TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 10, 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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Sail the Book - Sail the Book

Grades
8 to 12
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Sail the Book does what we all wish we had time to do: it pulls together works of literature--all of which are focused on maritime themes--and uses Google Earth technology ...more
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Sail the Book does what we all wish we had time to do: it pulls together works of literature--all of which are focused on maritime themes--and uses Google Earth technology to bring them to life. With so many online resources out there, it's great to encounter a truly well-integrated interdisciplinary site that draws on the strength of 21st century technology to transform classic literature. Each of six books, including Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, is presented in full text form, chapter by chapter. Each chapter is accompanied by a "tour" linked to Google Earth, and here is where the fun begins! The tours include a number of Points of Interest that open in Google Earth as well as questions and activities that link to passages within the text. Taken as a whole, this is an interdisciplinary approach at its best, combining geography, history, science, art and literature into one tidy package. If you aren't sure where to get started, visit the Video Tutorials to learn more! 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): literature (275), marine biology (33), oceans (147)

In the Classroom

Developed by a teacher, Sail the Book is exactly what all good teachers wish they had time to do: create imaginative, integrated units that take advantage of today's technology. Sail the Book could be used in conjunction with a regular classroom study of one of the works of literature included. However, a reasonably self-directed student could undertake an independent reading of any of the books, using Sail the Book to gain further insight. Alternatively, the "tours" might help struggling readers or non-native readers get the most out of these works, helping the words come to life through more visual terms. The site seems uniquely suited to a multi-disciplinary setting like a gifted enrichment class, where students are free to pull from a variety of curricula--science, literature, geography, and history--to add value and rigor to the traditional classroom. The site is easily adaptable. Use one chapter. Use one full book. Do the tours with the activities or without the activities. And once your students have done a tour, ask them how THEY might construct a tour of their own related to some other work of literature they love. Creating their own could be an ideal unit for a gifted classroom or for gifted students going above and beyond the "regular" unit.

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The Science Behind Fall Colors - Explore Asheville

Grades
3 to 12
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Take a look at the science behind changing leaf colors with this interesting site from Explore Asheville. View a time lapse video of changing colors, learn about the early Greek's ...more
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Take a look at the science behind changing leaf colors with this interesting site from Explore Asheville. View a time lapse video of changing colors, learn about the early Greek's theories on why colors change, and find out about changing colors around the world. Information is presented in videos, Google Earth files, and slides. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): plants (143), seasons (37), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare changing leaf colors in North Carolina with those in your area. Challenge students to create online montages about fall colors using images, slideshows, or comic strips using a site such as Infinite Canvas (reviewed here). Set up a Twitter exchange with another classroom around the country to compare changing leaf colors in your communities. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Find additional fall color sites on TeachersFirst to explore other locations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Cube Creator - Read Write Think

Grades
2 to 12
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own...more
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The Cube Creator offers four different options for creating and personalizing a printable cube for summarizing or story-telling: Bio Cube, Mystery Cube, Story Cube, or Create your Own Cube. Follow prompts to create the cube. The planning sheets help you collect information before making the actual printable cube. Once you have entered all your information, print and follow directions to assemble the paper cube. Follow links to find lessons that use this interactive as well as suggestions for other uses. There are lessons for grades 3-4 up through grades 11-12. Note: Read Write Think has added the capability for students to save their work to continue later. In the last paragraph of the Overview, there is a link to watch the video: Saving Work With the Student Interactives.

tag(s): biographies (85), mysteries (25), printables (37), summarizing (13), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use the Cube Creator for virtually any lesson or activity. Try printing on heavier card stock so cubes are durable. Create a cube to practice math problems, describe habitats, outline important story events, and much more. Have students create a cube and share with other students to practice retelling, summarizing, adding synonyms, or review for tests. Have each of your students create an All About Me cube for parents to view at Open House or to get to know each other during the first week of school. Have others guess which cube belongs to which classmate. Create a cube review game where others must answer the question that comes up when you "roll" the cube. The possibilities are endless. Challenge your gifted student(s) to create a "Who Am I?" cube about a famous person they research. Use the Bio Cube option with one variation: DO NOT include the person's real name. Share the cube as a game for the rest of the class to guess (and then create their own similar cubes). Your gifted students may also come up with new ways to Create Your Own Cube that could become a class game! Invite them to try their creativity.
 
