TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 29, 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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Throwww - throwww.com

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Throwww is a quick and easy one-time blog creator with NO REGISTRATION NEEDED! Click to create a title then start writing in the body. Use tools to add images or ...more
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Throwww is a quick and easy one-time blog creator with NO REGISTRATION NEEDED! Click to create a title then start writing in the body. Use tools to add images or videos using url links, format text, or add code. When complete, post anonymously or via Twitter to receive the unique url for your post. Share via Facebook, Twitter, or copy the link for sharing in email or other methods. Other features include comments, responses, and statistics on your completed page. Note: The "Discover" area of the site leads to public content. Adults will want to preview or steer students clear of this area.

tag(s): blogs (87)

In the Classroom

Use this tool as an easy to use blogging tool for the classroom and every subject area. Use in language arts classes to strengthen students' writing ability and 21st century skills. Teach about proper commenting etiquette on simple first blog posts. Use for student-written book reviews for the school library. (Why not add a QR code on the book's cover to lead to the review?). Use as a tool for class or parent communication. Engage students in discussions on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. Ask students to play the role of a historical figure and write about their viewpoints or experiences. Use the site as a forum for any simulated or real task. Invite parents to join to give their points of view on upcoming elections or public policy issues by commenting on student posts. Share a blog in even the youngest of classes, for parents to use to learn about a specific unit of study, field trips, and more. Use this site in world language classes to have students write a blog entry in the new language. Include the principal or superintendent in class discussions of students' rights as you study the Constitution. Create incredible discussions of environmental, political, or economic issues. Create a standing assignment for elementary and middle schoolers on snow days. Have students write a post about the snow using Throwww and share the url on a class wiki. Post the various links on the class web page so students can comment on each other's posts after they come in from sledding.

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Compress Now - compressnow.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Compress images to a manageable size easily using Compress Now. Upload any image file up to 9 MB in size, slide the slider to choose the percentage of compression, and ...more
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Compress images to a manageable size easily using Compress Now. Upload any image file up to 9 MB in size, slide the slider to choose the percentage of compression, and view the result. Click download to save to your computer. Although this tool is recommended for all ages, elementary students would not use it, but their teachers can!

tag(s): images (261)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Compress Now (or save it in your favorites). Use this site throughout the year when working with images. Compress images for use on web pages to make pages loading more quickly. Use when emailing images to make sure they will get through.

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BLAST Common Core State Standards: Mathematics Professional Development - Clark County School District

Grades
K to 8
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Find many professional development modules for understanding Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for grades K-8. Each module includes four main components: standards, assessment,...more
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Find many professional development modules for understanding Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for grades K-8. Each module includes four main components: standards, assessment, instruction, and collaboration. Designed with collaborative groups in mind, modules use Edmodo reviewed here as the platform for discussion and response. Access modules at any time for professional development on your time schedule!

tag(s): commoncore (92), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for use during professional development time in grade level meetings. Choose a different standard for exploration monthly or weekly across district levels without having to leave your building. Use for your personal knowledge. Complete modules to gain a better understanding of Common Core Math Standards.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Stella's Stunners - Ohio Resource Center and Rudd Crawford

Grades
7 to 12
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Stella's Stunners is a collection of over 600 "non-routine" math problems. They range from visual problems to those that involve use of pre-algebra on up through pre-calculus. In addition...more
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Stella's Stunners is a collection of over 600 "non-routine" math problems. They range from visual problems to those that involve use of pre-algebra on up through pre-calculus. In addition to the math problems, the site also includes tips for extending problems, using the problems in the classroom, and suggestions for grading. Each problem also includes a link to the solution. Search for specific topics by math course, problem title, or Stella decimal system. To FIND the collection, click on Complete Stella Library.

tag(s): logic (229), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

Use Stella's Stunners as a problem of the day to begin math class. Assign problems for homework or extra credit. Have students create an online or printed comic using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection to describe how to solve problems. Use as part of student math journals and have students explain the problem solving process for each problem. Use this site with your gifted students. Challenge your gifted students to create their own "Stunners."

Comments

I like this idea because it uses technology, something kids enjoy, and engages them in mathematics. Thanks, Heather Heather, CA, Grades: 9 - 12

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Azendoo - Christophe Gagin, Benoit Drulin and Gregory Lefort

Grades
7 to 12
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Azendoo is an online tool for organizing and collaborating on group projects. It works with other applications such as Everenote, Google Drive, and Dropbox to access and edit group...more
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Azendoo is an online tool for organizing and collaborating on group projects. It works with other applications such as Everenote, Google Drive, and Dropbox to access and edit group documents. Create to-do lists, work collaboratively, and stay organized. After signing up, you can delegate responsibilities, tag projects, or forward emails to Azendoo to turn into shareable tasks. Use the privacy options to set tasks to private or shared. Free mobile app versions are also available for iOS and Android.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), DAT device agnostic tool (192), organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

Share with students as a tool for organizing and collaborating on group projects. Demonstrate the different tools and functions on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Suggest students use Azendoo to remain on track with project deadlines. Use this tool to collaborate with colleagues for use with professional projects such as unit planning and long term scheduling. You may also want to use it with your grad school group projects.

