TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 6, 2013

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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Murder at the Met: An American Art Mystery - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
5 to 12
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Find a mystery in art, and use art to solve the mystery. Tour American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts that reside at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to solve the ...more
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Find a mystery in art, and use art to solve the mystery. Tour American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts that reside at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to solve the murder of Virginie Gautreau AKA Madame X, painted by John Singer Sargent. The scenario is an evening gala in 1899, and you put clues together using either your mobile devices or a computer. Players must examine the art work since you are witnesses. There are possible weapons and crime scenes. There are three possible avenues to take to reach the solution, so the game can be played multiple times.

tag(s): art history (78), artists (80), critical thinking (116), interactive stories (31), mysteries (23), thinking skills (14)

In the Classroom

Whether teaching art history or a unit on mysteries and deductive reasoning, students will learn from using this program. Though there is a place for students to keep notes, they should also keep their own notes about the clues, especially why they chose the ones they mark "highly suspicious." Replace paper and pencil by using a tool like Memo Notepad, reviewed here, for digital note taking. If you and your students liked this site you might also enjoy "Mysterious Places: Ancient Civilizations Modern Mysteries," reviewed here, with its lovely photographs to go along with the mysteries. A natural follow up would be to have your students write their own mysteries. Writing with Writers, reviewed here, is just the place to give you some ideas! On the left menu find Projects by Subject and Mystery Writing. Challenge gifted students to create similar mysteries using subject matter in any science or social studies class.

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Chemreference: Periodic Table - Nathan Bookout

Grades
6 to 12
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This free science resource shows the key features of all the elements of the periodic table. Click on an element to bring up the specifics of each element along the ...more
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This free science resource shows the key features of all the elements of the periodic table. Click on an element to bring up the specifics of each element along the right side. Find trends by clicking the characteristic at the left. Click the tab at right to see orbital filling. Don't miss the navigation bar at the far right for more features, including visualization.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atoms (55), elements (38), periodic table (54)

In the Classroom

Use this site to gather information to learn about the elements. Compare the different elements to determine how the properties change down the columns of the periodic table or across in the rows. Use this activity before studying periodicity. Knowing the elements is more powerful when they are studying the trends in the periodic table. Report group findings to the class to understand how the periodic table is arranged and what elements have in common with one another. Create a mindmap using a tool such as scribblar (reviewed here) or a poster using PicLits (reviewed here) of the trends of the periodic table for quick reference.

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TV411 - Science - Adult Literacy Media Alliance

Grades
1 to 10
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Originally created for an adult basic literacy audience, TV411 offers lessons and videos covering a variety of science topics. Learn about heat, photosynthesis, carbohydrates, and other...more
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Originally created for an adult basic literacy audience, TV411 offers lessons and videos covering a variety of science topics. Learn about heat, photosynthesis, carbohydrates, and other topics in easily approachable terms. Each lesson begins with an introduction (typically a video) to the activity including questions to answer. Feedback is given to the questions including an explanation of the correct answer. Math skills are reinforced with the content. Videos can include recipes that reinforce the material discussed. On the right sidebar you will also find a few lesson plans (not formerly written).

tag(s): bacteria (30), charts and graphs (202), nutrition (156), plants (173), water (136)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce or review of Science topics. These topics are appropriate to Family and Consumer Science classes as well. Learning support teachers and those who work with concrete learners will appreciate the way these lessons connect to experience in the real world. Share this site with parents through your classroom website or blog to provide review materials at home. Challenge students to create their own science videos about a topic that your class is currently studying. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ReadWorks - ReadWorks.org

Grades
K to 12
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ReadWorks provides a free, research-based, and Common Core-aligned reading comprehension curriculum. Search through hundreds of lesson plans organized by grade level, topic, or titles....more
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ReadWorks provides a free, research-based, and Common Core-aligned reading comprehension curriculum. Search through hundreds of lesson plans organized by grade level, topic, or titles. Register to download materials and save lessons to your folder. (A valid email and password is required). Be sure to start with the Teacher Guide to see all the many features ReadWorks offers about using and teaching the provided lessons and differentiation. For a quick start, click Find Content then select options from the right menu: Text Options - Reading Passages, Aritcle a Day, and Paired Text, Curriculum Support, Grade, Topic, Text Types - Nonfiction, Fiction, or Poetry, and Lexile. There are thousands of reading passages along with question sets to support learning activities for grades K-12. Each selection contains the text with audio, a vocabulary link, and a questions set. In the left margin, you will find related resources such as standards and related materials.

