TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 6, 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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Treasure Hunt: Longitude and Latitude - ABCya

Grades
3 to 7
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Learn the definitions of longitude and latitude and embark on a treasure hunt! Find the correct coordinates before the pirates get to the treasures! As you correctly answer problems,...more
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Learn the definitions of longitude and latitude and embark on a treasure hunt! Find the correct coordinates before the pirates get to the treasures! As you correctly answer problems, you are moved to more difficult levels.

tag(s): coordinates (32), earth (228), latitude (13), longitude (13), map skills (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to longitude and latitude. Share the activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students to find coordinates for other locations on this map. If the music is distracting, click the little speaker icon to turn it off.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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60 Second Science - Brendano

Grades
K to 12
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Join this science competition! Challenge students to demonstrate their own understanding of science by creating a video that explains an idea, invention, concept, or experiment. This...more
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Join this science competition! Challenge students to demonstrate their own understanding of science by creating a video that explains an idea, invention, concept, or experiment. This annual contest invites students to upload their videos to not only help others better understand science concepts, but to be eligible for a chance to win a cash prize. Click on the different years to view past winners and their submissions. Be sure to check out the rules and information before challenging students. Students need to register prior to uploading videos. Don't worry, registration is FREE! If your younger group of students is interested in participating - no fear! Younger students can participate by the teacher (or parent) completing the video with the help of the students. Don't forget to include both the adult and child consent forms.

tag(s): experiments (71), inventors and inventions (103), video (251)

In the Classroom

Whether students upload to this challenge, encourage students to show what they know through the creation of a video that explains concepts, experiments, or ideas. Encourage students to take their best videos and upload to this site to join the competition. Be sure to check the completion and upload dates as well as any other rules required for students to enter. Entry deadlines are in November of each year and winners are announced in December. Use this same idea to create a variety of videos that students can share with peers within the school or across the globe on your site, Wikispaces, or other tools. Looking for a site to host your videos? Why not try TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Sort My Box - Sortmybox.com

Grades
4 to 12
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If you use Dropbox or Box to collect student work, don't miss this site! Use this tool to move files out of Dropbox...more
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If you use Dropbox or Box to collect student work, don't miss this site! Use this tool to move files out of Dropbox or Box and into a different or private folder for grading. This is especially useful if you have a "Turn In" folder where students place completed assignments. Use to sort pictures or videos easily and make the organization of Dropbox easy and automatic. Login easily with your Dropbox account. Create "rules" in this tool that are automatically used in your Dropbox account to move your files around to folders you designate. Files and folders are checked against these rules frequently to keep your Dropbox or Box account neat and tidy.

tag(s): images (261), video (251), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Use to manage pictures or videos taken in the classroom and uploaded to Dropbox. If you are using Dropbox in your class, set up this site at the beginning of the year to save you time! Create a rule that moves them all into the same folder (or folders) for easy organization and location of files later. Assignments that are turned in can be moved by a rule you create to go to a private folder that can be accessed later for grading.

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Team America Rocketry Challenge - Aerospace Industries Association

Grades
4 to 12
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3, 2, 1... Blast off! Explore the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) website for model rocketry resources. It's not necessary to take part in the competition to use the resources...more
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3, 2, 1... Blast off! Explore the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) website for model rocketry resources. It's not necessary to take part in the competition to use the resources on the site throughout the year. Use the annual timeline on the site to prepare your students if participating in the competition. Download the TARC Handbooks Handbook with information on constructing a rocket, parachute tips, flying instructions, safety tips, and more! Visit the resources tab on the TARC site to access model rocketry resources for educators. Links take you to NASA resources and STEM lessons on rocketry. Find some rocketry resources that are out of this world! 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.

tag(s): aviation (40), motion (58), nasa (40), rockets (14), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Participate in the rocketry challenge. Use the information for your own competition, or simply use the resources to better your own classroom instruction. Use the videos on the multimedia page to introduce your lesson or unit. Access the lesson plans, resources, and STEM activities on the resource page. Have students create blog posts using Throwww ( reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs - no registration necessary!.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ice Age Floods - Tom Foster

