TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 14, 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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SolveMe Puzzles - The Transition to Algebra (TTA) project

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
SolveMe Puzzles is an excellent collection of Algebra-related puzzles. At the time of this review mobile puzzles (mobiles to hang and balance) are the only option; however, Who Am I?...more
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SolveMe Puzzles is an excellent collection of Algebra-related puzzles. At the time of this review mobile puzzles (mobiles to hang and balance) are the only option; however, Who Am I? and Mystery Grids are coming soon. Mobile puzzles come in categories from easy to more mathematically complex. Create your own mobile puzzles using the Build option. Use the many tools provided to annotate your work, learn how to use the puzzles, share, and save your work. Login is not required but is an excellent option for saving progress through the different puzzle options.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

SolveMe Puzzles are perfect for use on interactive whiteboards (or a projector) as part of your Algebra lessons. Create a link to the puzzles on classroom computers for student use as part of your differentiated learning options. Be sure to share a link on your class website for use at home. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to explain solutions to puzzles.

Comments

It is good to motivate learners to study mathematics subject while playing. Elesio Catalla, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Wide Angle Window Into Global History - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures,...more
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures, migrations, economic systems, factors of production, or political systems. Also, view the video bank by location in the world. Videos in each theme are up to several minutes in length and are clips of larger videos. Click on the video of choice, to view the video on a larger screen, see the guiding questions, read the background essay and transcript, and find related links. Text can easily be printed using the print function along the bottom. Videos are easily downloaded, with directions for both PC and Mac users. View the country and region map along the left side along with the accompanying lesson plan. Additionally, click on Lesson Plans instead to display the following for each global issue: overview, learning objectives and standards, media components (with links), and materials. Be sure to note the Prep for Teachers along the bottom of each lesson plan.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), maps (288)

In the Classroom

These resources and videos are extremely flexible for classroom use. Use the film clips for current events, and to also highlight events from the past. Use a video segment to get students thinking about past incidents, solutions, and whether today's environment has changed from that of the past. View a variety of clips from one theme and discuss events in the clip or use a writing assignment to provide time to process the events. Discuss in what ways these clips are similar and other societal, economic, and political factors that affected them. Use any of these videos to find any current events that are still dealing with the same issue today. Be sure to brainstorm how different people, in other areas of the world, would view these issues. Research these issues using resources from other areas of the world to see editorials and news clippings that are not American. Note: Use the country code after your search term or use this news search. Were there other people interviewed about any of these issues? Who are they and what did they say? Consider creating videos showcasing a variety of viewpoints. Use one of the video tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge. Besides the viewpoint of each video, what would be a common question that all videos within the theme have in common? How does the bubble of our American culture hamper our understanding of other people both here in the U.S. and abroad? Research the history and culture of the various areas to identify factors responsible for the themes portrayed by this resource.

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Mission Possible: Successful Online Research - Answers.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Begin a research unit with Mission Possible, a downloadable online movie promoting research skills, effective searches, writing skills, citations, and Internet safety. Along with the...more
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Begin a research unit with Mission Possible, a downloadable online movie promoting research skills, effective searches, writing skills, citations, and Internet safety. Along with the video, find an accompanying teacher lesson plan for providing a great start for the introduction of a research project. A student worksheet goes along with the lesson.

tag(s): internet safety (108), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Before beginning a research project, either introduce or review the process of researching a topic. Put a link on your class website so students can refer to this video for additional review.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teaching Digital Citizenship - Cable Impacts

Grades
4 to 8
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Find ready to use standards-based lessons that teach digital citizenship for grades 4-8. Lesson topics include Communication and Collaboration, Digital Citizenship, Privacy, Media Literacy,...more
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Find ready to use standards-based lessons that teach digital citizenship for grades 4-8. Lesson topics include Communication and Collaboration, Digital Citizenship, Privacy, Media Literacy, Cyberbullying, Copyright, and Information Literacy. Integrate these digital citizenship lessons into the content area subjects, ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Most lessons start with a video for the adult and also have a video for the student. Download videos in a variety of formats (mp4, WMV, MOV) or copy the link provided. The Media Literacy lessons have several examples of advertisement videos that use 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. Under Tools and Resources find a professional development webinar that hosts a middle school teacher discussing digital citizenship.

