TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 6, 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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Proportion Land - Alabama Public Television

Grades
5 to 9
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Enjoy eight different amusement park rides while learning about proportion and solving several science-based, real-world problems. Learn about rechargeable batteries, acceleration,...more
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Enjoy eight different amusement park rides while learning about proportion and solving several science-based, real-world problems. Learn about rechargeable batteries, acceleration, and other science concepts at various stops in the park. Each activity includes links to resources for students and teachers.

tag(s): energy (198), ratios (53), simple machines (37)

In the Classroom

Use Proportion Land as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share with students as a resource for science fair projects. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos demonstrating topics found on Proportion Land and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Junior General - juniorgeneral.org

Grades
8 to 12
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Understand battle tactics from the stone age through modern times with hands-on gameplay with Junior General. Use printables from the site to create paper troops, and then choose from...more
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Understand battle tactics from the stone age through modern times with hands-on gameplay with Junior General. Use printables from the site to create paper troops, and then choose from different rules and scenarios to recreate a battle. Be sure to take advantage of the many articles offering tips and advice for using and modifying resources found on the site.

tag(s): battles (16), korea (15), vietnam (36), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Choose from the many different options on this site to create battle recreations offering a much better perspective of troop size and battle tactics. Pique student interest in reading the scenarios by having them cut and prepare figures, forests, and more in advance. Using the figures on Junior General takes some advanced planning, so have students start cutting and preparing figures a day or two before beginning the reading. Challenge students to create timelines of the major events of a battle (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier during a battle. Use the scenarios as informational reading to meet Common Core Standards.

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RoboPacker - Eduplace

Grades
1 to 4
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Can you fit the robots into the suitcase? Practice making and manipulating shapes with this engaging activity. Slide, turn, or flip the robot pieces until they fit into the shape, ...more
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Can you fit the robots into the suitcase? Practice making and manipulating shapes with this engaging activity. Slide, turn, or flip the robot pieces until they fit into the shape, then check to see if you packed the robots correctly. Move up through six different levels of difficulty as you continue play.

tag(s): flips (5), geometric shapes (163), rotation (13), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Introduce Robopacker on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and show students how to play. Be sure to emphasize vocabulary and geometric shapes offered on the site. Create a link on classroom computers for students to use as a math center. Share a link on your class website for students to play at home. Challenge students to work through all of the different levels of the game.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Agree or Disagree? - Tim McCaffrey

Grades
5 to 8
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Use math skills and persuasive language to Agree or Disagree with several situations. View the video and start using logic, evidence, and persuasive language skills. Choose the lessons...more
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Use math skills and persuasive language to Agree or Disagree with several situations. View the video and start using logic, evidence, and persuasive language skills. Choose the lessons link to see the correlation to standards for activities. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): debate (41), logic (235), measurement (159), money (193), problem solving (272), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Although there are only a few activities, this site provides an interesting starting point for creating inquiry-based lessons. Use ideas from this site as examples and have students make their own Agree or Disagree activities. Challenge small groups of students to find (and cite correctly) videos they could use for an activity like the ones presented here. Use a tool like Shotclip, reviewed here, to upload images, video, audio, add effects, and edit the chosen video as desired, if necessary. Once students have finished this project, have students post their videos on TeacherTube, reviewed here, and present them to the class.

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Which One Doesn't Belong? - Mary Bourassa

Grades
5 to 12
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Which One Doesn't Belong provides stimulating and challenging math puzzles. Select a category to find puzzles related to numbers, shapes, and graphs. An additional link contains several...more
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Which One Doesn't Belong provides stimulating and challenging math puzzles. Select a category to find puzzles related to numbers, shapes, and graphs. An additional link contains several incomplete puzzles to finish. The site does not provide a "correct" answer. Each puzzle has multiple (possible) answers providing opportunities for all to choose and justify their response.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), logic (235), problem solving (272), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

These puzzles are perfect for use with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the puzzles as a warm up for any math class or use for journal writing prompts. Use this site for discussion and debate with your gifted students. Challenge students to create puzzles and have classmates solve. Have cooperative learning groups create online books of their puzzles using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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The Wonderment - Kidnected World

