TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 14, 2014

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 go to the Featured Sites Archive

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Estuary Education - Ocean and Coastal Resource Management

Grades
6 to 12
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Estuary Education is a great site to dive into learning about estuaries. Explore NOAA's living classrooms and laboratories. Scientists working for NOAA's National Estuarine Research...more
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Estuary Education is a great site to dive into learning about estuaries. Explore NOAA's living classrooms and laboratories. Scientists working for NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve System produce and/or review the current and cutting edge content on the site. Skim the surface of estuary education on the "About Estuaries" page or use the "Video Gallery" page to dive deeper into your learning of estuaries. The video clips are the next best thing to visiting a real estuary. The Estuaries 101 Curriculum modules for grades 6 through 12 feature hands-on learning, experiments, field work, and data explorations. It deepens students understanding about estuaries and how estuaries affect their daily lives. The resources page provides information and links to different sources outside of the estuaries.gov site that have been carefully reviewed and chosen to expand understanding on a particular topic and deemed to be scientifically accurate. Try the interactives from the link on the student page to test your knowledge or take the quiz! Estuary Education is a great site to connect with the coastal environment.

tag(s): biomes (115), ecology (128), ecosystems (75), marine biology (32)

In the Classroom

Estuary Education is essential for teaching your students about the importance of estuaries. Designed to be used by teachers in grades 6-12, the Estuaries 101 Curriculum provided on the site deepens students understanding about estuaries and how estuaries affect their daily lives. Estuaries offer an exciting context for learning about math, geography, chemistry, marine science, among other fields. Use the information on the "Science and Data" page for students to analyze real-time data if you're unable to access an estuary where you live. Use the "Video Gallery" page to introduce lessons, to "flip" your instruction, or to provide visual examples for students. Challenge your students to use Prezi, Brainshark, or another presentation medium to demonstrate their knowledge of estuaries. Use Podcastomatic for students with reading difficulties to access the content on the pages. Have your students use Padlet to collaborate as a class on research for an assignment. Review their posts on an interactive whiteboard. Challenge your gifted students to explore the "Resources" page to deepen their understanding of estuaries. Provide an opportunity for your students to get involved with a local organization to use what they learned from the Estuary Education site to preserve local estuaries.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Huzzaz Music - huzzaz.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Bring the world of music videos into your classroom with this extensive collection of music videos hosted on YouTube but sorted and indexed by Huzzaz. Although the site offers ...more
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Bring the world of music videos into your classroom with this extensive collection of music videos hosted on YouTube but sorted and indexed by Huzzaz. Although the site offers a large range of current music in many genres, find the best part of the collection, for classroom use, in the Throwback Machine. Follow that link to find videos set to the top 100 songs from every year back to 1960. Click on any thumbnail to hear the original recording artist and view videos. Some video links contain song lyrics and background information on the song or artist. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to find these. If your district blocks YouTube, 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): 1960s (28), 1970s (9), 1980s (7), 20th century (33), video (178)

In the Classroom

Include the Throwback Machine as part of modern history lessons to help students understand the culture of the period. Have students use ClipNabber, reviewed here, to grab favorite clips from online video sources such as Huzzaz (click to their YouTube page to get direct links) and other YouTube sources to include in multimedia projects. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here, and include videos discovered on this site. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. Embed a video from this site onto your webpage or blog, and ask students to explore other events and famous people from a time period.

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Small PDF - smallpdf.com

Grades
K to 12
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Small PDF offers many tools for creating and working with PDF files. Choose links to reduce the size of any PDF document, convert JPG to PDF or PDF to JPG, ...more
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Small PDF offers many tools for creating and working with PDF files. Choose links to reduce the size of any PDF document, convert JPG to PDF or PDF to JPG, merge PDF files, and much more! After choosing the option to use, follow the simple directions for uploading files. Be sure to download and save. All conversions use temporary online storage and disappear from servers within an hour.

tag(s): worksheets (40)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save Small PDF for use throughout the year. Upload Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files to convert into PDF documents. Use Small PDF to split large PDF documents into smaller, manageable portions. Have students use Page Flip-Flap (reviewed here) to turn their finished PDFs into an online book. Page Flip-Flap even has a page-turning effect!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Preso.tv - preso.tv

