TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 27, 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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Duolingo - Duolingo

Grades
1 to 12
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Duolingo is a free, online learning language class. Sign up with email. Make a selection from Spanish, French, Portuguese, or Italian. Earn points on different levels as you work towards...more
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Duolingo is a free, online learning language class. Sign up with email. Make a selection from Spanish, French, Portuguese, or Italian. Earn points on different levels as you work towards mastery. Practice provides both seeing and hearing the words. Your responses require choosing the English translation and also spelling the words in the "new" language. Put your knowledge to work in the immersion section and translate a document or even upload a document of your own. Check the vocabulary you have learned and your progress toward mastery. Track your weekly progress. The discussion section answers individual questions. Learn how Duolingo is offered for free by watching the "This is how we do it" video. There are free iOS and Android apps for Duolingo.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (48), french (83), german (60), italian (31), portuguese (15), spanish (97)

In the Classroom

Use Duolingo in your world language classes as another form of practice and enrichment. Have students sign up to compete against each other in a fun game of language mastery. Have world language students use the immersion tool to help read and translate authentic text. For an ELL/ESL classroom, provide extra, specific practice in beginning English. ESL/ELL students can also use the immersion section to check their own written documents and connect with other ESL/ELL students. Offer this site as a supplement when you study cultures from around the world. Gifted students are sure to enjoy the challenge of learning some language phrases.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Exploring Fossils and the Fossil Record - e-Learning for Kids

Grades
1 to 5
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Dive into the world of fossils and go on an expedition in this multimedia presentation. Learn about fossils, and gather each of the tools you will need. Gain knowledge about ...more
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Dive into the world of fossils and go on an expedition in this multimedia presentation. Learn about fossils, and gather each of the tools you will need. Gain knowledge about paleontology as you venture into the desert and plains. In each environment, learn about the fossils you dig up with a detailed picture and description.

tag(s): dinosaurs (45), paleontology (37)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to explore the world of paleontology. Add this site to your unit of Earth science, or dinosaurs. Introduce on your interactive whiteboard and encourage students to do more research on specific areas that fossils have been discovered. Challenge students to create a wiki about dinosaurs and paleontology (or add to one you already have). Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Have students integrate this knowledge with other informational books to do a short, focused research project to align with Common Core standards. (Learn more about short, focused research projects a la Common Core in this article.) Include actually "making" fossils to integrate art into your study. Add to a literacy center for further exploration. Include this link on your class website for students to access outside of class.
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Picovico - Picovico

Grades
6 to 12
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Turn your photos into amazing videos using Picovico. Select from one of the available style templates to begin. Add photos of your choice from your computer or import from Facebook...more
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Turn your photos into amazing videos using Picovico. Select from one of the available style templates to begin. Add photos of your choice from your computer or import from Facebook or Flickr. Add text if desired. Music can be added from the list provided or uploaded by you. Add a title and informational text to finish. Share via Facebook or YouTube. The maximum number of photos allowed is 30 which will yield three minutes of video. Directions are also available in Spanish. 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): back to school (33), images (201), movies (51), photography (129), slides (49), video (164)

In the Classroom

Use this site to make commercials, science fair previews, and animated shorts in any content area. Create book talks or "ads" for a famous historic figure. Have students create "advertisements" for an organism or a literary character. Construct a travel commercial for a country or cultural site in a world language course. Use to make an end of year presentation of class events or a beginning of the year meet the teacher video. Be sure to share the presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Embed videos on your class website or blog using the code provided or share a direct link to any video. If your class is BYOD or 1:1, have students create self-introductions to host on a PRIVATE class wiki (password protected for safety).

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VideoNot.es - UniShared

Grades
4 to 12
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Take note! VideoNot.es is a collaborative notebook that will enhance your online learning experiences. Play a video file on the left side of the screen while typing notes in blank ...more
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Take note! VideoNot.es is a collaborative notebook that will enhance your online learning experiences. Play a video file on the left side of the screen while typing notes in blank note-taking space on the right. You can't go wrong with this tool. Copy and paste a video URL from Khan Academy, Coursera, Udacity, Vimeo, or even YouTube. Play the video and start typing your notes! Each new line that you start writing on is time-coded to coincide with the video. After typing your notes, this noteworthy feature allows you to click on that line and the video will automatically jump to the spot that note was added. Imagine the time this will save you when reviewing your notes. Pause the video until the concept is understood and resume the video with keyboard shortcuts. VideoNot.es integrates with Google Drive. Save your notes in Google Drive to collaborate with friends and classmates. Collaboration with video information will revolutionize your online education and your experience in a flipped classroom. Note that this tool will not work if the video sharing service (such as YouTube) is blocked in your school.

tag(s): note taking (21), organizational skills (76), video (164)

In the Classroom

Flipping your classroom? You'll flip over this collaborative video note taking tool. Students watch videos and share notes with classmates so classroom time is more efficient. Use the qualitative information from the notes as well as quantitative data from pre-assessments to differentiate instruction. VideoNote.es is great for interactive formative and summative assessments. This is a great assistive technology tool for low-level readers to listen to questions as they type their responses. Use VideoNot.es to post online presentations and to type evaluations. This is a great tool to comment on multimedia projects created by students. Post video clips for students to analyze in all subject areas. Collaboration is easy with the Google Drive integration. Do your students lose their paper-and-pencil notes? Google Drive allows for optimal organization. Students and classes can combine their notes to create study guides for the lesson. Read more about Google Docs/Drive here.

