TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 30, 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 go to the Featured Sites Archive

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Fotojet - PearlMountain Technology Co., Ltd

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create beautiful photo collages, cards, and posters easily with Fotojet. Choose from over 320 templates and upload pictures directly from your computer or Facebook. Edit photos for...more
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Create beautiful photo collages, cards, and posters easily with Fotojet. Choose from over 320 templates and upload pictures directly from your computer or Facebook. Edit photos for size, exposure, rotate, flip or mirror, add text (and edit), and more. When finished, share using links or download as a JPEG or PNG file.

tag(s): collages (19), graphic design (30), images (238), posters (30)

In the Classroom

Create cards, posters, or photo collages for any classroom presentation. Share what you created on your website or blog for students to review or for students who were absent. In the younger grades, teachers would be the ones creating the project. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Link or embed the introduction presentations on your class wiki and have others guess who they are about. Use this tool with your 1:1 art class for students to practice design principles and techniques. Share student projects with parents and others via URL. Be sure to demonstrate HOW to use this tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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A History of Poverty - Christian Aid

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover where poverty (and prosperity) have been most present over the past two hundred years through this interactive map. Explore global issues such as corruption, health, and inequalities...more
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Discover where poverty (and prosperity) have been most present over the past two hundred years through this interactive map. Explore global issues such as corruption, health, and inequalities through short videos. Use tools to zoom in on the map to view specific continents or zoom back out for a larger overview. Filters allow sorting views by continent and least and most developed countries. As the timeline progresses, read about important events impacting poverty, such as world wars and AIDS.

tag(s): climate change (62), disasters (39), diseases (62), nutrition (150)

In the Classroom

Share this map and the accompanying films on your interactive whiteboard as part of discussions on world economies, countries around the world, or changes during the past two hundred years across the globe. Allow students to explore on their own, then create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Global Post - Philip S. Balboni

Grades
6 to 12
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Global Post is a digital news site covering world events. It was the home-base of reporter James Foley who was held prisoner for almost two years by the Islamic State ...more
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Global Post is a digital news site covering world events. It was the home-base of reporter James Foley who was held prisoner for almost two years by the Islamic State in Syria. Scroll through the home page to find breaking news, latest articles, and editor's picks. Find specific topics and trending news using the menu bar on the site. Preview topics before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): journalism (34), newspapers (55)

In the Classroom

Broaden student perspectives about world issues by sharing articles from Global Post on an interactive whiteboard or projector as part of current events lessons. Create a link to this site on classroom computers and have students read and share articles with the class. Be sure to add a link to this site on your class webpage for students to access at home. After exploring articles and information in-depth, have students use a tool such as Woices (beta), reviewed here, to give a recap of the article and state their opinion about the topic. Woices allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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NFL Rush - National Football League

Grades
3 to 7
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The National Football League's official site for kids includes interactives, tips, videos, and links to favorite teams. Read up on the latest NFL news, participate in polls, or play...more
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The National Football League's official site for kids includes interactives, tips, videos, and links to favorite teams. Read up on the latest NFL news, participate in polls, or play the game of the week. Read stories from the Kid Reporter team with information about local teams and events. Click links to any NFL team to view season schedules and read the latest team updates.

tag(s): polls and surveys (41), sports (85), statistics (118)

In the Classroom

Share the latest polls with students and compare results to those found in your class. Create a quick poll (with no membership required) using SurveyRock, reviewed here. Create a link on classroom computers and allow students to read headlines and the latest news, and then prepare a summary to present to the class. Follow the students' favorite teams through the site to use as story starters and journal topics. Practice math by following statistics of National Football League teams. Have students take one of the polls, and then justify their responses through writing a short editorial article.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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40 Maps that Explain the Middle East - Max Fisher

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn about the complex and changing borders and demographics of the Middle East through the view of 40 different maps. The maps offer a look at the region from many ...more
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Learn about the complex and changing borders and demographics of the Middle East through the view of 40 different maps. The maps offer a look at the region from many perspectives such as religion, Arabic dialects, and Oil and Gas in the Middle East. Click any map to view the larger image. All maps also include a short explanation of the contents and many include links to additional information. A few maps are presented via video on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): iran (11), iraq (32), israel (16), maps (272), middle east (25), religions (53)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Be sure to include this site on your class webpage for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Create a link to these maps on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Use an online tool such as an Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare different countries, religions, or time periods included in the maps.

