TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 1, 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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DropCanvas - Chris Newnham and Heath Axton

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
DropCanvas offers quick and easy file sharing. Simply drag and drop any file onto your "canvas" and it is ready to share. Share using the link for your canvas or ...more
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DropCanvas offers quick and easy file sharing. Simply drag and drop any file onto your "canvas" and it is ready to share. Share using the link for your canvas or send using email or social networking links. Privacy options allow adding a password for viewing and setting an expiration date for your canvas. Inactive canvases automatically expire in three days with no activity when using an anonymous account. Register (FREE) to increase storage and save canvases for up to 14 days with no activity. If you seek a place to KEEP files beyond 14 days, this is not the tool for you. Try Dropbox, reviewed here.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

When assigning group projects to be done outside of class, suggest that students share work via DropCanvas. This eliminates the need to actually be in the same place at the same time, which can be difficult for students to arrange due to their schedules and their parents' schedules. Use this to have students share files with you. Students can send you any file up to 1GB (or 5GB with registration) with a few simple clicks. Use this as an extra file back-up when transporting files for a grad presentation or other important event. Easily share files and lesson plans with other teachers using DropCanvas.

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Dictionarist - dictionarist.com

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Dictionarist is an online talking dictionary. Type any word into the search box. See a definition and click the icon to hear the pronunciation and view a translation into several ...more
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Dictionarist is an online talking dictionary. Type any word into the search box. See a definition and click the icon to hear the pronunciation and view a translation into several languages. Click on a country flag at the top of the page to begin with a foreign word to hear the pronunciation and view the translation into different languages, including English. If desired, save preferences for future visits or use the bookmarklets to add Dictionarist to your search provider or Google Toolbar. Be aware: This dictionary includes many words that are not appropriate for the classroom, as it is not abridged for students. Talk about ethical behavior and observe less mature students' searches .
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (55)

In the Classroom

Save Dictionarist or add the bookmarklet to your computer for use anytime foreign translations might be needed or for correct pronunciation of difficult words. Dictionarist may be especially useful in ESL/ELL classrooms as an online tool for definitions and pronunciations of English terms. This site is very simple to use, even for younger students. Share this site on your class website for families to use to find definitions and pronunciations for difficult words.

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Brainly - Michal Borkowski

Grades
7 to 12
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Brainy is social networking site for homework help. Use this tool on ANY device! Created for students of all ages, Brainly allows you to post questions and also respond to ...more
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Brainy is social networking site for homework help. Use this tool on ANY device! Created for students of all ages, Brainly allows you to post questions and also respond to other questions. The site's point system encourages you to return and participate within the network. Use the "Ask a question" box to post any homework question. Choose a subject and type the question. View questions others ask by browsing latest questions or within subject categories. View questions and responses without creating an account. However, an account is required to post questions. Registration requires an email address or Facebook account. Although Brainly states that it is a homework help site for all ages, registration requires that users be 13 years or older.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (192), homework (43), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Share Brainly as an online homework help resource with your students. If you aren't comfortable with students receiving too much homework help, ask students to let you know when this resource has been used and have them provide feedback with what was learned. This is also an excellent opportunity to talk about reliability of your information source and rechecking to be sure an answer is correct. If they see the responses as "hints" more than trustworthy answers, they will learn well. Often students learn best from each other. Encourage your students to provide answers for other students through Brainly. Offer bonus points for debunking any Incorrect answer they find at Brainly and submitting it to you! List this resource on your class website or wiki. You may have to explain to parents that this resource is allowed, as long as students realize that any answers they receive should be rechecked.

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Mapping Our World - Oxfam Education

Grades
4 to 8
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Mapping Our World is an engaging activity exploring the relationship between 2D maps and 3D globes. Choose from three different lessons introducing you to globes and maps through quick...more
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Mapping Our World is an engaging activity exploring the relationship between 2D maps and 3D globes. Choose from three different lessons introducing you to globes and maps through quick learning activities. Can you guess where mole (a character on the site) ends up when digging from one side of the earth to another? Help save pirates walking the plank by providing correct clues for the different map perspectives. These and other activities guide you through thinking about different perceptions of the world. Be sure to check out the Teacher's Notes provided for each activity within the three lessons. If you are teaching geography and map skills, this is a MUST see!

tag(s): continents (50), globe (14), map skills (80), maps (287), oceans (147)

