TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 29, 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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Math Fair Problems - Gaileo.org

Grades
3 to 12
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Math Fair Problems offers a large selection of problem solving activities for classroom and math fair use. Choose from topics such as Number Concepts, Patterns & Relationships, Statistics...more
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Math Fair Problems offers a large selection of problem solving activities for classroom and math fair use. Choose from topics such as Number Concepts, Patterns & Relationships, Statistics & Probability, or Shapes & Spaces. Use problems for both elementary or secondary students unless otherwise marked for a specific grade level. Links for each activity include complete instructions, how to play, variations, and math found in the activity. Use the provided link to download in PDF format. Be sure to click the link with the explanation on how to introduce and use these activities with students.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (148), equations (155), functions (70), geometric shapes (163), measurement (159), number sense (97), numbers (204), order of operations (33), patterns (85), probability (130), problem solving (272), statistics (122), transformations (17)

In the Classroom

Use Math Fair Problems throughout the year as a classroom center or homework. Choose one day a week to set up a student rotation through different problem activities. Share activities with classroom tutors as individual practice for students.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Benefits of Exercise - Childrens University, Manchester

Grades
K to 4
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Explore the benefits and different types of exercise with this simple presentation. Begin with the list of several benefits of exercise. Discover 5 facts about exercising properly....more
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Explore the benefits and different types of exercise with this simple presentation. Begin with the list of several benefits of exercise. Discover 5 facts about exercising properly. Explore the three main types of exercise: Aerobic, Strengthening, and Stretching. Although there is a link to test your knowledge at the end of the presentation, that link didn't work at the time of this review.

tag(s): fitness (49)

In the Classroom

This resource is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site to introduce a unit on exercise or healthy living. Have students upload a photo they have taken (possibly of themselves and a healthy habit). Add voice bubbles to explain what they learned using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. With young students, view the presentation and then do a few of each type of exercise together. After viewing, have students monitor their exercise and categorize it into the different types.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Post It - Labeling Tool - Class Tools

Grades
K to 12
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The Post-It Labeling Tool allows you to annotate images. Upload an image from your computer and add labels to the image. Place the Post-it where needed by dragging and dropping ...more
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The Post-It Labeling Tool allows you to annotate images. Upload an image from your computer and add labels to the image. Place the Post-it where needed by dragging and dropping and extending the connecting line. Change the background color of the Post-it from the default yellow to color code items in the image. Find the tools to upload the image, and work with it, in the bottom left corner. Scrolling over the icons will tell you what they are. Save your finished product as a webpage, embed in your blog or wiki, or print. Clicking the green question mark will show you samples. See the example made by a TeachersFirst reviewer here. The Post-It labeling tool is FREE, you can annotate your image and save it without even registering.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), images (266), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Share the Post-It labeling site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to show students how to use the tools. Have students label and identify objects in an image. Label parts of a plant, continents, landforms, etc. Practice new words in world language classes by asking students to label and identify objects in that language. This would make an excellent ESL/ELL formative assessment tool. Create a storyboard using several annotated images as a story starter. Art students can annotate images to point out design elements or annotate images of their work to talk about the creative decisions they made. Share annotated Post-It images on your class website or blog to tell about a field trip or class event.

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Home Shrunken Home - New York Times

Grades
9 to 12
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Learn about the small world of micro-apartments in this New York Times article with a photo slideshow showing how micro-apartments are built. See the construction methods, and learn...more
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Learn about the small world of micro-apartments in this New York Times article with a photo slideshow showing how micro-apartments are built. See the construction methods, and learn about the tiny home building trend in response to the high cost of urban living. Read about the people who opt for minimal living quarters, in this case prefabricated modular units. The article is an invitation to learn more about home trends, structures, and the cultural and economic decisions we make about where we live.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (84), environment (317), homes (12), STEM (134), structures (24)

In the Classroom

Share this article in a class on environmental issues, a social studies class on economics and current events, or even a physics class learning about structures and forces. Note that this article is a great example of informational text! Have students make observations about the pros and cons of modular mini-apartments for the resident, the city, and the environment. Have student groups investigate related topics in building materials, environmentally-friendly design, and urban crowding. Hold a class debate: Mini-living: Positive trend or Foolish Fad? This article would be great for gifted students interested in contemporary issues or architecture. Have them design their own mini-apartments, complete with appliances and built in furniture, to meet the challenges of green living, high-cost housing, and urban crowding!