Grades
8 to 12
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Ice Age Floods offers photographs, information, and video explanations. Learn about how the Ice Age created various lakes and dramatically altered the Earth's landscape. Explore...more
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Ice Age Floods offers photographs, information, and video explanations. Learn about how the Ice Age created various lakes and dramatically altered the Earth's landscape. Explore different sections with specific lakes and areas or choose feature types to learn about different features such as drop stones and coulees. Choose the video section to explore the many videos offered including some interesting 2 minute Geology sessions.

tag(s): glaciers (14), landforms (45), rock cycle (9), rocks (49), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Use as part of a flipped lesson. Have students watch videos or read portions of the site then have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of local landforms (with audio stories and pictures included)! Share videos and site information on your interactive whiteboard for viewing together.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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StoryToolz - Chuck Heintzelman

Grades
2 to 12
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StoryToolz offers many different tools for authors: story generators, word count meters, a readability analysis, a random conflict generator, a title generator, a cliche buster, and...more
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StoryToolz offers many different tools for authors: story generators, word count meters, a readability analysis, a random conflict generator, a title generator, a cliche buster, and more. Choose any of the topics to begin. Story generators offer suggestions for conflict within a story or half a title. Choose from random title beginnings and endings to generate your title. Don't miss the Readability area: paste up to 5K of text in the box to check the readability of any source. Registration isn't required; however, it offers the opportunity for additional resources within the word count meter section and a larger portion of text for analyzing in the readability section.

tag(s): creative writing (167), readability (8), stories and storytelling (30)

In the Classroom

Share StoryToolz with students in your writing class to generate ideas for stories and possible centers of conflict to map out new tale. Use the readability section with any writing to determine appropriateness for use with students. Have students paste their writing in the readability section to determine if their writing is at an appropriate grade level or to note information such as words per sentence or use of various parts of speech. Paste into the cliche buster to point out ho-hum wording and overused expressions. Suddenly, students may begin to write more complex sentences or use more vivid language. Be sure to include a link to this site on your class webpage and classroom computers for use throughout the year. The readability portion of the site is a great resource for ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers to help determine appropriateness of reading materials.

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Teaching Kids News - Jonathan Tilly, Joyce Grant, and Kathleen Tilly

Grades
2 to 8
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Teaching Kids News is an online news magazine designed for kids in grades 2-8. New articles are published frequently (almost daily) throughout the school year, relating to events...more
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Teaching Kids News is an online news magazine designed for kids in grades 2-8. New articles are published frequently (almost daily) throughout the school year, relating to events around the world. Choose from content topics such as news, entertainment, science, or sports. Choose the in-class ideas portion to get ideas for using articles in the classroom. Browse the archives for past articles, or click on tags to view articles with similar content. Articles include comprehension questions, student activities, and more.

tag(s): guided reading (46), independent reading (125), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Include a link to Teaching Kids News on classroom computers. ESL/ELL teachers and those who work with learning support students can recommend this site to students with lower reading levels when students are required to report on current events, even in upper grades. Have students choose an article to share with the class. Use the in-class ideas for additional lesson ideas. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class reviewing an article using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Find other articles with similar content then use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare them. Teacher Librarians might want to keep this page open on computers for students who drop by the media center or include news notes from this site as part of your morning announcements. Have a student news show on your school TV channel? Find great material here for students to retell in their own words.

