TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 17, 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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Flavors - MOO Print Limited

Grades
9 to 12
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Create a simple and beautiful web page that acts like an RSS reader for all of your social networking sites! Your web page will open to a large beautiful background. ...more
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Create a simple and beautiful web page that acts like an RSS reader for all of your social networking sites! Your web page will open to a large beautiful background. This FREE (and ad free) account includes seven layouts and brings in your content from five other services (Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, Posterous, Netflix, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Etsy, Foursquare, and others). Click "Start Your Website" to begin. Use the Edit panel along the right to begin adding information About you and adding Content from social media sources. Change aspects of the Design including layouts, backgrounds, colors, and more. Under Mobile, set the aspects of design that will be used for your page to show on mobile devices. To save your design choices, create an account and password!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (261), microblogging (44), social networking (112), video (251)

In the Classroom

Use social media in the classroom? Create a class page and connect the class or school social media accounts to display everything in one place! Create a group of advanced learners to set the design choices for the site. Then, connect the social media sites and create the account. Students can view all the information created for and by the class.

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Educator Innovator - MacArthur Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Always challenging your students to the highest level of Bloom's taxonomy, creating? The time has come for you as a teacher to jump into creativity in teaching. Join the blog ...more
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Always challenging your students to the highest level of Bloom's taxonomy, creating? The time has come for you as a teacher to jump into creativity in teaching. Join the blog and growing community of educators and organizations who support you, to change education. Get inspired with webinars, podcasts, and videos by educators who have found new ways of meeting and challenging students. Grant opportunities and webinars of successful, innovative teachers challenge you to look for more. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. 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.

tag(s): grants (18), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Dare to be different and engage your students in learning that is unique and meets their needs, designed by you! Share this site with a colleague and let your imaginations run wild. Do what teachers do best, engage, motivate and inspire students to love learning.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dice Roll - S Riley Teacherled

Grades
K to 8
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Virtual dice can be addicting when trying to figure out what number will come up next, and they are quiet! You'll never have these dice roll off the table and ...more
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Virtual dice can be addicting when trying to figure out what number will come up next, and they are quiet! You'll never have these dice roll off the table and under furniture. Choose from one, two, or three virtual die at a time. Simply click Roll and start the guessing.

tag(s): game based learning (101), mental math (27), operations (126), probability (130)

In the Classroom

Have fun in your classroom with virtual dice on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this with young students just learning to count. Have students take a guess about what number will "win." Use as an incentive and allow a student to roll the dice to meet a class goal. Set a goal of a large number, and every time a small goal is achieved, roll the dice and keep adding. Keep track until the class achieves the sum given. Practice basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts. Have team competitions and choose winners by even/odd, the greatest/least sum, greatest/least product or quotient. Allow students to work in small groups to play the mathematical practice games. For larger digits, roll two die simultaneously and get the greater number. Do the same to get double or triple digit numbers. Encourage your students to practice at home and play against their parents. Any time you need a dice, go to your bookmarked site. In older grades study probability and chance. Use the data and create line plots or graphs in various forms. Be sure to incorporate mean, median, and mode.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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HomeRoom Mom - School Family Media

Grades
K to 8
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Homeroom Mom is an online community to share tips and tools for working with classroom teachers. Don't let the title fool you, this site contains valuable information for anyone working...more
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Homeroom Mom is an online community to share tips and tools for working with classroom teachers. Don't let the title fool you, this site contains valuable information for anyone working with students! Choose from the many categories to find ideas for decorations, crafts, holidays, and much more. Select Letters, Flyers, and Forms to find a yearly planning calendar, party sign-up sheets, and other handy forms for immediate use.

tag(s): classroom management (129), field trips (12), holidays (147), parents (55), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Share Homeroom Moms on your class website as an excellent resource for use by your homeroom mom (or dad), tutors, and other classroom helpers. Bookmark and save for use when planning class parties, finding holiday activities, and much more. Use this site to help YOU get organized!

