TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 28, 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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LiveSchool - Matt Rubinstein

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Manage and track behavior with LiveSchool's behavior point system. Free accounts allow up to five users to award points, leave and view comments, and withdraw points for "purchases"...more
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Manage and track behavior with LiveSchool's behavior point system. Free accounts allow up to five users to award points, leave and view comments, and withdraw points for "purchases" from any device. Print weekly reports for parents with day by day records of points earned or lost, comments with teachers' names, behaviors observed, and cumulative totals of points earned.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (46), classroom management (134), game based learning (103), gamification (65)

In the Classroom

Consider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participating, creating, working hard, and helping others. Using LiveSchool for group behaviors will give immediate feedback to groups when projected on your whiteboard or your projector. Use this tool to help less focused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Use LiveSchool to offer both negative and positive feedback to parents and students.

Use LiveSchool to privately keep track of learning or emotional support student behaviors and send a report to their special education teachers and/or parents. This tool could be invaluable to the life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP, GIEP, or behavior plan. Alternative Ed. programs may find this tool very useful, even up through high school.

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Stuff You Missed in History Class - Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey

Grades
7 to 12
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Explore interesting history tidbits and background information about world events including topics from Atlantis to Vikings. Scroll through the list of topics and find links to various...more
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Explore interesting history tidbits and background information about world events including topics from Atlantis to Vikings. Scroll through the list of topics and find links to various podcast episodes with archives going back to 2008. Click to play the episodes or download any episode in mp3 format using the download link. Episodes are approximately 30 minutes in length. You can also search for specific topics using the search tool.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (32), black history (59), civil rights (117), civil war (145), cross cultural understanding (115), mental health (26), native americans (78), podcasts (52), religions (61), vikings (10), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use podcasts from Stuff You Missed in History to enrich current lessons or lure students into thinking history can actually be "cool." Provide a link on class computers or your class website for students use. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of one of these events (with audio stories and pictures included)! Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the people in these lesser known historic events.

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Modern Chalkboard - SuperTeacherWorksheets.com

Grades
K to 6
4 Favorites 1  Comments
Modern Chalkboard is an online resource for free Smart Board interactives for elementary grade levels. Choose from math, grammar, social studies, and science resources. Choose any topic...more
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Modern Chalkboard is an online resource for free Smart Board interactives for elementary grade levels. Choose from math, grammar, social studies, and science resources. Choose any topic to view a short description of the file including correlation to Common Core Standards and appropriate grade level. Click to download to your computer. Some files also include a downloadable PDF Follow-Along Worksheet. If you don't have a Smart Board, convert files using SMART Notebook Express, reviewed here.

tag(s): addition (251), charts and graphs (195), continents (50), division (172), electricity (89), geometric shapes (163), grammar (216), human body (120), iwb (31), measurement (159), money (193), multiplication (227), parts of speech (68), place value (56), preK (279), rounding (22), solar system (119), subtraction (208), time (144)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this resource for use throughout the year for interactive whiteboard lessons. Share activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students operate the board. Some activities would also be appropriate for individual computers.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tim, , Grades: 0 - 6

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Swipe - Horia Cernusca and Hakon Eide

Grades
K to 12
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Create simple, interactive presentations on any device using Swipe. Rearrange slides using drag and drop. Add YouTube and Vimeo videos by adding the URL. Upload images and documents...more
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Create simple, interactive presentations on any device using Swipe. Rearrange slides using drag and drop. Add YouTube and Vimeo videos by adding the URL. Upload images and documents right into your Swipe presentation. Use the Markdown feature to create simple, text-only slides. Add polls to make your presentation interactive, and view results with one click. Share presentations privately through email, publicly with a unique URL, or by embedding in your website. View and edit presentations on any computer or mobile device.

tag(s): slides (63)

In the Classroom

Use Swipe to create quick slideshows for any classroom use. Easily share slides with information and images on your website or blog to remind students about a project or assignment. Create a presentation for Open House and embed on your site for parents who could not attend. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Create a slide show to introduce any unit and have students guess what they will be learning. Create a Swipe "on the fly" as a review resource to embed on your class website or blog. This site is perfect for the BYOD/1:1 classroom since it is viewable on any device. Make quick "cue cards" using the Markdown tool for students to read their lines off a projector or interactive whiteboard during a video or school news broadcast. Practice reading fluency or sight words using markdown slides, too! Paste school or class announcements into slides and embed them on the class or school website. Have world language or ESL/ELL students write messages in their new language for a classroom "activity tour." Activities could include speaking, following directions such as "touch your nose" or question/answer about an image.