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Fur.ly - khell.net

Grades
K to 12
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Shorten multiple urls into one easy-to-share url using fur.ly. Enter all urls into the box (one per line). Add a custom name, if desired. Then enter the Captcha numbers to ...more
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Shorten multiple urls into one easy-to-share url using fur.ly. Enter all urls into the box (one per line). Add a custom name, if desired. Then enter the Captcha numbers to prove you are human and to receive the single url for all links. Click the link to view the first site. Navigate to the other sites using the little bar that shows at the top of the first page. Registration isn't necessary; however, it eliminates the need for entering Captcha numbers when using the site. Although we recommend this site for all ages, in the primary grades this would be strictly a professional tool for teachers to share site lists with parents, students, or even colleagues.

tag(s): bookmarks (59)

In the Classroom

Use this site to combine the url's of online class projects into one group (one url). Create a group of recommended resources for students or parents on a specific subject or topic and share that url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a single url to all reading resources or math resources for students to explore at home. Create a url for each unit. Create a group with videos on a specific area of classroom content. Create a classroom account where students add resources they have found to share with others. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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History's Heroes - E2BN

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions,...more
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions, listen/view audio stories with more information, then decide for yourself if each person is really a hero using the interactive activity. There are also links to Encode a Message or Record Your Own Speech. Explore the teacher resources for lesson ideas and curriculum links. Heroes range from Anne Askew to Elizabeth Fry to Allen Turing and many others.

tag(s): american revolution (86), england (57), heroes (24), holocaust (38), slavery (72), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use History's Heroes as a resource for teaching about unsung or little known heroes. Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight a "Hero of the Week" from this website. Have students view activities on their own. Challenge cooperative learning groups to use the information to write a story persuading others that this person is or is not a real hero. (Common Core asks for evidence in supporting written opinions!) This site is excellent for enrichment or for gifted. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any person featured on this site. Challenge students to "find" and create projects to share about other unsung heroes. Looking for some engaging presentation tools? Check out the TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools reviewed here. As you study local history, have students discover and describe the unsung heroes of your community. In higher level literature discussions, talk about the definition of "hero" and how these real life heroes compare to those in literature.
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Whack a Note - Kennedy Center Artsedge

Grades
1 to 5
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Presented by the Kennedy Center's Artsedge program, this activity is a fun-filled way to learn about reading music. Similar to the popular carnival game Whack a Mole, the object...more
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Presented by the Kennedy Center's Artsedge program, this activity is a fun-filled way to learn about reading music. Similar to the popular carnival game Whack a Mole, the object is to click on the correct note when it pops up and before it disappears. Move through several levels beginning with single note identification to earn points.

tag(s): musical notation (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site in your classroom to supplement current music instruction (or to begin if you have lost your music teacher). Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Share with parents of students taking beginning music lessons as a resource for learning notes on a scale. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center.
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Center of Math Videos - CenterofMath.org

Grades
11 to 12
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The Center of Math offers many Calculus and Statistics video tutorials and lectures. Choose from the selection of course offerings such as Differential Calculus and AP Statistics to...more
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The Center of Math offers many Calculus and Statistics video tutorials and lectures. Choose from the selection of course offerings such as Differential Calculus and AP Statistics to view video titles. In addition, choose from several worldwide lecture videos and textbook introductions by the book authors. Videos range in length from 2-3 minutes up to an hour. Most of the videos 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): coordinates (32), equations (155), exponents (42), functions (70), motion (58), polynomials (32), statistics (122), variables (22), vectors (24), video (251), volume (46)

In the Classroom

Share the video tutorials on your projector or interactive whiteboard in high level math classes. Use video tutorials from the site to introduce concepts in your flipped classroom. This site is excellent for alternative presentations for your advanced students. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class.
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I want to be... - The Ad Council

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn about recycling and the vast array of products that are made out of recycled materials. Use the Recycling 101 section to learn about the various types of materials that...more
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Learn about recycling and the vast array of products that are made out of recycled materials. Use the Recycling 101 section to learn about the various types of materials that are recycled, how to recycle them, and the new items they become. In Recycling Journey, follow an item from curbside pickup to the new item it becomes. Visit Do Your Part and share information about recycling with others you know via social media. Put in your local zip code to find opportunities to recycle in your local area.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), natural resources (59), plastics (9), recycling (57), resources (111)

In the Classroom

For Earth Day or everyday, use this site to raise awareness about the energy that is used to create items and how energy can be saved by using recycled materials. Students can research statistics about the various items used in the United States and abroad. Discover why recycling is an important endeavor to combat pollution and energy use. Create a public service announcement for your school or community to learn more about the benefits of recycling. Initiate a recycling campaign and create a center for recycling many items from the school including paper. Classes can tally the pounds of materials saved for recycling. Have students create informational commercials and share them using a hosting service such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Founders Online - National Archives and University of Virginia

Grades
6 to 12
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin...more
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Enter any search term or browse by author, recipient, or time period. Each document includes information such as author, recipient, date, and links to other similar documents if available.

tag(s): american revolution (86), colonial america (107), colonization (16), constitution (79), declaration of independence (13), jefferson (19), primary sources (84), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Search and view information from this site on your interactive whiteboard or project. Find documents from similar time periods and events to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students download to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the founding fathers included on this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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My Pop Studio - Media Education Lab, Temple University