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TextProject - TextProject, Inc

Grades
K to 9
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TextProject offers strategies, tools, and texts to bring beginning readers and struggling readers to high levels of literacy. Download materials for teaching reading such as vocabulary...more
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TextProject offers strategies, tools, and texts to bring beginning readers and struggling readers to high levels of literacy. Download materials for teaching reading such as vocabulary lessons, word pictures, literacy lists, and reading passages. Browse the TextProject Library to find book collections, professional articles, and videos available on their YouTube Channel. Be sure to find time to explore the Classroom Materials part of the site, with many printables and Teacher's Guides for use with all reading levels. 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.

tag(s): commoncore (78), independent reading (113), literacy (94), reading comprehension (103), reading lists (69), reading strategies (34), vocabulary (319), vocabulary development (116)

In the Classroom

If you teach reading or are an ESL/ELL or resource teacher for students with special needs, you will want to bookmark this site! Take advantage of all of the free downloads on the site, including forms, checklists, lessons, and reading passages. Share this site with parents to help them understand the process of learning to read and finding materials for their student. Share this site during professional development sessions when discussing reading instruction and alignment to Common Core Standards. Be sure to sign up for TextProject's monthly newsletter to stay up to date with all new additions to the site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Closr (Beta) - Closr.it

Grades
K to 12
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Engage your audience with zoomable images using Closr. Create an account and upload an image to begin. Add "Spots" and descriptions of any location on the image. Use the zoom ...more
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Engage your audience with zoomable images using Closr. Create an account and upload an image to begin. Add "Spots" and descriptions of any location on the image. Use the zoom feature to zoom in on any area on the image. Highlight and describe information. When finished, share using the embed code, URL, or social media links. Free plans include creating up to 5 canvases. Currently this site is also available as an iOS App.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (238)

In the Classroom

Share Closr with your school's art teacher as an excellent way to highlight and feature details on artwork. History and science teachers can use Closr to zoom in on parts of the microscope, cells, historic buildings, battles, and more. Have students upload an image to demonstrate different parts of plants, landforms, or shapes found in images.

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Digital Compass - Common Sense Media

Grades
5 to 9
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Digital Compass is an animated interactive designed to teach middle school students about digital citizenship. Each of the eight characters demonstrates a different topic such as cyberbullying...more
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Digital Compass is an animated interactive designed to teach middle school students about digital citizenship. Each of the eight characters demonstrates a different topic such as cyberbullying and Internet safety. Along the way players choose different options. Some choices have positive results, and others have negative consequences. Find an Educator Guide for suggestions about how to use this tool in the classroom and PDFs for a Quick Start Guide and the Teacher's Guide.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (132), digital citizenship (42), internet safety (117)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect to incorporate into any digital citizenship lessons. Complete activities together on your interactive whiteboard while making appropriate and inappropriate choices along the way. Create a link on your class website or blog for use at home. Be sure to share Digital Compass with parents to use as part of their online safety discussions at home. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Typing Tutor - Ratatype

Grades
2 to 12
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Improve keyboarding skills with this free and easy online tutor. Take a typing test to find your typing speed. Register using Facebook or your email. Try your hand at a ...more
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Improve keyboarding skills with this free and easy online tutor. Take a typing test to find your typing speed. Register using Facebook or your email. Try your hand at a series of 15 lessons beginning with home row positions through typing sentences. Use the settings icon to remove the keyboard display for additional difficulty and practice.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): keyboarding (36)

In the Classroom

Use the Typing Tutor as a classroom computer center or as a computer lab activity. Challenge students to complete exercises and earn certificates. Consider using a tool like Success Certificates, reviewed here, for creating these certificates. Post a link on your class web page to share with parents for use at home to improve keyboarding skills.

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Writing Exercises - JG Publishing

Grades
K to 12
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Find fresh ideas for writing prompts and exercises to explore and use. Use links to find story starters, characters, titles, and more. Use the random generators to create titles, dialogues,...more
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Find fresh ideas for writing prompts and exercises to explore and use. Use links to find story starters, characters, titles, and more. Use the random generators to create titles, dialogues, town names, and much more. These are a must see for those writing blogs, needing new ideas, or having writer's block. This site was created in the UK. American English speakers may notice some slight spelling differences.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (151), digital storytelling (109), poetry (221), writers workshop (22), writing (337)

In the Classroom

This site is a "must see" for any writing instructor! Digital storytelling incorporates many Common Core Standards and is a possibility in any classroom. Think about using the random plot generator and put in the twist of an invasive cell to the human body for a science class. In math class, possibly a large whole number is building an army by splitting lesser whole numbers into fractional parts. Use the digital stories in place of a multiple choice test for final assessments. Challenge students to construct the digital story using Slidestory, reviewed here. Use tools from this site to create stories together as a class or in small groups. In addition to the random generators, there is a children's writing prompt section for younger students. Make a link to the site on classroom computers for student use when working on writing projects. Share a link to the site on your class website or blog for use at home. Share with parents who are looking for ideas to use at home. In addition to story ideas, use this site to create inspiration for poetry writing in the classroom.

