TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 28, 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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Skyenimals - skyenimals.com

Grades
K to 4
5 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Skyenimals is a website just for kids to learn about real and make-believe animals. Skyenimals are mixed up and imaginary animals created by kids. Explore and choose different animals...more
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Skyenimals is a website just for kids to learn about real and make-believe animals. Skyenimals are mixed up and imaginary animals created by kids. Explore and choose different animals to find related pictures, games, puzzles, and more. Choose the activities link to find coloring pages as well as online and printable activities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), creativity (109)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share a link on classroom computers for use as a center. Allow students to explore their imaginative side and use this site to create their own Skyenimal to use as inspiration for a creative writing project.

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Clash - Clamp Studios

Grades
5 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Capture your audience's attention with audio messages from Clash. Type in your message of up to 140 characters and let Clash work its magic. Clash uses audio content from music, ...more
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Capture your audience's attention with audio messages from Clash. Type in your message of up to 140 characters and let Clash work its magic. Clash uses audio content from music, movies, and TV. It creates a unique message that is sure to capture anyone's interest. Edit individual words using options from different sources. When finished, choose the Save/Share button and share using the URL or social networking options.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), speech (92), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Create a message for your class using Clash as an attention-getter as students enter the room. Send out a tweet using a Clash message to remind students and parents about upcoming events, homework, or other classroom events. Make professional development more fun by adding Clash messages to any presentation!

Comments

I am the creator of this project, and would love to hear thoughts about how Clash is working in your classrooms as well as how it could be improved to help for educational purposes. Thanks for using Clash! Phillip, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Google Photos - Google

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Find, organize, edit, and share your photos from one place with Google Photos. Automatically upload pictures from any device to one storage platform. Use keywords to locate any uploaded...more
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Find, organize, edit, and share your photos from one place with Google Photos. Automatically upload pictures from any device to one storage platform. Use keywords to locate any uploaded image. Use the editing tools to create animated GIF's from images or combine related images and videos into a movie with a matching soundtrack. Google Photos allows you to upload photos from any mobile device and provides free unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels or videos up to 1080 HD.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), images (265), video (253)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom Google account for students to upload video projects or images for projects. Share raw materials for student multimedia projects, such as photos of lab experiments or local historic sites. Share classroom projects privately and easily from your Google account. In elementary classrooms, teachers can use this tool to share photos from field trips, assemblies, project presentations, and other special events. Share the password with parents only. Have older students create their own Google account for collaborating on multimedia projects.

Comments

Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon

Grades
6 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed...more
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed as the "second best way to visit Mount Vernon," and doesn't disappoint. Be sure and watch the tutorial so you don't miss any of the many tips and tricks to get the most out of your virtual tour.

tag(s): 1700s (23), presidents (130), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Ideal for use on an interactive white board, or for students to access individually, this virtual tour has lots of features. You can explore the buildings, zoom in on items in the buildings, access stories and discussions that highlight features of the property and the daily lives of those who lived at Mount Vernon. There are additional links to lesson plans and other student resources.

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Disability History Museum - Disability History Museum

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The Disability History Museum is dedicated to raising awareness about how culture, identity, and law have helped define the lives of those with disabilities. A digital archive of photographs,...more
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The Disability History Museum is dedicated to raising awareness about how culture, identity, and law have helped define the lives of those with disabilities. A digital archive of photographs, artifacts, cartoons, and other primary source material offers important context to the discussion. A small collection of lesson plans will assist in helping students talk about and understand their own assumptions and knowledge of what it means to live with disabilities, both historically, and in the present. A collection of digital exhibits is expected to be added in the near future.

tag(s): disabilities (20), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Use the resources here to help students talk about the role and experiences of those living with a disability. How have attitudes changed over time? What has driven those changes? Helping students understand why some people experience physical and emotional challenges, and the importance of honoring their contributions and abilities can be difficult. The resources in this archive may be helpful in sparking discussion.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Bloomz - Chaks Appalabattula

