TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 27, 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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Office Mix - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Take your standard PowerPoint to new interactive levels with this tool! Add video or audio, write on your slides as you present, and even insert quizzes and polls. Take the ...more
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Take your standard PowerPoint to new interactive levels with this tool! Add video or audio, write on your slides as you present, and even insert quizzes and polls. Take the limited PowerPoint presentation and "mix" it with the best parts of a live lecture in one tool. Each PowerPoint slide contains additional tabs for the added information. Since each slide is independent and contains the video, audio, or screencast, those slides can still be reordered by dragging them into the correct order. Insert information from Khan Academy or CK-12 as well. Easily control the number of attempts with quizzes, provide hints, add a timer, randomize the questions, or give feedback. Analytics are provided as well to see student interaction with the material. Each Mix lives online and can be accessed with any browser. Give the link to students for access. Mixes cannot be saved on your computer. Find ways to use with popular Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas, and more with these tutorials found here. Note: Mixes can only be created with a PC and PowerPoint 2013 (not free).

tag(s): images (261), quiz (85), quizzes (95), sound (100), video (251)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to create Flipped Lessons, moving some material like knowledge activities, as a pre-class activity. Office Mix is a valuable tool when you will be out of the classroom. Your plans are ready to go! Absent students can easily follow the content from the day. Differentiate for your classroom by creating a Mix that can be used for students to review as needed. Students who need it can review while others can focus on the material that they need. Use this tool wherever a PowerPoint with more detailed explanations are needed. Club advisors can use this tool to show 'how to' information for extracurriculars or field trips. Use this tool to show how to complete forms correctly, saving time and frustration! Students can create a Mix to share information researched for a class presentation.

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Global Trend Map - Paul Bourke

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover what is trending on Google with the interactive Global Trend Map. Use the drop down box to choose a country and change the visual appearance of the map if ...more
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Discover what is trending on Google with the interactive Global Trend Map. Use the drop down box to choose a country and change the visual appearance of the map if desired. The top Google searches for that country appear in a list with the top trend written across the chosen country. Click the Translate button to translate into English. Get the embed code to share this on your website or blog.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), maps (287), news (261)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment during current events lessons. World language classes can keep up with hot topics in the countries where the language they are learning is spoken. Include this link on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Challenge students to compare and contrast trends across different countries using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Have students create a presentation on any of the trending topics using Swipe, reviewed here.

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Scaling Everest - Washington Post-Richard Johnson, Bonnie Berkowitz, Lazaro Gamio

Grades
6 to 12
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Climb the icy path of Everest's most popular route as you experience this journey from the mountain base up to the summit. Scroll up to discover the height of Everest ...more
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Climb the icy path of Everest's most popular route as you experience this journey from the mountain base up to the summit. Scroll up to discover the height of Everest compared to familiar buildings. Learn about animals found on the way up to the summit, read fast facts, and listen to an audio of those who have made this strenuous climb. Read the related news story and learn how climbs will now be different from those in the past.

tag(s): field trips (12), mountains (13), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an activator, introducing the topic of Mt. Everest, Nepal, or the Himalayas. This website would benefit a Geography class, exploring the significance of the Himalayas while simultaneously studying the geographic forces that made the mountain chain. Have students create timelines of a Mount Everest adventure (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 climbing Mount Everest from the perspective of the climber or a Sherpa guide. This is perfect informational reading (with images and charts) to meet Common Core Standards.

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180 Days: Challenge - PBS

Grades
K to 12
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The 180 Days Challenge is based on the PBS series 180 Days: Hartsville documentary. Take the challenge as a teacher, administrator, or parent to answer problem-based scenarios related...more
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The 180 Days Challenge is based on the PBS series 180 Days: Hartsville documentary. Take the challenge as a teacher, administrator, or parent to answer problem-based scenarios related to education. After completion, view results that provide insight into your education style and how it relates to the current educational climate. In addition to the challenge questions, this site includes several video excerpts from the series featuring events such as conferences and a discussion of generational poverty. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): classroom management (129), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Take the 180 Days Challenge as part of your professional development activities. Use individual scenarios as a prompt for discussions within your school or grade level. Be sure to share this site with other teachers and administrators as part of your ongoing teaching discussions. Use videos found on the 180 Days Challenge to discuss how your school handles different classroom situations.

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Deekit - Asko Tamm, Erki Eskin, Kaili Kleemeier, & Kristo Magi

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Deekit is an online collaborative whiteboard tool for use with any device. Sign-in using social networking accounts such as Google or Facebook to begin. Import images, draw, type, and...more
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Deekit is an online collaborative whiteboard tool for use with any device. Sign-in using social networking accounts such as Google or Facebook to begin. Import images, draw, type, and zoom in on content using the site's tools. Click the arrow next to the Current board to send an email to invite others to collaborate. Deekit also includes a small library of templates for import into your whiteboard. Watch Deekit's tutorial by clicking on YouTube at the bottom right of any page. View the tutorial to see how to use this site and take advantage of the tools included. 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 videos from YouTube.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (192), drawing (77), iwb (31)

In the Classroom

Deekit is an excellent tool to use for impromptu peer tutoring sessions or hosting online brainstorming sessions. Students can also use it on 1:1 or BYOD devices during class to collaborate on diagrams, brainstorms, or mind maps. This tool is perfect for snow days and school breaks. Use as a place to collect webquest links and information. Solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. Use as a new format for book reports. Use for students to illustrate their personal definitions for vocabulary words. Need an open space for debates or viewpoints? Post assignments, reminders, or study skills. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use this tool for them to record information from the class that you can share via a link on your class web page to review class explanations when completing homework, for absent students, and more.

