TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 4, 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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Daily 5/Cafe Pinterest Board - Jana Wilson

Grades
K to 6
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Do you need new ideas to spice up your Daily 5 instruction? Try browsing through this Pinterest board for ideas from all over the web. Choose the links provided to ...more
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Do you need new ideas to spice up your Daily 5 instruction? Try browsing through this Pinterest board for ideas from all over the web. Choose the links provided to find many free ideas for strategy charts, scheduling, posters, and tips for use throughout the school year.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), literacy (103), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45), word study (80), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Be sure to "follow" this Pinterest board to view new pins as they are added. Use this board as inspiration for creating your own Pinterest board for your Daily 5 links and favorite ideas. Share with colleagues and create a Pinterest board as you collaborate. Create a Pinterest board with links for parents to use at home. The ideas are as endless as your imagination!

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Technology and the Daily 5 K-2 - Laura Moore

Grades
K to 5
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Technology and the Daily 5 is a must-see site if you are thinking about adding technology into to your Daily 5 routines. Although the title states K-2 classroom, the Daily ...more
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Technology and the Daily 5 is a must-see site if you are thinking about adding technology into to your Daily 5 routines. Although the title states K-2 classroom, the Daily 5 routines (and tools) are great to use for any elementary grade. For each of the components of the Daily 5 find categories such as Web Tools, Mobile Devices, and a video. Some components have interactive whiteboard suggestions, and there are links to other resources such as a PDF for task cards. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): literacy (103), literary devices (11), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45), video (254), vocabulary development (126), word study (80), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use all year while incorporating technology into your Daily 5 components. Post links to downloads for the apps you decide to use so parents can get them on their computers and mobile devices at home for student use. As you get into more and more technology for student use, you may consider suggesting apps to parents that you do not have time for in the classroom. These apps could be for additional at-home practice.

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Daily 5 Technology - Jennifer Lambrecht

Grades
K to 5
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If you are a primary or elementary teacher looking to include technology into your Daily 5 routine, look no further. At this primary teacher's blog investigate the tabs across the ...more
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If you are a primary or elementary teacher looking to include technology into your Daily 5 routine, look no further. At this primary teacher's blog investigate the tabs across the top for Videos, Word Work, iPad Creating, SMART Notebook, QR Codes, Listening to Reading, Skype/FaceTime, and Web. Under Videos find a link to a Play List of YouTube videos for literacy, and a video showing how to set up iPods for the Listen to Reading component. Under each of the other tabs find sources and "how to's" for all sorts of technology to incorporate into your literacy lessons. This blog also has a section about incorporating Chrome Books (under the New tab) and iPads into the primary curriculum. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): independent reading (128), listening (91), literacy (103), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45), video (254), vocabulary development (126), word study (80), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Incorporating technology for students into the classroom is necessary to meet state standards. Let this blog guide you and make it easier. Although the creator of this site is a 1st grade teacher, many of the technology ideas and tools she mentions are appropriate for older students and other grades as well. This especially pertains to the QR Code and iPad Creating, and Skype/FaceTime sections of this blog. Mentioned are several iPad apps this blogger is currently using with her students. One ingenious idea is to use Skype or FaceTime for your Read to Someone component. Primary teachers may be interested in Literactive, reviewed here, and Teach Your Monster to Read, reviewed here, that she has students use on her Chrome Books. So if you are thinking of, or just beginning to use technology in your class, take a look at this blog for an easy start or as a guide for new ideas to add.

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Dustbin - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
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Create an interactive categorization activity with Dustbin. Give the activity a title and begin adding categories. Add items in up to four different categories. When finished, drag...more
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Create an interactive categorization activity with Dustbin. Give the activity a title and begin adding categories. Add items in up to four different categories. When finished, drag and drop items as quickly as possible into the correct bin. Use the provided links to share the activity, embed into a blog or web page, or print it. Use password protection if desired to limit access. Click the question mark on the bottom right toolbar, and scroll down that page to find many templates for inspiration or use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (103), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Develop Dustbin activities to review any topic and save for use as a classroom center. Have students create review Dustbins as a study tool. Be sure to demonstrate how to make and share Dustbin before having students set up their own. Ideas for categorization activities are unlimited, but can include categorizing types of animals, literary elements in novels, habitats, characteristics of geographic areas, and much more.

