TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 19, 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 go to the Featured Sites Archive

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Earliest Voices - Michigan State University

Grades
6 to 12
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices...more
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices is an archive of recordings from the earliest years between 1877 and 1927. Hear Booker T. Washington speak about race relations or William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech. Listen to Thomas Edison (who was the inventor of the technology) speak about advances in technology and electricity. Find a short biography and images along with the recordings. A Real Player plugin is required.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (103), oral history (11), politics (92), sound (92)

In the Classroom

Bringing early voices to life in the classroom can help connect students with these important figures from history. Do their voices sound as you expected? Along with the audio records, you'll find important contextual information about early audio recordings, and about the circumstances surrounding each speech or recording.

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Gridlock Buster - ITS Institute, University of Minnesota

Grades
K to 12
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Become a member of Traffic Team Alpha. Join the mission to get cars through intersections as quickly as possible by controlling traffic lights. As you complete each mission, move up...more
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Become a member of Traffic Team Alpha. Join the mission to get cars through intersections as quickly as possible by controlling traffic lights. As you complete each mission, move up to more congested intersections and improve your problem-solving skills. Read and follow the directions for priorities with each level.

tag(s): critical thinking (75), engineering (98), problem solving (221)

In the Classroom

Share Gridlock Buster on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and create a link on classroom computers. Challenge students to increase their score on each mission. Have students discuss their strategies for improving scores. Be sure to share a link on your class website for students to play at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Engineering Place - North Carolina State University

Grades
K to 12
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The Engineering Place offers resources for students, parents, and educators to promote and learn about engineering. Explore the student section, sorted by age groups, to find information...more
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The Engineering Place offers resources for students, parents, and educators to promote and learn about engineering. Explore the student section, sorted by age groups, to find information about careers in engineering. Choose the parents section to download a booklet with information about helping your student with mathematics and tips for encouraging students to explore careers in engineering. Find lesson plans and additional resources in the Educators portion of the site.

tag(s): careers (119), engineering (98)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year, and take advantage of the free lesson plans. Share information from the site during career lessons and activities. Share this site with parents as a resource for learning more about careers in engineering. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about an engineer.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Preparing For The Oath - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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Could you pass the U.S. Naturalization Test? Preparing For The Oath offers learning opportunities and a practice test. Practice listening, reading and oral skills as you take the practice...more
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Could you pass the U.S. Naturalization Test? Preparing For The Oath offers learning opportunities and a practice test. Practice listening, reading and oral skills as you take the practice test. As you check for correct answers, use the Review This Question link to learn and practice more information. Additional links offer lesson plans and guides for teachers, word lists, and full transcripts of resources.

tag(s): immigration (56)

In the Classroom

Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on US history or citizenship. Take advantage of the video lessons on this site to teach and review topics pertaining to the United States. Be sure to share with your school's ESL/ELL teacher as an informative resource for students and parents.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Supply and Demand, Lessons from Toy Fads - Council for Economic Education/Chad Mares

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn the concepts of supply and demand through case studies of Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz. Watch video clips that demonstrate how supply and demand interact with prices of in-demand...more
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Learn the concepts of supply and demand through case studies of Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz. Watch video clips that demonstrate how supply and demand interact with prices of in-demand toys, and then complete activities with case studies to learn about market demands. The assessment activity includes completing a supply and demand graph that represents the different components involved in this concept. 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.

tag(s): supply and demand (3)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. This is a great find as an extension activity for gifted students! Encourage students to create their own list of items similar to Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz that were in high demand and low supply.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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High School Maths Help YouTube Channel - Simon Deacon

Grades
8 to 12
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This YouTube channel provides a large selection of short, easy to understand math help videos. Scroll through the videos to find tutorials for all math topics beginning with Algebra....more
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This YouTube channel provides a large selection of short, easy to understand math help videos. Scroll through the videos to find tutorials for all math topics beginning with Algebra. Find featured videos sorted into categories on the site home page. 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. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (234), angles (85), area (62), decimals (132), division (161), equations (145), factoring (28), fractions (233), mass (22), multiplication (213), percent (79), subtraction (194), volume (42)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. FLIP your classroom and have students view the videos at home to discuss and apply the next day in class (this is an excellent option if your school blocks YouTube). Use the videos to introduce or practice any math topic and assign others from the series for homework. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students (and their families) to access at home for additional math practice.

