TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 14, 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

 

Less
More

Deep Space Sparkle - Patty Palmer

Grades
K to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Deep Space Sparkle is an out of this world site that provides art lesson plans, student examples, tutorials, tips, and techniques. Are you looking to become art smart? Are your ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Deep Space Sparkle is an out of this world site that provides art lesson plans, student examples, tutorials, tips, and techniques. Are you looking to become art smart? Are your students craving creativity? These ideas are classroom tested and teacher approved. Perfect for art or classroom teachers in grades K-6, this site was developed by an elementary art teacher. Lesson plans are organized by subject, grade, and techniques. Use the search box to find specific lessons. Visit the "Art Basics" section to build your background or review art vocabulary found in the lessons. Go "Inside the Art Room" for information on classroom management, organization, supplies, and how-to videos. The posts are detailed and provide insight with authentic classroom experiences. Don't forget to dig through the "Scrap Box" section of the site for more great art information! Blog posts, book reviews, and art shows are just a few of the items located in the "Scrap Box" section. At the time of this review, there were also a few Common Core and the Arts blog posts. Deep Space Sparkle is free, but offers eBooks and eCourses for purchase. This review was for the FREE portion only. Don't forget to subscribe to the Deep Space Sparkle mailing list to receive updates.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (83), art history (69), artists (75), design (84)

In the Classroom

If you're looking to "draw" students into a creative classroom, this site will be your go-to source. Teaching art can be an arduous process for classroom teachers. Bookmark the "Art Basics" page for your students to access the vocabulary collection. Your one stop shop for lessons by grade, subjects, and techniques. Find lessons to support writing assignments, science instruction, and literature. Work on research skills to write biographies on famous artists. Inspire your students' visual-spatial intelligence with these options. Background information on the lessons provides nonfiction reading opportunities for students before completing the hands-on activities. Looking for the best supplies for the activity? Use the resource pages under the "Scrap Box" section of the site to make sure your classroom is ready to create. Partner with a classroom a few grades lower for older students to teach younger students from the detailed plans. Students can teach the class a lesson pertaining to their artist.

Share this site with parents via your class website to find ideas for birthday parties and school vacations. Your PTO/PTA can also find after school club activities ready to go on this site.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

SciShow - SciShow

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This YouTube channel teaches scientific concepts in an easy to understand style. The channel includes a variety of short videos ranging from 3 to 10 minutes. There are videos for ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

This YouTube channel teaches scientific concepts in an easy to understand style. The channel includes a variety of short videos ranging from 3 to 10 minutes. There are videos for primary students as well as high school students. New videos are released weekly, and viewers are encouraged to add their suggestions for future videos. The wide variety includes just about every topic in Science. Note: Constant additions mean that adults will want to preview in case recent additions are not appropriate for your audience. One page load included a video about "How Weed Works," possibly appropriate during a drug and alcohol study, but not elsewhere?

Be sure to check whether You Tube is blocked at your school and download videos prior to class if necessary. 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): video (251)

In the Classroom

Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Flip your classroom and have students view video clips at home and then discuss the following day in class. Use as an introductory video at the start of a lesson or unit to catch student interest. Follow with individual and group brainstorming of questions the students have about content they would need to know to understand the topic. Students can research the answers to the questions and present to the class with teacher guidance and filling in gaps of knowledge. Can't find a video that pertains to your current unit of study? Why not have students create their own videos to share with the class using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

The Field Book Project - National Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian Institute

Grades
7 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
This article announces and explains a one stop archive of field research journals and other documents. Click the text link "View all Field Book Project records on Collection Search...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

This article announces and explains a one stop archive of field research journals and other documents. Click the text link "View all Field Book Project records on Collection Search Center" to search from a wide variety of examples of scientific fieldbooks. Use the search functions to find specific journals related to many fields in Biology and Geology. Click to view each electronic resource in a pop up window.

tag(s): field trips (12), geology (81), journals (20), scientific method (64)

In the Classroom

Share this site as you teach about scientific method or simply about what scientists do. Display sample journals on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have student partners explore to find a journal they find intriguing and bring it back to describe to the class. Be sure to discuss the value of using journaling in the sciences. View a journal to identify what information is included in actual scientist's journals. How is the information recorded then valuable to what we know today? How are field journals different from the type of work that students do? Challenge your students to keep their own field journals. Have students use Page Flip-Flap (reviewed here) to turn their journals (Word documents, PDFs, and images) into an online book. There is even a page-turning effect!