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Artifacts & Analysis - Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies

Grades
9 to 12
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Smithsonian's Artifacts & Analysis offers strategies and resources for incorporating historical documents and resources into the teaching of U.S. history, particularly the decades of...more
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Smithsonian's Artifacts & Analysis offers strategies and resources for incorporating historical documents and resources into the teaching of U.S. history, particularly the decades of the 20th century. Use the details of everyday life to help focus understanding of a time period. Choose from the four main sections: Artifacts & Documents, Teaching Guide, Writing Assignments, or Essay. The sample artifacts offered include a Furnace Salesman's Kit (1920s), Fiestaware (1930s-40s), Pennants (1950s-60s), Barbie Doll (1958), Jeans (1970s), and Lunchboxes (1950s-80s).

tag(s): 1930s (15), 1960s (30), 20th century (50), cultures (105), decades (14)

In the Classroom

Start off with a visit to the Teaching Guide to find some great ideas to incorporate in your class. Use materials from this site to enhance and bring historical teaching to life. Print the student guide for writing effective essays for students to include with history notebooks. Use questions from the teaching materials here to add to your current teaching plans or as discussion topics. Create a link on your class website for students to view this site at home. Have students research and find documents and artifacts in your own community or online to share in the classroom. Have them create curated collections in digital form with accompanying writings to explain them. Students could create annotated images including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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SmyFace - smyface.com

Grades
K to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
How are you feeling today? Use Smyface to share your feelings of the day! Slide the changing expression on the animated emoticon to show how you are feeling (and change ...more
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How are you feeling today? Use Smyface to share your feelings of the day! Slide the changing expression on the animated emoticon to show how you are feeling (and change the expression on the emoticon from sad to scared to happy. Add a message containing up to 80 characters to express the reasons for the feelings. Share using links to Facebook, Twitter, or email.

tag(s): emotions (34), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Smyface is excellent for use in Special Education classrooms (or ESL/ELL) for students to express feelings with a short written response. Autistic support and emotional support teachers can use this to both show emotional expressions and encourage students to write about them. Use in early elementary classrooms for students to practice short writing prompts. Display using your interactive whiteboard or projector and have students use as a story prompt based on the face created. Display while reading stories and change to demonstrate emotions of characters throughout the piece. You could use this as a behavior management tool in elementary classrooms. Put up the "happy" emoticon on the whiteboard if the kids are on task and following the rules. If their behavior starts to decline, use this to show (and explain) why their behavior isn't appropriate (in 80 words or less). Even older kids (with more understanding of social networks) will enjoy playing around with this site.

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What's Up In Finance? - Educational Broadcasting Corporation

Grades
7 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
    
What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the...more
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What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the show. Explore articles about financial careers. Try interactives to learn about smart financial decisions. Choose from several lesson plans offered (including materials list and national math standards). Please note that although the site does offer links to former shows and segments, those videos are no longer available. The materials on the site are still worth your while!

tag(s): careers (129), financial literacy (78)

In the Classroom

View and modify lesson plans to meet your classroom needs. This site is highly appealing to the older student! Allow students to play the interactive games as part of your financial literacy unit. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Include information from the career portion of your site as part of any career exploration activities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Thinking With Type - Ellen Lupton

Grades
6 to 12
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Thinking with Type offers a classroom companion to the book Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students. The book (and site) contain...more
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Thinking with Type offers a classroom companion to the book Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students. The book (and site) contain more information about type than you ever knew existed!. Resources include lectures, project ideas, handouts, and more to use for teaching not just with the book but also as a resource for anyone that uses type. Choose the letter category to view information such as size, scale, type families, and font formats. Explore line spacing, alignment, and tracking within the text portion of the site. Discover different grids such as single and multi-column grids. Be sure to check out the section for teachers loaded with information, exercises, projects, and demos.

