TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Apr 11, 2021

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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Daily Do Playlists - NSTA (National Science Teaching Association)

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K to 12
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NSTA provides Daily Do Playlists to support educators in guiding students toward understanding scientific ideas through instructional sequences of two or more lessons. Although lessons...more
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NSTA provides Daily Do Playlists to support educators in guiding students toward understanding scientific ideas through instructional sequences of two or more lessons. Although lessons are also supported as stand-alone topics, the goal is to build a "We culture" where students and teachers work together to understand and develop ideas. Lessons include opportunities to engage by making predictions and conducting in-class and at-home experiments. After Daily Do lessons, students are encouraged to make connections to previous activities and explain their thinking. A free account is required to access lessons. If you receive a message that you have exceeded the amount of free content for the month, use the link to download the PDF to view and use any activities. Some of the lessons include a video. If your school blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): animals (268), biomes (124), climate change (69), colors (61), diseases (74), earthquakes (44), planets (118), plants (141), seasons (32), stars (68), STEM (215), temperature (30), water (107)

In the Classroom

Use the lessons found in the Daily Do Playlists to provide valuable science lessons throughout the school year. Download and save the PDF versions to have available for use at any time. Consider saving all lessons for your grade level in Wakelet, reviewed here, to make them easy to locate. As you complete activities, use Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to enhance learning through a variety of activities. Create columns and ask students to sort information by different categories, create an exit activity and have students add sticky notes sharing their learning or add an image and ask students to label different parts of the image. Have students or groups of students share their understanding of science topics by creating digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here. Include students' research reports, have students record videos explaining the science content and add pictures of students as they complete the experiments and activities.

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MIT Full STEAM Ahead - MIT

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3 to 12
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Find free, high-quality STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) resources for all grade levels at this fantastic site! Each week educators from MIT provide thematic...more
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Find free, high-quality STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) resources for all grade levels at this fantastic site! Each week educators from MIT provide thematic grade-level learning "packages" that include video, activities, and challenges in various topics. Content includes inventions, outer space, and music and sounds, among other topics. Many subjects also include activities that don't require Internet access. Additional links provide a curated list of learning games that promote 21st Century skills. All content is created for teaching in online or in-person situations.

tag(s): design (81), diseases (74), earth (178), engineering (108), game based learning (155), inventors and inventions (71), makerspace (33), sounds (46), space (208), STEM (215)

In the Classroom

As students participate in the activities and lessons shared on this site, utilize the many features of Google Documents or Microsoft Word to gather information, and collaborate with peers. Use spreadsheet tools to record findings and create graphs to evaluate the results of experiments. Engage students in the learning process by adding questions and comments to the videos in the learning packages using edpuzzle, reviewed here. Ask students to use Sway, reviewed here, to share the products of their learning activities. Add text, images, videos, and more to create multimedia presentations. Use the learning packages to find activities and resources to incorporate into your current learning units. Be sure to check out the interactives (games) that focus on problem-solving and collaboration skills.
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Hubble Birthday - NASA

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5 to 12
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What image did the Hubble Telescope take on your birthday? Find out and learn about the stars and galaxies as pictured by the telescope. Enter your birth month and date ...more
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What image did the Hubble Telescope take on your birthday? Find out and learn about the stars and galaxies as pictured by the telescope. Enter your birth month and date and submit to view a high-quality image with a short description of the location and discussion of the picture. Select the "More Info" link for a more detailed overview and analysis of the image.

tag(s): planets (118), space (208), stars (68), sun (64)

In the Classroom

Use this site to engage students in learning about space exploration and the universe beyond planet Earth. Share images on your interactive whiteboard or have students explore on their own on their mobile devices. Ask students to use one image as the starting point for a research project based upon your curriculum. Encourage students to keep notes using Google Documents or Microsoft Word. Have students use a photo collage creation tool such as PhotoCollage, reviewed here, to combine images with common characteristics or ask them to use ThingLink, reviewed here, to annotate images to discuss features including the location of the image, add links to additional information, and more. As an extension activity, ask students or groups of students to create digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here, about their research. For example, have groups create books about stars, planets, or the solar system that include images, videos, and student research.

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Genetics - Science Resources - TeachersFirst

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1 to 12
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Find engaging tools related to genetics in this curated list. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites may ...more
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Find engaging tools related to genetics in this curated list. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites may be more challenging reading, while others may offer solid basic information. Be sure to try several sources. Some resources offer lesson plans or activities, while others are basic content sites.

tag(s): dna (49), genetics (72)

In the Classroom

List these tools on your website for students to use for review and preparation for a test. Share the interactive sites on your projector with the class. A few of these are device agnostic and available as both an app and on the web.

