TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 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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A Sailor's Life for Me! - USS Constitution Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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What was it like to be a sailor aboard the USS Constitution? Take an interactive tour of "Old Ironsides" and meet the sailors, see where they live and work, and ...more
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What was it like to be a sailor aboard the USS Constitution? Take an interactive tour of "Old Ironsides" and meet the sailors, see where they live and work, and learn about the ship from their perspective. Or, Meet Your Shipmates and find out about the men needed to crew a ship like the Constitution. You'll even meet the ship's dog! Finally, there is an interactive game, playable either as a one-time-only game, or by creating a log in and being able to save a game in progress. There are resources for teachers with lesson plans and suggestions for using components of the site for classroom activities. This activity is available for download on your iPad.

tag(s): transportation (40), war of 1812 (14), whales (16)

In the Classroom

The great sailing ships of the 18th and 19th century were important both to the nation's defense and to the growth of the US economy. There are hours of content here and the frustration will be selecting what you can use within the classroom timeframe you have. Consider introducing the site with some small portions on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Allow accelerated students to spend time with further exploration for enrichment.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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100 Years of Parcel Post - Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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Click "Add to Cart," enter your credit card information, and a package arrives at your doorstep as soon as the next day. But it wasn't always that way. The Smithsonian ...more
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Click "Add to Cart," enter your credit card information, and a package arrives at your doorstep as soon as the next day. But it wasn't always that way. The Smithsonian Postal Museum provides a look at the history of package delivery in the United States, with an emphasis on the early 20th century. How did the US Postal Service deliver goods across long distances? Why did Congress authorize a government agency to deliver packages? And don't miss the section detailing some of the strangest packages ever mailed!

tag(s): transportation (40)

In the Classroom

The ability to mail packages across the country is an important factor in the growth of the US and has contributed to an ever-more-mobile society. Incorporate some of the historic images here into a discussion of changes in transportation and communication over the 20th and early 21st centuries. Ask students to brainstorm the items in their own bedrooms that might have arrived via Parcel Post. How would their lives be different without package delivery? Why is it important for the US Government to be involved in package delivery? Have students share their findings and thoughts by creating online posters individually or together as a class. Use a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here.

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Jewish Women's Archive - Jewish Women's Archive

Grades
8 to 12
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The Jewish Women's Archive exists to tell the stories of Jewish women, with an emphasis on North America. The Archive can be searched by name or by collection. Collections include ...more
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The Jewish Women's Archive exists to tell the stories of Jewish women, with an emphasis on North America. The Archive can be searched by name or by collection. Collections include categories like Women of Valor, Power Couples, Western Pioneers, and the Feminist Revolution. Filter results by date of birth, place of birth, topic, or occupation. Each profile includes a short biography, often an image, and links to further reading and resources. There is a rich Resources section with lesson plans sorted by topic or keyword.

tag(s): biographies (86), jews (20), women (101), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

This site offers an outstanding addition to your resources for student biographical projects, particularly focused on Women's History Month. Students will find stories of women from every walk of life, whose stories have not been often told. Consider browsing the lesson plans and incorporating one of them into a preexisting unit to provide balance and diverse viewpoints.

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Falling DUST - Brigham Young, Univ. of MD, NSF, and NASA

Grades
6 to 12
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DUST now has a replayable version. This means the educator now controls the pace of the game and it can be played at anytime. Immerse students in science using real ...more
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DUST now has a replayable version. This means the educator now controls the pace of the game and it can be played at anytime. Immerse students in science using real world media and thinking skills in this fictional world. Students will be intrigued in this scenario: "Clouds of dust from a meteor shower have entered the Earth's atmosphere. Adult's are unconscious and the young people are needed to find the answers." This tool is interactive and features collaborative activities online and in real life. Interact with characters online and use online sites and apps to collaborate with others. Students collect data, analyze information, and upload evidence to solve problems from the story. In each new part of the story, students analyze science clues given through social media as the story unfolds. What sets this interactive apart? There is no fixed ending and it is up to the students to move the story along. The scientific method and critical thinking skills are a major part of the challenge. Clues are given two to three times a week for seven weeks. Provided are downloadable lesson plans for each module (complete with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), learning objectives, instructional plan, and internal & external resources) that teachers can modify to suit their needs. If interested in using DUST contact arg-team@umd.edu; they will set up a class for you and provide you with the URL and password your students can use to register to access the game.