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Word Cloud Generator - Jason Davies

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This word cloud generator is similar to other word clouds except it includes a fascinating mathematical twist. Enter any URL or text to begin a word cloud, and then start ...more
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This word cloud generator is similar to other word clouds except it includes a fascinating mathematical twist. Enter any URL or text to begin a word cloud, and then start playing with the different options. In addition to changing the font, take the time to play with the angle parameters. Move the arrowheads and rotate to view different orientations of the same text. Other options limit the number of words, the amount of words per line, or spiral and scale of the image. When finished, download and save the image as a PNG or SVG file.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): angles (86), DAT device agnostic tool (192), measurement (163), word clouds (10)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector to combine language and math lessons. Allow students to play with the options for angles to view changes made to word clouds. Create and print word clouds with different angle setups to display on your classroom bulletin board. Have gifted students read how the word cloud generator works and see if they can create their own.
 

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Permission Click - Chris Johnson

Grades
K to 12
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Create digital permission slips and facilitate payment collection with Permission Click for schools. Create an account using your school information or sign up as an organization/club....more
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Create digital permission slips and facilitate payment collection with Permission Click for schools. Create an account using your school information or sign up as an organization/club. Permission Click offers premade field trip templates or upload your own. Follow prompts to upload forms and images, allow options for parent volunteers, lunch choices, and much more. When complete and approved, provide parents with the URL for your event. Permission Click even offers options for collecting payment for field trips, although there is a small fee added for online payment. Be sure to watch the introductory video for an overview of options and how to use the site.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Discuss using Permission Click as an option for all field trips for your school. When signing up as a school, information goes to the account administrator who provides approval before permission slips go live and before sending home to parents. Share with school groups such as scouts, sports teams, and clubs for use in submitting and receiving permission slips digitally.

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Merlin Photo ID - Beta - The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Grades
K to 12
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Looking to identify a wild bird? Visit the Merlin site to download the Merlin ID app for any phone or device. When using a mobile device, the Merlin app asks ...more
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Looking to identify a wild bird? Visit the Merlin site to download the Merlin ID app for any phone or device. When using a mobile device, the Merlin app asks a series of five questions starting with when and where, followed by choosing a basic body type and other questions. View the generated list of possibilities to find your bird and identify it! Merlin is capable of recognizing 400 of the most commonly encountered birds in the US and Canada. When you choose the bird, data is recorded with Merlin. Read more about your identified bird and listen to its bird song. The Merlin bird identifier is designed for beginning and intermediate bird watchers. Note: When using Merlin on the web upload a photo of the bird, and then follow the prompts to place "pointers" on the bird image. The web version cannot be used to identify a bird and is different from The Merlin ID app.

tag(s): birds (51), DAT device agnostic tool (192), ecosystems (88), habitats (84)

In the Classroom

Use this app when out in the field with your students for any reason and for any subject. Encourage observation by students in identifying birds that are located in your community. Follow the identification of the bird by creating related art, music, poetry, or stories. In Biology, identify how the bird fits into the food chain. Identify the plant species that each bird uses for food or shelter. In Math, map the sightings of birds, looking at density of various species.

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Our Giant Pandas - Adelaide Zoo

Grades
3 to 9
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Learn about pandas through a visit with Wang Wang and Funi, residents of the Adelaide Zoo (in Australia). Watch videos, explore the panda exhibit, and learn about Wang Wang and ...more
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Learn about pandas through a visit with Wang Wang and Funi, residents of the Adelaide Zoo (in Australia). Watch videos, explore the panda exhibit, and learn about Wang Wang and Funi's family tree. Choose the Conservation link to find threats to a panda's survival, learn about their natural habitat, and the different types of conservation efforts. The videos on this site reside on YouTube. 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.

tag(s): animal homes (41), animals (277), australia (35), habitats (84)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your collection of resources when studying endangered animals, Australia, or conservation. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, showing locations where pandas live.

