TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 9, 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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What is Ebola? - KidsHealth

Grades
3 to 8
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This informative article provides a quick overview of Ebola virus information. Find symptoms associated with Ebola, how it spreads, and learn where it came from. Click the speaker icon...more
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This informative article provides a quick overview of Ebola virus information. Find symptoms associated with Ebola, how it spreads, and learn where it came from. Click the speaker icon to have the article read to you. You can also choose the link to read (or hear) the story in Spanish.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bacteria (30), diseases (66)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss together when you are answering children's questions regarding the Ebola virus. This site is perfect for use with weaker readers and ESL/ELL learners. Allow them to listen to the article on classroom computers or read in Spanish. Share this link on your classroom website for parents to use when discussing Ebola with their child. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Tagxedo (reviewed here). Have students create true/false quizzes using information from this site. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet, (reviewed here). Challenge older students to share what they know about Ebola before reading this article then research information on misconceptions using Snopes.

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Parent Toolkit - NBC News Education Nation and Pearson

Grades
K to 12
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The Parent Toolkit provides an informative guide to child development from preK through High School. Choose from grade-level charts to view academic, health, and social guidelines with...more
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The Parent Toolkit provides an informative guide to child development from preK through High School. Choose from grade-level charts to view academic, health, and social guidelines with benchmarks and tips. Articles by noted experts offer up to date information and advice for parents and teachers of all grade levels. Don't forget to browse through the National Resources for local help with Mathematics and English, searchable by state.

tag(s): child development (25), learning styles (19), parent conferences (22), parents (56), preK (279), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Share the Parent Toolkit with parents as an excellent resource for up to date information on education and parenting. Create a link to the appropriate grade level information on your class webpage to help parents understand developmental guidelines for their student. Share this site with colleagues during professional development to gain further understanding of academic and social grade level benchmarks.

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Knoema - World Data Atlas - Knoema

Grades
6 to 12
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Just the facts, ma'am. Knoema's World Data Atlas provides a dizzying array of data about the countries of the world. Sort either by country (from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe), or by ...more
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Just the facts, ma'am. Knoema's World Data Atlas provides a dizzying array of data about the countries of the world. Sort either by country (from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe), or by topic (agriculture to water). Look at zoomable, color coded maps, and analyze rankings by topic. The interface is simple and direct, so if you are just looking for a statistic, you will find it quickly and easily. If you are looking at masses of authentic data to analyze or compare, you'll find that too. Click to create comparisons among any 2 to 3 countries. There is an introductory video available, hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, you may need to view this video at home.

tag(s): atlas (6), data (148), infographics (42), map skills (80), maps (288), natural resources (59), resources (112), united nations (8)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this for student research, whether it be for individual country data or for comparative data by topic. Use the maps on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to provide a visual representation of the data. This is a great source for authentic data for students to practice their analytic skills, or just to find out what the GDP of Antigua and Barbuda is. This is a resource that will see frequent use. Share it during math units on data, as well, so students have authentic numbers to "play with." Have them write their own data problems and questions for classmates to solve. Challenge your most able student to determine why two countries are so different.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Your Life on Earth - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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We know our own lifetimes are but a tiny hiccup in the long history of the Earth. But what HAS happened since we were born? The BBC will tell you. ...more
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We know our own lifetimes are but a tiny hiccup in the long history of the Earth. But what HAS happened since we were born? The BBC will tell you. Simply enter your date of birth (using the day/month/year format) and some other information (you can choose either metric or Imperial/US measurement), and a wonderful series of charts appears! How many times has your heart beat? How old would you be on Venus? How has the Earth changed since you were born? How has humankind changed the Earth since you were born? How many volcanoes have erupted? What's happened to the sea levels? How many endangered species have become extinct? This site is created by the BBC (United Kingdom). American English speakers may notice some slights spelling differences. It is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 10 and above.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): climate change (64), earth (228), earth day (112), earthquakes (48), planets (123), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Look at the various metrics based on your age to gain perspective on many science and history topics. Look at the impact of human behavior on the environment or at the "big picture" of what one human can do in a lifetime. Consider comparing the changes on Earth based on a student's age versus a teacher's age (if you're brave enough to tell!). You can also dial back the clock 100 years, but choose times in modern history for the comparison. Don't forget to use the dropdown menus on each chart for more information. For example, pick any planet to see how old you'd be there. Small groups of students could discuss and analyze different components of the site and present their findings to the larger class. Include this in math class as a way to apply multiplication formulas or conversions. Use observations on this site to spark blog posts of evidence-based writing. Have students make visual representations of their life on Earth as an infographic. To learn more about infographics in the classroom, see TeachersFirst's Now I See!.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Common Core Algebra 1 - Howard County Public Schools

