TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 15, 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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60-Second Civics - The Center for Civic Education

Grades
7 to 12
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60 Second Civics offers podcasts covering one important concept at a time in 60-second narratives. They are updated daily. Short Attention Span? This site is perfect for you! There...more
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60 Second Civics offers podcasts covering one important concept at a time in 60-second narratives. They are updated daily. Short Attention Span? This site is perfect for you! There are nearly 2000 podcasts to explore. You can subscribe to the podcast series through an RSS feed, on iTunes, or access them directly through the website. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be searchable by theme or content, so you'll just need to scroll through them if you're looking for a specific topic or issue. Tip: when you hover your cursor over the word PLAY, it doesn't change to a pointing hand. Click on the word anyway to start the podcast. 60-Second Civics is part of a larger site that contains lesson plans, teacher resources, video clips, and a photo gallery on all aspects of citizenship.

tag(s): bill of rights (25), branches of government (55), constitution (90)

In the Classroom

Need a quick lesson starter or attention grabber at the beginning or end of each class? Try a 60-second Civics lesson. If you access the day's podcast via the website, you'll also find a one-question multiple choice quiz that relates to the podcast so you can check for content acquisition. These podcasts are perfect for a civics or government class! Share the podcasts on your projector (or interactive whiteboard) so the entire class can hear the podcast and see the quiz at the end. If you are the adviser for the school news program, these would be a terrific addition, ready to go for you every day. During the run-up to Consitution Day in September, include these in the morning PA announcements. Load the podcast on iTouches or other mobile devices in the media center for students to browse and learn. Encourage students to create their own "stump the teacher" or "stump the student citizen" quizzes based on these podcasts. Use one of the many poll/quiz tools in the TeachersFirst Edge.

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GDP: Measuring the human side of the Canadian Economic Crisis - National Film Board of Canada

Grades
9 to 12
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The National Film Board of Canada documented the economic crisis through short films and photo essays between 2008 and 2010. We hear about economic downturn every day, but it can ...more
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The National Film Board of Canada documented the economic crisis through short films and photo essays between 2008 and 2010. We hear about economic downturn every day, but it can be easy to forget the human side of hard times. Economic failures are more than statistics on a graph; they are the realities that affect lives. GDP presents these stories in 135 episodes and 53 photo essays. Search the stories by theme--community action, real estate, farming, natural resources--or by using the interactive map. Although the stories are from Canada, their appeal is broader, and they parallel what occurred in many countries.

tag(s): canada (25), media literacy (86), photography (140)

In the Classroom

This site can put a human face on the numbers for students studying current events, economics, or social studies. The site may also be useful as an example of how to tell stories related to history. Consider asking students to analyze HOW the stories are told, either using film or still photography. How can we use these media to illustrate a historical event? For students considering a History Day exhibit or documentary, these stories may provide inspiration and direction. As Common Core calls on students to engage in digital writing, showing these examples to help students plan student-made media will be more meaningful than simply talking about it.

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I Coach Math - HighPoints Learning

Grades
3 to 12
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Receive online math help and practice anytime and anywhere using I Coach Math activities (many correlated to Common Core). Begin by choosing your appropriate math level from elementary,...more
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Receive online math help and practice anytime and anywhere using I Coach Math activities (many correlated to Common Core). Begin by choosing your appropriate math level from elementary, middle school, or high school at the bottom of the screen. Narrow results by grade and topic to find lessons. Review and practice material with short, multiple choice response questions. Other interesting features of this site include math, physics, chemistry, and biology dictionaries. Complete the free assessment test to receive an instant report including your strengths and challenges. Please note that although I Coach Math works on all browsers, the site recommends Mozilla Firefox for display of all content. There are significant ads on this site, so guide students to avoid them.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (116), decimals (117), equations (145), exponents (42), fractions (218), functions (64), geometric shapes (159), homework (35), measurement (157), polynomials (25), probability (123), ratios (65), statistics (119)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class website or class newsletter for students (and parents) to practice at home. Create a link on classroom computers for a math center activity. Although the free assessment test may take up to 60 minutes to complete, it may be worthwhile to have students complete this to include with parent teacher conferences.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Brief.ly - Brief.ly