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Bloomz is a tool that has more than six free features that teachers need to communicate with their classroom community: share photos, schedule conferences, send reminders, and more....more
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Bloomz is a tool that has more than six free features that teachers need to communicate with their classroom community: share photos, schedule conferences, send reminders, and more. These features are all in one place. So don't use one program to share photos, one to send reminders, one to share calendar updates, and another to schedule volunteers and conferences. Just use Bloomz and do all of the work from the same site. Once you have signed up with your email, watch the introduction video and view the demo class to see how easy Bloomz is to use. This tool works with all mobile devices and computers.

tag(s): calendars (44), DAT device agnostic tool (196), images (265), parent conferences (22), parents (56)

In the Classroom

Use Bloomz for all your communications with your classroom community. Not only that, but share important documents (field trip permission slips, a syllabus, etc.) for others to access. Post photos of special projects in class or from field trips. P.E. teachers and coaches can use this tool to post what skills students are learning and action pictures of student involvement in games and activities. Parents can download the free app or receive updates via email. Currently, there are three ways to invite parents and other class members. Email, enter the information manually, or upload an Excel spreadsheet and send a bulk invitation. Create groups within your Bloomz class and invite members. These groups might be volunteers in the classroom, volunteers for driving on a field trip, and more. Then you can communicate just to that group when necessary. Introduce Bloomz to parents at Back to School Night in the fall, Open House in the spring, or during parent conferences. Encourage resource teachers and others to join your class community to see what your class is doing. Update Bloomz on the go with your mobile device!

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Quizizz - Quizizz

Grades
K to 12
11 Favorites 2  Comments
  
Looking for a quiz tool that is better than all the rest? Quizizz is a free tool. You are able to access hundreds of ready made learning quizzes or create ...more
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Looking for a quiz tool that is better than all the rest? Quizizz is a free tool. You are able to access hundreds of ready made learning quizzes or create your own. Join as a teacher, pick a quiz, and use the code for a virtual room to give to your students. Students use the code to enter and submit a nickname, code name, or numerical name (students do not have to register). Better yet, if you have Google Classroom students can join by signing in with their Google Account; just one click. Teachers can choose to make their quiz public or private. Embed images with your questions; however, video embeds are not a feature at this time. Check or uncheck the settings including music. You can even duplicate an existing quiz to save into My Quizizz. A created Quizizz can have randomized or non-randomized questions. Don't miss the memes that are displayed when students answer a question; these are sure to be a hit with students. You can also customize your Quizizz by creating your own Memes. Use images of the school mascot, students pets, or favorite game characters to create a set of ten or more memes. Click the My Memes from the top menu, then the plus symbol. You are now ready to start. Be sure to Click "Start Game" after students have entered the code. Send the game link to students (or other teachers to use with their classes) by email, website, or social media. Set time limits of 30 seconds to 5 minutes for students to answer each question. This allows more time for more complex questions. Students earn points for speed and accuracy. Unlike other sites, both teacher and students are able to see the questions, answers, and the leader board throughout the quiz. Most other tools require the teacher to project the answers and leader board on a whiteboard. The leader board can be turned OFF in this tool as well. And, what is the best part of this tool? Two separate classes can play together using this tool. Quizziz works on any web enabled device including smartphones and tablets. You can now import questions from excel/CSV files to Quizizz with just a click of a button. Quizizz is now available in Spanish and will soon be adding other languages. Don't miss their new Jungle theme with music, backgrounds, and GIFs... oh my!

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), game based learning (103), gamification (65), polls and surveys (48), quiz (85), quizzes (97), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

As with other similar tools, Quizizz is a formative assessment tool that is best used to obtain information about how the class as a whole is doing in understanding content material. Use Quizizz when asking questions that require a reading of a passage or longer time to answer questions. Be sure to set the time limit to the upper reaches of 5 minutes. Students can use code names or numerical screen names for anonymity if desired. Create pretests to offer to gifted students to "test out" of already learned material. Students can easily see the choices and choose answers using a browser on a laptop or any device. Make it a class challenge! Use this tool at the start of a new chapter or unit. Students can see who is at the top of the leaderboard during the play and can even ask questions while going through the quiz. Use this tool often to obtain a snapshot of each student's understanding of content. Print individual student reports for use during parent conferences and IEP meetings. As with other tools where there is a leader board, it is helpful to have a collaborative environment where competition is not the goal, instead working together and improving is important.

