TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 9, 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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Safety Center: Staying Safe on YouTube - Google Education

Grades
6 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Google Education has created this curriculum for secondary teachers including several articless supporting responsible digital citizenship not only with YouTube but with all online...more
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Google Education has created this curriculum for secondary teachers including several articless supporting responsible digital citizenship not only with YouTube but with all online activity. There is an introductory video about Google and being safe on the Internet. 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.

tag(s): digital citizenship (59), internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Assign groups to read different articles and share the highlights with the class. Show students how to take Cornell (two column) notes and summarize using this information. Use a tool like 43 Folders Cornell Notes, reviewed here, to help explain Cornell Notes to students. Pair weak readers with strong readers for this activity. Have students create online posters using Check This (reviewed here) to illustrate the concepts they learned to others in their class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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3210 Blast Off to a Healthier Family! - Bluekids.org

Grades
K to 7
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Blast Off to a healthier family with games and tracking sheets for a healthier lifestyle. Interactives begin with a short mini lesson explaining topics such as ways to become more ...more
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Blast Off to a healthier family with games and tracking sheets for a healthier lifestyle. Interactives begin with a short mini lesson explaining topics such as ways to become more active, making positive lifestyle choices, and busting bullying behaviors. Learn about poison prevention through a visit to Safeville -- full of interactives and short lessons. Note that the "Educators" link at top left leads to materials/curricula for sale. The 3210 Blast off area is all free.

tag(s): bullying (52), nutrition (154), obesity (19), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Create a link to games on classroom computers for students to play and explore on their own. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Print tracking sheets from the site for students to track physical activity, number of sweetened drinks consumed, or sedentary activity. Share this link on your class website for families to explore (and get healthy) together.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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OCD Education Station - Beyond OCD

Grades
K to 12
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OCD Education Station provides resources and information for helping those with OCD. Learn about OCD facts with a primer for educators that includes recognizing symptoms and challenges...more
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OCD Education Station provides resources and information for helping those with OCD. Learn about OCD facts with a primer for educators that includes recognizing symptoms and challenges to student performance. Find helpful information on managing OCD in the classroom as well as tips for communicating with parents. Choose the tools and resources link to access several printable guides available in English and Spanish for parents, teens, and school personnel.

tag(s): professional development (123), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Share this site as a professional resource with other educators as needed when dealing with individuals with OCD. Share with parents of OCD students as an additional resource for helping their child.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cloud Dreamer - Smithsonian Museum

Grades
K to 2
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Imagine, create, then view your own cloud with Cloud Dreamer. Click on any dot to pull and stretch the cloud into any desired shape. Choose "see it in the sky" ...more
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Imagine, create, then view your own cloud with Cloud Dreamer. Click on any dot to pull and stretch the cloud into any desired shape. Choose "see it in the sky" to view your cloud floating past a tranquil field of cows.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), preK (281), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Use Cloud Dreamer as a creative story starter based on cloud shapes. Take a screenshot of the clouds to use as illustrations with student writing (Shift+command +4 on a Mac or Prtscrn then paste on Windows). Have students describe and imagine what is happening in the field below. Or create a story from the cloud's or cow's perspective. Combine their cloud stories into a PowerPoint show -- printable as a big book -- or online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. After viewing and creating clouds with Cloud Dreamer, take your class outside to view clouds floating by and create stories from clouds they see overhead. Use this opportunity to teach young students about the different types of clouds.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club - National Public Radio

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
National Public Radio's (NPR) Backseat Book Club chooses a selection every month in hopes you will read it and send NPR your questions for the author. Past offerings range from ...more
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National Public Radio's (NPR) Backseat Book Club chooses a selection every month in hopes you will read it and send NPR your questions for the author. Past offerings range from classics like Black Beauty and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to contemporary offerings like The Red Pyramid and the Wimpy Kid series. While reading, write down questions for the author, send them to the Backseat Book Club. They will be presented to the author during their afternoon radio program, "All Things Considered." Certain segments of this site provide audio clips to enjoy. You can also subscribe to the Backseat Bookclub podcast, a great option for iTouches in your school library/media center.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (120), book lists (128), independent reading (128), literature (275), reading lists (75)

In the Classroom

Visit the Backseat Book Club with students to see the selection of the month. Then include students in the decision whether to read it as a class or just have several interested students read it. After sending the students' questions to the book club, listen to the program to see whether the author answers them. Maybe some of your students have previously read the selection for the month; they can still contribute their questions. Encourage parents to read the books with their student by posting a link on your class or school library website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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Animal Jam - National Geographic Kids

