TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 13, 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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MathScienceMusic - Theolonius Monk Institute of Jaz

Grades
K to 12
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration...more
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration with Jazz legend, Herbie Hancock. Click letters on the homepage to begin your musical experience, then scroll down to view the available resources. Each group of resources includes a video introduction explaining the content. Some of the choices include Scratch Jazz (music and coding) and Groove Pizza (Shapes and Angles and Groove). All activities include a short description along with suggestions for appropriate grade level, concepts taught, and links to additional resources. Videos reside on YouTube. 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): angles (87), animation (65), brain (71), coding (50), fractions (236), geometric shapes (166), india (36), multiples (35), music theory (41), musical instruments (47), musical notation (37), numbers (200), patterns (85), preK (291), ratios (56), sound (105)

In the Classroom

Share activities from MathScienceMusic on your interactive whiteboard with students, then let them explore independently. Scratch Jazz is perfect for teaching basic coding; students interested in music will enjoy creating their own jazz-themed project using the site's tutorial. Add interest to math lessons by taking advantage of the free lesson plans. Be sure to check out the link to Math and Music Standards found on the music and math curriculum page. Have students create videos of their music creations using theLearnia, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to have them discuss their journey from the beginning through the final creation of their project. Team up with your school's music teacher to collaborate on the many activities provided on this site.
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The Global Virtual Stock Exchange - Stock-Trak

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn global economics with real world experience playing the stock exchange game. Register on the site to browse and find current games to join or create your own game. Game ...more
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Learn global economics with real world experience playing the stock exchange game. Register on the site to browse and find current games to join or create your own game. Game creators choose from many personalization options including type of currency, trading dates, countries to include, and much more. Additional teacher resources include allowing loan options, downloading of all transactions, and streaming ranks for student result comparisons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): competitions (15), currency (19), stock market (13)

In the Classroom

Use The Global Virtual Stock Exchange to teach economics in your classroom. Before setting up a competition, share the site with students and allow plenty of time to explore the many resources for learning about the stock market and participating in a game. Be sure to point out the Learning Center including many articles for beginners and stock tools. Set up a challenge with other classrooms or learning partners and compete against each other. Have cooperative learning groups create weekly podcasts discussing market trends and the latest economic news. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.

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The History Project - Niles Lichtenstein and Ben Yee

Grades
5 to 12
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The History Project is an online storytelling and sharing tool with a goal of curating and preserving personal life stories. Scroll through to view already-created stories to get a...more
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The History Project is an online storytelling and sharing tool with a goal of curating and preserving personal life stories. Scroll through to view already-created stories to get a sense of the site's features, then click "Get Started" to begin your story. Add memories using photos, documents, video, audio clips, and much more. When telling your story, view it in several different formats. Choose memories, timeline, tags, or map to look at stories from several different perspectives. Some videos are hosted on YouTube. 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): biographies (88), digital storytelling (154), portfolios (32)

In the Classroom

Have students use The History Project to gather resources and tell the story of any period of history. For example, when studying World War 1, add newspapers, recordings, and photographs to discuss events leading to World War 1, and then add information throughout the war to it's end. The History Project is an excellent tool for creating and sharing biography projects, exploring career options, and for creating a portfolio to include with college admissions. Start a History Project the first week of school and add information throughout the year to tell the tale of your school year.

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Edynco Learning Maps - Tadej Stanic and Jana Jan

Grades
5 to 12
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Create online learning maps using Edynco on any device. Similar to a mind map, a learning map includes interactive features such as websites, quizzes, documents, and more. Connect features...more
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Create online learning maps using Edynco on any device. Similar to a mind map, a learning map includes interactive features such as websites, quizzes, documents, and more. Connect features on the learning map using "nodes" to create a learning path. Edynco's Forever Free plan allows users to store three learning maps, three quizzes, three audio/video recordings, and create one group with up to 30 students. Tutorial videos reside on YouTube. 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), interactive stories (34), mind map (25), organizational skills (128)

In the Classroom

Browse through the examples of Edynco maps for ideas about how a learning map works. Use this tool to help organize a learning unit and share the organization on a screen, so students see how pieces fit together. Share the unit map with other teachers, students, or parents. Highlight goals, objectives, learning tasks, assessments, and resources. Have a group of students create a learning map to review concepts at the end of any unit. Unfortunately, the free plan only allows three learning maps, allow older students to create their own account to share their learning maps.

