TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 18, 2018

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 go to the Featured Sites Archive

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Synth - Brian Lamb

Grades
K to 12
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Synth describes itself as a "bite-sized podcasting platform." Use this site to create audio recordings up to 256 seconds in length, then combine those recordings into a podcast. Think...more
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Synth describes itself as a "bite-sized podcasting platform." Use this site to create audio recordings up to 256 seconds in length, then combine those recordings into a podcast. Think of it as similar to a series of Tweets, but in an audio format. To create a recording, select the Podcast link then add the plus sign to create a podcast. Podcasts start in private mode by default, change sharing options after publishing your work. Synth also provides the opportunity for recording video from your webcam and the ability to add a transcription of recordings into the podcast. Invite participants to contribute by sharing the URL, the session code, or use the embed code to embed into your website or blog.

tag(s): podcasts (60), video (273)

In the Classroom

Before using Synth with your classroom, be sure to practice setting up and sharing podcasts created with this tool. One way to practice is to set up a podcast with teachers in your building or district as a professional development opportunity. Create a "slow chat" discussing ideas for literature, thematic lessons, or professional book talks. Once you are comfortable using Synth with students, create exit tickets for students to reflect, enhance their learning, and discuss the day's lesson. Synth allows students to extend critical thinking by adding web links to recordings. Ask students to share their opinion on any subject and include a web address to support their conclusion. Have students transform learning by embedding a Synth podcast into a multimedia presentation created with a tool like Sway, reviewed here, and create an interactive discussion on the topic. Instead of using your standard pre-assessment materials, replace these with Synth and extend student understanding by sharing their knowledge (or what they would like to learn) as a quick way to gauge what students already know.

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Where Science Meets Art - National Public Radio

Grades
8 to 12
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This series explores the intersection of art and science through thought-provoking podcast discussions. Topics range from music and its healing effect to the inclusion of optics and...more
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This series explores the intersection of art and science through thought-provoking podcast discussions. Topics range from music and its healing effect to the inclusion of optics and physics in sculpture. Each podcast is under 10 minutes long. Listen to podcasts online, download, or use the embed code to include on your class website or blog.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (78), earth (224), evolution (102), music theory (45), podcasts (60), sculpture (19), STEM (196)

In the Classroom

Use this site to "hook" artistic-inclined students into learning more about the science behind their interests. Share podcasts with your students on your class website or have students listen on their own devices. After listening to podcasts, ask students to explore the topic further through research online. Instead of creating a written or online list of bookmarks used, replace these and have students create a Padlet, reviewed here, to include bookmarks, images, videos, and additional content. Share the Padlet with other students and classes to allow others to collaborate on the topic. Use this podcast series as inspiration for students to create their own podcasts. Instead of having students respond through a writing project, expand this into a weekly or bi-weekly podcast sharing student research into the arts and sciences. Podcast Generator, reviewed here, is one of many free podcasting tools available to create and share podcasts.

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Radiooooo - Benjamin Moreau

Grades
K to 12
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Discover music from all over the world and from over 100 years back in time! Visit Radiooooo and start listening immediately (no registration required) or download the iOS or Android...more
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Discover music from all over the world and from over 100 years back in time! Visit Radiooooo and start listening immediately (no registration required) or download the iOS or Android app. Just select a country (all countries in yellow have music), decade, and mood (from tabs at the bottom) the music will begin. Create a playlist from different countries and decades using Taxi Mode. Create an account to save your favorites, or upload your own favorite music.