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Dry Bones - Mighty Book

Grades
K to 3
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Join the dancing skeleton singing about "Dem bones"! This catchy site offers music while it introduces various body parts (bones of the body). Words are highlighted (in red) as the...more
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Join the dancing skeleton singing about "Dem bones"! This catchy site offers music while it introduces various body parts (bones of the body). Words are highlighted (in red) as the "bones" sing the words.

tag(s): halloween (40), holidays (126), human body (86), preK (220)

In the Classroom

Share this engaging (and fun) site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use during Halloween as a fun way to integrate science. Challenge younger students to read along with the song, perhaps turning the sound off. In older classes, have students use the correct anatomical names and change the song. Record the "new version" of the song using a site such as Yodio (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Skeleton Territory: Build a Skeleton - The Royal Institute of Great Britain

Grades
2 to 6
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Drag and drop bones to build animal skeletons as quickly as you can! Bones click into place when positioned correctly. Want to learn the names of the bones? Drag them ...more
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Drag and drop bones to build animal skeletons as quickly as you can! Bones click into place when positioned correctly. Want to learn the names of the bones? Drag them into the "What Is It?" box to view the name. If you have trouble finding the correct location for bones, you can choose the "Where Is It?" box to view the completed skeleton.

tag(s): animals (214), body systems (55), halloween (40)

In the Classroom

This site is great fun for use during any animal unit or for Halloween. Share on your interactive whiteboard or let students explore on their own on classroom computers. Challenge students to draw completed skeletons and label individual bones using information from the interactive. Have students compare/contrast their skeleton discoveries as you study body systems and the role of a skeleton.
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Teacher Lists - School Family Media

Grades
K to 12
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Imagine a one-stop site for creating, editing, and distributing your school supply list and wish list to parents and others. That's TeacherLists. Create an account, find your school,...more
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Imagine a one-stop site for creating, editing, and distributing your school supply list and wish list to parents and others. That's TeacherLists. Create an account, find your school, and begin a supply list or wish list. Personalize your list with a short welcome statement, if desired. Choose from categories to add items. Categories include most popular items as well as specific items such as paper, pencils, or health and cleaning supplies. Include the quantity for each student, add a short note, and save when complete. Share your final list through email, direct url link, or several social networking links.

tag(s): classroom management (55), preK (220)

In the Classroom

Create a TeacherLists account for your building or teaching team and distribute your supply list or a wish list in an easy to find format for parents to access anytime and anywhere. Share what your class specifically needs to be ready for the start of school or a new marking period. Include the links to your lists on your class web page. Library/media specialists can share a schoolwide list to keep the media center well stocked with supplies. Art teachers can request the craft items and supplies they need. Even grandparents can help out the school when they know what is needed. Share with your school's parent organization for creating their own lists.

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Mount Washington Observatory - Mount Washington Observatory

Grades
5 to 12
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The Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire is the "Home of the World's Worst Weather," but they also provide one of the world's best interactive weather websites. The combination...more
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The Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire is the "Home of the World's Worst Weather," but they also provide one of the world's best interactive weather websites. The combination of extreme cold, wet, high winds, icing conditions, and consistent low visibility helped Mount Washington earn its coveted title as the "Home of the World's Worst Weather." The Observatory continues to record and disseminate weather information. It also serves as a benchmark station for many types of severe weather research and testing. The Mount Washington station is one of the only mountaintop scientific stations to have remained in continuous operation with an active and expanding mission. They offer an unparalleled look at the Home of the World's Worst Weather. You can also purchase the opportunity to bring the science and excitement of Mount Washington into your classroom with live, interactive video conferencing technology. Premium content on the site is available for purchase. This review only includes the free portions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new hampshire (4), snow (20), weather (173), webcams (8)

In the Classroom

Connect your classroom through the Mount Washington webcams, weather forecasts, photo galleries, and more. The Mount Washington Observatory website provides diverse, innovative educational opportunities from its summit into your classroom. Close your textbooks and view the magnificent multimedia on the site. Explore the photo galleries for a vivid view of the everyday life on the mountain. Use the photos for writing prompts where students need to integrate weather related information into their creative writing. As long as you provide a direct link to the Mount Washington Observatory website you have permission to use their photos on your site. The site offers seven different live web cam views to explore with your students. Record your own weather observations from the webcams. Listen to an mp3 of the weather forecast from Mount Washington. Challenge your students to create their own weather forecast recordings. Explore the Frequently Asked Questions page to learn how the Mount Washington Weather Observatory works. Have students track weather data at two contrasting locations (such as this one and one in the tropics) and graph them both on the same graph to show the differences. Include this link in your Snow Day links on your class web page for students who think the weather is bad where YOU are...!
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American President: John F Kennedy - Miller Center - University of Virginia

