TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 1, 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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Math Reasoning Inventory - Marilyn Burns

Grades
6 to 9
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Math Reasoning Inventory is an online assessment tool for middle school students developed by renowned math educator Marilyn Burns. The inventory involves three different assessments...more
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Math Reasoning Inventory is an online assessment tool for middle school students developed by renowned math educator Marilyn Burns. The inventory involves three different assessments done face to face with students then provides results with individual and group reports. The tool focuses on student's strategies, understandings, and misconceptions of math concepts. The free account allows use with up to 160 students.

tag(s): assessment (99), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use the Math Reasoning Inventory to provide an excellent overview of your students' math understanding. Use the inventory as you would Dibels or literacy assessment to monitor progress throughout the school year. Share this site during department meetings or professional development sessions as an assessment tool to use with all students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Rewordify - Neil M. Goldman

Grades
4 to 12
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown...more
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown with highlighting. Click on the highlighting to view the original, more difficult word(s). View excellent student and teacher demonstrations showing how to use the website. You have the option to choose how Rewordify displays the results using the options in the settings. Several options allow for easy personalization of results.

tag(s): vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for saving and bookmarking for classroom use! Start the school year out by posting the link to Rewordify on your class website for student and parent access from home. Be sure to share with learning support and ESL/ELL teachers and students. Be sure to share a link on your classroom website and parent newsletter for use at home. Save a link to Rewordify on classroom computers for students to easily paste text from any website to read in a simpler format. Copy and paste any difficult text into Rewordify and display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to enhance student understanding or show meaning in complex texts. Have students guess meanings from context clues in the more complex version, then share the "rewordified" view to test their guesses. Have students create a word cloud of difficult words identified using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students take a screen shot of passages that have been "rewordified" to share and discuss.
 

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Perspectives on Peace and Security: The Manhattan Project - The Carnegie Corporation

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of eleven Manhattan buildings, and discover their importance to the development of nuclear weaponry during the twentieth century. Much of the political tension in...more
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Take a virtual tour of eleven Manhattan buildings, and discover their importance to the development of nuclear weaponry during the twentieth century. Much of the political tension in today's international relations can be traced to concerns about the potential use of nuclear weapons. Who has the power to make nuclear weapons? Who can be trusted with this power? What would be the impact of using nuclear weapons globally? This site adds important historical perspective to the history of nuclear weapons with its examination of the Manhattan Project. The site features the many locations within the Borough of Manhattan, New York in which critical components of the Project were developed. See the buildings as they were and as they are now, and meet some of the central participants of the Manhattan Project. An interactive timeline featuring images, documents, audio recordings and maps can help put the history of the Project into the context of twentieth century history. Finally, a brief history of the Project helps flesh out the previous two components of this site.

tag(s): 20th century (51), atomic bomb (11), foreign policy (16), politics (99), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

The importance of the Manhattan Project to modern global history can hardly be underestimated. Use the interactive timeline to help place the development of nuclear power and nuclear weapons into the context of modern politics, and to deepen understanding of the US role in the end of World War II. Consider the current debate about privacy, secrecy and security by comparing today's issues with the Manhattan Project. How could such a large scale, national effort have been kept so secret? Ask students to take different perspectives: How would modern history been different had the Manhattan Project NOT been secret? SHOULD it have been kept from the US public? Are today's issues of privacy and security different? A group of students might research other US and international sites that were important to the Manhattan Project and create a national "tour" or map of these sites to complement the Manhattan map available on this site. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. This site could also inspire a terrific research project for National History Day or a unit of study in a gifted class.

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Drama Resource - Creative Ideas for Teaching Drama - David Farmer

Grades
K to 6
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Find drama instruction including lessons, games, and strategies. Choose the Games link to find a game of the week as well as many other activities for icebreakers, improvisation,...more
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Find drama instruction including lessons, games, and strategies. Choose the Games link to find a game of the week as well as many other activities for icebreakers, improvisation, storytelling, and more. Explore many different dramatic strategies through brief descriptions, videos, and downloadable templates. Choose from several primary drama lessons including one on anti-bullying. There are also history-related "dramas" such as World War II Evacuees to bring historical events to life. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acting (27), back to school (58), bullying (52), digital storytelling (142), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. If you are looking for ways to get students more involved with history lessons, drama may be just the thing. Take advantage of the free lesson plans included on the site. Use lessons and activities as part of your storytelling unit, for beginning of the year activities, or to promote higher level thinking skills. Have students create their own mini-drama moment: upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles for dialog using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. Have students create animated movies online demonstrating different drama techniques using Dvolver - Movie Maker (reviewed here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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WordCount - Jonathan Harris