Grades
3 to 9
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. Given ...more
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. Given a choice to follow many different paths, kids determine the subject of interest. The paths are real-world problems from around the globe. View a video, story, or idea. Design a response using text, photos, or a video. Join a chat to allow comments or ask questions to make global connections. After each posting, special points are added to make the bot design more elaborate. A personal Wondermeter rises with each response. Through donations, this non-profit brings technology to children around the world. A call for adults to serve as mentors to respond to each child challenges adults to join in the fun and make the world a better place. Register with email. Children under 13 need parent or teacher approval to participate. Watch the two short videos to see an explanation for The Wonderment and How It Works.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), enrichment (13), gifted (96), listening (91), problem solving (272), social media (16), social networking (112), social skills (20), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

Wonderment is a problem based learning adventure for each student around the world to communicate and collaborate with other students. This venue allows great lesson ideas for digital citizenship and digital footprints. Begin by choosing a path for the entire class and feature on an interactive whiteboard. Have students work in small groups to choose their best response. Discussions after can focus on creativity, problem solving, and collaboration between the group and others from around the world. In a gifted class, use as a way to challenge kids to break through the "right answer" and find the "best answer." Use this as a model for finding authentic needs in your community. Be sure to share a link to this tool on your class blog, website, or Edmodo account. Use this tool as the answer for the parents who always want more challenge and enrichment for their students at home. Be sure to share at a staff meeting to spread the wonder for other students and adults.

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Andrew Carnegie's Story - Carnegie Corporation of New York

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie beginning with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. ...more
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie beginning with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. Scroll through the site to read about Carnegie's youth and explore the timeline of his business. Continue reading to learn about his philanthropic side, including the founding of over 2,500 libraries across the United States. Use links at the top of the page to view specific portions of the site without having to scroll through all sections. The video at the end is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view it at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): 1900s (33), biographies (87), business (58), railroads (10)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this resource with a study of the 19th Century, famous businessmen, or philanthropy. Have students create maps of libraries in your state funded by the Carnegie Foundation using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Andrew Carnegie and his peers. Use this site as a starting point to compare Andrew Carnegie to current businessmen and philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

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Star Wars in the Classroom - EDventure Quest Learning LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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Use the magic of Star Wars to spark learning and imagination in many curricular areas with resources found on this site. Choose the Content Areas link to find lessons and ...more
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Use the magic of Star Wars to spark learning and imagination in many curricular areas with resources found on this site. Choose the Content Areas link to find lessons and activities in mythology, social studies, science, and more. Be sure to check out the ELA resources that include many literature-related activities with themes such as good vs. evil and heroes and villains. The History content has sections on geography, world religions, elections, current events, and more. Several portions of the site include activities to download in PDF format.

tag(s): heroes (24), literary devices (11), literature (275), movies (65), myths and legends (25), planets (123), psychology (64), religions (61), robotics (25), themes (12)

In the Classroom

Appeal to students through the movies they love using Star Wars in the Classroom. Collaborate with teachers to create a cross-curricular Star Wars unit. Use resources from this site with gifted students or for independent learners. The lessons and units at this site lend themselves to having students make multimedia presentations about what they learned. Use 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 about a Star Wars character.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core, State Standards, or national organization standards.

tag(s): 20th century (51), authors (120), black history (59), civil war (145), commoncore (94), constitution (79), hispanic (18), jefferson (19), lincoln (86), new deal (6), primary sources (86), segregation (15), thanksgiving (37), veterans (19), washington (36), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (26), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. This tool allows users to narrate a picture. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TextProject YouTube Channel - TextProject, Inc

Grades
K to 9
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TextProject's YouTube Channel has many videos to provide support in reading instruction for beginning and struggling readers. Choose from playlists with subjects including Texts That...more
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TextProject's YouTube Channel has many videos to provide support in reading instruction for beginning and struggling readers. Choose from playlists with subjects including Texts That Teach, Literacy Leaders Answer CCSS Questions, Vocabulary Matters, Teaching English Learners Vocabulary, and much more. Click Playlist on the menu to see them all. Be sure to subscribe to this YouTube Channel to receive notification of new additions. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): commoncore (94), literacy (103), professional development (123), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45), video (254)

In the Classroom

Share individual videos with parents to help them understand different reading strategies. Embed a video of the week on your class website or blog for parents. Share with colleagues as part of your ongoing professional development.

