TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 11, 2015

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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Crumbles - Thirty Labs

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Why just record your voice or send a message the same old boring way? Use cartoon and movie characters to speak your message instead! Type your message in the box. ...more
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Why just record your voice or send a message the same old boring way? Use cartoon and movie characters to speak your message instead! Type your message in the box. There is a 25 word limit. The site takes clips from TV and movies to create a short video. Each word uses a different clip. If a clip is not available for a word you pick, Crumbles uses a computerized voice instead. A silly tool, but a fun one to enjoy. Click create link to share or share via Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to monitor students carefully as clips can be found from ANY word that they type into the message. It would be a good practice to approve messages students want to create before sharing the tool with them.

In the Classroom

Use this engaging (and fun) tool to create an announcement for the start of a student presentation. Create one to share the writing prompt for the day. Students may be inspired by the movie/TV clips that generate the message. Create a "6 degrees of" type assignment where the video/TV clips generated must have something in common. Students can take time to look at the clips to identify items in the background, characteristics of the actors/actresses, etc. Create a similar type of message from video clips of students taken throughout the year. Or, create your own by taping students saying words and splicing them together to create a similar end result. Use a tool such as StepUp reviewed here.

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FollowUpThen - Reilly Sweetland, Lukasz Wojciechowski Github, Joren Mathews

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
FollowUpThen provides simple email reminders for any email address or device. Use FollowUpThen to clean up emails sitting in your inbox. Forward it to FollupThen, and include a time...more
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FollowUpThen provides simple email reminders for any email address or device. Use FollowUpThen to clean up emails sitting in your inbox. Forward it to FollupThen, and include a time or date to receive the email back. Add FollowUpThen as a recipient on any email to receive a reminder to follow-up on the contents. Be sure to watch the introductory video and read the "How To Use" section for complete information on the capabilities of using FollowUpThen. The free plan offers up to 50 follow ups per month.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use FollowUpThen to receive reminders when waiting for email responses from colleagues or parents. Set up annual or monthly reminders for recurring events such as conference dates, programs, or report card due dates. Clean-up your email accounts. Send yourself reminder emails for due dates, future projects, parent contacts, and more.

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Inspirograph - Nathan Friend

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Remember playing Spirograph as a kid? Now you can create and play online with Inspirograph! Choose from fixed and rotating gears, and then change the size of the gears. Change ...more
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Remember playing Spirograph as a kid? Now you can create and play online with Inspirograph! Choose from fixed and rotating gears, and then change the size of the gears. Change the background and pen colors using the toolbar. Click on the + sign to personalize colors. Be sure to view the gallery of saved designs for lots of inspiration when beginning. Click the download icon to save images to your computer.

tag(s): angles (88), critical thinking (108), gifted (96), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Use Inspirograph to create fascinating art and to explore math concepts. Have students experiment with different gear sizes (both fixed and rotating) and explain changes. Design a table for students to map out findings such as number of points made when using different gear sizes. Find patterns between the fixed circle sizes and the number of points generated. Work collaboratively with other groups of students to create and answer questions about spirograph designs. Identify the various shapes created. For gifted and advanced students, find information on formulas for spirograph designs here. Be sure to sign up to receive notification when the Inspirograph app is available for mobile devices.

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Ice Trade Game - NOVA

Grades
4 to 12
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Test your skills at harvesting ice and selling it in a tropical area. Read the background information on the inspiration for this interactive. Choose the amount of ice to move, ...more
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Test your skills at harvesting ice and selling it in a tropical area. Read the background information on the inspiration for this interactive. Choose the amount of ice to move, sawdust insulation, and destination within your budget. Launch your boats to determine any profit. Follow the link to go to the Nova program Absolute Zero for more information about ice, temperature, and insulation. Find related resources along the left side. For example, apply these principles to how a refrigerator works.

tag(s): scientific method (64), temperature (29)

In the Classroom

Place a link to this interactive on your website for students to access. Allow time for students to collect data from their work on this interactive and complete a lab experiment where students can demonstrate what they learned. For some "non-technology" challenges provide various materials to use as insulation and different sizes of ice to determine the degree of melting. How would they measure it? Students should identify the procedures they will use first and then make a prediction. Research various types of insulation, make comparisons, and report about the history of insulation.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wake Up, America! World War I Propaganda Posters - University of North Carolina

Grades
6 to 12
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Governments have used propaganda throughout history to shape public opinion. During World War I, average Americans were not in favor of getting involved in what began as a European...more
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Governments have used propaganda throughout history to shape public opinion. During World War I, average Americans were not in favor of getting involved in what began as a European conflict. The US Government used propaganda posters in an attempt to change that attitude and convince the populace that US intervention was needed. This collection of 23 World War I era propaganda posters chronicles that attempt, and provides insight into why particular images were chosen and how these images were designed to sway beliefs about the war.