tag(s): game based learning (103), gamification (65), problem solving (272), scientific method (64), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with students to flex their brain. Explore the hands on activities to gather data to upload. Data is interspersed with information from the clues to move the story along. Use in classes as individuals or as students working in groups. Share this tool on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Consider using this tool with a gifted class or as a science club activity. The Co-Lab (short for Collaboration Laboratory!) is where players communicate their questions, theories, evidence, and notebook posts and has been pre-seeded with character posts for each module to provide models and prompt student responses. Teachers have the ability to modify the pre-seeded posts, to post as any of the characters so that the characters can interact directly with the players, and to moderate student posts to address inappropriate responses. Highlight outstanding student contributions through the ability to feature posts and adapting the provided week-in-review template to personalize it for your class or group.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tableau Public - Tableau Software

Grades
9 to 12
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Tableau is a free tool that brings data to life. Create and share interactive charts and graphs, stunning maps, live dashboards, and engaging applications in minutes. Publish anywhere...more
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Tableau is a free tool that brings data to life. Create and share interactive charts and graphs, stunning maps, live dashboards, and engaging applications in minutes. Publish anywhere on the web. Download Tableau's software for Windows or Macs and follow directions for installation. View the training videos to learn how to build maps, charts, and share data. Other training videos share how to publish your information using direct links or embed in websites or blogs. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. However, our editors didn't find any video that required Flash. 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.

tag(s): data (148), maps (288)

In the Classroom

View the training videos together as a class before asking students to use Tableau. Have a few students become "experts" on this software and help others as needed. Create Tableaus for any projects requiring the gathering of data such as research into individual countries, comparison of statistics across states, or compiling poll results. Be sure to check out Tableau's Gallery for many ideas on using the software.

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Where's Waldo? - Martin Handford

Grades
K to 6
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Join the search to find Waldo and his friends with this interactive website. Choose from four different search areas to begin looking for Waldo. Search the beach, the deep sea, ...more
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Join the search to find Waldo and his friends with this interactive website. Choose from four different search areas to begin looking for Waldo. Search the beach, the deep sea, the future, or with horseplay at Troy. Each area includes a checklist of items to find as you track your progress. Registration is not required, but does allow you to save progress and choose a custom avatar. Challenge friends to find it in one of Waldo's scenes.

tag(s): creativity (109), literacy (103), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Use Where's Waldo as a classroom center on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a class account and work together to find items in each of the scenes. Have a team competition and have groups of students work together to find Waldo. Have students create blogs using Throwww ( here) to write about their search strategies. This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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GIF YouTube - GIFYouTube

Grades
K to 12
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Did you ever wonder how they make the animated GIF's? You know, the images that look like a video playing the same small and looping video segment? Create your own ...more
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Did you ever wonder how they make the animated GIF's? You know, the images that look like a video playing the same small and looping video segment? Create your own animated GIF images easily from a YouTube video. Simply enter the URL of the YouTube video you wish to use and then click "Create GIF." Move to the part of the video you wish to highlight using the same controls you would use in YouTube. Change the GIF length up to 15 seconds. Enter a title and then click "Create GIF." Once created, copy the URL of the GIF to share with others. Ratings from other users are simply an up or down arrow. A gallery of animated GIFs are found on the main page. Be sure to view these before sending students to this site.

tag(s): animation (63), images (265), video (253)

In the Classroom

Create an animated GIF to get student's attention! A cat reading a book is one way to begin reading time! Show any science concept such as development of an organism, cell division, a chemical reaction, formation of stars, a bullet in slow motion, or anything a student should look at several times to see every aspect of the event. Do you want to reveal portions of a video outlining the travels of historic expeditions, addition of the states to the US, or any other historical event captured in video? Use a looping animated GIF! Every subject could use one of these GIFs to generate an interest in a class activity or new content.