Grades
6 to 10
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Howard County Public Schools offers information and resources for implementing Common Core Standards in Algebra 1 courses. Choose from five units of studies to view resources including...more
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Howard County Public Schools offers information and resources for implementing Common Core Standards in Algebra 1 courses. Choose from five units of studies to view resources including exam notes, assessments, starting points, and much more. Download most information in Microsoft Word for ease of use. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla," it is filled with very useful information.

tag(s): assessment (99), commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

Download and use course information to supplement current teaching materials. Use assessments as a guide for lesson planning. Share information from this site with parents to help them understand Common Core Standards and requirements. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

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LunaPic - lunapic.com

Grades
K to 12
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LunaPic is an easy to use, online photo editor that doesn't require registration. Upload your picture from any computer, website, or social media option to begin. Choose from many photo...more
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LunaPic is an easy to use, online photo editor that doesn't require registration. Upload your picture from any computer, website, or social media option to begin. Choose from many photo effect options such as red-eye removal, vintage, dark, or pencil strokes. Use options within each photo effect to create your desired image. There is even an effect to insert your picture as the image on a dollar bill! Choose from save options to save to your computer, email, or add to other sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): editing (60), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use this tool anytime photos need to be edited for use on class blogs, wikis, or sites. In primary grades, use this tool to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with your younger students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit the project together! Encourage older students to use this tool on images for projects or presentations. Use it to edit pictures to match historic looking pictures for reports or to set a mood. Of course, you will want to require that students give proper credit for any starter image they obtain from copyright-safe (CC licensed) sources.

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Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People - Toby Rush

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn basic through advanced topics of Music Theory and Notation with this eBook available for free under Creative Commons License. Choose any page to view as a PDF or download ...more
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Learn basic through advanced topics of Music Theory and Notation with this eBook available for free under Creative Commons License. Choose any page to view as a PDF or download all current pages as one single PDF file. Topics include notation, scales, intervals, chords, and much more.

tag(s): music theory (42), musical notation (35), rhythm (20)

In the Classroom

Print individual PDF files to use in the classroom as student handouts or enlarge to use as posters. Create a link to files on your class website or blog for student use at home. Share different files with groups of students to use to become experts and then teach the class that component. Use these PDFs for students learning to play an instrument.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Moo.do - Jay Meistrich and Grant Watters

Grades
K to 12
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Organize YOUR way with Moo.do. Just begin typing to create lists. Mark to set priority options and highlight important text. Drag and drop items at any time to place ...more
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Organize YOUR way with Moo.do. Just begin typing to create lists. Mark to set priority options and highlight important text. Drag and drop items at any time to place in order. Use @date to automatically add items to your calendar and instantly add names from your contacts for email or phone access. Be sure to watch the video (requires YouTube) and follow tutorials to quickly learn how to organize your life with Moo.do. If your school blocks YouTube, you may want to view the tutorial at home.

tag(s): calendars (44), DAT device agnostic tool (196), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Any student would appreciate having an online time/task management tool they can access anywhere, but learning support students and disorganized gifted students need one. If they are over 13 or have parent permission, this is perfect! You may want to model using this online tool to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector during the first week of school to help students set up their own accounts. Parents may appreciate learning about this site also. Use this site professionally to keep yourself organized! Make a demo account for a mythical student and organize it together so students can see how it works. Teachers in lower grades can use this tool for their own productivity.

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Cartoons for the Classroom - The Association for American Editorial Cartoonists

Grades
6 to 12
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A picture is worth a thousand words, and editorial cartoonists have been boiling down the foibles of politicians and public figures throughout history. One needs only to know about...more
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A picture is worth a thousand words, and editorial cartoonists have been boiling down the foibles of politicians and public figures throughout history. One needs only to know about Thomas Nast and his cartoons of Boss Tweed during the 19th century to know that cartoons have a deep impact on political discourse. Cartoons for the Classroom offers over 250 one-page downloadable lessons featuring two or three political cartoons related to current events and several questions for discussion that relate to those cartoons. Alternatively, download the cartoons alone along with space to "draw" your own conclusions.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), politics (99), satire (5)

