TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 18, 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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Interactive Science and Technology Timeline - ITN Source

Grades
3 to 12
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Discover how technology has changed lives with this interactive timeline beginning in 1900 and chronicling events through the introduction of the iPad in 2010. Each video skips ahead...more
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Discover how technology has changed lives with this interactive timeline beginning in 1900 and chronicling events through the introduction of the iPad in 2010. Each video skips ahead 10 years (1900, 1910, 1920, and so on.) Move the circle to any point on the timeline to view a video featuring events from that period in time. Pop up text offers more information and trivia from each period.

tag(s): 1900s (33), 1910s (9), 1920s (16), 1930s (15), 1940s (13), 1950s (12), 1960s (30), 1970s (12), 1980s (9), 20th century (50), aircraft (24), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

View the timeline on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to help students understand the many changes in technology in the past 100+ years. Use the timeline to introduce a unit on any decade of the 1900s. Challenge students to research events further. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or other person from a particular era shared in the video clips.

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Visualizing Cultures - MIT

Grades
8 to 12
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We see cultures through our own eyes, a lens that is influenced by our own frame of reference and experiences. Another way to learn about cultures is to view them ...more
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We see cultures through our own eyes, a lens that is influenced by our own frame of reference and experiences. Another way to learn about cultures is to view them through the eyes of others through an examination of images created by others. Visualizing Cultures brings us images from Asia, many not widely circulated before, that illustrate historical events such as the Opium Wars, the Boxer Rebellion, the Black Ships, and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Each set of images is accompanied by narratives, lesson plans, and printable handouts to provide context. While we may have seen photographs of Hiroshima's devastation, we can now view the story through the eyes and drawings of Japanese survivors.

tag(s): asia (73), china (66), cross cultural understanding (115), japan (62), perspective (11), visualizations (14)

In the Classroom

Perspective taking is an important skill in learning about other cultures and other time periods. To Western eyes, these images will provide a fresh look at historical events. It is important to note, and to help students understand, that the images are uncensored and may depict a way of seeing others that, to us, may seem racist or disrespectful. Screen the images to determine how they might be best used to help students see the world through others' eyes, and how to manage a discussion of these themes.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Listen Current - Listen Current

Grades
6 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
   
The availability of high quality visual resources has exploded in recent years, but we should not forget about the value of listening, undistracted by color and movement. Listen Current...more
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The availability of high quality visual resources has exploded in recent years, but we should not forget about the value of listening, undistracted by color and movement. Listen Current has gathered together stories from public radio broadcasts and organized them into a rich resource for learning about current events, English language arts, social studies, and science. Each audio story is accompanied by lesson plans tied to state standards and the Common Core. Use the keyword search to discover resources by topic, or access Listen Current every day for timely current events stories. Sort topics by grade level (middle school or high school), topic, or curriculum area. Using the site requires registration, and there is a fee-based Premium version. The free version, however, includes lesson plans, current events and resources such as vocabulary lists and listening guides.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (92), news (261)

In the Classroom

Carving out some regular classroom time for students to "put on their listening ears" and focus on an auditory experience helps develop an important learning skill. Share the stories on a projector or interactive whiteboard. If you are in a BYOD classroom, have students listen on their own computers (with earbuds). Start the day with a short (4-5 minute) current event story and keep students engaged in timely news discussions. Choose a keyword or topic relevant to an ongoing lesson and introduce authentic participant voices to the discussion. Flip your classroom and have students listen to the story at home before the lesson. Have students report back to the class or a small group about what they learned. Consider using these audio lessons for English language learners to develop their skills using rich, relevant content.

