TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 11, 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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Edore - Andrew Kwan

Grades
3 to 12
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Edore offers Common Core based lessons that connects learning to real life concepts and interests. Sign up to collect and organize lessons, customize materials for your needs, create...more
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Edore offers Common Core based lessons that connects learning to real life concepts and interests. Sign up to collect and organize lessons, customize materials for your needs, create content, and assign activities. Search by grade level or keyword to find activities based on popular movies, T.V. shows, and sports figures. 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): assessment (106), classroom management (149), commoncore (95), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lessons and activities on Edore to motivate reluctant learners through information that interests them. Even if you don't teach using Common Core Standards, activities on the site can be modified to match any curriculum. Use activities on this site as a model for creating lessons featuring pop culture that relates to your students. Assign sets found on Edore to your class as practice and review of concepts taught in class.
 

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Of the People: Art and History of the White House - Discovery Education

Grades
6 to 12
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Go behind the scenes for an in-depth video discussion of the art and history of the White House with White House Curator William Allman. The actual discussion begins after the ...more
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Go behind the scenes for an in-depth video discussion of the art and history of the White House with White House Curator William Allman. The actual discussion begins after the 14-minute mark on the video with an interview led by a high school student. Questions include those submitted by students all over the country.

tag(s): art history (72), presidents (131), video (273), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Before viewing this video, challenge students to brainstorm what a curator's job is and what kind of artifacts they might find in the White House. After viewing, have students create a simple infographic of important White House artifacts sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here. Ask students to curate their own collection of items such as things found in their room at home, a collection of items from your school, or a collection of artifacts from your hometown. Create a book featuring these items using Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.

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WriteReader - Children As Creators - WriteReader

Grades
K to 5
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The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves their reading skills by writing. With WriteReader kids create their own books, including text, pictures,...more
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The scientific research behind WriterReader is that one develops and improves their reading skills by writing. With WriteReader kids create their own books, including text, pictures, and voice recordings. Adults/Teachers have their own space on the page to write comments and make corrections. The interface is so simple even a young child can use it successfully after some adult guidance. Register with email or your Google account and find a downloadable Teachers Guide, a Parent Letter, and a Lesson Plan online to get kids started with WriteReader. Click Add a class and enter students manually, or students can join the class with a class code. Languages available are US English, UK English, Dansk (Danish) and Svenska (Swedish). There is also an introductory video that will help everyone get started. This video resides on YouTube. 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): digital storytelling (155), reading strategies (47), writing (362)

In the Classroom

WriteReader is so simple very young students can use it successfully after a demonstration using a whiteboard or projector. While creating their books students will be able to add images, multiple pages and delete pages, include voice-over, use color on the pages, view one page at a time or the entire book, and toggle between letters' names/sounds or no audio. Use this tool to design simple projects using student drawings to tell the story. At the beginning of the year have students draw and annotate stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Students of any age love to draw, so why not have them draw their impression of what the message to the reader was after hearing a story and then explain it in writing? ESL/ELL students especially will benefit from hearing the letter sounds as they are beginning to write in their new language.

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Labeley - Labeley.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create and design custom labels with Labeley. Choose from shapes, borders, backgrounds, and more to create your image. You need to create an account to save and work with finished ...more
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Create and design custom labels with Labeley. Choose from shapes, borders, backgrounds, and more to create your image. You need to create an account to save and work with finished designs. Once logged in, save your label and use provided links to share through social networking options. Another option for saving while logged in is to right click and save directly to your computer.

tag(s): digital storytelling (155), editing (66), images (276)

In the Classroom

Have students create images in Labeley to add to book reports and multimedia projects. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyrics?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits using 4 Free Photos, reviewed here, from the public domain, or Morguefile, reviewed here, creative images freely contributed without concern about copyright. Of course, proper credit must be given. Create a picture for a character from a story and add text descriptions of character traits. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class.

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Toppsta - Georgina Atwell

Grades
K to 6
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Read, review, and discover the best books for children at Toppsta. Use the keyword search to find books or search for ages up to 12 years old. Each book title ...more
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Read, review, and discover the best books for children at Toppsta. Use the keyword search to find books or search for ages up to 12 years old. Each book title includes a summary along with reviews submitted by site members. Reviews indicate the age of the reviewer and number of reviews. Login to Toppsta to save books to your wishlist or create your own book reviews. This site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): book lists (132), independent reading (130), preK (291), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as a resource for finding books for independent reading. Include a link on your class website or blog for access at home. Present a new book each week to students on your interactive whiteboard or share your wishlist with your school's media center to include with book orders. After reading reviews, have students write or videotape their own book reviews. Have students or groups share their own book suggestions using Dotstorming, reviewed here. Dotstorming creates free online bulletin boards.

