TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 16, 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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The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings - Marist College

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn the story behind the year with two U.S. Thanksgivings from this simple, yet interesting site. The short article tells the tale of President Roosevelt's journey to declare the...more
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Learn the story behind the year with two U.S. Thanksgivings from this simple, yet interesting site. The short article tells the tale of President Roosevelt's journey to declare the official date for all states to celebrate Thanksgiving. View several documents, including letters and telegrams to the president voicing opinions on setting an official date for Thanksgiving.

tag(s): primary sources (86), roosevelt (16), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use information from the article and documents as part of any lesson about Thanksgiving. Share the documents as part of a unit on primary resources. Print and share documents with students and challenge them to present an opposing point of view or write a reply from President Roosevelt. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook "as" President Roosevelt or one of the writers of letters to the president.

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Form Time Ideas - Jonathan Hall

Grades
5 to 9
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Form Time Ideas offers a constantly changing selection of daily quick activities in many subjects. (For American teachers, "form time" is roughly equivalent to "homeroom" time.) Choose...more
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Form Time Ideas offers a constantly changing selection of daily quick activities in many subjects. (For American teachers, "form time" is roughly equivalent to "homeroom" time.) Choose the Home Page to view a mix of topics such as Brainteasers, In the News Today, and Word of the Day. Select links to choose activities for only specific topics such as literacy, numeracy, or news. Easily print any page using the link in the top right corner of each section. If finished early, refresh the page for a new set of activities! You can also click on the button under each question to only refresh that particular question/statement. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): grammar review (37), literacy (103), news (261), numbers (204), riddles (15), substitutes (21), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Form Time Ideas is perfect for daily review and bell work as students arrive in class or as a quick review at the end of class. Print out different pages for use during quiet times or send home for absentee students to complete. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Substitutes will love the handy ideas on this site!

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AWESOME RESOURCE! Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Zip Lookup - esri.com

Grades
6 to 12
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What does your zip code tell you about the demographics and lifestyle of your community? Find out with Zip Lookup. Type in any zip code for quick information on the ...more
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What does your zip code tell you about the demographics and lifestyle of your community? Find out with Zip Lookup. Type in any zip code for quick information on the "Tapestry" of your area. View the top three demographic segments of the community such as "Boomburbs" or "Savvy Surbanites." Use the drop-down box for an explanation of each segment. Click on tabs to further narrow down information such as income, age, and population density comparing each zip code to the county, state, and the entire United States.

tag(s): communities (35), demographics (19), population (60)

In the Classroom

Use Zip Lookup to compare and contrast any areas of the United States using several different categories. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on states and communities on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Include it in discussions of politics and election strategies or local and state government. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add information learned using the zipcode, other text, images, and location stops.

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Earth Null School - Cameron Beccario

Grades
6 to 12
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Earth Null School is a visual compilation of winds plotted at many, many locations around the globe, updated every three hours. In addition, the globe shows ocean surface currents updated...more
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Earth Null School is a visual compilation of winds plotted at many, many locations around the globe, updated every three hours. In addition, the globe shows ocean surface currents updated every five days and ocean temperatures, updated daily. Click and rotate the globe to view any area in the world. Scroll in and out to zoom in on any location. Choose the word "earth" at the lower left side of the screen to view controls and additional data. Controls allow you to view data from previous days, adjust from air to ocean currents, and add overlays for temperature, humidity, and more.

tag(s): climate (92), oceans (148), temperature (29), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Introduce Earth Null School on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on weather. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. View and track information from this site for your school's location. If you Skype with a class in a different location, Earth Null School is a perfect addition to comparing and contrasting weather information with your partner class! Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare weather at any two locations.

