TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 24, 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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You're Getting Old! - youregettingold.com

Grades
5 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
You're Getting Old! takes an entertaining look at numbers based on your birthdate. Choose to enter a birth date for yourself or for a friend and Go. The site will ...more
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You're Getting Old! takes an entertaining look at numbers based on your birthdate. Choose to enter a birth date for yourself or for a friend and Go. The site will tell you your age in years and days with other fun (or perhaps gloomy) facts. Calculators show number of candles on your birthday cakes so far, breaths taken, moon orbits around the earth since your birth, and more. Other information tells about important dates since your birth, age milestones, and your age in comparison to others. This site is certain to entertain and provide many opportunities for exploring numbers! Note: There is a public Twitter feed on this site, so preview or "cover" that portion if sharing in a classroom.

tag(s): calculators (41), number lines (23), number sense (94), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Use You're Getting Old! for many different math or social studies lessons. Have students compare personal information with classmates. Use this site during the first week of school to introduce yourself (if you are brave) or have students introduce themselves to the class! Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create an online or printed comic using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection to recreate an event featured in your past. Create a newspaper about your life using a site such as Zinepal (reviewed here). Click to "Start with a blank e-Book." As you study historic figures, have students create similar "you are getting old" timelines about the lifetime of historic figures.

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My Live Chat - mylivechat

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create a polished, professional live chat on your blog or class site with this FREE tool. Create a "How Can I Help You?" message to pop-up as parents and students ...more
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Create a polished, professional live chat on your blog or class site with this FREE tool. Create a "How Can I Help You?" message to pop-up as parents and students visit the page. When in an active chat, visitors receive a pop-up asking if they wish to join the chat. This tool runs on every platform and mobile device. Be sure to check out the demo tab to understand how to use the tool in your website. Add the HTML code into your site to add the chat box and features. Use this tool to analyze site traffic so you can identify what is most used by students and parents.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (53), DAT device agnostic tool (170)

In the Classroom

Create a chat message pop-up for the most frequently asked questions students and parents have about finding items on your classroom site. Offer a set time for office hours published well in advance for parents and students to drop in and ask questions about assignments, homework help, or any other questions that they may have. Set up a chat time early in the school year for "meet and greet" so parents discover your website or for those who are unable to attend back to school night! Cut down on email! Encourage students to identify the questions they (or their parents) have the most as you develop the scope for your chat. ESL/ELL teachers can use the chat to provide extra written language practice for their students in an engaging way! Use the chat with your colleagues in a Teacher Lounge format to help each other in the appropriate use of technology, content sharing, or professional development.

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Random Name Selector - Primary Technology

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Easily "draw" student names at any time and from any device using the Random Name Selector. Choose "Change Names" to create your own list of names. Click "Save" when finished. ...more
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Easily "draw" student names at any time and from any device using the Random Name Selector. Choose "Change Names" to create your own list of names. Click "Save" when finished. Adjust the length of your spin from 4 to 7 seconds. Turn the sound on or off. Choose "Save and Share" to view the embed code for any blog or website or copy the URL to bookmark and save for future use. As each name appears, it includes the option to remove it from the list.

tag(s): classroom management (148), probability (131)

In the Classroom

Use the Random Name Selector to select a student to do an activity or to answer a question. Allow students to use the name selector to choose the classmate who comes next. Create your list at the beginning of the year and SAVE it to use throughout the year. Use the Random Name Selector as part of your probability unit to chart how often names appear with random spins (be sure not to remove them from the list as they appear).

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Kahoot! - Mobitroll

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Ask meaningful questions and see responses in real-time while creating an exciting, game-like environment. Build instant polls, quizzes, or responses through a simple drag and drop...more
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Ask meaningful questions and see responses in real-time while creating an exciting, game-like environment. Build instant polls, quizzes, or responses through a simple drag and drop interface. Once you create your account, be sure to take the Intro Quiz to learn how to use this tool. When you start the quiz, you will be prompted to open a new tab, create a nickname, and enter the game pin. Now you will be able to take the quiz to learn how Kahoot! works AND be able to see what a teacher sees in your original tab. You will have to go to the Main tab to launch the next question in the Quiz. Find ready-made quizzes on the public Kahoot! menu by entering search terms. Create questions, quizzes, and polls with an optional uploaded image. Kahoot! also has a team option. Groups can use one computer to answer questions. The best part about the team option is it allows groups wait time to discuss their answer before submitting it. The teacher gets the data back instantly, and it is stored on the site or can be downloaded. This is superb for checking the knowledge of your audience/students or to see if they are still paying attention and understand concepts.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), game based learning (113), gamification (75), polls and surveys (55), quizzes (101)