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American Centuries: History and Art from New England - Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

Grades
6 to 10
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The New England states in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries acted as a crucible for the development of US culture into the present time. This collection of artifacts from ...more
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The New England states in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries acted as a crucible for the development of US culture into the present time. This collection of artifacts from a Massachusetts museum gives a glimpse into American life in New England during that time. Browse the collection for images and descriptions of specific artifacts. Explore themes like Shay's Rebellion, the lives of African-Americans in early rural New England, or the Civil War era in New England. Interactive activities allow you to look at Early American tools, examine artifacts using a 360 degree view or see what clothing was worn (down to the underwear!) by people of the time. A separate section of the site designed just for kids accesses more activities. The teachers' reference section includes lesson plans and other classroom suggestions.

tag(s): 1700s (23), 1800s (44), american revolution (86), civil war (145), clothing (9), colonial america (107), massachusetts (10), new hampshire (5), new york (26)

In the Classroom

A great supplement to lessons about early American life in the New England states, there are activities suitable for use on an interactive whiteboard to projector. Or challenge students to peruse this site independently in groups. Have students view early tools and guess what they were used for. Short video clips will help them discover if they were right. Students can examine historical documents up close and learn how to decipher early handwriting.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Know More - The Washington Post

Grades
7 to 12
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Know More describes itself as "a site for people who like learning stuff." This blog style site offers infographics to intrigue viewers into finding out more. The topics are as ...more
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Know More describes itself as "a site for people who like learning stuff." This blog style site offers infographics to intrigue viewers into finding out more. The topics are as widely varied as immigration, snow fall depth, diseases, or the statistics of Jeopardy's Daily Double! New additions appear daily, so you will never run out of things to "know more" about. Click an infographic, read a quick explanation, and delve deeper via links to the source data and related articles. The subject matter is timely and often parallels topics in today's news.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): infographics (42), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Share this site as a link on your class web page to inspire students in search of a blog topic, a research topic, or current events stories they can "relate to." Share one of the infographics on a projector or interactive whiteboard to give students practice interpreting visual representations of data or to spark discussion about current events. If you assign students to share current events stories, they will love this as a starting point for their investigations. Challenge your gifted students to dig deeper into a topic that fascinates them and share the results as their own infographic using these as a model. Share this site in math classes to make data and statistics more meaningful and to connect to the "real world." Use a Know More infographic as a writing prompt for persuasive writing. Use these visuals to lure students into experience with informational texts by letting them choose one from the widely varied offerings.

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The Sketchbook Project - Art House Projects, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover over 32,000 digitized artist sketchbooks from over 70,000 artists in 135+ countries. The Sketchbook Project is a crowd-sourced collaborative of artworks by very serious artists...more
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Discover over 32,000 digitized artist sketchbooks from over 70,000 artists in 135+ countries. The Sketchbook Project is a crowd-sourced collaborative of artworks by very serious artists and those just starting out. There is an annual cycle (that costs money) to JOIN the project and have your own sketchbook digitized, but not to see the results. Browse the sketchbooks by theme or check out artworks created in response to a "Challenge" such as creating a collage from found objects in 5 minutes or less. Weekly Challenges offer "creative prompts to medium-specific swaps and exchanges," often shared via this site as well as through social media such as Twitter or Facebook. Browse to find inspiration for your own art or for challenges to share with others. You need not join to enjoy browsing sketchbooks and to "peek" into artists' creative process. If you join for free, you can curate your own collections from the various sketchbooks. The FAQ page (accessed via a link near the bottom of the "Participate" page) explains the curation tools. One caveat, however: since this site is open to the public for contributions, there is no restriction on the types of sketches or artwork topics the sketchbooks may include. You will want to preview before turning young people loose on this site in a classroom setting.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): artists (75), creativity (109), journals (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site or specific sketchbooks in an Art class to inspire students to find their own creative process and to start a sketchbook or electronic "idea bin" for collecting bits and pieces of inspiration. If you teach writing, share the concept of a sketchbook as a place to collect quick doodles with accompanying bits of writing as material for personal writing projects. Show the sketchbook process of these modern artists alongside the sketchbooks of Leonardo DaVinci as part of a STEM/engineering unit on inventions and creative thinking. Encourage your gifted students to maintain a sketchbook or "idea bin" for the creative ideas that pop into their minds. The examples here will help them get started. If your school permits and parents grant permission, allow your young artists (over age 13) to curate their own sketchbook collections from within this site or participate in weekly challenges. You could also set up a class account to collect specific projects and works in a curated collection.

