TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 24, 2010

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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Order in the Library - University of Texas

Grades
1 to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers 11 levels of practice to help students learn how to use a virtual library. They learn sorting, shelving, and reordering (placing mixed up books in the correct ...more
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This site offers 11 levels of practice to help students learn how to use a virtual library. They learn sorting, shelving, and reordering (placing mixed up books in the correct location) with a simple game. Sorting is level 1, shelving is levels 2 - 8, and reordering is levels 9 - 11. Players practice their alphabetizing skills, numerical arranging skills and knowledge of the Dewey Decimal system at 4 levels from expert to super genius. There is a short tutorial that you can view to understand the site. This site is also available in Spanish. At the end of activities, they can print out a certificate (useful for teachers to know students have been successful, but it does kill trees.)

tag(s): alphabet (82)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a preview to a trip to the library to explore library organization. This is also an engaging and practical application for understanding numerical order for math. ELL and ESL students will have no problems with language at any of these levels since it requires no more than a simple understanding of numbers and the alphabet.
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Safety Land - AT&T

Grades
1 to 4
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Safety Land is an easy to use Internet safety game for younger student to learn about Internet safety by taking a virtual animated trip with Captain Broadband to help them ...more
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Safety Land is an easy to use Internet safety game for younger student to learn about Internet safety by taking a virtual animated trip with Captain Broadband to help them stay safe on line. Visit the library, mall, and school during your journey to learn more about Internet safety.

tag(s): bullying (48), computers (109), internet safety (121), safety (88)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work individually or in pairs to use their mouse or keypad to become a certified hero by clicking on the answers to 8 multiple-choice questions. Upon completion, you can print an Internet Safety Certificate and a copy of the questions for review. Make frequent reference to the basic principles learned from this site to reinforce them whenever students go online. Have cooperative learning groups explore this site together and write down the key topics highlighted at this site. Challenge groups to create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here, highlighting the Internet safety tips they learned while visiting this site. Be sure to share the link with parents on your class website or in your class newsletter. They will appreciate the cooperative approach to protecting their children and can reinforce the same skills at home.
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60-second Science - Scientific American

Grades
5 to 12
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Find great 60-second science podcasts about a variety of topics on this site. Subscribe to an RSS or iTunes feed to receive the latest podcasts instantly. Listen to the podcasts ...more
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Find great 60-second science podcasts about a variety of topics on this site. Subscribe to an RSS or iTunes feed to receive the latest podcasts instantly. Listen to the podcasts directly on the site by clicking the play button. Download a single podcast by clicking the "Download" button. Be sure to scroll down the page and look for the section on Podcasts near the lower right. Click the links to view other 60 second podcasts such as "60-second Earth." There are too many topics to mention here. Check it out!

tag(s): listening (81)

In the Classroom

Use the 60 second podcasts as an opener in science or any other class. Share the podcasts on your interactive whiteboard or projector with speakers turned up or share them at a listening center using mp3 players. Use to introduce concepts or ideas, how understanding the concepts in the chapter help to understand a bigger problem, or to identify scientific processes. Allow students to choose individual podcasts to listen, research, understand, and present to the class. Consider creating this type of format in your classroom. Students create podcasts of various materials, lab activities, or items of interest which can be shared on a wiki, blog, or other site. Have students create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Create a student review system of podcasts (easy when using a blog.) Assess students on their ability to explain through the podcast as well as answer questions about the underlying science afterwards.
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Books Should Be Free - Loyal Books - BooksShouldbe free

Grades
K to 12
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis ...more
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austin, J.M. Barrie, Hugh Lofting, and Beatrix Potter. Some audio tracks are available in different languages. The most significant collection appears to be in French and German. Download MP3 files for each chapter in one zip file (333 MB) or directly into iTunes. Search for books by genre, author, title, or keywords. Suggest this site to students who have difficulties with reading, including ESL/ELL students. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Share this site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support, foreign language, or ESL/ELL students.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (174), ebooks (35), fluency (23), french (85), german (61), literature (258), spanish (110)

In the Classroom

Upgrade your literature circles and include e-readers that are speech enabled. Share the stories (or full text) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Books Should Be Free - Loyal Books provides links to the free text that accompanies the audio track. Sites such as Project Gutenberg, reviewed here, contain free versions of the full text. Students can simultaneously listen and read books on either a classroom computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android, or other mobile or cell phone. These recordings will also boost fluency instruction by serving as an oral reading model. Audio-assisted books will encourage students to read with expression, improve reading comprehension, stimulate vocabulary development, and provide a way for students to read text beyond their reading level.