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Who Am I? - London Science Museum

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Who Am I? is an online exhibit presented by the London Science Museum devoted to the exploration of genetics and the human body. Play Thingdom, choose a "thing," and begin ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Who Am I? is an online exhibit presented by the London Science Museum devoted to the exploration of genetics and the human body. Play Thingdom, choose a "thing," and begin the process of nurturing it to maturity. Move through a progression of challenges to create offspring with the correct traits. Choose the Find Out More section to view animations of your body, your brain, and your genes.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (70), cells (102), emotions (34), genetics (90), human body (119)

In the Classroom

Much of this material is ideal for sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Another idea: flip your classroom and have your students view a certain section of the site at home and share their thoughts the following day in class. Allow students to play Thingdom on classroom laptops to explore concepts learned about genetics. Create an account to save games for later play. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to explain the genetics concepts they have learned.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

SearchyPants - Safe Search for Kids - SearchyPants

Grades
K to 6
7 Favorites 2  Comments
Looking for a safe way for young students to search? SearchyPants provides a safe search environment. You can customize a safe search page with a background and add links. You ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Looking for a safe way for young students to search? SearchyPants provides a safe search environment. You can customize a safe search page with a background and add links. You can search the entire web or narrow your search to just images, videos, or games. Add a custom message for users of your search page to read before searching or using links. Note that search result pages do display ads, just as Google does, so you will want to show young users how to distinguish and avoid these links.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Create a SearchyPants page for use on classroom computers. Demonstrate HOW to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Even younger students can search for topics using the links that you provide. Be sure to include graphics for your non-readers. With upper elementary students, have them access the web through your page for safe searching. Include links for specific games or websites for classroom use.

Comments

Great tool to use with young students!! Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5
Good searching for young children connie, , Grades: 0 - 2

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Tableizer! - Danny Sanchez

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tableizer is a "cool tool" for creating HTML code to show spreadsheet data in table format. No one wants to learn how to write HTML (web page code) to make ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Tableizer is a "cool tool" for creating HTML code to show spreadsheet data in table format. No one wants to learn how to write HTML (web page code) to make tables, but adding a table to your blog is sometimes a must to line up information into columns. Copy and paste your cells from Excel, Calc, or other spreadsheets into the box provided. Choose options such as font size and style and color. Click the Tableize it! button to view the HTML code along with a preview of the results. Copy and paste the HTML code into any web page you create, such as your blog or wiki. The best part: no registration is required.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (87), data (149), spreadsheets (16)

In the Classroom

Tableizer is an excellent tool for easily displaying data on your web page or blog. Use anytime you want to display information from a spreadsheet. Share with students for use in displaying lab results, scientific data, budgets, etc. Use this to list a schedule of events, requirements, etc. in a clear table on your class blog.
 

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

The Secret Door - Safe Style UK

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
Open a door to tour worldwide locations with this intriguing site. Clicking on the door transports you to indoor spaces from all over the world using a Google StreetMap mashup. ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Open a door to tour worldwide locations with this intriguing site. Clicking on the door transports you to indoor spaces from all over the world using a Google StreetMap mashup. Click on the door again (or click "take me somewhere else") to be transported to another place. Visit famous landmarks, museums, and more. What a treat! The entire Secret Door interaction can be embedded in your blog or wiki using the embed code provided by clicking "embed this." Secret Door is random, so going to the same place again could be tricky. To return later to the same location, make a note of the location in top left (or copy it). Use Google Maps (reviewed here), search for the location that was named in the top left corner, and use Streetview (drag the little orange man on top of the landmark to look inside).