tag(s): advertising (33), england (57), europe (75), france (40), germany (28), propaganda (12), world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

The study of propaganda is an important adjunct to understanding how governments can shape the views of their citizens; the US is no exception. This slideshow can provide visual impact to a discussion of the US decision to enter World War I. Are there images used today that are designed to change public opinion? How can we learn to recognize propaganda and distinguish it from more unbiased information? Use this tool in art class and challenge students to create their own propaganda (or advertisement) posters. Discuss what moods certain colors evoke in the pictures. Unfortunately, there seems to be no good way to present the images full screen, which would give them more impact on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The slideshow would also be a useful resource for students researching propaganda in general.

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Teaching History with 100 Objects - The British Museum

Grades
1 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
If you could have 100 objects from throughout history, how would you use them in your teaching? The British Museum delves into its collections and provides a rotating group of ...more
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If you could have 100 objects from throughout history, how would you use them in your teaching? The British Museum delves into its collections and provides a rotating group of 100 objects. Each object is categorized by time period, theme, and place. The objects can be searched and grouped accordingly. Each object has extensive supporting information, lesson plan ideas, essential questions, and suggestions for linkages to other objects. A PDF download for each object is available for classroom handouts. Finally, there are links to outside resources for further study. There are also connections to Key Stage (grade level) and Curriculum area that are specific to the British educational system. If you aren't familiar with Key Stages: Stage 1 is K-2, Stage 2 is grades 3-5, Stage 3 is grades 6-8, Stage 4 is grades 9-10, and Stage 5 is grades 11-12. Since this site was created in the UK, American English speakers may notice some slight spelling differences.

tag(s): archeology (32), britain (35), europe (75), great britain (16), history day (23), local history (13), museums (49), oral history (12)

In the Classroom

While the objects are classified with an eye toward their relevance to British history, there are plenty of connections to historical inquiry regardless of geographic area. If you are not focusing on British history yourself, consider using this concept to challenge students to select 100 (or some more manageable number) objects to represent their area of interest. What 100 objects might represent their community's history? Their school's history? Their family's history? From a historian's perspective, how do objects represent historical themes? How can we discover more about a culture or historical time period by examining the objects of that time? Why and how do historians choose particular objects to put into museums, and how do those objects tell a story? How could you create a "museum" of your school or of your community using objects?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Doodles - Google

Grades
3 to 12
7 Favorites 1  Comments
Love Google Doodles, those fun and spontaneous changes to the Google logo? View the gallery of Google Doodles on this site. Click About on the top menu to learn the ...more
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Love Google Doodles, those fun and spontaneous changes to the Google logo? View the gallery of Google Doodles on this site. Click About on the top menu to learn the background of Google Doodle. View the Doodle Archive with the newest Doodle appearing first on the page. Click the information button (i) for each doodle to bring up an information box. Click on More Doodle Details to go to the Doodle page or click Search for to learn more about the topic or date. Move from one Doodle to the other by clicking the forward or back arrows on each Doodle page. Click Doodle4Google to view the Google contest. The competition typically takes place during the Fall. Click on Classroom Activities for typically takes place during the Fall. Click on Classroom Activities for ideas on sparking and nurturing creativity in kids of all ages. Check back to find the next Doodle4Google contest for students.

tag(s): artists (75), creativity (109), drawing (78), gifted (96), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

This amazing collection of Doodles can be used to spark thinking in a variety of classes. Use the Doodles to teach a little history. View the resources about the event, person, or country that inspired the Doodle. Encourage thinking with your gifted kids by sharing the whole gallery for exploration or a specific Doodle. Use these Doodles to spark a new project idea or challenge kids to create a simple "doodle" as a new way to report on a historic figure or a content idea. Think your students will be intimidated making a computer Doodle? Consider creating a Doodle using any computer art software or simply creating one on paper. Use these ideas in Science to show the scientific inventions or concepts. In social studies, use Doodles to showcase specific events here and around the World. When looking at perspectives of people around the world, create doodles that can show more than one point of view. Write paragraphs or stories based on Google Doodles. Use Google Doodles in STEM initiatives at your school. Don't forget Art or Gifted programs! Get your students excited about the making of the Doodles and what code writing can do! Use tools such as Scratch, reviewed here, or Tynker, reviewed here, to practice coding.

