TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 15, 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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RI Channel - The Royal Institution of Great Britain

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover a rich collection of videos (and lectures) offered by Britain's The Royal Institute. This Smart Place for Science has an amazing number of videos taped from their live...more
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Discover a rich collection of videos (and lectures) offered by Britain's The Royal Institute. This Smart Place for Science has an amazing number of videos taped from their live lectures to connect people to the world of science. Some videos go back to the 1950's and are reminiscent of old classroom videos. However, most are more recent and feature leaders in their respective fields of science. Choose from collections to view the individual offerings such as Crystals or the Brain. There are also some videos focusing on math topics. As with any scientific site, some content is not appropriate for less mature students. Preview to be sure, depending on the topic you choose. Some of the lectures are quite high level and would challenge any advanced student. Some videos are hosted on YouTube and some within the site's own servers. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): air (163), brain (72), elements (36), engineering (124), genealogy (7), genetics (90), human body (121), plants (145), rocks (49), STEM (134), video (254)

In the Classroom

Introduce a new concept with a video or a portion of a videos. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can note what they have learned for class discussion afterwards with additional information for understanding. While researching a topic, students will find the videos and the scientists interesting and full of information. Students can pick a video to watch and then report information learned to the class as part of a Science (or Math) Show and Tell. Bookmark this site to the class computer and list as a favorite on your class website or blog for easy access by students. Teachers of gifted and of AP level courses will appreciate some high level topics that will challenge even their brightest students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lantern - Media History Digital Library

Grades
5 to 12
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The Media History Digital Library and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Communication Arts have scanned over 80,000 pages of classic media periodicals to create this...more
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The Media History Digital Library and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Communication Arts have scanned over 80,000 pages of classic media periodicals to create this searchable archive. Traditionally, history is the story of battles and politics, famous names and important dates. But the history of a culture must also include how people spent their free time and what kind of entertainment they enjoyed. This archive, which spans the period from 1896 through 1978, includes fan magazines, print media related to radio, television and film broadcasts, and theatre and vaudeville. The archive can be searched by date, format, title, and collection. The collection is limited to print media and does not include any audio or video files.

tag(s): cultures (105), decades (14), journalism (46), media literacy (58), movies (65), radio (26)

In the Classroom

Sometimes it's easier to "set the tone" for a particular moment in time by including images from popular culture. Students can see what regular people were interested in: what movies they watched, what they listened to on the radio, what TV shows they enjoyed (and the fact that they WATCHED TV, not YouTube!). Using some of these images, stories, and other material from this archive to supplement the study of a time period or an event in history can flesh out what life was like "back in the day."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Gaming Against Plagiarism - University of Florida Marston Science Librarians

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore these three engaging interactives about plagiarism. Click on any title to begin play and read the objectives and directions. Topics include plagiarism, ethics, and cheating....more
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Explore these three engaging interactives about plagiarism. Click on any title to begin play and read the objectives and directions. Topics include plagiarism, ethics, and cheating. This is a great "digital citizenship" site! The examples of plagiarism include more subtle "offenses," such as misquoting or incorrect citations.

tag(s): digital citizenship (59), game based learning (103), gamification (65), plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

These activities are quite simple in nature and would be perfect for use in introducing or reinforcing topics pertaining to plagiarism. Display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and discuss terms used and examples of plagiarism. Allow students to explore on their own in small groups to find all the "crimes." Have students create an online or printed comic discussing plagiarism using a tool like Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, or Write Comics, reviewed here. You could use Printable Comic Templates for all students to create a rough draft.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Active Textbook - Evident Point

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own interactive version of any PDF document or text using Active Textbook. Don't let the term "textbook" fool you. This tool can work with fiction and non-fiction or ...more
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Create your own interactive version of any PDF document or text using Active Textbook. Don't let the term "textbook" fool you. This tool can work with fiction and non-fiction or ANY combination. Add an existing document to begin. Use the site's tools to enhance with multimedia, links, notes, bookmarks, and more. Use social networking tools to exchange ideas and questions with other readers. Customizing features allow for private viewing, tags, inclusion into courses, and enabling or disabling comments. Save up to 500 pages or 50MB using the free version of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), ebooks (42)