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), landmarks (26)

In the Classroom

Teacher-librarians can use this to inspire research or non-fiction reading by embedding it in their website or displaying it on a computer in the media center! Use this site to learn drawing inferences about each of the places visited. Use the images as a class or in groups to determine where in the world it is located using clues from the picture. You will want to "hide" the location that shows in the top left corner. This is a great introduction into culture, building, design, etc. Project an image on an Interactive Whiteboard as a prompt for a short story, poem, or essay inspired by the image. Share an image as your students enter the classroom as the daily "travel mystery." Give your students 2-3 minutes of time to investigate WHERE the image is from. Brainstorm how the image is related to a story being discussed in class, a unit of study, or parallels to our culture. What creatures and cultures would be seen in this place? Ask and answer interesting questions related to the images. Teachers of gifted can use these images to inspire creation of text-based games to take place in these settings using descriptive writing and a tool such as Quest, reviewed here, or Playfic, reviewed here.

Comments

Very cool, easy to use site for when you have a few minutes. I think the age range could be k-12 as my 4 year old loved seeing where the door would take us. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it is really hard to get back to a place that you previously visited. Diane, PA, Grades: 0 - 4

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker - Colorado State University's Center for the New Energy Economy

Grades
9 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
State legislatures in the US are considering thousands of bills that will influence energy systems and how energy is purchased and used. This tool is an online database to identify...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

State legislatures in the US are considering thousands of bills that will influence energy systems and how energy is purchased and used. This tool is an online database to identify possible changes in energy policy without having to gain access from a variety of sources. The tracker identifies bills organized into the following categories: Electricity Generation, Energy Efficiency, Financing, Regulatory, Natural Gas, Emissions, Transportation, Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Other Energy. Search across all 50 states or choose from a selection of states. Identify proposed bills, action on the bills, and information about the sponsors of the bill. The database also shows an analysis of policy trends.

tag(s): debate (41), energy (197), environment (317), persuasive writing (54), politics (98), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

Use this resource in an Energy or Environmental unit or as an applied way to study civics and government. Students can search their State and compare to other States. Discuss the different bills being proposed and how they would affect consumers or businesses. As a project idea, assign student groups the task of creating a bill that they would like to see adopted by their State. Challenge students to share their bill and ideas by using Prezi (reviewed here) to create a presentation. Consider making this an authentic experience in civics by having students compose persuasive letters with their suggestions (with the link to their presentation) to send to legislators. The many bills shared on this site would also provide excellent topics for debate or persuasive writing in English classes.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

TimeRef Medieval History Timelines - Mark Needham

Grades
8 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Find Medieval and Middle Ages Timelines related to England, Scotland, and Wales. TimeRef includes detailed timelines, information about key medieval episodes, biographies of medieval...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Find Medieval and Middle Ages Timelines related to England, Scotland, and Wales. TimeRef includes detailed timelines, information about key medieval episodes, biographies of medieval people, photographs of medieval places, maps and 3D CGI reconstructions of ruined castles and abbeys. Reference information on British Medieval history from 800AD through 1499AD. Explore TimeRef's contents as sorted into four main classifications: timelines, episodes, people, and maps and places. Use the search tool and provided categories to narrow down information into manageable pieces or to find specific people, locations, or information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): britain (35), medieval (27), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-see for any teacher of medieval history or for students fascinated by the era of castles and knights. Although information is related to Britain, it provides an in-depth look at the period and way of life in western Europe. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare medieval life in Britain to that of another country or to the present day. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about someone living in medieval times. Assign students different occupations or roles in society to view differences in the way of life during this time. This site could also provide historical context for many works of fiction such as the King Arthur tales and more.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Kaizena - Kaizena

Grades
1 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Do you wish you had enough time in your schedule for one-on-one personalized writing conferences with your students or writers you know? Kaizena (previously 121Writing) can make that...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Do you wish you had enough time in your schedule for one-on-one personalized writing conferences with your students or writers you know? Kaizena (previously 121Writing) can make that dream a reality. Kaizena allows you to give feedback on writing via an audio recording. Writers often have difficulty reading the margin notes from teachers or other readers, or they need more explanation. An audio recording of the feedback provides a personalized experience to enhance the writing process. Kaizena works best by synching with your Google Drive account. There is an option at the bottom of the page to sign up by sending in your name and email address. However, this can take a while, so plan ahead! Sign in with your Google account to watch a helpful video and learn how to connect to your Google Drive account or school Google Apps account.

