TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 13, 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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Ocearch - Ocearch

Grades
4 to 12
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Want to know more about the efforts to save all the sharks in our oceans? Use this site to understand the efforts of research organizations to comprehend the many mysteries ...more
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Want to know more about the efforts to save all the sharks in our oceans? Use this site to understand the efforts of research organizations to comprehend the many mysteries of sharks: Where do they breed? Where do sharks live and roam? In order to protect these predators better, we need to understand more about their lives. Why save sharks? They are an important predator that keeps all the other predator/prey balances in check. Find research that has been documented in periodicals, papers, and the news. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find "Useful Links," then clickTracker to find the locations of tagged sharks. Clicking on the dot brings up information about the shark including its location when tagged. Click View More to bring up additional information including all the places the shark has been. View YouTube videos and photos of their expeditions and tagging of the sharks. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (259), marine biology (25), oceans (135)

In the Classroom

This site has information useful from elementary grades up, but you will need to partner weaker readers with stronger ones in middle grades or use the site as a whole class exploration for the informational text portions in elementary. The videos are great for all ages. When discussing ecosystems, be sure to mention sharks as a vital keystone species of the marine ecosystem. They are also an example of predator/prey balances, keeping the ocean ecosystem balanced as the top predator. Use clips of sharks in movies to discuss how sharks are portrayed and then use research to highlight how many human deaths are actually attributed to sharks vs. the number of sharks killed each year. Enhance learning by developing a food web of ocean ecosystems using Diagramo, reviewed here, or ChartGizmo, reviewed here. Research how other animals are tagged to learn more about their lives and how tagging sharks are different. Be sure to use the Tracking Activity drop down in the Global Shark Tracker to see the paths that the sharks have taken during the period of time you specify (one week or more has better data). Identify other animals in different ecosystems that carry a similar negative stigma and create a discussion around why they have that stigma.

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Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? - PBS - Frontline

Grades
7 to 12
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS series Frontline which examines the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the presumed killer of John F. Kennedy. Because Oswald himself was assassinated...more
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS series Frontline which examines the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the presumed killer of John F. Kennedy. Because Oswald himself was assassinated before a full examination of the crime could be completed, mystery surrounds the man and his possible motivations for killing the President. Did he act alone? Here you will find a summary of the major conspiracy theories, a timeline of Oswald's life (including a psychiatric report from his teenage years), and an overview of the events surrounding the assassination. Note that the actual video of the show is not available for free, but there is much information to explore.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): kennedy (22), presidents (112)

In the Classroom

Students are often fascinated by conspiracy theories, and the mystery of whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or was part of a larger plot to kill the President represents one of US history's most enduring. Certainly the site will be useful in a discussion of the event itself. However, it can be used more generally as a springboard for discussion of conspiracy theories themselves. See the lesson ideas in the Teachers Guide section. What evidence do we require to decide if something is true or not? Who can be trusted to tell the story of an emotional event? Is "seeing" always "believing"? How can resolve the fact that eyewitnesses do not all have the same recollection of the event? Have your gifted and highly able students do a special project investigating conspiracy theories in history and sharing them as a role play or video for the rest of the class.

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50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination - Associated Press

Grades
7 to 12
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It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This site from the Associated Press brings together a large collection of photographs related to the assassination of John F. ...more
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It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This site from the Associated Press brings together a large collection of photographs related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The photos are copyrighted, and therefore carry a watermark, but they do represent a good cross section of the photos taken by journalists of the events surrounding the assassination.

tag(s): kennedy (22), presidents (112)

In the Classroom

This site represents a good "quick access" point for photos related to the JFK assassination. Use them to illustrate a discussion of the event, or consider asking students to analyze the perspective presented in the photos. What is the photo communicating? How have these photos influenced the way we remember this important event? Students might be asked to compare the photographic "evidence" that was part of the investigation of this crime with the resources that are available today when a similar incident occurs. For example, how is this documentation different from that which was used to identify the Boston Marathon bombing suspects? In English class, use the photos as prompts for students to write informational texts about the Kennedy Assassination in journalistic or historic styles. Since there is such fascination with the Kennedy assassination, you could use this as a chance to discuss purpose and audience, writing to spin the same information several ways.