tag(s): copyright (47), cyberbullying (43), digital citizenship (58), media literacy (58), plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

At the beginning of the year, use the lessons included as a basis for developing a school digital citizenship program or even use with your own class. Use at a parents' informational night to describe the type of lessons that help address responsible digital citizens. Post a link on your class website for parents to view at home. Create a school mission statement regarding technology use or rules for technology. When doing research projects, be sure to review.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This is an articulate and smart program. The videos and materials support the three strands of digital citizenship: safety and security; literacy; and ethical and responsible use. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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BookBoon - BookBoon

Grades
8 to 12
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BookBoon features over 1000 free ebooks in seven different languages, aimed at the high school and college level. Find an interesting book and type in your email. The books focus ...more
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BookBoon features over 1000 free ebooks in seven different languages, aimed at the high school and college level. Find an interesting book and type in your email. The books focus on business/economics, engineering/natural sciences, and IT with many being authored by professors. Search for a book or subscribe to the newsletter. Note: The books you download may have advertisements.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ebooks (41)

In the Classroom

Find ebooks available for further study on specialized subjects for your research project, or just to further your knowledge. Use with gifted or advanced students to provide further challenge or self study projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachThought - Teachthought 2015

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Sign up for TeachThought's newsletter and get articles and information about teaching, learning, Common Core, technology, apps, iPads, culture, and social media. TeachThought stretches...more
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Sign up for TeachThought's newsletter and get articles and information about teaching, learning, Common Core, technology, apps, iPads, culture, and social media. TeachThought stretches teachers to think beyond the norm, and try new exciting ideas such as learning in a digital world, flipped classrooms, project based learning, and simulations. A few examples of the articles include: 10 Team Building Games that Promote Critical Thinking, 25 Reading Strategies That Work In Every Content Area, 55 Free Apps For iPads, 249 Bloom's Taxonomy Verbs for Critical Thinking, 14 Brilliant Bloom's Taxonomy Posters For Teachers, and 20 Things You Can Do in 10 Minutes For A Smoother Running Classroom. Join in the conversation, add your opinion, or ask a question.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Think beyond your everyday lessons to something that makes you a teacher that kids always remember. Interesting ideas challenge you to do what you want the most in your teaching, inspire and motivate. Subscribe to the newsletter and follow the latest articles. Use the resources for enrichment or information. Share with colleagues and the collaboration begins. Share at a professional development meeting for many relevant ideas.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Tours of America: A Narrative History - W.W. Norton

Grades
9 to 12
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Find tours that follow major themes and events throughout US History. This tool is accessible and useful for anyone teaching or interested in history! The tours include the Revolutionary...more
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Find tours that follow major themes and events throughout US History. This tool is accessible and useful for anyone teaching or interested in history! The tours include the Revolutionary War, the path to the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, Lewis & Clark's expedition, the Indian Removal Act, Pre-Columbian North America, the national parks system, and the 20th Century power grid. To use the tours, first be sure that you have Google Earth installed on computers. Click the tour you are interested in to download the kmz file (this is the file that Google Earth uses to bring all the information into Google Earth). Double click this file. Google Earth opens, and you will find all the files for the tour under the Temporary Places. Images and information are found in the Tour Guide pane under the globe in Google Earth. Click on each item to view the resource at each point of the tour. All of the tours include multiple images and references. Some also include tour questions for students to answer. Are you new to Google Earth? Find information about this resource, reviewed here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil rights (117), civil war (145), electricity (89), lewis and clark (15), national parks (16), native americans (78), vietnam (36), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Introduce this resource on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the kmz file with students on a class website or blog. Use this fantastic alternative instead of slides to present a lesson on US History. Use these resources before teaching the specifics of the unit or throughout to enhance the content learned in class. The history lessons have more impact using Google Earth and putting the locations in perspective. Employ this resource as a model of creating effective tours using Google Earth. Assign student projects using Google Earth to create a tour using files and resources found during their research, employing these resources as an example.