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Moovly - Brendon Grunewald

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Moovly is a wonderful animation tool for creating videos and presentations. Create an account with your email and watch the two-minute video about how to use this tool. Click on ...more
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Moovly is a wonderful animation tool for creating videos and presentations. Create an account with your email and watch the two-minute video about how to use this tool. Click on "New Moov" to begin. Give your Moov a title and description then choose from templates offered or create your own Moov from scratch. Modify slides, text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Upload sounds from your computer in MP3 format: voice, music, or noises. These can be used in parallel, or click the microphone to record your voice. You can also make your Moovly interactive by using Flash. Save and share via YouTube, Facebook, email. You can also download to your computer using mp4 (video) or swf format. Download the 28-page PDF guide for step-by-step directions and answers to specific questions. Emailing customer support will get you answers within 24 hours. Free accounts can create unlimited videos that are each ten minutes long. The free account allows for 100MB or 20 items in their storage.

tag(s): animation (63), movies (64), multimedia (57), slides (63), video (253)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own Moovs. Students can use Moovly to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. Flip your classroom using Moovly presentations. Use Moovly to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to prepare information for the class when a substitute is coming. Embed Moovly creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a Moovly video on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use Moovly to create movies or presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create Moovly book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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Basecamp - Jason Fried

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Basecamp is an online tool for organizing and managing collaborative projects. This site includes many features such as file storage, progress tracking, and to-do lists. Create your...more
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Basecamp is an online tool for organizing and managing collaborative projects. This site includes many features such as file storage, progress tracking, and to-do lists. Create your class account, paying special attention to the directions to make it a FREE teacher account. Then add projects to work on. Invite others to join your Basecamp. Begin adding files, to-do lists, documents, and whatever else you wish to share. As others accept your invitation to your Basecamp, they have access to all files and can add, share, and comment as needed. Regular accounts for non-teachers are not free. Click on Support to view FAQ and Help Guides to learn about the many features included with a Basecamp account.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use your teacher/class account with students as a tool for organizing and collaborating on group projects. As the account owner, you will be able to see what each group is doing. Set up projects for each small group working on a project. Demonstrate the different tools and functions on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use Basecamp to help students remain on track with project deadlines. Keep track of projects with your students by having mini-conferences and using Basecamp as your guide. Use this tool to collaborate with colleagues for use with professional projects such as unit planning and long term scheduling. You may also want to use it with your grad school group projects.

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What Your Teen is Doing on Social Media - Liahona Academy

Grades
4 to 12
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Liahona Academy offers this PDF infographic as a detailed look at teen social media use and what parents and teachers should know to take an active role in students' online ...more
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Liahona Academy offers this PDF infographic as a detailed look at teen social media use and what parents and teachers should know to take an active role in students' online life. Discover how teens spend their time on social media, what platforms they use, and how to stay informed of their activities. Follow tips for monitoring Internet browsing activity with specifics for commonly used browsers. Learn how teens try to hide activity from adults and what you can do to stay one step ahead! Stay informed about tools available to adults to help monitor the safety of students.

tag(s): cyberbullying (43), digital citizenship (58), internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Share this infographic at Back to School Night, at Open House, or as a link on class/school web page. Discuss this information with your preteen/teen students as part of a digital citizenship curriculum. Be sure to talk about what THEY think parents should do/talk with them about. Share this information with colleagues as part of your professional development training in computer/Internet safety. Use these tips to keep your students safe while browsing in the classroom. This could also make a great discussion at a faculty meeting as your school ventures into a 1:1 program.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Spacehopper - visualised.io