In the Classroom

This is a powerful formative assessment tool that is also fun! Create pretests to offer to gifted students to "test out" of already learned material. Students can easily see the choices and choose answers using a browser on a laptop or any device. Make it a class challenge! Use this tool at the start of a new chapter or unit. Project your quiz to the entire classroom using a whiteboard or projector. Students can easily see the choices and choose answers using a browser on a laptop or any device. Students can see who is at the top of the leaderboard during the play and can even ask questions while going through the quiz. Use this tool often to obtain a snapshot of each student's understanding of content.

Comments

What makes a good web tool? In my opinion, a web tool should be two things. They should be easy to look at, and easy to use. When you use these tools you need to be able to see clearly what a site does and the purpose it serves. Not only do you need to be able to see what you are doing, but do it easily. If it takes students more effort and energy to use a web tool or website, they will stop using it. You have to be able to keep the attention of the user. Beyond that an education tool needs a few additional items. Education tools need to be fun and interactive to continuously grab the attention of students. Students should have fun when using the site/tool.

Kahoot fits all the above criteria. Not only is it fun and easy for students to use, but easy for teachers to set up and use for students. Kahoot is a fun quiz tool that teachers can use to build discussions, polls, and quizzes for the classroom. Students can then log into the quiz using smartphones, tablets, or computers. The tool is designed for students and works for students. Kahoot is well thought out, and well executed. This tool really brings the learning experience to students who are so familiar with technology.
Ad, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Online Voice Recorder - 123apps

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and ...more
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Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and simple recording treasure! Simply push the record button and follow screen prompts to ALLOW the application access to your computer's microphone. Talk as long as desired. Then listen to the recorded playback. Trim and edit the length using easy sliders as desired. Save your finished version in mp3 format using the link.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): fluency (24), preK (291), speech (94), spelling (167)

In the Classroom

Have students practice spelling words orally, record speeches, practice reading fluency, and much more using Online Voice Recorder. After recording, allow students to listen to the playback and reflect upon the quality of their work. Do before and after recordings of students to share with parents during conferences to demonstrate reading progress. Have students record weekly summaries for what has happened in your class to share on your class website or blog (you will have to upload the files). Record weekly or daily homework assignments and share as a voice recording on your website. Save file space by replacing old files with new ones. Online Voice Recorder would be an excellent resource for recording and sharing more complicated directions for projects and assignments (adding you voice intonation and cues!). Your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students may do better with a combination of written AND auditory directions. Provide the link on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice in spelling, reading, practicing reports, and more. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Have students write and record audio book reviews others can play on iPads or iTouches in the school library. If you have gifted students in your classroom, this tool is simple enough for even the youngest to be able to record audio mini-dramas portraying a historic figure, poetry readings, and more. Be sure to show them how to NAME and download the files to the local computer! Anything they can say out loud can become a creative project recording. Don't forget about recording musical performances or practices.

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Rewordify - Neil M. Goldman

Grades
4 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown...more
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown with highlighting. Click on the highlighting to view the original, more difficult word(s). View excellent student and teacher demonstrations showing how to use the website. You have the option to choose how Rewordify displays the results using the options in the settings. Several options allow for easy personalization of results.

tag(s): vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for saving and bookmarking for classroom use! Start the school year out by posting the link to Rewordify on your class website for student and parent access from home. Be sure to share with learning support and ESL/ELL teachers and students. Be sure to share a link on your classroom website and parent newsletter for use at home. Save a link to Rewordify on classroom computers for students to easily paste text from any website to read in a simpler format. Copy and paste any difficult text into Rewordify and display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to enhance student understanding or show meaning in complex texts. Have students guess meanings from context clues in the more complex version, then share the "rewordified" view to test their guesses. Have students create a word cloud of difficult words identified using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students take a screen shot of passages that have been "rewordified" to share and discuss.
 