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Headline Generator - Class Tools

Grades
K to 12
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Create and share a personalized newspaper headline with an image using the Headline Generator. Add a headline, byline, and picture to make an image that looks like it came straight...more
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Create and share a personalized newspaper headline with an image using the Headline Generator. Add a headline, byline, and picture to make an image that looks like it came straight from a major website. When finished, download to your computer or tweet to share on Twitter.

tag(s): images (275), journalism (55), slides (65), writers workshop (33)

In the Classroom

Share the Headline Generator with students for use when creating titles or headlines for projects. Download the image/headline and insert into a Word document or slide presentation. Create a headline for the student of the week, to recognize student achievements, or as an introduction to any new unit. Ask students to use Headline Generator at the beginning of a writing project or research/report to help focus on content for writing. Encourage students to refine their headline as they hone in on their topic, and then have students submit a list of all headlines attempted as part of the final project grade along with the final image. Use the Headline Generator to have students create a simple headline for famous characters in history, story characters, or as part of a biography project.

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LiveSlides - Poll Everywhere

Grades
K to 12
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Bring life and interactivity to your PowerPoint and Keynote presentations with LiveSlides. Use this tool to add videos, Twitter feeds, polls, and more directly into presentations! LiveSlides...more
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Bring life and interactivity to your PowerPoint and Keynote presentations with LiveSlides. Use this tool to add videos, Twitter feeds, polls, and more directly into presentations! LiveSlides is a web add-in allowing users to embed any website as a placeholder for web content. Download the add-in and follow directions to install. After installation, open PowerPoint to find a LiveSlides tab to use to embed content onto a slide. During your presentation, an Internet connection is needed to run content. Learn more about how to use LiveSlides and its different features at the FAQ link on the site.

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), images (275), multimedia (64), slides (65)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for your flipped learning lessons, for student multimedia presentations, and to encourage student participation during lessons. Demonstrate how to use LiveSlides, showing students how to add information from the Internet to create their own study guides to review before a test. Use your current PowerPoint presentations as a starting point, then add videos, quizzes, and live websites to enhance lessons.

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Owl Eyes - Alex Bloomingdale

Grades
8 to 12
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Read, annotate, bookmark, and share literature, poetry, and nonfiction with Owl Eyes. Read any available selection without registration; however, free registration (with email) opens...more
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Read, annotate, bookmark, and share literature, poetry, and nonfiction with Owl Eyes. Read any available selection without registration; however, free registration (with email) opens up a world of options. Add any book to your library to add your own highlights or annotations. View analysis available on the site broken down by chapters and literary context. Options for annotating include adding highlights, questions, tags, and correlation to Common Core Standards. Create a classroom to assign books. Video tutorials reside on YouTube. 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): authors (121), book lists (133), DAT device agnostic tool (170), literature (276), poetry (224), reading comprehension (118), reading strategies (47)

In the Classroom

Use this site to assign reading of classic texts, nonfiction, poetry, and stories. Take advantage of the included annotations found with literature selections to build Common Core skills analyzing informational texts. Use this site to post and share discussion assignments on texts and selections from the text. Share Owl Eyes with students for use with literature circles (or small groups reading) as a tool to collaborate, improve reading strategies skills, and to present their book to the class.

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theLearnia - Yosi Avraham and Lior Avraham

Grades
4 to 12
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Create and share video lessons up to 15 minutes in length easily with theLearnia. Plan your lesson and upload materials such as slides, images, and text or import a PowerPoint ...more
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Create and share video lessons up to 15 minutes in length easily with theLearnia. Plan your lesson and upload materials such as slides, images, and text or import a PowerPoint presentation to begin. When ready, draw, sketch, or add text, then record to add audio. When finished, share using email or social networking links. Your lessons are stored in the cloud for easy availability anywhere and anytime. Tutorial videos reside on YouTube. 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): flips (5), homework (45), social networking (112), video (274)

In the Classroom

Create a flipped lesson for students to view at home as an introduction to a new unit. Use theLearnia to create a 15-minute review at the end of any unit. Have students use theLearnia as a presentation tool for class projects. Divide students into groups to create presentations with this tool covering different aspects of course content. For example, when presenting lessons on World War 1, have one group research countries, another research famous figures, and another research pre-war build up. Consider using theLearnia when planning for a substitute.

