TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 1, 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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Who Am I?: A History Mystery - Smithsonian Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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Examine objects to determine the identity of the mystery character from the Civil War with this interactive activity from the Smithsonian Institute's exhibition The Price of Freedom:...more
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Examine objects to determine the identity of the mystery character from the Civil War with this interactive activity from the Smithsonian Institute's exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War. Select a character to begin the challenge. Follow clues to select and drag the correct matching objects to the Evidence Folder. After choosing the two correct pieces of evidence, solve for the correct identity of the character to learn more about him and his role in the Civil War.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (117), civil war (145), mysteries (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce your Civil War unit on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Divide students into groups to research and investigate the different groups characters on the site belonged to. Have students use Cube Creator, reviewed here, and design a Bio Cube about one of these individuals.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Groupting - Groupting

Grades
K to 12
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Plan and organize any event with Groupting. Enter event details, including date and the location to begin a Ting. Continue following prompts to add items needed and invite participants...more
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Plan and organize any event with Groupting. Enter event details, including date and the location to begin a Ting. Continue following prompts to add items needed and invite participants directly with an email list or imported contacts from popular email hosts. Groupting sends invitations to all participants who then sign up online to attend or bring items. When the event date nears, Groupting sends reminders to attendees and a summary of information to you.

tag(s): classroom management (134), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using Groupting are endless. Use this for planning parties, bringing in materials for projects, and any other activity that requires coordination. If you have limited technology availability, this is a great way for teachers or students to sign up for time slots to use laptops, iPads, cameras, or a podcast recording station. Go paperless with signups! Organize your parent/teacher conferences. Plan student research of class projects using this resource. Help students build organizational skills by having them "plan" a mythical (or actual) event such as a museum opening for their Famous Americans exhibit. Use this tool for any middle or high school club, career day, or sports team to organize their own events. Share with your school's parent organization to help them plan the next school event.

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TwistedWave - MediaHQ

Grades
K to 12
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Create and edit audio recordings with the TwistedWave online editor. Use links to upload existing files from your computer, Google Drive, or Sound Cloud, or start a new document. Tools...more
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Create and edit audio recordings with the TwistedWave online editor. Use links to upload existing files from your computer, Google Drive, or Sound Cloud, or start a new document. Tools in the editor allow you to add effects, crop and cut, and much more. When finished, save the file to Google Drive or Sound Cloud. No account is necessary; however, free accounts can edit mono files up to 5 minutes long.

tag(s): editing (60)

In the Classroom

Use TwistedWave in early grades to promote literacy by recording students and creating an audio portfolio record of their reading. Use this tool with ESL/ELL students to practice fluency and hearing themselves speak. Record your class singing. Record compositions to share with parents on your website or blog. Record and edit sound for PowerPoint presentations. Use with a creative writing or digital storytelling project to record stories for selected images. Record speeches, create podcasts, record students learning world languages, create radio advertisements as part of a writing project, the ideas are endless!

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Easy Tweets - easytweets.net

Grades
8 to 12
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Practice reading with real Tweets sorted by difficulty level with Easy Tweets. Choose easy, medium, or difficult and add a topic to receive a list of Tweets. Sorted using Cambridge...more
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Practice reading with real Tweets sorted by difficulty level with Easy Tweets. Choose easy, medium, or difficult and add a topic to receive a list of Tweets. Sorted using Cambridge University's English Vocabulary Profile Project, Tweets correspond to reading levels. Please note - Tweets are real Tweets and have not been monitored for content so you may want to preview results before sharing with students.

tag(s): chat (51), microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use Easy Tweets with ESL/ELL students as an authentic way to practice reading skills. Use to differentiate with different abilities of readers as you follow certain current events to learn more. Use Easy Tweets to model writing skills. Have students compare the differences between Tweets at different levels. Consider using this tool for finding Twitter information about possible people of interest (i.e. scientists, politicians, singers, actors), to follow. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Novel-Ties: New books you can't wait to discuss - Multnomah County Library

Grades
4 to 8
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Discover current fiction titles for 4th through 8th graders at Novel-Ties. Find a series of video book talks divided into categories discussing current fiction books perfect...more
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Discover current fiction titles for 4th through 8th graders at Novel-Ties. Find a series of video book talks divided into categories discussing current fiction books perfect for tweens and young teens. Choose from categories such as Bullying, Girl Power, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy, and more. Each link leads to a book talk hosted on AuthorStream, reviewed here, discussing the book followed with some Discussion Topics and Related Websites. Videos work best on computers or laptops. Not all features work on mobile devices.

tag(s): book lists (126), book reports (36), independent reading (126), reading lists (73), video (253)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this site on classroom computers for students to use as a resource to find reading material that suits their interests. Share with your school's media specialist for use when ordering library books. Share on your class web page as a resource for parents. Use this AuthorStream as a model and have students create their own book talks as an alternative to a traditional book report. Consider using a tool such as RawShorts, reviewed here, for short book talks or Moovly, reviewed here, for longer book talks. Post the videos on your teacher website for parents to enjoy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Robot Facts - Gold Ridge Schools

Grades
K to 5
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Practice basic math facts with this simple activity. Choose the type of fact (operation) and level of difficulty to begin play. You can also select Random for a mix of ...more
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Practice basic math facts with this simple activity. Choose the type of fact (operation) and level of difficulty to begin play. You can also select Random for a mix of facts. As you answer questions, the robot tells if the response is correct or not.