In the Classroom

Upload any PDF document to create an interactive book for class use. Create one together as a class as you move through a unit or topic, adding images and ideas you students suggest, creating a class "book." Use in a flipped classroom to deliver course information. Have students convert any document to PDF format using PDF Converter reviewed here. Assign several student groups the same pdf and have each group create their own multimedia versions as they learn more about the topic. Make a digital bookshelf of all the versions and invite the class to vote for the best. Challenge your gifted students to enhance the "standard" class text with additional material they discover by going deeper and learning about related topics. In lower grades, create teacher-made ebooks for your young readers, perhaps adding audio of your own voice reading the text.

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Glass Giant - Make Pictures - Glass Giant Ltd.

Grades
K to 12
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Create fun, custom pictures easily with Glass Giant! Choose from customization options such as Giant Cookies, Tickets, holidays, or a plane banner to begin. Upload your own picture...more
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Create fun, custom pictures easily with Glass Giant! Choose from customization options such as Giant Cookies, Tickets, holidays, or a plane banner to begin. Upload your own picture to view on a Jumbotron or in a snow globe. Easily personalize any of the images with text and color options. Save finished images using links or right click to save. Use these images as avatars, profile images or introductions. Be aware: this site has many advertisements.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), holidays (147), images (266)

In the Classroom

Use Glass Giant to create personalized images for each of your students for back to school meetings, open house, or student of the week bulletin boards. This is a great tool for all grades. Have students use the romance novel option to create a book cover for books. Use the wanted poster option as a creative story starter. Be sure to bookmark this site to create fun images throughout the school year.

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10 Amazing Examples of Architecture Inspired by Mathematics - Alison Nastasi

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a look at 10 structures inspired by mathematical principles at this intriguing site. Each image includes a short description of the structure along with information on the mathematics...more
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Take a look at 10 structures inspired by mathematical principles at this intriguing site. Each image includes a short description of the structure along with information on the mathematics involved in the design. This site is a quick read that is sure to inspire many opportunities for math discussions and further exploration!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (83), geometric shapes (163)

In the Classroom

Explore this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to find other examples of mathematical concepts used in architecture. Art teachers and math teachers can cooperate -- or simply connect to their mathematical or artistic students using this site. Have cooperative learning groups create online books demonstrating their findings using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of interesting architecture (with audio stories and pictures included)! Challenge students to discover other examples of math in the real world and share using an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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Creativity Games - Ryan Chadwick

Grades
5 to 12
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Creativity Games offers challenges, games, and puzzles to encourage creative thinking. Find new activities each week such as random word identification, code breakers, or creative challenges....more
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Creativity Games offers challenges, games, and puzzles to encourage creative thinking. Find new activities each week such as random word identification, code breakers, or creative challenges. Choose the Random Word Generator link to generate a set of random words to use in creative writing, or choose a preset creativity game from the drop-down box provided. Read several great creative writing tips in the creative writing prompts section of the site. This site also features blog entries on a variety of topics related to creativity and education.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (108), logic (235), poetry (228), puzzles (208), substitutes (21), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use any of the challenges on this site as a brain warm-up as students trickle into class or before the homeroom bell rings. Display the Random Word Generator on your interactive word (or projector). Choose a link to provide a set of random words to use in poetry or creative writing assignments. Use logic games to warm up brains in math class. Assign weekly games for students to complete in free time or for use with gifted students. Read through the creative writing tips together as a class then add you own ideas. Post your ideas in your classroom using an online poster creator, such as Padlet, (reviewed here). Teacher-librarians can post a weekly brain challenge to inspire students who visit the media center. Any teacher will want to include this link on your class web page for students to access from home or during study periods. Substitutes will want to mak this one in favorites to always have something ready to go when the lesson plans go missing!

