TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 31, 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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Cometdocs - cometdocs.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Quickly convert, share, and manage documents with Cometdocs. Upload any file from your computer then choose from options to convert, transfer, share, or host the file. Options or file...more
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Quickly convert, share, and manage documents with Cometdocs. Upload any file from your computer then choose from options to convert, transfer, share, or host the file. Options or file conversions include to and from PDF, Word, Excel, image, and text formats. Create a free account to receive up to 2 GB in storage, upload files up to 150 MB, perform up to 5 conversions per week. Other options include downloading web and iOS apps for use. Login isn't necessary to do simple file conversions but is required for storage and hosting of files.
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tag(s): worksheets (60)

In the Classroom

Did you ever find really neat activity sheets, but they need to be tweaked a little to make them work for your classes? This tool helps you save time by allowing you to edit PDF files in Word to avoid reinventing the wheel. (Beware of copyrighted materials, however). Science teachers can take lab activities and refine questions or add instructions as needed for their classrooms. English teachers can add standardized test prompts to preexisting general worksheets to tailor the activity to suit their state's test needs. This is a helpful utility for students entering contests or completing applications offered only in specific formats. Use sharing and storage options to create quick access to all documents for any unit or lesson.

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Is It Down Right Now? - isitdownrightnow.com

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Find out instantly if the problem you are having opening a web site is YOUR problem or a website that is down. Is It Down Right Now (iidrn.com for short) ...more
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Find out instantly if the problem you are having opening a web site is YOUR problem or a website that is down. Is It Down Right Now (iidrn.com for short) instantly "pings" a site so you can tell whether the site is down for everyone or just for you (perhaps due to a glitch with your Internet provider). The Internet is never a sure thing, but this tool tells you whether it's just YOU having trouble. Although it sounds geeky, it's easy. Copy/paste or type the URL you are trying to reach into the box at top right, and click "Check." The results tell you how long it takes for the site to respond and how long it has been down (if it is). What a handy tool for ANYONE using the web! What this tool will not tell you is if you are mistyping the URL, so always double check.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your Favorites and remind your student to use it before they call out, "The page isn't opening!" in the middle of class. Make it one of the required tools as part of "ask three before me." If you have a class web page, this is a handy way to find out if your web page service (or district-provided web page server) is having trouble "serving up" the class page. Tell savvy students who are unable to access web sites to use this tool and take a screen shot of the results if a site assigned for homework is "down" for prolonged periods. This is simple "proof" worthy of a get-out-of-homework-free card if they can show that the site was down for three hours on the night of the assignment!

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40 Maps That Explain the Roman Empire - Timothy B Lee

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire with these 40 impressive maps. Each map features a different aspect of the Roman Empire such as the vast size ...more
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Learn about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire with these 40 impressive maps. Each map features a different aspect of the Roman Empire such as the vast size of the empire, long travel speeds, and the spread of Christianity throughout the empire. Click on any map to view full size. All maps contain a short description of the contents while many also include links to additional information or clarification of terms.

tag(s): battles (16), europe (75), maps (287), romans (35)

In the Classroom

Use these maps to introduce your unit on the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report.

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The Peanut Gallery - Google Creative Lab

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this Chrome extension and your computer's microphone to add words to silent movies with The Peanut Gallery. Scroll through film choices and then choose one to begin. Be sure ...more
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Use this Chrome extension and your computer's microphone to add words to silent movies with The Peanut Gallery. Scroll through film choices and then choose one to begin. Be sure to allow the site to get access to your computer's microphone. Once you say something and the site recognizes your speech, begin speaking to add text to the film. When finished, re-watch your movie with your text or share using the URL or social networking links. See the About page to learn how the idiom Peanut Gallery originated.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), interactive stories (32), movies (65)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups to create their silent movie project practicing summarizing, use of adjectives, or short story writing. Have groups of students provide text with the same movie then share to compare different storytelling techniques.