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Tom Richey's YouTube Channel for AP History - Tom Richey

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This engaging YouTube channel offers an excellent variety of videos for AP U.S. and European History and AP Government. Additional offerings include review sessions about South Carolina...more
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This engaging YouTube channel offers an excellent variety of videos for AP U.S. and European History and AP Government. Additional offerings include review sessions about South Carolina history. Each video explains different topics in history through lecture. Videos range in length from one minute to over an hour. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1700s (23), 1800s (44), 1900s (33), advanced placement (21), american revolution (86), black history (59), colonial america (107), england (57), france (40), germany (28), greece (26), greeks (29), industrial revolution (25), jefferson (19), romans (35), rome (26), russia (39), spain (9), video (251), washington (36), world war 1 (53)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your teacher favorites to find videos to use in AP History and Government classes. Be sure to share videos with students and parents, especially videos with study plans for AP tests. Create a link to this YouTube channel on your class website or blog for students to access at home.

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Prairie Pollination - The Manitoba Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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Visit Canada's prairie habitats and learn about plants and their pollinators through videos, games, and activities. Take a tour of the Plant and Pollinator Gallery for photos of important...more
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Visit Canada's prairie habitats and learn about plants and their pollinators through videos, games, and activities. Take a tour of the Plant and Pollinator Gallery for photos of important and rare species. Choose the Virtual Tour option to observe wild plants and pollinators in their natural habitat. Test your pollination IQ, create your own pollinator in the Honey Hunt Game, or go on a virtual museum hunt to find out more about other plants and pollinators.

tag(s): canada (30), habitats (84), insects (68), plants (143), prairie (10)

In the Classroom

This site presents the topic of pollination in many ways making this concept easier for students to understand. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then break students into small groups to explore independently. Consider using this site before starting a unit on pollination or plants. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.

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Think Before You Link - Discovery Education

Grades
1 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Empower your students with Think Before You Link In School by Intel and Discovery Education. Encourage safe, smart, and good digital citizenship in your classroom. Modules offer lessons...more
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Empower your students with Think Before You Link In School by Intel and Discovery Education. Encourage safe, smart, and good digital citizenship in your classroom. Modules offer lessons in cybersafety, cybersecuriuty, and cyberethics. In the educator section, find resource guides for the lessons. Additional tips include Think Before You Link Online Tips, Family Safety Blog, Parent Tips, Activities for Kids, and a link to the National Cyber Security Alliance. The toolkit includes word documents to include in emails to parents, newsletters, social media, frequently asked questions, a banner, and a Think Before You Link logo. Occasionally this site offers sweepstakes for prizes. Sign up for the latest updates.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital citizenship (58), internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Use Think Before You Link at the beginning of the school year to review the most important lessons you can give to students, safety and good digital citizenship! In this manner, you can refer back to these lessons when needed. The beginning of the year Acceptable Use policies students sign, will be more meaningful and relevant. Be sure to give to parents to help educate them on ethics and safety. Feature at a "Tech it Out Night" for a timely reminder. Give students similar topics on healthy digital citizenship and digital safety and let them design their own multimedia presentation using Slideshow, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia - Q-Files Ltd

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia to provide extra informational reading resources. Subject areas include prehistoric and ancient history, culture, geography, space, technology,...more
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Use Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia to provide extra informational reading resources. Subject areas include prehistoric and ancient history, culture, geography, space, technology, science, life, and Earth. Each article includes pictures with accompanying text. This collection is continuing to grow. Q-Files is free, online, with no advertisements. Ebooks on nonfiction topics are available for purchase.

tag(s): aircraft (24), amphibians (20), animals (277), asia (73), aztecs (8), birds (51), china (66), cultures (105), dinosaurs (57), earth (228), earthquakes (48), ecosystems (88), electricity (88), energy (197), erosion (17), europe (74), forces (44), insects (68), literature (275), mammals (32), mayans (12), medicine (67), microscopes (13), moon (72), oceans (147), photography (160), planets (122), polar (19), population (60), religions (61), rocks (49), romans (35), scientists (68), solar system (118), space (206), sports (95), telescopes (8), vikings (10), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use Q-Files as an informational reading source for a variety of subjects. In science and social studies use as a way to provide background information for inquiry-based projects. Have students use resources for multimedia projects such as Slidestory, reviewed here, Prezi reviewed here, or Flipboard, reviewed here, to share their findings. Pair these articles with literature to provide a better background information base, such as information on ancient China or Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Add as a bookmark to student computers and on your class website.

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Checkio - CheckiO

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This resource is an excellent online activity to learn Python through coding challenges. Choose a challenge and solve the problem to move onto another challenge. Complete each of the...more
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This resource is an excellent online activity to learn Python through coding challenges. Choose a challenge and solve the problem to move onto another challenge. Complete each of the tasks to gain points and move to the next area. Designed for beginners and experts students will have to stick with it to be able to move past the beginning as the backstory is lost moving from one action assignment to another. The story can be the one item that makes this site different from other coding challenges. After most of the challenges, the solutions are shown. Create an account or log in through Google or Facebook.

tag(s): coding (26), critical thinking (92), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

Allow students to a variety of different types of coding. Use this site to learn Python. Once students have used several different coding sites, discuss what they learned from the process. Brainstorm and discuss the following: What is the use of learning coding? What are the similarities and differences of the various coding platforms? Use an online interactive Two or Three-Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, and here, for the comparisons of the coding programs.

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