TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 24, 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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News in Levels - newsinlevels.com

Grades
K to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find high interest, leveled news articles (and lessons) for English language learners. Although this site was designed for ESL/ELL it could be very useful in any elementary classroom...more
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Find high interest, leveled news articles (and lessons) for English language learners. Although this site was designed for ESL/ELL it could be very useful in any elementary classroom looking for informational texts that can be differentiated for various reading levels (great for meeting Common Core standards). This tool could be used with any readers to increase comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary skills. There are four difficulty levels. Take the Test Your Level quiz to find out what level will be best. Level 0 requires little to no reading, mostly audio, except some vocabulary words. Many of the lessons include audio, video, practice exercises (with answers), and more. In addition, interesting pictures pique the students' interest. The same story is presented in all of the various levels. The vocabulary at lower levels repeats at the higher levels with more vocabulary added as the level increases. A convenient online dictionary assists with English meanings. Comments are permitted with each article. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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. At the time of this review, most of the news story content was fine for all ages. However, please preview the story before you share it with your class to be certain it is appropriate since there are comments, unmoderated by the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): guided reading (37), news (162)

In the Classroom

Add this website to your classroom computers, websites, and newsletters for parents of ESL/ELL students or beginning readers. Use this tool to differentiate in all primary classes. Use these news articles as informational text meeting your Common Core goals. Assign students of different levels the same story at the appropriate level or build skills by sharing the same story as a class. Challenge groups to compare the stories in pairs. Have students create a visual presentation of the story using comic-creation tools from this collection.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Punctuation Campground - Harcourt School

Grades
2 to 8
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This simple site asks you to add all necessary punctuation to sentences. You can try again until all marks are in the correct places. Options include getting a hint, solving, ...more
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This simple site asks you to add all necessary punctuation to sentences. You can try again until all marks are in the correct places. Options include getting a hint, solving, starting over, or checking.

tag(s): punctuation (41)

In the Classroom

Use this site to review for a punctuation test. This site makes for engaging morning work on your interactive whiteboard or projector while students write the sentence at their desks (or better yet, work on individual laptops). Bookmark this site on your classroom computers for extra practice when teaching direct quotations. ESL/ELL students and learning support students may find the extra practice useful. Since there are no directions or examples, you may need to demonstrate how to use this site before the students can use it.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Depression Quest: An Interactive (non)Fiction Game - Zoe Quinn

Grades
9 to 12
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Depression Quest is an interactive story/game that allows you to play the role of someone living with depression. Features include about 150 unique encounters with five endings demonstrating...more
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Depression Quest is an interactive story/game that allows you to play the role of someone living with depression. Features include about 150 unique encounters with five endings demonstrating how well you deal with your depression. The set up is similar to "Choose Your Own Adventure" type stories. Choose play to begin reading the first scenario. Choose from options offered with each portion of the interactive until reaching the conclusion to find out how you managed your life. There is an option to donate to this site, but the activity is free.

tag(s): mental health (15), psychology (45)

In the Classroom

Depression Quest would be excellent for use in high school health classes or even counselor sessions. Treat the topic with sensitivity, since you never know who may be struggling with depression. You will probably want to keep this topic as one of many options for student research and investigation. Try the interactive as a small group option to discuss scenarios and different options. Allow students to complete the activity on individual computers so they can answer individually. Possible have them replay the game to find what would happen if making different choices. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) about depression and other mental health issues as part of a unit in health or psychology class. Share with your school's counselor for use with small groups.