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Math Landing - MathLanding.org

Grades
K to 7
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Math Landing offers tools and resources for elementary math specialists and teachers. Choose from several different options for exploring and finding materials on this site. The Classroom...more
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Math Landing offers tools and resources for elementary math specialists and teachers. Choose from several different options for exploring and finding materials on this site. The Classroom Collections include Common Core lessons and interactive puzzles. The Professional Collections all offer information on integrating Common Core standards into math lessons and classroom routines. View on-demand webinars with topics such as math and technology and evaluating apps for early learning. Use the search tool to search by topic and grade level. Be sure to check out the mathematics history section with information on famous mathematicians and the role of women in math (great for Women's History Month). Registration isn't necessary; however, it is free and allows you to rate resources, join groups, and organize resources into personal folders.

tag(s): commoncore (92), data (149), decimals (133), fractions (239), measurement (163), number sense (97), operations (126), preK (275), probability (130), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark and save this site for math lessons and instruction throughout the year. Use the search feature to locate lessons appropriate for your teaching situation. Share webinars on the site for viewing during professional development sessions. Explore the collections for resources in every content area (be sure to choose "all" to view all available collections). Register on the site to save resources to easily find them.

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Calkoo - Trinity Capital

Grades
4 to 12
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics,...more
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics, loans, health, saving, investing, real estate, and more! Calkoo can handle many tasks, including some rather complex calculations. Complete the various fields based on the type of calculation. Some utilize radio buttons and drop down boxes, while others ask for numbers only. Create almost any kind of calculation you need with this easy accessible calculating tool. Language options include English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (252), area (65), calculators (41), division (172), fractions (239), measurement (163), multiplication (227), percent (82), quadratics (32), subtraction (209), volume (46)

In the Classroom

Calkoo is a great free tool to replace expensive graphing calculators that many students may not have. Calkoo works well on computers, mobile devices, and interactive whiteboards. Use this site during a unit on careers, economics, or financial literacy. Include it as part of a measurement unit. Share during Family and Consumer Science units to explore the cost of living and have students put together a mythical "budget" for living in their chosen career. Have students send you on a vacation and include calculations for the currency converter, fuel cost calculator, sales tax for souvenirs, and more! This is a great site to support many experiments in science. Calculate acceleration, velocity, and time, or use the mathematics category to complete problems. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. Visit Calkoo and select a calculator to meet your needs! Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. The various languages make this tool very useful for ESL/ELL students.

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Multiple Intelligences Posters - Marek Bennett

Grades
3 to 12
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Find two downloadable images for 11 by 17 posters about multiple intelligences in comic form. The first poster represents the different types of intelligences, such as musical or linguistic....more
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Find two downloadable images for 11 by 17 posters about multiple intelligences in comic form. The first poster represents the different types of intelligences, such as musical or linguistic. The second poster breaks down steps to use when working with different types of intelligences. For full information, click the link that leads to the full six page essay about multiple intelligences. Also check out the link at the bottom of the page to "psst! teachers!" to another multiple intelligences comic book.

tag(s): back to school (58), comics and cartoons (74), multiple intelligences (11)

In the Classroom

Print and share posters to get your colleagues and students thinking about their own multiple intelligences. Be sure to maintain the attribution and copyright information on the posters. Explore with students learning about their own strengths in learning. Hang the posters in your classroom. Share information during parent conferences and professional development. Share posters on your board during back to school information sessions to help parents understand different types of intelligences. Encourage students to create comics of themselves using their most comfortable "intelligence" and use it as a locker decoration or on a class bulletin board during the first part of the school year. Use one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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GLOBE Scientists' Blog - The GLOBE Program

Grades
4 to 12
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Connect with students and scientists all over the world conducting science using GLOBE. GLOBE Scientists post their thoughts, comments, and philosophies about science topics...more
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Connect with students and scientists all over the world conducting science using GLOBE. GLOBE Scientists post their thoughts, comments, and philosophies about science topics that are sure to meet your curricular needs. Reading the blog entries is open to everyone (no registration). You must register with an email address at the bottom of the page for this free site to share comments and discuss the topics. Anonymous comments are not allowed, and moderators approve all posts before showing on the blog. This is a great science collaboration location!

tag(s): asia (73), blogs (87), climate (92), earth (228), europe (74), scientists (68), seasons (37), soil (17), watersheds (16), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Have students 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). Use this great site for your students to interact with students and scientists all over the world. Have your students keep a journal of their interaction on the site. Post questions from class discussions and labs for GLOBE Scientists to answer. Teach digital citizenship skills (commenting etiquette) and blogging basics to your students. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. Watch the website to see if your students' comments generate further discussion, and to read new topics as they develop. Encourage gifted students interested in science to participate in this community as a chance to learn above their grade level.

