TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 10, 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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Made with Code - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Made with Code is a Google initiative with a goal of getting young women and girls excited about learning to write code. Choose from several different projects such as customizing ...more
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Made with Code is a Google initiative with a goal of getting young women and girls excited about learning to write code. Choose from several different projects such as customizing a bracelet, creating an accessorized selfie, designing an avatar, or making a custom animated gif. Follow easy step by step directions for coding and completing each project. Receive your 3D printed bracelet free in 3 to 4 weeks upon completion of your design! All projects use Blockly programming language to code and personalize projects.

tag(s): coding (26), creativity (108), design (84), STEM (124)

In the Classroom

Although Made with Code is aimed at girls, all students will love creating and designing projects with this fun website. Demonstrate how to use the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to create projects on their own. Include customized avatars or gifs on your class website or with students' multimedia projects. If students create their own blog, challenge them to create a customized avatar. Made with Code would be a great addition for use with after school technology programs or during your school's technology fair. Include in your math or science class to help students learn logical thinking. Be sure to include a link to this site on your class website or blog for students to "play" with at home.

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Twubs - Twubs, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an easy way to follow hashtags or conversations on Twitter? Use this tool for more useful hashtags that pull tweets, videos, images, and more in a convenient place ...more
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Looking for an easy way to follow hashtags or conversations on Twitter? Use this tool for more useful hashtags that pull tweets, videos, images, and more in a convenient place in real time. Hashtags are not just for fun, but also for finding and curating content from professional learning networks (PLN's). Use this tool to follow and participate in a chat easily and efficiently with no other tweets clogging up the stream. Enter the hashtag to view the active (or already completed) chat. Choose the speed of the chat flow. Use the Pause feature to stop the chat temporarily while checking a specific tweet or replying. View the hashtags with or without signing into Twitter. Note: New to Twitter and Hashtags and unsure how to use it in the classroom? Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Be sure to check with your district's policies before using Twitter and Twubs with students.

tag(s): chat (51), twitter (51)

In the Classroom

Create a hashtag for use by students when quoting and reacting to comments from presenters. Follow the hashtag for various events occurring elsewhere in the world to obtain perspectives from people of different nationalities. Use a segment of a prior chat (screenshot an image of the Twubs) to share with students. Use to identify different perspectives from those around the World. Find shared commonalities among people and differences that allow students to understand world happenings using a different lens. Follow Tweets from scientists (such as #MarsRover) or for content (#STEM). Use results from a Twitter chat to create essays, stories, or artwork depicting content from the chat. Find chats for all kinds of teacher interests to build not only your PLN, but your knowledge base in the document Twitter Chat Schedule, reviewed here.

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Toggl - Toggl

Grades
K to 12
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Easily track time spent on projects without time sheets! Enter your task and click to begin tracking. View the day-by-day breakdown of time spent on the activities. Generate summary,...more
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Easily track time spent on projects without time sheets! Enter your task and click to begin tracking. View the day-by-day breakdown of time spent on the activities. Generate summary, detailed, or weekly reports. Use this tool to create teams and generate team reports. Invite members by email and mark team data as public or private as needed. Use multiple machines in the day? No problem. Time is tracked across multiple devices including Android and iOs.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (130), DAT device agnostic tool (193), organizational skills (121), time (144)

In the Classroom

Introduce this tool to students as you talk about study skills and homework habits at the start of the school year. Make it part of your lessons on "how to study" or part of your first long term project, especially with disorganized middle schoolers (and gifted students). Have students track how they are spending their time outside of school and make resolutions about how they can adjust it to improve grades, etc. Even teachers need to track time spent on activities. Record time spent in preparing lessons, collaborating, maintaining your PLN, communicating with parents, extra-curricular activities, and more. This tool is beneficial with student groups and tracking time spent on activities. Be sure that students break down the specific responsibilities needed for the project and separate them out to the group. Students can show the work they completed as well as the summary report of time spent. Students can use this information as self-reflection upon completion of any class project and see the possible impact of time well spent!