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Mystery Science - Keith Schacht & Doug Peltz

Grades
3 to 5
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"Do" science with these engaging, hands-on science lessons. The creators of Mystery Science believe in capturing a child's curiosity and forming it into the ability to think scientifically....more
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"Do" science with these engaging, hands-on science lessons. The creators of Mystery Science believe in capturing a child's curiosity and forming it into the ability to think scientifically. Mystery Science has activities for third through fifth grade. It is set up so the average elementary teacher, with no specialization in science, can deliver intriguing, inquiry-based science lessons. Each grade level has a collection of themes with four to eight lessons. The lessons are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and support the Common Core ELA standards. They include activities, videos and discussions, and extras. The extras include additional activities, informational reading, and more. Keep your eye on Mystery Science! They have four complete units (plants, animals, astronomy, forces) and will be releasing the next unit within a few weeks. Every couple of months throughout the summer and all next school year they will be releasing other new units. Teachers may use all of these, FREE.

tag(s): adaptations (15), animals (259), chemicals (34), dinosaurs (50), erosion (13), forces (37), geology (79), habitats (78), life cycles (26), magnetism (31), matter (49), minerals (14), moon (66), motion (56), natural disasters (20), planets (113), plants (136), rocks (46), stars (58), sun (67), water cycle (33), weather (183)

In the Classroom

Share the Exploration video and discussion questions with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the excellent activity provided either as a class or in small groups. Some of the Optional Extras (activities, reading, more videos) are outstanding so be sure to look through those to plan ahead. As students work through each unit, you may want to incorporate even more Common Core ELA standards by having them keep a digital journal about what they are learning. One way to do this would be to keep a class (or individual student) blog. A good blogging tool for third through fifth grade is Kidblog, reviewed here. If you have not started blogging yet, check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics. Build thinking skills with a challenging culmination piece. Have pairs or small groups of students use their blog entries to create a field (or nature) notebook. Consider using a tool such as Page Flip-Flap, reviewed here, for this project. Some activities require simple supplies such as brads, sticky tack, and plant seeds.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

Great videos and easy to follow activities. Delaine, TX, Grades: 0 - 12

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ProjectWriter - BoomWriter

Grades
2 to 8
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Develop and manage group writing projects with ProjectWriter. Created by BoomWriter, reviewed here, this site specifically provides support for expository...more
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Develop and manage group writing projects with ProjectWriter. Created by BoomWriter, reviewed here, this site specifically provides support for expository writing across any content area including built-in vocabulary tools. Begin by creating a project and breaking content into smaller, manageable sections. Enter assignments stating requirements such as word count, due dates, and more. Receive submissions in real time as students submit work for your review. After receiving all submissions allow students to review anonymous submissions and vote for the best entry.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (105), essays (21), expository writing (39), interactive stories (30), vocabulary (318), vocabulary development (117), writing (337)

In the Classroom

ProjectWriter is perfect for use when incorporating Common Core Writing Standards into any content area. Encourage students to read other students' writing for ideas about what makes informational writing interesting. Create a friendly competition within your grade level by starting a project and choosing a winner. Create new projects throughout the school year for any and all subjects.

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Who Is Hosting This? - Quality Nonsense, Ltd.

Grades
K to 12
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How can you tell if a website has reputable information? This site is a necessity for any online research. Who Is Hosting This provides an infographic to determine whether a ...more
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How can you tell if a website has reputable information? This site is a necessity for any online research. Who Is Hosting This provides an infographic to determine whether a site is valid and the criteria for evaluating for credibility. Follow the steps on the infographic to determine whether a site is a valid source. In addition to using the infographic, click the Who Is Hosting This banner at the top or bottom of the page to get to a search bar. Enter the website URL to find who is hosting that site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (114), search strategies (27)

In the Classroom

Use this site to show the steps in evaluating a website. Be sure to use a projector or interactive whiteboard to follow the steps together as a class for clarification. Be sure to include this link on your class web page for easy access to this site. Split the class into groups and provide them with one reliable and one unreliable website. Have them use this tool to determine which is the valid site. As a group, they should state specifically how the sites met (or did not meet) the criteria. Print the infographic and post in your classroom for review.

