TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 15, 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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Welcome to Hector's World - ThinkUKnow

Grades
K to 3
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Watch Hector and his friends learn to use computers safely through cartoons and puzzles. Six cartoons provide lessons on Internet dangers and computer safety. Each episode also includes...more
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Watch Hector and his friends learn to use computers safely through cartoons and puzzles. Six cartoons provide lessons on Internet dangers and computer safety. Each episode also includes a coloring book in PDF format. Piece together online jigsaw puzzles for each of the characters in Hector and friends. This site was created in the UK. American English speakers may notice some slight pronunciation and spelling differences.

tag(s): digital citizenship (58), internet safety (109), preK (275)

In the Classroom

View computer safety videos together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Print coloring books for students to complete to reinforce concepts. Be sure to share a link to this site on your class web page or newsletter for parents to use at home with students. Use this site as part of your digital citizenship unit in the younger grades.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tracker - Douglas Brown

Grades
9 to 12
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So what can you do with a tool that is used for analysis of videos? How about tracking the motion of an object across frames, including data on position, velocity, ...more
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So what can you do with a tool that is used for analysis of videos? How about tracking the motion of an object across frames, including data on position, velocity, and acceleration? Download this tool for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Start by obtaining a high speed video using YouTube, a portion of a taped movie on a DVR, or from other video footage. Open the Tracker software and import the video. Find the portion of the video you want to use (frame numbers are given). Click video properties in the lower right. If the video segment is large, change the step size (number of frames looked at each time) to more than one. Set the end frame number. In order to view speed, you need to create a scale for the video. For example, choose an object in the video that you can measure. (Make sure you know how big the object actually is.) Click the tape measure tool, then drag the blue arrow around to define the size of the object. Use the tutorials on the download page to learn to manipulate and analyze the position time graph. Be sure to check out the Tracker Video Tutorials for directions for using Tracker.

tag(s): forces (44), motion (58)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to get your student's attention using a well known video. For example, analyze the speed of blasters in Star Wars or any other movie with awesome effects. Use this tool to track the position, velocity, and/or acceleration of sports, performance of magic tricks, etc. Use this tool for Physics experiments and analysis of the motion.
 

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slides - Whim, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides...more
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Slides is a superb site to create and share powerful presentations. Edit and store your slides presentations online. Presentations are viewable on desktops and mobile devices. Slides uses html5 to accommodate iOS. Sharing slides is a cinch with all the features offered to creators, and this site accommodates your presentation preferences. Send a Slides presentation through email, print as a .pdf, present offline, or sync with your DropBox account (reviewed here). Collaborate with a teammate or keep your work secure and private. Custom CSS is available for your own themes or tweak slides templates provided for your convenience. Slides offers other fantastic features such as math formulas to insert in your presentations as well as a revision history. The many style options make slides a slick site to create presentations. Premium options are available for purchase. However, this review only highlights the free features of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): slides (60)

In the Classroom

Use slides to support presentations in the classroom. Challenge your writers to create short stories that include their artwork, and publish with slides. Search for Creative Commons licensed images related to classroom content using Compfight reviewed here to create a slideshow. Slides is a great resource for your BYOD classroom. Create supporting presentations for lessons and take advantage of the math formula feature. Encourage students to create presentations to support book talks and share them on a library website. Slides is your collaboration destination for students to work together on assignments.

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Timeline: US-Cuba Relations - Council on Foreign Relations

Grades
6 to 12
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With the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba, it's helpful to understand the context of the often-troubled relationship between these two countries since the onset of...more
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With the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba, it's helpful to understand the context of the often-troubled relationship between these two countries since the onset of the Cold War. This interactive timeline provides images, historical information and links for further explanation for the time period from 1959 through the present. It's also possible to share the timeline or to embed it into a website or blog.

tag(s): cold war (29), communism (4)

In the Classroom

No lesson on the Spanish American War, the Cold War, or US diplomatic relations within the Americas is complete without an examination of the tensions between the US and Cuba. The timeline is suitable for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share or embed this tool into a classroom website or blog.

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Make A Roman Mosaic - Jo Edkins

Grades
3 to 12
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Create your own Roman Mosaic with this interesting online tool. Choose a color and mosaic piece then click to add to your design. When complete, copy and paste the code ...more
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Create your own Roman Mosaic with this interesting online tool. Choose a color and mosaic piece then click to add to your design. When complete, copy and paste the code generated into a word processor file. Learn more about Roman designs by clicking links to information about the different patterns such as Greek Key, Maze, and Knot.

tag(s): patterns (84), romans (35)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this tool on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share this tool during art class to incorporate art into history lessons. Have students create their own designs and practice patterns. Create a Roman Mosaic to incorporate into classroom reports. Use this tool in math class when teaching about symmetry. In geometry class challenge students to create shapes using this tool.