Comments

Engaging, CCSS-aligned, and easy to use. Highly recommend. Warren, TN, Grades: 6 - 12

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Fractions, Decimals, Percents: Interactive Teaching Resources - S Riley Teacherled

Grades
3 to 6
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Discover a collection of resources for the teaching and learning of fractions, decimals, and percentages. These resources will work on your interactive whiteboard, most tablets, iPad,...more
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Discover a collection of resources for the teaching and learning of fractions, decimals, and percentages. These resources will work on your interactive whiteboard, most tablets, iPad, or a regular computer! This site does seem ideal for BYOD classrooms, but they do mention that some of the activities run slow on a standard Android browser. An app (non Internet) version will be available soon for a small fee. This review is for the free portion of the site. At the time of this review, there were 15 free resources to explore. Some sample topics include: Fraction Bars, Decimal Compare, Percent to Fraction, Decimal Lines, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): decimals (133), fractions (239)

In the Classroom

Teach through your students' favorite form of learning, technology! Introduce concepts on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site at a computer learning station. Provide this link on your class website during your fraction or decimal units. Challenge students to transfer learning to physical manipulatives and explain concepts in their math journals.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes - Lowell Milken Center

Grades
5 to 12
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The Lowell Milken Center discovers, develops and communicates the stories of Unsung Heroes who have made a profound and positive impact on the course of history. Explore Featured Projects...more
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The Lowell Milken Center discovers, develops and communicates the stories of Unsung Heroes who have made a profound and positive impact on the course of history. Explore Featured Projects to learn about everyday people who became heroes by standing up to adversity in their lives. Each project features information about the hero and the storyteller. Some projects include links to student-created web pages and videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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. Start your own Unsung Hero project using the ten steps provided to include inspiration from start to finish.

tag(s): heroes (24)

In the Classroom

Share stories from the Unsung Heroes project on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss traits that make a hero and find inspiration to search for heroes in your everyday lives. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects. All types of classes can complete a project about an unsung hero. P.E. classes can find out about veterans, surfers, or car accident victims who have lost limbs and used their challenges to make a difference. Math and science students can complete an Internet search for high school inventors. Students could also search through old Scholastic Scope magazines for articles about young people who have overcome adversity. Have students create an annotated image of a hero including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a hero they have chosen.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Harp - House of Harrari

Grades
K to 6
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Did you ever want to try to play a harp? Grab your computer and you can strum away on your "virtual" harp. Pluck each string and make a note. Create ...more
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Did you ever want to try to play a harp? Grab your computer and you can strum away on your "virtual" harp. Pluck each string and make a note. Create your own melody. This site is extremely simple to use.

tag(s): music theory (41), musical instruments (47)

In the Classroom

Bring your students into the calming place of listening to harp music. Use as a way of allowing your students to have reflection time or quiet/calm time. Create a story with different notes, tunes, or melodies with your harp. Use the harp's music to represent a character, especially with the study of antagonist or protagonist. As one student reads a text aloud, create a melody to accompany the text. Use your harp for creative movement time in preschool and kindergarten classes. Pull out your harp when you want your class to come back to order. Use this virtual tool when introducing string instruments in elementary music class. If you can't bring in a real harp, this is a wonderful alternative.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Copy Paste Character - Konst & Teknik & Martin

Grades
K to 12
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Copy Paste Character offers a large assortment of characters to use with any text. Choose from characters within a favorite set such as music notes, smiley faces, or mathematical symbols....more
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Copy Paste Character offers a large assortment of characters to use with any text. Choose from characters within a favorite set such as music notes, smiley faces, or mathematical symbols. Click on any symbol then paste into your document. View other sets such as graphic shapes, punctuation, and emojis using the drop-down box. Registration is not required, but it is an option if you want to create and save sets for future use.

tag(s): images (261), symbols (19)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to easily find symbols for use on your class webpage, newsletters, and lessons. Share with students as a resource for finding characters and symbols for use on any project. Add this link to your class website for students (and families) to access at home.

