TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 16, 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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3D Toad - TechTol Imaging

Grades
5 to 12
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3D Toad offers many images for viewing items in both 3D and 360 degree rotation. The site offers an assortment of categories such as Dissections, Human and Animal Skeletons, Fossils,...more
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3D Toad offers many images for viewing items in both 3D and 360 degree rotation. The site offers an assortment of categories such as Dissections, Human and Animal Skeletons, Fossils, and an extensive listing of Chemicals. There are also categories not typically associated with a "toad" such as: Yoga, Music, Dental Hygiene, History, Ballet Positions, Computer Networking, Emergency Preparedness, and more! The History link is interesting and includes American 1700-1800 and American Civil War: both packed with artifacts. Choose any image then drag your mouse to view or zoom in and out as desired.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1700s (23), body systems (57), chemicals (40), civil war (145), coral (12), dance (28), dental health (23), dissection (10), elements (36), fossils (44), rocks (49)

In the Classroom

Use 3D Toad as a visual glossary on classroom computers. Have students visit this "visual glossary" center to explore objects and new vocabulary that they are learning. View and examine objects together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Choose an area/topic that relates to what you are learning about in class. Have each student choose an object from that area to observe and explore to heighten observation skills. Challenge students to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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Writer Igniter - Gabriela Pereira

Grades
5 to 12
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Writer Igniter is an "easy to use" writing prompt creator to set minds in motion! Choose the shuffle button then watch the four categories spin before stopping to set the ...more
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Writer Igniter is an "easy to use" writing prompt creator to set minds in motion! Choose the shuffle button then watch the four categories spin before stopping to set the scene for a story. Categories include character, situation, setting, and prop. Writer Igniter is also part of a larger website called DIY MFA offering articles and information for Writing with Focus and Reading with Purpose. Designed to encourage and offer tools for writers, it is a wealth of information for any aspiring writer, though it is intended for adults.

tag(s): creative writing (166), writers workshop (31), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Engage students using the Writer Igniter for any creative writing assignment or to help them think about story patterns as you brainstorm as a class to generate a story outline. Click shuffle and let the fun begin! Use the Igniter for all members of a class to begin with the same scenario or allow students to shuffle their own story starter. Have students use Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more. Share articles from Writer Igniter to teach writing skills, or assign students to read and share information from articles with classmates. World language students could write tales in their new language.

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The Question Generator - Department of Education, Victoria

Grades
1 to 12
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The Question Generator does just what its title says. Click on the "spin" button and question starters will appear for both closed and open ended questions. Closed questions are valuable...more
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The Question Generator does just what its title says. Click on the "spin" button and question starters will appear for both closed and open ended questions. Closed questions are valuable for acquiring background information on a topic. Open ended questions are valuable for research and discussions. Find it easy to create both at the Question Generator! View the introduction video to learn more about using this tool.

tag(s): questioning (31), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use the Question Generator along with any fiction or nonfiction reading to help your students think more deeply. Use as a starting point in research projects. With the Common Core State Standards and their focus on close reading, rigor, and critical thinking, this is the perfect tool to use to make sure you are challenging your students. Introduce students to this tool when they need to create essential questions for their research, or when developing questions for their literature circle group. Learning support students can gain practice thinking beyond the "facts" by creating and talking through their own questions. Before you start, generate a list of key words from the unit: terms such as arachnids or homeostasis or names of historic figures, so they can then insert the terms into the question starters from the generator. Your interactive whiteboard or projector would be an ideal place to generate some questions together before turning students loose to generate some of their own. Be sure to record/save the list of questions you create on a class wiki or blog-- or even on old fashioned butcher paper as students go off to resolve them. Revisit the questions late in the unit to see which are still unresolved. Ask the class which question would make the best essay question on the final "test." Maybe allow them to choose their own? In world language classes, these simple questions could lead to practice with dialog.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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World War 2 Pictures in Color - WebCurl, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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World War 2 Pictures in Color offers an extremely large collection of pictures for public viewing. View daily photo uploads by the site's users or search for specific terms using...more
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World War 2 Pictures in Color offers an extremely large collection of pictures for public viewing. View daily photo uploads by the site's users or search for specific terms using the search bar. Other search options include most recent, most views, and subjects such as the branch of the military. Click on any thumbnail to view full size along with a description and comments. Users must register to upload photos or add comments. Comments are not moderated. Please note: these photos are free to VIEW not SHARE (no copy/paste or print). You CAN link directly to an image using its url. RIGHT click the image and select "copy image url" or "get info" to find that direct url and include it in a blog post or other tool that asks for image urls.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1930s (15), 1940s (13), hitler (10), images (266), veterans (19), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

