TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 29, 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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100 Snowballs Game - ABCya!

Grades
K to 4
7 Favorites 0  Comments
What can you do with 100 snowballs? Find out with this interactive activity where students can let their imaginations run free with creating a winter scene using 100 snowballs. The...more
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What can you do with 100 snowballs? Find out with this interactive activity where students can let their imaginations run free with creating a winter scene using 100 snowballs. The activity is easy to use, simply click and drag each snowball anywhere in the scene. Finished creations can be saved to your computer or printed using links at the top of the activity.

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect for the 100th day of school activities! Use in a computer center and have students group the snowballs into different size groups and count how many are in each pile. Have students create a scene using the 100 snowballs then write a poem about their creation.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Readability Test Tool - David Simpson

Grades
1 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
Test any website's readability using The Readability Test Tool. Test readability by URL or direct text input from any source (such as copy/paste of student writing). Simply enter...more
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Test any website's readability using The Readability Test Tool. Test readability by URL or direct text input from any source (such as copy/paste of student writing). Simply enter the web address (URL) and get the readability of the site on several scales. You can also check your own webpages by using the "referer" section. You will get a score for the most used readability indicators: Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease and Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, Coleman Liau Index, and Automated Readability Index (ARI). These tell much more than a simple "grade level." View sentence info such as total characters, number of words, average word length, percentage of short and long sentences, and more. View word usage of types of verbs, conjunctions, and other parts of speech as well as type of words used to begin sentences. Click the link provided to view an explanation of each type of score.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (116), readability (6), writing (356)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to offer differentiated resources for the different reading levels in your class. At the beginning of the year, as you learn your students' capabilities, use this tool to find reading at the appropriate level to eliminate frustration. This is perfect for finding the "just right" level for your highly advanced/gifted students and those needing extra remediation. If you do discover that a website you want to use is over your students' independent reading level, you can still use it, just open Lingro, reviewed here, first; then enter the URL you want them to read. Lingro is a study aid and open content dictionary that makes all of the words (on a particular website) clickable for definitions and translation. Of course, if the sentence length or complexity is at a much higher reading level, simple word definitions will not make it "readable" for struggling readers. View readability levels of websites before sharing with students to find appropriate reading levels for differentiation. On an interactive whiteboard or with a projector, test passages of public domain texts from sites like Project Gutenberg, reviewed here, by famous authors to see how their writing ranks when discussing their writing style.

Why not have students put in the URL for their blog or wiki (or simply paste in a writing sample) to see the level at which they are writing? This is one way to encourage writing as a craft and challenge students to include more varied vocabulary and sentence structure in their writing.

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Biodigitalhuman - Healthline Networks

Grades
7 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Use this exceptional tool to look inside the human body in a detailed 3D view. Definitions, descriptions, and common conditions of that structure show in the pop up text. View ...more
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Use this exceptional tool to look inside the human body in a detailed 3D view. Definitions, descriptions, and common conditions of that structure show in the pop up text. View male or female anatomical structures down to the most incredible detail. Use the slider along the bottom to rotate the image 360 degrees. View the videos, health tips, injury or disease causes or symptoms, and other structures. Choose which system to view: urinary, digestive, reproductive, muscular, nervous, or many others. Of course, this site is "anatomically correct."

tag(s): body systems (56), human body (124), medicine (62), reproduction (8)

In the Classroom

Use this resource in an anatomy/physiology, biology, or health class. Use as a resource to understand structure and function as well as common health ailments and their effects. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide this link on your website for students to use who are studying human body systems. Assign a different "system" to each student (or cooperative learning group). Challenge students to create multimedia presentations on their system using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Beautiful.AI, Animatron, Adobe Spark for Education, and Synth.

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obooko - Tony Stanton, Sarah Bainbridge, Tim Johnson

Grades
7 to 12
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Join the writers and readers of obooko, the free site to publish and read ebooks. Readers' Choice Awards of 2011 winner for free eBooks , obooko offers a platform to ...more
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Join the writers and readers of obooko, the free site to publish and read ebooks. Readers' Choice Awards of 2011 winner for free eBooks , obooko offers a platform to share your work and read the works of others. Become a reviewer and write comments on other ebooks. As authors, you retain all rights with no charges or contracts. This site is legal and does not infringe on copyright laws. There are numerous categories to choose from: Romance and Women, Crime, Religion, Thriller, Mystery, Teens, and much more! This site is not intended for children under 13. Some of the content may not be appropriate for the classroom. So be sure to preview.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (151), ebooks (35), mysteries (23), novels (25), poetry (223), religions (68)

In the Classroom

For your language arts class, obooko contains many examples of contemporary writing. Selections for critiquing and editing are readily available without hurting any class member's feelings. Look at examples for current ideas and places to begin brainstorming. Included are free templates for different types of writing. Have each member of your class become a published author! Use the titles as writing prompts or read only half of the story and have students finish it in their own way. Bring each student's story into the lives of many. Assign critiques using obooko. You might even create a school or class obooko literary magazine during poetry month.

Library/media specialists may want to select certain ebooks to load on school iTouches for students to read and review. Start an obooko reading club with these free options.

If you are uncomfortable sharing here or school policy prohibits it, have your classes create a similar website (wiki) with published pieces from your school or class. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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