TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 30, 2016

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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Twords - Anna Tulchinskaya

Grades
6 to 12
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Stick to your writing schedule, meet deadlines, and develop strong writing habits using the Twords web app! Create an account, and as you add writing, Twords uses graphs to display...more
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Stick to your writing schedule, meet deadlines, and develop strong writing habits using the Twords web app! Create an account, and as you add writing, Twords uses graphs to display writing progress, report on progress, and provides calculators for word goals based on your input. Add buddies as an extra incentive to keep you on track. Buddies receive alerts when you haven't written for the prescribed number of days and provide encouragement to get you back on track. Use Twords writing prompts to practice writing different genres. Use personalization options to set up features on the account to match your writing needs.

tag(s): journals (21), process writing (43)

In the Classroom

Share with students, then have them set up their own Twords account. Twords will be especially useful for longer writing projects to keep students on track without having to pull an "all-nighter" at the last minute! Use Twords in your classroom for journaling purposes to ensure that students maintain an up-to-date journal. Be sure to have students add you to their Buddy list. Use Twords to model writing. Add students as your buddies to help you keep on track with writing goals.

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Google Scholar - Google

Grades
8 to 12
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Google Scholar is a web search tool for scholarly literature and academic resources such as books, articles, and documents. Enter your search term, then choose to search by articles...more
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Google Scholar is a web search tool for scholarly literature and academic resources such as books, articles, and documents. Enter your search term, then choose to search by articles (with or without patents and case-law). Use additional tools within search results to narrow down by date. Enable the My Library function to save selected results for later use. The Cite link beneath the entry description includes formatted citations in many different options.

tag(s): citations (34), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to organize and compare research found on the Internet. Consider creating a class Google account to collect materials found throughout the school year. Be sure to talk to students about how to organize and share information and sources. Students can maintain their own archive and show their collection at the end of the year. This tool will also be very handy for graduate projects teachers may be doing.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Hypothesis - Dan Whaley

Grades
6 to 12
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Hypothesis is an easy to use tool for annotating, collaborating, and sharing web content. Add any URL to the search bar on the home page to begin using Hypothesis after ...more
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Hypothesis is an easy to use tool for annotating, collaborating, and sharing web content. Add any URL to the search bar on the home page to begin using Hypothesis after creating your account. Create an annotation by highlighting text; the pop-up allows you to add notes including hyperlinks and tags to your annotation. Add notes or highlights using tools on the site. Save your notes for public viewing or just for your use. Invite others to view your notes or collaborate using the sharing link with your personal URL or with social media links. Click the Education tab on the top menu to see examples of classroom use, 10 Ways to Annotate With Students, Creating a Private Group, and more.

tag(s): bookmarks (59), citations (34), note taking (33)

In the Classroom

Use Hypothesis as part of your flipped classroom. Annotate and share web resources with students and ask them to contribute notes and additional information. Ask ESL/ELL and resource students to write text to explain concepts by rewording, or to ask questions about the parts they do not understand. Add questions to math explanations, highlight landforms, or discuss information on maps. Share with students for use when collaborating on research projects. Install the Hypothesis bookmark on classroom computers for use at any time.

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Noplag - Noplag LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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NoPlag is a plagiarism checker that compares your writing to online sources to detect possible cases of plagiarism. Complete five checks for plagiarism a day with up to 500 words ...more
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NoPlag is a plagiarism checker that compares your writing to online sources to detect possible cases of plagiarism. Complete five checks for plagiarism a day with up to 500 words without an account. With a free account complete twenty checks per day with 500 words. You will get a report after pasting samples of work into an interactive box that highlights probable plagiarism along with links to the possible websites. The Noplag Blog has helpful articles on the importance of intellectual property rights and additional teaching ideas. There are premium features available, but this review is only for the free account. Educators and students at public and church schools and colleges can request an account through a contact form.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (47), evaluating sources (13), plagiarism (35), writing (361)

In the Classroom

Teach students about plagiarism and how to avoid it; it is a critical skill in all the content areas. Noplag is an easy place to introduce the concepts and have students check their writing without registering. Demonstrate how to use the tool to the whole class using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students register for additional options. Emphasize to students that they have the ability and the obligation to check their work for honesty.