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Geodia Ancient Mediterannean Time Map - University of Texas

Grades
8 to 12
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Geodia is a time map representing human activity in the Mediterranean Sea area from approximately the fourth millennium BC to ca. 330 AD. Browse the map by culture or region. ...more
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Geodia is a time map representing human activity in the Mediterranean Sea area from approximately the fourth millennium BC to ca. 330 AD. Browse the map by culture or region. Use your own word term search. Clicking on links in the timeline provides a pin on the map to the location along with an image thumbnail representing the period. Read the FAQ on how to use Geodia to learn the details of navigation.

tag(s): africa (180), egypt (67), greeks (30), italy (17), maps (287), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Display and use Geodia on your interactive whiteboard when discussing ancient cultures. View images and timeline representations to understand other cultures in the region at the time. Allow students to explore Geodia on their own. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and locations to represent all information learned.

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moourl - flexcode

Grades
3 to 12
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This very simple tool allows you to shorten a LONG URL (web address). Paste it into this web page, and get back a short URL that fits easily in any ...more
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This very simple tool allows you to shorten a LONG URL (web address). Paste it into this web page, and get back a short URL that fits easily in any webpage or sharing location. Once created, copy onto your clipboard for easy pasting onto any document using the link provided. Personalize your moourl to easily remember it. Drag the bookmarklet onto your toolbar for easy url shortening any time. This is especially helpful when you have a long url such as a search result, news article, or endless .k12 type school web page.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Have a website (long url) that you want to share with your class (or parents)? Use this tool to shorten up the url before posting on your blog, wiki, website, or newsletter. Save this tool in your favorites to access when needed. Create a custom short url for your students to enter ore remember easily, such as to your class web page! Share this site with your older students to use on their own.

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The Energy Story - Eschool Today

Grades
4 to 9
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This resource is an interactive story that explores energy, renewable and nonrenewable resources, and topics of energy creation and transfer. Read the supporting information, try the...more
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This resource is an interactive story that explores energy, renewable and nonrenewable resources, and topics of energy creation and transfer. Read the supporting information, try the interactives, and more with this engaging website. There is a quiz to test your knowledge.

tag(s): energy (198), natural resources (59), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

Use this resource at the start of a unit on energy for students to be acquainted to the background information. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use throughout a unit of study on energy for reinforcement.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Fruit Picker - Sums Math

Grades
4 to 6
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Explore angles using this engaging and challenging activity! Can you pick 6 apples in 6 shots using Fruit Picker? Choose a direction and degree to turn the pointer to pick ...more
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Explore angles using this engaging and challenging activity! Can you pick 6 apples in 6 shots using Fruit Picker? Choose a direction and degree to turn the pointer to pick apples from various points. The goal: get all 6 apples in just 6 tries. The display tells shots taken. When finished, feedback provides the number of shots taken to pick all of the apples. Choose next to continue to a new display.

tag(s): angles (88), mental math (27)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to learn about angles while practicing mental addition and subtraction and problem solving. Challenge students to think about a solution before beginning the activity. Complete each activity in as few of steps as possible. Have students create their own Fruit Picker activity modeled on this site, have them trade with classmates to solve different activities. This model is based on a 180 degree line. Challenge older students to make a similar activity using a circle.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ultimate Titanic - UltimateTitanic.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Ultimate Titanic is a site put together by teachers and historians dedicated to giving a clear understanding of the people and the events related to RMS Titanic. The site contains ...more
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Ultimate Titanic is a site put together by teachers and historians dedicated to giving a clear understanding of the people and the events related to RMS Titanic. The site contains hours of footage from survivors, animations, and documentaries as well as hundreds of photographs and documents to explore. Use the categories listed at the top of the page to find and narrow information to view. Choose from options such as the ship, the tragedy, or news. Within the education section are links to teaching ideas, a timeline, and several documentaries. The site has a few occasional typos but is still worthwhile. (Give bonus points to students who find a typo!) Some of the video clips are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1910s (9), 20th century (51), disasters (39)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for information and ideas for teaching the Titanic as part of an early 20th century history lesson or as enrichment when reading any novel about the Titanic. Use the materials available here to talk about the difference between primary ad secondary sources. Use the site's timeline as a starting point and have students create their own Titanic timeline (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Create a newspaper using a site such as Zinepal (reviewed here) telling the details of events of the Titanic. Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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