TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 8, 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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HSI: Historical Scene Investigation - College of Wm & Mary and Univ of Kentucky Schools of Education

Grades
6 to 12
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Become the investigator and solve famous cases from history using the Historical Scene Investigation model. Each investigation follows four steps, starting with Becoming a Detective...more
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Become the investigator and solve famous cases from history using the Historical Scene Investigation model. Each investigation follows four steps, starting with Becoming a Detective and ending with Cracking the Case. Follow each investigation using the Student or Teacher View. The Student View includes links to 13 cases with primary documents, images, videos, and secondary documents to use as evidence along the way. The Teacher View includes an introduction to the case and additional teaching tips and links to standards addressed. Another benefit to using this site is the informational primary and secondary documents that help meet Common Core standards.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil rights (117), civil war (145), constitution (79), jamestown (11), mysteries (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these investigations to incorporate standards and use of primary documents into your classroom in a manner that appeals to today's students. Use as part of any Civil and Revolutionary War studies. Divide investigations between groups of students and have them present their findings to classmates. Flip your classroom and have students complete investigations before beginning any complementary unit. You, your gifted, or more technology inclined students could use these investigations as a model to create inquiries into any unit of study. Use a tool like Webs, reviewed here, a free and easy web maker, to share a project such as this.
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That's a Fact! - Harcourt School

Grades
K to 5
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Practice math facts at your own pace with That's a Fact! Choose from individual math facts or select the combination of addition/subtraction or multiplication/division. Narrow...more
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Practice math facts at your own pace with That's a Fact! Choose from individual math facts or select the combination of addition/subtraction or multiplication/division. Narrow down choices further using prompts for a set of facts to practice, time allotment, and layout of problems. Click Go and begin practice of 30 facts personalized to your selections.

tag(s): addition (251), differentiation (47), division (172), multiplication (227), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for differentiating fact practice for all students. Help students choose math facts to practice, and time them. Then encourage them to improve speed. Start with individual skills such as addition or subtraction, and then have students do the mixed problems to increase further fluency with facts. Share a link to That's a Fact! on your class web page and classroom computers for additional practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Arts Connected - Minneapolis Institute of Arts & Walker Art Center

Grades
K to 12
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Access more than 100,000 resources including art, audio/video, text, and interactive resources. With the robust search features, narrow searches by keyword, institutions, method of...more
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Access more than 100,000 resources including art, audio/video, text, and interactive resources. With the robust search features, narrow searches by keyword, institutions, method of instruction, or grade level. Be sure to look at the interactive primary resources. Registration is quick and easy and does not require an email address. Begin by watching one of the brief videos that outline the Art Finder feature or Art Collector. Find answers to common (and some not so common) questions at "ask an educator" in the upper left corner.

tag(s): 20th century (51), art history (70), artists (75), cross cultural understanding (115)

In the Classroom

Start by pulling together a collection of video, audio, art pieces, or text. Mix and match your set or use one of the already created sets. Give the set a title and description once you have selected all the pieces. Attach a PDF to provide more information, questions, notes, or directions. Duplicate sets for use with multiple sections of a class. Create custom slides to include YouTube videos.

You can use the digital classroom section to discuss and get more information on fair use, creative commons, copyright, and public domain. Find links to information that can be used to teach students the correct way to use information that was created by others. Once you have created a set or found a resource that is appropriate for your students, have them identify the different elements and techniques that are present in the pieces. Students can compare multiple pieces of art that are either similar or very different. Zoom into an image to get a better look at the skills that were used to create the artwork.

For secondary students, use Arts Connected to research and compile a set of works that demonstrate a certain concept or idea. Use this opportunity to have students practice their digital citizenship skills by properly crediting works chosen as well as demonstrate learning. Students can save sets as a PDF and submit to the teacher in hand or electronically.
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Tunes2Teach YouTube Playlist - Dana Lawrence Gillis and Ellie Rubenstein

Grades
K to 6
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Learn about The Scientific Method, Writing Style, and Behavior Rules with these engaging videos from Tunes2Teach and their students. Each short video teaches content through current...more
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Learn about The Scientific Method, Writing Style, and Behavior Rules with these engaging videos from Tunes2Teach and their students. Each short video teaches content through current music trends in a positive manner. Other videos introduce you to the professors responsible for Tunes2Teach and include information for making the most of summer reading. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), behavior (46), creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), paragraph writing (17), scientific method (64)

In the Classroom

Use the Behavior Rules video as part of your Back to School activities. Challenge your class to create their own Behavior Rules video specific to your classroom, and then share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Share the other videos during appropriate English and science units. Be sure to create a link to these videos or your creations on your class website for viewing at home.