Grades
5 to 12
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WordCount is a very simple site that presents over 86,000 English language words, ranked by how common they are. The larger the word, the more it is used. Scroll through ...more
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WordCount is a very simple site that presents over 86,000 English language words, ranked by how common they are. The larger the word, the more it is used. Scroll through to view words in order or search for specific words or ranks. Although very simple, this may be a useful tool in many classroom situations. The words on this website are not filtered so you may easily find inappropriate words. Use CAUTION if sharing this in a classroom.

tag(s): parts of speech (68), vocabulary development (126), word choice (26), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Explore WordCount as a class. What parts of speech are the most common words? Are related words near each other in order? Challenge students to write without using the 10 most common nouns, verbs, etc. Explore lower ranked words, challenge students to use them more often in writing. Have students create a visual "weekly word challenge" for themselves of 20-30 lesser-used words to try to use in the course of a week. They can make it visual using a word cloud tool such as Worditout, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bomb Sight - Mapping the World War 2 London Blitz - The Bomb Sight Project

Grades
7 to 12
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Use web-mapping applications to display, explore, and search different bombing locations across London during the Blitz from July 10, 1940 through June 6, 1941. Click on any icon on...more
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Use web-mapping applications to display, explore, and search different bombing locations across London during the Blitz from July 10, 1940 through June 6, 1941. Click on any icon on the map to view the type of bomb, date recorded, and view images taken nearby during that time period. Zoom in and out. Many icons also include links to people's stories relating to the area during the time of the bombings. Choose the Explore London option to select particular areas of London with additional information about bombing activity in that area.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): churchill (5), england (57), hitler (10), maps (288), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector during any World War 2 unit to visually display the impact of the Blitz on London. Make the Blitz more "real" to your students by sharing the stories and images as first person narratives (primary sources). Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a resident of London during the time period. This would be a great way to help students understand why Britain came together so strongly during WWII, an experience that most students today cannot relate to.

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GeoGuessr - Anton Wallen

Grades
9 to 12
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Use visual clues to guess where you are in the world. View images taken from Google Street View alongside a map of the world. Click on the map to indicate ...more
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Use visual clues to guess where you are in the world. View images taken from Google Street View alongside a map of the world. Click on the map to indicate where the photo may be located. GeoGuessr reveals the actual location. Points are based on how close your guesses are to the original location. Share the location by Facebook, Google plus, email, and more. GeoGuessr is a cool new tool similar to the View From Your Window Game.

tag(s): countries (77), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Use this tool on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) with an entire class. Students can work as a class, individually, or in groups to identify clues in the image. Use the clues to discuss information about social structure, livelihood, religion, landforms, and other cultural information. Use this information to uncover and correct misconceptions and discuss cultural differences in countries outside the US. When the answer is revealed, the names of many other countries are shown. Use this opportunity to reinforce past learning of geography and culture. Go beyond the culture to learn about the various foods, agriculture, and other aspects of their lives. Research the local ecosystem to determine native plants and animals found in the country. Create a poem or story set in that locale using information learned through research. Are you a connected educator? Find other educators around the World using Twitter to make connections between classrooms. Join the Across the World Once a Week project to share about the culture where you live.

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Classroom Clips - WCVE Education

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for some on-demand media to support classroom instruction? The media at this site includes both video and audio clips. Explore the site using links to video, audio, or by ...more
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Looking for some on-demand media to support classroom instruction? The media at this site includes both video and audio clips. Explore the site using links to video, audio, or by SOL (Standards of Learning). Although the site is correlated to Virginia Standards of Learning, material is appropriate for any classroom situation. Within the SOL section, search by grade level and curriculum content to find material.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a resource for video and audio clips to support classroom content. Share links to videos on your classroom website for students to view at home. Display videos on your interactive whiteboard to supplement current classroom instruction. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own instruction videos to share with the class about a topic that you are learning in class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Game Ideas for Kids - Joanne McNulty

