TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 4, 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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STEMbite - Andrew Vanden Heuvel

Grades
4 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Are you looking to experience science and math through a different lens? STEMbite is a YouTube channel with engaging "bite-sized" lessons from a unique first-person perspective through...more
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Are you looking to experience science and math through a different lens? STEMbite is a YouTube channel with engaging "bite-sized" lessons from a unique first-person perspective through Google Glass. This intro page explains the project and gives the link to the actual YouTube channel. Math and science surrounds us in our everyday life. STEMbite opens your eyes to infinite possibilities. The videos engage you through a short explanation and motivate you to learn more. Examples of videos include math at the pharmacy, washing machine physics, chemistry in your kitchen, probability challenge, the polarization of light, and more! Subscribe to the STEMbite YouTube channel to make your mind hungry to learn about the application of math and science in our everyday life. STEMbite will change your point of view on math and science.

tag(s): atmosphere (26), energy (197), probability (130), STEM (134), video (253), waves (21)

In the Classroom

Use STEMbite videos as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Discuss the videos in STEMbite and informally assess the prior knowledge as you start a lesson or unit of study. STEMbite is a great find for gifted students (logic, unusual topics, in-depth investigation, and more). Be sure to include this site on your class web page or blog for students to access both in and outside of class. Have your students create their own first-person videos on a math or science topic. Create an online or printed comic similar to a STEMbite video on a science or math concept using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection. If your district blocks YouTube, then STEMbite may not be viewable for students at school. 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. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here and create a shortcut to the SafeShare page directly on the desktop.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Circuits - circuits.io

Grades
4 to 12
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Create circuit diagrams easily with this tool. Drag and drop elements onto the schematic. Name each of the elements (resistors, etc.) and save schematics once you create an account....more
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Create circuit diagrams easily with this tool. Drag and drop elements onto the schematic. Name each of the elements (resistors, etc.) and save schematics once you create an account. Add layers by clicking on the Settings tab. Use the Help tab to find the most common shortcuts with this tool. This tool has been tested in Chrome which is the recommended browser. Other browsers work, though there may be some issues with how items look or perform.

tag(s): circuits (20), electricity (89)

In the Classroom

This site is a great addition to any classroom lesson or unit on electricity or circuits. Try the activities as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector, explaining what the symbols mean. Have students complete activities on their own using classroom computers. Take screenshots of your digital different schematics they have created. Have students create an online presentation on electricity and circuits using using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge presentation tools.

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BrainRush - BrainRush.com

Grades
2 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
BrainRush is a collection of fast-paced learning activities. It adapts to the individual users, providing information at just the right level to learn quickly without boredom. The mastery...more
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BrainRush is a collection of fast-paced learning activities. It adapts to the individual users, providing information at just the right level to learn quickly without boredom. The mastery meter shows progress along the way, and BrainRush states "When you finish playing a BrainRush, you know the material, guaranteed." Browse the library to choose from hundreds of topics in categories including all academic subjects as well as sports and Spanish. Future improvements to the site include the promise to create your own BrainRushes. Account creation using your email and a password is required to play BrainRush games. Many activities have audio.

tag(s): american revolution (86), chemicals (40), compasses (4), decimals (133), geometric shapes (163), heart (42), human body (120), multiplication (227), parts of speech (68), periodic table (50), planets (123), presidents (130), south america (39), spanish (108), sports (96), states (163), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students to practice and learn classroom material as well as topics they choose. Join the site yourself to share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share with ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers as a resource for their students. Create a link to specific BrainRushes on your class website or blog for students to complete at home. Any student creating an account requires an email address. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

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Daily Starters - Scholastic

Grades
K to 8
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Daily Starters offers a different opening idea each day for 4 different age bands from Pre-K to grade 8. Subjects include language arts, math, and history, as well as fun ...more
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Daily Starters offers a different opening idea each day for 4 different age bands from Pre-K to grade 8. Subjects include language arts, math, and history, as well as fun facts that relate to the day or month. In addition to a challenging question or idea, the site offers a Teacher's Guide that explains different ways to use the site. It includes the background and vocabulary students need to understand and use the site optimally. Some specific topics include grammar, word usage, mechanics, word study, basic operations, algebraic thinking, measurement, fraction, geometry, word problems, and more. Clicking on the Reveal the Answer tab shows the correct solution to each question. Please note: These daily starters are only updated during the school year. New daily starters begin again every August.

tag(s): fractions (239), geometric shapes (163), grammar (216), measurement (159), numbers (204), substitutes (21), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Display each day's Daily Starters on your projector or whiteboard for students to do first thing in the morning. Or arrange for the classroom computers to open with the Daily Starter page. Have students work alone or collaboratively with a group. Allow students to share questions and responses via their own blogs or your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Challenge students to create their own questions and use them for a class discussion about each idea brought up. Display the ideas from history tidbits and fun facts in a creative way on your class bulletin board. Keep the Daily Starter handy as an activity for substitute or for parent volunteers to use with students during free time or indoor recess.