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Animatron - Dmitry Skavish

Grades
K to 12
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Design, organize, animate, and publish creations using Animatron. Use Animatron's backgrounds and characters, or upload your own. Be sure to take advantage of the Tutorials and Tips,...more
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Design, organize, animate, and publish creations using Animatron. Use Animatron's backgrounds and characters, or upload your own. Be sure to take advantage of the Tutorials and Tips, and the Knowledge Base for a full understanding of the many features available. Registration isn't required to create an Animatron project; however, you will need to register to save and share. Free accounts allow users to create up to five public projects with up to 2GB storage (50Gb/month). The Tutorials are in video format and reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video tutorials 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animation (65), movies (72), multimedia (64), slides (65), video (274)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own Animatrons. Students can use Animatron to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. Flip your classroom using Animatron presentations. Use Animatron to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. Animatron is an excellent way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to prepare information for the class when a substitute is coming. Share Animatron creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use an Animatron video on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use Animatron to create movies or presentations for back-to-school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create Animatron book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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Updwn - Nathan Bashaw & Connor Montgomery

Grades
K to 12
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Create simple, real-time polls using Updwn without having to register. Type your question and add answer options. If you wish, users can also add their own response. Click the "send...more
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Create simple, real-time polls using Updwn without having to register. Type your question and add answer options. If you wish, users can also add their own response. Click the "send to" icon on your poll to find the URL for your poll. View feedback as users use green and red arrows to choose answers; their initials show next to the chosen response.

tag(s): polls and surveys (55), quizzes (101)

In the Classroom

Use Updwn for quick feedback in your 1:1 classroom. Ask students to choose from book options for independent reading, type of class project, provide a short response for an exit ticket, or choose the correct answer to a math problem. Allow students to create polls for use with presentations. Create a quick Updwn poll for use during back-to-school night or parent conferences; have parents vote on suggested field trips or preferred communication methods. Create a link to a survey on your class website to ask a question of the day. Updwn is perfect for use in virtually any situation requiring quick and simple feedback.

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QuoDeck - Ptotem Technologies

Grades
5 to 12
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Create interactive mobile game-based learning content with QuoDeck's tools. Create an account, then choose from tools to make flashcards, video and picture quizzes, multiple choice...more
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Create interactive mobile game-based learning content with QuoDeck's tools. Create an account, then choose from tools to make flashcards, video and picture quizzes, multiple choice quizzes, or teach a simple concept. Follow prompts to personalize content and change themes. When finished, share the content using provided links. Not sure that you can create your own? Use the search bar to find tools made by others to use as a starting point for your content.

tag(s): flash cards (47), game based learning (113), gamification (75), quiz (89), quizzes (101), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use QuoDeck to share content for flipped learning, or for a quick assessment during lessons. Share quizzes on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector at the end of a lesson. Allow students to create quizzes and flashcards to share with the class. Use video and picture quizzes as an introduction to new content to gather information on students' prior knowledge. Create your own micro-learning management system (micro-LMS) to deliver content through short, focused lessons. Be sure to download the micro-LMS whitepaper for a better understanding of how this works.

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The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914-1919 Curriculum - AFS Intercultural Program

Grades
7 to 12
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The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914-1919 curriculum has 22 lesson plans, and examines the volunteer service of Americans, primarily during the period of U.S. neutrality...more
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The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914-1919 curriculum has 22 lesson plans, and examines the volunteer service of Americans, primarily during the period of U.S. neutrality before entering the war. Each lesson has extensive resources and activities, including national and global standards, objectives, background essay, essential questions, instructions, activator or introduction, extension activity, assessments, teaching tips, student materials and handouts, plus links to maps, articles, websites, books, and videos. Lessons are primary-source-intensive with a wide variety of text types, promoting historical analysis skills and construction of knowledge. The topics include discussions of why people volunteer, what are humanitarian organizations, and what were women's roles in volunteer service in World War I as related to women's fight for equality. Also find how humanitarian relief efforts get organized and sustained and how young volunteers are involved in world affairs, historically and today, to explore. The National World War I Museum and Memorial is a partner to AFS Intercultural Program and helped develop this resource.