Comments

Great ideas for short, informative paragraphs to practice this type of writing. Let kids find a google idea for a day, for their particular world/setting/priorities...FUN! Archives are instructive. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Verso - Verso

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
    
More than a student response system, Verso allows you to create lessons, track and group students' responses, collect data, and give everyone in the class a voice. Create a class...more
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More than a student response system, Verso allows you to create lessons, track and group students' responses, collect data, and give everyone in the class a voice. Create a class and students join using a unique code. Create lessons containing instructions and content such as a video or video clips, sound recording, document, or link to a website. Students cannot see responses by others until they have submitted their own choice/response. Once students can see others' responses, they are anonymous. Only the teacher can see who made each response. Students can "Like" and/or comment on others' responses, anonymously. Students and teachers can flag comments they deem inappropriate. Teachers can see who made comments and choose to hide or show it. Use Verso in the classroom or at home on any device. This app is perfect for flipping learning since it will work on any device and the web. There are many instructional videos available to help you get started! 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): assessment (99), classroom management (134), creativity (109), DAT device agnostic tool (196), data (148), video (253)

In the Classroom

See ideas for creating lessons on Verso by clicking on the tab in the top menu labeled "Getting Started." You will see several "challenges" (lessons) created by teachers. There is plenty of video support for setting up your classes, getting students registered, and creating lessons. There is even a "challenge" for students to use before you assign them your lesson. If you have ever wanted greater student engagement, increased student interest, and heightened discussion and interactivity in your classroom, Verso is the answer. Students can give their input and express their views anonymously. This tool will give everyone in your class a voice, even the shyest student.

Use this site to create unique lessons that require critical thinking responses from your students. Math and science teachers can use annotated images such as a microscope, cell, equation parts, etc. Pose questions or allow students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. In world language classes, have students use new vocabulary to comment on descriptions of what they see while classmates act out a scene from a video or novel. Autistic or behavior support students can guess the feelings of the people while watching a video. For longer videos, you may want to put a tag or comment in certain areas before uploading them to Verso. Use a tool like Zaption, reviewed here, for students to pause the videos and ask or answer questions right on the video.

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Quill - Empirical

Grades
2 to 12
10 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Quill is an interactive grammar program with over 150 Common Core, grade level aligned, lessons. Sign up to use the program by entering your name, username, password, and (optional)...more
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Quill is an interactive grammar program with over 150 Common Core, grade level aligned, lessons. Sign up to use the program by entering your name, username, password, and (optional) email. Create a class and track progress, assess, and assign what individuals have not mastered. The program has color-coded "heat maps" to track progress easily. This tool individualizes grammar and writing for ALL learning levels. There are exercises revising interesting passages. There are also practice questions that require the writing of complete sentences.

tag(s): capitalization (19), grammar (216), homonyms (12), homophones (17), punctuation (43), sentences (52), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

There are two ways for students to sign up. Give them the code to join the class, and they sign up themselves, or you enter them manually making the student username a combination of their name and the class code. Challenge (and excel) your gifted students with the concepts practiced at this site. Since student assignments are at their level, students can experience significant acceleration in practicing these necessary skills. ESL/ELL students will undoubtedly benefit from the practice using correct English, in their writing, over a continuous period. Use this site as part of your rotation during learning stations or centers. Inspire every student in the class to become a proficient writer by using Quill at least weekly. Be sure to share this tool on your class website so that students can practice at home, too.

Comments

Excellent self checking quiz format. Great resource to show why or why not the answer is correct. Kevin, SC, Grades: 0 - 5

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Wellcome Images - Wellcome Images

Grades
K to 12
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Find over 100,000 unusual and interesting drawings, paintings, photographs and advertisements related to medical and social history through contemporary healthcare and biomedical science....more
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Find over 100,000 unusual and interesting drawings, paintings, photographs and advertisements related to medical and social history through contemporary healthcare and biomedical science. This site is dedicated to the history of health and medicine, and the oldest examples go back two thousand years. Everything is available under Creative Commons licensing. Browse the collection through the galleries or search by keyword. The titles of the galleries are Explore, Favourites, Science, History, Art (for Schools), and Galleries. Under each title, find several categories such as Olympics, Health, World, Pathogens, Cell Division, DNA, Vaccines, Surgery (Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Modern), Aids Posters, Patterns and Texture, and many more. The site was created in the UK, so some of the spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): creative commons (21), images (265), medicine (67), photography (160)

In the Classroom

History, science, and art teachers can explore the galleries dedicated to those subjects to include pictures in newsletters, blogs, and class websites. Share the site with students on an interactive whiteboard or projector when they need images for projects. Find images from locations you are studying in world cultures or geography class. Find images to use in student online projects such as Bookemon (to create online books) or Superlame (an image editor to add text and thought bubbles). Art teachers can find images for students to use as references or in photomontages (with credit). Use images for writing prompts or even to create descriptive sentences. Have one student describe the image as the other sketches the image. Now compare the described image to the real image. Keep this site as a reference link on your class web page for any time students are creating wikis, blogs, or electronic projects where they need images.

