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
GradesK to 4
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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...more
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 ClassroomThis 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.
Grades1 to 12
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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...more
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). The tool also includes explanations of each scale. These tell much more than a simple "grade level."
In the ClassroomUse 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.
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.
Grades7 to 12
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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 ...more
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."
In the ClassroomUse 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.
Grades4 to 12
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Create tutorials for anyone about anything using this tool! Start from an easy to use template and share your tutorial via a unique URL. Your tutorial can have text, and ...more
Create tutorials for anyone about anything using this tool! Start from an easy to use template and share your tutorial via a unique URL. Your tutorial can have text, and screen shots. You don't need to register to start a tutorial, but if you want to save, edit or delete it, you'll need to sign up with your email address. Tildee is free. You can also view public tutorials by searching. At the time of this review, there were many well done Tildees on topics such as: How to Use Google Translate, Lotus, MLA and How to Tame It, and much more. Be aware, some of the public tutorials on the home page may not be appropriate for classroom use. Please preview and consider only sharing the URL to your tutorial, rather than a link to this main site for student use. If students are creating their own tutorial, share the link directly to create the tutorial rather than the main page
In the ClassroomTildee could become a very powerful tool in your classroom. Have students use it to demonstrate what they understand about any concept you teach. Tildee would be the ultimate in "show your work" to explain how students came to a conclusion. Students could use Tildee for persuasive speeches, or speech and debate by uploading facts, videos, and images to prove their point during their speeches. They can also use it to write sequenced directions. Students in history, math, science, art or music classes could showcase their knowledge by creating a tutorial about any topic: how an animal became endangered and the steps to reverse this, the major events that led up to the Civil Rights Movement, or the Holocaust, how to reduce a fraction, the cycle of a cell, or anything else you feel would be worthy of assessment. Physical Education teachers could create tutorials for any move for any sport or exercise, i.e. how to do a proper sit-up or push-up. Teachers can use this site to create tutorials for absentees and/or review and post the URL on your webpage.
This resource requires Adobe Flash.
Grades7 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
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.
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomFor 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.