Grades
4 to 12
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Present your PowerPoint, PDFs, and Word Documents on desktop, mobile, or projector screens in real time anywhere in the world using Preso.tv. Drag and drop your file from your computer...more
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Present your PowerPoint, PDFs, and Word Documents on desktop, mobile, or projector screens in real time anywhere in the world using Preso.tv. Drag and drop your file from your computer or upload by browsing your computer files. Once processed, choose to start your presentation immediately or schedule for a later date. Share the custom url with your viewers and begin your presentation when ready! They can watch from anywhere. Options within the program allow you to highlight areas of the slide and zoom in and out to feature desired areas. Additional features provide statistics on the number of viewers and length of presentation. Click on the three bars at the top right of the screen to restart, stop, share the link, add your keyboard, or even begin a Google Hangout! Note that you need some sort of audio connection for your viewers to hear you. A Google hangout or Skype could work for that...or a call!

tag(s): slides (53)

In the Classroom

Preso.tv is perfect for BYOD classrooms. Share a link to any presentation and have students follow along on individual devices as you talk and they discuss. Everyone can see with no need for a projector. Have students use this site when presenting their own multimedia presentations. Help a homebound student by sharing presentations via Preso.tv. Use this site as a great resource for a snow day away from school. Use the scheduling feature for students to view presentations when away from school. Always be sure to share the exact time and URL!

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Calameo - Jean-Olivier de Berard and Mathieu Quisefit

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish, share, and browse interactive web publications with Calameo. Sign up for an account using your email or Facebook account. Upload documents in most common formats such as Microsoft...more
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Publish, share, and browse interactive web publications with Calameo. Sign up for an account using your email or Facebook account. Upload documents in most common formats such as Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF, and OpenOffice. Use the link editor to add YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, and SoundCloud content to your magazine. Share completed publications through a unique URL or embed directly into your website or blog. Calameo is available in many languages. Be sure to check Calameo's help links to find full features and suggestions for use. Use caution when allowing students to explore this site on their own, as some content may not be appropriate for the classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (134), digital storytelling (83)

In the Classroom

Use this site to engage students in Writing for Digital Publication, an important part of the Common Core. In social studies or government class have individual students or small groups design magazines for the candidate of their choice. Remember those travel brochures your world language students used to make with glue sticks and scissors? Try this online tool instead. World language students can also create an interactive magazine telling a story in their new language. In science class students can design a booklet to explain cells, life cycles, or any science topic. Instead of a book report, try a digital magazine. Do an author study via a digital magazine. Create a poetry magazine. Have your ESL/ELL students create a bilingual magazine in English AND their native language. Create digital magazines for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats. Create an ongoing Calameo magazine of class activities.

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Fire Safety Dogs - Keep Kids Fire Safe'''''''''® Foundation

Grades
K to 5
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Learn about fire safety with Tango, Molly, and Siren, the fire safety dogs. View a short video on fire safety or print coloring pages featuring the dogs. Each Friday morning ...more
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Learn about fire safety with Tango, Molly, and Siren, the fire safety dogs. View a short video on fire safety or print coloring pages featuring the dogs. Each Friday morning watch the live stream of Sparkle's Safety Spot on the website. Sign up to take part in a Skype session featuring a fire safety dog, singing, a read-aloud, and question and answer time. Be sure to look around the entire site for many educational resources for elementary students.

tag(s): fire prevention (9), fire safety (10), printables (33), skype (15)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this site for use during Fire Safety week (usually early October). Print coloring pages then hang finished projects for an easy Fire Safety bulletin board. Create a simple infographic with your students sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Consider signing up for a Skype session with one of the fire safety dogs.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Educators New to Twitter - Kyle Calderwod

Grades
K to 12
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Learn what you need to do and know to start using Twitter. Sign up to get a Twitter mentor or BE a mentor! Find out what to do before creating ...more
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Learn what you need to do and know to start using Twitter. Sign up to get a Twitter mentor or BE a mentor! Find out what to do before creating a Twitter account, get advice about whom to follow, explore programs to use to help you manage your Twitter account, and read how to keep track of everything. Learn about all the terms needed to be successful using Twitter as a teacher. This site is clean, simple, and very helpful!

