TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 3, 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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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Universal

Grades
5 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Visit Harry Potter's world 3D style! This Webby Award Nominee by Universal will take you through Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can enter Dumbledore's office, Gryffindor...more
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Visit Harry Potter's world 3D style! This Webby Award Nominee by Universal will take you through Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can enter Dumbledore's office, Gryffindor common room, and many more of the areas you read about in the Harry Potter books. You can also stroll (scroll) down the streets of Hogsmeade, where you can visit certain shops. This is a unique, interactive fantasy world that is gorgeous, and sure to please your students who love Harry Potter. Along the bottom you will find several items to click on to see different aspects of the Harry Potter books. Click on the map to see Hogsmeade and Hogwarts.

tag(s): independent reading (127), reading strategies (56), virtual field trips (54), visual thinking (10), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

Use your projector and whiteboard, and show parts of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as a treat for your students, or as an introduction to reading one of the Harry Potter books as a class novel. Since this site is beautiful and fanciful students who have a hard time visualizing while reading may benefit from seeing how Harry Potter's world might look. After this introduction, have a station set up with this website for students who want to look at certain rooms and activities while reading the book.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iCyte Education - ICYTE

Grades
7 to 12
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This tool is simple to use, especially since it has step by step instructions upon first use. iCyte is a browser add-on that allows you to save quotes, parts of ...more
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This tool is simple to use, especially since it has step by step instructions upon first use. iCyte is a browser add-on that allows you to save quotes, parts of readings, or anything one can highlight on the Internet. Once installed, this program has two icons that are located on the toolbar of the browser. Simply two buttons, the first is to save citations, and the second button is to view saved parts of websites. This tool allows you to create projects and store citations by project groups. This would be great for students working on research projects and other similar types of papers. Note that this review directs you to the free educator area of iCyte.

tag(s): citations (37)

In the Classroom

Students could easily install this on their own computers to use during research projects. Teachers could use this to save parts of websites for different classes. Use this tool as an "idea bin" (whole class or individual) throughout a unit before students even start the culminating project. They can collect clips, sites, etc. that interest them about the unit topic so they have raw materials to choose from for the upcoming project. Demonstrate how to use the tool using your interactive whiteboard or projector. You must be able to follow onscreen instructions and locate icons on their toolbar. The only possible issue with this program is that the user must have administrative access to the computers to complete installation.

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Schoology - Schoology

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site is for adventurous, organized technology users looking for a complete online environment for class management. Manage your classes completely through this online environment...more
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This site is for adventurous, organized technology users looking for a complete online environment for class management. Manage your classes completely through this online environment whether you do/do not have access to school-required tools such as an online gradebook. Use this platform for administering quizzes and tests as well as other assessments. Use the social networking aspect to post messages to a large group of students or to individuals. Use the calendar tool and use the interface for students to find and use all documents and materials. Create and share using this exceptional tool. Note: This tool could be time-consuming in initial set-up. Be sure you have permission to use this tool with student accounts before even considering its use. Watch the video tour and check out the features list for the free features that are included with this vast tool.

tag(s): assessment (117), blogs (84), classroom management (152), forum (8), game based learning (138), gamification (89), quizzes (104)

In the Classroom

This tool can operate your whole class for the entire year and is a complete learning management system (LMS.) Take advantage of this FREE professional resource. Users must be somewhat familiar with web 2.0 tools in order to decide what to use and how best to use them. Be sure to check out all the support material on this site for help in using and setting up the features. Be sure to check with your district's policy concerning the use of such a tool. Be sure that access to this tool is with your classes only.

Comments

I prefer Moodle - more versatile and automatically private. So check that out, too. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Storybird - Storybird Inc.

Grades
K to 8
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others....more
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Write your own story or collaborate and create a story using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site. Students and families also can view stories created by others. The final story is available for sharing via URL or email (or keeping private) and printing it is an option. Basically, write text and titles, create a book cover, add graphics, and pass the product to a co-writer (if collaborating) who adds more until both feel the story is complete. A demo video explains the basics. A special section for artists encourages art contributions and explains how to use the art to enhance the stories. An Education area provides a way for teachers to set up accounts for a class with or without student email. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Tube Offline, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): digital storytelling (152), stories and storytelling (33), writing (364), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Have pairs of students create a story by working collaboratively after you have explained and demonstrated the basics. Encourage your older students to use this tool for projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales and recreations from their home countries.

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