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Learning Theory - Holistic Approach to Technology Enhanced Learning

Grades
K to 12
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This colorful "web" of terms shares scientific disciplines, learning theorists, learning paradigms, and key concepts of learning theory. Learn about some of the "big names" in child...more
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This colorful "web" of terms shares scientific disciplines, learning theorists, learning paradigms, and key concepts of learning theory. Learn about some of the "big names" in child development and education. Brush up on your own professional knowledge of countless educational theories and topics. Explore educators such as Piaget, Dewey, Montessori, and Gardner. Read articles about constructivism, multiple intelligences, behaviorism, and more. This site was created in the United Kingdom. American English speakers may notices some slight spelling differences.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): multiple intelligences (8), psychology (45), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Use Learning Theory when you continue your education in graduate school or with your student teacher or mentoree. Save this site in your favorites to use as needed to brush up on education reformers of the past and theories of the past and present. Use it to help you explain why you do what you do to parents or administrators.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Taggstar - Taggstar.com

Grades
K to 12
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Taggstar is a widget for your website that makes photos interactive and exciting. It works on most sites -- except WordPress. They hope to include WordPress in the future. Install ...more
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Taggstar is a widget for your website that makes photos interactive and exciting. It works on most sites -- except WordPress. They hope to include WordPress in the future. Install the widget using directions provided after creating an account. Point and click to create hot spots on images. Add a video, music, or links to hot spots. Then click the hot spot on your image to view information and go to the link. View the example on the homepage to learn more about how to use this "cool tool."

tag(s): bookmarks (55), images (202)

In the Classroom

Use digital images of lab experiments or class activities for sharing on a class wiki or blog with clickable enhancements offering additional information. If individual computers aren't available, share the images on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Since audio options are available, even non-readers can use this tool! Have students add links or even a blog reaction or explanation to their project or experiment image. Use the site for making a photography or art portfolio blog. Have students annotate images to explain their work or various techniques they used. World language or ESL/ELL teachers can enhance images with links to sound files or other explanations for better understanding. Use in world language to label items in an image with the correct words in that language. Young students can write simple sentences to practice language skills while explaining about a favorite picture or activity. Use in Science to explain the experiment or parts of an animal or organism. Use in a Consumer Science class to explain cooking or other techniques. Consider creating a class account for student groups to use together. Teachers can create a Taggstar of an image with questions and links that students must investigate to respond as a self-directed learning activity. An image of a tree could have questions and links about types of leaves, photosynthesis, and the seasons, for example.

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Listly - Shyam Subramanyan and Boomy Labs

Grades
9 to 12
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Listly is an online application for creating, curating, and sharing "social" lists. You are able to view lists without any login or account. Create an account on Listly to start ...more
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Listly is an online application for creating, curating, and sharing "social" lists. You are able to view lists without any login or account. Create an account on Listly to start your own list following the simple instructions, using your online dashboard. Edit features include tags, description, and options for comments and guest participation. Allow others to add to your list or move items up and down in rank. Use the code to embed a list into your website/blog or share by url. Add the bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar to easily add any webpage to a list. Not ready to create your own lists? Use the search bar to find lists already created on any subject.

tag(s): bookmarks (55), organizational skills (78), polls and surveys (31)

In the Classroom

Listly is useful for polling students for their suggestions and votes on any topic: MOST important reason why the colonists revolted, BEST example of a sonnet, best book for science lovers, etc. School library/media centers can share lists of favorite books or best places to learn about a specific topic and allow students or classes to edit/re-rank the lists. Listly requires individual logins to vote. Best solution to greenhouse gasses? Favorite math site? Best resource for learning about pollution... best anything! Create a list to collect parental input on field trip ideas, class t-shirts, or many other topics.

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Classic Mistake Math - Calculator Software

Grades
4 to 12
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Classic Mistake Math is a gallery of posters and accompanying audio files demonstrating classic math mistakes. Choose color or black and white to download any poster in PDF format....more
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Classic Mistake Math is a gallery of posters and accompanying audio files demonstrating classic math mistakes. Choose color or black and white to download any poster in PDF format. Listen to an explanation of the mistake by choosing the mp3 option. Download audio explanations through a simple right click. This site was created in the United Kingdom. American English speakers may notice some slight differences.

tag(s): decimals (110), exponents (37), fractions (206), multiplication (188), negative numbers (19), prime numbers (27), time (124)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for classroom use throughout the year. Show a poster on your interactive whiteboard and have students explain the mistake shown in the poster. Use this site as a model for students to create their own classic mistakes posters with errors made in the classroom. Have students upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles to explain what they learned by using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. After a test, ask students to look for their own mistakes on this site -- or on posters you have printed and hung in your classroom -- as a sort of visual "error analysis"

