TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 3, 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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The Edible Schoolyard Project - Alice Waters

Grades
K to 12
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Visit this incredible site to bring students of all ages into a positive relationship with food by connecting it with nature and culture. Discover a sustainable food curriculum that...more
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Visit this incredible site to bring students of all ages into a positive relationship with food by connecting it with nature and culture. Discover a sustainable food curriculum that includes Farm to School ideas and much more. This project shares a food curriculum for schools around the world to put into practice. Search and explore inspiring ideas, programs that work, and voices of the movement. Add your own story or classroom to the project to share with others around the world.

tag(s): nutrition (139), plants (115)

In the Classroom

Use the search feature to find lessons by grade, topic, or even season. View videos available on The Edible Schoolyard to learn how to begin a classroom or school garden. Show the videos to parents to help and participate. If your school doesn't have an area for planting a garden, be creative! Plant a small garden in a wagon to roll in and out each day! Create a class wiki and update your garden's growth through pictures and words each week. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Map Treasure Hunt - Class Tools

Grades
5 to 12
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Create a virtual treasure hunt using the tools and maps on this resource. Follow simple directions to add clues to find any location on the globe. When finished, save to ...more
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Create a virtual treasure hunt using the tools and maps on this resource. Follow simple directions to add clues to find any location on the globe. When finished, save to receive a unique url for your treasure hunt. Players follow your clues to find coins at each location along the way. After finding a coin, clues provide information for the next stop. There is a small learning curve for following and creating treasure hunts. But once you figure out the first one, the activity becomes quite simple to understand. See a very short treasure hunt sample here.

tag(s): map skills (77), maps (249)

In the Classroom

Add virtual treasure hunts to many classroom lessons. Share treasure hunts on your projector or interactive whiteboard, perhaps for students to do as a center. Create treasure hunts to announce field trips, locate areas of interest for social studies lessons, or point out locations in novels and other reading material. Have students create their own virtual treasure hunt for a favorite location, where they were born, or to begin a biography of a famous person or series of historic events such as the civil rights movement. In science class, have students create a treasure hunt of habitats or environmental disaster sites. Create student-made mapquests for math skill practice as students calculate distances, map scale, and trip costs using a treasure hunt.

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Graphic Organizers for Reading Comprehension - Scholastic.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Looking for ready-made graphic organizers? This time-saving site has numerous organizers available to print in a pinch or to use on an interactive whiteboard. Use these versatile learning...more
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Looking for ready-made graphic organizers? This time-saving site has numerous organizers available to print in a pinch or to use on an interactive whiteboard. Use these versatile learning tools with any book across all grade levels. The categories on the site provide efficient and effective searching. Find graphic organizers for assessing students, plot and sequence, character analysis and setting, reading comprehension, and organizing patterns. Find idea webs, Venn diagrams, timelines, KWL charts, story trains, reading records, and more. Integration ideas accompany each organizer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): graphic organizers (46), guided reading (42), independent reading (98), reading comprehension (89)

In the Classroom

Print and save the graphic organizers for use throughout the year. The organizers also work well on interactive whiteboards or projectors. These organizers are especially helpful when teaching different text structures found in informational text as required with Common Core. Use the organizers for writer's workshop or reading instruction. Share organizers when preparing for standardized tests to help students organize information. Use the organizers to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your student's thought process.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cuban Missile Crisis - Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center

Grades
8 to 12
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The Cuban Missile Crisis offers a great resource for learning and teaching about the 1962 missile crisis. Explore the site to find many primary documents, an excellent timeline, and...more
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The Cuban Missile Crisis offers a great resource for learning and teaching about the 1962 missile crisis. Explore the site to find many primary documents, an excellent timeline, and lessons. The Educators section of the site includes many tools such as lesson plans, reading lists, and videos. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos 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): 1960s (29), kennedy (26), presidents (114)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site (or save it in your favorites). Use the resources for any unit that includes the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidents, or John F. Kennedy. Watch videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share a link on your class website for students to view at home. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the characters involved with the crisis. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare the point of view of the U.S. vs Cuba or to compare outcomes based on possible decisions made during the crisis.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Online Voice Recorder - 123apps

Grades
K to 12
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Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and ...more
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Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and simple recording treasure! Simply push the record button and follow screen prompts to ALLOW the application access to your computer's microphone. Talk as long as desired. Then listen to the recorded playback. Trim and edit the length using easy sliders as desired. Save your finished version in mp3 format using the link.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): fluency (24), preK (239), speech (87), spelling (165)

In the Classroom

Have students practice spelling words orally, record speeches, practice reading fluency, and much more using Online Voice Recorder. After recording, allow students to listen to the playback and reflect upon the quality of their work. Do before and after recordings of students to share with parents during conferences to demonstrate reading progress. Have students record weekly summaries for what has happened in your class to share on your class website or blog (you will have to upload the files). Record weekly or daily homework assignments and share as a voice recording on your website. Save file space by replacing old files with new ones. Online Voice Recorder would be an excellent resource for recording and sharing more complicated directions for projects and assignments (adding you voice intonation and cues!). Your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students may do better with a combination of written AND auditory directions. Provide the link on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice in spelling, reading, practicing reports, and more. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Have students write and record audio book reviews others can play on iPads or iTouches in the school library. If you have gifted students in your classroom, this tool is simple enough for even the youngest to be able to record audio mini-dramas portraying a historic figure, poetry readings, and more. Be sure to show them how to NAME and download the files to the local computer! Anything they can say out loud can become a creative project recording. Don't forget about recording musical performances or practices.