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Primary vs Secondary Sources - The Minnesota Historical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Primary vs. Secondary Sources is an excellent YouTube video explaining the difference between these two types of sources. The video provides several examples of each type of source...more
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Primary vs. Secondary Sources is an excellent YouTube video explaining the difference between these two types of sources. The video provides several examples of each type of source and tells why it fits into that category. If your district blocks YouTube, then this 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): primary sources (86), video (259)

In the Classroom

Share this video with students as they begin any research project. Be sure to add a link to this site on your class website for reference at home. Have students create a simple infographic with examples of both types of resources using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students upload a photo they have taken of a source and add voice bubbles to explain why it fits into a particular category using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here.

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Kiddle - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Kiddle is a search engine for kids powered by Google Custom Search, and it provides results oriented for kids. Results appear with larger thumbnails and large font to make reading ...more
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Kiddle is a search engine for kids powered by Google Custom Search, and it provides results oriented for kids. Results appear with larger thumbnails and large font to make reading the results easier. Search options include web, image, video, and news options. Inappropriate searches result with an "Oops, try again!" message.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Use Kiddle as the default search engine on classroom computers. Share on an interactive whiteboard or projector and demonstrate how to search using the different options, and how to choose keywords that make searching easier. Share a link on your class website and in your classroom newsletter for parents to use at home. Learning support and ESL/ELL students will appreciate being able to search without as much reading. Even very young students can LOOK for a site using this search tool, assuming they can type just a little bit.

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R4S: Research for Success - INFOhio

Grades
9 to 12
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Designed as an interactive online course this site helps high school students develop the sophisticated research skills needed for college and careers, an important component of most...more
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Designed as an interactive online course this site helps high school students develop the sophisticated research skills needed for college and careers, an important component of most standards. The formal research process is broken down into six steps: Ask Good Questions, Finding Information, Selecting the Best, Putting It Together, Your Presentation, and Making the Grade. Students work through a variety of activities linked from outside sites, including reading articles, watching videos, and completing worksheets. Each module is introduced by Voki avatars, reviewed here. Several popular research tools, such Zotero, reviewed here, and Evernote, reviewed here, are introduced. 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.

tag(s): citations (34), classroom management (136), digital citizenship (59), evaluating sources (13), inquiry (37), media literacy (57), organizational skills (121), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

R4S would be perfect for use as a blended-learning or the flipped classroom experience for upper high school into the first year of college. You can have students work online, or you can download into your course management system. Have students work through all the steps as part of a research assignment, or use only the parts relevant to them. Teachers need to register to receive the text copy of the helpful teacher's guide. Use the site in any subject or curriculum area.
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Comments

Will be integrating this unit into freshman comp at the community college where I teach researched argument, the first English class students are required to complete. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon Ladies' Association

Grades
5 to 12
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You don't need to take an actual visit to Mount Vernon to enjoy a look at the life and times of America's first president with this comprehensive website. Choose from ...more
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You don't need to take an actual visit to Mount Vernon to enjoy a look at the life and times of America's first president with this comprehensive website. Choose from The Estate and Gardens or George Washington links to explore information about Washington's life and home. Each section includes full articles, including images and some videos. Be sure to check out the Educational Resources for students and teachers including lesson plans, interactive maps, animated presentations, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (86), presidents (130), primary sources (86), slavery (72), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark and save this site for use with any President's Day or American Revolution lessons. Take advantage of the free lesson plans for use in your classroom. Create a link to maps and animated presentations on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. You may also want students to take a virtual tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about George or Martha Washington, one of his slaves, or a soldier in his army. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) about the life of George Washington using Hstry, reviewed here.
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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 (36), veterans (19), washington (36), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (26), wright brothers (24)

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.
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A Research Guide for Students - A Research Guide

