TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 10, 2019

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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UL Xplorlabs - Underwriters Laboratories

Grades
7 to 12
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Xplorerlabs provides free STEM learning activities for middle school educators through exploration modules and hands-on learning all correlated to Next Generation Science Standards....more
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Xplorerlabs provides free STEM learning activities for middle school educators through exploration modules and hands-on learning all correlated to Next Generation Science Standards. Begin each module with a short overview of the topic then follow each step to investigate and solve through evidence-based collaboration. Each module requires one to two class periods to complete. In addition to learning modules, Xplorerlabs also includes Xtensions including additional experiments and challenges. All of the experiments on the site include student and teacher guides for download.

tag(s): electricity (96), energy (212), fire (27), fire safety (15), heat (17), problem solving (294), STEM (199)

In the Classroom

You and your students will benefit from this site's free materials to include in your science lab activities to teach content, problem-solving, and scientific investigation techniques. As students begin activities replace paper and pencil and use a digital graphic organizer such as one found at TUZZit, reviewed here, to organize questions and gather information. Upon completion of experiments, enhance learning and have students share their work using Printing Press, reviewed here, to create a one-page newspaper or brochure including images and text. At the end of your unit, have students use Biteable, reviewed here, to redefine their learning and create an explainer video sharing and demonstrating the results of their lab activities.
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K-3 STEM Foundations - Life Science - BioEd Online

Grades
K to 4
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BioEd Online provides free curriculum units for grades K-3 aligned to NGSS Standards. Each unit includes a reading selection and worksheets for science, math, and reading activities....more
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BioEd Online provides free curriculum units for grades K-3 aligned to NGSS Standards. Each unit includes a reading selection and worksheets for science, math, and reading activities. Also, the downloadable teacher's guide provides teaching materials including templates, guiding questions, and assessments. Other resources on this site include video and PowerPoint slide presentations.

tag(s): animals (319), brain (67), environment (322), habitats (110), plants (173), preK (284), senses (32), water cycle (32)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lessons to use when teaching life science concepts in your classroom. Instead of printing worksheets for students, use a digital tool like Duck Soup, reviewed here, to scan the worksheet and create a digital activity. This tool allows students to "write" on worksheets digitally instead of using paper and pencil. Duck Soup includes features for allowing students to retry and submit work and also allows you to set a deadline for work submission. Enhance student learning by using FlipGrid, reviewed here, to create video response questions for your students. Use the questions provided with the lesson units to challenge student thinking, then ask them to respond in Flipgrid.
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SCALE Science Education - Stanford University

Grades
6 to 8
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SCALE Science Education offers performance-based science lessons for middle schoolers correlated to Next Generation Science Standards. Each of the three resources includes a complete...more
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SCALE Science Education offers performance-based science lessons for middle schoolers correlated to Next Generation Science Standards. Each of the three resources includes a complete set of materials for teachers and students; some also include slide presentations. In addition to lessons, materials also have links to optional resources incorporating literacy skills and assessments.

tag(s): adaptations (18), biodiversity (34), cells (101), chemicals (47), climate change (73), earth (224), ecosystems (90), energy (212), genealogy (8), genetics (88), matter (63), oceans (163), solar system (120), space (232)

In the Classroom

Save yourself a little time with these free units and include them with your current teaching materials. Also, take advantage of the site's free webinar introducing the materials and how to use them in the classroom. Instead of using written journals throughout your unit, ask students to replace these by keeping online journals with Microsoft Word or Google Documents. Throughout the lessons ask students to highlight and share important information, add annotations, and add links to additional information. As you add resources for students, use Wakelet, reviewed here, to share information on your website or blog. Ask students to stretch their learning and create personal Wakelets including images from projects and their journal entries. As a final project, have students modify their learning by creating an explainer video of their activities using a video creation tool like Typito, reviewed here. Typito includes a broad range of editing tools in an easy to use format for creating video explainers.
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Those Amazing Engineers - Those Amazing Professions Inc

Grades
6 to 12
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Those Amazing Engineers provides an introduction to engineering and careers in engineering through vibrant images, text, and video. Scroll through the home page to explore the many...more
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Those Amazing Engineers provides an introduction to engineering and careers in engineering through vibrant images, text, and video. Scroll through the home page to explore the many different types of engineers and follow links to learn more about each specific field. Additional links share information on workplaces, getting started in the field of engineering, and exploring options to find the type of engineering that appeals to individual interests. If your school blocks YouTube be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): careers (147), engineering (129), STEM (199)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as part of career exploration lessons. Instead of creating a list of sites to share with students, replace the list by saving bookmarks with Symbaloo, reviewed here, to make information easy to find and access. After researching the different engineering fields ask students to modify learning and create a web page sharing a day in the life of their chosen field. Carrd, reviewed here, is a free webpage creation tool that provides many tools for professional-looking pages. Find many other resources to encourage creativity and engineering at TeachersFirst Makerspace Resources, reviewed here.