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Papaly - Papaly

Grades
6 to 12
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Create boards of links to your popular tools and bookmarks curated into one beautiful and simple interface! Use Papaly to collect links from Twitter, Facebook, news sites, Pinterest,...more
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Create boards of links to your popular tools and bookmarks curated into one beautiful and simple interface! Use Papaly to collect links from Twitter, Facebook, news sites, Pinterest, existing computer bookmarks, and new bookmarks. Follow the pop-up messages to learn the controls from the Tutorial. Hover over Boards to click on the + sign, and then name the new board. Select from popular categories to instantly populate your board with common tools. Import computer bookmarks by installing the Chrome extension or creating an HTML file of them following the tutorial. Click on Board Properties in the upper right corner to change your board to Secret (private), make your board Invisible for Google, alter your settings, and change the layout of the board. Share boards by email, Twitter, or Facebook. Note: If using the boards with students, be sure not to import information from personal sites such as email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. as the login information would be visible to students.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), news (261), social media (16), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create an account to keep track of bookmarks to share with students in your class. Bookmarks can be viewed on any browser, anywhere. Create separate boards for the various projects and units in your class. Add information that is useful for student understanding and application of concepts. Keep the boards and bookmarks throughout the year. Consider creating a board for student current events or happenings. Use this for access to information on various topics such as food issues, diseases, political information, cultures around the world, and more. Create a board with more challenging topics for your gifted and advanced students. Students can create a board of links from the web on a certain topic to share with other classmates. Create a Professional Development board to share with other teachers. Challenge your middle and high school gifted students to curate a board for themselves on a topic of individual interest. For example, a student interested in rocketry can locate and add blogs from rocket scientists, NASA feeds, and more. Talented writers may want to collect links to literary publications and author blogs. Consider creating a login that all students can use in order to add bookmarks that they find useful.

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Simon - Neave Games

Grades
K to 12
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Do what Simon Says at this virtual game similar to the old favorite! Follow the pattern of lights and sounds and repeat back to Simon. Start with one sound/light. Simon ...more
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Do what Simon Says at this virtual game similar to the old favorite! Follow the pattern of lights and sounds and repeat back to Simon. Start with one sound/light. Simon plays that and adds another. Repeat back, and Simon adds one more every time. Earn a point for each time you repeat back the sequence correctly. Continue for as long as you can remember. This is the online version of the handheld game, Simon.

tag(s): game based learning (103), patterns (85), preK (281), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Join forces with Simon to help improve memory skills. Introduce on your interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate memory skills. Help young students learn simple patterns by trying "their hands" at this interactive. Very young students can even use the beginner games to learn colors. Share and discuss ways to improve with such techniques as sound, visual, or "chunking." Use as a reward time device. Keep a class best score and challenge students to beat it! Use this tool to grab your students' attention to come back to their seats after centers or individual/group work periods. Share this link on your class website for students to "play" both in and out of the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teampedia - Seth Marbin

Grades
K to 12
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Teampedia is a comprehensive and collaborative resource for finding icebreakers, team building, and leadership activities. Browse through almost 100 categories on this wiki. Find trust...more
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Teampedia is a comprehensive and collaborative resource for finding icebreakers, team building, and leadership activities. Browse through almost 100 categories on this wiki. Find trust activities, getting to know you, and online/remote team building. Explore activities based on the group size involved. If you have a great activity and don't see it, add it to Teampedia by following the steps provided. Each game or activity includes a list of materials needed, number of players, time required, and directions for play. Some directions for strategy games also include strategy options.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), creativity (109), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find Icebreaker activities and options for the first week of school community building. Bookmark this tool for the first week of school or any time that you want to experience some "team-building" in your class. Use this site if you have weekly classroom meetings to build relationships among students. Share this site with students and have them create their own games based on research projects or as a review for major tests. Share this site with parent helpers to find ideas for classroom parties.

Comments

So wonderful to develop creativity using tech. Love the idea of creating games based on research. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Gratisography - Ryan McGuire

Grades
K to 12
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These high quality, high-resolution photos can be used for free. No worries, it is not a stock photo site. Find a small number of new photos added weekly. Use any ...more
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These high quality, high-resolution photos can be used for free. No worries, it is not a stock photo site. Find a small number of new photos added weekly. Use any photo for either personal or commercial projects. Find a variety of landscapes, animals, people, and situations in the black and white or colored photographs. Though these are free, the work should be attributed to the artist. At the time of this review our editors found nothing inappropriate in the photos. However, we always recommend to PREVIEW!

