TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 19, 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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ALTs altastic - Altastic.com

Grades
K to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Find useful, interactive whiteboard resources, downloads, and lesson ideas (aimed at the elementary levels). These resources are divided into categories such as Flashcards, Scorers,...more
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Find useful, interactive whiteboard resources, downloads, and lesson ideas (aimed at the elementary levels). These resources are divided into categories such as Flashcards, Scorers, Interactive Stuff, Time Killers and the Lab. Each of the resources can be downloaded or accessed directly from the site by clicking the image next to the title. They will run on computers or any brand of interactive whiteboard or projector. Flashcard sets include handwriting practice, number practice, the Verbinator, mysteries, flags of the world, and more. Scorers are different forms of scoreboards use keeping track of game play. The Lab section is a very nice interactive demonstrating proper formation of letters in block, basic, or cursive script. Click on the color link on this page to break each of the letters into colored sections to help visualize the proper letter formation. Be sure to check out the interactive clock and dice located under Interactive Stuff. This site appears to be updated often, so be sure to check back. The downloads are JAVA applets that can run offline. Unfortunately, the activities do not work on iOs devices like iPads.

tag(s): alphabet (53), flags (16), flash cards (36), handwriting (17), iwb (27), numbers (153), verbs (30)

In the Classroom

Display the handwriting flashcards on your interactive whiteboard as a student-operated center to practice letter writing skills. Choose random letters, and have students make a list of words beginning with that letter. The What's This activity would be great vocabulary practice for ELL students or speech/language students. Use the Timekillers on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for a quick 5 or 10 minute class or center activity.

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IndyKids - IndyKids

Grades
3 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
IndyKids is an online newspaper for kids. This online version is the same as the printable version that produces 10,000 copies of each issue, reaching kids in 36 states of ...more
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IndyKids is an online newspaper for kids. This online version is the same as the printable version that produces 10,000 copies of each issue, reaching kids in 36 states of the US. Articles are written by both kids and adults, featuring topics related to current events and topics of interest to kids. Articles written by kids are noted as such and include the writer's age. At the time of this review, some of the "kid written articles" included Growing Poverty: Hard to Ignore At Home, Wasps: Do I Know You, and several others. Be sure to check out the category search on the lower right-hand portion of the site with topics such as: Kids Around the World, Culture and Activism, Education, and much more. Newspapers are archived in PDF format for easy printing and dated back several years.

tag(s): creative writing (120), expository writing (31), journalism (66), persuasive writing (51), writing (284)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students and have students choose an article to read, summarize, or expand upon. After reading articles on the site, have students choose a current topic that interests them and have them write an article as practice of informational writing. In science or social studies, study the newspaper format as students write articles reporting on scientific discoveries or famous people. Use the format of this newsletter as a resource for extending learning and creating and publishing your own classroom newsletter online. During newspapers in education month, use this site to find accessible articles for any age. Create a newspaper using a site such as Printing Press,reviewed here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Infographics Archive - Infographics Archive

Grades
7 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Find fascinating Infographics on a variety of topics: Technology, Environment, Business, Food Facts, Politics, Health Safety, and even Interesting Facts. What are Infographics? A graphic...more
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Find fascinating Infographics on a variety of topics: Technology, Environment, Business, Food Facts, Politics, Health Safety, and even Interesting Facts. What are Infographics? A graphic visual representation of information, data, or knowledge.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (174), data (137), graphic design (43), infographics (51)

In the Classroom

Use as an introduction to a lesson or unit. Use Think-Pair-Share to list and share information provided by the graphic. Develop questions to be answered to understand the information or questions that they just wonder. Allow students or groups of students to choose an Infographic that interests them and report on the information given. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand content and connect it with the real world, such as showing the many ways electricity is used in the world or the impact of slavery on an economy. Or have them explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Since infographics are often key to understanding an article, reading teachers will appreciate this large collection to use in teaching/practicing how to interpret informational graphics within a text. Share one each day for students to practice telling you the "main idea" of the graphic.

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BBC - Sing - Learn to Sing - BBC

Grades
2 to 12
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Although this page has been archived and is no longer updated, all links are functional. "BBC- Sing- Learn to Sing" gives you a step by step tutorial on how to ...more
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Although this page has been archived and is no longer updated, all links are functional. "BBC- Sing- Learn to Sing" gives you a step by step tutorial on how to properly stand, warm up, sing, and improve your singing explained through text instructions, images, and videos. This videos give you the basics; what you do with them is up to you! This a fun and interesting way to bring singing into your schools, especially where funding cuts have eliminated staffing for music.

tag(s): music theory (35), sound (78)

In the Classroom

This site would be great for music, choral teachers, musical directors, or individual students hoping to improve their singing. Use the tutorial with students who are new to singing and group performance. The more students know and practice, the more comfortable they will be with their own abilities. Assign this link from your webpage or wiki so that students may access the lessons from home to practice in their own comfort zone. This would also be great if you are the adviser of a musical club or group. Guitar clubs could even benefit from this, as they could learn how to sing better along with their instruments. In science class, include this site in a unit on sound as you investigate how human anatomy creates and adjusts sounds in singing.

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Tricider - tricider.com

Grades
3 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Tricider is an exciting tool to help people brainstorm and make decisions. You put a question in the appropriate box and then select who is eligible to comment and vote. ...more
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Tricider is an exciting tool to help people brainstorm and make decisions. You put a question in the appropriate box and then select who is eligible to comment and vote. Invite people to join in making decisions via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Options include setting a time limit, or closing down the question or discussion. There is no registration required, and the site is completely free.

tag(s): brainstorming (17), conflict resolution (7), debate (40), persuasive writing (51), polls and surveys (46), questioning (33)

In the Classroom

Introduce Tricider on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site to develop arguments sides for an upcoming debate or persuasive writing assignment. Promote higher level thinking by asking students to brainstorm options and set criteria to choose. Build mental flexibility as they see alternate points of view on an issue. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects, decision making, and organization.

If you have students create book ads in your class, or projects, your students can vote on which book they want to read next or which project they would like to investigate further, etc. Teachers can also use Tricider to survey students about what resources on your website are the best, what further explanation they may need about a unit in math or science, which project students would like to do as a summative assessment, or ways to encourage "green" practices in your community. Be sure to have your students use a code or number instead of an actual name.

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