TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 8, 2014

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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Whereby - appear.in

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create video conversations including up to four people instantly with Whereby (formerly Appear.in). There is nothing to download, and no registration is required. Add a name for your...more
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Create video conversations including up to four people instantly with Whereby (formerly Appear.in). There is nothing to download, and no registration is required. Add a name for your room and click "create." Allow access to your computer's webcam and microphone, and your room is all set up. Send the link to others to click and join in. Claim a room to get privileges such as customizing your room's background and locking your room when empty. Whereby works with Chrome, Firefox, Vivaldi, and Opera browsers.

tag(s): chat (40), DAT device agnostic tool (167), video (248)

In the Classroom

Whereby is a perfect tool to use for your blended learning or remote learning classroom. Use it for any subject for small group interactions such as small group projects, literature circles, writing consultations, and more. Connect up to four whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Connect experts such as authors and scientists to classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Students interested in graphic design can connect with an expert or artist far away and share current work in a virtual critique. Connect students with mentors or older students for help with homework. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and student questions. Whole buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond! Of course, you will want to pretest whether this service works in your school since some filters block access to such "interaction."

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Animal and Environmental Facts - Young People's Trust for the Environment

Grades
3 to 8
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The Young People's Trust for the Environment (UK) offers a large selection of fact sheets about animals and environmental issues. The information is primarily text-based. Scroll through...more
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The Young People's Trust for the Environment (UK) offers a large selection of fact sheets about animals and environmental issues. The information is primarily text-based. Scroll through the alphabetical list of animals to view available fact sheets. Sheets contain an image along with other pertinent information such as habitat, size, food, and daily life. Click the blue box on the upper left side of the page to download and print all information in PDF format. Note: Only text appears on downloaded sheets; images appear as X's. Choose the Environmental Facts link to explore fact sheets with subjects ranging from Acid Rain through Zoos. This site was created in the United Kingdom, so you may notice some slight spelling differences from American English.

tag(s): acid rain (5), animal homes (66), animals (300), climate (92), energy (182), environment (274), habitats (104), pollution (59)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Bookmark this site for use with any animal or environmental unit. You will need to pair weaker readers with a stronger reader since the information is almost entirely text. Allow students to choose an animal or environmental topic from the resources available and become "experts." Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students use Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more. Have students create maps of animal habitats using Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose various locations on a map where they find the habitats.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Online Dictation - Amit Agarwal

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use the magic of speech recognition to create emails, dictate notes, or write an essay in many languages without ever touching your keyboard. Online Dictation only works in the Chrome...more
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Use the magic of speech recognition to create emails, dictate notes, or write an essay in many languages without ever touching your keyboard. Online Dictation only works in the Chrome browser. Click "Start Dictation," and grant the site permission to connect to your computer's microphone. Begin talking, and watch your words appear on the screen. Dictation detects many different languages so is useful for many non-English speakers. When you finish speaking, export your text using links to Dropbox, Google Drive, your computer, or send as an email. This is a speech to text tool.

Since this tool has to connect back to its own servers to "translate" your spoken words to text, it may not have the sensitivity you expect. It is a good idea to test it first yourself before assigning students to use it. You might want to demonstrate how clearly you must speak to make it work.

tag(s): differentiation (51), note taking (36), speech (78), writing (294)

In the Classroom

Use Online Dictation to dictate homework assignments to post on your class webpage. Demonstrate proper note taking using Online Dictation. Leave this site up in your browser, and add notes throughout your lesson. Save notes to your computer to print and use for future reference. Share this site with students who have difficulty putting thoughts onto paper or students with delayed handwriting skills or processing delays. Let students dictate stories, poems, questions, etc. to print and use. Share Online Dictation with your school's ESL/ELL teacher as a resource for use with their students. Speech and language teachers can try this tool to encourage students to improve articulation. If they speak clearly, their words will "magically" appear in writing!
 

Comments

The concept is great but the execution is disappointing. The text response is slow and often captured only an occasional word or phrase. Most of what was returned in text was gibberish. This program is not suitable for student use. Dwight, , Grades: 3 - 7

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Achieve the Core - Student Achievement Partners

Grades
K to 12
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Find lessons and materials to jump into Common Core. Whether you are already a Common Core whiz or just a beginner, this site will help you grow and learn. Search ...more
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Find lessons and materials to jump into Common Core. Whether you are already a Common Core whiz or just a beginner, this site will help you grow and learn. Search the site by selecting subject area, grade level(s), and your role/position. Begin your professional development with instructional modules. Modules include a facilitators guide, a video, and hands on activity with discussion ideas. Content includes both ELA and Math. Some lessons can be found (in ELA) that also incorporate science and social studies. Search by individual grade level or by elementary, middle school, or high school. Under ELA/Literacy, examine text dependent questions and text complexity. You will also find instructional videos, sample lesson and assessment questions, instructional practices, and aligning materials. Math activities include videos, examining the shifts, and evaluating yourself. Another area to explore is the Leadership Tools.

tag(s): commoncore (86)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for professional development. Find the self evaluation tools to use before your evaluation by administrators. Start a Common Core study group, and explore and share together. Ready made parent materials make parent involvement easy. Learn ways to become involved with the Common Core movement. And of course, don't miss the fabulous "ready to go" lessons!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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