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
Grades4 to 12
1 Favorites 0 Comments
This is a great maths puzzle site where you must add, subtract, multiply, or divide with a set of four numbers to equal 24. The two rules include do not ...more
This is a great maths puzzle site where you must add, subtract, multiply, or divide with a set of four numbers to equal 24. The two rules include do not cheat and click done when you want to quit! Choose from many modes including an easier version, timed games, and battle mode.
This site includes advertising.
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomPut this link on your blog, wiki, or class page for free play by students. Be sure to bookmark on a classroom computer. This engaging game is challenging and provides many opportunities to stretch thinking. Play on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) in class with individual students or as teams. Create a Math Olympics by making this site a station on a computer or Interactive Whiteboard that student must rotate through to other stations. Other stations can include computer or paper and pencil activities to round out the Math Olympics.
GradesK to 12
0 Favorites 0 Comments
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!
Grades6 to 12
1 Favorites 0 Comments
Pursued is an engaging street view game using Google Maps. Begin with the first level as you look around an unknown city. Use your surroundings to guess the city. Each ...more
Pursued is an engaging street view game using Google Maps. Begin with the first level as you look around an unknown city. Use your surroundings to guess the city. Each correct guess moves you to a new level. Once you reach the "top," you can unlock additional levels by liking the game on Facebook. Additional packages include European Capitals, US State Capitals, and others. Submit your own game as an advanced user using prompts and tutorials provided. As the name states, this activity involves helping a cartoon character who is being pursued. Although it is a cartoon, the opening scene shows the cartoon character being put into what appears to be a trunk. The activity is extremely engaging, but be certain that students are mature enough to handle the content!
In the ClassroomUse this as a fabulous geography and problem-solving activity. Play different levels together as a class or in small groups on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Allow students to explore on their own. In a science class, you could use this game to teach observation and hypothesis testing. (What do you observe? What city might this be?) Social studies or world language classes can explore the signs of different languages or other cultural observations. Challenge students to create their own game including geographic locations within your state, hometowns of famous writers, or any other activity using a map. Have students use a mapping tool such as Click2Map, reviewed here, to create a map with display markers featuring text, photos, and videos. This is perfect for gifted students who want an open-ended challenge.
This resource requires Adobe Flash.
Grades7 to 12
3 Favorites 0 Comments
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.
Grades5 to 10
8 Favorites 1 Comments
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
GradesK to 12
6 Favorites 0 Comments
Data drives instruction. Managing data drives you crazy. This free tool will assess students, manage data, and analyze results to make your instruction better. Easily create rubrics....more
Data drives instruction. Managing data drives you crazy. This free tool will assess students, manage data, and analyze results to make your instruction better. Easily create rubrics. Describe your indicators and include standards. Find rubrics in the library to copy and make your own. Print rubrics, save as a PDF, or download as a spreadsheet. Share your rubrics in the library for others to access. Does breaking down data make you break down? Analyze assessment results by individual students, class, item analysis, or standards. Email students and their families the results or download rubrics to print. Add comments to rubrics for qualitative analysis. Award badges (stickers) to reward students and provide positive feedback. An accompanying, free iPad app allows you to collect data on the fly and add it to your account. The demonstration video requires Flash, the remainder of the site does not.
In the ClassroomUse the data provided to analyze students to differentiate instruction. Provide students and families the opportunity to view data online. Motivate students to learn by awarding badges. Students can analyze their own data to monitor progress. Use the data for progress reports and parent/teacher conferences. Use the data provided to analyze your instruction to make sure standards are being met and instruction is tailored for students' individual needs.
Grades4 to 12
3 Favorites 0 Comments
750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a ...more
750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a "keep private" button, and if you forget to click it who knows who will be reading your most private thoughts. This program is based on the idea that getting your thoughts on (digital) paper every morning can clear your head, focus your ideas, and organize and energize you for the rest of the day. Inspired by the book The Artist's Way, and its hand-written "Morning Pages" exercise, the creator of this program converted that exercise to our 21st century tools. If you care about such things, there is also a point system where one can compare constancy of writing and words written with others.
In the ClassroomTo write daily is a good idea for students. It helps them clarify their thoughts and questions, and get in touch with their feelings. 750 Words would be perfect for any writing program or with gifted students who often feel very strongly about fairness and/or world issues well beyond their years. Students can get their thoughts and ideas written down without having to worry about a grade or someone chancing upon their writings in a school notebook. Here's an idea for any grade level. Have your students do free writes (stream of conscientiousness writing) starting with 5 minutes or more a day. Ask students to count their words daily when time is up, always trying to increase the word count. After a couple of weeks have them use 750 Words and complete the stream of writing on a computer or mobile device. (This shouldn't slow many of them down since most are quick at texting!). After the first day, and again after the second week, using 750 Words have a class discussion about which format they like better and why. Use a backchannel program like YoTeach!, reviewed here, or Chatzy, reviewed here, for the class discussion. Using one of these programs ensures that even your shy students have a chance to say what they think about 750 Words. Challenge your students to complete the 750 words at home. They can earn points, and you know how competition can inspire some of them! Resource students and ESL/ELL students could increase their writing skills and fluency by keeping an online, private journal daily with 750 Words. Emotional support, autistic support, or alternative ed students may find this private space to work out feelings very therapeutic.
Grades5 to 12
1 Favorites 0 Comments
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.