TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 5, 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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Clip Syndicate - clipsyndicate.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Clip Syndicate provides professionally produced news videos and timely feature clips from television stations and other media outlets around the United States and the world. You can...more
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Clip Syndicate provides professionally produced news videos and timely feature clips from television stations and other media outlets around the United States and the world. You can easily embed these clips in your own web site, blog, or wiki. Clips DO include ads, but they are not hosted on YouTube. Choose from videos offered on several different channels such as science and technology, government and politics, or education. Registration isn't required to view and embed videos, but it does allow you to save and view statistics from videos you embed.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): news (261), video (251)

In the Classroom

Use the code provided to embed any video or channel directly onto your class blog or website. Bookmark and save Clip Syndicate as a resource for current event stories for classroom use. Ask your students to visit Clip Syndicate and create a multimedia presentation from the information they learn there and by reading additional news coverage of the event. Embed any channel onto your website or blog as a current events writing prompt, and have students create blog posts about them using Throwww ( reviewed here). Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blog posts to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided, and the tool is as easy as using a basic Word program! World language classes can look on this site for recent stories from other cultures to discuss in their new language. Science and social studies teachers will find current stories related to topics they teach, such as volcano footage or stories about conflicts and political tensions. Share a clip at the beginning of class to connect curriculum with the "real world."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Untamed Science - Rob Nelson

Grades
6 to 12
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Make science fun using Untamed Science. Focusing on biology and ecology, these videos and quick fact pages offer high interest and fast paced information in many topics. Search or browse...more
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Make science fun using Untamed Science. Focusing on biology and ecology, these videos and quick fact pages offer high interest and fast paced information in many topics. Search or browse through the full list of videos. Begin at either Tree of Life or Biology to find categories within each section. Be sure to also check out the How-to Filmmaking portion of the site to learn about filmmaking, beginning with the basics through advanced filmmaking approaches. If your district blocks YouTube, the video clips 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. While most topics are appropriate for teenage students, you may want to preview.

tag(s): amphibians (20), animals (277), biomes (116), cells (102), ecology (135), evolution (100), fish (24), genetics (90), mammals (32), planets (122), reptiles (11), video (251)

In the Classroom

Use videos from this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Create a link to videos (or use the embed code from the YouTube page) on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own science videos modeled after these and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lucidchart - Karl Sun and Ben Dilts

Grades
7 to 12
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Lucidchart is a free (and fun!) diagramming tool featuring drag and drop features. Try out the tour to view all the features available such as simple line drawing from the ...more
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Lucidchart is a free (and fun!) diagramming tool featuring drag and drop features. Try out the tour to view all the features available such as simple line drawing from the edge of any object, color themes, and online collaboration. Create flow charts, mindmaps, graphic organizers, timelines, and more. Share your diagram using social networking links or with your diagram's unique URL. Registration isn't required, but is necessary if you want to save your diagrams for future use. Storage is limited to 25 MB for free accounts. The Pro version is free to K-12 teachers. K-12 educators use this link to sign up for the Pro version: Lucid Pro for K-12 Educators. To make sure you receive the news about activation of your Pro version put these two address in your email contacts: education@lucidchart and support@lucidchart.com
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (42), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the "ease" of this fabulous site! Have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story. Assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study. They can color code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question. Have students map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future. Students can also map out a step-by-step process (such as a life cycle or how to solve an equation).

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TaleTrove - TaleTrove.com

Grades
K to 5
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TaleTrove is an online collection of user-submitted stories offered in several different formats. Click or scroll to Good Reads and choose from books for young readers (grades K-3)...more
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TaleTrove is an online collection of user-submitted stories offered in several different formats. Click or scroll to Good Reads and choose from books for young readers (grades K-3) or older readers (grades 4-5) to browse through book titles. Click on the book icon to choose from different formats to read and hear stories. Options include view as PDF, listen to mp3, or view the flipbook. Most stories include all three options; however, a few offer only one or two. Each book also includes a learning guide with suggestions for pre and post reading discussion as well as ideas for use when reading the book. The Create space menu accesses games, crafts, and other activities to explore and try. Users can submit reviews of the stories available on the site.

tag(s): audio books (32), digital storytelling (135), guided reading (46), interactive stories (31), preK (275), reading comprehension (114)

In the Classroom

View and listen to stories by opening up two tabs in your browser. Choose one to listen in mp3 format and the other to view using either PDF format or the flipbook reader. View and listen to stories together on your interactive whiteboard or create a link on classroom computers for students to read independently. You could even submit a "review" written by your entire class or have your more able students write one you can submit using a teacher account. Browse for other reading-related activities and crafts. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for reading practice.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Chatzy - Chatzy.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Chatzy offers no-frills, easy to use private chat rooms with no sign-up required! Fill out the simple start-up form with your name, chat title, message, and participant's emails. Participants...more
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Chatzy offers no-frills, easy to use private chat rooms with no sign-up required! Fill out the simple start-up form with your name, chat title, message, and participant's emails. Participants instantly receive an email with your message and a direct link to the room. Room administrator options include allowing or turning off emoticons, images, and videos. The Save/Print options allow administrators to keep a record of any conversations. There is a setting to use Chatzy on mobile devices with smaller screens, as well. Note: Some school networks block all chat tools, so check in advance whether you can access it if you plan to use this tool at school.

