TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 23, 2017

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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Roadtrip Nation - Mike Marriner, Nathan Gebhard, Brian McAllister & PBS

Grades
8 to 12
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Roadtrip Nation inspires young people to find their path in life by sharing how others found their life passion. PBS shares this journey through the eyes of participants as they ...more
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Roadtrip Nation inspires young people to find their path in life by sharing how others found their life passion. PBS shares this journey through the eyes of participants as they interview leaders from many different career paths. Use links to watch thirteen seasons of the series, or choose the Roadtrips option to view interviews by locations. Explore the various trips by interest, themes, or music. High school students have the opportunity to participate in road trips by applying through the Roadtrip Nation website.

tag(s): careers (140), STEM (156)

In the Classroom

Include Roadtrip Nation as part of your career exploration activities. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts sharing information about their chosen career field. Encourage students to interview someone in that field either in person or online. Use a site such as PodOmatic, reviewed here.

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Coaching Boys Into Men - Futures Without Violence

Grades
4 to 12
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Coaching Boys Into Men is a prevention program for athletic coaches to teach young men healthy relationship skills and that violence doesn't equal strength. Tools include several downloads...more
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Coaching Boys Into Men is a prevention program for athletic coaches to teach young men healthy relationship skills and that violence doesn't equal strength. Tools include several downloads such as posters and step by step lessons to integrate into weekly training sessions.

tag(s): bullying (52), mental health (26), school violence (13), sports (98)

In the Classroom

Share this program with your school's athletic coaches, physical education teachers, school counselors, and parents who coach athletic teams. Use the program locator to find nearby communities involved with the program. Invite a local coach to speak to young men in your school regarding healthy relationship skills. Have students create a newspaper featuring sports role models using a site such as Zinepal, reviewed here. On Zinepal, click "Start with a blank e-Book."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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From Provocative to Productive - NewseumEd

Grades
4 to 12
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Turn uncomfortable, sensitive topic discussions in your classroom into a learning tool for developing critical thinking skills with NewseumEd's guidelines for helping you and your students...more
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Turn uncomfortable, sensitive topic discussions in your classroom into a learning tool for developing critical thinking skills with NewseumEd's guidelines for helping you and your students discuss issues respectfully. Topics like racial tensions, politics, and religion can become a classroom learning tool to teach the art of dialogue and to increase respectful public speaking, confidence, engagement, and listening skills. Read and use the four guidelines: confidence in your content, respectfulness of your participants, asking questions, and encouraging debate, and be the best the facilitator you can be. You must be a registered NewseumEd member to access this resource; however, membership is free.

tag(s): debate (44), listening (92), speaking (25)

In the Classroom

Have this lesson handy when a controversial or contentious subject emerges. You just never know when that will happen, but you can run with it if you prepare using these NewseumEd guidelines. Share them with students, so they will understand what they need to do to participate successfully in a discussion or debate. Are there no issues at hand? Try finding one using Teachable Moments, reviewed here. At Teachable Moments find lesson plans based on articles and current topics, ready for download in PDF format. Try giving students a choice! Show them several subjects and use Dotstorming, reviewed here, to comment and vote on topics for the discussion. Use the opportunity to hone students information literacy skills by reviewing how to evaluate and cite sources. Once they have researched their topic, and are ready to discuss, use a tool such as Socratic Smackdown, reviewed here, to practice their discussion and argument strategies. With older students, a next step might be to take the debate public using Virtual Debate, reviewed here, which has online examples and resources for conducting virtual debates, or ProConIt, reviewed here, where you create a debate or ask specific questions of a group or the entire web.

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Amazing Things Happen! An Introduction to Autism - amazingthingshappen.tv

Grades
K to 12
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This 5 minute YouTube video provides a simple explanation of autism created for parents and teachers to share with students. Simple animations demonstrate how the brains of autistic...more
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This 5 minute YouTube video provides a simple explanation of autism created for parents and teachers to share with students. Simple animations demonstrate how the brains of autistic persons receive information differently. The video also offers simple tips for supporting those with autism. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): autism (19), brain (73), disabilities (21)

In the Classroom

Share this short video with your class as part of any discussions on autism. Stop the video at different points along the way to discuss the information and develop knowledge of how to understand and work with autistic students. Consider giving all students a chance to voice their opinions (even the shy and quiet ones) by using a tool like Backchannel Chat, reviewed here. Backchannel Chat is an easy tool to manage if you are starting the process of integrating technology into your classroom. If you and your students are more advanced with technology, you may want to use a tool such as Vibby, reviewed here, where you AND your students can annotate, highlight, and ask questions or make observations about the content of the video. This video is also perfect for use during staff meetings as an introduction to considering tools and guidelines for working with autistic students. Include a link to this video on your class webpage to share with parents.