Grades
6 to 12
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Find resources related to John F Kennedy: facts, links to several speeches, and a multimedia gallery. One interesting part of this site is the use of word clouds as part ...more
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Find resources related to John F Kennedy: facts, links to several speeches, and a multimedia gallery. One interesting part of this site is the use of word clouds as part of the page with the links to speeches. Each speech includes a published transcript of the text of the speech along with a word cloud emphasizing the most frequently used words. This is part of a larger collection of all the United States presidents but provides a nice starting point for important events and information related to our 35th president.

tag(s): 1960s (26), kennedy (24), presidents (111)

In the Classroom

View video clips with your class on your interactive whiteboard. Share a link with students for use on any project relating to United States presidents or John F Kennedy. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore the site independently or in small groups. Have students choose one speech and create a simple infographic sharing their findings about its themes using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.
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John F Kennedy Curricular Resources - John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers curricular resources to teach about John F Kennedy for all grade levels. Choose from resources: elementary, middle, or high school. Each level includes several lesson...more
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This site offers curricular resources to teach about John F Kennedy for all grade levels. Choose from resources: elementary, middle, or high school. Each level includes several lesson plans as well as links to biographical resources. Lesson plans link to a PDF version for easy download and printing. Check out the full details including objectives and connections to national history standards. The elementary resources include a downloadable pdf "picture book" about Kennedy that would work well on tablets or on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

tag(s): civil rights (85), cold war (23), kennedy (24), presidents (111), vietnam (29)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this resource for use when teaching about John F Kennedy, the presidency, Civil Rights, or the Vietnam War. Share with teachers at other grade levels (k-12) for use with lesson planning.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Knowble - Bob Rafferty

Grades
6 to 12
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Improve reading comprehension using Knowble to find interesting online articles and questions based on your reading level and preferences. Create your account to begin. Start the 40...more
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Improve reading comprehension using Knowble to find interesting online articles and questions based on your reading level and preferences. Create your account to begin. Start the 40 question vocabulary test. Following the test, you will see several articles selected based on your results. Choose from categories such as world, business, entertainment, sports, and science. Each article offers an opportunity to practice vocabulary with a short activity. Choose the user profile link to view the number of texts read, and words learned at any time. Note: This site comes from the United Kingdom so most articles are based on information from the UK.

tag(s): guided reading (37), independent reading (91), reading comprehension (81), vocabulary development (98)

In the Classroom

Use Knowble with ESL/ELL or special education students as an interesting way to deliver interesting and appropriate leveled informational texts. Have students create individual accounts and use as a computer lab or classroom center activity to build vocabulary and reading skills. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Share this site with your teaching colleagues to help differentiate for learning support (or gifted or ESL/ELL) students. Select informational texts to use for close reading (a la Common Core) together as a class on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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The Fractulator - appspot.com

Grades
4 to 8
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The Fractulator is a very simple online app that gives results of operations with two fractions. Input your first fraction and choose an operation. Add in the second fraction and ...more
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The Fractulator is a very simple online app that gives results of operations with two fractions. Input your first fraction and choose an operation. Add in the second fraction and choose equals to view the result. Choose to display results as proper or improper fractions. View your history on the right side of the chalkboard.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (206), calculators (31), division (137), fractions (205), multiplication (188), operations (94), subtraction (170)

In the Classroom

Use the Fractulator on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to predict and check results when working with simple fractions. Share a link on your class website for students to self-check at home. Use to introduce operations with fractions. Input information and have students analyze and demonstrate, working backwards to get the correct response.

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Map Your Recipe - Wilfried Houjebek

Grades
5 to 12
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Enter any recipe to find to map the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the vegetables....more
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Enter any recipe to find to map the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the vegetables. These are the sources where the pants first came from, not necessarily where they can be found today. Also find a list of countries and their products. Click the example recipes included or copy and paste your own recipes right into the ingredient box. Our editors noticed that some fruits also could be mapped. Try entering cocoa to find out where the cocoa beans first came form.

tag(s): christmas (61), cooking (27), holidays (126), maps (229), nutrition (135), plants (110), species (31), thanksgiving (27)

In the Classroom

Use Map Your Recipe when teaching holiday traditions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas Around the World. Use this engaging way to find out where the vegetables (and some fruits) were originally domesticated. Include with a geography lesson and attempt to find recipes with ingredients native to countries located on the map and to your own region. In science class, talk about the conditions that allow a plant to find a new home on another continent. Are all plant species welcome? What conditions must be present for a plant to thrive in a new location?

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