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Belk Service Learning Challenge - Discovery Education

Grades
4 to 9
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The Belk Service Learning Challenge provides educators with standards aligned lesson plans for promoting the knowledge of community service with middle school students. Lesson content...more
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The Belk Service Learning Challenge provides educators with standards aligned lesson plans for promoting the knowledge of community service with middle school students. Lesson content includes topics such as problem solving, ideas for reflection, and how to get a snapshot of assets and challenges within a community. Choose any lesson to download in PDF format. In addition to lessons, this site includes three short video presentations of students providing community service in their towns.

tag(s): communities (35), problem solving (272), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Although intended for use with community service projects, many lessons can be used in different ways. For example, use the Just Reflect lesson to provide ideas and examples of ways to use reflection at the end of a unit or collaborative project. The Art of Creating a Good Video includes storyboard templates for use with any video project. Many middle and high schools have community service requirements for graduation, share this site with counselors and others working with students for use in providing ideas for completing and documenting this requirement.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Breaking News Generator - Russell Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Design professional looking front pages for a newspaper with this tool. Simply fill in the pertinent information (headline, date, place, and more) and an image. Share via URL, Twitter,...more
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Design professional looking front pages for a newspaper with this tool. Simply fill in the pertinent information (headline, date, place, and more) and an image. Share via URL, Twitter, or download to your computer. There is also the ability to save a blank template. Be sure to view the several samples available, and click on the little question mark at the end of the title to see ideas for use of this tool. No registration is necessary.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), images (266), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Assess students prior knowledge by creating a Breaking News piece to introduce a new unit. Ask students to fill in an interactive KWL chart from Holt, reviewed here, or discuss in small groups what they know about the topic. Use in presentation slides by downloading the image from your computer. Then upload the image to a slide presentation creator such as Slidestory, reviewed here. Suggest to students that they do the same for their presentations. Use as a timeline of events for lab experiment, a novel study, historical event, and more. You might want to think about using this tool as a storyboard for digital storytelling; printing blank templates would work well for storyboarding.

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Every Last Drop - Nice and Serious

Grades
3 to 9
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Every Last Drop is an interactive site sharing information about the amount of water wasted each day in the United Kingdom. It offers suggestions for small changes that make big ...more
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Every Last Drop is an interactive site sharing information about the amount of water wasted each day in the United Kingdom. It offers suggestions for small changes that make big differences. Scroll down through the site to view water usage during a typical day. Watch the video at the end of the presentation for many more suggestions on water saving. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English and measurements use the metric system.

tag(s): conservation (127), earth day (112), environment (317), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a perfect addition to Earth Day activities. View together and brainstorm ideas about how you can save water at school and home. Have students brainstorm ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here, (quick start- no membership required!). Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos demonstrating ways to conserve water and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Toward the end of this presentation, it is stated that over 1 billion earthlings have no access to clean water. Research countries and communities who do not have access to clean water to see why and also what is being done to help them. Student's findings could be turned into a very clever digital storytelling project using Slidestory, reviewed here. Slidestory allows for narration.

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Free Conference Call - freeconferencecall.com

Grades
K to 12
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Conduct virtual conferences with up to 25 people at one time with Free Conference Call. Instantly share your screen during online calls for participant viewing. Other features allow...more
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Conduct virtual conferences with up to 25 people at one time with Free Conference Call. Instantly share your screen during online calls for participant viewing. Other features allow for recording and sharing meetings when finished. After creating an account, follow instructions for inviting participants and setting up the conference call.

tag(s): chat (51), DAT device agnostic tool (200), parent conferences (22), parents (56)

In the Classroom

Use Free Conference Call to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work.

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The Great Human Odyssey - A World of Extremes - CBC

Grades
6 to 12
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The Great Human Odyssey is a powerful journey into the lives of three different cultures and the lives of nomads. Explore the sea, desert, and tundra as you become the ...more
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The Great Human Odyssey is a powerful journey into the lives of three different cultures and the lives of nomads. Explore the sea, desert, and tundra as you become the nomad and view life from a first person perspective. Along the way click on icons as they pop-up to provide additional information through videos and photographs.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), deserts (10), oceans (148), tundra (14)

In the Classroom

The Great Human Odyssey is perfect for use with an interactive whiteboard or projector. View the different sections together to learn more about life in extreme climates. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the nomads. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast student lifestyles with those on this site. Compare the three nomadic lifestyles presented with the Venn Diagram - 3 Circles, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to locate places found on this site and explore areas close by. Students can add text, images, and location stops!

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Tux Math Scrabble - Charles B. Cosse

Grades
5 to 9
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Tux Math Scrabble takes the traditional Scrabble game and replaces letter tiles with numbers and mathematical symbols. Drag tiles anywhere on the Scrabble board to form equations while...more
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Tux Math Scrabble takes the traditional Scrabble game and replaces letter tiles with numbers and mathematical symbols. Drag tiles anywhere on the Scrabble board to form equations while earning as many points as possible from the value of the tiles. Use links on the menu to the left to change the background, adjust grid size, see a demo, and change skill levels.