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Shapes and Measures - S Riley Teacherled

Grades
2 to 6
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Find a collection of resources for teaching and learning shapes and measures. This site works well on any web enabled device. Teaching resources include: angle measurer, grids for measuring...more
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Find a collection of resources for teaching and learning shapes and measures. This site works well on any web enabled device. Teaching resources include: angle measurer, grids for measuring areas of virtual shapes, coordinate practice, isometric grid for 3D shapes, perimeter practice, rotation, symmetry creator, rotational symmetry of shapes, translations, and a virtual mirror. Each of these tools allows demonstration and some practice. Shapes and Measures will bring your geometry class alive!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): geometric shapes (163), measurement (159)

In the Classroom

Motivate your students by bringing technology into geometry. Introduce the concepts of angle measurement, area, perimeter, 3D shapes, rotation, translation, and symmetry as a whole group on your interactive whiteboard. Have students practice at centers during your unit. While preparing for summative assessments, assign for homework to practice. Have students develop a multimedia presentation using angles or symmetry. Highlight definitions, examples, non examples, and where this is found in the real world. Post on your class website or blog for students to review and critique for further practice.

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Click2Map - AxioCode SAS

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create, publish, and download personalized maps with Click2Map. With just a few clicks add points of interest with display markers featuring text, photos, and videos. Add lines or polygons...more
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Create, publish, and download personalized maps with Click2Map. With just a few clicks add points of interest with display markers featuring text, photos, and videos. Add lines or polygons to outline or highlight geographic areas. Browse through sample maps to find popular uses for Click2Map. When ready to create a map use the toolbar to add items and save for sharing. No registration required, but registering is free and allows you to save maps you create. Click2Map works on all devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), digital storytelling (144), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Have students create place marker files of the significant places in the life of a famous person or the route traveled by a particular unit during the Civil War. Have student groups create place marker files to show environmental sites, habitats, landforms, or anything you can put on a map. In math class have students compare routes between different locations.

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The Encyclopedia of Earth - Environmental Information Coalition

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written...more
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Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written by professionals, educators, and experts. The project is a collaboration, and articles are reviewed by other experts. Though written by professionals, the articles are not technical, proving useful to students and educators. It is also helpful to other professionals as well as the general public. View the authors and editors attributed to the articles. Be sure to notice the featured articles found in the center of the page. Find chapters or topics along the left side that cover every aspect of the natural and physical world as well as the many issues of human interaction with the Earth. Besides articles, find more at Encyclopedia of Earth including ebooks, lectures, and speeches.

tag(s): agriculture (55), animals (276), biodiversity (38), disasters (39), earth (228), ecology (135), ecosystems (88), energy (198), environment (317), forests (29), plants (145), pollution (66), water (130), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when students are working on projects that pertain to any part of living things, the natural world, and man's role on the Earth. Be sure to bookmark this site on a class computer or your class website. Be sure to review the authors of the articles, following the links to their biographical pages to look at their expertise. Use this as an exercise in identifying whether information on the Internet is reliable and developing researching skills. As a challenge to your high achieving students, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics of interest to them. Students will have to analyze their language and writing style with more scrutiny than other assignments. Consider creating an encyclopedia with content created by students modeled after the style of this tool. Use an online tool such as Weebly, reviewed here, to create a class encyclopedia. Note: As with other resources like Encyclopedia of Earth, content on the site is considered Attribution-Share Alike. Students should always cite their sources in accordance with this type of copyright.

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Global Climate Change - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the...more
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the atmosphere, sea level rise, and more along the bottom. Scroll down to view News and Features, What is Climate Change (and find your answers to the Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Solutions), and explore interactives and other information.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for some excellent background information on climate change. Create public service announcements outlining the key points from this site. Create a campaign for making small changes in our lives that can add up to a big difference. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Sheep Beats - Rebecca Nesson

Grades
K to 8
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The Sheep Beats Band creates interesting rhythms using the drums, bass, or keyboard. Explore with the sounds of hip hop, dancehall, reggae ton, one drop, or grinding. Manipulate the...more
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The Sheep Beats Band creates interesting rhythms using the drums, bass, or keyboard. Explore with the sounds of hip hop, dancehall, reggae ton, one drop, or grinding. Manipulate the drums, bass, or keyboard for further variations in the beat! Create a simple melody to accompany the beat. The rhythm will play continuously.

tag(s): dance (28), music theory (43)