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Nixon Tapes and Transcripts - Luke Nichter

Grades
8 to 12
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As its name implies, Nixon Tapes and Transcripts is dedicated to the collection of the tapes secretly recorded by Richard Nixon during his presidency. The collection contains over 700...more
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As its name implies, Nixon Tapes and Transcripts is dedicated to the collection of the tapes secretly recorded by Richard Nixon during his presidency. The collection contains over 700 audio files containing 2300 hours of conversation. There are various file formats: mp3, pdf, and others.The site is searchable. Choose audio & transcripts to find conversations by primary participants or selected themes. Each conversation includes information on date and time as well as links to download audio or a transcript.

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

In the Classroom

Use portions of tapes and transcripts during lessons on the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, presidents, the 1960s and 70s, and more. Share a link to specific conversations on your class website, and have students create blogs using Throwww ( reviewed here). This tool allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about participants in conversations during the Nixon era.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science Take - New York Times

Grades
K to 12
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Explore many "one minute" science videos about the natural world at this engaging site. Learn unique and fascinating adaptations of animals. There are cheetahs, dolphins, sharks, and...more
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Explore many "one minute" science videos about the natural world at this engaging site. Learn unique and fascinating adaptations of animals. There are cheetahs, dolphins, sharks, and many others. Share videos directly through email or by copying the link. Use the embed code to place videos directly into a webpage or wiki. (You have to wait for the ads to run before the actual videos start.) Videos also have links to "related articles" that do not seem to be limited by the New York Times monthly freebie limits. These are informational science text at its best!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): adaptations (14), animals (214), behavior (37)

In the Classroom

Use these videos as supplementary material for a classroom lesson. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Show the video as an introduction to a written exercise, describing what you see, or as a minute journal. Use these videos to create an online resource that can be used in place of textbooks. Share this as a resource during a research project on animals, and have students create wiki pages about their animal (possibly embedding a video). Challenge students to create their own one minute videos about various topics in science class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Jimdo - Christian Springub

Grades
K to 12
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Create a free website in just minutes with Jimdo. Use the drag and drop feature to insert and move content easily. Toolbars offer editing options such as adding images from ...more
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Create a free website in just minutes with Jimdo. Use the drag and drop feature to insert and move content easily. Toolbars offer editing options such as adding images from Flickr, including YouTube videos, files, Google Maps, and formatting your text. Add share buttons to connect your site using social networking. Changes save and publish automatically. Although there are paid options, the free site offers 500mb of storage along with many features useful for the casual website builder.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): portfolios (20)

In the Classroom

Possible uses are only limited by your imagination! Create your own website for parents and students to stay updated on classroom happenings. Include links for students to submit assignments, your contact information, and anything else you might want to include. Try using Jimdo for: "visual essays;" digital biodiversity logs (with digital pictures students take); online literary magazines; or personal reflections in images and text. Use this tool for research project presentations. Create comparisons of online content, such as political candidates' sites or content sites used in research (compared for bias). Create science sites to document experiments or illustrate concepts, such as the water cycle. Use this site for "visual" lab reports. Have students create digital scrapbooks using images from the public domain and video and audio clips from a time in history - - such as the Roaring Twenties. Use it for local history interactive stories or visual interpretations of major concepts, such as a "visual" U.S. Constitution. Imagine building your own online library of raw materials for your students to create their own "web pages" as a new way of assessing understanding. You provide the digital pictures, and they sequence, caption, and write about them (younger students). With older students, you can provide the steps in a project as a template, and they can insert the actual content of their own. After a first project where you provide "building blocks," the sky is the limit on what students can create. The free account does limit the amount of file storage, so you may want to create several class accounts for small groups to use. Even the very young can make suggestions as you "create" a whole-class product together using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider making a new project for each unit you teach so students can "recap" long after the unit ends. Use as an online portfolio for high schools students to include with college or job applications.

