TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 23, 2011

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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What's Your Learning Style? - Edutopia

Grades
4 to 12
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Here you will find a quick and interesting learning styles quiz for your students to take. You don't need to sign in. No email address or registration is required. Once ...more
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Here you will find a quick and interesting learning styles quiz for your students to take. You don't need to sign in. No email address or registration is required. Once you've found your dominate style there is a description, and, best of all, tips for the best way for you to learn. Some of the learning styles also include possible career choices.

tag(s): learning styles (18), multiple intelligences (8)

In the Classroom

Have your students open a word document and save it. Then have them take the quiz, without signing up. Use the "Print Screen" feature on the computer to have the students copy their test. They can then paste it in their word document. Next have them look to see what is their most dominate style, and have them copy and paste the description for that style first, then their next dominate and so on. Not only can your students use this when trying to figure out final projects for assessments, but if they are having trouble with tests, they can look and see what might help them when it comes to study time. You can also use the results to group students or for them to select a "study buddy" before tests! Many of the styles include possible careers for students to pursue.

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Gettysburg Address on Vimeo - Adam Gault

Grades
6 to 12
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Our students are accustomed to having both audio and video content to the information they access. Consequently, just reading something like the Gettysburg Address can seem dry and...more
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Our students are accustomed to having both audio and video content to the information they access. Consequently, just reading something like the Gettysburg Address can seem dry and sterile to them. This video provides both a rich reading of Lincoln's famous speech, but an accompanying video track to illustrate it.

tag(s): civil war (127), gettysburg (17), gettysburg address (13), lincoln (58), presidents (116)

In the Classroom

For those who are not strong readers, the audio-video combination provided here may make the concepts in the Gettysburg Address more accessible. For other students, there may be deeper, more complex questions sparked by the video. Did the creator of the video capture the concepts authored by Abraham Lincoln adequately? This video could be the "jumping off place" for a variety of questions the class might consider or project ideas for individual students. How might you do it differently? What about other well-known speeches or documents? How would you illustrate them for a similar video? Challenge students to create their own video accompanying a famous speech and share the video using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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Surfing Scientist - ABC Science

Grades
3 to 12
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Find a variety of science resources on this great site. Explore the Tricks, Conundrums, Demos, Lesson Plans, and Videos about Science. Many of the resources include an Adobe PDF file...more
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Find a variety of science resources on this great site. Explore the Tricks, Conundrums, Demos, Lesson Plans, and Videos about Science. Many of the resources include an Adobe PDF file that can be downloaded.

tag(s): experiments (51)

In the Classroom

Use many of these resources for brain teasers, mind stretchers, or anticipatory sets to initiate class. Encourage students to brainstorm, explain, and even blog their reactions to these resources. Provide time for students to work out the science behind the demonstrations. Consider creating little podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here), with students demonstrating end explaining the science to show true understanding.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A Class Divided - Frontline/PBS-WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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This is one of the most requested programs for effectively conveying the reality of discrimination, what it feels like, and how it can change a person. Frontline, the PBS news-magazine...more
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This is one of the most requested programs for effectively conveying the reality of discrimination, what it feels like, and how it can change a person. Frontline, the PBS news-magazine show, produced this gripping piece that tackles the controversy, complexity, and consequences of discrimination that have shaped our society. This film and collection of activities are based on the 1970 documentary of the daring lesson that teacher Jane Elliott taught her third-grade class to give them a firsthand experience in the meaning of discrimination, immediately following the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. The film shows what she taught the children and the impact that lesson had on their lives. It includes three major segments: the footage of the original documentary of Jane Elliott's third-graders, (approximately 20 minutes), the reunion of those third-graders 14 years later who talk about the effect her lesson has had on their lives, (approximately 7 minutes), and also Elliott teaching her lesson to adult employees of Iowa's prison system and how their reactions to her exercise were similar to those of the children, (approximately 20 minutes). A Teachers' Guide, as well as an abundance of supplementary materials that allow students to wrestle with realistic ideas, are available on this site.

tag(s): black history (81), bullying (52), character education (64), civil rights (148), difficult conversations (41), diversity (30), racism (67), segregation (15), tolerance (9)

In the Classroom

Help your students understand why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and raise their awareness of discrimination and the struggle for civil rights by involving them in active viewing of A Class Divided projected on your classroom interactive whiteboard or projector. You can view the film in its entirety, or in separate chapters followed by the Discussion Questions. You may want to give students a specific task to do during the film. For example, you might ask them to listen for a particular issue or the answers to a set of questions, or take notes in preparation for one of the post-viewing activities. As a way to accomplish this and enhance learning in your classroom use playposit, reviewed here. Replay the video or pause for discussion whenever you choose with playposit for focused, in depth exploration. Depending on your students' background knowledge and grade level, you may want to review or introduce some of the basic tenets of the United States Constitution that provide the legal grounding for equality and protection of individual rights. Explain that there are examples in American history when individuals' rights were denied and that many civil rights activists were arrested for either challenging, demonstrating, or breaking rules that they thought were unfair. Pose some of the questions for written assignments and discussion. This is a perfect lesson for Black History Month! Divide the class into groups to brainstorm situations that exist today within our own communities, and how they would feel and deal with it if they were the subjects. Students can easily create mind maps, replacing paper and pen, by using free tools from Teachersfirst, such as TUZZit, reviewed here. Have students choose words from songs to explore themes of freedom and equality, using Stories Behind the Songs, reviewed here. High school students could extend this to a reading and study of the final chapter of "One America in the 21st Century," the 1998 report of President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race, which lists 10 things that every American should do to promote racial reconciliation. Ask students to add anything they think is missing and make a commitment to continue the crusade to end discrimination.

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Valentine's Day - A&E Entertainment

Grades
7 to 12
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The History Channel provides an interesting summary of the various legends of Valentine's Day from several cultures throughout the world. The information provided dates back to before...more
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The History Channel provides an interesting summary of the various legends of Valentine's Day from several cultures throughout the world. The information provided dates back to before the Middle Ages and touches upon the ideas of some pagan traditions as well as Roman and Christian theories. This site includes many related articles and videos. NOTE: There are also very factual videos about "the science of love," "kissing," etc. so middle level teachers may want to be sure their students are not too silly/immature to catch sight of these television specials. There are some minor advertisements at this site.

tag(s): valentines day (11)

In the Classroom

Reference the information on this website to use with a lesson on holidays or various history units. Assign speculated theories listed within the text to students and have them work in small groups to expand upon the information. Have them present their information to the class in a jigsaw format. Students could use the Valentine's Day information to compare and contrast with other holidays having similar historical connections such as Easter and May Day. Have cooperative learning groups compare the two holidays using a site such as, Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

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Be The Beat - heart.org - American Heart Association

Grades
K to 10
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This teacher's area of "Be The Beat" provides music, a short "upbeat" video, printable posters (PDF), several Social Media Resources, and links to Additional Resources and Related Programs....more
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This teacher's area of "Be The Beat" provides music, a short "upbeat" video, printable posters (PDF), several Social Media Resources, and links to Additional Resources and Related Programs. This resource's intended use is to enhance current curriculum not create a new one from the materials presented here.

tag(s): heart (27), medicine (53)

In the Classroom

Use these resources in your health classes to help students understand the importance of heart health, CPR, and good emergency responses. Be sure to share the infographic found under Additional Resource to discuss the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest. Use these resources to prepare your class for Jump Rope for the Heart or the other opportunities provided in your community.

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