In the Classroom

Mapping Our World is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on maps, map skills, or the earth and continents. Some activities allow for several responses, providing the opportunity to predict the outcomes then analyze results together. Create a link to this site on classroom computers for students to explore on their own or in small groups. Have students or groups collect ideas and findings using Padlet, reviewed here. The Padlet application creates free online bulletin boards.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Places We Live - Jonas Bendikson

Grades
6 to 12
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Visit four of the world's poorest slums through this powerful collection of stories, images, and sounds. Following the introduction, choose a city: Caracas, Venezuela, Nairobi, Kenya,...more
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Visit four of the world's poorest slums through this powerful collection of stories, images, and sounds. Following the introduction, choose a city: Caracas, Venezuela, Nairobi, Kenya, Jakarta, Indonesia, or Mumbai, India. Hear each family's story by choosing from images at the top of each page or view the slideshow including images, audio, and facts about the region.

tag(s): africa (181), cross cultural understanding (115), india (36)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include The Places We Live with any unit on poverty around the world or in a general world cultures class. Share this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further exploration. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here). Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare life in your area to the life of teens shown here. Share the images, with no sound, as writing prompts for students to imagine themselves in the slums. What would their lives be like? What would be the same or different? What could they do to help their family to get out of those living conditions? Is there anything anyone can do to help?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spell Up - Google Chrome

Grades
3 to 12
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Practice spelling a new way with Spell Up. This activity requires the Chrome browser. Allow your computer's microphone to connect to the website to begin. Choose from beginner, intermediate,...more
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Practice spelling a new way with Spell Up. This activity requires the Chrome browser. Allow your computer's microphone to connect to the website to begin. Choose from beginner, intermediate, or expert level to play. After hearing the word to spell, say a letter and wait for it to appear and continue on until the word is completely spelled (wait to speak when you see the orange dot). Correctly spelled words become part of a tower of words. Incorrect words fall off the screen with the opportunity to try again. Options within the game include a dictionary to hear the definition of words, a keyboard to hear letter pronunciations, and a translator to translate words into many different languages.

tag(s): spelling (168), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate HOW to use this website on your interactive whiteboard or projector (with your mike nearby!). Divide your class into teams and test out the site together. Create a link to Spell Up on your class website or blog for students to play at home. Use Spell Up at varied levels for different students to differentiate challenges for your students. Share this link on your class website for students to use at home (especially for spelling practice during the summer).

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Free Teleprompter - Autocue

Grades
1 to 12
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This handy online tool makes any computer screen into a "teleprompter" (scrolling screen with the text YOU paste in). No membership or login is required. Just open the site and ...more
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This handy online tool makes any computer screen into a "teleprompter" (scrolling screen with the text YOU paste in). No membership or login is required. Just open the site and copy/paste in the text from a word doc (or type it in). Note: there is no way to SAVE it on the site. We recommend keeping your text ready to copy/paste and saved in another document. Set the font size and screen size to large or small. When you are ready to "speak," click the "start prompter" button. Use speed controls at the top of the screen to speed up or slow down your scrolling text. If you are fortunate enough to have a rear projection screen, the text can even be reversed by turning mirroring on. Other options allow for viewing white text on black or black text on a white background.

tag(s): fluency (23), speech (93)

In the Classroom

Make a sample dialog for students to recite as you project it in a foreign language or ESL/ELL class. Be sure to write in script format so they know who is speaking! Or share this tool with students who need help getting their nose out of their notes when giving speeches or recording videos. They can run it on a laptop only they can see and look out at the audience past the prompter. The comfort of having their text right there will ease many butterflies. Use this site to feed information used in group or individual presentations to the class. Set this up on another computer when recording video and audio recordings. Why use this tool? Information fed through the prompter can be read at a steady and consistent pace. Use this site with emergent readers to practice basic reading fluency. Make oral reading fluency practice more engaging by having students pretend they are newscasters. If you advise the school announcement crew, try this handy tool to make them sound and look more professional. Share this link on your class website for young readers to use to practice reading skills at home or for older students to use to practice building confidence in their speeches.
 

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Young Authors Guide - Denise Hill

Grades
2 to 12
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The Young Authors Guide provides an extensive list of contests and online literary magazines that accept submissions from student authors. Each entry includes a short synopsis of the...more
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The Young Authors Guide provides an extensive list of contests and online literary magazines that accept submissions from student authors. Each entry includes a short synopsis of the publication's target audience and genres. Click the link directly under the Publications title to view contests for student writing. Scroll through all entries, or view by monthly deadline dates. All entries include a direct link to the website offering contests or submissions. Be sure to check out the link to an article with advice on how to submit work for publications and how to avoid contest scams.

tag(s): competitions (14), creative writing (167), poetry (229), short stories (26)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to submit writing for publication throughout the school year. Use this resource to find magazines and publications to fit individual student strengths. Share a link to the Young Authors Guide on your class website for students to access (and submit publications) from home. Use the Young Author's Guide as a resource for finding ideas to use as writing prompts for stories, poems, and more. Share this site with your gifted students to extend their writing reach beyond the classroom and school community. Be sure that they have parent permission to submit, and have them keep a record as part of their personal writing portfolio of what they submit where.