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ChatterHigh - Lee Taal

Grades
9 to 12
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ChatterHigh is a tool designed for high school students to investigate and discover career and college opportunities. Each day students participate in a 10 minute quiz activity with...more
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ChatterHigh is a tool designed for high school students to investigate and discover career and college opportunities. Each day students participate in a 10 minute quiz activity with links to learning about different career programs. Students earn points through quiz answers to enter prize drawings.

tag(s): careers (140), college (48)

In the Classroom

Include ChatterHigh as part of any career exploration opportunity for students. This site was created in Canada, so many quizzes relate to Canadian sites; however, the information may be useful for many career searches. Use the information found on quizzes as the basis for students creating their own questions for career and college searches. After researching information, have students make a multimedia presentation to discuss with their peers what they discovered about a career path they may want to take. Use LiveSlides, reviewed here, if you are starting the process of integrating technology into your classroom. LiveSlides is an easy tool to manage if you are familiar with PowerPoint or Keynote. If you and your students are more advanced with technology, you may want to use a tool such as Canva, reviewed here, for students to create a custom poster, presentation, or flyer for the career path they are interested in pursuing.

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The Art of Storytelling - Pixar/Khan Academy

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn the Art of Storytelling from the experts at Pixar. Lessons include several videos discussing how to bring interest and emotion to stories. Interspersed activities guide participants...more
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Learn the Art of Storytelling from the experts at Pixar. Lessons include several videos discussing how to bring interest and emotion to stories. Interspersed activities guide participants to discover what makes them relate to stories and movies. The final portion of the unit includes storytelling advice from Pixar artists sharing their stories of encouragement from early mentors. Stay tuned for upcoming lessons to be added sharing advice on developing characters in your stories. The 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): creative writing (170), descriptive writing (44), movies (72), writers workshop (34), writing (367)

In the Classroom

This site is a perfect addition to any creative writing class or any teachers who would like to have students create a digital story as a project. Share videos on your interactive whiteboard to watch together, or embed onto your class website for students to view on their own. Take advantage of the activities to help students identify what makes them connect to their favorite movies. Have students or groups collect ideas and findings. With younger or less technically experienced students, use an online tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, for the collection of ideas. The Padlet application creates free online bulletin boards. With older or more technically experienced students, use a tool such as Voxer, reviewed here, for students to discuss what they learned. Voxer is a combination of instant voice and text messages. You can also text images.

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Children and Youth in History - Center for History and New Media

Grades
9 to 12
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Learn about children and youth in history through primary sources, case studies, and teaching modules available from this extensive site. As you begin your exploration of primary sources...more
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Learn about children and youth in history through primary sources, case studies, and teaching modules available from this extensive site. As you begin your exploration of primary sources by world regions take the time to read the introductory essay that includes strategies for using these items successfully. Be sure to take advantage of the well-developed teaching modules including lesson plans, teaching strategies, and more.

tag(s): africa (175), china (67), england (56), japan (61), slavery (72), south america (38)

In the Classroom

Save time with the ready-to-go, free resources found on this site during your studies of geography and cultures. Compare and contrast life in your area to those around the world. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, as they learn about children around the world. Students can add text, images, and location stops!

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Choose 2 Matter - Choose2Matter Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Choose2Matter invites people to discover that what they do matters and to take action on their dreams and passions. Download the free ebook Genius Matters: A Framework For Epic Transformation....more
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Choose2Matter invites people to discover that what they do matters and to take action on their dreams and passions. Download the free ebook Genius Matters: A Framework For Epic Transformation. Find the First 20 Days as a guide to students becoming mentors and role models in their community. See the Manifesto challenging students to acknowledge and use the gifts and strengths within them.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (60), differentiation (49), mentoring (12), professional development (158)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as an example of how they can learn to take power over their lives and recognize their strengths. After reading and discussing the manifesto, have students upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles with their personal manifesto using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. Genius Matters has two lessons that feature Thrively, which helps students discover and explore their passion. See the TeachersFirst review of Thrively, here.

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CurriConnects Booklist: Taking Care of Me - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of books is all about getting students healthy! Read books about healthy habits and personal wellness. This collection of mostly fiction offerings includes books about...more
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This collection of books is all about getting students healthy! Read books about healthy habits and personal wellness. This collection of mostly fiction offerings includes books about eating healthy, staying healthy, fitness, wellness, and healthy approaches to sports. This list is especially deep in offerings for upper elementary and middle school students. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (133), cooking (35), dental health (23), fitness (51), independent reading (129), nutrition (159), sports (98)

In the Classroom

This collection could accompany a unit in health, science, or physical education. These books provide experience with both fiction and nonfiction informational texts. They often require students to draw inferences about the "facts." Allow students (or partners) to choose their own book. Share this list with your school library/media specialist or public library, as well, for them to "pull" books in support of your science/social studies units. Extend the experience by having students create visual presentations of the concepts they learn. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here, or Zoho Show, (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here.