Grades
5 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
Test geography skills with Spacehopper (powered by Google Maps). After viewing a Google Street View interactive image of a location, your goal is to pinpoint the location on the world...more
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Test geography skills with Spacehopper (powered by Google Maps). After viewing a Google Street View interactive image of a location, your goal is to pinpoint the location on the world map. Look around using Street View tools to find information that can help determine where you are. Click to receive up to three clues to narrow down the correct answer. Then click the correct dot showing the location of the image. Check your answer. Receive the answer and location after three incorrect guesses. You can also click the clue button a fourth time and you move on to the next location. Choose specific continents rather than the entire world, if too challenging.

tag(s): cities (25), landmarks (26), map skills (80)

In the Classroom

Display Spacehopper on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to practice problem-solving skills along with geography and map skills. First review how Street View tools work. (Why not allow a student emcee to operate it?) Have students research locations and create an annotated map image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create their own location mysteries and associated questions to put on their Thinglink map image. Or have theme simply "drop" a placemarker in Google Maps and write clues and questions to accompany the placemarker url so classmates can figure out why the location is important. Mysteries could include home ports of explorers, locations of major landforms, environmental disaster sites, author homes, or any location that places your curriculum "on the map." In world language classes, have students write the hints in their new language as they introduce cultural locations related to the language.

Comments

Such a cool way to have interactive geography questions for the whole group. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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My Autism Team - My Health Teams

Grades
K to 12
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My Autism Team is a social networking site for parents of autistic children. The site includes four key areas: finding providers, finding and networking with other parents of autistic...more
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My Autism Team is a social networking site for parents of autistic children. The site includes four key areas: finding providers, finding and networking with other parents of autistic children, questions and answers, and activities -- with daily updates of triumphs and trials. Register using your email to access most information on the site; however, it is possible to search and browse the question and answers and find local providers without registration. This is NOT a medical or "professional" site, though they do have partnerships with several respected professional autism-related groups (see Partners section).

tag(s): autism (22)

In the Classroom

If you have an autism spectrum chid in class, use information and resources on My Autism Team to understand parental concerns and make parent-teacher conferences and communications more effective. Share this site with parents of autistic children as a resource for networking with other parents. Be sure to share this with partner teachers including Special Education teachers. Browse the Question and Answer portion of the site to become familiar with concerns families of autistic children have when working with school systems and IEPs. Help diffuse the feeling of "them and us" by reading what parents say and talking about how you can work together.

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Image Flip: Meme Generator - ImgFlip

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Annotate any image using custom, re-sizable text with Image Flip Meme Generator. Choose one of Meme Generator's template images or upload your own. Keep your image private by downloading...more
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Annotate any image using custom, re-sizable text with Image Flip Meme Generator. Choose one of Meme Generator's template images or upload your own. Keep your image private by downloading it to your computer, or you can save it on Image Flip. Sharing your Meme is easy via any social network, or you can copy the code for the image link or the image HTML.

tag(s): creativity (109), digital storytelling (142), images (265)

In the Classroom

Since the images can be kept private, this would make the perfect "getting to know you" activity for beginning of the school year. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with witty text or a favorite quote (or song lyric?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. Alternatively, make a slide show to play as the parents enter the room. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to PowerPoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here). At the end of the year, students could do a "that was then, this is now" project. Have them upload a current picture doing a favorite activity, and different images that represent new interests they have learned this year. Post the images side by side for spring open house night or as a year-end activity. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with an image that explains it.

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81 Dash - AcademyLion, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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This "revolutionary communication platform for educators" is a FREE chat tool that can be used with students acting as facilitators/moderators. Create a Dash Room and set the expiration...more
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This "revolutionary communication platform for educators" is a FREE chat tool that can be used with students acting as facilitators/moderators. Create a Dash Room and set the expiration date of the room from one day to one year. Be sure to create a unique name for your room. Provide the link name to others to participate. Users will quickly learn to say things efficiently, given the 160 character limit on messages they post in the chat! Export a transcript of the chat easily. Send files throughout the chat to those participating. Click on the Dash Mentions tab to identify where in the chat you have been specifically mentioned. This is very helpful when trying to find specific items within the chat. Dash rooms can be locked at the end of the chat to preserve the chat record.

