TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 21, 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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Mr. Moore's Classroom - Matt Moore

Grades
9 to 12
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Mr. Moore's Classroom shares resources used in his social studies courses which include AP US History, Debate, and World History. Each content area includes a course syllabus, learning...more
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Mr. Moore's Classroom shares resources used in his social studies courses which include AP US History, Debate, and World History. Each content area includes a course syllabus, learning calendars, and information by unit. Some sections include more information and activities than others. Choose the Presentations link to find links to videos, Prezi presentations, and interactive games and simulations. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): 1700s (29), 1800s (48), 1900s (37), 20th century (53), advanced placement (23), american revolution (89), aztecs (9), civil rights (122), civil war (145), debate (44), industrial revolution (25), industrialization (14), speech (94), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save Mr. Moore's Classroom as a supplement to your current social studies teaching materials. Find new ideas for Debate Team. Take advantage of the free materials and planning information offered on this site. Share this site with colleagues.

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Promptuarium - Joanne Shepherd

Grades
6 to 12
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Promptuarium is the creator's "little stockroom of goodies" for writers. Find resources in categories of writing, dialogue, picture prompts, and a character bank. Narrow down selections...more
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Promptuarium is the creator's "little stockroom of goodies" for writers. Find resources in categories of writing, dialogue, picture prompts, and a character bank. Narrow down selections by scrolling down the page and using the Categories links on the right to find ideas for different genres such as fantasy and science fiction.

tag(s): creative writing (171), descriptive writing (44), writers workshop (34), writing prompts (95)

In the Classroom

English/writing, social studies, and current events teachers are sure to find something here for their students to write about. Introduce a few of the prompts using an interactive whiteboard or projector to get students interested. You could also use one prompt a day as an opener or closer quick write. Another idea would be to have students respond on a class blog to the prompts and then make comments on each other's opinions. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

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Make to Learn - Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE)

Grades
6 to 12
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Make to Learn offers an online space for designing, discussing, and learning about digital fabrication (using a digital design to create a physical object). Watch the short intro video...more
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Make to Learn offers an online space for designing, discussing, and learning about digital fabrication (using a digital design to create a physical object). Watch the short intro video for a succinct explanation for what exactly digital fabrication is. Choose from different tabs to explore the different components of the site: Discuss, Learn, Tools, and Design. Although the site only has a few lessons and resources, it provides a starting point for learning about digital fabrication. Some of the lesson videos are 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): computers (92), creativity (119), design (83)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the site for students interested in design and computers. If your school has an after-hours computer club, share this site with their leader as a resource for ideas. You may be interested in writing a grant to buy any equipment needed for digital formatting. See GetEdFunding, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Pixar in a Box - Khan Academy and Pixar

Grades
4 to 12
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Pixar and Khan Academy team up to offer an interesting series of learning tutorials demonstrating math, science, and engineering concepts faced by animators as part of the animated...more
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Pixar and Khan Academy team up to offer an interesting series of learning tutorials demonstrating math, science, and engineering concepts faced by animators as part of the animated film-making process. Examples include the use of digital pixel painting using algebra and creating blades of grass in Brave with parabolic arcs. View a short video explanation of the program, then choose from the learner's or educator's guides for specific details on each activity. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animation (65), creativity (119), movies (72), STEM (153)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class webpage for students to access both in and out of class. Share the opening video for lessons, then allow students to explore and complete the videos at their own pace. Use this site for enrichment with your gifted students or students interested in art and filmmaking. Challenge students to use concepts presented in the Pixar in a Box tutorials to create their own animated films.

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The Walters Art Museum - The Walters Art Museum

Grades
K to 12
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The Walters Art Museum opened in 1934 in Maryland. This site has information about the museum, its founders, the long history, and more. Take a deeper dive by looking at ...more
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The Walters Art Museum opened in 1934 in Maryland. This site has information about the museum, its founders, the long history, and more. Take a deeper dive by looking at exhibits and the pieces of art found there. Use the educators section to find lesson plans and resources, or take advantage of the potential for video conferencing with museum educators. Utilize the section for Integrating the Arts to teach cross-curricular lessons in any of the core subject areas. Find the integration lessons categorized by ancient civilizations such as China or Islam. Also check out the Teacher Resources area for quite a few lesson plans that include different topics such as Ancient Storytelling, Egyptian Symbols, Coat of Arms, Warhol Stained Glass, The Nutcracker, Mapping the Past - Mapping the Present, and many more.

tag(s): art history (72), artists (76), museums (50)

In the Classroom

Use the Integrating the Arts sections to find printable lesson plans to create cross-curricular lessons. The lesson plans include objectives, multiple activities, examples, and a wrap-up. Students can then use the site to find other pieces of art that demonstrate or support the same concept.

Connect middle and high school students to the museum through one of the prescheduled video conference calls to learn about specific topics. Be sure to prepare students for the conference call, and encourage students to participate with comments and questions to enhance the learning experience. After the conference, have students navigate through the pieces of art on the site that relate to the topic from the video conference.