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Huzzaz - Huzzaz.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create, collect, organize, and share video collections from YouTube and Vimeo easily with Huzzaz. Build a video library around any topic with just a few clicks. Click and drag...more
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Create, collect, organize, and share video collections from YouTube and Vimeo easily with Huzzaz. Build a video library around any topic with just a few clicks. Click and drag the Huzzaz bookmarklet to your browser toolbar. Anytime you see a video, click the bookmarklet to save. Rearrange videos in your collection as desired. Add tags and brief descriptions. Add additional videos as desired. Share complete collections using links for Facebook, Twitter, and email. If your district blocks YouTube, then you may have to limit your choices to Vimeo.

tag(s): bookmarks (53), movies (54), video (244)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account and have students add videos for use with any classroom topic. Teach students to use tags you have approved so everyone can find the videos easily. Create and share video libraries for review and enrichment resources or to "flip" your classroom. Build a professional video library for sharing with colleagues during professional development sessions. Use embed codes for major blogging platforms to embed video collections directly into your blog or website. Embed codes also work well on a wiki, so you could embed a certain tag collection for students to review or learn.

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Mathster Vakkas Math Videos and Lessons - Mathster Vakkas Productions

Grades
K to 6
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Find fun and engaging resources for teaching elementary math with real-life objects. Resources include skits, tutorials, interactive read alouds, and worksheets on Common Core topics....more
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Find fun and engaging resources for teaching elementary math with real-life objects. Resources include skits, tutorials, interactive read alouds, and worksheets on Common Core topics. After registering with your email address, use the links to find lessons or tutorials by topic. Hover over the icon to view a short description of the activity, suggested grade level, and difficulty level. Each activity includes printable slides from the video, practice pages, and answer keys. There is also a section to choose to learn how to solve the problem for each activity. One unique feature of the site is the interactive read alouds. Just click play, and stories read on your own. There are also extension activities to print and use at the stories' end. Registration (with email) is required. However, all is FREE.

tag(s): addition (139), charts and graphs (167), division (107), fractions (185), geometric shapes (140), money (130), multiplication (135), patterns (66), probability (103), subtraction (124), time (100)

In the Classroom

Use the videos and tutorials from this site throughout the year to engage students in math learning. View videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Watch videos in the classroom then provide students with handouts to complete at home using objects they see every day. If your school is BYOD, have students view the video on their own devices (at home or school) and discuss what they learned in class the next day. Encourage parents to watch the videos, too!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Beyond The Bubble - Stanford History Education Group

Grades
6 to 12
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Beyond the Bubble offers a new generation of history assessments that work hand in hand with Common Core Standards to provide a window into student thinking and promote academic literacy....more
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Beyond the Bubble offers a new generation of history assessments that work hand in hand with Common Core Standards to provide a window into student thinking and promote academic literacy. Refered to as "HATS" (History Assessment of Thinking), assessments go beyond recall to applying facts in context. Choose the assessment link to explore topics such as "Civil Rights Movement in Context" or "Edison and a Kansas Housewife." Lessons also include an interactive rubric and sample student responses. Don't miss the going deeper activities, such as videos. Click links to download materials available in PDF format.

tag(s): 1920s (13), assessment (121), civil rights (144), civil war (122), cold war (22), colonial america (90), immigrants (25), immigration (56), racism (60), rubrics (31), slavery (52), thanksgiving (25), war of 1812 (13), womens suffrage (30)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this excellent site as a resource for Common Core social studies literacy assessments. Many of these activities (and videos) are ideal for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the interactive rubric BEFORE the lesson, so students are aware of exactly what is expected. Use activities and materials provided on the site to teach lessons in character education, bias, and racism. Create your own similiar activities. Explore this site during professional development sessions for ideas for rubrics and lesson planning. Click on tags for "same assessment type" to find additional assessments not in the main list.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Racial Dot Map - Dustin A. Cable

Grades
7 to 12
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Get a snapshot of America using this visualization of the geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people. The map represents every neighborhood...more
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Get a snapshot of America using this visualization of the geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people. The map represents every neighborhood in the United States. Each dot represents one person residing in the United States at the location during the count of the 2010 Census. Each ethnicity is represented by a different color dot. Zoom in and out as needed.

tag(s): diversity (29), maps (216), population (51)

In the Classroom

Discuss the cultural, political, economic, or geographic principles that affect the distribution of the dots on the map. Create blog posts, wiki edits, or other projects students can create to identify the reasons over time for the distribution in the map. The information gathered from this site might also be helpful in talking about regional and local political representation during election years. The opportunities for critical thinking abound with this site. Begin by asking, "Why does it look like this?"

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