TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 18, 2015
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
Grades3 to 12
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Discover how technology has changed lives with this interactive timeline beginning in 1900 and chronicling events through the introduction of the iPad in 2010. Each video skips ahead...more
Discover how technology has changed lives with this interactive timeline beginning in 1900 and chronicling events through the introduction of the iPad in 2010. Each video skips ahead 10 years (1900, 1910, 1920, and so on.) Move the circle to any point on the timeline to view a video featuring events from that period in time. Pop up text offers more information and trivia from each period.
In the ClassroomView the timeline on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to help students understand the many changes in technology in the past 100+ years. Use the timeline to introduce a unit on any decade of the 1900s. Challenge students to research events further. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or other person from a particular era shared in the video clips.
Grades8 to 12
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We see cultures through our own eyes, a lens that is influenced by our own frame of reference and experiences. Another way to learn about cultures is to view them ...more
We see cultures through our own eyes, a lens that is influenced by our own frame of reference and experiences. Another way to learn about cultures is to view them through the eyes of others through an examination of images created by others. Visualizing Cultures brings us images from Asia, many not widely circulated before, that illustrate historical events such as the Opium Wars, the Boxer Rebellion, the Black Ships, and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Each set of images is accompanied by narratives, lesson plans, and printable handouts to provide context. While we may have seen photographs of Hiroshima's devastation, we can now view the story through the eyes and drawings of Japanese survivors.
In the ClassroomPerspective taking is an important skill in learning about other cultures and other time periods. To Western eyes, these images will provide a fresh look at historical events. It is important to note, and to help students understand, that the images are uncensored and may depict a way of seeing others that, to us, may seem racist or disrespectful. Screen the images to determine how they might be best used to help students see the world through others' eyes, and how to manage a discussion of these themes.
Grades3 to 6
3 Favorites 0 Comments
Discover a collection of resources for the teaching and learning of fractions, decimals, and percentages. These resources will work on your interactive whiteboard, most tablets, iPad,...more
Discover a collection of resources for the teaching and learning of fractions, decimals, and percentages. These resources will work on your interactive whiteboard, most tablets, iPad, or a regular computer! This site does seem ideal for BYOD classrooms, but they do mention that some of the activities run slow on a standard Android browser. An app (non Internet) version will be available soon for a small fee. This review is for the free portion of the site. At the time of this review, there were 15 free resources to explore. Some sample topics include: Fraction Bars, Decimal Compare, Percent to Fraction, Decimal Lines, and more.
This site includes advertising.
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomTeach through your students' favorite form of learning, technology! Introduce concepts on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site at a computer learning station. Provide this link on your class website during your fraction or decimal units. Challenge students to transfer learning to physical manipulatives and explain concepts in their math journals.
Grades5 to 12
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The Lowell Milken Center discovers, develops and communicates the stories of Unsung Heroes who have made a profound and positive impact on the course of history. Click Programs on the...more
The Lowell Milken Center discovers, develops and communicates the stories of Unsung Heroes who have made a profound and positive impact on the course of history. Click Programs on the top menu and select Unsung Hero Projects to learn about everyday people who became heroes by standing up to adversity in their lives. Each project features information about the hero and the storyteller. Some projects include links to student-created web pages and videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. Start your own Unsung Hero project using the ten steps provided to include inspiration from start to finish.
In the ClassroomShare stories from the Unsung Heroes project on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss traits that make a hero and find inspiration to search for heroes in your everyday lives. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects. All types of classes can complete a project about an unsung hero. P.E. classes can find out about veterans, surfers, or car accident victims who have lost limbs and used their challenges to make a difference. Math and science students can complete an Internet search for high school inventors. Students could also search through old Scholastic Scope magazines for articles about young people who have overcome adversity. Instead of a paper and pen written biography, extend students' learning by using Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a hero they have chosen. Modify student learning by challenging them to create an annotated image of a hero including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
This resource requires Adobe Flash.
GradesK to 12
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Copy Paste Character offers a large assortment of characters to use with any text. Choose from characters within a favorite set such as music notes, smiley faces, or mathematical symbols....more
Copy Paste Character offers a large assortment of characters to use with any text. Choose from characters within a favorite set such as music notes, smiley faces, or mathematical symbols. Click on any symbol then paste into your document. View other sets such as graphic shapes, punctuation, and emojis using the drop-down box. Registration is not required, but it is an option if you want to create and save sets for future use.
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to easily find symbols for use on your class webpage, newsletters, and lessons. Share with students as a resource for finding characters and symbols for use on any project. Add this link to your class website for students (and families) to access at home.
Grades1 to 7
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Bookopolis is more than an online social reading club for children ages 7-12. It has an education portal to keep track of and review a reader's work. In the New ...more
Bookopolis is more than an online social reading club for children ages 7-12. It has an education portal to keep track of and review a reader's work. In the New Book section, find a book by grade level and read ratings and reviews from other readers. Bookopolis includes digital reading logs, reading log prompts, and suggests places to find comprehension questions about the book. Through the dashboard, monitor and comment on the reader's writing and reading logs. The activities and features on the site are aligned with many of the Common Core Reading and Writing standards. There are several video tutorials on getting started and how to use the dashboard. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.
