TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 20, 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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Langscape - Maryland Language Science Center

Grades
3 to 12
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Langscape is an interactive map of almost 7000 languages from around the world. The site offers three main features: an interactive map, a text identification tool, and a language familiarization...more
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Langscape is an interactive map of almost 7000 languages from around the world. The site offers three main features: an interactive map, a text identification tool, and a language familiarization game. Click on a map location to view a pop-up box with the name or names of languages spoken and location by longitude and latitude. Click on the name of the language to find basic data (underneath the map) about the language and its speakers. Underneath the map, find icons to learn more about the language, choose the music-note to listen to MP3 recordings of the language. The page icon leads to other Internet resources for learning about the language chosen. Be sure to drop down the Discover link at the top of the page to find the K-12 educators guide, a complete guide on how to use the site as well as lessons linked to Social Studies Standards.

tag(s): arabic (20), chinese (49), cultures (105), french (89), german (65), greek (41), hebrew (14), italian (34), landforms (45), latin (22), map skills (80), maps (287), phrases (6), portuguese (18), russian (27), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Langscape for any lessons about other countries. Locate countries on the map then listen to the audio files of the spoken language. Create a link on classroom computers for students to play the language game. Take advantage of the many lesson ideas found in the educators guide.

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4 News Wall - Channel 4 Television News (UK)

Grades
6 to 12
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4 News Wall presents the latest news condensed into animated GIFs. Each thumbnail also includes an animated title. Click the image to open and read the news story. Scroll through ...more
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4 News Wall presents the latest news condensed into animated GIFs. Each thumbnail also includes an animated title. Click the image to open and read the news story. Scroll through the site to view previous stories or click a date to highlight that day's news. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): images (261), journalism (45), news (261)

In the Classroom

Use the 4 News Wall as a quick and catchy way to capture student interest in world news. Although this is a UK site, news stories are from around the world and offer a variety of interesting topics for any classroom. Have students choose an article, then research how that information was presented by the US media or in other countries. Use this site as an example, and have students create animated GIFs as part of any multimedia project. Use the GIF Maker, reviewed here, to create and share images.

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The Foos - codeSpark

Grades
K to 6
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Learn the ABC's of Computer Science with the Foos! Reminiscent of Pac-Man (including the music), these microscopic creatures live deep inside computer chips. Program them to do almost...more
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Learn the ABC's of Computer Science with the Foos! Reminiscent of Pac-Man (including the music), these microscopic creatures live deep inside computer chips. Program them to do almost anything, but happiness comes from working together with other Foos. As programming skills increase, new characters, commands, and adventures unlock to take the game to the next level. Watch a very short intro video, and from there view the Gameplay/Walkthrough for this free coding "game." Both reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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): coding (26), computers (78), critical thinking (92), DAT device agnostic tool (192), logic (229), problem solving (258), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Learning to code is an opportunity to teach students to think and problem solve. Coding is a critical digital literacy skill for the future. After school clubs and activities can use The Foos to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Share the Walkthrough video on your interactive whiteboard or projector to get your students enthused about the "game." Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Take advantage of the free apps to use in your BYOD classroom.
 

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Simply Circle - Elena Krasnoperova

Grades
K to 12
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Simply Circle makes communicating with groups easy and productive. Create your account to send messages, share files or images, or set up events and tasks to members of your Circles....more
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Simply Circle makes communicating with groups easy and productive. Create your account to send messages, share files or images, or set up events and tasks to members of your Circles. Use links in your events to request volunteers, ask participants to bring items, or request RSVP's. Create Circles by adding email addresses; members of your circle do not need to be a member of Simply Circle to view the emails. Add additional Circle managers if desired to allow others to send information to your group.

tag(s): classroom management (129), DAT device agnostic tool (192), preK (275)

In the Classroom

Set up Circles for all of your different classroom and professional needs. Use this tool to find and sign up classroom volunteers, plan supplies for parties and events, and send parent/teacher conference reminders. Share with your school's parent/teacher organization as an excellent communication and scheduling tool. Keep research groups and literature circles organized. Create a circle for each group, send the code, via email. When sending the code to join use the manager section of the page to make them managers of the group. Students can then post files, images, schedule dates for you and the other group members. Students will not be able to see or add to other groups you have formed.