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Design Challenge Learning - The Tech Museum of Innovation

Grades
2 to 12
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Design Challenge Learning offers several lesson plans correlated to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards based on STEM concepts. Begin your search by choosing the length...more
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Design Challenge Learning offers several lesson plans correlated to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards based on STEM concepts. Begin your search by choosing the length of lesson from under an hour, one to two hours, or lessons that cover multiple sessions. Another option provides a five-lesson unit on Seismic Engineering. Each lesson includes questioning prompts, vocabulary, and information on core concepts.

tag(s): agriculture (56), architecture (84), commoncore (95), density (21), energy (203), forces (45), friction (13), gravity (50), heart (44), human body (126), magnetism (37), matter (60), motion (61), plants (154), simple machines (37), sound (103)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free lesson plans offered at Design Challenge Learning to teach science concepts. Create a class wiki with additional resources for experimenting with science. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here, and then post them on the wiki or on your class web page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements - Moreno/Lyons Productions & Oregon Public Broadcasting

Grades
8 to 12
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Discover the human story behind the periodic table of elements based on a PBS 3 hour-long series. This site includes links to view each episode in addition to many ...more
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Discover the human story behind the periodic table of elements based on a PBS 3 hour-long series. This site includes links to view each episode in addition to many supplemental materials. Learn about the seven scientists featured in the show and explore the creation of the periodic table through video and images. Also, explore how discoveries about atoms changed the scientific world forever. Be sure to go to the section for teachers featuring a teacher's guide, additional videos, and hands-on classroom activities.

tag(s): atoms (57), biographies (88), matter (60), scientists (70)

In the Classroom

If you teach chemistry, you will want to bookmark this valuable resource. View the videos and explore the site information together or flip your classroom and have students view the videos as an introduction to the material. If full episodes aren't available online in your area, you can still take advantage of the many resources on this site. Be sure to find the video library in the teacher's section with many clips from the original shows. Challenge students to create a Twitter Fictional Account, reviewed here, about one of the scientists featured in this series. Have students create a timeline (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here, to visualize the progression of the discoveries of matter.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Libib - Javod Khalaj

Grades
K to 12
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Do you have a home library of cookbooks or magazines with recipes you want to try? How about a classroom library? Libib is a tool for cataloging books and other ...more
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Do you have a home library of cookbooks or magazines with recipes you want to try? How about a classroom library? Libib is a tool for cataloging books and other media in the cloud. Organize books, movies, music, magazines, and video games using Libib's cloud cataloging features. Catalog your media, then add tags, leave notes, and share with others. Gather opinions about current books and movies. Scan items or search using ISBN numbers to add cover art and other pertinent information automatically.

tag(s): book lists (132), DAT device agnostic tool (170), preK (291)

In the Classroom

Libib is perfect for organizing and cataloging your classroom book collection. Use the tag features to organize your collection by genres, subject, authors, or any way you need. Tag books for specific students or reading levels. Post a link on your web page and share Libib with your students as a way for them to give opinions on current books and movies.

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Glean - Digital Literacy Teaching Tools - The Public Learning Media Laboratory

Grades
6 to 12
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Small but mighty, this site has several lesson plans for the digital classroom. Use, share, and help create digital literacy lesson plans using Google Docs at Glean. Also, use the ...more
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Small but mighty, this site has several lesson plans for the digital classroom. Use, share, and help create digital literacy lesson plans using Google Docs at Glean. Also, use the hashtag #lessonhack on Twitter to follow the development of ideas and the lessons. Use the drop-down menu for Lessons to view plans for Media, Data, Information, Network Literacy, and also find Security and Privacy lessons. Find plans already created that include, To Teach Memes, Teaching Media Making, Terms of Service, and there are several others about the Internet and IPs. One lesson on Safer Sexting states, "This is not intended to condone sexting; rather it is designed to provide young people (at risk through their sexting behavior) with digital literacies and personal practices to mitigate negative impacts of the sexting they've done."

tag(s): computers (92), digital citizenship (63), internet safety (106)

In the Classroom

Computer Literacy teachers and those responsible for teaching Internet safety in any course are sure to find a lesson they need. Take advantage of these free lessons to educate students about the basics of the Internet from safety to reading the terms of service to creating or sharing memes. After these lessons, challenge students to create a simple infographic about what they learned using Piktochart, reviewed here. The lessons and (some of) the descriptions include resources you may want to share with parents and school counselors so they can have a conversation about the topics with their students. Discuss topics on this site as part of Internet safety lessons. Share this site with school counselors as a resource for teens facing online safety issues.