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Music Animation Machine YouTube Channel - Stephen Malinowski

Grades
4 to 12
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Described as a "GPS for Music", Music Animation Machine features mainly classical music set to an animated graphical score. Different shapes represent families of instruments that light...more
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Described as a "GPS for Music", Music Animation Machine features mainly classical music set to an animated graphical score. Different shapes represent families of instruments that light up as played throughout the musical score. Be sure to read details for viewing (located in the Stravinsky, Rite of Spring video). 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): music theory (43), musical instruments (48), musical notation (35)

In the Classroom

Use this YouTube Channel as an excellent addition to any music class to help students "see" music in a new way. Play videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) during quiet times in your classroom. Stop videos during play to analyze and understand the representations created and view specific instrument families used at each moment.

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QuickRubric - Clever Prototypes, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Develop rubrics to assess what you expect students to learn with Quick Rubric. Registration is free and allows for saving the rubric. Click Create a Rubric and add a title, ...more
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Develop rubrics to assess what you expect students to learn with Quick Rubric. Registration is free and allows for saving the rubric. Click Create a Rubric and add a title, brief description, and the maximum and minimum scores. Describe your indicators, add descriptors, and even include standards. At any time during the formation of the rubric add columns and rows. Save and share via URL or printing. The ability to copy and modify a rubric from your account is a great time-saver.

tag(s): assessment (100), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Use this online tool to create original rubrics before introducing a new project. Be sure to review the rubric with your students on a projector or interactive whiteboard, to be certain that they understand your expectations. As you approach the project deadlines, consider reviewing the rubric again having students mark or highlight key terms in the rubric that will help them get a better evaluation. Have a question and answer period at this time. Rubrics can be created for any task or project. For example, prepare rubrics for silent reading time, science labs, skills tasks in physical education, and all presentations. Visit Rubrics to the Rescue to see examples of topics and wording.

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Johnny Appl - United Nations and Eden Projects

Grades
6 to 12
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Johnny Appl is an online trivia activity that also helps fight deforestation in Haiti, Madagascar, and Ethiopia. For every activity played, a micro-donation is made to a tree planting...more
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Johnny Appl is an online trivia activity that also helps fight deforestation in Haiti, Madagascar, and Ethiopia. For every activity played, a micro-donation is made to a tree planting site benefiting local workers and the environment. Choose from quiz topics such as General Geography, What's That Mammal?, English Vocabulary, Flags of the World, Fruit Explorer, and MANY more. As you play, earn badges and view your personal Carbon Meter showing the amount of CO2 offset through your gameplay.

tag(s): animals (276), carbon footprint (11), environment (317), landmarks (26), trivia (17), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Share Johnny Appl with students during any study of the environment. Create a link on your class web page and classroom computers for students to play. Record and display carbon savings as you work together as a class to earn money for planting trees.

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Bojagi - David Radcliffe

Grades
4 to 12
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If you like games and puzzles, Bojagi is for you! Draw a rectangle around each number on the grid by dragging your mouse. The rectangle should show the area of ...more
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If you like games and puzzles, Bojagi is for you! Draw a rectangle around each number on the grid by dragging your mouse. The rectangle should show the area of the number on the grid. All numbers should have a rectangle without any overlap when finished with this activity. Once you have learned how to play, create your own rectangles or choose new activities from the list.

tag(s): area (66), game based learning (103), logic (235), multiplication (227)

In the Classroom

Bojagi is excellent for use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) or as a classroom center to practice area and multiplication facts. As students become more proficient, create your own games with larger grids, or have students create games for classmates to play.

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Google Newspaper Archives - Google

Grades
6 to 12
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Browse and read hundreds of newspaper archives from around the world at Google Newspaper Archives. Information under each publication title includes the number of issues included and...more
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Browse and read hundreds of newspaper archives from around the world at Google Newspaper Archives. Information under each publication title includes the number of issues included and dates of publication. After choosing a publication, view thumbnails of available issues and click on the title of any article to read. Share articles using the link provided.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), media literacy (58), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Share with students to show them different perspectives on historical events. This site would also provide contrasting texts for close reading as required by Common Core. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast information. After researching events in history, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Build student awareness of the limited view provided by some publications, especially during times of international tension. Explore this site during Newspaper in Education Week or as part of a unit on the basics and nuances of journalistic writing. World language teachers can use newspapers to teach about both language and culture. Have world cultures or social studies students learn about local culture through advertisements and articles and share their findings using a screencast (or screenshots) of the newspaper and talking about their discoveries.
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Brain Pump - brainpump.net