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100 Word Challenge - J. Skinner

Grades
2 to 12
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The 100 Word Challenge provides weekly prompts and will publish your writing to an audience. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. So, ...more
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The 100 Word Challenge provides weekly prompts and will publish your writing to an audience. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. So, write 100 words in response to the prompt on your blog, and then send the URL for the entry to 100 Word Challenge. There is a page with screen shots telling you exactly when they release the Challenges and how to get them published. Be sure to read the information about Team 100 WC, since you must have at least one adult volunteer to make a comment (100 words or less). It is also important for you read Allowing Comments on Your Blog Posts. If you have not started blogging yet, check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics.

tag(s): blogs (88), digital storytelling (142)

In the Classroom

Share the weekly prompts on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students respond to the prompt on your classroom blog. If you teach younger students or resource students, you may want to apply to the 5 Sentence Challenge, instead of the 100 Word Challenge. They are both available at the same URL. The benefits of participating in a blog like this go beyond just writing. Submitting your students' writing to either of these Challenge blogs will provide the all-important publish piece that students need in order to feel accomplished and to do their best. They can also build cultural understanding through reading the responses from others to the same prompt. If you would like your students to write their blogs more than once a week, you might want to visit Thought Questions, reviewed here.

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Twine - Chris Klimas

Grades
6 to 12
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click...more
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click on "use it online" just under the download button. Twine helps you stay organized with little Post-It type squares with arrows to connect each section to one or more other sections. See how to do this by watching this short YouTube video, here. Drag and drop the squares on the page, and they will stay connected. There are a few templates to choose from, and you can upload images. For those who are adept at programming, click on Wiki and see the other quality, development resources Twine offers. Work is saved in your browser, not on a server. That means there is no sign-in or sign-up, but it also means losing your work unless you remember to click on the Archive button. Click on the Twine Wiki for FAQs, Vimeo Tutorial Videos, and other helpful information. On YouTube watch several video tutorials. 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): coding (47), computers (94), creative writing (166), game based learning (103), interactive stories (32), writing (358)

In the Classroom

View the Getting Started tutorials together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) before students begin to write stories. Also, be sure to have the tutorials as a link on class computers and your class webpage. Create a short story together as a class to become familiar with the site. Have students create a story diagram before beginning a story on Twine; then use the site to complete the project. Have students create stories to show what they have learned about literature, geography, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Twine to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This idea could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. Using this tool in a computer programming class would be ideal. Going to either Wiki, FAQ, or Forum will show you other development resources such as custom macros, stylesheets, code references, and so forth. Teachers of gifted could use this for students to develop elaborate fictional or informational pieces. Again, a graphic organizer for planning and organizing evidence is a must!

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TED-Ed YouTube Channel - TEDEducation

Grades
5 to 12
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Find unbelievably informative videos about a variety of topics on this YouTube channel. Search an extensive list of subject matter: the environment, popular science, agriculture, medicine,...more
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Find unbelievably informative videos about a variety of topics on this YouTube channel. Search an extensive list of subject matter: the environment, popular science, agriculture, medicine, engineering, and more topics of interest. Choose from popular and new videos or click the Videos tab to view them all. Subscribe to the TED-Ed YouTube channel and mark specific videos as favorites or save in your playlist. 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): agriculture (54), biodiversity (38), brain (72), diseases (66), electricity (89), engineering (125), environment (317), gravity (45), medicine (67), plastics (9), robotics (25), water (130), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Show videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector to your class as an introduction to a new unit or class discussion. Flip your lesson and assign videos for students to view at home or in the computer lab and discuss questions at the next class meeting. Add your own questions and comments before students see the video using a program such as EdPuzzle, reviewed here. Use the videos as a springboard for engaging writing prompts or to spark a discussion connected with a unit of study. Show your students an inspirational video or two from TED, reviewed here. TED-Ed lessons also has longer videos that include accompanying questions, reviewed here.