tag(s): chat (37), microblogging (37), social networking (103), twitter (47)

In the Classroom

After creating an account, look at the page for what else you can start doing. Find other educators to follow on the Before You Begin page, and also look at participating in a Twitter Chat. Find a list of chats to join, and the day and time they meet at the Twitter Chat Schedule. As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account for your class to follow people who work in fields and topics you study. Even primary grades can connect with other classes or "follow" many learning experiences via Twitter. Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

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Happy Numbers - HappyNumbers.com

Grades
K to 3
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Happy Numbers offers interactive activities aligned to Common Core Standards in Math for grades K-2. Create your free account to gain access to the entire library of interactive exercises...more
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Happy Numbers offers interactive activities aligned to Common Core Standards in Math for grades K-2. Create your free account to gain access to the entire library of interactive exercises for use on your classroom. This tool can be completely personalized for each student in a class. Scroll through the list of topics and activities to find short exercises for practicing early math concepts. Choose the Coming Soon link to be notified when new activities become available.

tag(s): addition (211), number sense (83), numbers (178), operations (100), patterns (75), place value (51), preK (226), subtraction (175)

In the Classroom

Use activities from Happy Numbers on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to practice and reinforce concepts. Share links to individual activities on your class webpage or blog for practice at home. Create a link to activities for use on classroom computers. Register all of your students for a personalized experience during centers or even for at-home practice. Use this site to make differentiating a snap!

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Learningpod - Learningpod, Inc

Grades
2 to 12
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Learningpod offers a large database of free practice test questions. Find free Common Core aligned question sets in English Language Arts and Math for grades 2-8. There are practice...more
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Learningpod offers a large database of free practice test questions. Find free Common Core aligned question sets in English Language Arts and Math for grades 2-8. There are practice sets for standardized tests. Search the database of over 49,000 practice questions. Questions are in "pods" containing 2-12 questions on each of the individual topics. Use your email to create a free account. Assign and share with students by embed code, link, or print in PDF format. Answer keys and explanations are easy to access. Keep track of progress through your account, and view summaries of your results on each pod. View comparisons to how other members fared with the same content.

tag(s): advanced placement (16), test prep (83)

In the Classroom

Introduce this tool to students on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Lower elementary students will need help reading the directions on the site, so do a few together. Share pods for student practice on your class website or blog. Create a link to practice pods on classroom computers. Encourage students or parents to create their own Learningpod account to practice and review content at home. Share this site with parents (on your class wiki or website) as an excellent resource for test preparation.

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Dandy Candies - Dan Meyer

Grades
5 to 9
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Dandy Candies provides open-ended practice and exploration with problem solving and measurement skills, grouped into three "Acts." View a short animated video exploring different options...more
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Dandy Candies provides open-ended practice and exploration with problem solving and measurement skills, grouped into three "Acts." View a short animated video exploring different options for packaging candy. Then solve four questions about the best way to pack candy. Act Three offers solutions along with a link to all packaging options. Click on the Prologue to view links to standards. Be sure to click on Teacher Notes to view more information on the different steps.

tag(s): area (54), measurement (143), perimeter (26), problem solving (182), volume (37)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site (and video clip) on your interactive whiteboard or projector during units on measurement, volume, and perimeter. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Have students make concrete representations of candy and packaging to demonstrate responses. Before solving this activity, create a quick poll (with no membership required) using kwiqpoll (reviewed here) to see how much students know. Extend the challenge by having students write packaging/measurement challenges for their classmates to solve, perhaps for a product they especially like!