tag(s): chat (51)

In the Classroom

Use this site to connect to other classes to open up discussion between your students in one convenient place. Safety is not a concern with this site, since only those with an email invitation/link can participate in a chat. (Your students need not have email. You can simply email the link to yourself and share it with students to enter into their browsers.) Teach good digital citizenship of chat etiquette while using this activity to learn. Connect with other classes to learn about other locations, learn various perspectives, find animals that are similar yet different, learn about the different books others are reading, or survey students on various economic, political, or environmental topics. Be sure to plan content ahead of time, so students have the opportunity to think through the material and formulate a response. Discuss appropriate ways to communicate to others prior to connecting with another classroom. Use Chatzy as a place for students to brainstorm and share ideas about a topic. Use as a simple help forum for students to ask questions of each other and of you. Share a chat room with parents once a month for a question and answer session at a scheduled time.

Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel, or ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy. Use this in world language classes or autistic support classes for backchannel chat. Challenge students to use their new language skills by acting out a scene from a video or describing the feelings of the actors. When studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters. In a history class, create fictional conversations between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Monkey trial.

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Ziggity Zoom - Ziggity Zoom LLC

Grades
K to 3
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Ziggity Zoom provides games, activities, and craft ideas for young children. Scroll down the home page or explore menus to find the many categories and resources available. The online...more
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Ziggity Zoom provides games, activities, and craft ideas for young children. Scroll down the home page or explore menus to find the many categories and resources available. The online games include memory games, puzzles, and mazes. There are also printable craft and skill activities. Be sure to view the Story section (from a link at the very top) with several interactive books for students to read on their own (or have read to them).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (40), digital storytelling (135), interactive stories (31), preK (275), puzzles (208), video (251)

In the Classroom

Introduce Ziggity Zoom on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently. Be sure to show them how to AVOID the many advertisements! Make a shortcut to individual activities on classroom computers and use it as a center. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access at home. Explore this site to find crafts and activities for classroom use.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Home Food Safety - Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Grades
3 to 12
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Find the best information for handling food safely on this website. View alerts of recent recalls and food safety problems. Download useful food safety tip sheets to share. Find resources...more
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Find the best information for handling food safely on this website. View alerts of recent recalls and food safety problems. Download useful food safety tip sheets to share. Find resources in the tabs along the top for Food Poisoning and Safety Tips. View videos and find links to resources, and material to understand all about food safety. Find games and other activities in the Kids tab. Be sure to look at the Downloads and Videos tab for more great resources! The videos 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): cooking (34), diseases (66), nutrition (154), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Use all of these resources in a Family and Consumer Science class or health unit on foods. Find great downloads that are of use to students as they begin cooking such as Kitchen Safety Checklist and Cooking with Microwaves. Allow time for students to look over the site and find information they did not know. Challenge students to create a one minute lecture series using Prezi, reviewed here, where they give their tips, along with researched information to understand the "science" behind the tips. You or students can create posters that remind students of best practices using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Have students create a checklist they can take home to evaluate the practices in their household. Report back on the most ignored practices that others should follow.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Send Anywhere - ESTmob, Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Send Anywhere offers simple, unlimited, instant file transfers across any device. Drag and drop or click to add files. Simply click to send files. A pop-up box appears with a ...more
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Send Anywhere offers simple, unlimited, instant file transfers across any device. Drag and drop or click to add files. Simply click to send files. A pop-up box appears with a QR code and a 6-digit numerical code for downloading the file. The pop-up remains active for 10 minutes. The countdown on the screen shows the time remaining. Mobile users need to download the free Send Anywhere app to their mobile device. When sharing across computers, go to the Send Anywhere site to input the 6-digit code to receive files.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (192)

In the Classroom

Use Send Anywhere to quickly transfer files and images between devices in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Student groups working on projects in class can gather and share files easily. This tool would work well when students do not have email addresses or Google Accounts for sharing work with their teachers or each other. What a great way for students to turn in work done on their devices! Just make sure you retrieve it before the time limit expires. During curriculum development and other professional development activities, members of a department (or even school-wide) can share resources and documents easily with each other.
 

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Heck Yeah, Educational Memes! - heckyeaheducationalmemes

Grades
6 to 12
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Find a collection of light-hearted memes about grammar and frequently misused words. Have you ever thought about drank and drunk BOTH being the past tense of drink? Can you explain...more
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Find a collection of light-hearted memes about grammar and frequently misused words. Have you ever thought about drank and drunk BOTH being the past tense of drink? Can you explain how to use them correctly? This website is a great tool for anyone trying to learn English or trying to explain some of the idiosyncrasies in the English language. The images even tech about the difference between its and it's! Click on Subjects to find memes for other academic subjects, including math, chemistry, history, and science. See clever sayings and images about chemical elements, math processes, and more!

tag(s): images (261), posters (35), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Share memes from this site on a class wiki or web page (with proper credit, of course -- see the About Me poster on the home page.) Lighten the mood in your classroom by introducing one of these memes as a discussion starter at the beginning of a lesson or as a way to remember terms and ideas. Have students come up with other common errors in the English language and create a meme about it. Perhaps, as you study "often confused words" such as assent and ascent, small groups can come up with a meme for those. Share memes in math or science as ways to remember terms and concepts. Have the students create their own. Show students the meme on Heck Yeah, Educational Memes about being prepared for class, and have them add a humorous twist to your classroom rules and create a meme. Use a tool like Image Flip: Meme Generator, reviewed here, or Live Meme reviewed here to create memes.

