TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 11, 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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Teach Dear America - Colonial Period - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Teach Dear America offers a large array of resources to learn and understand about life and times in Colonial America. Begin with a short overview of the time period including ...more
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Teach Dear America offers a large array of resources to learn and understand about life and times in Colonial America. Begin with a short overview of the time period including a timeline and information about the home and school life of Colonial children. Explore the large collection of downloadables including maps, timelines, sheet music, artist prints, and more. Choose from a large selection of student activities such as quizzes, arts and crafts, and recipes. The Books and Authors links include suggestions for reading material to include with any Colonial America unit.

tag(s): 1600s (11), 1700s (23), colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site and combine it with TeachersFirst's CurriConnects leveled reading list forColonial America and the Revolution and Frontier Forts on the American Revolution for multiple offerings and angles on the Colonial and Revolutionary time period. Create a link to various activities, quizzes, and downloadables for students to explore on classroom computers. Include crafts and recipes from the site during your unit. Have students create an annotated image about Colonial times including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to demonstrate concepts learned when making crafts or recipes. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare Colonial life to present day. 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 a student their age living in Colonial America.

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Truman S. Library: Idealogical Foundations of the Cold War - The Truman Library

Grades
9 to 12
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The Presidential Library of Harry S. Truman offers an extensive archive of resources to help us understand the idealogical foundations of the Cold War era. The Cold War shaped much...more
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The Presidential Library of Harry S. Truman offers an extensive archive of resources to help us understand the idealogical foundations of the Cold War era. The Cold War shaped much of the history of the second half of the twentieth century, particularly in the Western world. Included are a chronology of the era, photographs, oral histories (text based), profiles of important figures, primary documents, and lesson plans. The lesson plans were developed by a group of teachers who attended a summer institute at the Truman Library and can be downloaded as either Word documents or PowerPoint presentations. The documents can be viewed online or downloaded in a printable format.

tag(s): cold war (29), europe (74), primary sources (84), russia (39)

In the Classroom

While much of what you find here will be useful for your own lesson planning, the photograph archive will be useful for images related to the Cold War era. Some of the documents could be printed and used for small group discussions or analysis. Consider referring students who are doing research for a National History Day project to this resource. Challenge students to research the information shared at this site and create blogs as Cold War personalities using a site such as Throwww ( here). This tool allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only.

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Cumberland Trace Gifted - DAP Tool - Julia Roberts and Tracy Inman

Grades
K to 12
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The DAP (Developing and Assessing Products) Tool is a set of rubrics developed to assess student products at varying levels of expertise. The intent of the DAP Tool is to ...more
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The DAP (Developing and Assessing Products) Tool is a set of rubrics developed to assess student products at varying levels of expertise. The intent of the DAP Tool is to differentiate while taking the ceiling off higher level and creative thinking skills (perfect for gifted learners). There are four components for all products: content, presentation, creativity, and reflection. The tool offers rubrics at three performance levels. Especially appropriate for removing a "ceiling" for gifted students is the inclusion of an expert or "professional" performance level rating. This rating acknowledges work that one would expect from a professional in the content area. The criteria for each level increase in sophisticated. Level 1 would be for younger students or those with less expertise. Level 3 might be for high school and/or your most gifted students-- at any grade level. There are fourteen different product rubrics and a blank rubric at each level. The blank rubric suggests descriptions for all but the presentation component. Some of the products are PowerPoint, poster, pamphlet, diorama, service learning, monologue, model, and more. Download the rubrics in PDF format.

tag(s): critical thinking (92), differentiation (47), essays (21), interviews (15), posters (35), rubrics (32), service projects (25), speech (93), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Offer individualized rubrics for every project so each student can demonstrate appropriate expertise. These rubrics are perfect to use in the heterogeneous classroom where you might have a mix of ESL/ELL, gifted, and learning support students. Many of these activities are ideal for differentiating for your gifted students and providing challenges more suited to their ability, creativity, and thought process.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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No Bullying - Treze Ltd.

