TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 23, 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

 

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Bringit - Lisa Bouchard and Charles Forcey

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets...more
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Be an organization rockstar with Bringit! Use Bringit as a free and easy way to organize people and events and to maintain updates in real time. Create sign up sheets for easy online access. (Those signing up do not need a Bringit account.) Add items, times, tasks, or whatever you need to your sign up sheet. Share the link using the URL or share through social networking links. Customize your sign up sheet to allow others to add information if desired. Two days before the date of the event, those who sign up will receive an automated reminder.

tag(s): organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are endless. Use this for planning parties, bringing in materials for projects, and any other activity that requires coordination. If you have limited technology availability, this is a great way for teachers or students to sign up for time slots to use laptops, iPads, video cameras, or a podcast recording station. Go paperless with your signups! Organize your parent/teacher conferences. Plan student research of class projects using this resource. Help students build organizational skills by having them "plan" a mythical (or actual) event such as a museum opening for their Famous Americans exhibit. Use this tool for your high school club or sports team to organize their own events.

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Zentation - Karl Siegert

Grades
5 to 12
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Do you have a PowerPoint presentation AND YouTube video to combine for your next presentation? Zentation helps you combine these two tools into one dynamic presentation with both the...more
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Do you have a PowerPoint presentation AND YouTube video to combine for your next presentation? Zentation helps you combine these two tools into one dynamic presentation with both the slides AND the video showing side by side. This presentation method can share the "live" presenter (from a video) and his/her slides together on the screen. Watch the demo to see what the results look like. After creating your account, choose New Presentation to begin. Provide a name and description. Click the Start under the Public column. (Premium Private provides additional paid options.) Copy/paste in the link to your prerecorded YouTube or Google video. Upload your PowerPoint from your computer or link to a SlideShare presentation and choose "Upload PPT." Once all uploads finish, use the sync option in your account to add descriptions and modify slide display time as needed to sync with the video. Use the share button to share your finished project via URL, embed into your blog, send through email, or create a link with thumbnail images. If your district blocks YouTube, you may not be able to use this tool at school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): slides (60), video (251)

In the Classroom

Use your existing presentations along with video of you narrating them (or other video) and upload them to Zentation. Zentation is perfect for use in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. It does use Flash, so iOS devices will not display the results. Use during your presentations to increase student interest and interaction. Share with students for use to combine their own slides and video to create a more dynamic presentation. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Use Zentation as an excellent resource for creating and sharing review materials on your website. It would also be a great way to "flip" your classroom. Use the video area to include examples of a scientific process (found on YouTube) or even video of students themselves explaining student-created review or presentation slides in a format you can easily share and archive on a class web page or wiki. Anything you can put on video can go in the left video box! If you have students who are too shy to present in person, this would be a great way for them to record and combine slides with video of themselves. Teacher-librarians could record students doing booktalks alongside slides of images from the book or illustrations the students draw themselves.

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Zeemaps - Zee Source

Grades
4 to 12
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Generate maps with unlimited markers easily with this tool! NO membership is required to create, save, or collaborate on maps, and you do not need to install software. Enter a ...more
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Generate maps with unlimited markers easily with this tool! NO membership is required to create, save, or collaborate on maps, and you do not need to install software. Enter a title, description (optional), an admin password for others to collaborate, and a starting location to create your map. Add simple or detailed markers to your map. Input data from multiple formats: KML, CSV, Excel, and more. Add video, audio, and information to each of the markers. Markers can also be customized icons. Be sure to check out the menu options available such as Additions, where areas of the map can be highlighted and Annotations can be added to the markers. Share your map by URL or publish in a webpage.

tag(s): directions (20), map skills (80), maps (287)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one is a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. Teach map skills by letting students explore and annotate their own community. This site is great on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Create multiple markers for various points within your community. Annotate the markers with specific information that students research. Remember to create an admin password (and save it somewhere safe!) for others to collaborate on the map. Research various places around the world, and create markers of must-see places, historical finds, and other locations of interest. Create a map of news hot spots around the world. In Biology, find places where environmental or biodiversity concerns are occurring. Collaborate on a map to include annotated information of student research about these problems. Create a map to introduce various cultures around the world. Enter video, audio, information, and links that students can use to "uncover" the content to be learned.

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Knowledge Adventure - Knowledge Adventure, Inc

Grades
K to 6
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Find educational activities to reinforce skills for preschool through elementary school students at Knowledge Adventure. Browse by grade, subject, or age. View a list of all games in...more
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Find educational activities to reinforce skills for preschool through elementary school students at Knowledge Adventure. Browse by grade, subject, or age. View a list of all games in alphabetical order. Choose any game then read the short instructions before playing. Explore activities to practice typing, sight words, counting, memory puzzles, logic, science, art, color, and more. Most of the activities at the site appear to have been created by Knowledge Adventures, but some were created by other sites and included here (such as JumpStart). The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), capitals (24), counting (119), keyboarding (38), logic (229), preK (275), puzzles (208), sight words (37), spelling (168), word choice (26)