tag(s): chat (51)

In the Classroom

Teachers will want to go to the Support link to read tips for classroom use. Use this tool in class (even though students could raise their hands, instead). See participation increase from students who usually do not participate in oral discussions. Use the tool in blended learning or flipped classrooms for additional contact time for asking questions and clarifying. Use this chat room for online "Office Hours," giving the link to students in advance for those who need help. Use 81Dash as a backchannel tool when watching a movie, listening to speakers, or watching student presentations in class. Encourage a student in the class to moderate the chat, taking turns throughout the year to learn digital citizenship. Use this tool with other teachers, especially during Professional Development.

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Biomimicry 3.8 Institute - Biomimicry 3.8 Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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What is Biomimicry? It is the copying of patterns and ideas in nature to solve technological problems. The number 3.8 refers to the billions of years there has been life ...more
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What is Biomimicry? It is the copying of patterns and ideas in nature to solve technological problems. The number 3.8 refers to the billions of years there has been life on this planet. Biomimicry brings biologists and designers together. As our impact on the Earth has wrought much damage, this new approach can solve some of our most pressing problems. Find a wealth of resources within each of the major topics on this site. Use the Inspiring tab to read articles and view other media about Biomimicry. Wish to learn more or pass on information? Use the Educating tab for ideas for K-12 and University students as well as your professional growth. For more information on K-12 tools and curriculum, see this related review, Biomimicry in Youth Education.

tag(s): design (84), engineering (125), natural resources (59), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to learn more about Biomimicry and how technological problems have been solved using this approach. Share the stories with your students as informational (and inspirational) reading in the sciences. For example, schools of fish swim through a vortex of water that pulls them along with the others. This understanding is being used to design better wind turbines. Look through the Biomimicry Fundamentals ideas to see where you think you should start with your students. Challenge your students to explore the site for articles THEY believe are connected to something they have learned this year in your class. Create a wall of pictures and ideas in the classroom of patterns and processes learned in class that can be an inspiration for design later. Gifted or technology students will love learning about Biomimicry.

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Super Power Speech - Caroline Bowen

Grades
1 to 5
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Join forces with Super Power Speech, a blog written by a speech pathologist, Caroline Bowen. Find professional speech pathology information such as Articulation Printables links,...more
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Join forces with Super Power Speech, a blog written by a speech pathologist, Caroline Bowen. Find professional speech pathology information such as Articulation Printables links, Social Skills, Language based speech therapy, many engaging blog entries, and links to helpful speech resources by clicking on Speech on the top menu bar. Explore resources for Assessment and Response to Intervention. Some material featured on the site goes to Teachers Pay Teachers, but some are free.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): professional development (123), social skills (20), speech (92), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Whether you are a speech pathologist, social skills/autistic support teacher, or a classroom teacher, find extra resources here to help children with speech and language needs. Also read the discussions to help build social skills or even to improve literacy. Read through past blog entries. Brush up on the latest to be sure you are current! You may also find some specific ideas to share with these students' parents at conferences so you can work together in supporting their child. Primary grade regular ed teachers will find vocabulary development activities appropriate for any student, not just those who are identified.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Author Name Pronunciation Guide - TeachingBooks.net

Grades
1 to 12
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Hear over 1000 authors pronouncing and explaining their names. One minute audio recordings give a brief hello and some interesting facts about their name. There is also a Challenge...more
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Hear over 1000 authors pronouncing and explaining their names. One minute audio recordings give a brief hello and some interesting facts about their name. There is also a Challenge Quiz for the pronunciation of several author's names, downloadable in PDF format. Hear what the author actually sounds like and try to imagine that author sitting right next to you! (Many links on the site go to paid materials.)
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): audio books (32), authors (120)

In the Classroom

Make author studies come alive by having the authors introduce themselves! Add an author recording link in a QR code attached to book jackets in your classroom or school library, making your library interactive. On your class website, have your student writers make their own introductions to their written pieces using a site such as Spreaker, reviewed here. Enjoy at your literary celebration!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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