View images on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as primary sources for World War 2 information. Share a few images a day during your unit about the war. Use these online images to show WWII veterans and spark conversations in face to face interviews. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a World War 2 event, soldier, or Commander after viewing and discussing the site's images. Be sure to discuss acceptable use policies and how to give credit when using images found on the Internet. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.

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Quotesome - Quotesome.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Find (and collect) quotes on any topic using Quotesome. Use the search feature to find specific topics or words. Choose to explore featured quotes, recently submitted, or recently collected...more
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Find (and collect) quotes on any topic using Quotesome. Use the search feature to find specific topics or words. Choose to explore featured quotes, recently submitted, or recently collected quotes. Each quote includes the author's name. Click on the name to find other quotes by that person. Request an invite to the site for the ability to collect and save quotes as well as contribute to the site.

tag(s): famous people (19), quotations (23), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use the site to have a quote of the day (or week) for your interactive whiteboard, projector, or class web page. Share the site with students to use when in need of a quote for classroom projects or writing ideas. Find writing prompt quotes based on a search term. In literature or social studies classes, look at the list of quotes by an author or famous person. Invite students to create online posters (or traditional bulletin boards) about the author/person using selected quotes. Have students or groups collect ideas and findings using Padlet, reviewed here. The Padlet application creates free, online bulletin boards of "sticky notes." Create a whole class account to collect your favorite quotes throughout the year. You will find that certain quotes will recall entire class discussions! For ready-made quotes for your class bulletin boards, don't miss TeachersFirst's Bulletin Board Hangups.

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Climate Commons - Earth Journalism Network

Grades
9 to 12
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This tool is a map-based interactive platform containing layers of news and information on climate change in the US. It includes the latest data, stories on the causes and impacts,...more
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This tool is a map-based interactive platform containing layers of news and information on climate change in the US. It includes the latest data, stories on the causes and impacts, and the response to climate change. View the most recent data, including temperature, precipitation, and carbon dioxide emissions. Filter stories by a variety of categories (such as Oceans.) Each dot displays a story.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64)

In the Classroom

Use the data and geotagged stories to understand more about climate change. Create multimedia (podcast, video, blog, wiki, etc.) or conventional products (poster or bulletin board) to explain the basics of climate change. Click on different dots on the map to view specific stories that are being published there. Compare the tone and substance of the different articles found in each of the areas. Are there certain regions that are more skeptical (or less) about this issue? Have students select a story to research in terms of its local implications at that location, such as a story about fracking in the Marcellus Shale region. Civics/government classes can use this site to trace political issues, news, and related policy initiatives related to climate change.