In the Classroom

Share (and have a student demonstrate) this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Create links to specific skill games on classroom computers for center time or indoor recess. There are some advertisements on the right side. Warn your students to avoid them.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Art of Problem Solving Videos - Richard Rusczyk

Grades
6 to 12
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Art of Problem Solving offers its own videos as part of an extensive collection aligned to Prealgebra, Introduction to Algebra, and Introduction to Counting & Probability textbooks....more
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Art of Problem Solving offers its own videos as part of an extensive collection aligned to Prealgebra, Introduction to Algebra, and Introduction to Counting & Probability textbooks. It also curates other video sources, such as smaller collections created by MATHCOUNTS and Math Olympiad competitions that share problem solving strategies. Choose a textbook (or series) to begin; then view videos indexed by chapter and content. Most videos run under 10 minutes in length. If your school 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): decimals (133), exponents (42), fractions (239), geometric shapes (159), percent (82), perimeter (32), probability (130), problem solving (258), quadratics (32), ratios (52), venn diagrams (16)

In the Classroom

Share videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector to reinforce concepts taught in class. Create a link on classroom computers for students to view in the classroom or from home. Be sure to share a link (or embed) videos on your classroom website or blog for student viewing at home. If you are running a flipped classroom, use these videos as an introduction for students to view at home and discuss the next day in class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Made By Milk Carton Construction Contest - Evergreen Packaging

Grades
K to 12
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Enter the Made By Milk Contest (a design and building challenge) for a chance to win up to $5,000 for your school or simply to learn. Offered each spring and ...more
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Enter the Made By Milk Contest (a design and building challenge) for a chance to win up to $5,000 for your school or simply to learn. Offered each spring and fall, this contest is sure to inspire creativity in all participants. Simple rules make it easy to participate. Create a design using 100 or more milk cartons. Take pictures of the completed project, and include a short essay explaining why your school should win. Be sure to check out the Past Winners page for ideas on what it takes to create a winning entry. (Hint: earn extra points if reward money is to be used for green projects.) Even if you do not want to join in the contest, the challenges offer wonderful STEM projects to try within your school or at home.

tag(s): architecture (83), counting (119), grants (18), STEM (123), structures (24)

In the Classroom

This project is perfect for individual classroom participation, Art Clubs, or after school clubs. Incorporate this project into your math class and have students count the number of cartons used, estimate how many cartons needed, or calculate how long it will take to gather the number of needed cartons. Join in the challenge in conjunction with a science unit on structures or a physics unit at much higher levels. Include as part of your nutrition unit to help students understand the importance of dairy in a healthy diet. Share this information with your PTO/PTA as a possible "makers movement" idea for an evening of fun and learning, even if you never enter the official contest. Let your gifted students (or a school service club) organize and plan a mini-version of the contest within your school, perhaps using the smaller milk cartons from the cafeteria. Make re-using milk cartons a creative event for Earth Day.

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Old Pictures - old-picture.com

Grades
5 to 12
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View and explore an extensive collection of vintage and historic photographs from 1850 through 1940. The photos come from American and worldwide sources. Browse through photos sorted...more
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View and explore an extensive collection of vintage and historic photographs from 1850 through 1940. The photos come from American and worldwide sources. Browse through photos sorted into three categories: Defining Moments, Picture Collections, and Themed Collections. Click on thumbnails to view full size versions along with information on each picture. In addition to photographs, be sure to check out a very large collection of old maps sorted by date, state, and nation. Note: Our review team found it exceedingly difficult to locate the actual source information for the images. There is no citation information included with images except for general information on the Contact page saying they are "in large part from Government archives and our personal collections" and a general bibliography for the Maps section. The site suggests that you contact their email with questions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1800s (44), 1900s (33), 1910s (9), 1930s (15), 1940s (13), agriculture (54), civil war (145), flight (36), great depression (24), images (261), immigrants (20), immigration (58), lincoln (85), native americans (81), photography (160), slavery (72), states (163)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to view and discuss photographs. Take your students on a trip back in time through these photographs. After sharing a portrait of an era or a defining moment, have students create their own projects to explain it in their own creative way. For example, they could do a project about life during the Civil War. Use urls for these images in projects that can "pull" images by url. (Right click to get the image url.) Alternatively, find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook after researching people and events found on Old Pictures. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference.

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The Republia Times - Lucas Pope

Grades
6 to 12
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Try your hand at newspaper editing for a dystopian community. Explore the limitations of not having a free press. Your task is to select which articles paint a positive picture ...more
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Try your hand at newspaper editing for a dystopian community. Explore the limitations of not having a free press. Your task is to select which articles paint a positive picture of the world by reading a one sentence summary and looking at the headlines. There is a time limit for editing (within 3 virtual days -- about 45 seconds). As the editor, you must make sure the bosses stay happy and also that the public interest is substantial in reading the selected stories. At the end of the given time, editors receive two grades, one on successfully completing the paper and the other on engaging your readers. Editors continue work for three days, each day trying to improve the positive attitude and interest more readers. A threat to the editor adds to the suspense and tension of selecting articles carefully.