Grades
2 to 6
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Rock out to nature with Animal Jam! Animal Jam is a virtual-world counterpart to National Geographic Kids magazine. Create a free account after validation from a parent/adult email...more
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Rock out to nature with Animal Jam! Animal Jam is a virtual-world counterpart to National Geographic Kids magazine. Create a free account after validation from a parent/adult email address. Parent email is required for user validation. Learn about plants and animals while exploring virtual ecosystems. Animal Jam is great for all ages and abilities. Select an animal avatar to navigate through Jamma, a land where the animals are disappearing and the environment needs help. Name your avatar and take on its persona through the many customizable options. Uncover secrets and play games as you visit the land of Jamaa's mountains, caves, and waterways. Read electronic books, build your avatar's den, hang out with friends, and watch National Geographic multimedia clips. Earn gems through playing games and use them to purchase items for your avatar. Use the world map to show all the parts of the world that you visit. Add to your journal to record your travels through Jamaa. Tons of facts and videos are available to explore and fact sheets can be printed. Animal Jam offers many safe chat, privacy, and parental control features to make sure students are safe. Premium options are available for purchase. This review was for the FREE portion only.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animal homes (41), animals (276), biomes (116), ecosystems (88), habitats (84), plants (145), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Studying ecosystems or biomes? Animal Jam offers great supporting materials with an added social feature. Print fact sheets for students on plants and animals. Students can journal about their experiences. Animal Jam is great for science learning stations, enrichment, or support. Share Animal Jam on your interactive whiteboard and take a trip around the world with your class. Provide the link on your class website for students to further explore (and play) at home. Use the social features to teach digital citizenship skills in a safe environment. Students can write creative journal prompts from the point of view of their avatar as they integrate facts they learned in Animal Jam. Use the content in Animal Jam to provide a visual for your science instruction.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Revolutionary War Animated Maps - HistoryAnimated Education Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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Find animated online tours of notable battles and strategies and the outcomes of each battle from Prelude to War through The Battle of Yorktown. Choose from dates and...more
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Find animated online tours of notable battles and strategies and the outcomes of each battle from Prelude to War through The Battle of Yorktown. Choose from dates and battles included on the list on the left side of the page to begin each animation. View instructions for each animation. Some require pushing play for each slide while others play to the end with one click of play. This site links to a larger site with animated maps of other wars, reviewed here. Note that you can register on the site to be notified as future battles are added.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1700s (23), american revolution (86), map skills (79), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Illustrate Revolutionary War battles on an interactive whiteboard or projector during a lecture or class discussion. This site might also be useful as a link students can explore from home as part of a homework assignment or enrichment activity. Have students research this site and other information about their "battle" and create a multimedia project. How about a "talking map" indicating where a battle took place with audio recording. Use a site such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of local landforms (with audio stories and pictures included)! A group of talented future animators might be challenged to envision similar animations for battles that are not already included.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Historic Places - historicplaces.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Find and learn about almost 100,000 historic places in North America pinned on Google Maps. Click on place markers to view additional information on each location. Most include a link...more
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Find and learn about almost 100,000 historic places in North America pinned on Google Maps. Click on place markers to view additional information on each location. Most include a link to further information at an independent site. Use the search box to find historic places by city or state. Zoom in and out on the map to view placemarks by state or location. Don't forget to view "Street View" by clicking and dragging the "orange guy" where you want to go!

tag(s): canada (30), local history (13), maps (287), north america (19)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take your students to "ground level" by using Street View. Create a scavenger hunt for important places and challenge students to locate them on this site. Have students research historical sites in your town or those related to events studied in Social Studies class. If you teach about states or regions of the U.S. or Canada, this is a great resource for students to eplore in small groups. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops describing historic events.

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Spelling Connections - Zaner-Bloser

Grades
1 to 8
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Practice spelling and reading skills for grades K-8 with Spelling Connections. Designed to accompany Zaner-Bloser's Spelling Connections program, the activities are useful for any program....more
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Practice spelling and reading skills for grades K-8 with Spelling Connections. Designed to accompany Zaner-Bloser's Spelling Connections program, the activities are useful for any program. There are links for kids, parents, and teachers. Choose from several different activities: match words to spelling patterns, word work, drag and drop words to complete sentences, use proofreading symbols to correct reading passages, or play an online spelling bee versus the computer. Pick the type of activity to play, then choose a grade level and unit. When complete, view scores. For some activities you do have to click Score/i>. Options within some games include reset or speed score to attempt to finish within the given time frame.