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The Mighty - Mike Porath

Grades
6 to 12
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Read about power and strength in those with disabilities and disease through the short stories at The Mighty. Formed on the premise that our greatest challenges become our greatest...more
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Read about power and strength in those with disabilities and disease through the short stories at The Mighty. Formed on the premise that our greatest challenges become our greatest opportunities, each short story tells a tale of positive inspiration in facing a challenge. Browse the home page to find the latest articles or use the keyword search to find information on a specific topic.

tag(s): disabilities (20), diseases (66)

In the Classroom

Share The Mighty with parents and even older students as a resource for finding positive news about those with disabilities. Read these stories together on your projector or interactive whiteboard to teach about tolerance and acceptance of differences. Encourage parents and students to submit their own story of inspiration to the site. Search for articles dealing with challenges your students face to read and discuss together.

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After the Deadline - polishmywriting.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Revise your writing using After the Deadline's grammar checker. At this simple demonstration you copy and paste any text or document into the box. Click on "Check Writing" to receive...more
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Revise your writing using After the Deadline's grammar checker. At this simple demonstration you copy and paste any text or document into the box. Click on "Check Writing" to receive feedback. The site provides color-coded suggestions for revisions in spelling, grammar, or style. If you like After the Deadline, they offer an add-on for the Firefox web browser and an extension for the Google Chrome web browser. There are also plug-ins for self-hosted WordPress blogs and forums.

tag(s): editing (58), proofreading (19), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Use this visual revision program with your students who are ready to refine and improve their writing. After the Deadline is a wonderful program to use for revision after self-editing of grammar and mechanics is complete. Put the URL on your website for students and parents to use from home. Remind seniors to use it for their college essays. Use this tool to polish your professional writing, parent newsletters, blog posts, and papers for grad classes!

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Group Maker Tool - Instant Classroom

Grades
K to 12
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Create random groups quickly with the Group Maker Tool. Click "Create a Group Now" to begin and follow prompts to set up your groups. You will need to provide an ...more
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Create random groups quickly with the Group Maker Tool. Click "Create a Group Now" to begin and follow prompts to set up your groups. You will need to provide an email and create a password for your group. Add up to 100 names to your class list. Choose the number of groups to make. You can even choose to make pairs!

In the Classroom

Although a bit awkward and slow to get started, this tool is helpful for creating random groups for many purposes. It is best to create your class list ahead of time then you can easily create groups anytime on the fly! Use this tool to create groups for cooperative learning, class plays, presentations, computer centers, field trips, and much more.

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Virtual Dice - curriculumbits.com

Grades
1 to 8
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Are you tired of noisy dice clattering on desktops or trying to retrieve dice from under cabinets and desks? If so, Virtual Dice is for you! Choose from four options ...more
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Are you tired of noisy dice clattering on desktops or trying to retrieve dice from under cabinets and desks? If so, Virtual Dice is for you! Choose from four options including one, two, or three dice, or two dice using + and - with a number die. Click on Roll Dice for each spin.

tag(s): addition (252), probability (130), subtraction (209)

In the Classroom

Use Virtual Dice to teach probability or use for any other activity requiring dice. Challenge younger students to improve computation skills using the + and - dice game. Share a link to Virtual Dice on your class website for parents and students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bozeman Science YouTube Channel - Paul Andersen

Grades
9 to 12
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This YouTube channel covers a variety of science topics in an entertaining and engaging way. View playlists for various subjects such as AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and more....more
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This YouTube channel covers a variety of science topics in an entertaining and engaging way. View playlists for various subjects such as AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and more. View the most popular videos such as A Tour of the Cell and Photosynthesis. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atoms (55), cells (102), dna (69), elements (36), energy (197), forces (44), mass (24), meiosis (15), mitosis (11), molecules (43), motion (58), photosynthesis (33)