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Ratatype - Typing Speed Test - Ratatype

Grades
2 to 12
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Type a short text to find out your typing speed and earn certificates. Receive silver, gold, and platinum certificates based on speed and accuracy. After typing the selection, the results...more
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Type a short text to find out your typing speed and earn certificates. Receive silver, gold, and platinum certificates based on speed and accuracy. After typing the selection, the results display provides accuracy percentage and words per minute. You must create an account to access and print certificates. However, no account is needed to simply take typing tests.

tag(s): keyboarding (38)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your classroom computer, teacher web page, or in a class newsletter for students to practice keyboarding outside of class or at home. Be sure to demonstrate how the typing test works on an interactive whiteboard or projector before students take tests on their own. Challenge students to improve speed and accuracy through the different levels of certificates.

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Changing Planet - NBC Universal Media, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Examine the effect of climate change on our planet through video on Changing Planet. NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation collaborated to create this collection. Topics range...more
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Examine the effect of climate change on our planet through video on Changing Planet. NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation collaborated to create this collection. Topics range from Thawing Permafrost, Melting Mountain Glaciers, Withering Crops, and more! Each video has a "cue card" with a summary and key terms. The videos are approximately five to ten minutes in length, and every video has a tab with a transcript that opens full-screen from the card view. Middle level and high school STEM lessons accompany most of the videos. The larger NBC Learn site is a fee-based subscription, but this section is free.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): arctic (44), climate change (64), diseases (66), glaciers (14), mountains (13), oceans (148), scientific method (64), statistics (122), STEM (134), temperature (29), trees (30), tundra (14), water (130)

In the Classroom

Place the URL to Changing Planet on your classroom website or blog for students to explore the videos on their own. Flip your instruction and assign the videos to your scientists to watch before class. Flipping will maximize classroom time. Encourage budding scientists to investigate climate change. Use this site as a springboard for individual or group projects that connect to our world today. Have students create presentations to share what they learned using a tool such as Powtoon, reviewed here. Build student's background knowledge by watching the videos, and reviewing nonfiction reading strategies with students before reading the transcripts. Use the videos on Changing Planet to help struggling readers with the content on the cue cards. Encourage your scientists to tackle the topic of climate for a science fair experiment or graduation project.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Technology Integration Matrix - Florida Center for Instructional Technology

Grades
K to 12
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The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) offers an evaluation tool to assess the use of technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. This rubric evaluates the level of technology...more
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The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) offers an evaluation tool to assess the use of technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. This rubric evaluates the level of technology integration along with characteristics of a learning environment. Click on a content subject in any of the evaluation tool boxes to view a video of an example lesson in a classroom demonstrating different levels of technology integration. As a complement to the evaluation tool, view resources found within the rubric sorted by grade level, type of digital tool, and resources by choosing links at the top of the page.

tag(s): rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Use the matrix to evaluate how you use technology in your classroom. Share with administrators and peers as part of your ongoing professional development. View videos to understand different ways to incorporate technology in your classroom.

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Freemake Video Converter - Ellora Assets Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Convert, edit, and save video files with Freemake Video Converter. The video converter supports over 300 file input formats including video, audio, and image files. Use templates provided...more
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Convert, edit, and save video files with Freemake Video Converter. The video converter supports over 300 file input formats including video, audio, and image files. Use templates provided to turn photos or images into slideshows with a chosen soundtrack. Other features include the ability to clip and rotate video, upload to YouTube, and convert files to burn and save on Blu-ray or DVD. Be sure to watch the video on the site with directions on how to use this tool. It is a YouTube video so you may need to watch it somewhere other than at school.

tag(s): conversions (23), images (266), movies (65), multimedia (57), slides (63), video (254)

In the Classroom

Share with students for use with any multimedia or presentation project. Use this tool to backup videos on your YouTube channel. Bookmark and save this video converter for use as an alternative to Keepvid, reviewed here. This tool and Keepvid are both used to download and save videos at home that you wish to show to students, especially if they are blocked at school. If you want to use the video at school, you may need to save the conversion to a USB stick, if a CD drive isn't available.

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