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Melody Street - Guy Frenkel, Gil Feldman, and Gilad Benamram

Grades
K to 4
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Explore music through many interactive activities on Melody Street. There are games, videos, radio, and more!! This highly engaging site includes the High/Low Pitch game or Who's That...more
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Explore music through many interactive activities on Melody Street. There are games, videos, radio, and more!! This highly engaging site includes the High/Low Pitch game or Who's That Instrument. Watch videos teaching about instruments and more. Listen to music with Melody Street's radio, choosing from songs, classical, or country stations. The Fun Stuff portion of the site includes wallpapers, printables, and coloring pages for download. Other options include a musical storybook and a gallery of musical friends.

tag(s): musical instruments (27), preK (220)

In the Classroom

If you are an elementary music teacher, this site is a MUST SAVE! Perhaps your school has lost its music teacher? This site is a great way to introduce musical instruments. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share a new video or interactive each week.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Young George Washington's Adventures - National Park Service

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn about George Washington's early military career through this interactive that takes him on a mission to bring peace to the Ohio Valley. Along the way, stop to brainstorm items...more
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Learn about George Washington's early military career through this interactive that takes him on a mission to bring peace to the Ohio Valley. Along the way, stop to brainstorm items that he may have brought with him. Use the maps to find details, learn about clothing of the time, and meet other people involved with the mission.

tag(s): american revolution (63), native americans (57), presidents (111), washington (29)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of George Washington or the American Revolution. Have students create an annotated image of George Washington or a related image including text boxes and links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here) of Washington's journey. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Exit Ticket - Leadership Public Schools, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Easily align to standards with this free, quick assessment tool. Use "Exit Tickets" with your students at the end of a class or use with other activities throughout a class. ...more
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Easily align to standards with this free, quick assessment tool. Use "Exit Tickets" with your students at the end of a class or use with other activities throughout a class. Share your questions and even student data with other teachers. Students have alternatives to enter their choices using their own device, laptops, or class computers. Set up a class and add students to the class. Add questions and answer options. Questions are hidden until they are opened by the teacher. Use a projector and your computer to project the created "ticket" to the students. Be sure to check out the Forums and the other resources available for great discussions on using Exit Ticket and for using on student devices. There is a free iOS app for students to use. Those with Android devices can use the web version as no Android app appears to be available.

tag(s): assessment (53), data (130)

In the Classroom

As the name suggests, it is a great tool for asking questions before students leave class at the end of a lesson. After showing the question to the class, students use their student code to log in and view the question. Use the real time data to have students share why they chose their answer to another student in the class. If needed, give the question or another similar question again. Depending upon the responses, this may be an opportunity to reteach the concept. Even if all the students are correct, this is an ideal time to randomly call on students to explain their answer, maintaining a high standard in the classroom. Use an Exit Ticket to ask questions about the previous day's lesson, questions concerning the homework (rather than collecting it), or questions to be sure difficult concepts are being understood.

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Timeline JS - Northwestern University Knight Lab

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful interactive timelines quickly and easily. Begin with a Google spreadsheet from the template provided. Add from a variety of media sources such as Twitter, Google Maps,...more
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Create beautiful interactive timelines quickly and easily. Begin with a Google spreadsheet from the template provided. Add from a variety of media sources such as Twitter, Google Maps, YouTube, and much more. When finished, publish to the web, and share using links or embed code. Be sure to check out the example link for suggestions and ideas for use. The tutorial video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): timelines (50)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events, research literature, learn about different decades and events throughout the world, and more. Have students create timelines for research projects. Use a whole class Google account or individual Google apps accounts if you have them. Use this tool to make a timeline of your school year. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel, interspersed with the ways themes appear throughout the novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. Why not create a timeline highlighting students' family events for a special gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or other holidays? You may need to assign students to do some investigative work first (years of births, marriages, vacations, etc.). In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and photo digitization while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history and cultural developments.

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