tag(s): matching (24), phonics (75), proofreading (19), rhymes (33), sorting (10), spelling (168), vocabulary (323), vowels (13)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Divide your class into groups, and have a class challenge. This is an excellent site to add to student computers for word practice while differentiating for student abilities. Challenge students to increase speeds in the games as well as move up through different units. Share a link through your class website or newsletter for practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Abbreviations - STANDS4 LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Abbreviations.com is a directory and search engine for abbreviations, acronyms, and initial-isms across the Internet. It includes hundreds of thousands of entries organized into a large...more
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Abbreviations.com is a directory and search engine for abbreviations, acronyms, and initial-isms across the Internet. It includes hundreds of thousands of entries organized into a large variety of categories. Search for an abbreviation or acronym using the search bar and choose from abbreviation to term, term to abbreviation, or a word in the term. Browse items by choosing any letter to find items listed or choose from specific communities such as medical or business. Although this site has a lot of advertisements, the content found is worth looking past them.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for reference to find or to decipher abbreviations or acronyms. Share with students on your website or blog as a resource at home.

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Games to Learn English - Owen Dwyer

Grades
K to 8
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners,...more
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners, the many activities focus on developing vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, word order, and spelling skills. Choose from interactives such as Fast Hands and Concentration to begin. Each activity includes directions for play and scoring explanations, and most have playing speed options.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (103), preK (281), sentences (52), sequencing (31), spelling (168), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Although created for English language learners, this is an excellent site to develop vocabulary (and computer skills) for younger students. It also helps with speech/language vocabulary development and grammar reinforcement for special ed. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the activities as a class with a student operating the board. Create a link on classroom computers and challenge students to increase their speed in completing games.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Phrase.it - phrase.it

Grades
3 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection....more
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Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection. Pick one of the 5 different types of speech bubbles, drag to any part of the image, and type in text. Change fonts by clicking the text box until satisfied Change your image by applying one of the optional filters or leave it as is. When finished, click on the Save button and add your email if you want to receive a download link. You are also able to mark your photo PRIVATE. Once the image is saved and rendered, you can simply copy its url, share via email, Facebook, or Twitter, or download to your computer.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), comics and cartoons (74), images (266)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Teach parts of speech and grammar by having students write captions using colorful adjectives, adverbs, or specific sentence structures on a random photo. Make classroom signs and reminders. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use this site for back to school fun. Post a photo of yourself with a caption on your class website introducing yourself to the class during the summer. Challenge each student to find/share a photo of themselves either the first week of school (or even prior to school). You will want parental permission before posting any student photos on your class website. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps for math problem solving. Even elementary grades can make captions of an animal talking about his habitat or a "community helper" talking about his/her role, though you may have to do it together as a class to upload the image. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki. Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parent attention to important announcements. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night. World language classes can create images explaining and using new vocabulary. Use the site's random photo offerings for clever caption contests in your new language. Have gifted students create PhaseIt pictures to explain new knowledge they gain in going beyond the basics. For example, as the class studies plate tectonics, they could make a collection of volcano images "explaining" their own history or describing the Ring of Fire. Gifted students of all ages can make simple Phrase It images to share their own thought provoking questions about curriculum content, such as "Which figure of speech would Shakespeare be willing to give up?" Be sure to include these thought provokers on a class wiki or blog for others to respond! (No need to single out the "thinker" by mentioning who created it if it would cause ridicule.)

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FindIcons - findicons.com

Grades
K to 12
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FindIcons.com is a search tool that helps you find free icons. Type your term in the search bar to view icons in FindIcons database. Choose from several different options to ...more
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FindIcons.com is a search tool that helps you find free icons. Type your term in the search bar to view icons in FindIcons database. Choose from several different options to download icons in the file format desired, such as png. Convert to jpg, bmp, or several other file options. Each icon includes licensing information so you can look for icons that are Creative Commons or public domain. Create an account then make user sets of your favorite icons. Access your user sets from anywhere through the FindIcons website. Explore the TAGS button to find search ideas. Be aware: ANY word/term can be searched, some may not be appropriate for the classroom. If you plan to allow young people to use this site independently, be sure to discuss appropriate searching.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (266)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a resource for finding and saving icons to use on your website, or to include with class projects. Share this site with students to find icons for projects. If you make a whole-class account, you can create user sets in advance of projects to save time. In primary grades, these icons are terrific for teacher use! Use icons to create non-verbal signs for your non-readers in your classroom. Special education, world language, and ELL/ESL teachers can create non-verbal prompts for language learning. Use icons on your interactive whiteboard as drag and drop or labeling activities to build vocabulary and more.

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