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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Reel Life Wisdom - Doug Manning

Grades
5 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
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 (19), movies (55), quotations (21)

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 Wordle, 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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Explania - explania.com

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Watch hundreds of animated explanations, tutorials, and videos on a variety of questions. Learn about the myth of Santa, the flu, migraines, history of football, how to avoid stomach...more
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Watch hundreds of animated explanations, tutorials, and videos on a variety of questions. Learn about the myth of Santa, the flu, migraines, history of football, how to avoid stomach aches, what is Twitter, and other topics. General subjects include Health, Sports, Software, Work, Technology, and Companies (advertising.) This site is designed for secondary students (and adults). However, many of the topics would be relevant with older elementary students (for example, "How to Avoid Stomach Aches"). Be sure to peruse and preview before sharing the video in an elementary classroom.

Embed the videos easily into your blog, wiki, or site for use with students. This site does allow users to submit their own videos, but this appears to be for a fee and mainly for businesses looking to advertise or promote a service.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): advertising (28), animation (61), myths and legends (25), sports (84), twitter (39), video (245)

In the Classroom

Share these short videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Find videos related to the content you are teaching. For example, the "What is the flu?" animation gives a great amount of information about colds and flu. Begin your lesson by asking students common statements or questions about what they understand about the cold or the flu. Show the results on a board and then share the video. (Embedding it in a site that you already have is a really great idea.) Identify the actual information to counter the common misconceptions. Find great animations related to technology and using computer and Web 2.0 tools. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them report information learned to the others. Challenge groups to create an animated explanation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge animation tools here.

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Flipsnack - Smartketer LLC

Grades
5 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 PDFaid, 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 (17), music theory (35), musical instruments (39), songs (42)

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 Spark for Education, Animatron, Sway, and Beautiful.AI.

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
8 Favorites 0  Comments
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 (158), vocabulary (247), vocabulary development (94), word study (54)

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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