In the Classroom

Add Sheep Beats to any classroom for a little entertainment. In music class, this is a no-brainer! Experiment with rhythm, clapping, and add body movement. Use as a way to have children find and keep a beat. Use this in language arts class, finding a beat in poetry or as a way to study spelling words. Clap and spell each word to the beat. Make it into a writing prompt, and find ways to make a story from the beat used. Make different melodies for characters in a story. Explain each of their characteristics in detail. Use during group project time, if the beat cannot be heard over the voices, it is too loud. During math class, determine the fractional part of each sound compared to its whole.
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America By Air - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
1 to 12
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Learn about the early years of air transportation through the jet age using this site from the Smithsonian. Click the interactive map to see what it was like to fly ...more
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Learn about the early years of air transportation through the jet age using this site from the Smithsonian. Click the interactive map to see what it was like to fly across America (from New York to San Francisco) in the early 1920s through to the present. Click Objects and Images to read an explanation of the earliest to newest planes, mail carrier uniforms, and documents. Find thirteen interactive activities that range from appropriately dressing pilots to purchasing airline tickets based on particular criteria. Use your math skills and the airline price meter activity to learn about the costs of a ticket.

tag(s): 1920s (16), 20th century (51), aircraft (24), aviation (39), flight (36)

In the Classroom

This site will work well in any social studies or math class. Have groups of students use the airline price meter activity to try and buy a ticket for $300. Then have students use computers and visit a travel site and see if they can replicate the activity for real. Using the "At Your Service Section" have your students create 1950s style airline ad posters. Use the baggage claim activity to talk about scales and weight. Bring in some empty suitcases and let students fill them up and try to guess the weight. In language arts or social studies classes use a projector or interactive whiteboard and read a few entries from the Stories section with your students. Ask students to write about a flight they remember (or any mode of transportation for a trip) in the same manner as the examples. In addition, language arts or social studies teachers can use this site's nonfiction reading to help satisfy student's reading goals for the Common Core Standards.
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Math Arguments 180 - Curmudgeon

Grades
7 to 12
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Find interesting discussion topics for high school math classes at Math Arguments 180. This blog offers 180 days of ideas for discussion in math class. In fact, it has gone ...more
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Find interesting discussion topics for high school math classes at Math Arguments 180. This blog offers 180 days of ideas for discussion in math class. In fact, it has gone beyond 180 and is still counting. Scroll through by date to view topics or search the archives for past posts. Try clicking on the categories to find specific content such as geometry or probability. Find the most popular posts by viewing links on the right side of the home page.

tag(s): logic (235), probability (130), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this blog or subscribe to it with your RSS feed reader to stay current with new posts. Use ideas in your math class as lesson starters, homework, or for extra credit. Have students create an annotated image explaining answers including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create video explanations and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Audubon Adventures - Audbon.org

Grades
1 to 6
3 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Connect your students with birds, nature, and the environment with the online Audubon Adventures. Find detailed articles, quizzes, and games about hummingbirds, raptors, and sea birds....more
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Connect your students with birds, nature, and the environment with the online Audubon Adventures. Find detailed articles, quizzes, and games about hummingbirds, raptors, and sea birds. A naturalist dictionary gives you a leg up on all the environmental lingo. Find activities, assessments, and resources for teachers with accompanying standards. An optional periodical is available for a fee.

tag(s): birds (50), conservation (127), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Introduce more nonfiction text into your classroom. Following the presentation of the hummingbird, raptor, and sea bird, challenge your students to create a report on a different animal. Make your own class blog with animals in your area, endangered animals, or invasive animals. If you have not started blogging yet, check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics. Investigate the local Audubon Society activities for classes and teachers. Use as a multiple resource for text analysis. Determine text features and text structure with the articles.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mouth Healthy Kids - American Dental Association

Grades
K to 6
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Mouth Healthy works to make your teeth healthy with entertaining videos, games, quizzes, and activity sheets. Take the "Tell the Tooth" interactive quiz to assess what you know about...more
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Mouth Healthy works to make your teeth healthy with entertaining videos, games, quizzes, and activity sheets. Take the "Tell the Tooth" interactive quiz to assess what you know about teeth! There is a specific section for Preteens with more mature topics about teeth. Educators can explore the For Educators link for lesson plans, resources, and curriculum.

tag(s): careers (132), dental health (23)

In the Classroom

Feature Mouth Healthy kids on your interactive whiteboard to begin your unit on healthy teeth or even the senses. Watch videos to engage children then follow through with the online quiz. Offer at a center for extra time for exploration and learning. Use as a research tool for career day. This is a great find for Dental Health Month!
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