tag(s): freedom of speech (10), media literacy (56), newspapers (94), propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Share this exercise (once) on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on propaganda or while reading a dystopian novel. You can also include it during government/civics units on the power of media. Have students try out editing on individual computers or as a learning station. Ask students to write the imaginary articles that go along with the headlines from two points of view, both positive and negative about the regime. Find headlines from a local paper or the Internet and have students rewrite headlines, changing the feeling of the article from negative to positive or vice versa.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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50 Years of Space Exploration - National Geographic

Grades
4 to 12
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Celebrate 50 years of space exploration with this beautiful interactive map created by Sean McNaughton and Samuel Velasco. Clicking on a section of the map will increase its size. Follow...more
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Celebrate 50 years of space exploration with this beautiful interactive map created by Sean McNaughton and Samuel Velasco. Clicking on a section of the map will increase its size. Follow the paths for launches to their destinations. This interactive includes the mission's destination, when the mission started, and whether the mission was a success or failure. Find all international space missions from the past. Follow the flight paths of current missions such as New Horizons traveling to Pluto and the location of the Voyagers. A line on the bottom shows the relative distances in interstellar space. If the article is open be sure to click Hide Article to see this entire map. Inspect parts of the map by using the plus-minus box on the upper right corner of the image.

tag(s): explorers (61), moon (72), nasa (40), planets (122), space (206), stars (61)

In the Classroom

Use this interactive map to demonstrate how many space missions man has attempted in an effort to explore our solar system. Share it with a projector to view paths up close. Students, or small groups, can choose a planet or mission and research more about how the mission came about, what it's goal was, and what the results of the mission were. Consider putting together resources on Symbaloo, reviewed here, for each of the space missions for students to learn more. Science students can investigate what technology was like at the time of the missions and what we use in its place today. Challenge students to present their findings to the class using Zeetings, reviewed here.

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Science Fair Coach - Maille

Grades
3 to 12
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Looking for some new ideas (and tips) for the science fair? Check out the free material available on this blog created by a PhD in Oceanography who works as an ...more
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Looking for some new ideas (and tips) for the science fair? Check out the free material available on this blog created by a PhD in Oceanography who works as an environmental microbiologist. She created the site to coach parents and kids through the science fair process. You will not only find ideas to use for a science fair project, but also the steps to follow to complete a project successfully. Find some great ideas that you can tweak to fit your needs and interests. Find many great ideas for data to collect and explanations of the variables involved in the scientific method. There are great tips for students doing projects, including questions to expect from judges!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): science fairs (25), scientific method (64), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Use information from this site to help students who struggle with te concepts of creating and carrying out a good science fair project. Assign science fair projects as extra credit for students to pursue individualized experiences and knowledge or as a regular part of the curriculum for scientific method. Even if you don't do a full science fair, use ideas form this site to help students envision scientific method through specific examples. Have them make a graphic organizer that shows the progression of steps involved in science investigations. Use a site such as Creately (reviewed here) to create visual graphic organizers. Share this link on your class website during science fair time.

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My Study Life - Virblue

Grades
7 to 12
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My Study Life is a web-based and mobile app for a student to manage classes, tasks, and assignments. Features include tracking tasks, adding exam dates, managing classes, and notification...more
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My Study Life is a web-based and mobile app for a student to manage classes, tasks, and assignments. Features include tracking tasks, adding exam dates, managing classes, and notification reminders of upcoming events. Enroll through email, Facebook, or Google. Once enrolled, add course schedules to set up a schedule. After entering courses, add tasks with due dates or exam dates. All tasks and information displays on the homepage along with approaching due dates. My Study Life shows both tasks completed and unfinished.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (192), organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

Start the school year off by sharing this tool with students for planning homework assignments, tasks, and exam dates. Create an account to share with your learning support teacher and specialists to collaborate and know upcoming events in each other's classrooms. Share with parents as an option for student use. Use this site personally to keep yourself organized! If you have students aged 13 and up, encourage them to choose a consistent planning tool like this one to stay organized. Share this site with gifted secondary students to help them stay organized and manage their life. Promote organizational skills with your learning support or gifted learners.

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Science of Golf - NBC Universal Media, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Bring Physics concepts into focus with videos (and lesson plans) about golf. Topics included range from the Math of Golf Scoring to Water Conservation to Volume, Displacement & Buoyancy...more
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Bring Physics concepts into focus with videos (and lesson plans) about golf. Topics included range from the Math of Golf Scoring to Water Conservation to Volume, Displacement & Buoyancy and more! Click any video to bring it up in a "cue card" you can "flip" to read a summary and key terms. There is also a transcript tab. Open full screen from the card view. Although the larger NBC Learn site requires a subscription, this area is free.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conservation (127), energy (197), friction (11), sports (95), STEM (123), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to place this link on your classroom page for students to view the videos and build their understanding of physics concepts. Show these videos at the beginning of a new unit or to reinforce a concept just learned. Share the video on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Encourage your students to create their own investigations into golf or another sport. Measure or record golf swings, etc. to further show understanding of the material. Be sure to view videos on how the understanding of physics has led to better golf equipment! This is STEM applied to sports, a topic sure to interest many students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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