you explore this website using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this Titanic Interactive as an extension lesson for middle and high school students studying early 20th Century History. If you use this site with upper elementary students, you will want to pair a better read with weaker readers since much of the information is in text form. Include the Titanic as one of many topics for twentieth century "decades" research projects. Use this site for any students reading a novel or nonfiction about the Titanic. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook from the perspective of one of the cruisers onboard.
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Quandary - Learning Games Network

Grades
3 to 9
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Quandary is an online simulation in ethical decision-making while building a new colony on the planet Braxos. Face decisions without right or wrong answers but that have implications...more
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Quandary is an online simulation in ethical decision-making while building a new colony on the planet Braxos. Face decisions without right or wrong answers but that have implications on you and others in the colony. This activity was created for students ages 8-14. Login is optional to save scores or play as a guest. The game includes three different episodes with each containing different scenarios for decision-making. View information on the game, extension questions and more within the teachers and parents portions of the site. Find lesson plans, standards mapping (matched to Common Core ELA standards), and printable materials within the teachers section for classroom use. Don't miss the introduction videos explaining the site!

tag(s): creativity (108), critical thinking (92), ethics (16), game based learning (101)

In the Classroom

Try this activity on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Create a quick poll (with no membership required) using kwiqpoll (reviewed here) to view students' choices of actions to take throughout the game. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here to explain the decision-making process for different scenarios.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spific - The Finding Engine - Spific.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Spific is search engine designed to narrow down searches by the use of filters (they call them "refinements"). Although it is powered by Google's search algoithm, it is not affiliated...more
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Spific is search engine designed to narrow down searches by the use of filters (they call them "refinements"). Although it is powered by Google's search algoithm, it is not affiliated or endorsed by Google. Enter your search term as usual. Choose where you want results to come from among several categories. Categories include news and newspapers, Internet directories, dictionaries, videos, movies, and much more. Refine results even further by choosing specific newspapers or websites within results. A date range narrows news results.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Use Spific to find online newspaper content quickly and easily or compare definitions from different sources. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare information from two different sites. Provide a link for students to use this site to make searching easier when working on book reports, research projects, or presentations. Demonstrate how to use the search on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and point out how to narrow down results using links to individual sites. This site would be ideal to include in a search engine comparison for information literacy/fluency lessons.

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Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium - Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

Grades
K to 12
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Smarter Balanced Consortium provides resources and practice assessments geared toward Common Core standards in English language arts/literacy and Mathematics. Choose the Smarter Balanced...more
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Smarter Balanced Consortium provides resources and practice assessments geared toward Common Core standards in English language arts/literacy and Mathematics. Choose the Smarter Balanced Assessments link to view an overview of practice assessments, suggestions for use of the assessments, and discussion of items and task types. Find PDF's including Common Core standards and introductions to the standards under the K-12 Education/Teacher tab. The site is continually developing and working toward the 2014-2015 first school year implementation of the new assessments. Stay connected and informed of new resources by signing up for their email newsletter.

tag(s): commoncore (92), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Find Common Core resources to use in your classroom and share within your building or district. Explore and view sample test items to use as models for building your own questions aligned to Common Core standards. Display sample test items on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to solve and discuss together as a class. Challenge students to create their own similar questions for the class to try.

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FotoFlexer - Arbor Labs, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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Flex your photo creativity with this free tool. Transform images with scrapbook-like effects and embellishments. Begin with basic effects like cropping and contrasting. Add text, draw...more
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Flex your photo creativity with this free tool. Transform images with scrapbook-like effects and embellishments. Begin with basic effects like cropping and contrasting. Add text, draw on the photo, and add animated effects to flex your photo editing muscles. The tool is integrated with Facebook and most photosharing sites. You can also upload photos from your computer. Resave photos back to your computer, share online, or store in FotoFlexer. Flex your photos without an account or create an account to store them in FotoFlexer. Only the demonstrations require FLASH.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (261), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Stretch your students' creativity with these fun photo effects. Type sentences or definitions on photos that represent vocabulary words. Highlight geometric shapes in photos with the drawing tool to show math in everyday life or around the world. Integrate images in multimedia products. Narrate images with UtellStory (reviewed here) or other digital storytelling tools. Use the text tool to draw information on maps. Upload images from science labs for students to annotate their experiment. Upload images of student artwork and have students annotate to explain their techniques. In world languages, add the vocabulary word for actions or objects to create a picture dictionary. Enhance pictures for blogs, wikis, or classroom sites. Be sure to check district policy before using student pictures. Annotate photos for visual directions for assignments. If using pictures from the Internet, be sure to discuss copyright issues and approve pictures for student use. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here, Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here, or PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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History and Politics Out Loud - WyzAnt Tutoring

Grades
6 to 12
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Listen to famous speeches by influential leaders of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Choose from the list of leaders including Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, and Martin...more
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Listen to famous speeches by influential leaders of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Choose from the list of leaders including Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, and Martin Luther King, Jr, and many others. View a short biography and background along with links to a famous speech (or speeches) given by that person. Some speeches are audio only, others are YouTube videos. If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable. You could always download 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): churchill (5), declaration of independence (13), inauguration (11), inventors and inventions (103), kennedy (27), martin luther king (37), persuasive writing (54), presidents (129), roosevelt (16)

In the Classroom

Share speeches from this site on your class webpage or blog for students to view at home. Share them with your class using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person after viewing and listening to speeches on this site. Use the text of speeches to create a word cloud (try Wordle, -reviewed here) to analyze a leader's priorities and emphasis. Use these examples as students prepare their own persuasive (or propaganda) speeches in English or civics classes. Teachers or ELL students can offer speeches with accompanying texts to help build vocabulary and listening skills.
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Piazza - Pooja Sankar

Grades
9 to 12
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Piazza is a free service to create collaborative message boards for use in classrooms. Track student use, add multiple instructors and or teaching assistants in each course, and collaborate...more
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Piazza is a free service to create collaborative message boards for use in classrooms. Track student use, add multiple instructors and or teaching assistants in each course, and collaborate on editing messages using Piazza's features. Piazza allows you to collaborate on responses to create one cohesive response instead of several similar individual responses. Create tags to label information such as quiz 1, semester review, or grading rubrics. Choose the statistics icon to view class participation, activity peaks, and question response times. Choose Try a Demo to explore features included with Piazza in their virtual sandbox. This tool seems to be aimed at college/university level classes but can be used with students over age 13 if you are adhering to your school's policies.

tag(s): questioning (32)

In the Classroom

Consider using Piazza as a resource in your classroom to increase student interaction with materials and each other. Library/media specialists could use this tool for online book clubs. Teach on a team? Collaborate with other teachers for assignments and more using this site. Create quick questions or even a short quiz using Piazza. You can also use this tool in your graduate courses!

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