TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Apr 15, 2018

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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MakerSpace - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the MakerSpace movement and mindset. Engage your students, challenge their...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the MakerSpace movement and mindset. Engage your students, challenge their minds, teach cooperative learning, and more. There is no right or wrong way to do a MakerSpace. Use the tools provided to find digital options to use in your MakerSpace area. Read the professional information to educate yourself about the mindset of MakerSpace.

tag(s): circuits (23), coding (67), creativity (118), engineering (129), makerspace (11), musical instruments (51), robotics (29), STEM (173)

In the Classroom

Use these resources for your digital MakerSpace. Find tools for all grades. Don't miss the Twitter Chat for teachers just starting a MakerSpace. There are also a few sites that are more information for educators just learning about MakerSpace. Some of these resources are ideal for individual devices.

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Twitter Chat: Ideas for Infusing STEM - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from June 2017. View this archive to learn tips and tools to use when teaching STEM. Learn what STEM means (also referred to as STEAM). ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from June 2017. View this archive to learn tips and tools to use when teaching STEM. Learn what STEM means (also referred to as STEAM). Browse the strategies offered by the chat moderators and participants.

tag(s): professional development (164), STEM (173), twitterchatarchive (37)

In the Classroom

Do you teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)? Check out this archived chat for tools and tips to use in your classroom. Share this tool with your colleagues interested in learning more tips and tools to use in STEM lessons.

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Life of a Can - Novelis and Discovery Education

Grades
3 to 6
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This engaging interactive and classroom program demonstrates the impact of recycling just one can. Students make eco-friendly choices within the interactive to explore Cantown and earn...more
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This engaging interactive and classroom program demonstrates the impact of recycling just one can. Students make eco-friendly choices within the interactive to explore Cantown and earn Green Points for helping to recycle a can. Resources for educators include standards-aligned lessons to download.

tag(s): conservation (128), earth day (105), recycling (60)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans shared on this site for use with Earth Day activities, or recycling and conservation units. Share a link to the interactive on classroom computers or your class website. Ask students to create a concept/mind map to organize the information they are learning. This could be done conventionally or digiatally. Consider using a digital concept mapping tool to replace the paper/pencil version of a concept map with MindMup, reviewed here. Next ask students to create a simple infographic sharing information on recycling using Visme, reviewed here, or create an interactive poster using Adobe Spark, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Stem in 30 - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Grades
5 to 10
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Stem in 30 is an interactive classroom offering 30-minute webcasts for middle school students. Interact with scientists by asking questions, participate in polls, and receive resources...more
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Stem in 30 is an interactive classroom offering 30-minute webcasts for middle school students. Interact with scientists by asking questions, participate in polls, and receive resources for follow-up activities. Don't worry if you can't attend, view the archives of all past presentations to enjoy at your convenience. Previous topics include Moon Rocks!, Time and Navigation, and WW1: How History Shaped Technology. Most archived recordings include correlation to Next Generation Science Standards. 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 ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): earth (224), earth day (105), ecology (138), ecosystems (93), flight (31), mars (41), molecules (44), space (223), STEM (173), world war 1 (55)

In the Classroom

For your blended or flipped classroom, share webinars on your class website for students to view at home and write up a blog entry sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here. Check the site's homepage for upcoming webinars, then participate with your class. Check Twitter to see if your class can follow any of the presenting scientists. If you are lucky enough to live in the Washington, DC area, contact the museum to attend a live taping. After viewing a webinar, have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. Voicethread allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. STEM in 30 is also a great resource for gifted students to get involved with their own challenges and pursuits.