Comments

Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5
Great way to conduct formative assessments that students love! Its got a great quiz creation interface and many useful customization options too. Deepak, , Grades: 0 - 12

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History in Motion - Paul Cashman

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Design an animated timeline that will move simultaneously with a map. Include descriptions of events, display images, and embed videos along each point of the timeline. Register to...more
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Design an animated timeline that will move simultaneously with a map. Include descriptions of events, display images, and embed videos along each point of the timeline. Register to get started. Be sure to watch the introductory video before starting a project/scenario. Start by selecting the beginning and ending points. After that, fill in the events, images, and videos. Editing is possible at any time. Video tutorials are available for each step. Share your scenario via URL. Some 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): animation (63), maps (288), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Create a History in Motion timeline to share with the entire class to introduce them to the program, or simply watch the introductory video together using an interactive whiteboard or projector. There are also example projects to view. If your class discusses current events, this would be an excellent tool to use to track the history of certain issues. To do this more easily use a tool like Wide Angle Window Into Global History, reviewed here. Language arts students can trace the events in a novel and history students can trace historical events or famous people. When assigning a biography for math or science use this tool to trace where and when the famous person's theories or inventions spread. Now that would be an interesting take on a biography project! Be sure to share the URL on your class web page for students to work on the program and watch the "How-To" videos at home.

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Learn the Netbasics - netsafe - Netsafe

Grades
4 to 9
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
NetBasics offers animated stories that address common risks and issues facing computer users. Topics include phishing, dangerous downloads, password protection, and more. Upon completion...more
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NetBasics offers animated stories that address common risks and issues facing computer users. Topics include phishing, dangerous downloads, password protection, and more. Upon completion of each video episode, view helpful tips and hints for staying safe online. Choose links to "Your Computer Security" or "Protect Your Stuff" to see hints without watching videos.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cyberbullying (43), digital citizenship (58), internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

View videos and advice together on an interactive whiteboard or projector as part of your Internet safety lessons. Ask students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation about the information they learn there. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos using a tool like Stupeflix, reviewed here, about online safety and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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DK FindOut - Dorling Kindersley Limited

Grades
K to 9
0 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Find an answer to your question or great question starters for any conversation here with this free tool! Scroll through a few questions on the home page and click Find ...more
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Find an answer to your question or great question starters for any conversation here with this free tool! Scroll through a few questions on the home page and click Find Out More to get to the answer. Enter your search terms or question into the search box (I want to find out about...) Scroll down further in the page to view specific topics such as Animals and Nature, Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life, History, Music, Art, and Literature, Math, and more! Scroll down further to find information by category: What's New, Quizzes, Videos, Galleries, Fun Facts, and My Stuff. Create an account to save information in My Stuff. This tool has an option to sign up for a Teacher account, and coming soon will be the option for a Parent account.

tag(s): addition (251), animals (276), dinosaurs (57), division (172), earth (228), literature (275), multiplication (227), musical notation (35), plants (144), space (205), subtraction (208), writing (358)

In the Classroom

DK FindOut features subject-based, curriculum-linked articles that support classroom learning. These resources also contain ideas for projects or homework. Sign up for a Teacher account and have the option to use the Lesson Planner to organize information in the creation of a lesson. Use this site to find answers to popular student questions. Bookmark this site on class computers for students to find answers to questions they may have in class. Place a link to this site on your class web page for students to access when the questions pop up! Use this as an incentive for students to "teach" and share what they understand about the answer to their classmates. They could do this in an impromptu speech, or more formally with an infographic using a tool such as Easl.ly, reviewed here, or a word cloud (graphic) using Wordle, reviewed here. Find great question starters for lessons and build an engaging lesson using many of these curricular resources.