Grades
5 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
  
No Bullying is an online forum offering advice, counseling, and resources for the prevention of bullying. Select content specifically geared toward teens, educators, parents, or health...more
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No Bullying is an online forum offering advice, counseling, and resources for the prevention of bullying. Select content specifically geared toward teens, educators, parents, or health educators. Information includes articles and videos offering advice on stopping bullying and reacting to bullying. Other resources include a large database of facts, statistics, and stories about victims of bullying. Be sure to check out the Cyber Safety portion of the site offering information on Internet safety and cyber bullying.

tag(s): bullying (51), internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Use No Bullying as the starting point for individual or group projects or lessons on bullying. Bookmark and save this site as a resource to address bullying concerns in your school or classroom. Share this site with parents as an important resource for discussing bullying and Internet safety with their family. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings concerning bullying using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Challenge students to create an antibullying presentation using Prezi (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

A really informative website offering an extensive range of bullying advice and stories. This website covers all types of bullying and is a great resource to help support the teaching of Internet Safety and the importance of dealing with bullying. Michelle, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Interactive Teaching Programs - Primary National Strategy

Grades
2 to 12
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Don't miss this excellent array of more than 30 math interactives. Topics range from area, graphing, number lines, and much more. Choose any title to view a full explanation and ...more
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Don't miss this excellent array of more than 30 math interactives. Topics range from area, graphing, number lines, and much more. Choose any title to view a full explanation and instructions for use. Click the ITP icon to begin using the interactive. Each interactive includes many options for personalizing both the screen view and content. The files use Shockwave, so they will not work on iOS devices.

tag(s): angles (86), area (65), coordinates (32), decimals (133), division (172), fractions (239), geometric shapes (159), multiplication (227), number lines (22), symmetry (54), time (144)

In the Classroom

These programs are ideal for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to read through directions before beginning. Some programs may have a slight learning curve. Create a link on classroom computers or share on your class website for student practice at home. This site is perfect for use when differentiating instruction, Allow students to explore different program options at their ability level. If they need to submit "completed" work, they can take a screenshot and share it with you (Prtscn key, then PASTE into a document on a Windows machine; Command+Shift+4 on a Mac to save the image to the desktop).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Love My Science - lovemyscience.com

Grades
3 to 9
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Find safe and exciting science experiments using everyday items at Love My Science. Choose from many experiments (sorted by category) for complete directions. Choose the Fun section...more
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Find safe and exciting science experiments using everyday items at Love My Science. Choose from many experiments (sorted by category) for complete directions. Choose the Fun section of the site for games. Note that some games require email registration. Explore Science Facts to find useful information to help with understanding Science. One of the best parts of the Love My Science site is the extensive Science Glossary included with definitions from absorbent through zero error. Another wonderful section is the Gallery that includes a growing display of science-related images.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (79), density (21), dictionaries (55), electricity (88), experiments (71), forensics (27), images (261), light (46), magnetism (35), plants (143), rocks (49), science fairs (25), soil (17), water (130)

In the Classroom

If you want to remove distracting advertisements, use a tool such as Readability (reviewed here). Bookmark Love My Science for use throughout the year as a resource for quick and easy science experiments. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos demonstrating experiments and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Share ideas found on this site with parents to try at home with their student.

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Teachit Timer - teachit.co.uk

Grades
K to 12
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TeachIt Timer is an online alternative to the traditional countdown or stopwatch timer. This free online timer displays a countdown timer and a count-up timer at one time. The most...more
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TeachIt Timer is an online alternative to the traditional countdown or stopwatch timer. This free online timer displays a countdown timer and a count-up timer at one time. The most incredible feature is that it allows you to schedule a series of up to eight timed alarms. There are also eight choices of sounds from whistles to bells to barking. Launch the timer right from your screen or download it to your computer to have easy access.

tag(s): classroom management (129), organizational skills (120)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. At the beginning of the school year, display on your interactive whiteboard or projector to time or count down any classroom activity. That will get the students in the habit of checking how much time they have left. Project the time TeachIt Timer while students take a test, solve a drag and drop, practice speeches, rotate between learning centers, or join cooperative learning groups. Be sure to turn up the volume! When rotating between centers or taking turns in a cooperative learning group, schedule the time sequence to keep everyone on track.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Great timer resource to use with visual students. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Scattervox - Scattervox

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use Scattervox to conduct a poll visually! For each of the possible items, poll responders click their answer on a graph. The result is an interactive poll that looks like ...more
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Use Scattervox to conduct a poll visually! For each of the possible items, poll responders click their answer on a graph. The result is an interactive poll that looks like an Infographic! To vote: Click on one of the possible items on the right and then click the spot on the graph to correspond to your answer. Once plotted, replace your choices by clicking on the item again and your new answer on the graph. Click "Vote" to record your choices. To "Create Poll": Enter a title, tags, and a description. Label the axes of the graph with two different variables to value the items such as expensive and inexpensive. (There are two different sets of axes to use for rating.) Enter the chart items that will be rated with your set values. Embed your Scattervox or share using email, Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter. Browse the gallery to get an idea of how the tool works. Membership is required to create a poll, but not to vote.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): critical thinking (92), polls and surveys (47)