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Kids Are Heroes - Kids Are Heroes, Inc

Grades
K to 6
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Kids Are Heroes showcases kids who are making a difference through volunteerism and giving. Read stories about each of these kids from the Heroes tab on the top menu bar. ...more
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Kids Are Heroes showcases kids who are making a difference through volunteerism and giving. Read stories about each of these kids from the Heroes tab on the top menu bar. From that tab you can also read about Hero Schools and nominate both. Scroll through or search for kids from specific countries or states. Read about how they are helping people, animals, or the planet. Parents and teachers can nominate a student or school as a hero.

tag(s): guided reading (45), heroes (24), service projects (28)

In the Classroom

Share stories from Kids Are Heroes with your students as examples of how kids can make a difference. Print and use stories for guided reading instruction. Use stories as a model and have students write about their own heroic activities. Plan a whole-class or whole-school service project. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Photocat, reviewed here, to tell their story.

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A Mighty Girl - Carolyn Danckaert and Aaron Smith

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for materials portraying strong females? If so, this site is a great resource to find books, movies, toys, and music that portray strong, confident, female characters....more
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Are you looking for materials portraying strong females? If so, this site is a great resource to find books, movies, toys, and music that portray strong, confident, female characters. Choose from the "best of" lists to find top Asian Pacific or Latino mighty girls among other specific categories. Filter books by categories such as age, award winners, social issues, and language. Many picture books are also featured, making this a site even the youngest students can use. Visit the Character Collection link to learn about various famous females and books available about each character. Be aware: much of this site features items for sale. You may want to use this site solely for finding topic ideas, strong/famous women for research and sharing, and literature to locate in your local library.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biographies (91), book lists (133), cross cultural understanding (120), literature (275), women (92), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Choose from books included on this site for classroom use portraying strong female role models. Share with parents through your website for use at home when choosing books, movies, and toys. After reading two books, compare characters using an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here

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Gifts of Character Readalouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This readaloud collection is part of theHelp I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection...more
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This readaloud collection is part of theHelp I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of books and activities was created by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. The list of books to read aloud and accompanying activities center on the character traits we typically associate with the holiday season and try to instill: generosity, benevolence, philanthropy, compassion, service, and kindness. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): christmas (65), holidays (151), independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites to bring out in late November, just in time for the holiday season. Or include it during a character education unit. Maybe invite some parents to volunteer as readers, modeling how adults give of their own time to support others.

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Do Something.org - Do Something.org Team

Grades
7 to 12
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Do Something.org is one of the largest organizations in the United States that helps young people take action to promote causes they care about and motivates them with realistic,...more
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Do Something.org is one of the largest organizations in the United States that helps young people take action to promote causes they care about and motivates them with realistic, creative inspiration to create a culture of volunteerism. By tapping into the web, television, mobile devices, and popular media, DoSomething.org empowers and celebrates today's youth as the "Do Something" generation: teenagers who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action. Explore this site for ideas for starting your own project and browse the many causes and volunteer opportunities already in your own area and beyond. Help students discover ways to make a difference. The rules are simple: No Money, No Car, and No Adults permitted for putting your plans into action.

There are suggestions, resources, and support to empower young people and give them the energy to take action and make a difference. Whether their passion is to feed the homeless, end bullying, help even the playing field of educational inequalities, or many more needy causes, this website is chock full of easy to access information and strategies that encourage teenagers to decide for themselves how they can contribute their time and desire to make a difference.

tag(s): service projects (28)

In the Classroom

Do you believe that kids can change the world? What are you doing about that? If you have been thinking about involving your class in some type of community service, but need some direction, DoSomething.org is a phenomenal place to "shop" around for ideas. Perhaps you may want to start by showing the film, Pay It Forward, or with a writing prompt, "If you were given time in school to come up with one idea that could be put into action right now by people your age that would make this school or this community a better place, what would it be and how would you put your plan into action?" Have students share ideas in small groups, then introduce them to DoSomething.org by projecting it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, viewing some of the short videos, and using the power of the internet to empower them to act now. Challenge students to collect Internet resources for their cause using Wakelet, reviewed here, where they can add a cover image, background, and chose the layout they prefer. Next, have your students create an interactive simple infographic using Piktochart, reviewed here, to explain their ideas about their cause and how they would put their plan into action. Club advisers, school counselors, and teachers of gifted can use the empowering resources of this site to inspire students to ACT.
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National Parent and Teacher Association

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K to 12
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National Parent and Teacher Association(PTA) is the oldest and largest volunteer association in the United States working exclusively on behalf of children and youth. Members include...more
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National Parent and Teacher Association(PTA) is the oldest and largest volunteer association in the United States working exclusively on behalf of children and youth. Members include parents, teachers, students, and other child advocates. At this site find a PTA near you, the PTA Fundraising Marketplace, News & Events, and a blog.

In the Classroom

The PTA holds a Reflections contest, with a theme, each year. Students can write essays, or create art and music. There are several categories for possible student products to submit. The search is on for a future National PTA Reflections theme! One theme will be chosen on February 1, 2018 to inspire creativity for the 2019-2020 PTA Reflections program theme. The winner will receive $100 and recognition at the Annual National PTA Convention. Visit your state's Reflections program page for an entry form and deadline.

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