tag(s): europe (75), maps (293), primary sources (90), womens suffrage (26), world war 1 (53)

In the Classroom

Download individual lessons or the whole curriculum to be used offline. Engage students in an underlying theme or question, helping to bridge between past and present. Lessons are extensive and easy to adapt and use. Use handouts with a whole class, small group collaboration, or individual work. Be sure to download the Teacher Toolkit to take advantage of the extensive lesson resources. Use the Tips in each lesson to enhance your teaching experience, adapt activities to the global classroom, and find more activities and homework ideas. Visit the link to the Museum's companion exhibit, here, for more resources.

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The Stock Market Game - Securities Industry and Financial Markets Assoc Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Using hands-on lessons, students work in teams to learn the basics of investing, create $100,000 portfolios, manage an investment portfolio in a real-world scenario of a dynamic marketplace,...more
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Using hands-on lessons, students work in teams to learn the basics of investing, create $100,000 portfolios, manage an investment portfolio in a real-world scenario of a dynamic marketplace, learn other economic concepts, and compete against teams across the globe while fostering teamwork and decision-making skills. Created in 1977 by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation, The Stock Market Game (SMG) is an online simulation game for teaching students about the global capital markets and stock market. Teachers must register for their school and students and then will receive essential information on program requirements and important dates. Adults are welcome to play after registering. SMG is coordinated locally by non-profit partners dedicated to youth financial literacy who volunteer when help is needed. Each year 600,000 students participate around the world in exciting collaborative activities.

tag(s): business (58), game based learning (113), investing (10), money (190), stock market (13)

In the Classroom

Participants who register as "Teachers with Classes" receive extensive teacher support, including a searchable library of standards, curriculum materials, and assessments. While providing real-world practice, SMG engages students in the core academic subjects, such as math, English, and economics. Lesson plans include Teacher Background and materials to implement the lesson with students. Find more information by perusing additional publications, links, and other resources. Contact a local SMG Coordinator for additional assistance. Use the game in individual classes, school-wide, in after school clubs, or with home-schoolers. Families can play at home together or collaborate with others. Additional benefits include higher math and financial literacy scores on tests by students who play SMG. Also, teachers report that the program even taught them about financial planning, research, and investing wisely.

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ReadWorks Digital - ReadWorks

Grades
K to 12
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Find everything you love in ReadWorks PLUS students can now interact online with articles and curriculum, and it works on any modern browser. Teachers can create classes to assign reading...more
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Find everything you love in ReadWorks PLUS students can now interact online with articles and curriculum, and it works on any modern browser. Teachers can create classes to assign reading and track assessments (which are automatically graded). After signing up with email, click on Admin from the top menu and create a class. Students join the class by using a code and their Google account. No Google account? No problem. Create a roster and provide the class code to students. Find Reading passages by level and subject or topic, nonfiction or literary, with questions and vocabulary. Easily assign to the whole class, or individuals as a way to differentiate. At this time the support is through email and they will get back to you within 24 hours. There is still the option to print for those who don't have online access at home.

tag(s): classroom management (148), guided reading (46), independent reading (129), reading comprehension (118), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

Show students how to sign up and log into ReadWorks Digital using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Complete a sample assignment together. Post the link on your website and consider assigning the Article-A-Day for at home reading. Rotate the subjects weekly and discuss the topic the next day in class. Consider using a back channel tool such as GoSoapBox, reviewed here, for the discussion, so even your quiet and shy students feel comfortable participating, and you can get analytics after the discussion. Teachers of all subjects, but especially science and social studies, can find topics for students to read for their subject. Then challenge students to research the topic further. Have students submit their findings to a special class magazine using Zinepal, reviewed here, created for the topic. Differentiation can be accomplished easily by assigning to individual students, or you can create multiple classes, which would actually be small groups, who read at the same level or have the same topic interest.

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