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Nitro Type - FTW Innovations, Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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Spend some time with this real-time typing competition to increase your typing speed AND accuracy. Nitro has multiplayer typing car races where competition is against either other unknown...more
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Spend some time with this real-time typing competition to increase your typing speed AND accuracy. Nitro has multiplayer typing car races where competition is against either other unknown members or with friends. At the signal to go, racers type the words they see on the screen and mistakes are highlighted in pink as you go. Correcting a mistake while racing is do-able. The faster you type, the faster your race car will speed ahead. Race as a guest to try this typing game, or sign up to keep track of your progress or to race against friends.

tag(s): keyboarding (38)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently, or have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard to see who is the fastest AND the most accurate keyboarder. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers to use it as a center. Get the ear-buds or headphones out as the races are noisy! Be sure to monitor the multiplayer chat function when students are using this program in class. Nitro Type is not a "teach typing" website; it is purely for practice. To teach typing visit Typing Web, reviewed here.

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SoGoSurvey - Suhail Farooqui

Grades
K to 12
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Create and personalize online surveys quickly with SoGoSurvey's easy to use online platform. This survey tool will work on ANY device. Step by step wizards guide you through the process...more
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Create and personalize online surveys quickly with SoGoSurvey's easy to use online platform. This survey tool will work on ANY device. Step by step wizards guide you through the process of adding images, videos, logos, and more. There are many features including steps for using the survey process and even receiving email alerts for negative responses. Choose from over 25 sample surveys to modify or start your own from scratch. Add questions in multiple-choice format or more complex matrix grid formats. Share completed surveys via email invitations or social networking links. The free account allows you to create up to 15 surveys with 75 questions and up to 200 responses. Use this tool anywhere a quick, simple poll is required and on any device! This tool works on mobile device browsers.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): data (149), polls and surveys (47)

In the Classroom

If you've never used a poll before or would like to like to use survey information more effectively, click on Solutions in the top menu, and slide down to K-12 to begin. There you will find field-tested templates for schools and a link for the "survey process." Share polls on BYOD devices or laptops/tablets to assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit and ask questions about the material. If you do not have individual devices, project the survey to uncover misconceptions by having students discuss in groups why they would choose a particular answer. Use for daily quiz questions as a formative assessment. Use a class account to have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask parent questions and increase involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase reader engagement. Have students create polls for 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. Engage students using "real" data from a survey about issues and current events that matter to them.

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VocabMonk - Vidhatanand

Grades
5 to 12
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Build vocabulary through appealing, personalized learning experiences with VocabMonk. Sign up to choose from various courses beginning with grades 5-7 vocabulary continuing up through...more
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Build vocabulary through appealing, personalized learning experiences with VocabMonk. Sign up to choose from various courses beginning with grades 5-7 vocabulary continuing up through standardized tests. Be sure to view the different features available such as quizzes, social challenges, and tips for learning. Choose specific categories for learning such as involuntary actions, jobs and professions, or medical terminologies. VocabMonk provides feedback for quiz accuracy, percentage learned, and amount quizzed for each course chosen.

tag(s): differentiation (47), gifted (96), test prep (95), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Allow students to choose you as their mentor for assigned courses if you would like! This site is perfect for differentiation, gifted students, or standardized test prep. Assign different portions of courses to students to meet their particular needs. Complete a course on the interactive whiteboard (or projector) together as a class. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Share this site with parents as an excellent resource for vocabulary building activities.

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Planet Pals - PLANETPALS

Grades
K to 5
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Discover countless activities, lesson plans, facts, and fun at Planet Pals. Lively characters such as Moonbeam and Earthman guide you through activities teaching about our planet and...more
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Discover countless activities, lesson plans, facts, and fun at Planet Pals. Lively characters such as Moonbeam and Earthman guide you through activities teaching about our planet and resources. Other links lead to Fast Facts about Earth, Wonders of the World, and much more. Explore book lists, arts and crafts, coloring pages, and much more within sections for teachers and parents. Don't miss the newest part of the site featuring Green Journals for use during holidays and seasonal celebrations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conservation (127), earth (228), earth day (112), endangered species (38), environment (317), ozone (10), recycling (57), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson about our planet and more on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this link on your class website for families searching for more science fun at home! Take advantage of the many free lesson plans. This site is perfect to find crafts for homemade gifts for holidays throughout the year.

