TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 5, 2014

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

 

Less
More

Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Center - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
9 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form....more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form. Finding authentic projects for students can be a challenge. Here, students can create an account, choose a project, and contribute their transcriptions of historic documents. Current projects include diaries, field notes, and other primary sources.

tag(s): local history (13), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

A wonderful extension or enrichment project for responsible high school students, the Transcription Center allows students to interact with primary sources, learn about the importance of everyday records of the lives of those who go before us, and have the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to the universe of information that will be available to future scholars. Small groups of students could share a transcription project and check each other's before submitting, or discuss the texts they have transcribed. Students interested in independent research might find a transcription project that adds to their understanding of a particular subject. You might even consider using transcription as a community service project or an initiative in your gifted ed class.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

All About Explorers - All About Explorers

Grades
5 to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary school and middle school students sort the garbage from the gold on the Internet. Despite the name of the site, it's not really about explorers at all. In fact, all the biographies of the (very real) explorers on this site are fictional. Teachers can use the site in two ways: The "Treasure Hunt" section allows students to compare the biography on the All About Explorers site with a linked biography on a "real" site and asks them to compare the two and draw conclusions. Alternatively, there is a more comprehensive Web Quest section that allows for a more complete and lengthy lesson with the same object.

tag(s): explorers (61), internet safety (109), media literacy (58), webquests (29)

In the Classroom

The trick in using All About Explorers is to keep the real lesson a secret at the beginning and allow students to come to their own conclusion. Processing that "aha!" moment when students recognize that there is a hidden agenda here will have a much more lasting impression than simply telling students they cannot believe everything they read. Deep inside, students often believe they can easily tell the difference between the Truth and something that is misleading or downright false. All About Explorers will help them see how difficult that can be. They might also learn something about explorers in the process! Extend this lesson by having student groups find another suspect site and create a screencast of that "suspicious" site, pointing out characteristics that indicate an unreliable source. A tool such as Screenr (reviewed here ) or Screencast-o-Matic (reviewed here) will allow them to create a "tour" of the fallacies they find.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Science Sparks - Emma Vanstone and Kerry Farrow

Grades
K to 6
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Science Sparks is a blog that shares activities to make science fun for even the youngest of children (and adults). All activities use materials commonly found around the home or ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Science Sparks is a blog that shares activities to make science fun for even the youngest of children (and adults). All activities use materials commonly found around the home or easy to find. Scroll through the latest activities or choose from links at the top for preschool science, chemistry, physics, kitchen science, and more. Each activity lists materials needed and step by step directions. Many also include images and links to videos. In addition to directions, each post describes the science behind the activity.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acids and bases (11), chemicals (40), eyes (6), magnetism (36), senses (28), sound (101), water (130)

In the Classroom

Sign up to receive site updates on Pinterest, Facebook, or through your RSS reader. Be sure to bookmark this site to search for science activities throughout the year. Share a link to an activity on your website or parent newsletter as an at-home activity. Ask parents to send pictures or videos of the activity done at home to share with the class. Complete activities in class then share them on a service such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

Comments

Great site for your IWB Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Chordify - Bas de Haas

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Chordify is an online music service that transforms music from YouTube, a sound file, or SoundCloud into chords. Explore the library or upload your music to begin. As the music ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Chordify is an online music service that transforms music from YouTube, a sound file, or SoundCloud into chords. Explore the library or upload your music to begin. As the music plays, view the progressions of the song through the chords as you learn to play the notes. Choose the Diagrams option to view diagrams for guitar, ukelele, and piano. Download the diagrams in PDF format after free registration on the site. Learn music theory through a "chords on" activity!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): music theory (43), musical notation (35)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use in any music classroom. Demonstrate how Chordify works on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for teaching any piece of music. Share a link with students for practice at home. Have students upload their own work to share with other students. If your school blocks YouTube, you could share the link with your music students on your class website to try at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Yay Math! Videos - Robert Ahdoot

Grades
6 to 11
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Yay Math! is a series of lively math videos filmed in live classrooms. View videos for Algebra 1, 2, and Geometry concepts. Videos run approximately 15 to 30 minutes in ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Yay Math! is a series of lively math videos filmed in live classrooms. View videos for Algebra 1, 2, and Geometry concepts. Videos run approximately 15 to 30 minutes in length and include an accompanying worksheet. You can preview the first part of the videos. Wait a few seconds to click "Skip this ad." Many videos also include an online quiz. Just enter the access code provided to begin. You will also need to provide a name and email address. These 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 at home.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): angles (88), area (66), charts and graphs (195), equations (155), exponents (42), factoring (31), factors (42), functions (70), geometric shapes (163), inequalities (29), polynomials (32), pythagorean theorem (35), quadratics (32), square roots (24)

In the Classroom

If you don't want to provide an email address for quizzes, use a disposable email address tool such as Mail Catch reviewed here to obtain a temporary email address. Share links to videos on your class website or blog and on classroom computers for student viewing. Use videos as inspiration to create your own math videos or challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Writers Speak to Kids - NBC Learn

