TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 24, 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

 

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BotLogic - Dolphin Micro team

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
BotLogic is an online activity that teaches programming and code. Enter by choosing educator, parent, or player. Educators and parents enter an email address and receive a code for...more
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BotLogic is an online activity that teaches programming and code. Enter by choosing educator, parent, or player. Educators and parents enter an email address and receive a code for players. Choose the player link to begin playing without a code. Select your age to begin at the proper level. Each level offers a tutorial with directions for play. BotLogic shows the window of code as you create your line of icon instructions. As an extra challenge, try to use as few instructions as possible to earn rewards.

tag(s): animation (59), coding (75), computational thinking (32), computers (100), logic (177), problem solving (232), STEM (214)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to play BotLogic on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Let students explore and play on their own using classroom computers or other web-enabled devices. Use BotLogic to teach logic, problem-solving, systems thinking, and, in some cases, collaboration. BotLogic is perfect for differentiation, allow students to move through levels at their pace. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered math or science curriculum.
 

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Sway - Microsoft

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use Sway to create interactive presentations across all devices. Drag and drop content from your device, social networks, and the web directly onto your Sway canvas. Log in using your...more
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Use Sway to create interactive presentations across all devices. Drag and drop content from your device, social networks, and the web directly onto your Sway canvas. Log in using your Microsoft account to begin or create a new account using your email and a password. Add content to your storyline using links to add text, images, and media. Change the look of your Sway using the Design a tools to change the color palette, layout, and fonts. When finished, click the Share button for options to share to Facebook, Twitter, URL, or copy the embed code. Sway will work on any device with a modern Internet browser and an Internet connection. They also have an iOS app. The introduction video and tutorials are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): digital storytelling (127), Microsoft (57), multimedia (47), slides (48), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

Use Sway as an alternative to Prezi or PowerPoint presentations. Sway is perfect for use in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Use during your presentations to increase student engagement and interaction. Check understanding of your ESL/ELL students by having them respond or pose questions throughout the presentation. Enhance student learning and understanding by sharing with students for them to use during their own presentations, inviting other students to comment and answer questions. During Open House night with parents, demonstrate how Sway provides interaction. Use Sway during professional development presentations to invite discussions from colleagues.

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Sutori - Thomas Ketchell, Jonathan Ketchell, Yoran Brondsema, Steven Chi

Grades
2 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create an interactive timeline; scroll down the page to browse through the Gallery to find lesson plans, templates, and Sutori's library of ready-made timelines. The Sutori timelines...more
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Create an interactive timeline; scroll down the page to browse through the Gallery to find lesson plans, templates, and Sutori's library of ready-made timelines. The Sutori timelines in the library are the creation of Sutori's team of historians and teachers and are Common Core Standards aligned. When creating a free timeline, it can include images, text, and collaboration. Sign up with your email and get a link to start with a walk-through tutorial to help set up classes, students, and timelines. Students will need the class code. There is a part of the site that has timelines and lessons bundled for a fee. This review is for the free part of this tool. Sutori will work on any device with a modern web browser and an Internet connection.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (73), civil war (125), immigration (57), photosynthesis (27), timelines (46), womens suffrage (31), world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events and more. Have students create timelines for research projects. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master using vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and more while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history of a current event or cultural developments.

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The Digital Declaration of Independence - David McClure

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Take a deeper look into the Declaration of Independence and the signers with this unique interactive. The interactive has three main parts: a high-resolution scan of The Declaration...more
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Take a deeper look into the Declaration of Independence and the signers with this unique interactive. The interactive has three main parts: a high-resolution scan of The Declaration of Independence with a full transcription of text, an annotated version of John Trumbull's painting of the signing, and an interactive map plotting the signer's hometowns and giving a mini biography. Use buttons on the site to move between the three portions. Be sure to view the instructions for a complete overview of all of the interactive offers.

tag(s): american revolution (73), declaration of independence (12), franklin (8), jefferson (18)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to find other paintings depicting famous events in United States (or another country). Have cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation about the paintings. Create fictitious blog entries from one character in a painting to another character within another painting at another famous event. What would John F. Kennedy write to Benjamin Franklin? Assign students different roles, i.e. founding fathers, and have them use the biographies on this site to allow them to research what their role was and what their beliefs were for a debate as to whether or not to sign the Declaration of Independence.

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Learn English with Jokes and Riddles - Jacob Richman

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Everyone loves a good joke or riddle, and you do not need any bells and whistles to get one across. At this site find ten categories and over 300 jokes ...more
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Everyone loves a good joke or riddle, and you do not need any bells and whistles to get one across. At this site find ten categories and over 300 jokes and riddles all free to use. Enjoy the jokes sequentially, choose a category, or take your chances with a random pick. All jokes and riddles are suitable for all age groups.

tag(s): ELL/ESL (13), humor (15), riddles (15)

In the Classroom

Jokes and riddles make excellent language exercises, and kids love them. Once the students have guessed the answer, use the sentences for grammar practice by identifying parts of speech, subject and predicate, and even diagramming. Younger students and ENL/ESL students can learn new vocabulary words, too. The twist and/or play on words will surely attract your gifted students. Once you have gone through several of these, encourage students to create their own and share with the class.