Teachers can create classes to assign reading and track assessments (which are automatically graded). After signing up with email, click on Admin from the top menu and create a class. Students join the class by using a code and their Google account. No Google account? No problem. Create a roster and provide the class code to students. Easily create assignments for the whole class, or individuals as a way to differentiate.

tag(s): characterization (18), context clues (7), figurative language (16), guided reading (45), independent reading (121), main idea (8), parts of speech (69), plot (11), point of view (11), reading comprehension (132), reading strategies (57), sequencing (29), themes (11), vocabulary (311)

In the Classroom

Show students how to sign up and log into ReadWorks using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Complete a sample assignment together. Use ReadWorks in blended learning or flipped classrooms leaving class time for asking questions and clarifying. Post the link on your website and consider assigning the Article-A-Day for at home reading. Rotate the subjects weekly and discuss the topic the next day in class. Consider using a back channel tool such as GoSoapBox, reviewed here, for the discussion, so even your quiet and shy students feel comfortable participating, and you can get analytics after the discussion. Teachers of all subjects, but especially science and social studies, can find topics for students to read for their subject. Then challenge students to research the topic further. Redefine learning by having students submit their findings to a special class magazine using Underline, reviewed here, created for the topic. Differentiation can be accomplished easily by assigning to individual students, or you can create multiple classes, which would actually be small groups, who read at the same level or have the same topic interest.

Once the students are familiar with the site use Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to assign reading to groups at the same reading level. Older students, once they know their reading level, can their select reading and create their own Symbaloo Learning Paths. Check these to make sure students include all types of reading, and that they are challenging themselves. After several selections, ask older students to choose the topic they were most interested in, find resources to learn more about the topic, then transform their learning by presenting their findings using a multimedia tool such as (click on the tool name to access the review): Canva Infographic Creator, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Biteable.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mapas Flash Interactivos - Enrique Alonso

Grades
3 to 12
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This international, interactive map site contains over 100 puzzles and activities in English to practice map skills by location. This review should direct you to the English version....more
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This international, interactive map site contains over 100 puzzles and activities in English to practice map skills by location. This review should direct you to the English version. Removing the filter for English reveals many more maps in Spanish and other languages. Use the box at the left to select a language. You can also choose by categories of continents, countries, capitals, most visited, and more. Each map has a short description of the activity to read before opening. Double click to open a map and play. Correct responses earn points toward the maximum available.

tag(s): asia (74), canada (31), capitals (22), continents (49), countries (82), landforms (47), map skills (77), maps (294), oceans (163), rivers (24), states (161)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to access maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore and play on their own. Use this site for student practice or for world cultures and world language classes. Share a link to the site via your class website or blog for students to play at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Remarkable Rounding Robot - David Clough

Grades
2 to 5
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Practice rounding to the nearest 10's, 100's, and 1,000's with the Remarkable Rounding Robot. View the 4 digit number presented and type in the rounded answer in each of the...more
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Practice rounding to the nearest 10's, 100's, and 1,000's with the Remarkable Rounding Robot. View the 4 digit number presented and type in the rounded answer in each of the three boxes. Click on the button next to each answer to check. Correct responses receive a check mark, incorrect answers get an X. Click the green button by the robot's hand to get new numbers to start over.

tag(s): rounding (18)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the Rounding Robot as a quick 5 minute review to practice rounding skills. Create a link on classroom computers and have students practice on their own. Have students use the site as a model to create their own problems for classmates to share. Print a screen shot from the site with correct answers to use as a bulletin board display or have students draw their own robot showing correct responses.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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LittleFingers Games - LittleFingers Software

Grades
K to 5
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Play, learn, and discover with these Shockwave interactives from LittleFingers! Simple directions are given at the start of each activity. Topics include syllables, patterns, geography...more
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Play, learn, and discover with these Shockwave interactives from LittleFingers! Simple directions are given at the start of each activity. Topics include syllables, patterns, geography and mapping, puzzles, alphabetizing, and more. At the time of this review, the African Map activity was the only activity designed for upper elementary students. The majority of activities are geared towards early childhood and primary level students. They advertise that more activities are coming soon. So be sure to check back.

tag(s): addition (224), africa (163), alphabet (84), alphabetical order (18), colors (77), maps (294), matching (23), numbers (191), patterns (86), puzzles (203)

In the Classroom

Create a link to individual activities on classroom computers for student practice. Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with parents through your class website or blog for practice at home. Interactives provide great practice for all students, including ESL/ELL.

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Symbolab - Michal Avny

Grades
8 to 12
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Don't miss this unique search engine for math and science. Search for equations, formulas, and expressions using mathematical symbols and scientific notations or search using text....more
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Don't miss this unique search engine for math and science. Search for equations, formulas, and expressions using mathematical symbols and scientific notations or search using text. Choose from options before beginning a search such as basic, operators, physics, trigonometry, and others. Results provided are the most relevant results that are theoretically similar instead of visually similar. Take a tour of the site with the video provided at the home page to beter understand its capabilities. Download the extension for Chrome or Firefox using links provided. Be sure to check out the Formatting Tips link for tips and suggestions on using Symbolab.

tag(s): calculators (39), equations (155), scientific method (67), symbols (18)

In the Classroom

Use as a search engine for mathematics students. Sort results to find explanations of how to solve an equation, what an equation is used for, as well as videos and examples of an equation in use. IN chemistry class, search for examples of chemical equations and places where they are used.