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Bookopolis - Kari Ness Riedel

Grades
1 to 7
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Bookopolis is more than an online social reading club for children ages 7-12. It has an education portal to keep track of and review a reader's work. In the New ...more
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Bookopolis is more than an online social reading club for children ages 7-12. It has an education portal to keep track of and review a reader's work. In the New Book section, find a book by grade level and read ratings and reviews from other readers. Bookopolis includes digital reading logs, reading log prompts, and suggests places to find comprehension questions about the book. Through the dashboard, monitor and comment on the reader's writing and reading logs. The activities and features on the site are aligned with many of the Common Core Reading and Writing standards. There are several video tutorials on getting started and how to use the dashboard. 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): book lists (124), book reports (36), guided reading (46), independent reading (125), reading comprehension (114), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create your account with your email, teacher name, username, and some basic information. Create your dashboard by adding a class and class name. You can create multiple classes. View the several teacher dashboard video tutorials to get started. Student accounts can be created manually or by importing an xls or csv file. Students will automatically be "friends" with other students in the same class, but can also invite students from different classes. Share this site with students (and parents at back to school night) using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Show students the video tutorial "How to Add Books" to get them started. Students can create bookshelves for books they are reading, that they have read, and that they want to read. Students can earn badges and points for the books they read. This tool will get students excited about reading since they can connect with friends to share book reviews and swap book recommendations. Students also practice persuasive writing, comprehension, and typing skills by completing reviews, reports, and reading logs online.

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Darwin, a Naturalist's Voyage Around the World - SagaScience

Grades
8 to 12
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Charles Darwin, in his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, changed the way we look at the natural world. This animated journey takes us on eleven stages of the journey and ...more
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Charles Darwin, in his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, changed the way we look at the natural world. This animated journey takes us on eleven stages of the journey and introduces some of Darwin's most important discoveries. The journey can be viewed as a continuous narrated animation, or can be broken up into the eleven stages of the journey and viewed one stage at a time via an interactive map. Each stage includes readings from Darwin's journal, and a series of images that are accessed by dropping and dragging them to a "magic lantern," a sort of slide projector common during Darwin's time. The journey can be accessed in English, French, or Spanish.

tag(s): animals (277), darwin (11), evolution (100), explorers (61), natural resources (59), oceans (147)

In the Classroom

Preview Darwin's journey by showing the continuous animation on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Follow that with having students examine the different stages of the journey independently when they can select the images, listen to Darwin's own commentary, and think more deeply about the important discoveries Darwin made while sailing around the world. Create a class wiki for students to share what they discover while they view the interactive. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Visualizing Emancipation - The University of Richmond

Grades
9 to 12
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Visualizing Emancipation is a map based resource that presents the date and place of hundreds of discrete events, documents, and artifacts across the time period 1861-1865 all of which...more
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Visualizing Emancipation is a map based resource that presents the date and place of hundreds of discrete events, documents, and artifacts across the time period 1861-1865 all of which relate to the end of slavery. View the map chronologically, zoom in to look at a smaller geographic area, sort the data points by theme or by source type, and discover a more nuanced understanding of how the US ended legal slavery. Students might be forgiven for believing that slavery ended in the United States the day the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. The truth is, of course, much more complicated.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (117), civil war (145), constitution (79), emancipation proclamation (12), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

The interactive map is well suited for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. There are grade leveled lesson plans tied to Common Core Standards, as well as Featured events that are particularly important in telling the story of emancipation. Each event or document is categorized by theme, and has its own unique URL that can be shared with students as they do their own research. It's also possible to download a large spread sheet of the events as a list rather than as a map. If it's geographically relevant, consider using your own community as an example and research local events related to emancipation. Consider a discussion of how significant legal changes in the United States occur within the context of cultural change. Does legal change result in immediate cultural change? Why or why not? What happens when legal change is imposed on those who do not agree? Have students share their thoughts by creating an online collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start - no membership required!)

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Plagiarism.org - iParadigms, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Here you will find everything you will ever need to know about plagiarism and citing sources. Click on Plagiarism 101 and find out exactly what plagiarism is and the different ...more
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Here you will find everything you will ever need to know about plagiarism and citing sources. Click on Plagiarism 101 and find out exactly what plagiarism is and the different types of plagiarism. Citing Sources explains what a citation is, why one should cite sources, how to paraphrase, how to quote material, what a footnote is, and when one should cite the source. Although this site is rather plain in appearance, it is a hot topic and definitely a site to save and share with students!

tag(s): citations (32), plagiarism (33), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Meet your Common Core standards for nonfiction reading using the pages at this informative site! In addition, every student who creates a report, presentation, speech, or project, in any subject, needs to know this information. Consider dividing and presenting this site with a teacher in another curriculum, so students get the idea that this is information for EVERY class. Consider presenting the information, questions, and quizzes using a program such as GoClass, reviewed here or Answer Pad, reviewed here. With these programs, you can create questions or a scavenger hunt. Then you can quiz students on the information and have it all self-corrected. Moreover, using one of these programs will make this text heavy, but necessary material, much more tolerable for your students. You may want to challenge your gifted and musically inclined students to create a rap highlighting the important information they learned about plagiarism and citing sources. Have them teach the rap to the rest of the class. Or have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here).