tag(s): 1900s (38), countries (83), radio (27), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Social studies will have a heyday with this program! Complement any period in time with its music. Use music from the site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Play music from the period you are studying during reading or research time. Use during current events for students to hear the music and language of the country of the article. Allow students to explore the site on their own, and then share their findings with classmates. Ask students to exchange paper journals and write about their impressions of the music and make comparisons to their favorites of today using a blog tool like Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. Redefine learning by challenging students create multimedia timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Hstry, reviewed here. Any teacher will appreciate Radiooooo. Play music selections quietly during any subject and student work time. Filter distractions by finding instrumentals to play during silent reading time, test taking, lab activities, or any other quiet time during class. World language teachers can use this tool to introduce music from all the countries whose population speak the language they teach. This tool would also be perfect for performance groups such as drama clubs or musicals that need background music. Use background music for poetry readings during poetry month.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! - National Public Radio (NPR)

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! is a weekly podcast from NPR featuring celebrities and audience participation activities based on current news. Other prominent features from the podcast...more
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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! is a weekly podcast from NPR featuring celebrities and audience participation activities based on current news. Other prominent features from the podcast include games like "Bluff the Listener." In this activity, participants hear three stories, two of them fictitious, and try to guess the correct one.

tag(s): journalism (57), listening (86), logic (246), news (258), podcasts (60), problem solving (294)

In the Classroom

Subscribe to this podcast and listen together as a class. This format provides many opportunities to develop listening and problem-solving skills and also provides an opportunity to teach skills for recognizing "fake news." After listening to several podcasts encourage students to create their own programs using a similar format. First, replace paper notecards and pen and have students plan out the podcast using Super Notecards, reviewed here, where students can collaborate on the script and move the notecards around until they have their podcast just right. Strenghten learning by recording and publishing their podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here.

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Anchor - Michael Mignano and Nir Zicherman

Grades
1 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. ...more
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. Choose a name when finished, then upload your content as a finished podcast. For ideas on what to include in your podcast, listen to Anchor podcasts shared on the site by Anchor users.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (177), podcasts (60)

In the Classroom

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Looking for even more ideas? Record class assignments or directions. Record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning and build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Challenge students to create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News," encourage an extend learning and have student create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. Language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Challenge your Shakespeare students to record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing any additional tools.

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Text2VoiceOver - Ipsilon Developments

Grades
K to 12
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Add a voiceover to any YouTube video or video on your computer choosing from 15 different voices and 13 languages with Text2VoiceOver. Select the "Create VoiceOver Now!" button to begin,...more
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Add a voiceover to any YouTube video or video on your computer choosing from 15 different voices and 13 languages with Text2VoiceOver. Select the "Create VoiceOver Now!" button to begin, then choose from options to select your video. Once the video loads, select the location for your voiceover and follow directions for adding text and choosing from voice options. Be sure to watch the tutorial video with complete instructions for using the site and generating your voiceover. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): text to speech (18), video (273)

In the Classroom

Use Text2VoiceOver to add comments and instructions to any YouTube video your students view. Share specific tips, ask questions, or add additional details to content. Have students create a voiceover to share their thoughts on a video, or ask questions to clarify content.

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Mic Note - Treebeard Bros.

Grades
K to 12
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Mic Note is a voice recorder and notepad available for download on most computer systems. Features include timestamps on recordings, editing, transcription, and shareable links. Once...more
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Mic Note is a voice recorder and notepad available for download on most computer systems. Features include timestamps on recordings, editing, transcription, and shareable links. Once logged in, Mic Note syncs notes across platforms making them available from anywhere. Check the download area to choose the correct version for your needs.

tag(s): fluency (24), speech (87)

In the Classroom

Have students practice spelling words orally, record speeches, practice reading fluency, and much more using Mic Note. After recording, allow students to listen to the playback and reflect upon the quality of their work. Do before and after recordings of students to share with parents during conferences to demonstrate reading progress. Have students record weekly summaries for what has happened in your class to share on your class website or blog. Record weekly or daily homework assignments and share as a voice recording on your website. Save file space by replacing old files with new ones. Mic Note would be an excellent resource for recording and sharing more complicated directions for projects and assignments (adding your voice intonation and cues!). Your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students may do better with a combination of written AND auditory directions. Provide the link on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice in spelling, reading, practicing reports, and more. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Have students write and record audio book reviews others can play on iPads or iTouches in the school library. If you have gifted students in your classroom, this tool is simple enough for even the youngest to be able to record audio mini-dramas portraying a historic figure or event, poetry readings, and more. Be sure to show them how to NAME and download the files to the local computer! Anything they can say out loud can become a creative project recording. Don't forget about recording musical performances or practices.