Start by highlighting a text selection, hit record, and provide your feedback. Writers will be able to listen to your feedback and revise or edit their writing as though you were face to face. Tag your highlighted text with keywords that can be tracked in a mastery-based rubric. You could tag conventional errors, mistakes, or selections that are amazing. Verbal feedback can be played on an iPad so students can listen in the best learning environment to meet their needs. Writers will progress as you enhance the writing process with explicit audio feedback. Kaizena can enhance feedback for written work for any school subject or even outside of school.

tag(s): editing (58), process writing (40), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Editing and revising are better with audio feedback. Provide explicit details to improve student performance. Students can record peer edits and share audio recordings with classmates. Classroom time is more efficient and effective when students can listen to your feedback before meeting face to face. Have students highlight passages of text and provide their reflections on the selection. World language classes can speak text or respond to questions in their new language. Learning support students will better understand audio feedback on their writing than detailed comments written in "teacher-ese." This is a great tool for students to highlight poetry and record their thoughts and feelings on the text. Students can highlight and record their thought process as they solve math word problems. Highlight and record opinions on current event articles. Highlight an entire passage of text to model reading fluency. Students can listen and read along with the recording to help with phrasing and expression. Highlight text and model fluency for ESL/ELL students. Highlight assessment questions or text for lower-level readers to provide a level playing field in the classroom. Challenge students to provide audio feedback to their peers on passages where they would like to know more, questions they have as readers, and positive feedback on passages they enjoy.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Hungry Pests - APHIS

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Learn about a variety of Invasive Pests. Identify them by their mug shots, learn how they spread, and view affected states. Click on the link to view the entire United ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Learn about a variety of Invasive Pests. Identify them by their mug shots, learn how they spread, and view affected states. Click on the link to view the entire United States. Choose the state you want to explore. Find a list of the pests and information.

tag(s): ecosystems (88), environment (317), insects (68), species (29)

In the Classroom

Create a campaign to educate others on activities that spread pests around. Identify what these pests look like and how they are similar or different to other insects that live in your ecosystem. Write a story about the animals in the ecosystem and include one of the invasive pests. Students can also write poems, create pictures, or other displays to educate others about pests. Have students create a blog to share their writing projects. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

OutWit.Me Twitter Tweet Games - outwit.me

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find creative ideas for using Twitter to study and in class using OutWit.Me. View directions for many games to play with friends on Twitter. The games on this site were ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Find creative ideas for using Twitter to study and in class using OutWit.Me. View directions for many games to play with friends on Twitter. The games on this site were created by Twitter users. Suggested games include TweetQuiz, Word Connections, Crack the Code, and others.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): social networking (112), twitter (51)

In the Classroom

Use OutWit.Me to review information before tests or exams. Invite students to become experts at a certain game and to explain it to the class. Use the ideas on the site to create your own Twitter handle and create directions for your own class game. Better yet, challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own games. Create a TweetQuiz for important characters or events in history, play Crack the Code as an anticipation guide for a new unit, or play TweetWords providing clues to vocabulary words. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

QuizSlides - London South Bank University

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create your own slides for a quiz using PowerPoint or PDF. Upload them to this site to be shared via your personal url or link to any website. Create a ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Create your own slides for a quiz using PowerPoint or PDF. Upload them to this site to be shared via your personal url or link to any website. Create a quiz including a title and end slide. Each question should include four possible choices for an answer with one correct response. Up to 40 questions can be posted. Take the test yourself to identify correct responses; then the quiz is ready to share. Options include quizzes for anonymous users with an "answer until right" format or exam mode where you identify yourself at the start and are given points based on responses. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, be sure to view the video at home for more instruction about how to use this site.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (95), slides (60), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Create quizzes for review before tests. Share the link with students to use at home. Have students create their own PowerPoint quizzes and upload for sharing with other class members. Use as a pre-test at the start of a chapter or unit. Identify misconceptions or basic knowledge to help determine instruction. Identify interests of students at the start of the school year by asking quiz questions. Do the questions as a whole-class activity on your projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do alone. Learning support teachers can have small groups create review quizzes as a way of studying without realizing it!

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close