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ARIS - ARIS

Grades
7 to 12
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Let the games begin with ARIS, an open-source, web-based platform to create and play mobile games, tours, and interactive stories that will run on iOS devices. ARIS stands for Augmented...more
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Let the games begin with ARIS, an open-source, web-based platform to create and play mobile games, tours, and interactive stories that will run on iOS devices. ARIS stands for Augmented Reality for Interactive Storytelling. ARIS is an authoring environment for non-programmers, and also a toolbox of useful code for people that want to make their own interactive mobile apps. You will experience a virtual world of interactive characters, items, and media using GPS and QR Codes through Google Maps reviewed here. During the games, you can trade items with other characters, drop them on the map, get them from characters, or have them taken away. Download the free ARIS app to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to play the games. After creating your player account, select from a list of ARIS experiences. Each game will start on the quest screen, and the quests will likely tell you to go somewhere physically. Open the map screen to see your position and destination to begin the game. QR codes are used to help ARIS determine your position as you complete the quests. A few games contain codes that can be used to access some of the content remotely.

Use the ARIS Editor to create your own games under the "Make Games" section of the site. A separate account is needed to play games, but you can use the same username and password if you want. You'll begin with a Google map on the main screen where you can search to zoom into a particular place in the world. Use the object pallet located on the left-side of your screen to create characters, items, and plaques. Drag and drop the items you authored onto your map to build your interactive game. When your game is ready to publish, you need to set up your iOS device to work with the server for the authoring tool. You need to change the server URL under the ARIS settings to http://arisgames.org/stagingserver1.

tag(s): design (84), maps (287), qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Use ARIS to teach your students game design. Connect your students more deeply with their surroundings using this augmented reality experience. Begin by having your students create mock-ups of ARIS games using pen and paper. Create interactive games around your school, campus, or community for your students to complete. Send your students on scavenger hunts to explore geometric shapes, nature, and history. Have your students create games for a field trip or visitors to explore your community. Create educational scavenger hunts for your students or have them create their own scavenger hunt for their classmates. Creating a game would be a wonderful challenge for your gifted students to take their knowledge beyond the required curriculum. Create mysteries for the students to solve as they explore their surroundings or challenge your students to create mysteries for their classmates to solve.

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Teaching Literacy Through History - Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Grades
K to 12
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Meet your ELA standards as you teach history! Explore over 40 free lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards. Browse all lesson plans or use the search feature to ...more
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Meet your ELA standards as you teach history! Explore over 40 free lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards. Browse all lesson plans or use the search feature to find lessons by keywords or grade level. Every lesson contains all materials and procedures needed. Sign up for a free subscription using your school email address to access all information.

tag(s): american revolution (86), bill of rights (28), black history (59), civil rights (117), columbus day (11), constitution (79), elections (73), electoral college (16), franklin (11), gettysburg (26), lincoln (85), roosevelt (16), symbols (19), terrorism (49), thanksgiving (37), washington (36), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from the lesson plans to supplement your current teaching materials. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their learning from the notes they took during the lesson. Use Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo that represents a part of the lesson taught. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows narrating and adding text to a picture. Use Creative Commons images (with credit, of course). Try Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Free Map Tools - Andreas Viklund

Grades
K to 12
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Free Map Tools provides tools for measuring, marking up, and using overlays with maps. Scroll through to find tools for discovering the radius around any point on a map, calculating...more
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Free Map Tools provides tools for measuring, marking up, and using overlays with maps. Scroll through to find tools for discovering the radius around any point on a map, calculating the area of the enclosed point on a map, or determining the distance between any two points. Choose any of the tools to begin and follow directions to find results. This site has some clickable advertisements, so be cautious where you click.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (65), map skills (80), maps (287), measurement (163)

In the Classroom

Use Free Map Tools to add interest to any Social Studies or Math lessons. Learn about area in math by locating homes or businesses on the map, and determining the area that would need to be shoveled during each winter. Find the distance between any two points (home and the pizza place?) and compare that distance to actual driving distance. Want to know what is directly underneath you on the globe? Have students make a prediction. Then use the Map Tunneling Tool to find out if the predictions were correct. Use throughout the year for any number of purposes! You will want to share this one on your class web page for quick access when questions come up.