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), equations (155), galileo (7), game based learning (103), multiplication (227), problem solving (272), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Tux Math Scrabble makes an excellent addition to any unit on equations. Have students play games with classmates while discussing different game strategies. Create a link on your class web page and have students challenge family members.

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Preparing for Mathematics Assessments - Nectar Foundation

Grades
7 to 12
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Preparing for Mathematics Assessments offers tutorials and practice in middle and high school mathematics topics as part of preparations for testing. Topics include Number Sense & Algebra,...more
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Preparing for Mathematics Assessments offers tutorials and practice in middle and high school mathematics topics as part of preparations for testing. Topics include Number Sense & Algebra, Analytic Geometry, Linear Relations, and Measurement & Geometry. Choose one of the topics to begin, and then choose from the list of practice items. Complete each problem as described, and then check answers. View an interactive or model solution, demonstrating the answer.

tag(s): angles (88), equations (155), mass (23), measurement (159), number sense (97), percent (82), polynomials (32), pythagorean theorem (35), ratios (53), variables (22), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a review on an interactive whiteboard or projector or at a classroom center. Share a link on your class website and encourage students to use this at home to prepare for upcoming tests.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Jellybean Scoop - Jellybean Scoop

Grades
1 to 10
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Use the news and improve reading scores. Jellybean Scoop offers different news articles, written daily, at four different Lexile reading levels. Levels for articles are Starter, Single,...more
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Use the news and improve reading scores. Jellybean Scoop offers different news articles, written daily, at four different Lexile reading levels. Levels for articles are Starter, Single, Double, and Triple. Find articles in categories of World News, Nature and Science, Odd News, Inspiration and Health, and Fun Facts. Each story has an audio recording and the ability to record yourself reading it. Find activities such as vocabulary, sentence scramble, and a quiz. See the many Demo Videos to really understand the powerful features on Jellybean Scoop. 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): audio books (32), DAT device agnostic tool (200), differentiation (47), news (261), reading comprehension (116), sound (101)

In the Classroom

Achieve three goals here: differentiate, help students improve their reading comprehension, and keep students current with what is happening in our nation and the world. When assigning articles, choose to have the class read at one reading level, or choose individuals and set the reading level for them. Set up different articles at different learning stations on the computers in your room. Since Jellybean Scoop is cloud based, even absent students can complete the missed work easily. Teachers of gifted students can use this site to accelerate or enrich reading for students. Teachers of Learning Support students and ESL/ELL students will love this alternate way for their students to meet current events requirements. Teachers with free accounts can have up to 25 students. If you have a larger class, there is a "work around" for this. If you have a Gmail account, you can add subaccounts (see directions to do this here). You could create another Jellybean account with this subaccount, but you would end up with two different accounts on Jellybean Scoop.

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Critical Reading Study Guide - Jennifer Kelly and Dr. Brad Hokanson, University of Minnesota

Grades
6 to 12
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The Critical Reading Study Guide offers an interactive worksheet for summarizing, reviewing, and studying any reading assignment. Fill in the information for each of the six questions,...more
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The Critical Reading Study Guide offers an interactive worksheet for summarizing, reviewing, and studying any reading assignment. Fill in the information for each of the six questions, then click print to create a hard copy of your responses. In addition to the questionnaire, this site offers several other ideas to promote critical reading such as characteristics of critical readers and questions to ask yourself while reading.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

All core content teachers can use this interactive worksheet to help students understand their text book and other informational reading. Creating a study guide such as this will help students stay focused on the reading. Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector with students and discuss the information presented. Have students complete the questionnaire as part of any reading assignment. Share a link to this site on your class web page or blog for students and parents to use as an at-home resource. Use student responses to create a poster with an online poster creator, such as Fotojet, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Above the Clouds - Plus 360 Degrees

Grades
6 to 12
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Above the Clouds is an interactive experience celebrating the Earth. Follow the adventure set to text written by Carl Sagan in his book Pale Blue Dot. While watching this interactive,...more
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Above the Clouds is an interactive experience celebrating the Earth. Follow the adventure set to text written by Carl Sagan in his book Pale Blue Dot. While watching this interactive, move your mouse to explore different views. Use icons at the bottom of the screen to toggle sound and captions on or off.

tag(s): conservation (127), earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317), planets (123)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard. Use as a starting point for a unit on planets, the universe, or conservation. Be sure to include a link on your class website for students to explore at home. Introduce this site when you assign individual or group projects about environmental or global issues. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings for their projects using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.

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