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Shape Rotate - Sums Math

Grades
4 to 6
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Practice with degrees of rotation (angles) to replicate shapes using Shape Rotate. Start the activity to obtain a pattern to reproduce. Select the number of degrees rotation for each...more
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Practice with degrees of rotation (angles) to replicate shapes using Shape Rotate. Start the activity to obtain a pattern to reproduce. Select the number of degrees rotation for each piece and the number of times it appears in the shape. Press shape rotate to produce your shape and see if it matches. If incorrect, directions tell what needs correction such as more degrees needed. If correct, move on to a new pattern. Be sure your Flash version is up to date for this one.

tag(s): angles (88), rotation (13)

In the Classroom

Use Shape Rotate on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to review and practice degrees and rotation of angles. Discuss different strategies for choosing degrees of rotation within a pattern. Use this site as a model and have students create their own pattern and rotations for other students to solve.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sound Bible - SoundBible.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find or upload sound clips in wav or MP3 format -- with clear information about digital rights -- at Sound Bible. Thousands of files are available for easy download. Use ...more
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Find or upload sound clips in wav or MP3 format -- with clear information about digital rights -- at Sound Bible. Thousands of files are available for easy download. Use the search bar to locate a specific sound or browse through sound effects or royalty free sounds available on the site. Click the arrow to hear the sound clip, then click on the name to go to the download section. Choose from wav, mp3, or zip file, and click to download. Share your own sounds using the link provided along with a short description of your sound file. The sound file information includes licensing information for the sound. If you search solely in Royalty Free sounds, you are safe to use them, but follow the attribution requirements as explained on the lower portion of the "Royalty Free sounds" page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (91), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use Sound Bible to find short sound clips for use in presentations, videos, or interactive whiteboard lessons. In primary grades, play sounds as cues for classroom management, such as bird sounds to gather "at the nest" for circle time. Use sound clips as story or journal starter ideas. Play a clip and have students create a story that incorporates that sound. Take your students on an audio tour of the rainforest as you learn about the various animals and sounds. Use this site during units about weather to share sounds from storms, wind, thunder, and more. Explore ocean sounds, animals sounds, etc. Use in world language classes to spark conversations and build vocabulary. Play background sounds during creative writing class. Challenge students to write about how the sounds make them feel. Challenge gifted or digitally-clever students to use these sounds to create an all-audio story to accompany a drawing or image. Use a tool such as Brainshark, -reviewed here.

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The Curriculum Corner - Jill McEldowney and Cathy Henry

Grades
K to 5
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Find ready-to-go lessons and materials for 1st and 2nd grades to meet many of the Common Core standards. Many of the materials could also be useful with students in grades ...more
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Find ready-to-go lessons and materials for 1st and 2nd grades to meet many of the Common Core standards. Many of the materials could also be useful with students in grades 3-5. Begin by choosing from topics such as Reading, Math, Classroom Management, or Seasonal. Within each topic find a list of lessons or activities. Look under Classroom Management to find a link to Common Core "I Can" printables, reading logs, and checklists for grades K-5. Choose from different subjects for each checklist along with the option of borderless design or clip art poster. Don't let the juvenile look of this site or the abundance of advertising fool you. There are a lot of wonderful resources to be found with just a little bit of searching!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (251), back to school (58), behavior (46), biographies (87), charts and graphs (195), data (148), division (172), elections (75), guided reading (47), literacy (103), magnetism (36), money (193), multiplication (227), narrative (24), organizational skills (122), plants (145), poetry (228), problem solving (272), readers theater (17), reading strategies (45), rocks (49), subtraction (208), time (144), writers workshop (31)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a lesson resource throughout the year. This is a great site to peruse over the summer or use for back to school planning. Use this site to learn more about Common Core. Print the "I Can" checklists for use in student folders as part of your yearly assessment. Send a copy home to parents so that they see the yearly standards and goals for each subject.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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JogLab - JogLab

Grades
5 to 12
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Create and learn about mnemonics and acrostic poems easily with this tool. Use JogLab to create a catchy slogan to help you remember terms and ideas. You can browse the ...more
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Create and learn about mnemonics and acrostic poems easily with this tool. Use JogLab to create a catchy slogan to help you remember terms and ideas. You can browse the ready-made mnemonics, but there do not seem to be many. To explore the keywords of a topic and build you own mnemonic, click the topic History, (for example), then the actual concept, such as Bill of Rights. The keywords will be listed. Click "Create your own mnemonic for Bill of Rights" to generate a mnemonic from this list of keywords. Despite the many windows and scroll bars, the word finder is an easy tool to use. For each letter of the mnemonic, follow the site suggestions of words that can string together into a phrase. Use the part-of-speech sorter to narrow the suggested words to your specification of noun, verb, adjective, etc. These will reinforce parts of speech in the context of sentence making. There are links to advertising and off-site (NOT school friendly) content, so familiarize yourself with the tool before showing it to students to avoid these areas.