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Google Play Music - Listen Now - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Listen to your favorite music on Google's Play Music. From the landing page choose Today's Biggest Hits, Brand New Music, Working Out, Waking Up Happy, Getting Ready, or Get Personalized...more
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Listen to your favorite music on Google's Play Music. From the landing page choose Today's Biggest Hits, Brand New Music, Working Out, Waking Up Happy, Getting Ready, or Get Personalized Recommendations. Once you use this tool, the landing page will include: Get More Stations, Recent Activity, and Recommended For You. After making a selection, choices will be narrowed down to three, choose one and click the orange arrow to start listening. From this streaming music player, give the song a thumbs up or down. Thumbs down will skip that selection, but you only get to do that seven times in an hour. Using the thumbs up or down helps Google put together a recommended list. The free option offers playlist, artist's channels, on-demand streams, and integration with YouTube. Access Google Play Music via the web and Android or iOS mobile apps.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), lyrics (20), music theory (41), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Play music selections quietly during student work time. Filter distractions by finding instrumentals to play during silent reading time, test taking, lab activities, or any other quiet time during class. This tool would also be perfect for performance groups such as drama clubs or musicals that need background music. Use background music for poetry readings during poetry month. As an introduction to a poetry unit, have the class vote on a song and its lyrics to analyze. Whether studying poetry or not, older students may have an "intriguing" song where they want to figure out its meaning. Try using a tool like Genius, reviewed here, to annotate the lyrics to any song. Also, view crowdsourced knowledge for that song and thousands of others with Genius.

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beamium - Philip Franta

Grades
6 to 12
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Present and share PDF documents directly onto viewer devices with browser capability using beamium as participants follow along in real time. No registration is required; however, registration...more
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Present and share PDF documents directly onto viewer devices with browser capability using beamium as participants follow along in real time. No registration is required; however, registration allows storage of documents for longer than 14 days. After uploading the document, share the unique i.d. for viewers to follow along or email a link to the presentation. Presenter tools include different viewing options, zoom, and a laser pointer.

tag(s): conversions (24), worksheets (61)

In the Classroom

beamium is perfect for use in BYOD classrooms allowing students to follow along with any presentation. If you need to convert documents to PDF, use a site such as Online-Convert, reviewed here. Take advantage of the zoom and laser pointer features to highlight important information during presentations. Create an account and share links to presentations on your class websites for students to access at any time.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tolks - tolks.io

Grades
K to 12
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Tolks is a simple storytelling tool. Create an account using your Facebook or Twitter profile. Choose characters (or upload an image). Don't forget to delete the "dummy images." Next,...more
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Tolks is a simple storytelling tool. Create an account using your Facebook or Twitter profile. Choose characters (or upload an image). Don't forget to delete the "dummy images." Next, add dialogue, by deleting the text in the default box, then preview and edit or save. Simple! Share your Tolk using the URL or links to Facebook or Twitter.

tag(s): digital storytelling (155)

In the Classroom

For younger students, consider creating a class account for Tolks. Have students create Tolks to discuss literature, such as a conversation between characters or descriptions of feelings. Create Tolks to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector as lesson starters or display at the end of a lesson with characters discussing key information from a lesson. Upload images of shapes and have them compare and contrast features. World language students can create simple conversations in the language they are learning, or label pictures for vocabulary. You will find many uses for Tolks in your classroom! Counselors may want to have students create a Tolk to share information that may be difficult to discuss in person. Of course, be very careful not to share private information.

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Epic! For Educators - Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue

Grades
K to 5
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-5. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account...more
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-5. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account to receive personalized recommendations based on reading ability and interests. Students can access books on any device and educators receive feedback including time spent reading, page flips, and books read. Students earn badges and rewards as they reach milestones. Resources include classroom posters, lesson plans, teacher tips, presentations, and letters to parents in PDF format. Find educational videos by Smithsonian, Blue Wonders, Animal Wonders, and Encyclopedia Britannica. Epic! also offers titles in Spanish. Tutorial videos reside on YouTube as do some of the educational videos. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), ebooks (42), independent reading (130), movies (70), reading lists (79), video (273)

In the Classroom

Create your free educator account and share with students as part of your independent reading activities. Adjust reading preferences and profiles as students increase skills or change interest in reading materials. Be sure to share with parents to use at home.

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Art Attack - Disney Junior UK

Grades
K to 5
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The Disney Junior UK series now has its own web site with the same name - Art Attack. There is a significant portion of the site, known as Makes, accessible ...more
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The Disney Junior UK series now has its own web site with the same name - Art Attack. There is a significant portion of the site, known as Makes, accessible for use. The Makes section features directions for making craft projects such as slider puzzles, trophies, and photo-embossing. Just print a PDF from any of these projects to get step-by-step directions. Watching videos from this site in the US (and perhaps other countries) is restricted.

tag(s): crafts (43), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

This tool is perfect if you are using or going into maker education. Use information from this site to create crafts to accompany many classroom activities. Create slider puzzles of animals, geometric shapes, or story characters. Make masks for use with reader's theater productions. Have students make trophies and give to classmates to celebrate accomplishments; the list is endless!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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