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Tracking American Poverty & Policy - Demos

Grades
6 to 12
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Take an interactive look at poverty in America. Begin with an overall look at poverty statistics; then follow the links to break down information by race, gender, and more. Click ...more
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Take an interactive look at poverty in America. Begin with an overall look at poverty statistics; then follow the links to break down information by race, gender, and more. Click on each pie chart to receive additional information and statistics. Other areas of the website include articles discussing economic issues, links to publications, and multimedia links to discussions on poverty. You can change the year from which the stats are displayed (from 1967 through 2010) so it is very useful to compare the statistics.

tag(s): 1960s (30), 1970s (12), 1980s (9), demographics (19)

In the Classroom

The interactive graphics are perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View statistics together as a class then have your class research statistics for your community. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of your community to national statistics or to compare years or decades.

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The CAT in the HAT Knows a Lot About That - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 2
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Join the Cat in the Hat, Sally, and friends on an adventure that teaches, reinforces, and enriches learning for young students. Easily navigate through Games, Printing, and Videos....more
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Join the Cat in the Hat, Sally, and friends on an adventure that teaches, reinforces, and enriches learning for young students. Easily navigate through Games, Printing, and Videos. Each area features different concepts: colors, shapes, numbers, letters, matching, easy art projects, videos, songs, and spatial reasoning. Be sure to check out the activities on the top menu; they change with each page you click. There are also seasonal/timely activities on the main page. A wide variety of games keep you coming back to find yet another adventure with the Cat in the Hat. The site features user friendly directions for any age.

tag(s): alphabet (84), colors (77), dr seuss (11), geometric shapes (168), measurement (179), numbers (191), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Share this site (video or activity) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use at a center to provide self-directed explorations. Offer on your class website as a resource for home use. Assign different areas to students based on their strengths and weaknesses. Some games even allow students to create their own version. Provide this website as a guide to parents to practice necessary skills for young students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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BiblioNasium - Marjan Ghara

Grades
1 to 7
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BiblioNasium is a READING social platform for learners ages six to twelve. Students, teachers, and parents all have their own login on the site. Students need a parent (or legal ...more
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BiblioNasium is a READING social platform for learners ages six to twelve. Students, teachers, and parents all have their own login on the site. Students need a parent (or legal guardian) to give permission to use this site. Teachers and parents can set reading goals and rate and recommend books. There are some similarities to Goodreads reviewed here in that this is a reading club where you can read reviews about books, write reviews, and rate books, too. Students will treasure finding new books recommended by others. Reluctant readers will become avid readers because it is easy to find topics of interest. Flash is used only for the introductory video.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (147), descriptive writing (40), independent reading (121), social networking (88), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use BiblioNasium to manage an independent reading program from reading logs to tailored reading lists. Stack your virtual bookshelves with recommended or required reads: set reading goals, create challenges, and keep track of student reading by using BiblioNasium in your classroom. Your students can easily see what they have read, what they like, and what they plan to read. Be sure to have them evaluate the books they read using BiblioNasium to help others find their next book. Find books by Lexile reading levels with BiblioNasium's Search Field. BiblioNasium is partners with MetaMetrics'''''''''®, developer of the Lexile'''''''''® Framework for Reading. Knowing the reading levels of your students, you can set up leveled small groups for literature circles or nonfiction reading.

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Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies - Jesse Richardson, Andy Smith, Sam Meadon

Grades
6 to 12
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Find a clickable, online poster explaining the most common logical fallacies. Simply rolling your cursor over the icon for the fallacy will give a definition. Click on it to find ...more
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Find a clickable, online poster explaining the most common logical fallacies. Simply rolling your cursor over the icon for the fallacy will give a definition. Click on it to find a further explanation and an example. Reducing each fallacy to a single simple sentence makes these easier to understand, and the examples given are amusing. There is also a free downloadable PDF of all the fallacies and their explanations presented on this site. A free poster in PDF format is available in three sizes. The free poster can be found at the bottom of the first page of this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): critical thinking (116), debate (47), logic (249), persuasive writing (52), reading comprehension (132), thinking skills (14)

In the Classroom

Most academic writing presents a premise to be proved (an argument). When you first start to have your students try to understand logical fallacies, show them the online poster for logical fallacies and get them started trying to find these fallacies in their everyday lives. You could assign a fallacy a week and have students write in a journal, or a little tablet when they come across one. Or collect them on a class wiki with a page for each fallacy type. You could even have them make up their own logical fallacies. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. After introducing logical fallacies, have students peer edit papers to make sure the writer is not trying to support one of these fallacies. Of course, any speech and debate, or media strategies class would benefit from a review this site. During political seasons, be sure to share this site for evaluating politicians' positions.

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