Grades
6 to 12
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Find a complete resource for how to write a research paper, including simple step-by-step directions, suggested resources, and ways to avoid plagiarism. This site also includes how...more
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Find a complete resource for how to write a research paper, including simple step-by-step directions, suggested resources, and ways to avoid plagiarism. This site also includes how to format a research paper, write footnotes, create endnotes, and make parenthetical references, with examples for all. There are tips for public speaking and how to use search engines. The menu at the top has links for Literature Guides, Extra Resources, and the Dewey Decimal System.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): expository writing (44), literature (274), persuasive writing (55), plagiarism (35), process writing (43)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a research project. With younger students, you may want the class to go through each step together before beginning the next step. However, let gifted students work ahead. The beauty of this site is that it is great for classroom differentiation for independent work. With older students, you may want to show them the different steps and have them start where they think they need help and share examples. Be sure to post a link to the site for students and parents to access at home.

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TPS-Barat Primary Source Nexus - Barat Education Foundation

Grades
2 to 12
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Find high interest primary sources for anything from teddy bears to Abraham Lincoln to King Kamehameha and much more. There are also primary sources for world connections for Serbia,...more
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Find high interest primary sources for anything from teddy bears to Abraham Lincoln to King Kamehameha and much more. There are also primary sources for world connections for Serbia, Iran, and Cambodia. Common Core emphasizes "reading" of visual sources of information, and this is the perfect source. This is a growing resource, so be sure to sign up for their newsletter. The Primary Source Nexus is the online support resource for the TPS-Barat Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. This is a great place to look for ideas to use for History Day! Preview before sharing with students.

tag(s): advertising (33), black history (59), cross cultural understanding (115), history day (23), immigration (58), journalism (46), lincoln (86), martin luther king (37), poetry (227), presidents (130), primary sources (86), professional development (123), roosevelt (16), slavery (72), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Take a look at the free professional development for using primary sources for teachers. In the Archives for Connecting to the Common Core, there are writing prompts for K-5 plus a link to the triangle activity. Download and use the PDF for the Thinking Triangle. Have older students research an interest and report to the class using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to PowerPoint, but easier and free) reviewed here.
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Founders Online - National Archives and University of Virginia

Grades
6 to 12
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin...more
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Enter any search term or browse by author, recipient, or time period. Each document includes information such as author, recipient, date, and links to other similar documents if available.

tag(s): american revolution (86), colonial america (107), colonization (16), constitution (79), declaration of independence (13), franklin (12), jefferson (19), primary sources (86), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Search and view information from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Find documents from similar time periods and events to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students download to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create timelines (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 any of the founding fathers included on this site.
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Chronicling America - National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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Search America's historic newspapers from 1836-1922. Use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information located within American newspapers published between 1690-present. The front...more
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Search America's historic newspapers from 1836-1922. Use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information located within American newspapers published between 1690-present. The front page contains images and links to newspaper topics for the current date 100 years ago. Click on links to view more from each paper, such as additional pages or other issues. Use the search bar to narrow newspaper searches by date, state, and keywords. View content in PDF or text format, or clip image to print or download to your computer. If you get stuck on the site, click the "Ask a Librarian" button for advice and help.

tag(s): 1800s (47), 1900s (35), journalism (46), news (260), newspapers (94), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Make history come alive in your classroom using newspapers, the perfect primary source. Enter dates from history and different locations to find local news stories and information. When studying events over an extended period of time, find resources from the beginning, middle, and end of that period to compare and contrast information from the local newspapers. Read the evolution of American popular opinion before and after Pearl Harbor, for example. Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate or report events using Fotobabble, reviewed here. Challenge your students to use a site such as Capzles, reviewed here, to create an interactive timeline of events as reported in various news sources.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

Fabulous resource for American History/Social Studies. Primary sources you can search. Wasn't able to get phrases to work, but individual words do. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Google Archive News Search - Google

Grades
3 to 12
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods...more
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods by using the advance search table that pops up on the landing page.

tag(s): journalism (46), primary sources (86), search engines (65), timelines (63)

In the Classroom

This site will complement any social studies, history class, or English class. Use the search to bring history alive for students. Show actual news articles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students use this tool for research. Have them use the advanced search table that pops up to find events that happened during a particular time period. English teachers will also find this a useful tool to show how journalism has evolved through the years.
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