Grades
K to 12
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Brief.ly is a simple way to share a "bundle" of links at the same time. Enter up to 30 links and captions you want to share (one per line or ...more
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Brief.ly is a simple way to share a "bundle" of links at the same time. Enter up to 30 links and captions you want to share (one per line or click the wrench for more options). Brief.ly will generate a unique URL. When opened, a Table of Contents page lists the sites included. When you open the bundle, each site appears and tabs appear along the top of the page that allow you to easily jump from one recommended site to the next. This site is very easy to use and helpful for all ages, as long as they can read. With your membership, you can edit the contents of your list later, without resending it or changing the single link.

tag(s): bookmarks (54), organizational skills (98)

In the Classroom

Brief.ly is a lifesaver for every classroom, teacher, or school. Whenever you are sharing multiple sites at centers, during small or whole group presentations, or even sites gathered for a research projects, Brief.ly takes away frustration and saves time! Save different content areas, subjects, or study links in one simple click. Gather all grade level websites on your school webpage, and list all classes. Unclutter your own class webpage or blog with just a few links. Sending links to parents or colleagues could not be any easier! Collaboration within classes, groups, or home is a snap! Improve organization for yourself and your class. As students work on group projects, they can share their link list easily. Use a class account so students do not have to register, and you can watch what they are using for sources.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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4 Free Photos - 4freephotos.com

Grades
K to 12
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4 Free Photos offers public domain and free stock images. Preview and download the photos at no cost. Use the search feature to find the image you are looking for. ...more
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4 Free Photos offers public domain and free stock images. Preview and download the photos at no cost. Use the search feature to find the image you are looking for. The images on this site are contributed by the photographers for open sharing under Creative Commons. Be aware, there are photos for sale (clearly labeled). Some of the links for "More Free Photos" and other ads take you to outside sites. You may want to advise students to avoid those links. Note that all uses of the photos are supposed to be accompanied by the link to the license (available on each photo's display page).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (43), creative commons (21), images (265), photography (140)

In the Classroom

Starting a lesson on copyright? With so much social media and access to almost anything on the web, it is important to teach students about copyright and about owner's rights. Use this site to search for photos for presentations, photos, projects, or research. For your ESL/ELL students or speech/language, use the images for them to create their own visual dictionary. World language teachers can also challenge students to use images to illustrate vocabulary or accompany writing. Use images for writing prompts or even to create descriptive sentences. Have one student describe the image as another sketches the image. Now compare the described image to the real image. To find more Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here or PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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Random Acts of Kindness - Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Inspire people to practice kindness and empathy and pass it on to others. The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief...more
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Inspire people to practice kindness and empathy and pass it on to others. The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness. It is dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness. Discover inspirational quotes, kindness, ideas, and share your own ideas. Explore lesson plans, classroom materials, projects, ideas for courses, and RAK clubs. Find research, videos, and stories about random acts of kindness. Sign up for the newsletter or join the blog.

tag(s): character education (66), classroom management (144), emotions (41), empathy (24), service projects (16)

In the Classroom

Become a "RAKTIVIST" and start a kindness raid on unsuspecting communities, classes, or schools! Give children power and voice through their actions. Partner this with character education programs to make a difference in all the lives you touch. For example, you may want to use the Ripples of Kindness activity included in the Empathy videos at the Big Ideas Video Series, reviewed here. During social studies, find ways kindness has changed the world. Look for times in which kindness was thwarted, such as during civil wars, dictatorships, or wars. Start a research project on world leaders who have changed the world through nonviolence, education, or generosity. Explain the power of nonprofit organizations and all the lives affected. Look into your own community and school to find needs that are waiting for active, caring participants. Create school or classroom rules to promote the power of kindness. Show your students how to embed media transforming their work, then challenge students to create "kindness" commercials and share their learning with their peers in a multimedia presentation using Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here. Alternatively, students could create a video using Typito, reviewed here. Share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Emotional Support or Autistic Support teachers may find some of the ideas here helpful for talking about how others feel and ways to show kindness in a very deliberate way.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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