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Young Scientist Lab - Discovery Education and 3M

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K to 8
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The Young Scientist Lab features materials for parents, students, and teachers to explore a world of scientific innovation and opportunities. Materials for teachers include lesson plans,...more
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The Young Scientist Lab features materials for parents, students, and teachers to explore a world of scientific innovation and opportunities. Materials for teachers include lesson plans, interactives, and challenge support materials. For students, the site provides activities and features on scientists at work. The Family Activities section consists of several engaging experiments to perform at home for students in grades K-8.

tag(s): careers (132), data (138), forces (36), light (46), magnetism (34), recycling (46), rockets (11), sound (71)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your science lesson resources. As students complete activities ask them to create blogs describing their experiments and results. Webnode, reviewed here, is a simple tool for creating and sharing blogs for all grade levels. Have students share their science experiments through weekly or monthly podcasts using a podcasting tool like Podcast Generator, reviewed here. Don't forget to ask students to include both failures and successes when discussing their experiments!
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Amazing Space - Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach

Grades
3 to 12
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This site shares stunning resources to learn more about the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes. Choose from the many resources sorted by topics including Celestial Lithographs,...more
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This site shares stunning resources to learn more about the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes. Choose from the many resources sorted by topics including Celestial Lithographs, Tonights Sky Video, and more. Other Resources include a Public Lecture Series, NASA's Universe of Learning, The Hubble Heritage Gallery , Blog links, and more

tag(s): gravity (44), measurement (142), solar system (102), space (208), stars (68), statistics (111), STEM (215), telescopes (9)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this site if you teach space science for the many available resources shared with educators. Share the various resources on your whiteboard or with a projector then let students explore on classroom computers or their own device. Include a link to this site on your class website for students to access from home. Use an online portfolio site like Seesaw, reviewed here, for younger students, or about.me, reviewed here, for older students to collect artifacts and share their thoughts throughout your space unit. Extend student learning and ask them to use an augmented reality application like HP Reveal, reviewed here, to create an augmented reality display of different portions of our solar system.
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Galaxy Zoo - Zooniverse

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8 to 12
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Help Hubble Scientists classify hundreds of thousands of images at Galaxy Zoo. Choose Classify to identify characteristics of galaxies, including shape, smoothness, and irregularities....more
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Help Hubble Scientists classify hundreds of thousands of images at Galaxy Zoo. Choose Classify to identify characteristics of galaxies, including shape, smoothness, and irregularities. Click on the Examples link for helpful illustrations when categorizing images. Create a Zooniverse account to enter the Navigator, offering additional tools for gathering and comparing data about galaxies.

tag(s): classification (23), space (208), stars (68), telescopes (9)

In the Classroom

Display Galaxy Zoo on an interactive whiteboard or projector and work together to compare and classify different images of galaxies. Be sure to create a Zooniverse account and save your classification choices. Use the data provided in the Navigator to further explore the data supplied. Have students create a simple infographic displaying different characteristics of galaxies using Easelly, reviewed here. Even if you aren't studying galaxies, this site provides many opportunities for teaching how to classify and compare information.

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SCI- Science Channel - Discovery Communications, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Discover the categories of unusual topics on this Discovery Communications science network, and take a deep look into some of the mysteries of science. Discover the truth behind Engineering...more
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Discover the categories of unusual topics on this Discovery Communications science network, and take a deep look into some of the mysteries of science. Discover the truth behind Engineering Catastrophes (such as Apollo 13 - The Secret Evidence), Shipwreck Secrets, How the Universe Works, and several others. Though you need to sign in to your T.V. subscription for many of the videos, there are also several you can watch without a sign in.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chemicals (44), earth (178), makerspace (33), mysteries (18), oceans (140), planets (118), space (208), video (243)

In the Classroom

Create a list of the videos that can be viewed without a TV Subscription and matches your curriculum. You could then either watch the video(s) in your classroom or share it with students to watch at home in a blended learning or distance learning class. Use edpuzzle, reviewed here, with the videos to enhance learning. Add questions or comments to the videos that encourage students to focus on what you want to emphasize. After watching one of the videos, have your students research further to see if any new information has surfaced. Ask them to report out on a class Padlet, reviewed here.

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CurriConnects Book List - Solar System and Space - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Launch into books about space and space exploration. Delve into black holes, or get to know famous astronomers. This list includes books at all levels from young "astronauts to be"...more
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Launch into books about space and space exploration. Delve into black holes, or get to know famous astronomers. This list includes books at all levels from young "astronauts to be" to high school space scholars. There are books at all interest and reading levels, so every student can reach for the stars. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''''® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): scientists (63), solar system (102), space (208)

In the Classroom

Include this booklist as you count down to a unit on space so each student can do some personal exploration - and sharing with the class during the unit. Reading a book or two independently will help them will build "prior knowledge" and personal connections with the science concepts and give them more experience to bring to class discussions.

