TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 10, 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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History Engine: Tools for Collaborative Education and Research - The University of Richmond

Grades
8 to 12
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Contribute to ongoing historical research by submitting your own 500-word (or so) "episodes" to the History Engine. Each episode is designed to analyze and examine a particular event...more
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Contribute to ongoing historical research by submitting your own 500-word (or so) "episodes" to the History Engine. Each episode is designed to analyze and examine a particular event or small story, using primary sources and supporting research. The study of history is an ever-evolving process of continuing research and collaboration. While younger students may see history as something that has already been discovered, settled, written down and agreed upon, more advanced learners recognize that history is really much more interpretive and contextual.

The site is designed for use by college professors in designing research projects for individual students or student groups, but there is nothing here that would prevent advanced high school students from using the site or its materials as the basis for a research project. As the site is designed, instructors are to register prior to assigning research so that students can use an authorization code when submitting their research. If you decide to use the resources without submitting student work to the site, no registration is required. It should be noted that the terms of submission make the work the property of the University of Richmond; be sure that's consistent with your goals before you decide to submit.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): advanced placement (25), history day (22), local history (14)

In the Classroom

The site and the research it encourages is designed for college students, so secondary school use would need to be either in an upper level or Advanced Placement course, or perhaps for a student doing research for a National History Day project. As an alternative, the site can be used even in less advanced classes simply as a resource to explore the "episodes" already submitted by others.

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Medical Video and Multimedia Library - Penn Medicine

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this site to view animated videos about medical disorders and interventions. Browse categories such as Allergy and Immunology, Cancer, Fitness, Neurology, and more. Browse topics...more
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Use this site to view animated videos about medical disorders and interventions. Browse categories such as Allergy and Immunology, Cancer, Fitness, Neurology, and more. Browse topics in the categories to learn about specific disorders, interventions, and treatments, and other helpful information. Find a description beneath each video.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (53), diseases (73), fitness (51), medicine (57)

In the Classroom

Use this site for easy to understand information about diseases and disorders. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have groups of students investigate specific medical disorders (using this site and others). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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All My Tweets - AirTight Interactive

Grades
9 to 12
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All My Tweets is an easy way to see the tweets of a certain user. The result of the search is a list of tweets through time. It loads a ...more
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All My Tweets is an easy way to see the tweets of a certain user. The result of the search is a list of tweets through time. It loads a maximum of 3,200 tweets. Try entering teachersfirst in the search bar to see an example. Note: adults should preview results before using this tool with students, since unintended results may include inappropriate content.

tag(s): twitter (39)

In the Classroom

Use on an Interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce a class topic or follow current events. This site could be used for students to submit an assignment of their own tweets they did over a period of time. Or use this site during a presentation on how Twitter works, showing the information contained in a succession of tweets. Have students submit a record of tweets that show their learning over time. Follow a Twitter user who often shares resource links for a diary of resources that have been shared. Trace the tweets from the White House, any high profile political figure, or author over a period of time. Follow discussions about current events or new events in science or medicine. See this list of tweeting authors for some possibilities.

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The Number Warrior - Jason Dyer

Grades
6 to 12
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This blog, created by Jason Dyer, is all about teaching mathematics. There is discussions of interesting aspects of math, lessons, video clips, puzzles, and other activities. The site...more
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This blog, created by Jason Dyer, is all about teaching mathematics. There is discussions of interesting aspects of math, lessons, video clips, puzzles, and other activities. The site includes a search bar to use when looking for specific topics such as fractions or algebra. Be sure to check out the links to puzzles to find many different logic puzzles for classroom use. Subscribe to the blog using your RSS feed such as Google Reader to keep track of ongoing posts. Don't miss the links on the site to the Annotated Blogroll to find other math blogs of interest.

tag(s): logic (177), puzzles (155)

In the Classroom

Share puzzles from the sites for students to complete weekly or as homework. Then challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain steps and logic used to complete puzzles. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here.

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Whales and Dolphins for Children - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

Grades
2 to 9
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Learn about and explore the world of dolphins and whales with this educational site. Find out if your school serves "whale-friendly" lunches, make an origami dolphin, or watch a video...more
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Learn about and explore the world of dolphins and whales with this educational site. Find out if your school serves "whale-friendly" lunches, make an origami dolphin, or watch a video demonstrating how dolphins get caught in fishing nets. Be sure not to miss the life-size whale animation that provides an up-close perspective on just how large whales are. Lesson plans are available on the site under the Info Box and include PDF lesson plans and worksheets for students. Some activities require flash which is not supported on all web browsers.

tag(s): ecology (104), habitats (86), marine biology (24), whales (12)

In the Classroom

The life size whale animation is perfect for use on interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the animation and move the box around to give different perspective on the size of a whale. The red box on the whale on the right-hand corner of the screen shows what part of the whale is being displayed. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research dolphins or whales and create 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 in K-12, Zeetings, Animatron, Renderforest, and Canva Inforgraphic Maker.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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NfbKids - The National Film Board of Canada

Grades
K to 4
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Explore, learn, and have some fun at this engaging site create by the National Film Board of Canada. The site is divided into seven different sections, each offering activities based...more
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Explore, learn, and have some fun at this engaging site create by the National Film Board of Canada. The site is divided into seven different sections, each offering activities based on themes such as seasons, story telling, and experiments. Learn more about the site by following the tutorial on the Cuckoo section. Learn about the seasons as you explore Ludovic's area. Dog Run teaches about pet ownership and dogs in general. Be sure to check out the Fun Stuff section that contains a wonderful story boarding activity as well as several "create a character" options for storytelling fun! Account registration isn't required to use the site; however, creating an account allows you to save and access activities at a later time.

tag(s): digital storytelling (127), interactive stories (18), preK (233), puzzles (155), seasons (31), stories and storytelling (27)

In the Classroom

Use the Fun Stuff portion of the site for creative writing activities. Have students create characters then write stories based on their adventures. Use the story board portion of the site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to create a story as a class. Challenge students to create their own stories incorporating different elements discussed on the story board. Share stories and create videos of students reading their creations. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. If you teach an animal unit or have pets week, be sure to include Dog Run!

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Grand Challenges for Engineering - National Academy of Engineering

Grades
9 to 12
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Grand Challenges for Engineering shares information on several engineering problems that are just waiting for 21st century solutions. Engineering challenge information is presented...more
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Grand Challenges for Engineering shares information on several engineering problems that are just waiting for 21st century solutions. Engineering challenge information is presented and followed by a moderated response forum. Anyone may submit ideas, and no registration is required. Share your name and location on the planet, and your comments may be featured in the forum. There are video clips, interactives, ready to go activities, and more. Information about world needs and next steps towards solutions are available. These topics can be controversial, so preview before you share with the class.

tag(s): carbon (15), critical thinking (103), engineering (108), mars (31), medicine (57), nuclear energy (21), problem solving (232), scientific method (55), STEM (214)

In the Classroom

Use Grand Challenges for Engineering topics as class conversation starters in science, biology, and engineering classes and an inspiration to make STEM a possible career choice. Stimulate a rich discussion by previewing the topic to students at the beginning of a week and discussing at the end of the week. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Encourage them to research the idea outside of class, and provide this website as a major source. Have students summarize the concept and the new things that they have learned through the discussion on an exit slip before they leave for the week. Challenge your students to think of other Grand Challenges that we face. In a gifted program these challenges could serve as themes for extended investigations or individual projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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