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use photos from this site in your PowerPoint slides, web page, blog, etc., and be sure to attribute them. The different concepts of copyright are challenging for young students (below about grade 4). You may want to "collect" some photos for their use and save them locally for them to choose from until they are ready to understand the most difficult copyright issues. Select an image to project onto an interactive whiteboard or projector. Give time for students to develop a story around the picture. Use photos that students can use to demonstrate content in various classes. For example, in science, an image of a cat might be used to explain a classification and other animals related to it or the characteristics of life demonstrated in the image. In an art class, discuss the features of the photograph that are compelling, the use of light, the photo's composition, etc.

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PastBook - PastBook P.V.

Grades
K to 12
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PastBook is a wonderful site for creating online photo albums or scrapbooks. The tool was originally intended to create memorial books. Now you can create memory books and even choose...more
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PastBook is a wonderful site for creating online photo albums or scrapbooks. The tool was originally intended to create memorial books. Now you can create memory books and even choose a year to display. Choose "Start Now," to begin. Add a title, description, and pictures by uploading from your computer or social network accounts. Provide the text to describe images and a date if desired. When ready, choose "Create Your Book" to complete the book process. View finished books online or download for free in PDF format. Invite others to collaborate on your book through social networking links. Privacy settings allow only those with the URL to view your book. This tool is available on the web and iPhone. It will soon be available for any device. Sign-in using your email or FaceBook account. You can invite people via email or SMS.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), images (266), photography (160), portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Use a class PastBook account to keep track of the day-to-day happenings in your classroom (especially for younger grades). Consider creating albums of specific events such as field trips, service projects, hands-on activities, field experiences such as watershed studies, and more. Have students create portfolios for art and photography classes. Create a magazine of photos that portray different history and social topics. Set the scenes for novels or stories. Explain a specific science concept (using Creative Commons images AND proper credit). Anywhere photos can be used to showcase achievement or explain a concept, this service would be an excellent resource. Learning support, speech, ESL/ELL, autistic support, or world language teachers can collect images into "magazines" for students to practice/develop speech and vocabulary.

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Ducksters - Technological Solutions, Inc. (TSI)

Grades
2 to 8
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Ducksters is a safe, extensive, educational portal for kids. Find a wide choice of content such as interactives, sports, movies, and music. Begin by choosing a category to explore choices....more
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Ducksters is a safe, extensive, educational portal for kids. Find a wide choice of content such as interactives, sports, movies, and music. Begin by choosing a category to explore choices. The study category includes extensive information such as world history, many biographies, science explanations, and information on all continents and many countries. Interactive subjects include math times tables, checkers, and guess the country. There is a TON here to explore.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (251), african american (113), american revolution (86), animal homes (41), animals (276), artists (75), biographies (87), china (66), civil rights (117), civil war (145), cold war (29), continents (49), countries (76), data (148), division (172), egypt (67), elements (36), energy (198), environment (317), explorers (61), fractions (239), friction (12), geometric shapes (163), greece (26), habitats (84), human body (121), inventors and inventions (101), keyboarding (38), mean (25), median (22), mode (15), multiplication (227), planets (123), presidents (131), puzzles (208), recycling (57), renaissance (34), rome (27), solar system (119), sound (101), sports (97), subtraction (208), sun (71), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site is a perfect addition for use with a biography unit. Explore and share information categorized by topics such as Civil Rights, the Cold War, and Ancient Greece. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person. Be sure to create a link to the site on your class webpage or newsletter for students to explore at home. Create a link on classroom computers for students to use the interactives during center time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Very safe and reliable. Everyone else is my school thinks ducksters is stupid but I love ducksters. Ry, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Careers in Science - Science Buddies

Grades
4 to 12
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View science careers galore! Although this site is rather "plain vanilla," it is filled with sprinkles of knowledge! If you need ideas for science careers in Earth and Physical Science,...more
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View science careers galore! Although this site is rather "plain vanilla," it is filled with sprinkles of knowledge! If you need ideas for science careers in Earth and Physical Science, this is a great resource. Research careers, find out what employees actually do in these careers, learn the requirements to obtain a job. Along with the salary and degree requirements, view the future job outlook in the career. View video interviews of real scientists and profiles of those currently on the job.

tag(s): careers (132), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this resource when discussing scientific careers. Use this site for researching WHAT particular types of scientist DO (with younger students). Assign individual students (or cooperative learning groups) a specific science career option. Place a link to this resource on your teacher web page for students to peruse on their own.

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