Comments

Great collaboration tool Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Use a Compass Rose - Houghton Mifflin Company

Grades
K to 4
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Practice finding directions on a map using a compass rose with this interactive activity. Read or listen to directions for each of the simple activities. When finished, check answers...more
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Practice finding directions on a map using a compass rose with this interactive activity. Read or listen to directions for each of the simple activities. When finished, check answers using the link at the bottom of the page.

tag(s): compasses (4), map skills (80), preK (275)

In the Classroom

This brief activity would work well projected on an interactive whiteboard or as a classroom computer center. Be sure to share on your class website for students to practice at home. Recreate this simple map on a classroom bulletin board for practice with map skills at any time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Greatest Mathematicians of All Time - StudyGeek

Grades
6 to 12
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This graphic is a wonderful visual of nine of the greatest mathematicians of all time. Read a quick overview of the works of Newton, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Euclid, and others who ...more
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This graphic is a wonderful visual of nine of the greatest mathematicians of all time. Read a quick overview of the works of Newton, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Euclid, and others who offered significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us.

tag(s): biographies (85), famous people (19), newton (25), pythagorean theorem (34)

In the Classroom

Download this graphic and have it printed for use as a poster in your classroom. Display the graphic on your interactive whiteboard as an introduction to famous mathematicians. Have students research each mathematician and share their findings in presentations with a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here.

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TopoView - US Department of the Interior

Grades
8 to 12
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TopoView uses topographic maps to view physical and cultural changes of geographic locations over time. This tool uses maps created since 1879, allowing you to choose a location and...more
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TopoView uses topographic maps to view physical and cultural changes of geographic locations over time. This tool uses maps created since 1879, allowing you to choose a location and move the slider bar to show maps available from 1879 through the present. There is a learning curve to understand and use the site. Be sure to watch the YouTube video demo for an overview of using and understanding map tools. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video 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): maps (287), population (60), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Use TopoView to demonstrate and help students understand changes over time in different areas of the country such as population, urban density, and more. Discover what your location was like in the past and how it has changed over time. View maps together on your interactive whiteboard or projector and demonstrate how to use the site. Have students explore on their own and use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare changes.

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National STEM Centre eLibrary - National Stem Centre (UK)

Grades
K to 12
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Browse through over 9,000 resources at the National STEM Centre's eLibrary for ages five and up. Search by keyword or use filters to sort by age range, subject, or type ...more
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Browse through over 9,000 resources at the National STEM Centre's eLibrary for ages five and up. Search by keyword or use filters to sort by age range, subject, or type of resource. Resources include videos, presentations, activity sheets, and much more. Optional account creation allows you to save resources and add activities to favorites. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): engineering (118), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free activities, videos, and other resources throughout the year. Be sure to bookmark this site to search for resources for any lesson. Share a link to specific lessons and activities on your class website for use at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Intel Teach Elements - Online Professional Development Courses - Intel

Grades
K to 12
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Learn how to engage students through digital learning, integrate technology into any curriculum, and effectively use digital resources in the classroom with these free, online courses....more
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Learn how to engage students through digital learning, integrate technology into any curriculum, and effectively use digital resources in the classroom with these free, online courses. Multimedia contents include animated eLearning tutorials and interactive learning exercises. Begin any of the self-paced courses anytime and complete them at your own pace.

tag(s): professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Gain a better understanding of digital learning tools and techniques by taking Intel's professional development courses. Share with other faculty members as part of your school's professional development. Take a course together with fellow staff members and discuss content and how it works in your teaching situation.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Crash Course Kids YouTube Channel - Hank Green and John Green

Grades
3 to 9
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Crash Course Kids features countless videos all about science. Read the description for each video and the Next Generation Science Standards. Go to the preview video to view standards...more
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Crash Course Kids features countless videos all about science. Read the description for each video and the Next Generation Science Standards. Go to the preview video to view standards addressed in the first 95 videos. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (277), gravity (45), matter (56), moon (72), planets (122), plants (143), seasons (37), sun (71), video (251)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your teacher favorites to find videos to use at the start of a science or health unit. Make science more appealing as a way to answer the questions we ponder every day. Share them on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use a Crash Course Kids video as inspiration for students to create their own videos explaining a science concept or debunking a science myth. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the SafeShare page directly on the desktop.