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Farm Blitz - Financial Entertainment

Grades
6 to 12
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Farm Blitz is a financial literacy interactive where you can practice essential skills for managing money by experimenting with agribusiness earnings. You inherit a farm and need to...more
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Farm Blitz is a financial literacy interactive where you can practice essential skills for managing money by experimenting with agribusiness earnings. You inherit a farm and need to manage cash, savings, and debt to successfully grow crops and earn income.

tag(s): business (58), DAT device agnostic tool (196), financial literacy (80), game based learning (103)

In the Classroom

Share this engaging interactive on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students play as a group to encourage discussion of different strategies for play. Some terms in the game may not be familiar to students, encourage them to look up meanings of these words and use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to learn the definitions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mathematics Interactives and Lessons - SAS Curriculum Pathways

Grades
1 to 12
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SAS Curriculum Pathways offers over 400 interactives and web lessons for math. Topics range from Numbers and Operations to Trigonometry. Browse resources by category, type, required...more
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SAS Curriculum Pathways offers over 400 interactives and web lessons for math. Topics range from Numbers and Operations to Trigonometry. Browse resources by category, type, required plug-ins, or level. Each resource includes a short description, estimated time to complete, and appropriate age levels. All activities correlate to state and Common Core Standards. Click the Standards link in each lesson to view corresponding standards for each activity. Create an account to save items to favorites and connect to your school. Generate an account code for your students to create student accounts. Be sure to disable your browser's pop up blocker for this site to allow interactives to load.

tag(s): angles (88), charts and graphs (195), data (148), decimals (133), equations (155), factors (42), fractions (239), geometric shapes (163), mixed numbers (14), operations (126), order of operations (33), polynomials (32), probability (130), quadratics (32)

In the Classroom

Use interactives and lessons from this site to supplement classroom instruction. Demonstrate how to use this tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore the site independently on classroom computers. Be sure to include a link to activities on your classroom webpage. Use this site to differentiate for different student levels.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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SchoolsWorld.tv - Early Years Teacher - SchoolsWorld

Grades
K to 1
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Investigate these videos for teaching young children. Select videos by most recent, most popular, or from the subject menu on the left. Not all of the subjects have an accompanying...more
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Investigate these videos for teaching young children. Select videos by most recent, most popular, or from the subject menu on the left. Not all of the subjects have an accompanying set of videos for this age group. The videos have a written description. Some of the most useful videos not only provide background information, but also suggest and explain activities. Click on the picture of the video to view that video and its description. There will also be a link to the series, if there is one. Clicking on the text link will take you to all of the videos in the series.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): preK (279), professional development (123), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use this site to extend your early learning professional development. Share links to some videos of interest at a staff meeting or as professional development. Use a tool like Bundlenut, reviewed here, for sharing the video links. If you are part of a professional development presentation, you may want to edit the videos to show only parts of it. Use a tool such as Reel Surfer, reviewed here. Editing the videos to just what you want to show is a real time saver.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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EarthEcho International - Philippe Cousteau Jr.

Grades
6 to 12
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EarthEcho International offers a collection of videos, lesson plans, and other materials designed to support high-quality classroom experiences and the exploration and protection of...more
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EarthEcho International offers a collection of videos, lesson plans, and other materials designed to support high-quality classroom experiences and the exploration and protection of natural resources. Many are correlated to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Find and choose resources by filtering program offerings, grade levels, and type of activity. Program offerings include topics such as rethinking waste, water quality, energy, marine debris, and much more. Register with your email address for free access to materials.