In the Classroom

This free tool is a great way to identify a value or rating of various items. Use this in science class to poll students on various types of renewable and nonrenewable energies as cheap/expensive and clean/dirty for the environment. Poll students on types of cars, rating the cost and gas mileage. Follow up with research into the various makes and models. Poll about famous presidents and various influences on the economy and society. Compare characters in various novels in measures of motivation and other characteristics. In younger grades, gather data about students favorite animals and why (such as fluffy/ferocious) or favorite colors and mood. Learn more about your students through polling of various social and cultural topics such as fashion, movies, and songs. Use this to identify misconceptions and resistance to various subject areas. Identify foods and feelings for each specific kind of food in Family and Consumer Science or attitudes towards various sports. Conduct specific polls for Introduction to Psychology or Sociology about various topics and reactions to the topics. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs or wiki pages to increase involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections, or for critical thinking activities dealing with the interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students in issues that matter to them. For Professional development, rate the various types of technology tools for ease of use/difficulty and high/low value for instruction. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to increase parent involvement. Gifted students would love this tool to dig deeply into the multiple facets of issues they worry about.

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Michael, NY, Grades: 0 - 12

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Draw It Live - Luis Montes

Grades
K to 12
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Draw It Live is a LIVE online whiteboard collaboration and sharing tool. There is no membership required. Simply click on the screenshot of the words "Collaborative Whiteboard" to create...more
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Draw It Live is a LIVE online whiteboard collaboration and sharing tool. There is no membership required. Simply click on the screenshot of the words "Collaborative Whiteboard" to create your whiteboard and add a username. Copy the link provided for the whiteboard or enter emails of those you wish to invite. Use the chat area on the left of the screen to discuss your whiteboard with other users as you all draw in real time. Tools provided include text boxes, shapes, colors, and more. Use the Clear the Drawing option to start over without having to go to a new whiteboard link. (Remember to SAVE your whiteboard link as a Favorite or email it to yourself so you don't lose it! You can return later to add more!) Note: this tool works great on tablets using the web browser! No special app needed.

tag(s): colors (79), DAT device agnostic tool (192), drawing (77), iwb (31), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Allow students to create collaborative drawings as responses to literature. They can map out the plot or themes, add labels, create character studies, and more. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, that another group can use that as a writing prompt. Use a Draw It Live board as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups or the class share ideas for a major project or to solve a real world problem. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is being read aloud. As a creative assessment idea, have students draw out a simple cartoon with stick figures to explain a more complex process such as how a democracy works. If you are lucky enough to teach in a BYOD setting, use Draw It Live to demonstrate and illustrate any concept while students use the chat and drawing tools to interact in real time. If you are studying weather, have students diagram the layers of the atmosphere and what happens during a thunderstorm, for example. Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Or have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a problem by typing it on their board. Then have them work through it together, noting all of their reasoning and steps of work along the way. Have them "turn in" their work by url, or post the url on the class wiki to compare with others. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. This would be a great tool for gifted students (or any students) to collaborate with others outside of their own class, even from other schools. It is simple enough for ANY student to figure out and get started without a membership.

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Webnode - Webnode AG

Grades
K to 12
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Webnode is a free and easy website builder. Create an account. Choose from hundreds of template design options, including personal blogs. Add many site features: photo galleries, polls,...more
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Webnode is a free and easy website builder. Create an account. Choose from hundreds of template design options, including personal blogs. Add many site features: photo galleries, polls, forums, social features, and much more. Webnode saves changes as you make them, so information is stored in real time. Possible uses are only limited by your imagination!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (87), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create a Webnode class website at any grade level for parents and students to stay updated about what is happening in the classroom if your school does not offer a class web site tool. With teens (and in accordance with school policy), try using Webnode for: "visual essays;" digital biodiversity logs (with digital photos students take), online literary magazines, and personal reflections in images and text. Consider using Webnodes for research project presentations, comparisons of online content, such as political candidates' sites or content sites used in research (compared for bias). The tool requires that a member be 13+, so you will want to create an account for your younger students to use. Using a whole-class account under your supervision, students can create pages documenting experiments or illustrating concepts, such as the water cycle, and "Visual" lab reports. Create digital scrapbooks on a class or individual page using images from the public domain and video and audio clips from a time in history -- such as the Roaring Twenties, Local history interactive stories, and 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. For younger students, provide the digital images, and they sequence, caption, and write about them on the class site under your supervision. For older students, provide the steps in the design as a template, and they insert the actual content of their own. After the first project where you provide "building blocks," the sky is the limit on what students can do. Even the very young can make suggestions as you "create" a whole-class product together using an interactive whiteboard or projector. You might consider making a new project for each unit you teach so students can "recap" long after the unit ends.