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Eyes on the Earth - NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Grades
5 to 12
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After ...more
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After installing, launch from the web page (the install button turns into a start button). Be sure to view in full-screen mode for the best effect. Change your perspective of the Earth by changing the tilt (hold down the mouse and rotate). Zoom in and out with the tool along the right (much like the tool in Google Earth or Maps). Choose from among the tools along the top. As you click on a tool, read information in the window to the left. Be sure to click Turn Audio On to hear the narrative. Use the additional links there for more information. Visible Earth shows the movement of two satellites and the images from both. Choose the speed of the motion of the satellites with the slider along the bottom. Other tools include Temperature, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Sea Level, Antarctic Zone, and Water and Ice. Click on the last two tools to view the actual datasets and missions. Some of the tools have relief maps, showing a 3D representation of the data. Click Show relief to really capture student attention. The tools in the lower right corner control the brightness of the image and full or partial screen.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (44), carbon dioxide (17), climate (92), climate change (64), earth (228), glaciers (14), temperature (29), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector in the classroom. Provide a link to this tool on your website or bookmark on a class computer. Use this tool to introduce students to questioning and the scientific method. Why collect data on the Earth? Show a tool to the whole class or provide time for groups of students to view the visuals and develop questions and make observations. Challenge students to find answers to some of their questions. Help students figure out what they need to know to answer the questions. For a unit on the environment, begin the unit showing a few of the tools, namely the carbon dioxide and temperature tool. Compare two different tools side by side to note differences in patterns. For example, are the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide patterns similar? Why or why not? Research the various gases, how they originate, and problems they cause in the atmosphere. Why is the carbon dioxide higher in some areas and not others? Research the carbon footprint of various regions and compare. Are those same areas showing the greatest or least effects of climate change? When discussing technology, view the different missions featured in this tool and the various engineering feats needed to accomplish these missions. Provide time for students to propose a "fantasy" mission for NASA. What should be measured, what would you call the mission? What kind of data would need to be collected? How do you think the Earth image data would look? Draft the proposal and create the possible image for review. Note: Students can focus on biological, chemical, or physical data for their proposal.

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Polar Trec - Arctic Research Consortium and National Science Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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What can you learn when you embed a teacher with scientists in research groups? Plenty! PolarTREC chooses teachers and pairs them with scientific research groups in polar regions, which...more
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What can you learn when you embed a teacher with scientists in research groups? Plenty! PolarTREC chooses teachers and pairs them with scientific research groups in polar regions, which changes how they view and teach science. Use their journals and information to change how you and your students view science as well. Access a variety of polar-related resources that support the STEM classroom including videos recorded by the teachers and the research team. Read journals written by the teachers working with scientists in the Arctic and Antarctica that document their field experiences and research in science. Participate in live webinars where classes can hear from the teacher and scientists in real time and ask questions. View teacher posted videos and lesson plans that can be used in the classroom. This site features a lot of different careers in science uncovered in the journal entries. 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): antarctica (29), arctic (44), careers (129), polar (19), scientific method (64), scientists (68), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Point out that much of science work does not take place in a lab and that many locations are pretty cool! Be sure to investigate the main page to find links to learning resources that include lessons and activities. Read teachers' journals in the "virtual base camp" and learn about their polar expeditions. "Join" the expeditions to find web events you or your students can join in as well as read the teacher journal. Be sure to register for the free events using PolarConnect. Find quick links on the main page to recent journal updates and news. Groups of students can view various journals of an expedition to identify the different jobs that make up the whole of a research team. Use this information to research careers and identify the possible ways that a science education is helpful for many careers. Create mini lab experiences for students based upon some of these research projects. For example, bring in various flowers to discuss plant structures while learning about polar pollinators. Create pretend core samples that students can analyze to simulate the procedure researchers use to analyze polar drill core samples. Identify basic science principles needed for better understanding about these projects. Identify how these projects follow the steps of the scientific method.