In addition to teaching materials, follow EarthEcho expeditions with day by day updates from the field, including lesson plans, audio and video materials, and much more. 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): environment (317), oceans (148), recycling (57), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to take advantage of lesson plans and teaching materials found on the site. Create a link on classroom computers and share on your class website for students to explore expeditions on their own. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to demonstrate information found on EarthEcho. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students create maps of explorations using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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EDPuzzle - EDPuzzle

Grades
7 to 12
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This tool is a great way to take sections of videos and add your own voice or add questions within the video. YouTube videos are viewable in EDPuzzle even if ...more
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This tool is a great way to take sections of videos and add your own voice or add questions within the video. YouTube videos are viewable in EDPuzzle even if your school filters block them! Search for educational videos from sites such as Khan Academy and Learn Zillion. Use the sliders to choose the section of the video. Insert your own voice or comment on the video. Create a series of questions to go along with your chosen video and insert them into the correct part of the video. There is no need for students to watch the whole video to access the questions at the end. Follow the on screen directions for chopping the video for the section you need, adding your own voice, and choosing where to add text based questions. Create a class and then add students into the class either in the dashboard or after creating the video. Use student codes to access the video. There is a 13 page guide available by clicking on FAQ and the last item which is "How can I help?" Next click on "Workshop." There is also a short demo video hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, simply find the video you want to use and embed it in EDPuzzle. It is viewable when used through EDPuzzle! Of course, you could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download videos from YouTube if you wish.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), questioning (31), video (253)

In the Classroom

Create short review videos or use your own narration with chosen videos to create flipped lessons for your students. Consider the power of students using EdPuzzle to annotate videos in order to explain the material in their own words. You or your students can use the tool to create and narrate "how to" videos. Annotate by highlighting the important aspects of videos through the creation of voice comments. Students can also use the question building option to create questions to play with each video. Be sure students create a script to read from before editing their chosen video.

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Shotclip (Beta) - Shotclip.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create and edit professional looking videos in a three-step process using Shotclip. Use the storytelling guide to choose a template. Template options include My Summer, Halloween Fun,...more
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Create and edit professional looking videos in a three-step process using Shotclip. Use the storytelling guide to choose a template. Template options include My Summer, Halloween Fun, blank templates, and more. Templates provide guidance for scenes or shots to include in your story. Templates also offer suggested length and music for each portion. Upload images, video, audio, add effects, and edit video as desired. When complete, publish and share to receive an email with a link to your video or publish directly to your YouTube account.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), images (265), movies (64), video (253)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. In lower grades, make videos together as a class. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. Create a video montage of images taken in the classroom. Use to show a process, explain an experiment, discuss data collected, create club or class movies about happenings throughout the year, and much more. Use this tool as a creative and easy alternative to boring slideshow presentations. Introduce the major points of a topic through images and added text. Use this site to make commercials, science fair previews, and animated shorts in any content area. Have students make "advertisements" for an organism or a literary character. Make a travel commercial for a country being studied or for cultural sites in a world language class. Be sure to share the presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Linguistadores - Bob Rafferty

Grades
6 to 12
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Linguistadores offers language learning through articles, music, and videos. Select your language and reading content level for genuine news based on level and interest. Double click...more
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Linguistadores offers language learning through articles, music, and videos. Select your language and reading content level for genuine news based on level and interest. Double click on any word to translate into a language of your choice. Listen to songs in your target language while viewing the lyrics on the screen. Save unknown words to your account with a click then practice with flash card style games. Free accounts offer up to 10 articles and 20 saved words per day.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): guided reading (47), independent reading (126), reading comprehension (116), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use Linguistadores with ESL/ELL or special education students as an interesting way to deliver appropriate leveled informational texts. Have students create individual accounts and use as a computer lab or classroom center activity to build vocabulary and reading skills. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Share this site with your teaching colleagues to help differentiate for learning support (or gifted or ESL/ELL) students. Select informational texts to use for close reading (a la Common Core) together as a class on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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