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Space School Musical - Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology

Grades
3 to 12
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Introduce students to planets, the moon, and more through this "hip-hopera" correlated to science standards. The materials are designed to be used as a whole production, or as individual...more
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Introduce students to planets, the moon, and more through this "hip-hopera" correlated to science standards. The materials are designed to be used as a whole production, or as individual stand-alone parts. Each section includes a video download and transcript. Total runtime of the videos is 30 minutes. If your school blocks YouTube be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): moon (79), planets (136), readers theater (13), space (232), STEM (199)

In the Classroom

Appeal to your students' love of music and drama to teach key space concepts with this site. Instead of just watching the videos, enhance learning using EdPuzzle, reviewed here. Use EdPuzzle to upload the video then add questions to help student comprehension or as a starter for further exploration. Have students interested in music and theater create their own production of Space School Musical (or their original space production). Allow students who aren't interested in being featured in the production to create scenery, be authors and add additional information, or help videotape and share the finished project. Redefine learning by having other students create video explainers using a video creation tool like My Simpleshow, reviewed here. Use these explainers as part of your ongoing assessment of student learning in place of a written report.
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Expii - Expii, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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Expii is a free resource for learning about math and science topics creatively through video and written explanations provided by different expert contributors. Math content begins...more
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Expii is a free resource for learning about math and science topics creatively through video and written explanations provided by different expert contributors. Math content begins with pre-algebra and moves up through advanced topics. Many units also offer options for practice. Expii also encourages students and teachers to add their content. Search for topics by keyword or choose from the different math and science topics to begin learning. Use Expii without registering; however, free registration allows you to save favorites for later use. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): atoms (55), cells (101), charts and graphs (203), decimals (125), earth (224), electricity (96), equations (156), fractions (231), magnetism (40), molecules (47), number lines (33), number sense (97), planets (136), ratios (66), space (232), stars (71), STEM (199), sun (72), transformations (19), variables (20)

In the Classroom

Include Expii with your links for students to use at home and in class. Expii is an excellent way to provide content explanation through the voice of many different speakers, allowing the opportunity to increase student understanding. To enhance learning, ask groups of students to view lessons provided by the different contributors, then ask them to compare and contrast information by creating a concept map or Venn Diagram using Canva, reviewed here. At the end of a teaching unit, ask students to redefine what they learned using a multimedia tool like Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here, or Sway, reviewed here, to share their learning. Be sure to have them include their own video explanation of the content.

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Science News for Students - Society for Science and the Public

Grades
4 to 8
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Science News for Students publishes daily science articles aimed at readers 9-14 years old. Written by science experts, this site features a variety of topics geared toward preteens....more
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Science News for Students publishes daily science articles aimed at readers 9-14 years old. Written by science experts, this site features a variety of topics geared toward preteens. Each story includes highlighted "power" words including providing definitions for lesser-known vocabulary. At the end of each article, find a readability score using the Flesch-Kincaid algorithm. Browse the site's home page for the most recent posts or use the Topics link to find information sorted into categories. This site also includes a keyword search to use when looking for specific information. Some articles include YouTube videos; if your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): body systems (59), brain (67), careers (147), earth (224), environment (322), evolution (104), genetics (88), human body (131), space (232), STEM (199)

In the Classroom

Include a link to Science News for Students on classroom computers to include with other non-fiction reading resources for students. Have students browse through the site to find information of interest when choosing science fair or research topics. Alter students' learning by asking them to create an infographic related to a science topic using Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here. This very easy to use tool includes drag and drop tools for easy creation of infographics using included templates or your own design. Take student research a step further and redefine their learning by having students use ThingLink, reviewed here, to upload an image related to their science research and add annotations. Thinglink offers tools for adding text, audio, video, and more to images. Weaker readers will need a reading buddy for some of the more challenging article. Classes in lower grades will want to read the articles together. A quick check on one article using Juicy Studio's Readability test, reviewed here, provided an approximate grade level of 6.5. Check articles before assigning to elementary students. You might also want to use Word Sift, reviewed here, to quickly identify important words that appear in the text.