In the Classroom

Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes about the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. That activity can uncover misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here, and create a shortcut directly on the desktop. Students can create a mini-lesson that can be shared with the class or on a blog, wiki, or your class website. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos and share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Thematic - Parade Labs, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Create a story using your own pictures. You may upload up to twenty photos. Choose photos from your computer (simply drag and drop) or a Dropbox file. Learn more about ...more
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Create a story using your own pictures. You may upload up to twenty photos. Choose photos from your computer (simply drag and drop) or a Dropbox file. Learn more about Dropbox here. Enter the text and description to each photo and change the font color, if desired. Click the lock below the last picture to change your story from public to private (or back again). Click done to finish the story. Easily edit and view all of your stories and even share via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or email. Click embed to get the code to share on a wiki, blog, or website. Viewers of the story can like, comment, or share. You are allowed 50 characters for the title and 240 characters for the description. Note: This is a public site. Be sure to look for appropriate examples of stories created by others.

tag(s): digital storytelling (135), images (261), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Decide whether to share student created stories with the public or make them private depending upon the content, parent permission, and school guidelines. Use this tool to create simple projects using images to tell the story. Use to show the story of an invention that resulted from a scientific discovery or law. Share the many things made from a particular element. In English, create a visual story and create titles for a cover photo or practice using adjectives or adverbs. Create a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as significant battles in World War II. In the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. Students can take pictures of the process of the creations they make and write a "how to" photo story inspired by the images. Students can swap files of photos, using one another's pictures to create a photo story that comes to mind!

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PushPage - Meir Lakhovsky and Jared Jaffe

Grades
8 to 12
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PushPage is an interesting way to learn about your friends and celebrities using a question and answer format. Explore the site to discover fascinating interviews with actors, chefs,...more
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PushPage is an interesting way to learn about your friends and celebrities using a question and answer format. Explore the site to discover fascinating interviews with actors, chefs, politicians, and others. There are also interviews with everyday users, such as yourself! Learn about favorite songs, snacks, and favorite causes. Get involved and create your own PushPage. Sign up and begin your interview, so others learn about your interests. Share the page with the world or use privacy settings to only share with select friends or a private group. Ask your own questions of your community to create and personalize your sharing experience. PushPage will also work on your iPhone.

tag(s): biographies (85), digital storytelling (135), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Incorporate PushPage into math data analysis lessons. Have students explore a question and collect answers from several pages and then graph the results. For example, one question asks "Where is the favorite place you have traveled to?" Follow that question to explore all of the different answers (including images). Have students choose one location to investigate further. Create PushPages for members of any classroom, sports group, or social organization as a way to get to know each other and build team work. Have students create their own question for the PushPage community and collect and analyze results. Students can research their favorite celebrity and write up a biography, practicing putting the information in their own words.

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Deep Sea Dive - Harvey Water Softeners

Grades
1 to 10
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What will you find at the various depths of the ocean? Harvey Water Softeners takes you on a deep-sea dive to find out. Simply scroll down through this page to ...more
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What will you find at the various depths of the ocean? Harvey Water Softeners takes you on a deep-sea dive to find out. Simply scroll down through this page to view facts in bubbles beginning at the surface level down to 36,000 feet below the surface at the ocean's deepest point.

tag(s): animal homes (41), animals (277), habitats (84), oceans (147), plants (143)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive Deep Sea Dive as an interesting way to introduce an oceans unit. After viewing, have students research different ocean animals and plants, use this information to create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage reviewed here. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to explore ocean animal adaptations. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip, reviewed here, to create a map of locations used with the Deep Sea Dive (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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LearnEnglish232.com - learnenglish232.com

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn English 232 offers up to date video lessons on current English slang, phrasal verbs, and common phrases. The lessons are all in video format and contain humor as well ...more
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Learn English 232 offers up to date video lessons on current English slang, phrasal verbs, and common phrases. The lessons are all in video format and contain humor as well as multiple definitions. The large section of podcasts offer ongoing comic dialogues created by two brothers living in China. The dialogues are in the form of a talk show. You can comment on current events and learn what is happening around the world. Learn up-to-date slang and expressions heard in the news. With archives dating back to 2006, there is plenty of material here for lots of listening practice and cultural enhancement. You can download any podcasts as MP3s. The dialogues use plenty of idioms found in current English usage. Many of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then 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. WARNING: this site does include some mature content (slang). PREVIEW before sharing with the class.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): idioms (44), podcasts (51), slang (15), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

As a class, listen to a podcast and ask students to discuss the news story they heard. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. In pairs have students list idioms they did not understand. Create another list of new vocabulary words. Have students try Funnelbrain, reviewed here, to create flashcards of the new idioms and vocabulary to help them bring the words into their active vocabulary.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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