TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 8, 2017

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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Twig Science Reporter - Twig Education and Imperial College London

Grades
K to 8
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Twig Science Reporter provides high-quality videos and resources for teaching K-5 students science with real-world news through scientific inquiry and reasoning. Weekly content additions...more
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Twig Science Reporter provides high-quality videos and resources for teaching K-5 students science with real-world news through scientific inquiry and reasoning. Weekly content additions ensure fresh content for viewers. Scroll through the home page to view the most recent content. Each item includes information on the type of material within the link such as articles, video, or news update all correlated to NGSS standards. Also, all content includes learning points for discussion, curriculum keywords, and links to additional information. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): animals (308), endangered species (40), energy (207), environment (322), glaciers (17), human body (132), insects (72), oceans (161), weather (197)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-include for any elementary classroom (and perhaps middle school). Subscribe to receive emails with weekly updates. Include a link on classroom computers to use for both a science and non-fiction reading center. Have students create blogs using Telegra.ph here. Telegra.ph will create a "quick and easy" blog to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided, and with Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer. Add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. It's as easy as using a basic Word program! For K-2 students, consider using Easy Blog, here.

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Capturing Everest - A Groundbreaking VR Experience - SI Group

Grades
6 to 12
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Capturing Everest is a four-part documentary presented through virtual reality film-making technology. Although best viewed with a VR viewer, this site is still stunning when viewed...more
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Capturing Everest is a four-part documentary presented through virtual reality film-making technology. Although best viewed with a VR viewer, this site is still stunning when viewed on its own. The documentary takes viewers from the first stop before starting the climb through the final opportunity to reach the summit. Choose any of the four chapters to begin viewing, click the VR icon to view with a VR viewer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): asia (71), field trips (13), mountains (16), virtual field trips (52)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an activator, introducing the topic of Mt. Everest, Nepal, or the Himalayas. This website would benefit a Geography class, exploring the significance of the Himalayas while simultaneously studying the geographic forces that made the mountain chain. Instruct students to create timelines of a Mount Everest adventure (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Invite students to use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about climbing Mount Everest from the perspective of the climber or a Sherpa guide.

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Expedition Arctic - Canadian Museum of Nature

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the Arctic region and its people together with the experts of the Expedition Arctic team. Use your mouse to move around the interactive map to view images (some in ...more
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Explore the Arctic region and its people together with the experts of the Expedition Arctic team. Use your mouse to move around the interactive map to view images (some in 3D) and videos from various Arctic locations. Explore the collection of artifacts displaying the natural treasures from the region or take quizzes to test your Arctic IQ. You must create an account and login to take the quizzes.

tag(s): animals (308), arctic (46), explorers (64), oceans (161), plants (166), polar (19)

In the Classroom

Include this site with any unit on continents or oceans. Create a link on classroom computers and have students explore on their own. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about life during the expedition as a member of the Expedition Arctic team. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of Arctic locations (with audio stories and pictures included!).

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Climate Kids - NASA

Grades
3 to 6
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Learn about climate change through games, articles, and interactives at Climate Kids. Choose from different aspects of climate change including oceans or plants and animals, or use...more
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Learn about climate change through games, articles, and interactives at Climate Kids. Choose from different aspects of climate change including oceans or plants and animals, or use links at the top of the page to choose the type of activity. In addition to student activities, this site features information and ideas for teaching about climate change.

tag(s): air (143), animals (308), carbon (23), climate (94), climate change (68), energy (207), oceans (161), plants (166), weather (197)

In the Classroom

Include Climate Kids with any unit on weather, oceans, or climate change. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard to feature specific games and activities for your students. The entire site may be overwhelming for younger students; instead of creating a link to the main site, create separate links to games and activities on classroom computers and on your class website. Upon completion of your unit, have students create a simple infographic sharing information about climate change using Piktochart, reviewed here. Have students take pictures of your local environment, then create an annotated image sharing potential effects of climate change, including text boxes and related links, using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Weather Lab - Smithsonian Science Education Center