tag(s): descriptive writing (41), graphic design (34)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent resource for web design and graphic design classes. Share portions of this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for lessons in type basics, typeface history, and more. Use some of the project ideas (see Extras: Tools for Teachers) to have students create poetry posters for poetry month using artistic type and their own words. Have students explore the site and create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Backchannel Chat - Live Chat for Classrooms - Backchannelchat.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Backchannel Chat is a real-time educational discussion tool. Mute or remove comments. The tool includes a profanity filter and also a web based transcript for viewing and assessing...more
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Backchannel Chat is a real-time educational discussion tool. Mute or remove comments. The tool includes a profanity filter and also a web based transcript for viewing and assessing participation and weaknesses. Set the chat to discontinue when you leave if desired. Begin a chat with your email, display name, and backchannel title to receive a link for others to participate (no need to wait for an email). Free memberships allow one (endless) chat with up to 30 participants and storage of the chat transcript for up to 3 months. Choose the settings options to set moderation, etc. Premium features require the paid version. Unfortunately, the checkbox to require the teacher to be present for the chat is a premium feature, but you can set it to require teacher moderation for all messages so students cannot conduct after hours "chat" without your control. THis is a device agnostic tool with free app versions that work on mobile devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (51), DAT device agnostic tool (192), microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

Create a name for your chat and share the URL with others. They join in simply by entering a name (or initials, to keep it safe) and clicking Join. Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel. Ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a backchannel chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or copy/paste or put the link to the chat transcript on a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.

In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students backchannel descriptions of what they see as classmates act out a scene from a video, using new language vocabulary and/or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or - in history class - between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Money trial. Make brevity an impetus for well-focused thoughts and use instantaneous response as an incentive for engagement.

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Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum - US Dept of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service

Grades
K to 7
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Serving Up MyPlate is a collection of classroom materials for elementary and middle school teachers that integrates nutrition education into Math, Science, English Language Arts, and...more
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Serving Up MyPlate is a collection of classroom materials for elementary and middle school teachers that integrates nutrition education into Math, Science, English Language Arts, and Health. The site includes Teacher Guides, songs, posters, parent handouts, games, and graphics for school meals. Choose from three different teacher guides based on grade levels to view or download in PDF format. Guides include lessons correlated to Common Core standards and include student handouts. Elementary schools participating in the National School Lunch Program or other Child Nutrition program may order free copies of several items including posters, curriculum, CDs, and handouts using the order form available on the site.

tag(s): myplate (28), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

Download the teacher's guide to use for lessons with any nutrition lessons. Print posters available on the site for use in your school's cafeteria. After participating in lessons and viewing provided posters, have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adventures in Energy - American Petroleum Institute

Grades
4 to 8
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Take an interactive look at energy exploration, production, and delivery at Adventures in Energy. Topics include explanations of oil and gas, the process from exploration and...more
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Take an interactive look at energy exploration, production, and delivery at Adventures in Energy. Topics include explanations of oil and gas, the process from exploration and refining, and all the way to delivery of the finished product (energy). Each topic contains images, short explanations, and animated videos demonstrating content. Be sure to view the fact or fiction questions posed to the left of the screen for each of the different categories. Although the site does not make it obvious, this resource was created by the American Petroleum Institute. The information supplied may therefore offer a particular slant, though the basics on energy are quite accurate.

tag(s): careers (129), energy (197), oil (46), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View together as a class to see easy to understand explanations of the process of exploring and providing oil and gas to communities. Have students watch information on their own and then create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have cooperative learning groups create online books about the energy process using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Use this site as part of your career unit and focus in on the portion of the site explaining the job of geologists. For a powerful critical thinking lesson, challenge students (especially your brightest ones) to look for alternative angles on the information here. Would environmentalists present it in the same way? Can you find any current news articles that reveal more than is said here? Which information, if any, might be open to debate?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pulitzer Center Lesson Plans - Pulitzer Center

Grades
3 to 12
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Find lesson plans at the Pulitzer Center for grades 3-12 that identify global issues and ways to address them. Topics include subjects such as International Adoptions: Ethics and Effects...more
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Find lesson plans at the Pulitzer Center for grades 3-12 that identify global issues and ways to address them. Topics include subjects such as International Adoptions: Ethics and Effects and America's Responsibility for the Welfare and Safety of Chinese Workers and many other intriguing topics. Each lesson plan includes big ideas, essential questions, Common Core standards, vocabulary, assessments, and additional resources. Bring lessons to life through journalist visits (in larger cities) or Skype visits (using the request a class visit option on the site).

tag(s): africa (181), careers (129), china (66), debate (41), earthquakes (48), ethics (16), food chains (22), hiv/aids (18), india (36), journalism (45), media literacy (56), water (130), women (101)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans on the site as a resource for discussing and debating global issues. If there is no time to complete a full unit, explore resources from each topic for ideas to use in your classroom. For example, try the ideas on interviewing individuals who migrated to the United States offered in the "How Did I Become the Person That I Am" unit. Share this site with students interested in journalism careers as a resource for learning more about the profession and some of its members.

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