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Robo Boogie - Code Club & Nesta

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a dancing robot and learn code at the same time! Begin by choosing a robot dancer, and then click "Let's Dance!" Edit your robot's dance moves using the toolbars ...more
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Create a dancing robot and learn code at the same time! Begin by choosing a robot dancer, and then click "Let's Dance!" Edit your robot's dance moves using the toolbars to change the head, arm, and hip movements. If you don't like the music, no problem, choose from four different music genres for your robot. Switch to Code Mode to view and change current settings. When finished, save and share your dance.

tag(s): coding (67), computers (102), engineering (129), STEM (173)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Show students how to switch back and forth between Code Mode and toolbars. Ask one student to change a dance move and other students to adjust the code to match the change. After school clubs and activities can use Robo Boogie to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for an interesting challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Kodable - Surfscore, Inc

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K to 4
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Kodable teaches coding to young children through programming logic, sequence, loops, functions, and debugging. Create one free class account for an unlimited number of students with...more
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Kodable teaches coding to young children through programming logic, sequence, loops, functions, and debugging. Create one free class account for an unlimited number of students with twelve weeks of lessons. There are also informal assessment tools built into lessons that allow you to track student mastery. Find lessons with programming curriculum, explanations of key concepts, and Common Core alignment. You can play without an account; however, results are not saved. Kodable can be used on any web browser or an iPad/iOs device.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): coding (67), computers (102), engineering (129), logic (248), problem solving (294), STEM (173)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to experiment while viewing their results. Kodable is great for differentiating for students with different abilities and learning styles. Keep track of student progress through your teacher account and entering student profiles. Set Kodable up as a learning center and have students to work in pairs to complete the challenges.

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Get Caught Engineering - Wendy Goldfein and Cheryl Nelson

Grades
3 to 8
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Get Caught Engineering is an excellent resource for elementary and middle school STEM lessons and experiences. Follow the link to the blog to find many ongoing ideas for incorporating...more
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Get Caught Engineering is an excellent resource for elementary and middle school STEM lessons and experiences. Follow the link to the blog to find many ongoing ideas for incorporating engineering into classrooms, as well as an archive of past articles. Sign up with email to get all blog updates. Choose from several lessons ready to print and use. Many lessons offer quick activities using a minimum of materials, ideal for effortlessly incorporating engineering and STEM activities into any classroom!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): engineering (129), gravity (46), problem solving (294), scientific method (67), simple machines (35), STEM (173)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities to introduce STEM activities into your classroom. Use lesson plans as ideas for starting an Engineering Night program at your school. Have students create an annotated image of projects including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos explaining each step of their process using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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e-learning for kids - Environmental Skills - Dr. Nick van Dam

Grades
K to 6
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e-learning for kids offers a small collection of resources for environmental learning with elementary students. At the time of this review, there were seven detailed lessons on various...more
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e-learning for kids offers a small collection of resources for environmental learning with elementary students. At the time of this review, there were seven detailed lessons on various topics: Global Warming, Energy, Earth's Resources, Homes for Living Things, and others. Choose any lesson to begin and follow prompts to complete each activity. If you receive a message that your computer doesn't meet minimum system requirements, try clicking the image to launch the course anyway. Our editor's computer accessed and completed all activities despite this message.

tag(s): energy (207), environment (325), habitats (106), natural resources (58), resources (107)

In the Classroom

These lessons are perfect for use as mini-lessons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View and discuss activities as a class or create a link to lessons for students to complete on classroom computers. Be sure to provide a link to the site on your class webpage or newsletter for students to use at home. Use lessons on this site as part of your Earth Day activities. Ask students to write blog posts about what they are learning using EasyBlog, reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science NetLinks - AAAS

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K to 12
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Science NetLinks has a large selection of activities, podcasts, videos, and interactives about a variety of science topics. Search by subject or topic. View the latest Science Updates,...more
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Science NetLinks has a large selection of activities, podcasts, videos, and interactives about a variety of science topics. Search by subject or topic. View the latest Science Updates, Today in Science (Astronomy Day, Earth Day, etc.), Afterschool Resources, learn about the Project Budburst app which makes Citizen Scientists out of students, and more. Find recent lessons and view a slideshow of really great resources. Use the Tool tab of the site to find great science tools. View Collections of resources and lessons. Be sure to visit the site often to see different resources and lessons showcased. 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 ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (322), cells (99), earth (224), environment (325), gravity (46), human body (132), medicine (70), motion (69), planets (128), plants (174), sports (99)