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We Do Listen Foundation - We Do Listen Foundation

Grades
K to 3
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Songs, audio books, lesson plans, songs, and more abound at this fabulous site for young children! At We Do Listen you will find activities to build character traits (such as...more
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Songs, audio books, lesson plans, songs, and more abound at this fabulous site for young children! At We Do Listen you will find activities to build character traits (such as honesty) and social skills (such as anti-bullying). There are many audio books, with text included. Choose the lessons link to find printable lessons to accompany each book to teach character traits and social skills. There is also online coloring and a place to write and color your own story! Download song videos to your computer for use at any time. Choose the color and print your own book to color on paper, computer, and create stick and paper puppets.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bullying (51), ebooks (35), preK (239), social skills (17)

In the Classroom

All primary classrooms should take advantage of this wonderful tool. Share the interactive books and songs on your projector and interactive whiteboard. Use the songs, stories, and lesson plans to teach about various character traits: honesty, anti-bullying, good sportsmanship, courage, and more. Use these stories during class meetings to discuss issues happening in your own classroom. Share a link to the site with parents as a resource for use at home. Shera the songs with your PE teacher to reinforce the concepts during movement activities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive Orchestra - ADL

Grades
K to 6
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Explore and learn about parts of an orchestra with this interesting interactive resource. Click on any section of the orchestra image to see the name of the highlighted section and...more
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Explore and learn about parts of an orchestra with this interesting interactive resource. Click on any section of the orchestra image to see the name of the highlighted section and hear a short piece played by those instruments. Click again to complete a short fill in the blank about that section of the orchestra more in depth.

tag(s): musical instruments (27)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This is ideal for music class or for schools with no music teacher. In science units about sound, take the basics of sounds a little further by having students figure out how different instruments within the orchestra generate sound waves and adjust the pitch. Create a quick poll (with no membership required) using kwiqpoll (reviewed here) to find students' favorite orchestra section.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learning English with Mr. Duncan - Mr. Duncan

Grades
2 to 12
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Discover a comprehensive YouTube channel of ESL/ELL videos at Learning English With Mister Duncan. This channel includes over 75 videos at the beginner through intermediate levels....more
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Discover a comprehensive YouTube channel of ESL/ELL videos at Learning English With Mister Duncan. This channel includes over 75 videos at the beginner through intermediate levels. Subjects include survival English, grammar, travel, the history of linguistics, and more. Videos vary in length from just a few minutes to over 30 minutes. Mr. Duncan is a British series, so American English speakers may notice some slight differences in pronunciations. Mr. Duncan claims to offer a new video daily! If your district blocks YouTube, these videos 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): cultures (86), grammar (211), punctuation (42), slang (13), video (184)

In the Classroom

Check out the video list before presenting a lesson to your ESL/ELL learners. These selections are an excellent way to preview or summarize the lesson you have prepared. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website or wiki for students (and ESL families) to explore at home. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own ESL/ELL videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BooRoo Poll Creator - BooRoo.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Quickly and easily create online polls and more with BooRoo. Features include lots of premade themes, video polling, and comprehensive reporting of responses. Sign in to create a survey,...more
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Quickly and easily create online polls and more with BooRoo. Features include lots of premade themes, video polling, and comprehensive reporting of responses. Sign in to create a survey, an instant poll, quiz, or form. Build your information using prompts. Preview until ready to save. Add images and more to create a custom look for your poll. When finished, share your poll using its unique url or with links provided for email and social networking sites. Use the embed code to embed into any blog or website.

tag(s): polls and surveys (41), quiz (71), quizzes (75)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create online quizzes. Create a poll as a review to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you have a 1:1 or BYOD class, make a quick poll question about a lesson-related controversy or common misconception to launch a lesson, interesting students to find out whether they are "right." Use the poll for pre- or post- assessments of units. Have students take the quiz independently or in cooperative learning groups. In younger classrooms, use a whole class account to make quizzes together. Older students can create their own quizzes to use for review, as a peer challenge, or as a final project. Suggest that students create quizzes as followup for their listeners after a class presentation. Embed quizzes on your class website.