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My Study Life - Virblue

Grades
7 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (170), organizational skills (128)

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 elementary students to help them stay organized and manage their life. Promote organizational skills with your learning support or gifted learners.

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Timer-Tab - brillout.com

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
Timer-Tab is an easy to use online alarm clock, timer, and/or stopwatch. Click on any of the functions, set your time, and get started. The alarm clock and countdown move ...more
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Timer-Tab is an easy to use online alarm clock, timer, and/or stopwatch. Click on any of the functions, set your time, and get started. The alarm clock and countdown move in increments of hours, minutes, and seconds. The countdown and stopwatch also have a pause feature. One especially handy feature is that the time displays on the browser time so you can see it as you navigate other web sites.

tag(s): classroom management (148), counting (120), time (140)

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 countdown any classroom activity. That will get the students in the habit of checking how much time they have left. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit time for a quiz or spelling test. Use the countdown feature for timing the rotations from center to center. Use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups. Employ the count-down as a clever classroom management tool on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Students may even want to use this tool for themselves. Have a timer tab open in your web browser as you display web sites on a projector or web based activities on an interactive whiteboard so students know how much more time they have to read the site or complete the activity. Have kindergarten students practice counting along with the watch!

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Printable Paper - printablepaper.net

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper ...more
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Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper (college or wide rule), several forms of graph paper, letter templates, and much more. Use the categories listing to find specific options to narrow your search such as different forms of penmanship paper, score sheets, or music papers. There are even several different comic page templates and storyboard papers for storytelling or story mapping. Click on any paper image to download in PDF format. A special heading for teacher resources includes lesson plan paper and more. The specialty papers include doorhanger patterns to decorate and cut out. Don't miss the printable games.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (196), comics and cartoons (72), handwriting (17), letter writing (21), musical notation (37), preK (291)

In the Classroom

This site is a must bookmark for classroom use. Use anytime you need graph paper, writing paper, music sheets, etc. Share a link on your classroom website for student use at home. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Share this site with older students the first week of school. Now there is no excuse for not doing homework because of not having the correct type of paper! Some of the papers have alternate uses, such as using quilting graph paper to create and study geometric shapes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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WishyBox - WishyBox.com

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Organize an online wishlist. Create an account using your Google, Facebook, Yahoo, or Windows Live login, then begin creating a list. Add items including links to any website for purchase....more
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Organize an online wishlist. Create an account using your Google, Facebook, Yahoo, or Windows Live login, then begin creating a list. Add items including links to any website for purchase. Organize using the drag and drop features on the site. Make your list private or share with family, friends, or the world. Gift purchases are not shared with the owner of the list, only family or friends, thus keeping the surprise of gift giving alive!

tag(s): service projects (27)

In the Classroom

Parents often want to donate items to classrooms or schools but may not know what is needed. Create a WishyBox list for your classroom so others can share the joyful gift of learning! This is a great tool to share at Back to School Night! Make a list of books needed for your classroom library, items needed for classroom centers, extra supplies, etc. Share with your Parent Teacher Organization as a resource for creating a wish list for items for the school library, playground, or any other school items. Use this site for a community service project for your classroom. Create a WishyBox list for a family in need in your community and have students bring in items to donate. Use WishyBox as a real world way to extend the text to show.

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Mail Catch - Net-Core.org

Grades
5 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Mailcatch quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration. This could be your solution to using free, membership-required sites where...more
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Mailcatch quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration. This could be your solution to using free, membership-required sites where students must sign up individually using an email address. This is the spam, update, and junk email dumping ground! Files are deleted on a regular basis. If there is something you need to check for site log in purposes, be sure to check it the day that the email is sent and save the information to a document on your computer. The genius of this site is that it is temporary but completely functional for protecting individual identities. Protect your own "real" email, too! Note that any "disposable" email address can be used by others at any time, so using a more unique address will decrease the likelihood that others have used the same one. Be clever!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Have students choose a "Mailcatch" address in the beginning of the school year as part of your introductory lesson on acceptable use procedures. Once that email is chosen, they can use it every time they need to sign up for a website that requires an email. After they have used it in your class, show them how to check the mail by typing in their "address" into the web page. Here they can see their email, such as membership confirmations.
 

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