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Ed on the Web Owlets - Les Snowdon and Maggie Humphreys

Grades
K to 3
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Ed on the Web for Owlets is an online reading club for children ages 7 and under. Every month features recently published books with reviews, reading activities, and author interviews....more
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Ed on the Web for Owlets is an online reading club for children ages 7 and under. Every month features recently published books with reviews, reading activities, and author interviews. Scroll down to explore Edtime Stories, Ed's Word Zone, and Ed's Numbers. Some specific topics include Ed's Fun with Numbers, Ed's Spelling Corner, Ed's Poetry Zone, and several others. Check out the archive and find many more Edventures into reading with wonderful books! This site was created in the UK. American English speakers may notice some slight spelling differences.

tag(s): addition (251), guided reading (47), independent reading (126), literacy (103), numbers (204), poetry (227), preK (279), reading comprehension (116), reading lists (73), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Imagine the excitement of featuring new books on an interactive whiteboard or projector every month with your students. Use the suggested reading activities during learning centers. Start following Edventures in your class. Share Ed's Poetry Zone during Poetry Month. Provide this link on your class website for families to use to find books, spelling activities, word fun, and math practice. Share the Number Quizzes on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the activities in Ed's Word Zone to create interactive learning stations or as an activity in your 1-1/BYOD classroom. Start a class blog with children suggesting their favorite book. Put the blog URL on your class website so that families can follow the class favorites. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. Allow families to add reading activities on the blog to accompany the stories. Help parents, grandparents, and children discover newly published books and interesting ways to share them!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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playposit (formerly known as eduCanon) - Benjamin Levy

Grades
4 to 12
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Build interactive video lessons with playposit (fka eduCanon). Create an account and get your teacher code for students to use. Either paste in the address of the YouTube or Vimeo ...more
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Build interactive video lessons with playposit (fka eduCanon). Create an account and get your teacher code for students to use. Either paste in the address of the YouTube or Vimeo video you want to use, or use keywords to search YouTube and find it. Stop the video at any point and input a reflective pause or multiple choice, fill in the blank, check all that apply, and free response questions. Find several tutorial videos for playposit (fka EduCanon) on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): differentiation (47), video (253)

In the Classroom

Create playposit videos for use in your flipped classroom or for differentiating instruction in any subject. Assign videos to individuals or groups of students. Monitor student usage and progress using the site's tools. Allow students to create their own videos to review classroom material. Create videos for beginning of units, end of unit review, or ongoing instruction throughout the year. Share with Special Education and ESL/ELL teachers as a resource for creating and differentiating assignments. Create playposit videos for end of year review sessions.

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Common Core America Achieves - America Achieves

Grades
K to 12
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The Common Core America Achieves website features lesson videos in Common Core shifts, key teaching points, expanded high school resources, and editable lesson plans. Find ways to assess...more
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The Common Core America Achieves website features lesson videos in Common Core shifts, key teaching points, expanded high school resources, and editable lesson plans. Find ways to assess the quality of resources. Explore the resources provided for a number of great websites to improve your instruction. Explore the What's New area on the homepage. This is a great site to save in your professional online "bin."

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

Use with your colleagues to improve your curriculum and teaching methods. Evaluate your resources to ensure you are using quality materials. Use this resource as a professional learning group study. Find lessons that are ready to use in your classroom that encourage high quality Common Core standards.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Make A Prompt - ActivePrompt

Grades
K to 12
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This is not the type of prompt you might think it is! This is an "identify something" prompt. Upload an image, type in where your students should drag the red ...more
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This is not the type of prompt you might think it is! This is an "identify something" prompt. Upload an image, type in where your students should drag the red dot to identify a certain aspect of it. Keep it short. You only have 24 characters and spaces to use for the prompt. Give the URL to your students and they have a fun way to let you see what they know with a technology twist. This site is very simple to use and no registration is required! Be aware: this tool allows you to see an overall view of if the CLASS "gets it" or not. But you have no way of knowing which students drag the dot to the wrong place.

tag(s): assessment (99)

In the Classroom

Share your prompt on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Create prompts that have to do with content area subjects. Use this site for formative assessment. Geography teachers can find a blank image (or map) of a state or country and ask students to place the dot where the capital city is. Share a photo of a cell (or other science topic) and challenge students to identify the nucleus or cytoplasm. Share a photo of the Solar System and challenge your students to drag the dot to a specific planet. You could also use this tool with very young students viewing a picture. Help students learn names of body parts (nose, eyes, ears, etc.) by sharing a photo and having young students drag the dot to the correct location. Challenge young students to find specific words in the photo. Of course a simple formative assessment such as this can be used for any subject, as you see fit in your own classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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