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P 21 - Partnership For 21st Century Skills - P21

Grades
1 to 12
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Join the community designed to educate students and all learners in 21st century learning. The mission consists of building collaborative partnerships between education, businesses,...more
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Join the community designed to educate students and all learners in 21st century learning. The mission consists of building collaborative partnerships between education, businesses, government, and community leaders to promote learning skills needed in the 21st century for life, work, and citizenship. P21 strives to prepare all students for the challenges of the future. Find a framework for student outcomes with support system outlines. Resources for educators include sample lesson ideas, Common Core alignment, P21 Common Core Tool Kit, professional development guides, 21st century skill maps in a variety of subject areas, case studies of exemplar schools, a newsletter, and a Blogazine. Resources for policymakers include information on definitions, framework, and implementing 21st century skills. A parents' guide contains information on 21st century skills and leadership. Most downloadable materials are free. Get a press kit or join an advocacy group or mailing list.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): professional development (94)

In the Classroom

Investigate P21 to see if you are meeting your students' needs for the 21st century. Use the parent tip sheet, real world examples, or the PowerPoint to clarify your goals to parents and administration. Explore literacy maps and skills maps to compare your methods of instruction. Look for ways to support professional development in your school. Become more effective using Common Core Curriculum. Join the blog and change your world. This site contains great research, ideas, and goals to include in grants, mission statements, or strategic planning.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Corkboard - Corkboard LLC

Grades
1 to 12
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Tack up a digital corkboard and remember all of your lists, items to do, recipes, decorating, or share comments with others. This site offers a digital version of the corkboard ...more
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Tack up a digital corkboard and remember all of your lists, items to do, recipes, decorating, or share comments with others. This site offers a digital version of the corkboard from the "old days." Fill it with whatever you want! Even better than the traditional corkboard, you can create as many different digital corkboards as you want. Create the name, tags, and double click to add to your new corkboard. Keep it private or share with co-workers or friends. Go online to access, or use an iPhone app. Click on Corkboard Mobile to use with other mobile devices. Add the Corkboard bookmarklet to take a screen shot of a web page and save it.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), note taking (28)

In the Classroom

Think big and small when you use Corkboard! Use a Corkboard to communicate with each of your students' families. Add simple reminders, lists of spelling or vocabulary words, homework assignments, project directions, field trip dates, after school club dates, or general parent tips. Share the cork board(s) with all parents. There is also an easy way parents can go back and reference earlier Corkboards. When planning an event or field trip, make your list on Corkboard and let parents easily make their choice. Updates are immediate. Use this tool for brainstorming on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Post the link for the Corkboard and allow students to continue the brainstorm from home. Encourage collaboration between group members in a snap. Set up your parent conference schedule easily! Bring a bit of technology into language arts with class reflections, or even individual reflections. Have students create study guides together from home or even at centers. Reinforce concepts from any subject as a study guide. This tool makes it easy to conduct an author's chair. Document steps of a problem-based learning experience together. Watch current events come alive. No longer are you limited by wall space, digital corkboards are limitless!

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Trends24 - Trends24

Grades
9 to 12
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Track trending topics and tweets in any country you specify with Trends24. Select a country and view the breakdown of the trending tweets by minutes, hours, or days. Choose between...more
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Track trending topics and tweets in any country you specify with Trends24. Select a country and view the breakdown of the trending tweets by minutes, hours, or days. Choose between the Timeline breakdown or click on Cloud. Tweet trends show as a word cloud, with the most popular topics showing in a larger font. Click any hashtag name to view the tweets showing for that trend. Are you new to Twitter and hashtags? Find information to help you at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): microblogging (38), twitter (47)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to look at the topics that are trends in the various countries. Compare and contrast the top trends and how they differ from other countries that are neighbors or are far away. This tool is helpful in understanding political or cultural issues that extend worldwide or affect more than one region. Use the trending topics to understand the point of view of various countries. Look at news reports or causes for the change in the trend. Twitter trends could be useful in any subject area but especially useful for current events, civics, health, and economics.

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Digital Citizenship Flash Cards - A Platform for Good

Grades
4 to 12
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Cover the basics of digital citizenship and find conversation starters with this downloadable flashcard set. Each card provides a definition and conversation starter question related...more
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Cover the basics of digital citizenship and find conversation starters with this downloadable flashcard set. Each card provides a definition and conversation starter question related to a digital citizenship topic. Click the "Download Tool" to download in PDF format. Print the cards and follow directions on the site to create your flashcard set. For further exploration of digital citizenship download Tech for Success and A Platform for Fun.

tag(s): digital citizenship (39), internet safety (114)

In the Classroom

Download flashcards for use with any Internet safety lesson or unit. Use the flashcards to create a classroom center. Have students choose a card to begin research on a topic. Then have students create online posters, individually or together as a class, about what they learned. Use a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here, for a project like this. You may want to set up a center for students to look at the ideas on the Platform for Fun cards to complete as an out of classroom project (has both off line or online ideas).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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