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Quadblogging - David Mitchell

Grades
2 to 12
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Give your student writers an audience... possibly an international one! Sign up for Quadblogging and be guaranteed that your students will have at least three other classrooms...more
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Give your student writers an audience... possibly an international one! Sign up for Quadblogging and be guaranteed that your students will have at least three other classrooms to read and respond to their blogs. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. The creator of this program has hard evidence of that. His students (in the UK) were scoring at 9% on the British writing achievement test before Quadblogging. After a school year of using Quadblogging, his students increased their scores to 60%. In subsequent years, these students continued to have their scores grow by two grade levels per school year. There are two short videos on the home page. One video explains the concept of Quadblogging, and the other is the creator speaking at BETT, the world's largest ed tech conference. You will also find the form to fill out to have your class join others in Quadblogging.

tag(s): blogs (87), cross cultural understanding (115), writing (355)

In the Classroom

If you never blogged before, you might want to check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics for the Classroom. Have your students choose a question from Thought Questions reviewed here. Have students respond to the question, and then have them ask the reader to respond to their writing and answer the question from their point of view, too. The benefits go beyond just writing. You can also build cultural understanding and world language skills through blogs. Help your students become aware of environmental issues or how to live "green" for our planet. Try Greenlearning.ca, reviewed here, or choose something from the Environmental News Network, reviewed here, for students' Quadblog projects.

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PDF Mergy - PDF Mergy

Grades
K to 12
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PDF Mergy is a tool for combining multiple PDF documents into one file. Select files from your computer or Google Drive account to merge, drag, and drop to reorder, if ...more
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PDF Mergy is a tool for combining multiple PDF documents into one file. Select files from your computer or Google Drive account to merge, drag, and drop to reorder, if desired. Click the merge button when ready. When the merge is complete, save the new file to your computer or Google Drive with any name you choose.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (129)

In the Classroom

PDF Mergy is an excellent resource for combining multiple ideas for lessons. Save fraction handouts, continent maps and worksheets, or plant identification activities all together as one file. Remember that copyright still applies to any copyrighted pdfs you combine! Save student reports in PDF and combine to put the entire class' work in one single document. Save project receipts in one easy to find file, the possibilities are endless! Want to make a cool flippable book from your combined pdf of student writings? Try Flipsnack, reviewed here to turn the pdf into a Flash-based, flippable online book.
 
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Keeeb - Konrad Gulla

Grades
K to 12
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Save, organize, and share the web with Keeeb. Similar to Pinterest, reviewed here, Keeeb is a virtual pinboard for anything on the web. Create an...more
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Save, organize, and share the web with Keeeb. Similar to Pinterest, reviewed here, Keeeb is a virtual pinboard for anything on the web. Create an account then create topic pages for your collections. Group, arrange, comment, and organize as you prefer. Make pages private or public and share as desired. The ability to make some boards private distinguishes this from similar tools. Although this site is in English, the introduction video is in German. However, you can follow the graphics to easily understand what is happening. The video is hosted on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, you may want to view the video at home. It probably would not be useful to share the video with students.

tag(s): bookmarks (59), organizational skills (120), social networking (113)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for finding and organizing websites for classroom use. In lower grades, use to organize sites visually for non-readers. Create your own Keeebs for organizing classroom resources found on the web. Share your Keeebs with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Challenge your older students to curate their own boards as a research project. Follow other Keeeb users with similar interests as a resource for finding new and interesting websites.

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