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Toyota Teen Driver - Discovery Education and Toyota Motor Corporation

Grades
10 to 12
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Try this comprehensive program to help new teen drivers remain safe and avoid distractions when behind the wheel of a car. View tools specifically created for those that influence teen...more
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Try this comprehensive program to help new teen drivers remain safe and avoid distractions when behind the wheel of a car. View tools specifically created for those that influence teen drivers the most: educators, parents, and teens themselves. Try Heads Up (designed for teens). This interactive challenge helps teens to learn about distractions and how to avoid them. The Teen Driving Toolkit includes portions on calculating the cost of operating a car, how to stand up to peer pressure, and talking to parents about operating vehicles. Parent resources include videos, a refresher on driver safety and road rules, and suggestions for creating a mutual driving agreement with your teen. Educators will find many resources including classroom activities and lesson plans. Follow Toyota Teen Driver on Twitter to keep up with the latest news and additions. Some of the video clips are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): safety (92)

In the Classroom

If you teach drivers education, health, or even business, include this site on your wiki or class website. Share the site with students (and parents) as a valuable addition to the "learn to drive" toolkit. Share videos with students on your projector. Have students complete the calculators to learn the cost of operating a car, or have students discuss the information on the site with their parents. Use components of this site as part of student programs discussing teen safety issues.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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teachMathematics - Jim Noble, Richard Wade, and Oliver Bowles

Grades
4 to 12
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teachMathematics offers many activities, simulations, lessons, videos, and more for upper elementary through high school math instruction. Choose from the topics of Numbers, Algebra,...more
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teachMathematics offers many activities, simulations, lessons, videos, and more for upper elementary through high school math instruction. Choose from the topics of Numbers, Algebra, Geometry & Measure, and Statistics & Probability. Although this is a subscription site, a large amount of free content is available. Find "Free Stuff" by topic by clicking on the button at the top left of the home page. When on a topic page, click "Free Pages" near the top right of the page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): equations (155), factors (42), geometric shapes (159), numbers (203), probability (130), problem solving (258), puzzles (208), statistics (122), symmetry (54)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Take advantage of the free lesson plans and interactives by using them for review before a unit test. Share interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Be sure to include this site on your class website or wiki for students to access both in and outside of class for extra practice. Since free activities are somewhat "buried," you may want to post specific links to relevant review activities on your class web page.

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I Am An Artist - RTE and the National Centre for Technology in Education

Grades
K to 5
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Bring art alive for young students. Paint and color, clay, fabric and fiber, drawing, construction, and print are the six strands of visual art covered by I Am An Artist. ...more
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Bring art alive for young students. Paint and color, clay, fabric and fiber, drawing, construction, and print are the six strands of visual art covered by I Am An Artist. Click on a strand to view short videos about six minutes in length designed to keep your attention. Each strand also has a "Look and Respond" stimulating slide show with discussion questions. The "Can You?" section under each visual strand provides steps for hands-on explanation. I Am An Artist allows you to explore the visual arts with a range of materials and tools, which allow students to express their world in a visual, tangible form. The "For Teachers" section provides child-centered lessons developed to foster creativity and design with printable activity sheets. The site also provides weblinks and interactive games on a wide range of visual arts topics. Explore the I Am An Artist Gallery for examples. Find information about how to submit your own work to the gallery. The content for I Am An Artist has been created in consultation with Irish teachers.

tag(s): colors (79), crafts (40), creativity (108), design (84), drawing (77), painting (66), sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Become art smart with resources from the I Am An Artist site. Use the collection of videos to flip your art instruction. Search through the lesson plans and activity sheets to provide hands-on, minds-on activities for your students. Use the videos or the slide shows as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students or groups collect ideas and thoughts from the slides using Padlet, reviewed here. Use a visual blogging tool such as Check This (reviewed here) to upload the students art work - no registration required! The students can blog about their work and even create an online portfolio. Host an art show at your school for families and the communities to showcase the students' creativity. Your students can describe their work as visitors explore the gallery. Use the activities as stations during your art show for participants to create their own art. Many of the lessons on the site are cross-curricular.
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