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Interactives: Historical Thinking Skills - Annenburg Media

Grades
5 to 12
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Become a historical thinker by competing a series of educational interactives. Each interactive models a specific skill or set of skills, such as analyzing historical artifacts or using...more
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Become a historical thinker by competing a series of educational interactives. Each interactive models a specific skill or set of skills, such as analyzing historical artifacts or using primary sources to develop a thesis. Several interactives include classroom extensions with hints for teaching the skills in the classroom. At the time of this review, the topics included Placing Artifacts in Time, Analyzing Artifacts, Reading Maps, Evaluating Evidence, Curating an Exhibit, and Balancing Sources.

tag(s): evaluating sources (12), maps (287), primary sources (84)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for students to complete interactives on their own or display on an interactive whiteboard or projector to view as a class. Most interactives take 20-30 minutes to complete so may need to be split into two class sessions. Assign the interactives as homework (flipping the classroom) to allow time for in-class discussion. Create a mind map using a tool such as Mindmeister, reviewed here, to display ideas upon completion of an interactive.

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The Civil War - Teaching American History

Grades
5 to 12
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This engaging Civil War site features interactive maps detailing many aspects of life during the time of the Civil War. Choose from tabs at the bottom of the main page ...more
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This engaging Civil War site features interactive maps detailing many aspects of life during the time of the Civil War. Choose from tabs at the bottom of the main page to explore railroads, slavery, cotton production, and more as it looked during the time. Each map includes a legend demonstrating statistics by date for all states and territories at the time.

tag(s): agriculture (54), civil rights (117), civil war (145), gettysburg (26), industrial revolution (25), railroads (10), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to explore and understand different components of life during the Civil War period. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here, with information from this site. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare two states during Civil War times or to compare one state during the Civil War era to that state today. During your Civil War study, don't miss TeachersFirst's Gettysburg By the Numbers for more questions and data to use in your discussions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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WikiArt - Visual Art Encyclopedia - Wikipaintings

Grades
3 to 12
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WikiArt is a visual art encyclopedia for anyone looking for high quality images of public domain and copyrighted artwork. The artwork featured in this tool includes both classical and...more
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WikiArt is a visual art encyclopedia for anyone looking for high quality images of public domain and copyrighted artwork. The artwork featured in this tool includes both classical and contemporary art. WikiArt is a wiki and editing of contents by participants is encouraged. Moderation of the updates ensures consistent and accurate content. The site includes both public domain artwork as well as those protected by copyright. SIte owners stipulate that the protected works on the site are displayed in accordance with Fair Use. The images can only be used for informational and educational purposes and are readily available on the Internet. The images are low resolution copies of the original artworks.

tag(s): art history (69), artists (75), images (261), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and this site to view many different works of art for discussion and comparison. Compare student artwork to that of masters to understand various design principles. Use the images in any class as a prompt for written or artistic expression. View paintings of various periods of history to identify various events that shaped life at that time. Invite students to select their "dream" art gallery and write a script for an audio tour of the gallery with links to the paintings. They can record their podcast tours using a tool such as Spreaker (reviewed here).

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DivShare - Diversion Web Publishing

Grades
3 to 12
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DivShare is a service to upload, store, and manage your files. You can also embed any file (including video files) into websites. The free account allows up to 5gb storage ...more
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DivShare is a service to upload, store, and manage your files. You can also embed any file (including video files) into websites. The free account allows up to 5gb storage and 50 downloads/month. Select a file from your computer, organize into folders, then upload. Once a file is uploaded, a unique sharing link is provided. Add a password for increased security if desired. Use your account dashboard to organize and find files from any computer.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Use DivShare to store and manage any classroom files and to embed on your classroom website. Create a class DivShare account for students to use with collaborative projects. Share a link to DivShare on your class website for students to create their own accounts, if permitted.

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Geography From Space - Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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Join the annual Geography From Space online contest from the Smithsonian every November! Enjoy exploring past quizzes from previous years. Review geographic locations based on satellite...more
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Join the annual Geography From Space online contest from the Smithsonian every November! Enjoy exploring past quizzes from previous years. Review geographic locations based on satellite images with activities from this program.

tag(s): map skills (80), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Hook students into geography (and more) with these challenges. Study the quiz questions as a model and create quizzes/activities of your own about geography related to a region you are studying. Use previous quizzes as a contest in geography class. Use them as examples for students when studying different countries, and have students determine what they would feature in their own quizzes. Use in math class to determine proportions by drawing maps or ratios. Have students create similar quizzes using Google Maps, challenging classmates to answer questions about areas, perimeters, and even shapes.

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