In the ClassroomCreate your account with your email, teacher name, username, and some basic information. Create your dashboard by adding a class and class name. You can create multiple classes. View the several teacher dashboard video tutorials to get started. Student accounts can be created manually or by importing an xls or csv file. Students will automatically be "friends" with other students in the same class, but can also invite students from different classes. Share this site with students (and parents at back to school night) using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Show students the video tutorial "How to Add Books" to get them started. You can use the tutorial in your blended or remote learning classroom by considering using playposit, reviewed here, with the tutorial to add comments and information. Students can create bookshelves for books they are reading, that they have read, and that they want to read. Students can earn badges and points for the books they read. This tool will get students excited about reading since they can connect with friends to share book reviews and swap book recommendations. Students also practice persuasive writing, comprehension, and typing skills by completing reviews, reports, and reading logs online. This tool is great to keep track of student home reading or if you are teaching remotely!
Grades8 to 12
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Charles Darwin, in his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, changed the way we look at the natural world. This animated journey takes us on eleven stages of the journey and ...more
Charles Darwin, in his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle, changed the way we look at the natural world. This animated journey takes us on eleven stages of the journey and introduces some of Darwin's most important discoveries. The journey can be viewed as a continuous narrated animation, or can be broken up into the eleven stages of the journey and viewed one stage at a time via an interactive map. Each stage includes readings from Darwin's journal, and a series of images that are accessed by dropping and dragging them to a "magic lantern," a sort of slide projector common during Darwin's time. The journey can be accessed in English, French, or Spanish.
In the ClassroomPreview Darwin's journey by showing the continuous animation on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Follow that with having students examine the different stages of the journey independently when they can select the images, listen to Darwin's own commentary, and think more deeply about the important discoveries Darwin made while sailing around the world. Create a class wiki for students to share what they discover while they view the interactive. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
This resource requires Adobe Flash.
Grades9 to 12
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Visualizing Emancipation is a map based resource that presents the date and place of hundreds of discrete events, documents, and artifacts across the period 1861-1865 all of which relate...more
Visualizing Emancipation is a map based resource that presents the date and place of hundreds of discrete events, documents, and artifacts across the period 1861-1865 all of which relate to the end of slavery. View the map chronologically, zoom in to look at a smaller geographic area, sort the data points by theme or by source type, and discover a more nuanced understanding of how the U.S. ended legal slavery. There are grade leveled lesson plans tied to Common Core Standards, as well as Featured events that are particularly important in telling the story of emancipation. Students might be forgiven for believing that slavery ended in the United States the day the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. The truth is, of course, much more complicated.
In the ClassroomThe interactive map is well suited for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Each event or document is categorized by theme, and has its own unique URL that can be shared with students as they do their own research. It's also possible to download a large spread sheet of the events as a list rather than as a map. If it's geographically relevant, consider using your own community as an example and research local events related to emancipation. Consider a discussion of how significant legal changes in the United States occur within the context of cultural change. Does legal change result in immediate cultural change? Why or why not? What happens when legal change is imposed on those who do not agree? Enhance learning by having students share their thoughts by creating an online collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here, with quick start - no membership required!
Grades6 to 12
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Here you will find everything you will ever need to know about plagiarism and citing sources. Click on Plagiarism 101 and find out exactly what plagiarism is and the different ...more
Here you will find everything you will ever need to know about plagiarism and citing sources. Click on Plagiarism 101 and find out exactly what plagiarism is and the different types of plagiarism. Citing Sources explains what a citation is, why one should cite sources, how to paraphrase, how to quote material, what a footnote is, and when one should cite the source. There are several interesting videos with titles like "Everything is a Remix" and "Where Next? Integrity for the 'Real World.' " Although this site is rather plain in appearance, it is a hot topic and definitely a site to save and share with students! If your school blocks YouTube be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.
In the ClassroomMeet your Common Core standards for nonfiction reading using the pages at this informative site! In addition, every student who creates a report, presentation, speech, or project, in any subject, needs to know this information. Consider dividing and presenting this site with a teacher in another curriculum, so students get the idea that this is information for EVERY class. Modify learning and consider presenting the information, questions, and quizzes using a tool such as GoClass, reviewed here, or The Answer Pad, reviewed here. With with these tools you can create questions or a scavenger hunt. Then you can quiz students on the information and have it all self-corrected. Moreover, using one of these programs will make this text heavy, but necessary material, much more tolerable for your students. You may want to challenge your gifted and musically inclined students to create a rap highlighting the important information they learned about plagiarism and citing sources. Have them teach the rap to the rest of the class. Or change learning and have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
7 Favorites 0 Comments
Use your pictures and PhotoFunia to create photo collages, flyers, family trees, holiday albums, and more. PhotoFunia has hundreds of effects and filters. More are added weekly. To...more
Use your pictures and PhotoFunia to create photo collages, flyers, family trees, holiday albums, and more. PhotoFunia has hundreds of effects and filters. More are added weekly. To add shadows, age your photo, or render it black and white just visit the Filters category. Add clever features such as an astronaut or a Santa suit, a witch's hat or a queen's crown. Looking for an attractive frame for your photos? Find one here. Write on the sand or graffiti text on the wall. Carve your name on the ground or create your very own road sign using text effects. The program is as easy to use as picking the effect and uploading a photo. Save it to your computer or email it. Try using PhotoFunia online or get the free app for iOS or Andriod, and most other smartphones. At the time of this review, all photo effects appeared appropriate for use in the classroom. However, we always suggest you preview the tool before sharing it with students.