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Columbia River - National Geographic

Grades
5 to 12
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the ...more
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the Columbia, and its inhabitants. Choose between the full version or the light version of this site (the full version has motion animation throughout). Hover your mouse over items to read a preview. Click to expand and read information about how people have used the Columbia, threats throughout, and various animals found there. Click Downstream to shift the viewing frame to another section of the river. Click on Resources and Links at the bottom of the Interactive for links to more information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecosystems (88), electricity (88), rivers (21), watersheds (16)

In the Classroom

Show this interactive to the whole class on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Identify areas that are interesting, hovering over them and sharing the information. Take notes of the various impacts on the river system and how the dams have changed them. Use other resources such as Google Earth, reviewed here, to look at the Columbia River firsthand. As a project, research hydroelectric power and the advantages and disadvantages. Research and compare the uses of the Columbia River with others throughout the country. Identify problems with the rivers. For a history class, how have the uses of water changed throughout the years? Look locally at your own watershed. Research the history of the watershed and its uses throughout the history of your area. Create a multimedia project that showcases the information. Use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Beenpod for Education - Dave Yoon and Sang Shin

Grades
K to 12
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Beenpod is a tool to gather, share, and organize your favorite webpages. Create your own "beens" to create collections of websites, people, and ideas. Explore pages together with a...more
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Beenpod is a tool to gather, share, and organize your favorite webpages. Create your own "beens" to create collections of websites, people, and ideas. Explore pages together with a single colleague or entire class as you pause, resume, and chat together. Educator accounts for teachers, parents, and administrators offer the ability to create student accounts. Organize groups of students into groups as small or large as desired. Be sure to read through the FAQ and view videos for an overview of Beenpod's offerings.

tag(s): bookmarks (59), organizational skills (120), social media (14)

In the Classroom

Use the "surf together" feature to explore and discuss online information as a class, small group, or with a partner classroom. Use Been to create a bank of resources to use for each content unit within your subject or classroom. Share Beens with students and let them add to the ever growing lists. Use for web treasure hunts to learn or introduce any topic within your content area. Use comments to ask questions or give directions about each site. Collect links to informational texts for students to read "closely" a la CCSS. Have students create Beens as a place to store links for a project. Share Been as a tool older students may want to use while collaborating on a project from a distance. They can browse online TOGETHER at the same time to decide which sources they want to use for a project, for example.

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SchoolsWorld.tv - SchoolsWorld

Grades
K to 12
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Find a huge collection of educational videos for students and teachers at SchoolsWorld.tv. Select Pupils/Students or Education Professionals from the menu bar at the top, a list of...more
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Find a huge collection of educational videos for students and teachers at SchoolsWorld.tv. Select Pupils/Students or Education Professionals from the menu bar at the top, a list of levels will drop down. Since this is a British site, the levels are Early Years, Primary, and Secondary. The Teachers/Professionals section also includes a Special Education section. Once you have made your selection, click on the subject in the left menu bar and allow your mouse to hover there. Age ranges will appear. There are instructional videos, interviews with experts, mini-documentaries, and demonstration videos. Clicking on the video picture will take you to that video and a text description of the program. The Pupils/Students tab offers links to lesson plans. There are also PDFs, slides, and games to use with students, although they are not available for every video. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): professional development (123), video (251)

In the Classroom

YouTube does not host these videos; you should not have a problem showing them at your school. There is no embed code. Have students go directly to the link supplied by you. While looking at your subject area on SchoolsWorld.tv, do not forget there are lesson plans under the Pupil/Student category and the Series tab. There is so much to find here that one may want to use a program like Zeeik, reviewed here, which creates collection boards for video resources. Review and choose videos to collect and curate on various boards. Share video resources or whole boards with others.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Free Tiiu Pix - Tiiu Roiser