Grades
5 to 12
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Weather Lab is a browser-based app that allows you to take on the role of a meteorologist in North America. Interact with weather processes to predict spring weather and appropriate...more
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Weather Lab is a browser-based app that allows you to take on the role of a meteorologist in North America. Interact with weather processes to predict spring weather and appropriate clothing for different regions of the United States. Follow the instructions to choose an ocean current and air mass, then make your prediction for preparing for the day's weather. Correct predictions initiate an animation showing the weather event, or click to see a satellite image of a similar event.

tag(s): air (143), oceans (161), temperature (32), weather (197)

In the Classroom

Use this interactive as an introduction to weather patterns and wind movements in North America. Provide time for each student or groups of students to play with the different options and make observations about the weather that results. Make this assignment an online lab activity including an analysis portion about what temperature variations create similar weather outcomes. If they are able, have students research online, or use a textbook, to look for reasons for the weather patterns. This activity can also be used after a class discussion to check for understanding of the concepts.

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Life of a Can - Novelis and Discovery Education

Grades
3 to 6
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This engaging interactive and classroom program demonstrates the impact of recycling just one can. Students make eco-friendly choices within the interactive to explore Cantown and earn...more
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This engaging interactive and classroom program demonstrates the impact of recycling just one can. Students make eco-friendly choices within the interactive to explore Cantown and earn Green Points for helping to recycle a can. Resources for educators include standards-aligned lessons to download.

tag(s): conservation (130), earth day (110), recycling (58)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans shared on this site for use with Earth Day activities, or recycling and conservation units. Share a link to the interactive on classroom computers or your class website. Have students create a simple infographic sharing information on recycling using Visme, reviewed here, or create an interactive poster using Adobe Spark, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science4Fun - Abdul Wahab Malik

Grades
K to 5
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Science4Fun is a place for learning about science through short articles and interesting experiments. Choose a science topic to begin your learning experience. Easy to read information...more
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Science4Fun is a place for learning about science through short articles and interesting experiments. Choose a science topic to begin your learning experience. Easy to read information and images provide background on subjects including plants, animals, and more. Scroll down the home page to find experiments for learning about floatation, magnets, and energy. Each experiment includes a complete materials list and instructions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (308), density (23), earth (230), electricity (89), energy (207), forces (43), friction (14), gravity (48), heat (15), magnetism (38), mass (24), motion (62), periodic table (52), planets (128), plants (166), preK (294), temperature (32)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Science4Fun as a resource for interesting, classroom-friendly science experiments. Share a link to experiments on your class web page for families to complete at home. Consider taking photos of the different stages of an experiment your students are doing in class. Use Sharalike, reviewed here, to display them on your webpage for students and families to view at any time.

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2 Minute Geology - Nick Zentner and Tom Foster

Grades
6 to 12
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2 Minute Geology is a YouTube playlist featuring short, informative videos discussing geological features from around the world. Topics include petrified wood, the Seattle earthquake...more
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2 Minute Geology is a YouTube playlist featuring short, informative videos discussing geological features from around the world. Topics include petrified wood, the Seattle earthquake fault, and more. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): earthquakes (47), floods (10), geology (77), rocks (50), volcanoes (64)

In the Classroom

Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. Or, use a tool like EdPuzzle, reviewed here, for students to pause videos and ask or answer questions right on the video. These activities can uncover misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. Use these videos to introduce geology concepts, then have students choose an idea to research further. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept. Challenge students to make a multimedia presentation of their findings using Sway, reviewed here, or Zeetings, reviewed here. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as View Pure, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the View Pure page directly on the desktop.