In the Classroom

This entire site is a great "go to" place for podcasts, interactives, activities, and more about a vast variety of science topics! Use ideas here for great lessons. Find content that students will no doubt be interested in! Be sure to place this link on your website or class computer for easy access by students. Use many of these topics for students to identify science current events. Challenge students to keep a daily or weekly journal using a blog tool and sharing their learning and understanding. Use Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter linksn and there is no registration required! If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here. If you work with older students encourage them to explore this site for topics that interest them. For the videos, suggest they use a tool like VideoNot.es, reviewed here. With VideoNot.es students can play a video file on the left side of the screen while typing notes in blank note-taking space on the right.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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CurriConnects Booklist: Living Green - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Read all about efforts to live green and do what is good for our environment. The books on this CurriConnects list tell about people who are DOING something more than ...more
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Read all about efforts to live green and do what is good for our environment. The books on this CurriConnects list tell about people who are DOING something more than complain about the environmental damage caused by poor human behavior. Help your students discover ideas to make a difference and contribute to positive change. This list includes books for all grade levels but is especially complete in elementary and middle grades. 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. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (131), environment (325)

In the Classroom

This is a great match during units on the environment, current events, or world issues. As students select and read from this list, they will have many opportunities to interact and find meaning from informational texts. This list is ideal during April for Earth Day or as you study the environment--or even geography and human impact on our planet.

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Learning to Give - Points of Light Institute

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K to 12
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson ...more
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson plans for teachers, parents, and community leaders. Lessons are coded to state standards and can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject, or academic or philanthropy standard. Some lessons are geared toward private or religious schools and are clearly labeled as such. Lessons include subject, key concepts, vocabulary, objectives, materials needed, approximate time, procedures, extensions, handouts, and much more. An example of a grade 3-5 lesson would be Cool Kids Compost which explores responsible use of resources by gathering data about lunchroom waste. Don't let the concept of philanthropy keep you from exploring the site, there are many great classroom lessons available for all subjects.

tag(s): african american (109), animal homes (61), animals (322), charts and graphs (197), colonial america (107), communities (37), data (161), diversity (33), ecology (138), environment (325), heroes (24), money (185), recycling (60)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Piktochart, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Rooclick.

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Earth Day: Editors' Choice Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Earth Day presents a special opportunity to connect classroom curriculum with real-world experience, not only in science but also for lessons in math, language arts, social studies,...more
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Earth Day presents a special opportunity to connect classroom curriculum with real-world experience, not only in science but also for lessons in math, language arts, social studies, art, and more. With so many outstanding resources available on the web related to environmental concerns, TeachersFirst's editorial team has hand-selected this group of "Editors' Choices" for their potential to engage and involve your students in both the understanding of scientific concepts surrounding Earth Day and in environmental activism for any time of the year.

tag(s): earth (224), earth day (105), environment (325)

In the Classroom

Share this list with your students and parents via your class web page not only on Earth Day but throughout the year to heighten awareness of environmental issues. Allow students to team up and select Earth Day projects or choose one effort for your entire school. There are options here for all ages.

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National Environmental Education Week - National Environmental Education Foundation

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4 to 12
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Scroll down the page to...more
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Scroll down the page to find resources and activities for each day of EE Week. Find even more resources under the tabs on the top menu. Educational materials include videos, infographics, and links to more resources that might be of interest. Be sure to subscribe to their monthly newsletter. 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): animals (322), climate change (70), earth (224), earth day (105), ecology (138), environment (325), national parks (21), resources (107), water (134)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan great activities, lessons, and events for students leading up to Earth Day. For example, search the Weather + Climate page for videos and information about water shortages, drought, climate change, and resources. Use the articles and reports to pique student interest, use short videos in the classroom, and find great websites and programs linked from the page. Use these resources not only for a greater understanding of issues but to create awareness campaigns for change in the home, school, or community. Ask students to keep a digital journal sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here.Partner with local groups (conservation or not) to create action plans and events, and provide opportunities for change in the community. Challenge your students to create brochures, magazines, or posters of information learned using Lucidpress, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Earth Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 10
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Earth Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Earth Day vocabulary...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Earth Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Earth Day vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): earth (224), earth day (105), vocabulary (321)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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