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CloudConvert - Lunaweb Ltd

Grades
4 to 12
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CloudConvert is a file conversion tool. Upload any file to convert to a different format. Select files from your Google Drive, DropBox, or computer to begin. Choose the format ...more
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CloudConvert is a file conversion tool. Upload any file to convert to a different format. Select files from your Google Drive, DropBox, or computer to begin. Choose the format for conversion. For example, convert an avi movie file to a different movie format such as mp4 or an audio file. Choose an option to receive your new file by email or directly into your DropBox (reviewed here ). This tool is particularly helpful for mobile device users because it can manage conversions of files both stored and converted in the cloud.

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save CloudConvert for use throughout the year. Upload PDF files to convert into Word documents, save PowerPoint presentations as a PDF, convert movie or audio files to one single type for use in class projects. Use CloudConvert to change files that won't open to a different format accepted by your computer.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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GE Focus Forward - GE & Cinelan.com

Grades
6 to 12
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GE Focus Forward offers a series of 30 three-minute videos featuring stories about innovators. Directed by award-winning documentary film makers, the films range in topics from a "Journey...more
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GE Focus Forward offers a series of 30 three-minute videos featuring stories about innovators. Directed by award-winning documentary film makers, the films range in topics from a "Journey Under the Sea" to a look at the "Secrets of Trees." Hover over any film icon to view a short description of the topic. Click to begin. Share films using social networking buttons within the film. Copy the embed code to embed on any website or blog. Videos are hosted on Vimeo, which is accessible in most schools.

tag(s): environment (289), inventors and inventions (100), medicine (49), mental health (18), nutrition (139), oceans (129), robotics (18), solar energy (30), STEM (64), trees (26), video (184)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. There is one film about sanitation that refers to "poop," so you may want to avoid classroom giggles from less mature students by setting the tone for scientific viewing. Use as any part of a career unit, as a look at explorers and innovators, or when discussing character education. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Challenge students to choose a topic to further explore and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Illustrating the Standards for Mathematical Practice - National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics

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K to 12
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Explore the language and sample tasks of national Common Core Standards. This site is geared towards professional development for math in all grade levels (K-12). Choose from modules...more
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Explore the language and sample tasks of national Common Core Standards. This site is geared towards professional development for math in all grade levels (K-12). Choose from modules sorted by grade level and topic to begin. Suggested length of each module is 2-3 hours. Modules include videos for you to see sample lessons as well as downloadable PowerPoint presentations and PDFs including resources. NCSM is a division of NCTM.

tag(s): commoncore (54), numbers (187), order of operations (28), patterns (75), problem solving (191), professional development (75), quadratics (28)

In the Classroom

Has your professional development money dried up? This is a great, free resource for high quality materials to complete on your own or with fellow teachers. Divide modules into portions to use for professional development throughout the year. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector for whole group interaction/participation.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Booktrack - Paul Cameron

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K to 12
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Booktrack offers an additional sensory experience to just reading books with the addition of soundtracks. Choose any book from the library to play the accompanying soundtrack while...more
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Booktrack offers an additional sensory experience to just reading books with the addition of soundtracks. Choose any book from the library to play the accompanying soundtrack while reading the book. Note that you must be using the Chrome web browser and free downloadable Booktalk web app (or free iOS app) to listen to books. Content includes classics such as Romeo and Juliet, children's books such as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, as well as other assorted content. Use filters to find and choose selected genres. Create your own Booktrack by uploading your own text, adding sounds and effects from Booktrack's library, then publish and share for all to enjoy! The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, you may want to preview/learn this site at home. Creating your own Booktracks requires a free membership and the Chrome web browser or the free iOS app.

tag(s): audio books (29), ebooks (35), preK (239)

In the Classroom

Booktrack offers an interesting element to any reading experience and may appeal to some reluctant readers. Ask your tech department to install Chrome if you do not have it. If you have iTouches or iPad, the free app will let you play the Booktracks. Allow students to listen to a track during silent reading time. If all are reading the same text, play the Booktrack through your classroom computer speakers. Set up a class account and have students create a Booktrack to accompany creative writing projects or create your own to use with any royalty free text. These can be found at sites such as Many Books reviewed here.

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Factoring with Mr. Yang - Gene Yang

Grades
5 to 12
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Review and practice factoring through web comics created by Mr. Yang. Begin with the introduction or any of the topics such as grouping, greatest common factor, or more. Move through...more
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Review and practice factoring through web comics created by Mr. Yang. Begin with the introduction or any of the topics such as grouping, greatest common factor, or more. Move through comics by clicking the cartoon character or go back and review using the link. Included is an option for additional examples in many of the comics. The factoring extends from numbers to algebraic expressions, the bane of every Algebra I student!

tag(s): factoring (27), factors (39), prime numbers (28)

In the Classroom

These web comics are a fun way to introduce and review factoring concepts. Share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore the comics on classroom computers. Be sure to include a link to this site on your class webpage for students to access at home. Use this site as an example and have students create an online or printed comic using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection to explain other math concepts.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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