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Bees: A Honey of an Idea - Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

Grades
3 to 9
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Learn about the fascinating world of bees with this beautiful and comprehensive site. Begin your exploration as you choose from different categories such as What is a Bee?, Pollination,...more
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Learn about the fascinating world of bees with this beautiful and comprehensive site. Begin your exploration as you choose from different categories such as What is a Bee?, Pollination, Life in a Hive, or The Beekeper. The entire site is also available in French. Explore each topic as you view images and descriptions of the life of bees. Find the Glossary link near the top of each page to view a selection of vocabulary words and definitions. Be sure to view the Activities page including recipes, crafts, printable activities, and an image gallery.

tag(s): insects (68)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this site during any unit on insects or careers. As news stories tell us about the rapid demise of honeybees and the resulting danger to our food supply, step back to see what bees are all about. Allow older students to explore on their own. Younger students will benefit from viewing and reading together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a week in the life of a beekeeper. Use the glossary as a resource for differentiated spelling lists each week. French teachers may want to use this site as a reading experience!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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FlipQuiz - Marcus D. Burnette

Grades
2 to 12
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Quickly create slick Jeopardy style games using FlipQuiz without a lot of technical know-how. Sign up for your free account to begin your first game board. Save your games for ...more
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Quickly create slick Jeopardy style games using FlipQuiz without a lot of technical know-how. Sign up for your free account to begin your first game board. Save your games for easy access on any device with Internet access. Include correct responses on your game board or leave them off if you prefer. Be sure to save your FlipQuizzes for future use.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (95)

In the Classroom

Create Jeopardy style quizzes to gamify review and reinforcement of classroom content. Have groups of students create a quiz to share with the class or with other groups. Use a class account for younger students or those who do not have email addresses. Have students brainstorm what they like about each of the different activities for more analysis on their strengths and weaknesses and how they learn best (metacognition). Have student emcees operate the student-made quizzes on an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Share the quizzes by url on a class wiki so every student can take a try. Learning support teachers may want to have small groups create their own review quizzes, since creating the quiz is a great way to reinforce content. Share a link to any FlipQuiz on your class website or blog for student use at home.

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Synonyms Choose It - Caroline LaMagna

Grades
K to 3
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Need a quick way to review synonyms? This simple site does it! Try your hand at 20 multiple choice questions for choosing the correct synonym. Turn the audio on or ...more
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Need a quick way to review synonyms? This simple site does it! Try your hand at 20 multiple choice questions for choosing the correct synonym. Turn the audio on or off.

tag(s): synonyms (38)

In the Classroom

Introduce Synonym Choose It on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students practice independently at centers or add this site to your class website for home practice. Use this site for ESL/ELL students to help develop language. With struggling readers, help them build more confidence using context clues to master more words. Pair your stronger readers with a weaker reader to complete the quiz/interactive together. Have students write their own synonym sentences with multiple choices for their classmates to try. Share them using a simply quiz tool like Quizmoz, reviewed here or post them for an engaging bulletin board!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Giza 3D - Dassault Systemes

Grades
6 to 12
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This tool is a stunning 3D reconstruction and tour of the Giza pyramids, Sphinx, and other structures. Watch a guided tour both around and inside the structures. This tour also ...more
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This tool is a stunning 3D reconstruction and tour of the Giza pyramids, Sphinx, and other structures. Watch a guided tour both around and inside the structures. This tour also shows structures at various points in history. To view in 3D, the 3D Lifeplayer needs to be installed. Note: This site may take a little time to load.

tag(s): architecture (83), egypt (66), pyramids (29)

In the Classroom

View this site in the classroom using a projector or interactive whiteboard. View the reconstruction of these artifacts from information collected during its discovery. Use the 3D tour to view the Necropolis, join a guided tour of the monuments, and look at the collected objects reconstructed from the site. Bring the history of Egypt to life. This is a powerful tool to show the role of Archaeology in reconstructing history. Compare this site to the work of archaeologists at Jamestown or other historic locations to talk about different techniques of science used to reveal history.

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