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TypeDrummer - Kyle Stetz

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Turn your typing into cool rhythmic beats with TypeDrummer. Listen to your creation as you continue typing into the box. For a change of pace, switch from the drumbeat to ...more
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Turn your typing into cool rhythmic beats with TypeDrummer. Listen to your creation as you continue typing into the box. For a change of pace, switch from the drumbeat to the song "Fool" by Moon Bounce. Click on "load new samples" only. Warning: Clicking on "Fool" will take you out of the TypeDrummer tool. After finishing your creation, use the link to share with others at the URL created for you.

tag(s): back to school (60), musical instruments (52), rhythm (21), sound (106)

In the Classroom

Catch your students' attention and type a short message to students on TypeDrummer to read as they enter the class. Create and share TypeDrummer messages on your class web page - suggestions might be reminders of due dates of upcoming tests, tips on completing homework assignments, or the daily school lunch menu. Allow students to create a TypeDrummer message as part of a presentation including the title and a summary of the presentation content. Create a list of instructions to share with students. Use TypeDrummer as part of your Back to School activities, have each student type their name and a sentence about themselves. Spice up lessons and have students type their answers using TypeDrummer.

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Buzzsprout - Tom Rossi

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Buzzsprout offers free, easy to use, podcast hosting. Sign up to receive two hours of hosting per month. Uploads remain available for 90 days. Buzzsprout's dashboard walks you through...more
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Buzzsprout offers free, easy to use, podcast hosting. Sign up to receive two hours of hosting per month. Uploads remain available for 90 days. Buzzsprout's dashboard walks you through the process of creating and sharing podcasts and provides information on the time remaining in your current cycle. Copy and paste one line of code to include your podcast directly on any website. Attractive features include scheduling episodes for a specific date and time, adding links, lists, chapter markers, and a "Support the show" link to your podcasts.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (60)

In the Classroom

Even if you aren't ready to create podcasts, share the How To Make a Podcast page with your students with excellent tips for creating any type of speaking presentation. Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki to read in class AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning by building fluency and recording selected passages for your non-readers. Don't forget to have them listen and critique their podcast! Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News." Have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. Language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages and listening to themselves. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing a video camera.

Comments

The podcasting 101 information is incredibly helpful for anyone wishing to begin podcasting. It also establishes tips that can be helpful for any speaker (as the description says). Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Clyp - Audiour, LLC

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Easily record and share audio with Clyp. You can use Clyp on a web browser or as an app from the Apple store or Google Play. You have two options ...more
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Easily record and share audio with Clyp. You can use Clyp on a web browser or as an app from the Apple store or Google Play. You have two options when creating your file. You can scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Start Recording" button and use the microphone on your computer to record a message. You can also upload an audio file from your computer. Use the social network links to share via Facebook, Twitter, email, and more. To save your file, create an account using your Facebook profile or email. Account creation allows you to manage Clyps across devices (with a modern web browser and Internet access), make files private, and disable downloads. Recording works best with the iOS or Android apps. Caution: This site is open to the public and anyone can post material (title and songs) that may not be appropriate in a classroom. We do NOT recommend allowing students of any age to explore the already created content on this site.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (177), speech (87)

In the Classroom

When using this site in the classroom in any capacity, we highly recommend providing the direct link to your created material (or your students). This will limit students' exposure to questionable songs on the homepage. Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee student and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ESL/ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Clyp, and have students follow along using a picture book. Alternatively have the students read their own stories into Clyp and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: Create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Clyps for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Clyps of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection. Again, be sure to provide direct links to the students' Clyps.