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Discovering Farmland - Discovery Education & US Farmers/Ranchers Alliance

Grades
9 to 12
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Discovering Farmland takes an interactive look at agriculture based on the documentary film, "Farmland, a film by James Moll." Engage in clips from the documentary to deliver lessons...more
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Discovering Farmland takes an interactive look at agriculture based on the documentary film, "Farmland, a film by James Moll." Engage in clips from the documentary to deliver lessons about farming as industry, stereotypes, and challenges in farming and ranching. Take a virtual field trip to learn about the innovative technology used in agriculture. Be sure to check out the Exploration portion of the site to find out more about food labels found at the grocery store.

tag(s): agriculture (59), nutrition (155)

In the Classroom

Use video clips found on the site to share information about farming and agriculture with your students. If you are new to integrating technology in your classroom, consider having students create blogs about a "day in the life" of a farmer or rancher. An easy to use blog creator is Telegra.ph, here. Telegra.ph will create a "quick and easy" blog to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided, and with Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. It's as easy as using a basic Word program! For teachers who are more experienced with integrating technology in their classroom, challenge cooperative learning groups to create podcasts sharing their insights on different types of farming and how technology has changed the agriculture industry. Create podcasts using a site such as Spreaker, reviewed here. You could give students a choice, either a podcast or to use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of different types of farms found around the country or the world. With Zeemaps you can include audio stories and pictures.

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Global Forest Change Explorer - Univ of MD, Google Earth Engine & Science in the Classroom

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover and learn about changes to forests from around the world with this interactive tool. Explore the data from three different perspectives - countries, ecosystems, and hotspots....more
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Discover and learn about changes to forests from around the world with this interactive tool. Explore the data from three different perspectives - countries, ecosystems, and hotspots. The Global Forest Change Explorer also includes a downloadable curriculum and a four-page questionnaire for students to guide them around the site and test knowledge.

tag(s): conservation (130), forests (28), maps (294)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to explore this tool with a focus on a specific area or country. Have them create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students create commercials with their ideas for saving the forests using a tool such as Powtoon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National Geographic Kids - National Geographic

Grades
K to 7
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National Geographic offers this kid-centric site as a companion to National Geographic Kids and Little Kids magazines. The focus is on information about animals, geography, and the...more
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National Geographic offers this kid-centric site as a companion to National Geographic Kids and Little Kids magazines. The focus is on information about animals, geography, and the natural world presented in a fun and engaging format. Use this busy interactive site for free, register to gain access to more content. Buttons on the home page lead to short videos, images, stories, polls, news bites, games, and activities. The site includes heavy advertising for the magazine subscriptions. A search box at the top right allows for exploration of the extensive content. Students may submit photos or comments to the "My Shot" picture gallery all of which are selected to be posted by site administrators.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (308), countries (80), endangered species (40), environment (322), plants (166), reading comprehension (124)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the site on your whiteboard to use as a learning center for students. Select videos for lesson introductions for flipped or blended learning activities. For language arts, practice finding the main idea or summarizing stories using these interesting informational texts. ESL/ELL learners can also find accessible news stories here. Choose words from stories to include with weekly spelling tests or as vocabulary builders. Assign different stories to groups of students to summarize and present to the class. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos about any article on the site. Upload images (use Creative Commons or other copyright-safe pictures) and use Moovly, reviewed here, for this project. Then share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Use the site for learning games that will appeal more to younger students. Preview all video since some feature animals hunting which may upset some students.

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Climate Change Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of resources about climate change is selected to help teachers and students learn more about the short and long term impact of climate change. As students read ...more
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This collection of resources about climate change is selected to help teachers and students learn more about the short and long term impact of climate change. As students read and see images of climate change then, now, and in the future, they will gain a better understanding. Younger students may have more questions as you explore together.

tag(s): climate change (68)

In the Classroom

Use these resources with your students to find ways you can all make a difference. Use this opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to the editor or government officials), careers in science, current events, and more.

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Roots of STEM: Books and ideas for real world problem solving in your classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find...more
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find entry points to explore problem-solving and resources to apply in your own classroom. You will find many ideas in this article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): commoncore (97), reading lists (79), STEM (168)

In the Classroom

Start with the books as part of your reading lessons, and you have already given STEM a way to take root in your class! Incorporate STEM in accordance with Common Core reading/math or Next Gen Science standards using the many suggestions here. This article will help you begin with whole group lessons and move through the entire problem-solving process. Perhaps you will want to work together on a project with your grade level team.

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CurriConnects Book List - Earth Science - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Earth Science. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Earth Science. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (133), earth (230), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about Earth Science, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on Earth Science. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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