Grades
K to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Learn about the craft and techniques of writing straight from real authors in this series of videos at NBC Learn. Choose from 17 short videos, each less than 5 minutes, ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Learn about the craft and techniques of writing straight from real authors in this series of videos at NBC Learn. Choose from 17 short videos, each less than 5 minutes, focusing on a specific craft such as writing poetry, sources for inspiration, and the writing process. Each video includes a transcript of the author's conversation. The authors write popular books for a variety of age ranges.

tag(s): authors (120), creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), poetry (228), process writing (42)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Look for authors of favorite read-alouds you use in your classroom and share their videos. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a learning center. View an author's video then share their books in your classroom reading center or as an author of the month. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to explain their own writing process.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Dialect Survey Maps - Joshua Katz/North Carolina University

Grades
5 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Explore the vast diversity of language in the United States through a variety of dialectical maps. What is your dialect? Click on Take...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Explore the vast diversity of language in the United States through a variety of dialectical maps. What is your dialect? Click on Take this survey and find out to access the New York Times site that currently shares 25 of the questions in the survey. Then use the Dialectic Survey Maps site to understand the results more fully. Choose the dialect question from the dropdown at the left to see maps of results. Selections are color coded so it is easy to see where each result is on the map. There are 122 items on the survey and three types of maps to display the results for each item. See results via Static, Click(able), and City maps. Click on an area on the Static map or select one of the hundreds of City maps to get results in percentages by color.

tag(s): diversity (36), maps (287), word choice (26)

In the Classroom

Use your projector to show your class the different dialects for different areas of the U.S. Choose one of the kid-popular questions, i.e. Do you call a carbonated drink a soda, pop, or Coke? Show students how the results for your geographical area compare to others. If the New York Times site is still available, have students try the survey themselves for homework. Help students to notice that language is dynamic and changes according to region. Emphasize that using a dialect is not incorrect. They do not represent a language deficiency. Speaking a vernacular dialect is not the result of poor or incomplete language learning. Correctness in language is a matter of social acceptability. Though there is a "standard" English taught in schools, dialects must be respected as evidence of social identity and linguistic expertise. What are some examples students can give for special ways their family says something? What about in a social context, as in country western fans vs rapper fans? This site is also helpful for ESL/ELL and world language students to REALIZE that pronunciations and word choice vary and can identify where the speaker is from.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

STEM Behind Hollywood - Texas Instruments

Grades
4 to 10
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Discover the science and engineering behind many Hollywood Themes: Zombies, Space, Forensics, and Superheroes. Choose one of the themes to access information, videos, TI-Nspire downloads...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Discover the science and engineering behind many Hollywood Themes: Zombies, Space, Forensics, and Superheroes. Choose one of the themes to access information, videos, TI-Nspire downloads for interactive activities, and more. Each page also features related Math and Science Activities. The current hosts are Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and Dr. Z.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): diseases (66), forensics (27), space (205), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Pair this information and the related activities with classroom content, video clips, and data about related events (spreading of disease, space travel, etc.) Create discussions about various technologies, discoveries, and more to engage your students in the topics you are studying. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website for students to explore at home and learn more about how Hollywood uses science and math in film, television, and beyond. Include this site in a careers unit so students can see how science can lead to many different careers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

170 Online Ebooks for Young Kids - Matt Gomez

Grades
K to 3
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site uses Symbaloo webmixes to group various free eBooks found all over the web. Options include Read To Me stories, National Geographics for...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

This site uses Symbaloo webmixes to group various free eBooks found all over the web. Options include Read To Me stories, National Geographics for Kids, Starfall books, and more. Choose any of the links to view the Symbaloo project. Then pick any story to begin. If your district blocks YouTube, the eBooks 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): animals (276), ebooks (42), holidays (147), literature (275), preK (281), reading lists (75)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers to any of the Symbaloo Webmixes for students to view stories on their own. Create your own Symbaloo account and add these webmixes to your account for easy reference, viewing, and sharing. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as for many interesting eBooks for young children. Share these in your library/media center as listening centers, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Just Math Tutorials - Patrick JMT

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Just Math Tutorials offers many math video tutorials covering content in Algebra through Calculus and Trigonometry. Search by specific topic or scroll through categories. Each...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Just Math Tutorials offers many math video tutorials covering content in Algebra through Calculus and Trigonometry. Search by specific topic or scroll through categories. Each video is fairly short, most under 10 minutes. Click on tags under videos to easily find videos with related content. 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): charts and graphs (195), decades (14), division (172), equations (155), exponents (42), factoring (31), factors (42), inequalities (29), multiples (35), multiplication (227), polynomials (32), quadratics (32), ratios (53), venn diagrams (16)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites (or bookmark) for use throughout the school year. View videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link on classroom computers for students to view on their own. Share a link on your class website or blog for easy home reference. If students discover a particularly helpful video, encourage them to "review" it, explaining how it helped them understand. With so many math video collections available, your students can become "video critics."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Unfortunately, Patrick tends to make mistakes in some of his presentations. It is important to view the presentations before assigning them to students.