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ActivityCircle - Frolyc, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use ActivityCircle (formerly Frolyc) to create multimedia lessons on the web, and have access to them via the iPad (or any web browser). ActivityCircle also has ready-made lessons aligned...more
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Use ActivityCircle (formerly Frolyc) to create multimedia lessons on the web, and have access to them via the iPad (or any web browser). ActivityCircle also has ready-made lessons aligned to Common Core Standards. Search lessons by grade level or keyword. All ready-made activities list grade level, subject area, Lexile levels, and standards addressed. Whether using a premade lesson or designing your own, assign a lesson to students and collect data on student responses. Educators, tutors, and parents can author or create activities. Sign up with email and add student profiles. All assignments, creations, etc. that were on Frolyc transferred seemlessly to ActivityCircle. Just click on the name of the review above and you'll go there. There are several excellent videos to help you create everything on ActivityCircle! If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the instructional 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (99), classroom management (130), multimedia (52), polls and surveys (47), quizzes (95), reading comprehension (114), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Once you have created a class and student profiles, assign lessons from the catalog or create your own. If your students are using iPads, they will need to have the free ActivityCircle Spot app added. The app requires Wi-Fi to sync with activitycircle.com. Student profiles will automatically sync with the iPads. Each student can only interact with the activities assigned to him or her via an access code. Since ActivityCircle is web-based you can create easy, simple activities or elaborate units. Start building Common Core aligned and differentiated activities such as reading, filling out concept maps, writing paragraphs, drawing, answering questions, taking quizzes, and more. Add links to read and hear multimedia content such as videos and slideshows. For longer videos, you may want to put a tag or comment in certain areas. Use a program like EDPuzzle, reviewed here, to accomplish this. Tags can be as simple as "answer question 4 now." Alternatively, use one of the ready-made lessons from the catalog for free. The app will need Wi-Fi for video and voice-over. ActivityCircle publishes Common Core Standards aligned reading comprehension activities to this app for student use. The possibilities are endless!

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PhotoFunia - Capsule Digital

Grades
K to 12
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Use your pictures and PhotoFunia to create photo collages, flyers, family trees, holiday albums, and more. No registration is needed! PhotoFunia has hundreds of effects and filters....more
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Use your pictures and PhotoFunia to create photo collages, flyers, family trees, holiday albums, and more. No registration is needed! PhotoFunia has hundreds of effects and filters. More are added weekly. To add shadows, age your photo, or render it black and white just visit the Filters category. Add clever features such as an astronaut or a Santa suit, a witch's hat or a queen's crown. Looking for an attractive frame for your photos? Find one here. Write on the sand or graffiti text on the wall. Carve your name on the ground or create your very own road sign using text effects. The program is as easy to use as picking the effect and uploading a photo. Save it to your computer or email it. Try using PhotoFunia online with no registration, or get the free app for iOS or Andriod, and most other smartphones. At the time of this review, all photo effects appeared appropriate for use in the classroom. However, we always suggest you preview the tool before sharing it with students.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), DAT device agnostic tool (193), editing (58), images (261), photography (160)

In the Classroom

You do not need to be artistic to transform a personal or stock photo into a stunning work of art or even an amusing image. Adjust any image's color intensity, value, and hue using the filters. Use this tool anytime that photos need to be edited for use in class blogs, newsletters, wikis, or websites. In primary grades, this tool could be useful for teachers to use to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit together! Encourage older students to use this site themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use the features and effects to edit images to fit styles of photos when doing historical reports or to set the mood.

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