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Khan Academy YouTube Channel - Khan Academy

Grades
7 to 12
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Khan Academy, reviewed here, offers an extensive playlist of math and science videos and tutorials on this YouTube channel. Scroll through to view...more
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Khan Academy, reviewed here, offers an extensive playlist of math and science videos and tutorials on this YouTube channel. Scroll through to view available topics such as calculus, biology, SAT preparation, and much more. 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.

tag(s): computers (61), equations (149), financial literacy (71), probability (124), STEM (91), test prep (90), video (215)

In the Classroom

Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes about the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. That activity can uncover misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept. Set up a video chat time using one of these YouTube videos and a tool such as Watch Together, reviewed here.

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Watchkin - Alan Cheney

Grades
K to 12
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Watchkin provides tools for a safer and cleaner view of YouTube videos. Use Watchkin to remove text, comments, thumbnail images, and most ads from any video on YouTube. Copy and ...more
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Watchkin provides tools for a safer and cleaner view of YouTube videos. Use Watchkin to remove text, comments, thumbnail images, and most ads from any video on YouTube. Copy and paste the video URL into the Watchkin search box for automatic redirection to the clean version of the video. Install the bookmarklet on your search engine toolbar for easy video clean up while on the YouTube site. 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): internet safety (117), video (215)

In the Classroom

How often do you find great clips and video shorts from YouTube and you cannot show them or are afraid to show them even if you can get them through the school filter? Try using this to show clips or long videos to your class via an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Five Triangles - Five Triangles

Grades
6 to 9
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This interesting blog provides an ongoing supply of open-ended math problems for middle school students. Most focus on geometry content such as area, perimeter, and volume. Choose from...more
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This interesting blog provides an ongoing supply of open-ended math problems for middle school students. Most focus on geometry content such as area, perimeter, and volume. Choose from over 200 problems rated from 1 to 3 stars in difficulty. Browse the site to find problems, click on tags sorted by topic, use the keyword search, or explore monthly archives dated back to 2012. Subscribe to this blog to receive updates with new posts.

tag(s): area (64), decimals (133), equations (149), fractions (235), geometric shapes (148), inequalities (26), percent (81), perimeter (32), probability (124), problem solving (227), pythagorean theorem (32), venn diagrams (16), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Five Triangles as an outstanding resource for problems to use for homework, math centers, or an introduction to new content. Share a link to specific problems on your website or blog for students to complete from home. Challenge students to create their own open-ended problems for classmates to solve. Have students upload a photo of a problem and add voice bubbles to explain what they learned using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here.

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New York Film Academy - How to do Stop Animation - New York Film Academy

Grades
1 to 12
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Jump into stop animation using video devices instead of drawing. Find all you need to know when creating a stop motion animation (SMA) at the New York Film Academy. Discover ...more
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Jump into stop animation using video devices instead of drawing. Find all you need to know when creating a stop motion animation (SMA) at the New York Film Academy. Discover simple, detailed instructions and the type of equipment required. The site also lists accompanying links to make SMA projects a breeze! There is a warning at this site for SMA - it is very time consuming and requires a great deal of patience!

tag(s): assessment (81), digital storytelling (109), reading comprehension (103)

In the Classroom

Use stop motion animation as a new form of multimedia project for students to demonstrate their knowledge of the content, literature, and creativity. Use puppets, pictures, still photographs of people, Legos, or any other object to tell the story. Using any video recording device, incorporate with captions or sound to tell the story. In language arts, use SMA with retelling, alternate endings, students' writing, or commercials. In content area subjects use to demonstrate understanding of the topic with a digital story. Use as an alternate form of formative or summative assessment. Use as a journal for reflections. Offer as a choice for demonstrating knowledge. Put a link for these directions on your class webpage for students and parents to use at home.
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