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Famous Scientists - famousscientists.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Know your Einstein from your Eddington with this informative site that profiles some of the greatest scientists. Learn about their contributions to science and society and how their...more
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Know your Einstein from your Eddington with this informative site that profiles some of the greatest scientists. Learn about their contributions to science and society and how their discoveries affect us today.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (71), scientists (63)

In the Classroom

The reading level of this site is rather challenging. Have weaker readers work together with stronger ones. While discussing scientists and inventors, use this site as a resource for gathering information. Have small groups of students research scientists from the same time period. Have them research their contributions including reactions of others to their discovery or invention. Research why these inventions were particularly important and the scientific knowledge that changed as a result. Have them present their findings to the class by creating a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark for Education, Zeetings, Animatron, Renderforest, and Beautiful.AI. Then, if you would like to take your students critical thinking up a notch and extend their learning, you could have the small groups compare the different inventions and decide how and why the earlier inventions had to come before a later invention could be developed. For this you might want to have students use a collaborative graphic organizer like Canva Edu, reviewed here, and have them report out their thoughts and discoveries to the class.

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GeneBoy - Dolan DNA Learning Center

Grades
9 to 12
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GeneBoy is the application creator's genetic version of a "GameBoy." It is an interactive science tool of variations that can be made with gene sequencing. To use the site, select ...more
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GeneBoy is the application creator's genetic version of a "GameBoy." It is an interactive science tool of variations that can be made with gene sequencing. To use the site, select a sequence from the left side of the GeneBoy, or use the "your sequence" button to copy and paste your own sequence into the application. To copy the original sequence, press clone on the bottom of the screen. The sequence can then be analyzed or manipulated through the tools on the right.

Need some help navigating this site? Check out the "How To" button to learn how to use Gene Boy.

tag(s): dna (49), genetics (72), sequencing (17)

In the Classroom

This web application would be useful in higher level to advanced biology courses and college level biology courses. The application could be used in the classroom with students working in pairs or independently on laptops. Be sure to demonstrate the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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The Case Files - The Franklin Institute

Grades
4 to 12
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This wonderfully informative website provides numerous "case files" about many famous people from the world of science and technology. There are five major areas including computing,...more
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This wonderfully informative website provides numerous "case files" about many famous people from the world of science and technology. There are five major areas including computing, transportation, cosmic inquiry, energy, and communications. Click the names of the famous people to learn more about their specific inventions and/or contributions to science and technology. The downloadable PDF also includes images of artifacts from each scientist's life: diaries, writings, and more. Numerous famous scientists and inventors are included (Alexander Graham Bell, William Jennings, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Catherine Gibbon, and many others).

tag(s): aviation (32), energy (142), inventors and inventions (71), scientists (63), transportation (33)

In the Classroom

Why not use this website as a resource for "case file" research projects. Assign each student (or groups of students) a different person to investigate. Weaker readers may need a partner with strong reading skills. Then have the students present a multimedia presentation about their "case file." Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark for Education, Zeetings, Animatron, Renderforest, and Beautiful.AI. Or have a day when students actually portray their scientist and interact with others "in character."

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The Gene Scene - American Museum of Natural History

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3 to 8
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The Gene Scene offers a vivid and creative way to explore genetics. The site provides interesting facts, interactive games, activities, and information about DNA, cloning, and more....more
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The Gene Scene offers a vivid and creative way to explore genetics. The site provides interesting facts, interactive games, activities, and information about DNA, cloning, and more. Have you ever been on a global grocery excursion? Students can do this in their cupboards at home or at their local grocery store. Using the Ology questionnaire, plan a genetic journey about curled tongues and wiggly ears.

tag(s): dna (49), genetics (72)

In the Classroom

Assign students to explore a section and complete the genetic journey then use the computers to organize data and graph their D.N.A. findings. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share and compare findings.

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USPTO - United States Patent and Trademark Office - United States Patent and Trademark Office

Grades
3 to 12
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Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to help kids of all ages learn about trademarks and patents, and the importance of intellectual property creation and protection....more
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Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to help kids of all ages learn about trademarks and patents, and the importance of intellectual property creation and protection. USPTO features "collectible" cards of inventor profiles, activities at different levels - including videos with age appropriate appeal, and more. In another video section are videos with titles like Driverless Cars, Bionic Limbs, Biofuels, Electronic Tattoos, and more. The invention and design focus of most of the activities makes for perfect STEM and "maker space" lessons. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): crafts (42), digital citizenship (70), inventors and inventions (71), sound (71), sports (79), STEM (215), video (243)

In the Classroom

Whether an elementary, middle, or high school teacher you'll find ideas for building model rockets, a mechanical grasper, and more. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and start by viewing the video on the home page titled Extraordinary Innovations. Or, in your blended or flipped class have students watch the video at home and enhance their learning by using playposit, reviewed here, to take notes, make comments, or ask questions to document what they learned from the video. Be sure to have a small or whole group discussion about what they learned from the video using their notes & comments the next day! At the end of your lesson or unit on patents and trademarks, transform learning by challenging students to create a timeline for the invention of the snowboard, or motorcycles, or another topic of interest. Why not modify classroom technology and make this an interactive timeline with music, photos, videos, and more using Timeline JS, reviewed here.
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