Grades
K to 4
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Find many ideas for games from categories such as online games, printable games, or behavior charts. Other ideas offered are for outdoor games, classroom games, board games, card games,...more
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Find many ideas for games from categories such as online games, printable games, or behavior charts. Other ideas offered are for outdoor games, classroom games, board games, card games, and many more. Choose an item of interest; then read instructions and print activities if included.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (46), preK (279), printables (38), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use throughout the year as a resource for finding game ideas and printables. Use these activities for holiday parties, everyday review games, and more. Share with parents as a resource and suggest ways to incorporate learning into game play. Invite your students (or groups) to invent their own games based on what they learn in research projects or in class. Create a classroom game shelf of student-made games based on various curriculum units.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Quozio - Quozio.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Turn meaningful words into beautiful images in just seconds using Quozio. Paste or type your quote into the quote box or use the site's bookmarklet to highlight text from the ...more
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Turn meaningful words into beautiful images in just seconds using Quozio. Paste or type your quote into the quote box or use the site's bookmarklet to highlight text from the web to use as your quote. Enter who said it. Scroll through background images available to use with your quote. When finished, share via Pinterest, Facebook, or email. You can also RIGHT click the image to SAVE image as and download a copy to your computer for printing or use elsewhere. Register on Quozio using your email to save quotes directly on the Quozio site.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), images (265), quotations (23), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use Quozio to create a beautiful image to begin a unit. Start with an interesting quote or comment. View the finished picture on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a starting point for the unit. Make a bulletin board of quote images as writing prompts or verbal snapshots of an era, an author, or a famous person. Have older students be responsible for creating a Quozio image each week with a quote of the week or interesting comment on events that occur in class. Have students choose one interesting quote or piece of information from any text to create a Quozio then have students explain their choice as part of a class presentation.

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Scrible - Scrible

Grades
8 to 12
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Scrible is an annotation tool that allows you to identify content on any web page. Add notes and tags, and then bookmark the notes into a research collection. Download the ...more
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Scrible is an annotation tool that allows you to identify content on any web page. Add notes and tags, and then bookmark the notes into a research collection. Download the Scrible bookmarklet to your toolbar to begin. Use multiple colors to highlight, underline, or strike through web page content. Add sticky notes to any web page to include your own comments and categorize annotations using type and color to organize saved content. Share annotations via email easily using the share function. You can also save it to your own library available in "the cloud" from anywhere. Free accounts offer 125 mb storage or 250 mb for student accounts. Student accounts also include features to capture citations, create bibliographies, and compile notes from multiple articles into one report. Note: student accounts require a school-issued email address (edu or k12 type).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), citations (34), note taking (32)

In the Classroom

There are so many applications and possibilities for this site! Use prompts on articles to build Common Core skills analyzing informational texts. How many times have we heard students complain during a group project, "But I couldn't get to his or her house to work on it?" Tell them to use Scrible to interact online. The research and conversations created through highlighting and annotating what they read can greatly enhance both their research skills and their online interaction on academic level skills. Or use the site to post and share discussion assignments on specific articles or even parts of articles using the highlighting tool. Find a relevant article to your subject. Highlight the part that you want students to read. (If students are younger, keep it short to reduce the intimidating reality of too much information for kids.) Attach a note with a discussion question for the students. Have them comment on the link in a "class discussion" as an outside assignment. If you are fortunate enough to have all students with computer access in your class and at home, such as in one to one laptop (or byod) program schools, you can use this essentially to run your class. Post assignments or post readings. Science teachers can post online interactive labs, and more.

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News Action - News Action

Grades
4 to 12
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NewsAction shares student-created news stories from around the world. Scroll down the page to view recent stories or browse to recent or popular stories and videos. Have your own story...more
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NewsAction shares student-created news stories from around the world. Scroll down the page to view recent stories or browse to recent or popular stories and videos. Have your own story to add? Sign up (requires email), choose your region, and scroll down to find your dashboard. Create posts and polls and upload images or video using the Word Press software. Since this is student-created, you may want to preview before you share with your class.

tag(s): blogs (88), digital storytelling (142), journalism (46), news (261)

In the Classroom

View articles posted on the site together on your interactive whiteboard or projector to use as discussion starters or to view examples of student writing. These are student written informational texts perfect for close reading or for instruction about writing skills. Have students create their own articles to share on your class website. 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! Create a class account on NewsAction to post stories, videos, and images from your classroom. If your school policies permit, you may want students over 13 to each create their own accounts.

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The Faculty Project - FacultyProject.org

Grades
9 to 12
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Take free online courses offered by outstanding professors from prestigious schools like Dartmouth, Vassar, Duke, and Northwestern. Choose from dozens of courses and lectures covering...more
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Take free online courses offered by outstanding professors from prestigious schools like Dartmouth, Vassar, Duke, and Northwestern. Choose from dozens of courses and lectures covering a broad spectrum of topics. Learn through video, PDF, PowerPoint, discussion boards, and educational articles. Scroll down the site to view course titles and click enroll to begin.

tag(s): china (66), constitution (79), greece (26), greek (41), poetry (227), religions (61), russia (38), sports (96), water (130)

In the Classroom

Allow gifted or advanced students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share this program with others in your building as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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