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English Worksheets Land - English Worksheet Land

Grades
K to 5
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Visit English Worksheet Land anytime you need an activity for Kindergarten through fifth grade English language learning. Select Common Core aligned curriculum from the menu bar at...more
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Visit English Worksheet Land anytime you need an activity for Kindergarten through fifth grade English language learning. Select Common Core aligned curriculum from the menu bar at the top. Discover analogies to vocabulary and everything thing in between (with accompanying answer keys). Find PDF downloadable worksheets by grade level or alphabetical topics. Sign up and receive their weekly New ELA worksheet via email.

tag(s): antonyms (26), capitalization (19), context clues (8), figurative language (16), grammar (216), grammar review (37), handwriting (18), homophones (17), inferencing (5), myths and legends (25), parts of speech (68), phonics (75), poetry (228), prefixes (16), punctuation (43), reading comprehension (116), root words (13), sentences (52), spelling (168), suffixes (14), synonyms (38), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Why reinvent the wheel? Bookmark this site for use all year. Use these worksheets to help differentiate for students. Many of the topics are covered at different levels and with different activities. Use some of the worksheets as review of a topic you already taught or to prepare for a test. Set up stations with worksheets from different topics for different days of the week, i.e. Monday is always spelling day and Friday is always poetry day. Choose individualized options so students are working at the appropriate level. These worksheets would be great practice for ESL/ELL and learning support students. Hate worksheets? Have students access this site and create their own learning activities to challenge each other based on the content here, but adding their own creative touches. They could use a quiz creator or multimedia tool from the Edge. Create "free and easy" interactive polls/quizzes using Kahoot (reviewed here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A Guide to the Energy of the Earth - Joshua M. Sneideman

Grades
7 to 12
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This Ted-Ed Original lesson features a video and related activities to understand where energy goes on Earth. This lesson features a multidisciplinary approach to understanding energy:...more
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This Ted-Ed Original lesson features a video and related activities to understand where energy goes on Earth. This lesson features a multidisciplinary approach to understanding energy: using the natural science, social science, and economics to understand. Watch the video. Think by answering a series of questions. Dig Deeper with more information about the topic and join a discussion.

tag(s): conservation (127), energy (198), fossil fuels (18)

In the Classroom

Share the video using a projector or Interactive whiteboard. Use the questions in the lesson or develop your own to identify problems that students have in understanding the concept. Use the Dig Deeper information to understand more about the concept of energy and related problems from its use. Consider creating subtopics for students to research and report on to fellow classmates. Debate our current use of energy, problems for the future, and possible solutions using a discussion forum or in the classroom. Have students create energy posters using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here)
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Beyond Traditional Math - Jen Smith

Grades
2 to 7
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Beyond Traditional Math is an interesting blog written by a fourth-grade teacher who was "appalled to be handed a math book in which all instruction was whole group." This inspired...more
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Beyond Traditional Math is an interesting blog written by a fourth-grade teacher who was "appalled to be handed a math book in which all instruction was whole group." This inspired her mission to move beyond the traditional classroom model for teaching math. Informative articles discuss building strong classroom cultures through standards, writing clear learning targets, and discussions on classroom activities. Explore this blog to find many lesson ideas along with practical classroom tips for use throughout the year. The ideas are adaptable across several grade levels. Click on tags at the bottom of each blog post to find archives of posts about similar topics.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Subscribe to this blog through email or follow on Facebook and Twitter to receive notification of blog updates. Use blog posts during professional development or brainstorming sessions to find and develop classroom lessons. Try these ideas to differentiate for all students. Click on the Common Core tag to see a strategy to get students to start showing their work! Share student-made math projects using Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.

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Yale Photogrammar - Laura Wexler

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a visual tour of 90,000 historical US photographs (many related to agriculture) taken between 1935 and 1945 via this interactive map. Browse and find photos several ways: click...more
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Take a visual tour of 90,000 historical US photographs (many related to agriculture) taken between 1935 and 1945 via this interactive map. Browse and find photos several ways: click on any highlighted map area to find images; use the sliding bar to narrow down the time frame for available images; or choose from selected photographers. Click "Search" for many more search options. Most of the images are in the public domain so can be used as part of multimedia and other projects. Click on the "call number" on an individual photo page to see whether there are any limitations.

tag(s): 1930s (15), 1940s (13), agriculture (55), maps (287), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Share images from the map to compare and contrast life in your location now versus in the 1930's and 1940's. Display images on your interactive whiteboard to compare photographs from different parts of the country. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects exploring American life following the Depression Years or on the home front during World War II. Have students choose an angle or area of emphasis to investigate, such as home life, work, farms, building, etc. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about life as an American in the 1930's and 1940's.