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Future: Space Race - How Big is Our Own Solar System? - BBC

Grades
5 to 12
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Journey to the farthest regions of space with this interactive from BBC. Scroll down to move the rocket from Earth's closest cloud layer and continue to the outer edges of ...more
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Journey to the farthest regions of space with this interactive from BBC. Scroll down to move the rocket from Earth's closest cloud layer and continue to the outer edges of our solar system 46 billion light years away. Notes at the bottom of the page change to tell the distance in kilometers, travel time at warp 1 speed, and miles represented per pixel.

tag(s): planets (122), rockets (14), solar system (118), space (206)

In the Classroom

Use this interactive as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard about our solar system. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. This interactive is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.

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How the Five Major Religions Spread Across the World - Business Insider

Grades
5 to 12
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Discover how the five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have spread over the world. Follow this interactive timeline video that highlights the areas...more
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Discover how the five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have spread over the world. Follow this interactive timeline video that highlights the areas of the globe where the religion started, as well as the spread of each religion.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): explorers (61), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Give a basic overview of the timeline and events leading to each of the major religions in the world. Use as a resource to examine the cultural effects of a single person starting each religion and the reasons why the religion spread. Analyze the reasons leading to the spread of each religion. Use this in conjunction with a unit on explorers. The video is slow to load, so preload and check before using in class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Flat - Flat

Grades
3 to 12
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Make writing music easy with Flat! Create a free account with a Google or Facebook login and start composing. After choosing public or private, create or import the musical score. ...more
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Make writing music easy with Flat! Create a free account with a Google or Facebook login and start composing. After choosing public or private, create or import the musical score. Choose the key signature and time signature. Next, select from keyboard instruments, woodwinds, brass instruments, plucked strings instruments, vocals kazoo, and more. Each completed composition can be saved as a WAV, MP3, MXL, or MIDI file. Save to your dashboard. Visit the blog for creative ideas.

tag(s): music theory (41), musical instruments (47), musical notation (32)

In the Classroom

Flat is a must for all music classes! Share students' musical creations online! Demonstrate the art of composition while using Flat on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Let students download the file to their own devices. Explore the different musical instruments and how they affect the tone and mood of the piece. During a multimedia presentation, have students create their own music. In Destination Imagination or Odyssey of the Mind, use your scores to showcase talent. In honoring multiple intelligences, highlight the students' with musical talent. While reading historical fiction novels, have students compose a song typical of that period with the commonly used instruments and style. Offer in your after school clubs for music, guitar, or band.

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Beautiful Chemistry - Institute of Advanced Technology, Univ. of Sci & Tech at China

Grades
5 to 12
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Never look at molecules or reactions the same again! Find great videos of reactions slowed down in order to see what is happening. Look at a variety of reactions including ...more
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Never look at molecules or reactions the same again! Find great videos of reactions slowed down in order to see what is happening. Look at a variety of reactions including precipitation, color change, crystallization, smoke, bubbling, metal displacement, and more. View molecules including DNA nanostructures, amorphous substances, and crystals including nanocrystals and quasicrystals.

tag(s): atoms (55), chemicals (40), molecules (43)

In the Classroom

In Chemistry, students can write what the molecules are doing during the video to connect the content with what they see. Give different equations and predict what would be different in that video such as the color of the precipitated substance, and so on. In younger grades, show the beauty of molecules and elements interacting and forming new substances, tapping into the marvel of the physical world. These videos are beautiful, and will appeal to visual learners.

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