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Soundtrap - Playwerk AB

Grades
1 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create music using Soundtrap's virtual instruments or use your own. Collaborate to create music with others. Blend your tracks together using the Soundtrap editor. There are video tutorials...more
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Create music using Soundtrap's virtual instruments or use your own. Collaborate to create music with others. Blend your tracks together using the Soundtrap editor. There are video tutorials to help you develop your track. Download your music as MP3 files. You can save five projects at a time, will have 770 loops, 151 instruments and sounds, collaboration via video and chat, and more with the free account . This tool will work with the Chrome web browser, iOS, and Android devices. Though the videos open in this program, they are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (119), DAT device agnostic tool (177), musical instruments (52), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use Soundtrap with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students use Soundtrap for multimedia and group projects using one of the many TeachersFirst multimedia Edge tools, reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Visme, Adobe Spark for Education, and My Simpleshow. In a music class have students use this tool when they are practicing so they can hear how they sound. They could also use Soundtrap as a group to experiment and combine sounds and hear the results. Drama classes can create music for the background of their play. Share this link on your class website for families to explore at home.

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Booktrack Classroom - Peter Thiel

Grades
1 to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Make reading a multimedia experience that today's students expect. Booktrack adds movie style soundtracks to favorite stories and books. You can add your own sound effects and music...more
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Make reading a multimedia experience that today's students expect. Booktrack adds movie style soundtracks to favorite stories and books. You can add your own sound effects and music to the stories and books you love, too. There are thousands of titles already available, both classic and contemporary; these include novels, poetry, and short stories that are in the public domain. Find them by clicking "Free to Use" and scrolling down a bit. Creation is possible on your PC or MAC; read and listen only on the iOS and Android mobile apps. There are several ready-to-go lessons at elementary, middle, and high school levels. When using on a computer, BookTrack works best in Chrome and may not function at all in some browsers. Watch the short tutorials to learn how to create a book with a soundtrack.

tag(s): book lists (129), book reports (36), DAT device agnostic tool (177), ebooks (39), guided reading (47), independent reading (125), reading comprehension (129), reading lists (78)

In the Classroom

Click "Teachers" and scroll to the bottom of the home page to find free lessons. Work together with your music teacher to find classical music selections that make great background music. Have students choose a story and create a "read aloud" with music and sound effects. Challenge students to capture the feel or tone of current events articles, science articles, or poems they have created. Use music and sound effects to enhance historical events or battles in social science. At the end of literature circles, have students select the best events in a story and put music and sound effects together with them. Watch the short tutorials to create your class and to create a book with a soundtrack. FanFiction users may want to put sound effects or music to their own writing. In the library/media center, share BookTracks to interest students in some of your "old" books!

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Audio Books Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment.

tag(s): audio books (22), listening (86), preK (284)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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StoryCorps - Dave Isay

Grades
4 to 12
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StoryCorps is a nonprofit site where Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. It is one of the largest oral history ...more
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StoryCorps is a nonprofit site where Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. It is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. At the site you can download a "Do it Yourself Guide", find resources for teachers, and a list of great questions. You can subscribe to their podcast, e-newsletter, and blog, or you can upload your own story or that of a loved one or friend for free. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

tag(s): questioning (36), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Grandparent's day is in September. What better gift to a grandparent than to be able to spend time with their grandchild and tell them a story about an important time in their lives? Of course, you'll want to prepare students with some interviewing skills and questions before they interview their grandparents, and show them how to record the interview with some type of recorder (tape recorder, cell phone, video camera, etc). This recording can then be submitted to StoryCorps and it will then reside at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Students can also interview parents about their first memories of school, and what they remember about the grade that the student is currently in. Share these interviews during the first week or month of the school year. Not only can these interviews be submitted to StoryCorp, but students could then do a write up of their interviews and publish them in a classroom book of memories. Have students create online books to share with the class about their interview. Use a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or have students narrate a photo of the person they interviewed using a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here.

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