Grades
K to 12
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Discover a large collection of free to use images for presentations, slide shows, reports, and more at Free Tiiu Pix. The creator of this site designed all images available. Go ...more
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Discover a large collection of free to use images for presentations, slide shows, reports, and more at Free Tiiu Pix. The creator of this site designed all images available. Go to the image gallery to browse images sorted by categories. The categories range from Architecture, Food, Animals, Insects, Plants and more. Right click to save images or choose optional links for different resolution sizes. In addition to the image gallery, be sure to check out the slide presentation gallery including visually appealing PowerPoint presentations on many topics. There is also a link to Learn How to Draw Your Own Clip Art with free clip art to use. These are FREE to use. However, be sure to read and understand the Terms of Use! Note: you must be 18 to use this site. So while this is an excellent site for teachers to find resources, this shouldn't be shared with students to use independently.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (261), photography (160), slides (60)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Free Tiiu Pix to access images for any presentation. Create multimedia presentations for your subject or any presentation for staff or parents using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Be sure to share Free Tiiu Pix with other teachers on your campus.

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Earth-Picker - The Great Street View Game - earth-picker.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the world with this great online geography game using Google Maps (street view images). View the provided image, zoom in and out, and move around to explore the area ...more
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Explore the world with this great online geography game using Google Maps (street view images). View the provided image, zoom in and out, and move around to explore the area to find clues for the location. When you think you know the place, click the location on the map to place a flag then choose go. Compare how close you placed your flag to the actual location versus other players averages.

tag(s): cities (25), context clues (8), continents (50), countries (77), images (261), map skills (80), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Use Earth-Picker as an excellent lesson for using context clues to find information. Share on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and demonstrate how to scroll in and out as well as how to move around for a 360 degree view of an image. Use on classroom computers as a center and challenge students to post scores after 5 rounds of playing. Share this on your class website for students (and parents) to try at home.

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Amazon Storybuilder - Amazon Studios

Grades
7 to 12
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Storybuilder is an online application to plan storyboards for plays, movies, and videos. Create cards to lay out on a virtual corkboard to arrange the order of your story. Add ...more
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Storybuilder is an online application to plan storyboards for plays, movies, and videos. Create cards to lay out on a virtual corkboard to arrange the order of your story. Add notes, images, and tags to organize and improve your story. Save and access your Storybuilder from any computer, tablet, or smart phone through your Amazon Studios account. Add contributors to any project who can view your work and add stickies with notes. Per the site's terms of use, it is not for use by children. You must be 18 to use the site.

tag(s): creative writing (167), digital storytelling (135), movies (63), plays (37), stories and storytelling (30)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to create a storyboard using Storybuilder on your interactive whiteboard or projector. As you and your students create a class story, show how to add and edit cards on your corkboard. Brainstorm together to create a storyboard for a video story as a final plan of a story, report, or poem. This is a highly engaging way to teach your students about story elements, dialogue, character development, etc. Create a storyboard of a book or short story recently finished in class as a review of the characters and story plot. Create storyboards as part of a World Languages class, and label images, or tell a story in the language they are learning. Work together to complete biographies of famous people. Tell the story of different famous events in history or explain their understanding of cell division using this easy program that produces entertaining results. Autistic or emotional support teachers can create storyboards demonstrating interpersonal behavior skills. Change your storyboard to Print view to view your cards in an easy to print and read format.

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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate...more
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), architecture (83), china (66), circuits (19), civil rights (117), computers (78), electricity (88), engineering (118), environment (317), evolution (100), folktales (66), greeks (29), magnetism (35), medicine (67), nutrition (154), poetry (229), psychology (64), religions (61), shakespeare (131), solar energy (38), speech (93), statistics (122), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Help Lincoln Get to the White House - National Park Service

Grades
5 to 12
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life. ...more
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life.

tag(s): elections (73), lincoln (85), presidents (129)

In the Classroom

Have younger students create an online book of images and captions about Lincoln's life using Bookr, reviewed here, (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr). For older students - challenge cooperative learning groups (or partners) to create a similar story about another president using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site StoryBird, reviewed here. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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