In the Classroom

These one-page discussion starters could help students keep up with current political issues, provide an opening or closing activity, or serve as an enrichment activity for students who move through other assignments more quickly. Available either with or without guiding questions, and covering a wide range of relevant and timely topics, they are perfect to keep as a Plan B or for an emergency substitute teacher activity. Elsewhere on the site are links to other information about political cartooning through history; most of these links connect to outside sites so be sure and preview carefully. In Art class, create a "political" option during a line drawing unit for current events enthusiasts to draw their own political cartoons. Include these cartoons during a unit on humor and satire in an English/Language Arts class or gifted program.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Spelling Bee the Game - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Grades
6 to 12
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Practice your spelling skills with this fun (and addicting) interactive based on the musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee . The words are indeed challenging! Choose...more
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Practice your spelling skills with this fun (and addicting) interactive based on the musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee . The words are indeed challenging! Choose one of the real pictured characters and play the game by writing the words after clicking Hear Word. You can also listen to the definition of the word or hear the word in a sentence. With each correct spelling, advance to the next round to win the game.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Divide your class into teams and have your own spelling bee in the classroom using this engaging site. If you have a local spelling competition, this is an engaging way for students to practice, even learning when to ask for a definition or sentence! Challenge students to play on their own and record misspelled words to use as a personalized spelling list. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash (reviewed here) to practice weekly spelling lists. Create a link on your class website for students to play at home. Have students upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles to spell one of the words and use it in a sentence using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ShakespeareKids - University of Texas, Austin - Winedale Outreach

Grades
K to 8
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Bring Shakespeare to young people with these K-8 resources and ideas. No matter the age of the young people involved, find everything needed to put on a scene from Shakespeare. ...more
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Bring Shakespeare to young people with these K-8 resources and ideas. No matter the age of the young people involved, find everything needed to put on a scene from Shakespeare. There are scenes from Shakespeare's plays edited for different grade levels. You can also explore the exercises, a resource page that lists films, websites, and books. Give young people the exposure to the dramatic arts and enrichment for their language arts skills. Help them experience an educational boost while developing self-confidence, teamwork, and discipline. At the bottom of the home page find links for parents and teachers. Don't miss how to "do" your own Shakespeare. Texas teachers will appreciate TEKS connections in the Teacher section.

tag(s): literature (275), plays (37), poetry (227), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Start by clicking on the link for your grade level. The text of the page will give the rationale for using Shakespeare with that age group. In the upper right corner find the link for the texts, lines and scenes for you to use with your students. These scenes are in PDF format and have been edited for the grade level. There is plenty of encouragement and advice as you get into this tool. You will also find advice for using and modifying other works from Shakespeare for your age group. Make a video of your successful performance and share it on TeacherTube reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Triangular Cards - Coventry City Council

Grades
K to 4
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Triangular Cards offers an interesting way to review basic math facts using fact family cards. Choose a card set from the menu from options including numbers to 10, 20, 100, ...more
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Triangular Cards offers an interesting way to review basic math facts using fact family cards. Choose a card set from the menu from options including numbers to 10, 20, 100, decimals, and multiplication. Click on any corner to reveal one portion of the fact family and continue revealing other facts by choosing the other corners of the triangle.

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), multiplication (227), operations (126), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Triangular Cards is a great activity to use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate relationships between addition and subtraction as well as division and multiplication. Click any corner to reveal one component of the number sentence and allow students to guess the missing piece. Challenge students to create their own Triangle Cards using paper or card stock.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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PixiClip - pixiclip.com

Grades
K to 12
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PixiClip (currently in Beta) is an online whiteboard tool that allows you to record and share a drawing with optional audio or webcam accompaniment. Choose the Get Started or Create...more
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PixiClip (currently in Beta) is an online whiteboard tool that allows you to record and share a drawing with optional audio or webcam accompaniment. Choose the Get Started or Create a PixiClip button to begin and click on Start Doodling. You also have the option to record using the microphone or webcam link. Add color, text, draw, and upload images using the tool bar. When finished, choose Publish, options for privacy, and choices for showing the cursor during your clip. Create a free account to retain saved clips on the site. Share without an account to Facebook, Twitter, email, or using an embed code. You can save clips without an account by saving the URL, but these clips will be "public" for anyone with the URL to see.

tag(s): multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a problem by typing it on their board. Have them work through the problem together, noting all of their reasoning and steps of work along the way. Have them "turn in" their work by URL or post the URL on the class wiki to compare with others. Use PixiClip as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups share ideas for a major project or to solve a real world problem. Create a PixiClip using any image to demonstrate a concept such as labeling parts of a cell, identifying landforms, or more. Have very young students draw and narrate their drawings, such as describing the life cycle of a plant or even telling an animated story. They will need to plan a storyboard and practice first, but the resulting recordings would be wonderful digital writings! Embed resulting recordings on your class web page for students to view at home. Use this tool with an uploaded image in Art class to have students demonstrate understanding of design concepts as they narrate and explain how the eye "travels" through the image.

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