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Wikimedia Commons - Wkimedia Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using ...more
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using the same technology as Wikipedia, you can edit, upload, and embed media file projects into any Wikimedia project. Every media file comes with a description, name of the author and complete licensing details. Search for videos, images, or sound media by keyword, content categories, nature, science, or society. This is an amazing resource to use when searching for any multimedia content.

tag(s): creative commons (24)

In the Classroom

Address the needs of the visual learner and include media files as part of the research process. Wikipedia Commons offers a way for students to gain an understanding of content through images, sounds, and video. Give students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge by narrating a slideshow of images found on Wikipedia Commons or create multimedia presentations on a site such as Lucidpress, reviewed here. These free media files will also help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. This site is a valuable resource for imagery useful when creating presentations, lectures, digital stories, reports or to include on a class websites. Students learning a foreign language may benefit from using Wikipedia Commons to learn about more about the culture and lifestyle of the country whose language they are studying.

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8 Wonders of the Solar System, Made Interactive - Scientific American, A division of Nature America, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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If you are teaching the solar system, and want a way to spice it up, look no further. This informational interactive on the solar system is as beautiful and colorful ...more
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If you are teaching the solar system, and want a way to spice it up, look no further. This informational interactive on the solar system is as beautiful and colorful as it is factual and detailed. Click on pictures by artist, Ron Miller, to see stunning images of the planets. Read the accompanying information on the right of the screen, and check out the additional links of videos and more pictures that open up right in the interactive. Not every planet is pictured, but there are some very interesting pictures of moons that will not be found in the average textbook. This site brings teaching the solar system out of the elementary level and shoots it into upper level learning. To use this interactive independently, students should be at an eighth grade reading level. However, it could be used with younger students for just the pictures or with whole classroom instruction and teacher reading.

tag(s): earth (206), mars (41), moon (81), planets (137), solar system (125), space (234)

In the Classroom

During a unit on the solar system with eighth or ninth grade students, share this link on your class website. Have students view the site at home and be ready with three questions about what they saw and read it the next day. Start class discussion with these questions. Have students help each other answer one another's questions in large group instruction. Or, have students break out into groups and exchange questions to see if they can answer each others questions. Debrief by addressing popular misconceptions, discussion art as a way of interpreting actual scientific fact, and answer any remaining questions. For younger students, show the images on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Talk about what each picture is and have the students listen to the sound of lightening on Saturn and compare it to lightening on Earth.
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Spy Letters of the American Revolution - Clements Library, University of Michigan

Grades
4 to 12
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This fascinating site is based on an exhibit of American Revolutionary spy letters from the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Gallery of...more
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This fascinating site is based on an exhibit of American Revolutionary spy letters from the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Gallery of Letters provides a brief description of each letter and links to more information about the stories of the spies in the letter or the secret methods used to make the letter. This site is rich with primary sources, taking students back in time!

tag(s): evolution (106), primary sources (100)

In the Classroom

The use of spy letters shows students a different perspective of the Revolutionary War. Have your students use the information about the spies and write a biography. Add a little mystery to your classroom and have students write spy letters from the perspective of people on each side of the war. Have students use the images and information from the site and create a poster using Canva reviewed here. Post the letters on an interactive whiteboard or projector and use the letters in an English class to discuss letter writing, grammar, and sentence structure. The whiteboard tools can be used to highlight and annotate. Several more examples of fun activities including writing with disappearing ink can be found in the Teacher's Lounge.

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