TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 3, 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
Grades6 to 12
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Story Share is the perfect solution for finding relevant and readable content for older students unable to read above the elementary level. Digital content provides interesting material...more
Story Share is the perfect solution for finding relevant and readable content for older students unable to read above the elementary level. Digital content provides interesting material that doesn't condescend to teen readers. Browse through titles or choose from the different genres to find available material. Login isn't required to read books. However, it allows you to add books to a reading list and to bookmark the stopping point while reading books.
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site to your reluctant or struggling readers on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups to find interesting reading material. Be sure to provide a link to Story Share on your class website or blog for students to explore at home. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels and for use with special education or ESL/ELL students. Have students write their own comprehension questions and answers based on the podcast to check their own comprehension and to exchange with classmates.
Grades8 to 12
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The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization site uses Google Maps to demonstrate the historical geography of the Atlantic slave trade. Three simulations show the origin of slaving...more
The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization site uses Google Maps to demonstrate the historical geography of the Atlantic slave trade. Three simulations show the origin of slaving voyages, embarkation points of slave ships, and disembarkation points of human cargo in the Americas. Changes in the color spectrum from green to red show the number and density of voyages cumulating over time. Zoom in or out on maps to show more or less detail.
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Display the different visualizations as part of any unit or lesson on the slave trade starting in 1526. Have students make a multimedia presentation about this site using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook from different perspectives within the slave trade such as a ship captain, slave owner, or slave.
Grades1 to 8
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Give your students practice and instruction in standardized test style format. Find an easy way to create Common Core assignments using PARCC and Smarter Balanced question types. Passages...more
Give your students practice and instruction in standardized test style format. Find an easy way to create Common Core assignments using PARCC and Smarter Balanced question types. Passages allow for highlighting, graphs, image labeling, and video sections for background knowledge. Questions include a section for written response to improve evidence-based answers as well as multiple choice. Teachers can share their assignments or use other teacher created assignments. Students receive immediately graded feedback. With a free teacher account, save questions to your library.
In the ClassroomUse technology to motivate and engage your students. Give these quality text passages personalized to your class needs. Use as a teaching tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Continue to use individually or as small group instruction. Pair a weak reader with a strong reader for independent pair work. You can easily differentiate by creating tiered assignments to meet each students' needs. Share at your next staff meeting to provide collaboration between teachers. Use in a flipped classroom and have students complete the work at home. They will still receive immediate feedback! Use at parent gatherings to provide an example of the grade level expectations. Put on your classroom website as a way to practice at home. Before assigning questions to individual students you might want to check the readability of the questions or supplied readings. Use a tool such as The Readability Test Tool, reviewed here. This reviewer found the articles in some grade levels to be about two years higher in reading level than the grade listed for the question.
GradesK to 12
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PhotoCat is a free online photo editing service. Edit and retouch images easily. Make photo collages in just a few simple steps. Upload any image from your computer. If the ...more
PhotoCat is a free online photo editing service. Edit and retouch images easily. Make photo collages in just a few simple steps. Upload any image from your computer. If the image is too large PhotoCat will ask to reduce it automatically. Choose from the many options such as special effects, retouching tools, frames, text, and more. Once completed save your image to your computer or share using social networking links.
In the ClassroomUse this tool anytime that photos need to be edited for use on class blogs, wikis, or in presentation tools reviewed here. In primary grades, this tool could be useful for teachers to use to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit together! Create a collage and post it on your web page for parents and students to enjoy at home. Encourage older students to use this site themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use this tool in photography or art classes. Use the editor to edit pictures to fit styles of pictures when doing historical reports or to set a mood. Use text options for the photos themselves to tell the stories. Have students annotate or label Creative Commons online images of cells, structures of an animal, and much more.
Grades2 to 12
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This site offers an easy way for teachers to encourage students to do extensive reading. It contains quizzes for thousands of commonly read Penguin graded readers, and also a classroom...more
This site offers an easy way for teachers to encourage students to do extensive reading. It contains quizzes for thousands of commonly read Penguin graded readers, and also a classroom management system. M-Reader also offers many classics rewritten for lower reading levels as well as the original higher reading level. After a simple institutional registration, teachers can select the books they want students to read outside of class, set up a classroom, and show student progress. Teachers do not have to make quizzes. It automatically displays grades and records quizzes. Each student, even ones reading the same books, receive different quizzes. Books are available at up to eight different levels so students can begin at a level comprehensible to them and go up. Once a student completes a book, a quiz is provided. If the student is successful on the quiz, they receive a book cover in their file. Students can see the progress of other students in the class and compare themselves to other readers. Check with your administration about the feasibility of setting up an institutional registration. Unlike other popular "read it and take a quiz" programs, it is FREE!