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PDFaid - Prasad Gurla

Grades
K to 12
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Find all of the tools you need for working with and manipulating PDF's at PDFaid. Choose from the many different options such as placing a watermark, extracting images, or converting...more
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Find all of the tools you need for working with and manipulating PDF's at PDFaid. Choose from the many different options such as placing a watermark, extracting images, or converting different file types to and from PDF's. Click on your desired tool to begin. Follow the step by step directions for working with and saving your PDF file.

In the Classroom

Be sure to add PDFaid to your professional technology toolkit for use throughout the year. Use the watermark option to label and identify your work when sharing with others. Convert PDF's to other file types such as Word or JPG to modify and use as needed. There are as many options for using PDFaid as your imagination allows! Your tech savvy high school students will love this one for working on scholarship forms, etc.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Wright Experience - The Wright Experience

Grades
5 to 12
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The Wright Experience lets you rediscover the innovation and designs of the Wright brothers. Follow the steps in analyzing photographs, making designs, and running tests to make an...more
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The Wright Experience lets you rediscover the innovation and designs of the Wright brothers. Follow the steps in analyzing photographs, making designs, and running tests to make an actual life sized reproduction of the Wright kites, airplanes, and gliders. In every model, find the design, assembly, control, and flight tests. Follow wind tunnel testing to analyze flight performance and see the reinvention of the Wright Brother's works. Explore the different parts of Orville and Wilbur's planes. The education area features videos showing testing or flights. Find links to many other useful sites. Find the latest news about any flight re-creations. 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): flight (36), inventors and inventions (101), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Bring the spirit of invention alive in your classroom. Follow the process, from the earlier designs through each later design, each building upon its predecessor. Discover the many types of testing done to determine limits for each problem. The videos of flight will bring your class on board with Wilbur or Orville! Share the videos on your projector (or interactive whiteboard). Discover the steps to the scientific method or design process to apply in other projects. Include this project in a study of leadership or as a lesson in the perseverance of innovation! Use it as an introduction to your Discovery Fair or Science Night.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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eduXtive - Cool & Free Learning Games for Kids - eduXtive.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Looking for free, educational, Flash-based activities? Go to eduXtive and find a variety of activities from preschool to high school. Categories include: Art, Brain, Financial, Geography,...more
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Looking for free, educational, Flash-based activities? Go to eduXtive and find a variety of activities from preschool to high school. Categories include: Art, Brain, Financial, Geography, Keyboarding, History, Basic Math, Algebra, Fractions, Geometry, Memory, Colors and Shapes, Preschool, Numbers, Responsibilities, Puzzle, Science, Skills, and Strategy. Don't miss the Protein Synthesis Race. Follow the DNA quiz to Amino Acid Match. The great variety in activities will keep you discovering new and exciting material every time you visit. Be sure to look at the extensive tag list at the bottom of the home page to find all "game" categories. Watch out for some advertising links. Some appear to be part of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (72), colors (79), dna (69), energy (198), fractions (239), game based learning (103), geology (81), keyboarding (38), numbers (204), preK (281), puzzles (208), rocks (49)

In the Classroom

Find the topic area you are studying to accompany your lessons. The activities provide remediation or enrichment depending on your need. Make a shortcut directly to the actual game page for a classroom center to use with younger students. Expose your students to a variety of topics so they can jump right in when you start the content area study. Use the activities as an extra practice or advanced exploration. Add to your class website for students to practice at home. This site can stay on your website all year to accompany so many different subjects and areas.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Illustris - The Illustris Collaboration

