TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 12, 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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Zinn Education Project - Zinn Education Project

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The Zinn Education Project provides teaching resources as a part of its effort to offer an alternative to traditional methods of teaching history. Inspired by the work of Howard Zinn,...more
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The Zinn Education Project provides teaching resources as a part of its effort to offer an alternative to traditional methods of teaching history. Inspired by the work of Howard Zinn, the site and its resources come from a clearly progressive point of view and focus heavily on issues of social justice. Understand there is a political agenda here. The website offers both lesson plans and other teaching materials and a bibliography of related books and other non-web-based resources. In order to access the teaching materials, you must register on the site.

tag(s): african american (94), bias (15), black history (81), civil rights (140), hispanic (15), racism (58), women (101)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for additional teaching materials that focus on issues of social justice, racism, or which provide information from a progressive point of view, you can search by time period or theme (i.e., African American, LGBT, War and Anti-War, Civil Rights, Racism, and many more). The teaching materials are in PDF format you can download once you log in. Language arts teachers will find the articles here great for nonfiction reading and terrific as discussion starters!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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DearReader - Suzanne Beecher

Grades
4 to 12
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Don't know what to read next? No problem. Sign up and, based on your interests, you will receive short excerpts via email for suggested books every day. See a quick ...more
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Don't know what to read next? No problem. Sign up and, based on your interests, you will receive short excerpts via email for suggested books every day. See a quick look at a book before deciding to read the entire novel. Join email book clubs at local libraries with the book club links on this site.

tag(s): independent reading (103), literature (218)

In the Classroom

Sign up for DearReader and receive daily emails with book excerpts. Share the excerpts with your class as a way to hook some into reading or to offer book suggestions. Use the emails as an example of a service that students may want to try; have students choose an interesting excerpt from a book they are reading and share with others via email or your classroom blog or website. Consider having students create "talking pictures" to represent their excerpt using Blabberize, reviewed here. Use excerpts as a discussion starter in literacy circles or writers workshops.

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Numberphile - Brady Haran

Grades
7 to 12
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Are you interested in numbers? This site has a variety of videos about math theories that are at the forefront of research. Easy, understandable language presents each topic, and this...more
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Are you interested in numbers? This site has a variety of videos about math theories that are at the forefront of research. Easy, understandable language presents each topic, and this is an entertaining way for anyone to learn fascinating facts about numbers. The Numberphile covers a very broad scope of topics such as Why do people hate mathematics, AMAZING Dice Rolls, and Sounds of PI. Videos vary in length, although most remain well under 15 minutes. Even those who believe they are not good at math will like learning interesting facts about numbers. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the conversation starters and other videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): calculators (36), negative numbers (14), number lines (35), numbers (153), pi (24), prime numbers (26), video (240)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector as wonderful math journal and discussion starters. Choose a video about an interesting number fact that can be used to hook students into a particular lesson or unit. Use the videos to show the fascinating side of mathematics. For example, 666 and its peculiarity in mathematics would be interesting to students. Make a math enrichment center for your gifted students or "hook" math-haters (or girls) by letting them select and critique their own video choice from this site. Embed a video on your class wiki and have students use the discussion tab to comment on what they like about it or were surprised to learn. Use in your blended classroom by flipping and having students view the videos at home to discuss the next day in class. (This is a great option if YouTube is blocked in your school.) Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students (and their families) to access at home. Modify learning by having students make their own advertising videos about their favorite or "lucky" number using a tool such as Vizia, reviewed here, where students can embed questions, comments, and polls into videos. Then share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Science Video Animation - Russell Kightley media

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore an impressive set of science and engineering animations to help explain difficult concepts. View animations and posters. Understand what the visual is about by reading the background...more
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Explore an impressive set of science and engineering animations to help explain difficult concepts. View animations and posters. Understand what the visual is about by reading the background information. Animations and posters cannot be used off the site without purchasing, but this is an excellent resource for viewing and sharing in its online version. Topics include different types of engines, how an eye works and vision problems, convection, waves, and more. There are also several animations about geometric solids.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atoms (48), cells (84), colors (61), diseases (72), dna (52), earth (189), electricity (70), energy (159), engineering (110), geometric shapes (144), light (48), machines (18), molecules (48), solar system (107), sun (64), vision (60), waves (16)

In the Classroom

Use the simulations to help explain topics and concepts in class. Language arts teachers can use this site as a source for nonfiction reading comprehension. Science and language arts teachers can use the site as a learning center for students who need enrichment. Find great animations to help visualize various topics from different viruses to diesel engines, the Doppler Effect, to the garden sundial, and the vertical sundial to name just a few. Check the readability of the animations you want students to use on their own by using the The Readability Test Tool reviewed here.

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WhatWasThere - Enlighten Ventures, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Search for any place in the world and view images of "what was there" in the past using a Google Maps street view. Find your location on Google Maps, then ...more
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Search for any place in the world and view images of "what was there" in the past using a Google Maps street view. Find your location on Google Maps, then search through the list of available photographs. View the photo details or view in Google Street View (the little orange man). Photo details include date taken, title, description, and copyright information. Roll over the photo for a magnified view. In Street View, you can fade in and out through the photograph. You can upload photos, too. This tool is also available as an iPhone app.

tag(s): communities (32), images (259), local history (14), maps (225), photography (134)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to explore the changes in your local area or elsewhere. Compare medicine, education, nutrition, and more from each of the time periods. Create a campaign to showcase your local area today by cataloguing various neighborhoods with your classes. Write stories about life in each of the historical periods. Research headline news of those days, political figures, and major achievements. In elementary grades, show how towns and cities change over time by projecting the photos and maps as part of your Communities unit. In very early grades, introduce the very idea of history by showing "what was there" at familiar local sites. Have students write stories about what happened there "once upon a time."

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