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Tools for Educators - Mark Cox

Grades
K to 6
5 Favorites 0  Comments
Tools for Educators is a great site to build an engaging classroom. Worksheet templates, printables, and game makers enhance your classroom instruction. Customize printable word searches...more
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Tools for Educators is a great site to build an engaging classroom. Worksheet templates, printables, and game makers enhance your classroom instruction. Customize printable word searches with images in seconds. Crossword puzzles can be created as well and even on the same page as a word search. Design your own dice with images or text on the face of the dice. Roll the dice and create dice with text and images! Are your students bored with games? Need activities for centers or stations? The board game maker is a worksheet wizard that allows you to create board games on any theme with pictures. Tools for Educators currently has games for over 20 themes. Build your own BINGO boards, or be amazed by the maze maker. Make your own mazes for the students to explore with questions on content! Don't fall over, but create your own dominoes with text on the left and images on the right. You can't go wrong! Create spelling and reading worksheets as well as handwriting worksheets for students to trace. Tools for Educators is an award winning site itself. Choose from 70 different themes in over a 1,000 styles to create certificates. Picture this...vocabulary words with images. Tools for Educators allows you to create visual vocabulary handouts.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), images (265), printables (38), puzzles (208), resources (112), worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

Easily integrate this site into your content to customize the tools available. Create word searches and crossword puzzles with your vocabulary words for any subject. Make your own board games to review or to spice up your stations or centers. Encourage students to join in the game-making to show what they know or to review and challenge their friends. Integrate your own content and questions to customize the games. The domino and dice tools allow you to customize them with your own words with images. Create engaging games to review sight words, vocabulary words, spelling words and more! The dice and dominoes provide great hands-on, minds-on activities to review world languages and other words in the classroom. Create your own BINGO games to review math concepts or any subject material. The maze maker is an amazing tool to engage students. Create squares with questions or content information. Students can answer math questions or other questions in content squares. The maze maker provides great activities for review or centers. Students tired of tracing disconnected material for handwriting practice? Use the tracing paper to enter your own content to make the activity meaningful. Students can also type their own work to print to practice typing and handwriting. All of the text is customizable in the certificate tool with tons of options. Create awards to recognize student accomplishments throughout the year.

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Concrete Poetry - Woodland Trust

Grades
K to 3
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Create and share concrete poetry easily using this tool. Choose from pictures provided or draw your own and click to add words. Provide your own words or click and drag ...more
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Create and share concrete poetry easily using this tool. Choose from pictures provided or draw your own and click to add words. Provide your own words or click and drag from the choices offered. Be sure to click on different categories to see all options. When finished, choose Print. Add your name and the poem title to print. Options for printing include showing the shape or not. If you want to keep the image digitally, use a screenshot (Prtscrn key, followed by pasting into a document on Windows; Command+shift+4 on Mac to save the screenshot to your download location).

tag(s): poetry (227), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a computer center during your poetry unit. Create concrete poetry as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector and print for a bulletin board display. Use the site to brainstorm words to include with a concrete poem. Print the words and have students create their own unique poems.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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World Digital Library - Unesco

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The World Digital Library makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy digitized cultural treasures from around the world. Resources include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical...more
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The World Digital Library makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy digitized cultural treasures from around the world. Resources include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings. Browse by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or use the open-ended search available in many languages. Information included with items includes a description, place of event or item, date, location of the item, and tags for viewing items similar in nature or topic. Move the timeline to view items for specific time periods.

tag(s): 1600s (11), 1700s (23), 1800s (44), 1900s (33), 20th century (51), africa (180), asia (73), australia (35), china (66), cross cultural understanding (115), europe (75), images (265), north america (19), south america (39)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for viewing and learning about the many cultural treasures around the world. Display the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to view images and documents from American and World History. Have students choose an item of interest to research further and then share using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here. World language teachers can underscore culture lessons using these resources or have students explore and share their findings.