Grades
10 to 12
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This project is a simulation of the actual creation of our Universe. Much of the theory of the formation of space, galaxies, and solar systems is complex and difficult to ...more
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This project is a simulation of the actual creation of our Universe. Much of the theory of the formation of space, galaxies, and solar systems is complex and difficult to understand. Use this project to understand difficult concepts such as clustering and ejection of matter. What is this project? Developed by teams of scientists, data from 50,000 galaxies were used to develop the simulation. Be sure to view the Videos/Images tab to learn about the various concepts used to develop the simulation. Identify relationships within the Universe, Laws of Physics, new understanding about Dark Matter, and more. Change various aspects of data using the layers icon in the upper right while viewing in the Explorer. Some of 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. Be sure to read the About section for a better understanding of the project, basic concepts, and more information about the model.

tag(s): solar system (119), space (205)

In the Classroom

Use this site to enhance your discussion of subjects in an Astronomy unit or when discussing the difference between theories and laws in any science class. Point out that the data used for the simulation was gathered from 50,000 galaxies, taking into account all scientific laws with the understanding that conditions continue to change in the Universe as it continually expands. Astronomers, and scientists in general, have learned astronomical amounts of information from this project.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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GoClass - GoClass/Learning Mate

Grades
K to 12
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Create interactive lessons accessible from mobile devices or computers using GoClass. GoClass uses a "Show" (media elements and videos), "Explain" (notes and examples), and "Ask" (real-time...more
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Create interactive lessons accessible from mobile devices or computers using GoClass. GoClass uses a "Show" (media elements and videos), "Explain" (notes and examples), and "Ask" (real-time assessments) format making it easy to set up your instruction and presentation. The lessons can have images, videos, links to other web pages, and text. There is a broadcast feature where you can project the lesson or send it to student devices. The broadcast feature allows for both projecting and personal devices at the same time so students can follow on their device or a large screen. Start tracking learning in real-time by creating an account with your email or Google ID. Visit the About and How it Works links to learn more about this engaging tool. Some of the introduction videos require YouTube. If YouTube isn't allowed in your school, you may want to view the videos at home.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (100), classroom management (135), DAT device agnostic tool (199)

In the Classroom

Set up your account and your classes. Students can be added to a number of "courses," making GoClass a great tool for differentiation! Differentiate the instruction for your gifted students using this tool. Set up mini "courses" for your students so they access the material they need at their level. Use GoClass with your students to introduce whole class instruction for a concept and then assign them the activity through their mini-course to differentiate the instruction. Make your meetings with teachers (grade levels, departments, and professional development) interactive using GoClass. You can create 12 lesson plans for free.

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Smarter Cookie - Tess Brustein & Mike Gerson

Grades
K to 12
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Smarter Cookie is an online video coaching and professional development platform for teachers. Sign up with your email and get an email back with a link to quick tips. Teachers ...more
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Smarter Cookie is an online video coaching and professional development platform for teachers. Sign up with your email and get an email back with a link to quick tips. Teachers upload videos along with a short description of the video content and the focus for feedback, and share with colleagues, mentors, or supervisors. Viewers then type in feedback that is time stamped to video content. Upload videos directly from your computer or through the app for an iOS device, and add lesson plans, worksheets or other desired files. Include a title, lesson objectives, and focus areas for feedback. Then send the video link via email to your intended audience. Be sure to visit Smarter Cookie's Resource Center for detailed instructions on how to use the site and all of the features. Upload unlimited videos of ten minutes or less and receive feedback from up to 5 colleagues with a free account.

tag(s): mentoring (12), preK (281), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use Smarter Cookie as part of your personalized professional development plan. Share videos with colleagues or supervisors as part of the evaluation process. Use with student teachers to provide specific feedback with lessons. You can upload unlimited videos; if 10 minutes is not enough, divide the video in half, and upload a "part 2".

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