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Sembly - Sembly

Grades
6 to 12
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Sembly is an online classroom management tool. Sign up as a teacher or student to begin. The teacher version allows you to create and add classes. After adding students, they ...more
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Sembly is an online classroom management tool. Sign up as a teacher or student to begin. The teacher version allows you to create and add classes. After adding students, they receive a class code allowing them to enter the class. Create assignments with deadlines for students from your dashboard. The assignment option also provides the opportunity for collaboration and interaction between students and teachers. Upload files from your computer, Google Drive, DropBox, and Evernote to add to assignments or share with your class. Sembly is available online and for mobile devices with browser access.

tag(s): classroom management (150), organizational skills (128)

In the Classroom

Use Sembly to manage and organize any classroom. Maintain a classroom calendar so students can easily find due dates and deadlines for homework and projects. Reminder notices will be automatically generated. Share information with parents to keep them up to date. Use the discussion feature as a resource for keeping students involved over long holidays or on a snow day. Sembly is an interactive and collaborative program. Challenge literature circles to complete write ups, discussions, and final presentations about the book they read using Sembly. Lab partners can present their findings, and math students can demonstrate how they solved a problem.

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Crossword Labs - Matt Johnson

Grades
2 to 8
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Create a simple crossword and save it online. Give your crossword a title, see an example of how to set it up, and get started. Once finished create a passcode ...more
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Create a simple crossword and save it online. Give your crossword a title, see an example of how to set it up, and get started. Once finished create a passcode (write it down to remember it) and click Generate. The next screen will allow you to edit, regenerate, or save. Once saved you can create a Word or PDF document or share using one of many social networks. Be sure to copy the URL and save it with your passcode. There is no registration involved.

tag(s): crosswords (18), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to create crosswords to review any topic. Help students study new vocabulary by providing the definition and challenging students to write the correct word. Create sight word crosswords for younger students. Crossword Labs is an excellent review tool for science or social studies. Put a short description of an event or famous person and students write in the name of the event or person as the answer. Encourage students to create crosswords for each other as a review or as a follow up for the audience after an oral presentation. Learning support teachers can create them together with students as an engaging way to review. World language teachers (and students) can create crosswords to reinforce vocabulary.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Knewton - Jose Ferreira

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover a powerful, adaptive, personalized learning program in Knewton. Knewton delivers video or written content to students in math, science, or English and then asks multiple-choice...more
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Discover a powerful, adaptive, personalized learning program in Knewton. Knewton delivers video or written content to students in math, science, or English and then asks multiple-choice questions. The next selections are based on the student's responses and those of similar students. Knewton figures out what each student knows and how each student learns best. So the more the student uses Knewton, the more Knewton learns about the right speed and sequencing to serve up the content. The material is for grades 6 - 12 in Math, grades 4 - 6 in English Language Arts, grades 9 - 11 in Biology, and soon Knewton will have materials for History. At the time of this review, the FAQ also stated that you will soon be able to upload your own content. Sign up is with email or a Gmail account and easy for both students and teachers. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): adaptations (17), differentiation (49), tutorials (48)

In the Classroom

Introduce Knewton on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can sign up using the URL for your Knewton class, or by you putting in either their email, Knewton username, or account information. There is a very detailed FAQ section where you can learn all about the teacher dashboard and monitoring student progress. You could use this tool as a daily bell ringer assignment or at a center. You could also assign this for homework. Once students finish the selection, the tool will present another to work on right away. You may want to specify how many selections you want the students to complete on Knewton in each class session. Knewton will allow you to continue in the same area the next time you sign in. Working on these assignments through the year will improve your students' skills and literacy in Math, English, and Biology. Remember, History will be added soon. Post the link to Knewton on your class web page for students to use at home.

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Sketch Nation Create - Nitzan Wilnai

Grades
2 to 12
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Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the ...more
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Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the app of choice and then click settings and register. Once registered (no email required) select Create, the Genre, and your choice of Simple, Advanced, or Expert Modes. Choose to draw or import pictures to use for the background, characters, objects, and scenery. Make simple games while learning a little about programming and game design. Click the Getting Started tab to register. Look at the many examples and ideas under Education.

tag(s): coding (52), computers (92), critical thinking (112), DAT device agnostic tool (170), game based learning (114), gamification (75), logic (239), problem solving (273), STEM (153)

In the Classroom

If you only have a few computers, introduce this tool using a projector or interactive whiteboard and bookmark it as a learning station with earbuds/headphones. Allow students to explore and learn on their own at classroom computer centers or individual laptops. Sketch Nation is an engaging interactive to learn basic coding skills even for younger students. Encourage learning by telling them to ask three other students first before asking the teacher AND that it is okay if we learn it together. Once students get the hang of beginning programming tips, encourage them to make apps, games, or digital stories for other courses such as videos explaining photosynthesis, book readings from authors, famous battles from history, or different genres of music and art. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they plan to do/draw/say with their creation, and to keep tabs on students and their progress. For creating digital storyboards see Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or Storyboard Generator, reviewed here. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too. Sketch Nation Create teaches the basics. Those students who show a keen interest in coding could learn more by using a program such as Anybody Can Learn to Code, reviewed here, Kodable, reviewed here, or Codeacademy, reviewed here.

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