Editor's Note: Thank you for making us aware of that you found an errors in a presentation. As far as our editorial team can tell after checking with the commenter above, this was single incidence. It is always wise for teachers to preview anything you will use in class.
Honora, FL, Grades: 6 - 12

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Alice - Carnegie Mellon University

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Alice will have your students in wonderland as they use this innovative 3D programming environment targeted to middle and high school students. Be the director of a movie or the ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Alice will have your students in wonderland as they use this innovative 3D programming environment targeted to middle and high school students. Be the director of a movie or the creator of a video game. 3D objects appear in an on-screen virtual world imagined by the creator and move around according to the directions you give by dragging and dropping tiles. The drag and drop technique provides a more engaging programming experience for first time programmers. Alice provides exposure to object-oriented programming. Alice has practical value for students to learn how computers think. The instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. While using Alice, programmers are able to immediately see how their animation program runs and the behavior of the objects in their animation. Manipulate camera angles and lighting to make further enhancements. Alice is a revolutionary method to teach programming, especially to first-time learners. It allows students to understand programming concepts, a 21st century skill.

tag(s): animation (63), digital storytelling (144), video (254)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Plan ahead as you request that this application be installed on your classroom or laptop cart computers. Alice provides an opportunity for students to create and learn how to problem solve. Subscribe to the teacher list to receive updates and integration ideas for Alice. The purpose of this list is to provide an easy way to ask questions and collaborate with the Alice teaching community. View and use activities to increase programming knowledge and the use of the Alice program.

Students quickly catch on to Alice when allowed to play and easily see what they can make from it. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools as well as the drag and drop interface. Have students use a storyboard to organize their creation in order to keep tabs on students and their creations. Build games to review curricular material for assessments. Have students create videos or digital stories to bring a subject to life. Teachers of gifted can turn their students loose to create animations about individual interests or research projects.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Scrible Student Edition - Scrible

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Transform your students' web-based research with Scrible. Highlight and annotate web pages and easily save, share, organize, and collaborate on Internet-based research. Scrible offers...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Transform your students' web-based research with Scrible. Highlight and annotate web pages and easily save, share, organize, and collaborate on Internet-based research. Scrible offers browser bookmarklets for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. With the Scrible bookmarklet installed, when you're on a page just click the bookmarklet to launch a menu of bookmarking tools. Access your work right where you left off from editing. Use the option to format your bibliographies as you bookmark. Compile your article clippings into one package. Students may sign up using their academic email address. (If your school's domain name is not recognized as "academic," sign up for the free account and send a "feedback" email explaining that your email address is that of a student.) Student Scrible accounts have double the storage capacity of the standard free account. Educators sign up for the Basic Edition and then click the feedback link to let Scrible know you're an educator. They will set you up with a special edition which includes the same features. Work smarter, not harder with Scrible. Saving your bookmarks with Scrible allows you to easily go back to review a site, and you'll see immediately why you bookmarked that site.

tag(s): citations (34), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Your students' online research will be efficient and effective with Scrible. Students can take notes on their bookmarks. They only need to bookmark the part of the website they need for their assignment. Students can collaborate with peers on their research. Post articles and documents online for your students to highlight and annotate. Bookmark this tool on your website or blog for your students to access in or outside of the classroom. Use Scrible to annotate professional development articles or to highlight important information for your students. The best part? It will instantly create your bibliography for you!

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Flooding - FEMA

Grades
1 to 4
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Learn all about water and flooding. Find an interactive water cycle and discover the dangers in flooding. Look at past floods on an interactive map of the United States. Learn ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Learn all about water and flooding. Find an interactive water cycle and discover the dangers in flooding. Look at past floods on an interactive map of the United States. Learn about ways to stay safe in a flood, even when in a car (NOT a great idea!). Look at a map of the United States to determine when flooding is most likely to happen in your region. Find information about how flood insurance protects you.

tag(s): disasters (39), floods (6), water (130), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use this information for your water cycle unit or weather unit. Use the interactives on your Interactive whiteboard (or projector). Share the activities with your whole class or small groups. Use at centers for further exploration. Use as a nonfiction text to help meet the Common Core standards. Add to your class website as a resource students can access both in and out of class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

International Human Development Indicators - United Nations Development Programme

Grades
9 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Use the "Stat Planet" interactive maps to visualize development data around the World. Choose various indicators such as Poverty, Gender Inequality, and more. Change parameters of the...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Use the "Stat Planet" interactive maps to visualize development data around the World. Choose various indicators such as Poverty, Gender Inequality, and more. Change parameters of the graph and map. Use the Indicators and Data Explorer pages on this site to begin research about many factors of human development in the World. View the information in various languages.

tag(s): population (60)

In the Classroom

Student groups or the full class can view data and graphs of various indicators and brainstorm questions to understand the data. What factors exist in various countries or areas of the World? What conditions need to change to reverse troubling trends and to create greater equality of individuals in the World? Break these questions down into major focus topics to be researched and presented by members of the class. Since this site can be viewed in numerous languages, use this tool in a world language class. Gain understanding of the factors that influence places you read about in the news and faraway cultures. In government or civics classes, talk about how public policies affect or reflect development data. In math classes, use this site to see how statistics can be applied to decision making and international issues.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close