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Famous Inboxes - Mark Brownlow

Grades
6 to 12
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If famous people from long ago had inboxes, what would be in them? Famous Inboxes takes that concept and creates inboxes for characters in literature, entertainment, and history....more
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If famous people from long ago had inboxes, what would be in them? Famous Inboxes takes that concept and creates inboxes for characters in literature, entertainment, and history. Choose from artists, musicians, great leaders, authors, and many more categories. Each inbox contains a screenshot of the person's email (mythical) inbox including the subject of the email and the sender. This is an entertaining and provocative site sure to inspire lots of ideas for your own use! Be sure to preview before you share as some of the topics (or "texting" language) may not be appropriate for the classroom.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (142), gamification (65), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Share Famous Inboxes with your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector using a character or author studied in class. Assign students to each of the inbox titles and have them write the actual email sent. Don't see anyone to use in class? Create your own or have students use the site as a model to create their own. Most likely, working in groups will get the creative juices flowing. This would be a great model to use for introducing a history or science unit or for looking at the relationships between characters in literature. Have students write the emails as an end of unit review. Subscribe to the RSS feed of this site to receive updated contents. Use the option to create an inbox as a differentiated challenge for your gifted students. For example: Summarize World War II by showing Winston Churchill's inbox, then write two of the key emails. As a "hook" for new books in the media center, have students create inboxes for one of the characters and post them with the book jackets. Instead of a "report" on a scientist, have students create their inbox documenting their research and accomplishments.

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Doorway Online Learning Activities - Philip Whittaker and Thomas Lee

Grades
K to 3
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Doorway Online provides several early elementary level learning activities in the areas of literacy, math, typing, and memory games. Choose one of the categories to view game titles,...more
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Doorway Online provides several early elementary level learning activities in the areas of literacy, math, typing, and memory games. Choose one of the categories to view game titles, then click to play. Some games offer learning or testing modes as an option for play while others provide several options for differentiating activities. Created in Scotland, this site uses British spellings and currencies.

tag(s): addition (251), alphabet (92), counting (120), keyboarding (38), phonics (75), preK (279), sounds (68), spelling (168), subtraction (208), time (144)

In the Classroom

If you have computer stations, you may want to set up different areas of this program to allow students practice time after instruction. Use the program with the entire class by putting an area of the program up on your projector or interactive whiteboard and having small groups of students decide what the answer should be. Post the link to this program on your website for students to practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Forest Academy - Domtar Corporation

Grades
2 to 8
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This cool resource introduces the features of a forest and highlights our responsibilities to look after it. The resource is generic enough for forests of any type around the World....more
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This cool resource introduces the features of a forest and highlights our responsibilities to look after it. The resource is generic enough for forests of any type around the World. Be sure to click on the "How To Play" information. Registration is optional, but badges can be saved if registered. Click on the blue icons to learn basic background information. The red icons provide links to games. Earn badges to keep in your backpack and get a Forest Academy Diploma. Use the map to go to other areas. Be sure to check out the resources for parents and teachers.

tag(s): food chains (22), forests (29), natural resources (59)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as an introduction to a forest unit or to reinforce concepts already learned. Discuss the various parts of a forest ecosystem, their interaction, and how we can protect the forests. This resource can be used individually by students in a class or on an Interactive Whiteboard for the class to work and discuss the information as they learn together. Create a Forest Academy learning station.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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EduClipper - Adam Bellow

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Pinterest and Learnist are for general public use, but eduClipper takes the best of both of those tools and puts them together for educators and their students. The real difference...more
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Pinterest and Learnist are for general public use, but eduClipper takes the best of both of those tools and puts them together for educators and their students. The real difference with eduClipper for educators is the ability to create classes. Make your clipboards public or private. Post videos, documents, links, or upload files. Get great ideas by browsing existing clipboards with no registration, or save those searches and create subject specific clipboards by registering for free.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), organizational skills (122), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

The real difference about eduClipper for educators is the ability to create classes. This makes it easy to create small groups for investigations and have the students post for each other their findings and suggestions. Brainstorming with the entire class with eduClipper allows everyone to contribute and view the brainstorm even when they are not in class. For more ideas about using eduClipper with and in your classroom, see the classroom suggestions for a similar program, Learnist, reviewed here.

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Project Noah - Networked Organisms

Grades
3 to 12
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This down to Earth site encourages you to view and appreciate nature (even on your smartphone!). Become an active part in the quest to understand nature. Share your experiences through...more
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This down to Earth site encourages you to view and appreciate nature (even on your smartphone!). Become an active part in the quest to understand nature. Share your experiences through photos, called Spottings, and tag your location. Act as a "citizen scientist" to discover organisms and share findings. Document living things (natural creatures, plants and other living things) discovered by using a camera or mobile phone. Upload the contribution to Project Noah for further studies and projects by the community. Use the search tool to look for specific organisms by name. Sightings are recorded using Google Maps. Download the app available for iPhone and Android. Click Education to access teacher tools and set up a class account.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Add to the growing database and document creatures seen in your area. As you discuss various types of organisms, assign students to take pictures of various creatures and submit for a grade. Students can make observations about the organism to submit with the picture using a class or individual account and be part of a growing group that aims to appreciate nature and understand the living things around us.

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