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Tossed Up Talents - CompassLearning

Grades
1 to 4
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Homophone help is needed at the Animal Show! Proofread a poster that is full (not fool) of homophone mistakes. Click through the sentences and fix the homophones by choosing the ...more
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Homophone help is needed at the Animal Show! Proofread a poster that is full (not fool) of homophone mistakes. Click through the sentences and fix the homophones by choosing the correct response from multiple choice options. Earn points along the way.

tag(s): homophones (17), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

This is a great introductory homophone activity leading into further use and practice. Introduce on your projector or interactive whiteboard. For individual practice, have students try this site at a learning center or on individual computers (with headphones). Bookmark this site on your class website as a reference for students to refer back to. Have students make up their own sentences with pictures for choosing the correct homophone. Create a presentation (similar to PowerPoint) to illustrate your classroom creations. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Plan Your Dream Prom - Thinkport

Grades
8 to 12
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Budget and plan for prom with 10 easy questions using this "prom planning" site. It's never too early to start saving! Begin with information on how long there is until ...more
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Budget and plan for prom with 10 easy questions using this "prom planning" site. It's never too early to start saving! Begin with information on how long there is until prom, money you will have, and more. Include projected expenses for a dress, transportation, tickets, food, and more. When complete, the planner will let you know if you are on track to have enough money for your dream prom!

tag(s): financial literacy (78)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a fun way to explore budgets and financial planning with teens. Allow students to create different scenarios to find a practical approach to budget planning. Use as part of a debate for students to discuss their opinions on the amount to spend on prom expenses. This is a great lesson to do around prom season as part of a math class or consumerism unit. You could also use it with younger students planning for prom a year or more from now! Even though middle schoolers don't have prom, some of them would LOVE dreaming about it.

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Wefollow - Jeff Hodsdon, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Use WeFollow to search for Twitter users by interest and sort them by their "Prominence Score," an "objective measure" that WeFollow uses to designate "how established someone is in...more
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Use WeFollow to search for Twitter users by interest and sort them by their "Prominence Score," an "objective measure" that WeFollow uses to designate "how established someone is in the interests they care about." The Prominence score analyzes Twitter patterns to see who "listens" to each person and is useful in finding, following, and learning from prominent people around the world. You can locate experts in any field by entering a search term like "biologist" or "Shakespeare." Find an explanation of this score in the About section. Enter your own expertise information to be part of the ongoing database of Twitter users and their interests! New to Twitter? Learn more at TeachersFirst'sTwitter for Teachers page. Note: As with any tool that involves interaction with the public, searches may bring up unintended results not appropriate for young people. Use this tool under supervision or recommend specific search terms.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): social networking (112), twitter (51)

In the Classroom

Increase your learning by finding others to follow -- and learn from their tweets. If using with a class, find those who can help with content students are learning. For example, follow scientists, artists, or writers to enhance your class discussion and learn from others outside the classroom. World language classes may want to follow experts on certain cultures. Earth science classes could follow experts on plate tectonics or volcanoes. Library/Media specialists will want to add this to your reference tools to help teachers or students seeking content experts. Be sure to follow the recommendations in the TeachersFirst review of (Twitter). This is a great tool to help students build a personal learning network in an area of interest, especially for gifted students who may have unusual interests and need the challenge of contact and collaboration with "real world" experts.

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Cosmo Learning - CosmoLearning.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Cosmo Learning aggregates an extensive library of subjects (42 total), courses (thousands to browse), video lectures, documentaries, images, books and other multimedia in dozens of...more
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Cosmo Learning aggregates an extensive library of subjects (42 total), courses (thousands to browse), video lectures, documentaries, images, books and other multimedia in dozens of subjects, all from sources all over the world. Their goal is to be a free online school. Subjects range from Anthropology to Entrepreneurship to Political Studies to Veterinarian Medicine. Find specific content using the search feature. You can also search using links to academic subjects or type of materials such as courses, documentaries, videos, or images. Registration isn't required, but allows you to save and rate features on the site. Be warned: there is a LOT to explore at this site! If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): anthropology (11), archeology (32), architecture (83), business (57), engineering (118), environment (317), geology (81), german (65), marine biology (33), medicine (67), paleontology (41), politics (98), psychology (64), religions (61), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Use materials from Cosmo Learning as part of any unit or lesson plan. Use materials on the site for flipped lessons or share with gifted learners as an enhancement to current course content. Using the flipped classroom format is helpful if YouTube is blocked at your school. Share lessons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers of gifted can share this with their students whose interests fall outside typical school curriculum to encourage independent study or projects. Provide the link to this site on your class wiki or website for students (and families) to access anytime.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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