TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 8, 2012

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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Compare & Contrast Map - Read, Write, Think - International Reading Association

Grades
3 to 12
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This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point. A link...more
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This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point. A link in the introduction to the "Comparison and Contrast Guide" gives students the chance to get definitions and look at examples before they begin working. The tool offers multiple ways to navigate information, including a graphic on the right to move around the map without having to work in a linear fashion. The finished map can be saved, e-mailed, or printed. There are many additional interactives and lesson plans (with standards included!).

tag(s): charts and graphs (163), concept mapping (16), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Use this site to introduce comparisons to your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. After demonstrating how to use the site, create a link on classroom computers for students to make their own comparisons to be printed and shared. Divide students into 3 groups - one for each type of comparison essay - and have them create comparisons for their type, then share and compare with other students. Change student learning by having them create "annotated pictures" to illustrate the different types of comparisons using Szoter, reviewed here. Use this site with gifted students as a way for them to explore subjects more deeply than discussed in class. Use this site with ESL/ELL students to help organize information easily and as a visual representation of class material.

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Reel Life Wisdom - Doug Manning

Grades
5 to 12
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Capture your students' attention through movies! Reel Life Wisdom, offers a collection of over 3,200 hand-picked quotes from films across the ages. Search for great quotes by...more
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Capture your students' attention through movies! Reel Life Wisdom, offers a collection of over 3,200 hand-picked quotes from films across the ages. Search for great quotes by movie title, actor, or year. Quotes are organized by character qualities such as hope, faith and belief, and courage. Love: Connect to Your Supporting Cast quotes contain quotes on family, friends, contributions, and relationships. Random Bits of Wisdom quotes examine adversity, balance, discrimination, and responsibility among many others. Reel life quotes aim to inspire and support people proactively, self-managing their life. An RSS feed and email subscription ensure delivery of daily quotes to you.

tag(s): firstday (17), movies (55), quotations (20)

In the Classroom

Reel Life Wisdom supports character education programs with a parent PDF offering useful tips. Use relevant quotes in discussions on theme, choice, and empowerment. Lead your students to understand they are in charge of their lives. Improve reading comprehension of any text, by making connections or comparisons to a movie. Strengthen writing skills by critiques, explanations, and point of view essays. Challenge students to reach a deeper understanding of theme by finding a quote to match the theme. Use movies as an example for positive, effective goal setting strategies. Develop written or oral language by using the quotes as writing/speaking prompts. Challenge students to discover the many choices available to every individual. Encourage a meaningful sense of story development while connecting to each student's interest. The movies also offer a personal story into the study of people, government, and values. Create a thematic bulletin board of quotes on a topic, or have students generate word clouds from several favorite quotes on the same theme. Use a tool such as WordClouds, reviewed here. Post the clouds for class inspiration. During the first week of school, share this site and ask each student to share a favorite quote on a class blog or wiki for students to get to know each other.

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Flipsnack - Smartketer LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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Use FlipSnack to create a free, online flip book from PDF documents. Create a Flip book when you want to embed a book, magazine, catalog, newspaper, portfolio, or other kind ...more
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Use FlipSnack to create a free, online flip book from PDF documents. Create a Flip book when you want to embed a book, magazine, catalog, newspaper, portfolio, or other kind of document into a website, wiki, or blog and have viewers flip through the pages interactively. Upload your PDF document and choose a title. (Choose carefully, since it is the title of the book.) Choose a template and customize by dragging elements and changing colors and then Publish. Now any content can become an online "book."

In the Classroom

Make a flipbook of a presentation as an engaging alternative to a web page or PowerPoint. If you have a Word doc or image instead of a PDF, not to worry! Use CleverPDF, reviewed here, to convert them to PDF format. Share classroom information such as rules and expectations in an easy to read format. Use for a great way to bring digital storytelling up front in your classroom. Make photosynthesis a story instead of bits of equations and information. Portray a time period in history or create books of different political or societal opinions. Create a flipbook with the viewpoints and personalities of characters in a story. Practice a different language by creating a themed flipbook. Lower grades can combine writing into a class flipbook to be shared online or read aloud. Any written assignment can easily be re-visioned as a flipbook! Make your literary magazone a flipbook or build new poetry collections during poetry month. Share all your flipbooks on individual laptops, or the interactive whiteboard or projector. Create simple flipbooks of Dolch words for beginning readers.

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Keeping Score - San Francisco Symphony

Grades
3 to 12
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Keeping Score takes you on a creative historical journey through the composers, conflicts, and culture of some of music's most beloved and classical works. This first-class website...more
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Keeping Score takes you on a creative historical journey through the composers, conflicts, and culture of some of music's most beloved and classical works. This first-class website contains interactives for composers such as Beethoven, Copeland, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky. You can see pictures and listen to stories about the lives and times of the composers, hear the music, read personal reflections or quotes of the composers, and listen to commentary of other musical professionals. Also included are podcasts of the San Francisco radio show, 13 Days When Music Changed Forever which is about musical revolutions. The education link is full of ideas for incorporating music into any and all subjects. It also has time saving, standards guided lesson plans to be used in all educational settings. Musical education websites do not get cooler than this! This type of site can connect with today's learners by bringing them all the information that they need in a one stop, multimedia package. It is classy, concise, and easy to navigate.

tag(s): composers (16), music theory (44), musical instruments (42), songs (45)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore specific composers on their own (or in cooperative learning groups). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, Animatron, Sway, and Microsoft PowerPoint Online.

U.S. and world history teachers will love this site! (As well as music teachers) Use interactives to integrate music into history classes, math classes (for timing and fractions), and English classes (reading and writing about music). All teachers can check out the thematic links for their subject to music. Take advantage of the FREE lesson plans. Chances are good that you could incorporate music into every type of class. Simply check out the education link, and your imagination and educational wheels will start spinning!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Knoword - Trevor Blades

Grades
5 to 12
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This "wordy" site offers word definitions with a challenge! You see the first letter of a word and its definition. You must quickly type in a word you think fits ...more
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This "wordy" site offers word definitions with a challenge! You see the first letter of a word and its definition. You must quickly type in a word you think fits the definition. The site allows you to pass if you do not know the word, but the definition of the word appears anyway (along with the answer). Once the correct word is entered, the definition changes quickly so you can accrue as many points as possible in a limited time. The site also keeps a list of words used at any interaction, so you can see the words correct and missed. Some definitions offer easier hints in their wording.

tag(s): game based learning (159), vocabulary (232), vocabulary development (86), word study (52)

In the Classroom

Try this activity at the start of class on your interactive whiteboard or projector; it's perfect for vocabulary development with a lively twist! Offer this site to your students who are trying to assess and/or improve their vocabulary for standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT. ESL/ELL students may also enjoy the challenges and additions to their vocabulary. Share this site on your class webpage or blog for students to access (and practice) at home.

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