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn something new every day with Brain Pump videos. Choose from the many topics including game design, history, science, math, technology, nature, business, casual science, and more...more
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Learn something new every day with Brain Pump videos. Choose from the many topics including game design, history, science, math, technology, nature, business, casual science, and more to view a random video about the topic. Not interested? No problem, click the next video link to watch another on the same subject. Sign up isn't necessary but allows you to "star" videos to find for later viewing. 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): business (58), critical thinking (108), earth (228), financial literacy (80), fish (24), human body (121), marine biology (33), natural resources (59), plants (145), psychology (64), rivers (21), space (205), spanish (108), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use the short videos found at Brain Pump to introduce content and assess prior knowledge. Create a link to videos, or embed them, on your class website for student viewing at home. Use a video tool such as EdPuzzle, reviewed here, or ComentBubble, reviewed here, to have students answer questions, from home, on the content of the video. Back in the classroom, have students talk in small groups about any video and their questions and ideas about the topic. Have the student groups share out the important questions and thoughts with the whole class. After the class discussion, have the students write a group response, either on paper or on your class blog or wiki. Completing a group response now, could evolve into students writing journal entries at home or during class about the topic of a video. These videos make powerful writing prompts. After viewing a few videos in this manner, you may want to have older students select videos they want to watch (or you can assign them) and have the students respond.

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Chalkup - Chalkup Corp.

Grades
3 to 12
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Chalkup will be your "do everything" class management tool. Chalkup will do everything other learning management systems (LMS) do, and includes an emphasis on collaboration and student...more
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Chalkup will be your "do everything" class management tool. Chalkup will do everything other learning management systems (LMS) do, and includes an emphasis on collaboration and student voice. View the video "Guided Tours" to see all the features. An impressive one is the class chat where teachers and students engage in real time. Also, Chalkup is very Google Drive friendly. It converts Drive files into the Chalkup LMS to post and assign text, images, documents, AND embed any HTML object in an assignment (quizzes, polls, and more). Grading is easy, too. There are numerical grades, and it is also possible to create rubrics for a document, short answer, and essay grading. Find tools to markup student documents with highlights, discussion points, and more. Student accounts look much the same as the teacher account, so it is easy to help them get around in the beginning. Students have the additional feature of looking ahead at future assignments, AND students can create discussions and post questions so they can get help from other students or the teacher. Chalkup works with any browser and has a free iOS app.

tag(s): assessment (100), chat (51), classroom management (135), homework (44), multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Project the student page for Chalkup on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Once students are on Chalkup, they can use a course code to become a member of your class. Use the class chat for discussions, brainstorming, informal assessment, and many other response system tasks. Consider using class discussion at student registration time and while showing the students around. This way they can ask questions about Chalkup features. You can also sign students up via email. For ESL/ELL classes and world languages, use this tool for assigning various vocabulary words and learning tenses of verbs. Assign vocabulary and explain any basic scientific concepts in science classes, or facts about historical periods in history classes. Lab partners can present their findings, and math students can demonstrate how they solved a problem. For English, post assignments about grammar rules, sentence structure, and other elements necessary for good writing. Since Chalkup is an interactive and collaborative program, have literature circles complete write ups, discussions, and final presentations about the book they are reading using Chalkup. Soon you will be able to group students within a class. For now, a potential solution could be to create separate assignments for each group. Label the assignments in the Title by group name, i.e., "[Group 1] Project" (or book title) so that students know which assignment belongs to their group.

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Story Map - Read Write Think

Grades
1 to 8
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Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for...more
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Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for what to write. Returning to an organizer to edit is possible. Print your Story Map, since it is not saved.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), graphic organizers (43), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Introduce your class to Story Map by writing a class story. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and be sure to point out the prompts to answer with each organizer. Bookmark Story Map on class computers as part of stations when developing a writing project. Put a link to this tool on your website or blog for students to access at home.
 
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Function Machine - TEAMS Distance Learning

Grades
2 to 5
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Select an activity on the Function Machine to explore input, output, and functions. Type a response in the box to find out if your answer is correct. If correct, move ...more
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Select an activity on the Function Machine to explore input, output, and functions. Type a response in the box to find out if your answer is correct. If correct, move on to the next problem. If your answer is wrong, keep trying until you find the correct response. Questions get more difficult as you continue the challenge.

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), functions (70), multiplication (227), operations (126), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Introduce the Function Machine on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students play on their own at classroom computer centers. Use the Function Machine to differentiate learning for students. Have beginning learners start with output, and more advanced learners explore functions. Be sure to share a link to the Function Machine on your class website for students to play at home.
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History/Social Science Resources - Los Angeles Unified School District

Grades
K to 12
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The Los Angeles Unified School District offers a large selection of resources for teaching history and social sciences aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose from elementary, middle,...more
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The Los Angeles Unified School District offers a large selection of resources for teaching history and social sciences aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose from elementary, middle, or high school to find curriculum maps and lessons. One very useful portion of the site includes lessons created in partnership with Reading Like a Historian, reviewed here, that engage students in the creation of historical knowledge. Both sites are a must-visit for anyone teaching Social Studies!

tag(s): assessment (100), commoncore (94), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the school year. Be sure to take advantage of the lesson plans and curriculum guides. Share with other teachers as you collaborate and plan together.
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