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ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World - Stanford University

Grades
7 to 12
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What if you could plan a trip to Ancient Rome in the year 200? This geospatial model of the Roman World allows you to choose among major Roman empire urban ...more
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What if you could plan a trip to Ancient Rome in the year 200? This geospatial model of the Roman World allows you to choose among major Roman empire urban centers and plot the most efficient course of travel. The map takes into consideration the geography and terrain, the season, the weather, the mode of transportation (boat? on foot?) and whether we want to get there quickly or cheaply. An experience like the old "Oregon Trail" software on steroids allows you to experience travel in the Ancient Roman Empire and to understand the pressures and challenges the growing Empire experienced in trying to govern such a large area.

tag(s): maps (236), romans (25), rome (23), transportation (34)

In the Classroom

There are a lot of complexities involved in plotting a route between two cities, but the interface is pretty intuitive, and students with enjoy playing "what if" with the various possibilities. Once they get the hang of it, challenge individual students or groups to see who can make it from start to finish most quickly or cheaply. What happens if you start in the Winter? or the Fall? And of course, how did these challenges affect the real Roman Empire and its citizens? If individual computers aren't available, plot your travel as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Include this in Latin or world history class to make Roman civilization more "real."

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LibrAdventures - LibrAdventures

Grades
4 to 12
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LibrAdventures is a map-based exploration of literature, authors, artists, and film makers (powered by Google). Choosing an author, a genre, a literary timeframe, or a location allows...more
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LibrAdventures is a map-based exploration of literature, authors, artists, and film makers (powered by Google). Choosing an author, a genre, a literary timeframe, or a location allows you to view, using either map view or satellite view, the physical location in which the author created some of his or her famous literary works. The beauty of LibrAdventures is the combination of being able to see, either on the map or using a panoramic view, the place where great literary figures lived and did their work. There are some classic children's authors included. Many of the views also offer 360-degree panoramic views. Each collection (called an "adventure" on the site) provides narrative describing the connections between the place and the author's work, links to further information, and other explanatory material such as a film clip or other media.

tag(s): art history (52), artists (57), authors (93), literature (214)

In the Classroom

Visual learners, or those who find it difficult to make a connection with an artist or author from the past, may find that walking the streets near the author's house, or seeing the view he or she may have seen from the window, helps bring the author and that work alive. The ability to use a more interactive interface to learn more about an author will also appeal to those more accustomed to digital media and hyperlinks in order to associate concepts with a visual representation. The interactive maps can be used on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to accompany an introduction to the life of a particular author before tackling his or her work. As they read or view works by the writer or artist, have students look for descriptive passages in the works that seem to describe what they "see" or experience on the related "adventure" on this site.

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PBIS World - PBIS World

Grades
K to 12
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Find Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for problem classroom behaviors at PBIS World. This complete and easy to use resource includes hundreds of interventions, resources,...more
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Find Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for problem classroom behaviors at PBIS World. This complete and easy to use resource includes hundreds of interventions, resources, and data collection and tracking tools. There are discussions about behavior, behavior analysis, problem-solving, ideas, and more! Start by selecting the behavior you want to address and proceed through the steps to the interventions and directions for using them. Some of the topics tackled include Anxiety, Disorganized, Poor Coping Skills, Lack of Participation, and many others. Explore ways to help students (or even adults) cope with these issues. There are three tiers to the program with different types of interventions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): autism (18), behavior (40), classroom management (77), emotions (27)

In the Classroom

Think of an undesirable behavior in your classroom, and you will probably find it on the PBIS list. Read a description of the behavior (just to make sure you chose the correct one). Then go on to the interventions. Click to see how and when to use each intervention. Choose from many interventions for each behavior. Use the different forms to keep track of the success (or lack of success) of the intervention over the weeks and months you try it. If the Tier One interventions do not work, proceed to tier two. Share this resource with colleagues and parents to team up for success.

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TweetBeam - Pim Stuurman

Grades
4 to 12
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Highlight and show tweets from any hashtag or twitter handle in a creative and visually appealing way with TweetBeam. Enter any hashtag or sign in to your Twitter account to ...more
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Highlight and show tweets from any hashtag or twitter handle in a creative and visually appealing way with TweetBeam. Enter any hashtag or sign in to your Twitter account to view a stunning, real-time visualization of tweets. They update as new tweets arrive. Mouse over any image to view the entire text. Click the four arrows near the top left of the screen to view in full screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): twitter (47)

In the Classroom

TweetBeam is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Follow hashtags on current events to view information in real-time. Do you have your own hashtag for your class? If not, this is a perfect way to get started! Use TweetBeam to interact and follow other classrooms and projects anywhere in the world. Create a hashtag for any school event and display TweetBeam on the big screen to participants to encourage them to interact and participate! 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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