Grades
6 to 12
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My Pop Studio is a creative play experience that strengthens critical thinking skills about television, music, magazines and online media directed. Some of the activities are geared...more
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My Pop Studio is a creative play experience that strengthens critical thinking skills about television, music, magazines and online media directed. Some of the activities are geared towards girls, but many could be used with any teenager. Choose from four opportunities to learn more about mass media: Music, TV, Magazines, or Digital. Choose a studio to begin. Registration is optional but allows you the opportunity to save progress within activities. Go behind the scenes to think about the meaning of song lyrics: how songs and media sell items and ideas. Think about how magazines alter images by viewing before and after images. Be sure to check out the section for parents and the teachers portion of the site for ideas to use the site as well as lesson plans and supplemental activities for download.

tag(s): advertising (33), media literacy (56)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect for use with an after school program directed at teenagers or as part of a unit on propaganda and media literacy. Use lessons and activities to inspire debate and discussion on the role of media in society and especially its effect on young girls. Talk about the impact of advertising on our ideas of what matters. Include this as part of a character education or consumerism unit. Use as an independent in-class activity for girls in the classroom. Allow students to explore the site then challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) to explore issues related to media literacy.
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Mathics - Jan Poschko

Grades
10 to 12
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Mathics is a general purpose, online algebra software system. Use the online version of Mathics with Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. Tech-savvy users can also download and install the program...more
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Mathics is a general purpose, online algebra software system. Use the online version of Mathics with Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. Tech-savvy users can also download and install the program on your computer. Browse the online documentation for an overview of how to operate Mathics. Explore the gallery for many examples of the program in use. (Be sure to wait for everything to load.) To get started, click Use Mathics Online.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), functions (70)

In the Classroom

Mathics is for advanced math students who are also interested in computer programming. It would be ideal for use with gifted students to explore mathematics concepts and theories. If you feel unsure of how to use this site, be sure to view the Gallery for examples and more information.

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Earth Engine - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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This free collection uses satellite imagery to show changes in land use across the Earth since 1984. This landing page explains the time lapse project and showcases a group of ...more
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This free collection uses satellite imagery to show changes in land use across the Earth since 1984. This landing page explains the time lapse project and showcases a group of Featured Sites using time lapse satellite imagery. Enter a city in the search bar at the top to find data from other areas. Note: Keep in mind that imagery may not be available in all areas since the year 1984. This tool however shows exactly how areas have changed in many key areas such as the Amazon Rainforest, Dubai, and Las Vegas. Look at other natural areas such as the Aral Sea or the Columbia Glacier. This site uses Google Maps and/or the Google Earth browser plugin, so pretest it to be sure it works on the computer(s) you want to use in a classroom.

tag(s): biomes (116), ecosystems (88), environment (317), geology (81)

In the Classroom

Use on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector to see the land use changes in various locations "happen" in an instant. Discuss the reasons for the changes or brainstorm possible reasons. Use this as an introductory activity to various ecology or environmental topics. Research the native plants and animals displaced by human expansion in these locations. What environmental impacts are occurring in these areas? How have other locations changed in response to new uses such as Marcellus shale drilling, mountaintop removal for coal, etc? Discuss the possible changes and search out time lapse images that show changes. Have students create a "wanted" poster naming the "villains" who caused lasting damage to the environment, using a tool such as Poster My Wall, reviewed here.

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Recite - Piccsy.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Turn a quote into a masterpiece using Recite. Type or copy/paste any quote into the text box. Choose a template from the many options below the quote box. Click Create ...more
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Turn a quote into a masterpiece using Recite. Type or copy/paste any quote into the text box. Choose a template from the many options below the quote box. Click Create to view an image of your finished product ready to share or print. Share using social media tools provided for Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, and more or download the image to your computer. Other options include a permalink to use on any website or email using the link provided. There is the option to purchase your quote/image, but this review is only for the free portion of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quotations (24)

In the Classroom

Create printable quotes for back to school, testing strategies, or words of wisdom for your classroom. Make a student's day by creating a special quote for him or her birthday or other special occasion. Have students invent their own mnemonic devices that they share as "quotes" using this tool. Have students create their own quotes for use in class projects or for the "Star of the Week" in your class. Make a special "thank you" quote for the parents volunteers in your classroom.

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Culture Street - culturestreet.org

Grades
K to 5
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Culture Street introduces young people to contemporary writers, artists, and film makers and offers the opportunity to create unique work with the site tools. Choose from the many activities...more
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Culture Street introduces young people to contemporary writers, artists, and film makers and offers the opportunity to create unique work with the site tools. Choose from the many activities such as Paint Studio, Picture Book Maker, Super Action Comic Maker, and many others. Explore each of the four channels for an in-depth look at art, film, stage, and books. Scroll through the latest information to read about different artists and organizations. You must register to ACCESS this site. This website is funded in the United Kingdom. However, users outside of the UK are welcome to use all parts of the site once registered. .

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), creative writing (167), digital storytelling (135), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Create and share picture books using the Picture Book Maker Tool and the Super Action Comic Maker. Once students have created books, print to use at reading centers or create links on classroom computers for reading online. With younger students, have them create pages and then add their weekly spelling words scattered on the pages. This will give them practice both writing (typing) and reading their spelling words! Create short stories about a story's main character, setting, conflict, etc. instead of book reports. Images are limited, but text of any kind can be added.

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