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Versal - Gregor Freund

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Versal allows you to share your expertise with others by creating interactive courses. Knowing how to code is not required. Versal does it all. It is a versatile publishing platform...more
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Versal allows you to share your expertise with others by creating interactive courses. Knowing how to code is not required. Versal does it all. It is a versatile publishing platform where you can develop your lessons around text, quizzes, surveys, videos, images, and interactive learning gadgets. The gadgets set Versal apart from the other classroom management/publishing tools. The promise of interactive JavaScript graphics and simulations makes Versal a very powerful tool. Once your course, demonstration, lesson, or tutorial is finished, you can direct your participants to use it on Versal via email invitations. You can also embed it on your website or blog. Signup is simple with your name, email, and password. Once registration is completed, you will be directed to your dashboard. There is no waiting for a response email. Authoring your course is only available on desktops/laptops computers (web browsers). Participants can use a desktop/laptop computer or any mobile device.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (99), classroom management (134), DAT device agnostic tool (196), gamification (65), multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Before you get started, view the extensive Help Center and the Using Versal section. Learn anything you need to know. Create a course about gadgets and how to use them (all were free to use at the time of this review), publishing, and much more. Watch videos for how to embed Versal courses on Edmodo, Blackboard, Blogger, Wordpress, and many other tools. The embed code is free. Become familiar with this program, and have students present projects using it. Since Versal is web-based, you can create easy, simple activities or elaborate units. Start building Common Core aligned and differentiated activities such as reading, filling out concept maps, writing paragraphs, drawing, answering questions, taking quizzes, and more. Add links to read and hear multimedia content such as videos and slideshows. For longer videos, you may want to put a tag or comment in certain areas. Use a program like The Mad Video, reviewed here, to accomplish this. Tags can be as simple as "answer question 4 now." Since Versal is an interactive and collaborative program, have literature circles complete write ups, discussions, and final presentations about the book they read using Versal. Lab partners can present their findings, and math students can demonstrate how they solved a problem.

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CommonLit - CommonLit

Grades
4 to 12
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Access twenty commonly taught themes for classic literature and discussion questions around that theme. Choose a Lexile grade level for reading and download the text in PDF format....more
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Access twenty commonly taught themes for classic literature and discussion questions around that theme. Choose a Lexile grade level for reading and download the text in PDF format. Each text has critical thinking questions created by CommonLit. All of this for free! What else could one want? Well, you can also request a text, and they will negotiate with the copyright holders to have that text on their site.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), literature (275), themes (12)

In the Classroom

CommonLit is an excellent resource for literature teachers, speech and debate teachers, and history teachers. Share the site with students on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and ask the class what themes they would like to investigate. Under each theme are two questions. Divide the class into small groups with each group investigating one of the questions for one of the themes and reading the accompanying text. Differentiate for students by having students read on the same theme, but at their reading level. Challenge individuals, pairs, or small groups to create a graphic organizer for the story they read using a tool like Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers, reviewed here. This site would also work when you have to make substitute plans unexpectedly. Just put the link in your plans and tell the sub what theme you want students to read about, or better yet, let the sub choose!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Writing Navigator - SAS Curriculum Pathways

Grades
6 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The Writing Navigator is a free, online suite of tools that provides guidance and support throughout the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, and publishing. Launch any of...more
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The Writing Navigator is a free, online suite of tools that provides guidance and support throughout the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, and publishing. Launch any of the four tools to begin and follow prompts to upload or create your work. Account creation is required using Google+ or email. This tool works with Windows, Mac, and any Chrome browser. There are also free apps for both iOS and Android.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), editing (60), process writing (42), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use these tools to guide students through the entire writing process. Introduce each tool on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and work through the steps together. Ask students to complete each step along the way for their individual writing project. Have students create blogs using Throwww, here, describing their journey through the writing process. This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided, and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program! Once the students know the Writing Navigator, use it for peer conferences or at home on their own time. Once you set up your account, enroll students with your school. Their parents can also set up an individual student account. Be sure to provide a link to this site on your class website or blog for student use at home. Be sure to turn off your popup blocker to use the site. Find more ideas in the TeachersFirst review of the Writing Reviser, reviewed here.

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