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Twitter Chat: Infusing STEM Into Any Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from June 2018 and will open in TweetChat. The title of this chat is - Infusing STEM Into Any Classroom. Through this chat participants ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from June 2018 and will open in TweetChat. The title of this chat is - Infusing STEM Into Any Classroom. Through this chat participants will: 1. Discuss ways to incorporate STEM into any content area, 2. Share tech tools that promote STEM activities, and 3. Discuss ways to promote critical thinking skills through STEM education. Read the many comments and suggestions by both the moderator and other participants.

tag(s): STEM (199), twitterchatarchive (66)

In the Classroom

Are you ready to infuse STEM into your classroom? Learn new STEM trends and tools for your classroom. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for sites and information about infusing STEM into the classroom. Explore the various tools that are shared.

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MySciLife - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 9
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MySciLife is a free social learning platform for middle school classes. Join a MySciLife cohort after participation in a one-month online training cycle. Students participate in monthly...more
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MySciLife is a free social learning platform for middle school classes. Join a MySciLife cohort after participation in a one-month online training cycle. Students participate in monthly exchanges with a global community through research and sharing science connections through writing activities. This platform works with any curriculum and includes a complete set of resource materials aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. MySciLife requires parental permission for student participation; all students post anonymously using their science "identity" names.

tag(s): animals (319), critical thinking (116), descriptive writing (40), digital citizenship (73), plants (173), scientists (68), social media (38), STEM (199), volcanoes (65), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Join MySciLife to bring excitement and energy to your science classroom. As you complete activities in the platform, use a concept mapping site like MindMup, reviewed here, to replace paper/pencil version of a concept map. Alter students' learning by asking them to create and share infographics based on their research and sharing of ideas. Canva, reviewed here, is an easy to use site for creating infographics using pre-made templates or from scratch. Take student learning to a whole new level by redefining it and having them create a game-based learning activity for their peers using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Symbaloo Learning Paths offers many options for creating differentiated learning using video, quizzes, and more.
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Curious George STEM Collection - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 6
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The Curious George STEM Collection contains a variety of hands-on lesson plans teaching STEM concepts through Curious George videos. Concepts taught include simple machines, measurement,...more
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The Curious George STEM Collection contains a variety of hands-on lesson plans teaching STEM concepts through Curious George videos. Concepts taught include simple machines, measurement, sorting, and more. Each lesson begins by watching a video, then using the concepts presented in the video, participate in a variety of learning activities. In addition to the complete lesson, each activity also includes a variety of additional resources for extending learning. Lessons align to National and Next Generation Science Standards.

tag(s): air (143), architecture (84), careers (147), charts and graphs (203), engineering (129), measurement (181), recycling (60), rockets (17), senses (32), simple machines (34), soil (20), sorting (12), STEM (199), water (136)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lessons and videos to add to your current STEM teaching resources. Ask students to blog about their experiences as a substitution for handwritten journals using a tool like Seesaw, reviewed here. This tool makes blogging easy, even for the youngest students. For augmentation of lessons take pictures of class activities, then have students annotate images using ThingLink, reviewed here. Use ThingLink for students to modify their learning by adding a voice recording of their understanding of science and math concepts learned during lessons.

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OK Go Sandbox - University of St Thomas and Dr. AnnMarie Thomas

Grades
6 to 12
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Capture the interest of your most reluctant students with these STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) projects presented through music videos and guided inquiry challenges....more
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Capture the interest of your most reluctant students with these STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) projects presented through music videos and guided inquiry challenges. Rock videos provide the basis for the learning concepts followed by a series of question and answers along with student challenges. Examples found on the site include lessons on simple machines demonstrated through a chain reaction and creating sound through everyday objects. Other resources include educator guides and student journal worksheets. If your school blocks YouTube be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): gravity (52), mass (25), motion (70), sound (104), STEM (199)

In the Classroom

Delight your students with the videos and activities provided on the site to include with your current science lessons. Place students in groups to complete the challenges offered. Have students replace paper and pen and take collaborative, digital notes using Webnote, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Ask students to record their work images and video. Redefine learning and challenge students to share their final projects including the digital research notes, images, and videos using a multimedia presentation tool like Sway, reviewed here.
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Math Resources for All Grades - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find an extensive collection of resources for math. Curated lists are based on NCTM standards and divided by grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Topics include Numbers & Operations, Algebra,...more
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Find an extensive collection of resources for math. Curated lists are based on NCTM standards and divided by grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Topics include Numbers & Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data & Probability. Each reviewed resource includes a description and technology integration ideas for your classroom.

tag(s): charts and graphs (203), data (155), equations (156), geometric shapes (168), measurement (181), number lines (33), number sense (97), numbers (192), operations (120), order of operations (40), probability (137)

In the Classroom

Save this list for when teaching any math class in grades K-12. Many of the resources would work in a BYOD environment. Share these lists on your class website for students to access for additional practice.

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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 (87), reading lists (77), STEM (199)

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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