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Google Maps Treks - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Never leave your easy chair as you journey beyond the road to far away places using Google Maps Treks! Choose Gombe National Park, Pyramids of Giza, Angkor Wat, Colorado River, ...more
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Never leave your easy chair as you journey beyond the road to far away places using Google Maps Treks! Choose Gombe National Park, Pyramids of Giza, Angkor Wat, Colorado River, or the polar bears at Churchill. Tour Taj Mahal, Venice, Galapagos Islands, Eiffel Tower, Mt. Fuji, Everest, Great Barrier Reef, the Amazon Basin, and more. Click on the option and then click the open in Maps or Views button. On maps with multiple placemarks, click the placemark to view information about the location, and then click the title to go to the map. Choose from a variety of images taken at various locations found along the bottom. Some images are photospheres and can be manipulated using the sphere icon along the bottom right. Use the arrows in the sphere to rotate the image, giving a panoramic view of the location as you click. Use the familiar Google map tools to zoom in and out. Some Treks offer short videos that 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): cultures (105), environment (317), images (265), maps (288), photography (160), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one is a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. View these different places whether your content includes history, geography, literature, science, languages, and more. View places discussed in class, or in stories. Look at different cultural areas or environments in the world. Choose a trek as an inspiration for further research about the area, the inspiration for a student created poem or short story, artistic work, and many other projects. Encourage student groups to choose one of the places on this site to present to the class, highlighting various economic, recreational, historical, and cultural factors at each place. You may want students to use a tool such as Knoema, reviewed here, or Data - The World Bank, reviewed here, to make sure students get accurate information. Use this as a class "Where I visited in Google Maps" project! As students ask questions about the various places, encourage discovery in finding the answers together.

Comments

Can't wait to use this after the Lit Trip session. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Vizualize.me - Parchment

Grades
6 to 12
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Vizualize.me creates resumes in a beautiful and compelling infographic format. Create an account to begin editing your resume. Import data from LinkedIn or personalize your information...more
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Vizualize.me creates resumes in a beautiful and compelling infographic format. Create an account to begin editing your resume. Import data from LinkedIn or personalize your information using Vizualize.me's dashboard. Customize your profile, change themes, and modify colors and styles using the dashboard. Share via URL, embed onto your website, or share on social networking sites. Download to your computer for a printable version. The introductory video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. 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 the video from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (132), infographics (42), portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Have students create a personal resume as an example of how to portray their strengths and interests to potential employers. Middle school students in an art or career exploration class can create a resume infographic about themselves to use for summer jobs or even on a flyer to get part-time work around the neighborhood. In history classes, offer the infographic resume as a possible project alternative. For instance, if you are studying Medival History and the feudal pyramid, students could create a resume for a serf or knight. The possibilities for personalities in history are practically endless! Students in literature classes could create an infographic resume for a literary character or author.

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Science Behind the News - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion...more
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion polls, allergies, and drug-resistant bacteria. Each video includes a transcript that opens or closes for use while watching videos.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bacteria (30), computers (94), foreign policy (16), news (261), planets (123), plants (144), politics (99), STEM (134), tornadoes (16), video (253)

In the Classroom

Introduce the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students to form small groups depending on which video topic they are interested in further exploring. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here, to present what they learned to their classmates. Have older students use these videos as a springboard for further research into the topics found.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Zoom In! - Education Development Center

Grades
5 to 12
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem...more
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem by analyzing and collecting evidence, organizing research, and creating a rough draft communicating the solution. Create your teacher account to begin. Browse through 10 lessons with topics as diverse as propaganda and Paul Revere, Labor on the World War II Homefront, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, and music in the Vietnam War. Create a class within each lesson to receive a class code for student access. View more information about this resource on their YouTube channel, here. 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): american revolution (86), civil war (145), constitution (79), immigrants (20), immigration (58), lincoln (86), slavery (72), vietnam (36), westward expansion (29), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans for use in teaching social studies aligned to Common Core Standards. Even if you cannot use whole lessons, browse through to find resources to add to your current lessons. Create classes and assign different lessons to different groups of students based on ability and interest. After completing a unit, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here.

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