TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 30, 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
GradesK to 12
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See "edu-ese" from the point of view of noneducators reading this glossary. Discover the explanations of terms used in education especially the "hot, new" ones. Read explanations that...more
See "edu-ese" from the point of view of noneducators reading this glossary. Discover the explanations of terms used in education especially the "hot, new" ones. Read explanations that give examples and perspectives from those not immersed in education on a daily basis. Useful both for insiders to see how others look at education and for parents to sift through the lingo, this site continually updates its offerings. One handy extra is the abbreviations section. You can also suggest a term for inclusion.
In the ClassroomMost importantly, use this resource to remind yourself that not everyone knows what you are talking about when you toss "edu-ese" terms into conversation or report card comments. Flip your perspective to see how schools look to those outside, including parents. Share appropriate definitions during parent conferences. Mark this in your professional favorites for those embarrassing moments when a colleague uses a term and you cannot remember which initiative is which. Stay up to date on the lingo being used by reformers (and sometimes policy makers). Review for Praxis tests. Share this as a handy resource for involved parents. Teacher educators and coaches will also want to share this with those they coach!
Grades7 to 12
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Teach students how to develop close reading skills with Actively Learn. Choose from over 150 commonly taught texts that include embedded Common Core aligned questions and multimedia....more
Teach students how to develop close reading skills with Actively Learn. Choose from over 150 commonly taught texts that include embedded Common Core aligned questions and multimedia. Choose from any public domain texts or any article from the Internet and be guided through creating your own Common Core aligned questions. Also, embed your own multimedia or images. Reading "school texts" becomes much more personalized when students are able to write notes, questions, or respond to their reading directly on the page they are reading. This is like the old way of using paper and pencil to annotate the text in the margin. Others can respond to questions and notes written by peers reading the same text. Actively Learn makes it easy to set up an assignment by having a "help" button for each area that will show a video for help, or download a PDF to read the instructions. Not only will you find poetry, drama, and stories, but also nonfiction for the sciences and the humanities. The introduction video requires Flash. The rest of the site does not.
In the ClassroomChoose a piece to use with your students and model for them how the program works on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Then assign students to read a piece with a partner in class. Once students are familiar with the format and tools, assign reading for them to complete on their own. Upload current event articles into Actively Learn and write open ended questions for students to answer. Include images or video to go with the article. Use a tool like the Questioning Toolkit, reviewed here, to create some intriguing questions and writing prompts. This is a great tool to use for students with learning differences and ESL/ELL students due to the ability to adjust the text size, color and background, include audio, and the built in dictionary. Besure to check out the blog for ideas about teaching divisive topics, an infographic for close reading stategies, and more.
This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.
Grades5 to 10
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Gettysburg by the Numbers (GBTN) is a web-based, interactive experience of the Battle of Gettysburg through numbers and infographics that raise questions and invite connections. Exploring...more
Gettysburg by the Numbers (GBTN) is a web-based, interactive experience of the Battle of Gettysburg through numbers and infographics that raise questions and invite connections. Exploring Gettysburg "by the numbers" invites you to move beyond dates and facts to questions that make the battle more meaningful and real. Dig into the numbers to imagine the weather, the clothing, the communications, the people, the weapons, and--yes -- the cleanup from three devastating, pivotal July days in 1863. Delve into the infographics and accompanying questions to connect what was then with what is now. The site includes ideas for families and for teachers to use it in the classroom. Be sure to click on the large color image of the battle to get the "big picture." Teachers will want to explore the extensive "For Teachers" section that offers materials, lesson ideas, Common Core correlations, and much more.
In the ClassroomGettysburg exemplifies many aspects of the Civil War experience and of U.S. life during the 1860s. Use this resource as a whole class introduction to the Civil War or specifically to the Battle of Gettysburg. Extensive teacher materials include downloadable and customizable handouts for students to "get the basics" about the battle or extend their understanding through small group or individual projects on battle-related topics that interest them. Coordinate with your math teacher to reinforce concepts of proportion, percent, ratio, and graphing with real data about Gettysburg. Differentiate for your students by helping them select from more concrete or more open-ended "questions" included with each detail about the battle. You can make this a one-day "quick tour" or a week long journey. Find project ideas included in these questions. There is even a customizable project rubric in the teacher materials. Be sure to share this link on your class web page for curious students (and families) to explore on their own outside of class!
Excellent resource for researchArthur, TX, Grades: 0 - 12
Grades5 to 12
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Create text-based adventure games and interactive fiction using Quest! No programming language required. You can also play games already designed by others. Choose the "play" option...more
Create text-based adventure games and interactive fiction using Quest! No programming language required. You can also play games already designed by others. Choose the "play" option from the top of the web page to view and play games such as The Mansion or Shipwrecked. Play games online or download to your Windows computer. Design your own games online using your web browser or download software to your Windows PC to work offline. Create an account in Quest to begin creating activities. View the video tutorial for an overview of the activities and creation processes. Create rooms and objects or tasks for each room. Create more complex games by following complete instructions found in the web browser version of the game system creator. Add sound files and even videos to games in addition to tasks. An option allows players to choose their own endings to games. There is a documentation wiki and a forum to get help. This site may require some tinkering around to figure it out! But it is well worth the time. Note: since games available for Play are created by the general public, you will want to preview for appropriateness.