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), multiplication (227), operations (126), preK (279), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Create a link to this interactive on your class website and classroom computers for math fact practice at any time. Display on your interactive whiteboard or projector for use as a classroom center. Challenge students to move up through the difficulty levels as they practice different facts.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Zing - Schoolwide

Grades
1 to 12
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Find Ebooks by topic, reading level, or language. Ebooks have a built-in dictionary, highlighting, and bookmarking capability. There are also tools for taking notes and writing a review....more
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Find Ebooks by topic, reading level, or language. Ebooks have a built-in dictionary, highlighting, and bookmarking capability. There are also tools for taking notes and writing a review. Select from award-winning titles, books and series from well-known authors, short texts, poems, and articles. Through your Zing account, you can also access Buzzing, an informational website with author interviews, lesson plans, instructional resources, teaching tips, collaborative tools, and much more. Click Help to find screen shots with written directions or video tutorials for anything you need to do in Zing. There are also free 15-minute webinars for you to attend. Additional features are available for a fee.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (99), classroom management (134), independent reading (126), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

After signing up click Manage Students to get a class code, URL, and to start adding students. This rather intensive job will take some planning ahead. Look at the required fill-in boxes before starting. Free accounts can have one class and 30 students. If you have a larger class or more than one class, there is a "workaround" for this. If you have a Gmail account, you can add subaccounts (see directions to do this here). You could create another Zing account with this subaccount; you would end up with two different accounts for your classes. Give the students the class code to log in and find their name on the class list. Bookmark your Zing account on class computers for easy access, and post the link on your teacher website for students and parents to access the program at home. Consider requiring students to use the tools on their dashboard for taking notes or highlighting main ideas and supporting details. Students can also use it when writing a review for a book, and then you can conference with students to have them show you their work.

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Learn to Play the Piano - Hoffman Academy

Grades
2 to 12
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Learn to play the piano through a series of video tutorials offered by Hoffman Academy. Participate in over 100 lessons sequenced to build ability and understanding. Each lesson includes...more
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Learn to play the piano through a series of video tutorials offered by Hoffman Academy. Participate in over 100 lessons sequenced to build ability and understanding. Each lesson includes instructions and opportunities for self-paced practice. If your district blocks YouTube, then they 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): music theory (42), musical instruments (48), musical notation (35)

In the Classroom

If you don't have access to a piano, don't worry, you can still learn how to play! Take advantage of the online virtual piano, reviewed here, to practice just like you would on a real piano. Share with your school's music teacher as an excellent resource for teaching students notes and piano keys. The self-paced videos offer a great opportunity to differentiate for different ability levels while achieving success for all. Share a link to this site on your class website for parents to use at home.

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STEAMed Magazine - Education Closet

Grades
K to 12
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STEAMed is a FREE quarterly publication that provides countless ideas, explanations, lesson plans, videos, podcasts, and more. Some examples of topics include Painting With Pendulums...more
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STEAMed is a FREE quarterly publication that provides countless ideas, explanations, lesson plans, videos, podcasts, and more. Some examples of topics include Painting With Pendulums and Making Art with Robots (Art Bots). Both have links to a free video and free lesson plans. There are links to free lessons for Sound Sculpture and Soil Paintings, examples for Making Mental Maps, Architecture, Art and Math, and much more. This 45-page magazine has advertisements, but the ideas and freebies make it worth the effort to download it. From the landing page also find back issues, a link to more free lesson plans, and a Daily magazine. It is suggested you download the free quarterly magazine to your computer in PDF. Viewing online uses Flash, and in Chrome it was too small to read on the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (83), professional development (123), robotics (25), soil (17), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Look at the back issues of STEAMed for different articles to see if you want to subscribe to STEAMed. Find ideas for incorporating art into science, technology, engineering, and math classes. Share with colleagues and at professional development meetings for any relevant ideas.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Quiz Socket - Sven Kreiss

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Quiz Socket to quickly get feedback or give assessments. Quiz Socket is so easy to use you can create a quiz on the spur of the moment. No registration ...more
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Use Quiz Socket to quickly get feedback or give assessments. Quiz Socket is so easy to use you can create a quiz on the spur of the moment. No registration is required. Click Create Quiz and get a code to give to participants. Participants enter the code and respond on the Quiz Socket site using any device. Ask multiple choice questions verbally or post them with a projector onto a screen or whiteboard.

tag(s): assessment (99), DAT device agnostic tool (196), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Quiz Socket is an excellent tool for checking prior knowledge or making a quick assessment. Use Quiz Socket for students to answer exit questions or to see what students remember from the previous day. Use for formative assessment to identify misconceptions that students may have at the start of a unit. ESL/ELL teachers could use this for vocabulary practice.

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