tag(s): parts of speech (68), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Introduce acrostic poems with this tool by building one together on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Demonstrate and use the mnemonic tool on a projector or interactive whiteboard to create an easy way for students to remember a sequence of terms or concepts. After the class has used it together, provide a link to this tool on your class website. Have students create their own mnemonics in small groups and vote on the best as a class. Learning support teachers will want to make this a routine tool for their students to use when reviewing for tests.
 

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The Literacy Shed - Rob Smith

Grades
K to 12
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Find hundreds of ideas for using the visual resources of film, animation, photographs and picture books for teaching literacy. Each "shed" has a theme: The Mystery Shed, The Video Game...more
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Find hundreds of ideas for using the visual resources of film, animation, photographs and picture books for teaching literacy. Each "shed" has a theme: The Mystery Shed, The Video Game Shed, The Fantasy Shed, The Myths Shed, The Picture Book Shed, and at least 25 more. Each "shed" has images and videos along with suggestions for using them. The activities and materials will appeal to many age groups from primary to college age. The Literacy Shed also features a resource a week and a blog entry for the week. This site is free, but donations are accepted. The Resource Shed features lesson plans and worksheets from others to go along with the animations. Only the videos use Flash. At the time of this review, all advertising was related to educational sites and activities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44), literacy (103), reading comprehension (116), writers workshop (31), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

The Literacy shed is full of ideas for writing, creating, and improving your student's critical thinking skills. There are lesson plans with explicit instructions for writing. The high quality resources found here can be used as "stand alone" lessons or can be an introduction to a unit. Look to see if there is one to support a unit you already use. Here is an idea: after viewing one of your favorite picture books via video, and completing some of the suggested activities, have students bring in their favorite picture book and create activities similar to those found on The Literacy Shed. They could also create a video either with pictures from the book or by creating their own pictures and narrating the story. Be sure students use proper citation if posting them on TeacherTube, reviewed here, or another online program. Not finding your favorite book on The Literacy Shed? See if you can find a YouTube or Vimeo video and create your own lesson from a model at The Literacy Shed.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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CommonCore Sheets - Common Core Sheets

Grades
2 to 8
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Find downloadable worksheets correlated to Common Core curriculum. Visit the math link for practice with all operations and many topic areas (balancing equations, many forms of graphs,...more
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Find downloadable worksheets correlated to Common Core curriculum. Visit the math link for practice with all operations and many topic areas (balancing equations, many forms of graphs, fractions, grids, lines, line plots, geometry, measurement, money, negative numbers, time, and SO much more)! In social studies find worksheets on geography, primary and secondary sources, and timelines. Language arts includes parts of speech and sentence types. Under each subject choose easy, medium, or hard worksheets. In Create a Review, choose your topic area and create your own worksheet. Also included are brain teasers, bingo games, and multiplication mazes.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), decimals (133), fractions (239), measurement (159), money (193), negative numbers (22), operations (126), order of operations (33), parts of speech (68), primary sources (86), probability (130), sentences (52), time (144), timelines (62), variables (22)

In the Classroom

Find worksheets for every subject to better prepare your students for Common Core standards and testing. Use the sheets to make a formative or even summative assessment for many different topics in math. Use as a review or even practice. Provide this link on your class website for students (and parents) to find extra practice. Printable answer keys come with the worksheets. Allow students to create their own quizzes. Easy to use, grade, and share. Use for gifted students needing some acceleration. Use for extra practice with students struggling with new concepts.
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