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Grammar Check - grammarcheck.net

Grades
5 to 12
7 Favorites 2  Comments
Instantly grammar check any piece of writing using GrammarCheck's editor. Simply copy/paste your text into this website, and receive instant feedback. Click on the color coded information...more
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Instantly grammar check any piece of writing using GrammarCheck's editor. Simply copy/paste your text into this website, and receive instant feedback. Click on the color coded information and find style suggestions, spelling errors, and grammar suggestions. There is a premium option with more features.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): editing (77), proofreading (19), writing (281)

In the Classroom

Use this highly visual revision program with your students who are ready to refine and improve their writing. Use GrammarCheck for revision after editing of grammar and mechanics is complete. Partner an advanced writer with one not so advanced and have them use GrammarCheck to improve their styles. Put the link to this site on your class web page for students and parents to use from home. Remind seniors to use it for their college essays. Use this tool to polish your professional writing, parent newsletters, blog posts, and papers for grad classes!

Comments

I love it, it is helpful to improve writing. Elesio Catalla, , Grades: 0 - 12
Elesio Catalla, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Visual Writing Prompts - visualprompts.weebly.com

Grades
3 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
Visual Writing Prompts provides a considerable choice of creative writing prompts using Flickr images. Each prompt has an unusual image along with basic information such as the Creative...more
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Visual Writing Prompts provides a considerable choice of creative writing prompts using Flickr images. Each prompt has an unusual image along with basic information such as the Creative Commons Credit and appropriate age groups. In addition, the Prompt Explanation gives added discussion questions. Scroll through the prompts using arrows or by genre, grade, or subject. Although each image has an icon to download the prompt, it either didn't work or was in a zip file at the time of this review. There is really no need to download the prompts.

tag(s): creative writing (118), descriptive writing (34), expository writing (31), letter writing (15), persuasive writing (51), poetry (178), writing (281)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save Visual Writing Prompts for use with creative writing assignments, journaling, or debate. Sort by genre to find prompts to match different writing styles. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Tumblr, reviewed here.

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Thematic Mapping Engine - Bjorn Sandvik

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, ...more
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, map overlays, and other information. There are several ways to create a .kmz file to share with others for specific content to be learned. Thematic Mapping Engine provides you with a very simple way to create Google Earth .kmz files. This tool uses data from the United Nations to create maps of all types of development and environmental data. Follow the instructions in the yellow box along the right side of this tool. Select a statistical indicator category from the dropdown (for example, Life expectancy or population). Then, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. Preview and download the .kmz file. Share this file on your blog, wiki, or web page. Click on and then download the file. Once the file is opened, Google Earth then opens and the data is seen within Google Earth. Note: Google Earth must be installed on student computers. Check with your technology department about the availability of Google Earth in your schools. See more information about Google Earth, reviewed here.

tag(s): climate change (67), diseases (73), earth (180), landmarks (16), news (237), population (51)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with Google Earth to discuss population changes, incidence of various diseases, or look at environmental data such as carbon dioxide emissions. Use this tool when discussing various countries and populations throughout the world, looking at the various factors that affect countries. Use this information to question the history and current state of various populations. Create more than one .kmz file to place on your class website. Provide time for student groups to look at one of the files and draw conclusions or report on their findings. Use class time to look at the information from all groups to obtain a snapshot of various regions, looking at populations, diseases, and more. For younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show these files in Google Earth and compare what students know about the United States or other areas in unfamiliar countries. This tool would be perfect for gifted students to use to extend learning in a Science or History/World Cultures class to better understand the world around them.
 

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Trippin - Trippin

Grades
5 to 12
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Join Tripp and his brother Ping on a mission around the globe. Register for this site and view exciting travel videos designed to teach English! The videos clarify difficult words....more
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Join Tripp and his brother Ping on a mission around the globe. Register for this site and view exciting travel videos designed to teach English! The videos clarify difficult words. You can also see the city where you are traveling. After the short videos, answer questions about characters and words in the video. Listening activities include rehearing the text of the video and choosing the correct response. One activity demonstrates how underlined words are linked to a picture dictionary; the explanations for the words come orally. Although the changes to the next page are a bit slow, the game format motivates you to want to go on and find out what the next task is. The few free lessons on the site make it fun and useful.

tag(s): listening (71), virtual field trips (66)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Give your ESL/ELL students this activity when they are trying to learn directions. Going through the interactive requires them to use enough reading skills to justify the fairly small number of free trips available.

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