Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you are looking for a clearinghouse that offers free inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, this ever-evolving site is perfect for engaging your students with digital videos of the global issues facing our world today. Use your projector or interactive whiteboard to project videos. Watch your students' enthusiastic reactions in science, social studies, or English classrooms as they view a TED video and then follow-up with a debate on the future or the impact of technology on society, or use them as a springboard for interesting writing prompts or to spark a discussion connected with a unit of study. Challenge students to do a compare/contrast activity using an online Venn Diagram tool (reviewed here). Most of the videos are less than twenty minutes, which makes it real doable to embed in a one-period class lesson.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTransform your classroom into a community of poets and dreamers and even choose to participate in a global project by writing and sharing poems with students around the world. Share this site during Poetry Month. You'll love seeing the pride in students as they engage in reading, writing, creating, and sharing poetry that reflects their hopes and dreams for today and the future. Introduce the extensive photos, videos, and other resources on a projector or an interactive whiteboard. There are "quick links" to an abundance of resources. The outcomes can range from poetry reading and writing to integrating music, theater, videotaping, or social networking (be sure to check with your school's policies). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. This can be done in a sixty minute lesson or expanded to a year long theme. It's your choice!
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomThis site would be great to include with a community or neighbors unit - share classroom news by posting to the site. Choose weekly classroom reporters to interview students or teachers and come up with weekly headline. Video your reporters and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
Grades2 to 6
In the ClassroomMinyanLand would be great as a year-long project. Students can visit MinyanLand throughout the year in the classroom (and at home) to learn about money, investing, spending, earning, and the economy. It is a natural fit in the math classroom where students are already working with money and numbers. MinyanLand would be best in a lab or laptop cart setting where each student has access to a computer. If you don't have a lab for students, use classroom computers as a learning center. Students can take turns at the center throughout the week to interact in MinyanLand. Tips: Even if you don't want to use the virtual money in class, consider letting parents know about the opportunity to tie household chores to learning. Students can play in class and earn virtual money at home.
GradesK to 7
tag(s): alphabet (86), animals (320), animation (63), clip art (9), colors (80), comics and cartoons (65), cooking (31), crafts (39), creative writing (165), cross cultural understanding (124), cultures (109), dance (27), dinosaurs (55), disabilities (20), diseases (73), drawing (79), fitness (50), flags (22), folktales (55), geometric shapes (173), grammar (212), homework (41), insects (72), journalism (53), measurement (174), museums (53), mysteries (22), numbers (198), nutrition (159), oceans (165), operations (123), origami (15), painting (66), photography (158), poetry (218), psychology (66), rainforests (21), religions (68), search engines (62), seasons (37), sign language (8), social networking (112), spelling (169), sports (99), trivia (18), vocabulary (321), weather (204)
In the ClassroomHelp students learn about narrowing and refining research by demonstrating this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. As you start a project, take the time to SHOW how to use this tool to save time and find appropriate resources. Allow students to explore this site on their own finding relevant information from the various topics. If time permits, have students research a specific topic and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter to help parents learn about Internet safety. Use the videos to help students learn how to be safe online. Share the videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use the information to run a parent information night.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomIf there was anything that Dr. Seuss wanted us to learn in his later years that you won't find in Oh, the Places You'll Go, you'll not only discover just about everything else here, you will also find out how to do it. Compare the works of Seuss and Silverstein by having students work in groups to prepare critical thinking questions about issues of friendship or making wise choices, exploring the relationship between sound and spelling using onomatopoeia in a standards-based lesson from Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You?, reading Trees for Many Reasons to examine the importance of conserving natural resources, or introducing One Fish, Two Fish as a way to demonstrate Venn Diagrams with Teachersfirst Venn Diagram tool (reviewed here), you'll add humor that will liven up instruction. Permission is granted to link to any educational site, so feel free to post your favorite Seuss games and activities on your class page.
Grades2 to 5
If you want a Spanish or Arabic version, simply click on the link right from the home page. The creators of this website worked in partnership with The University of Illinois Extension and the National Center for Conflict Resolution Education.
In the ClassroomStart by clicking on the Teacher's Guide to explore the introduction, activities, and resources. Caution: Do not start by clicking on the link Click here to begin. This takes you to a video that you may choose to use later, but is appropriate for third grade level. Use the materials in their ready-to-go format or adapt them to meet your objectives. Many of the activities may be started as a whole class lesson by displaying them on the whiteboard and then follow through by having students working in groups and sharing their results. This is an excellent opportunity to group students together who do not usually choose to work with each other. Therefore, it might set the stage at the beginning of the school year for setting up cooperative groups.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this site on your class web page for parents as a reference to help them deal with technology issues at home. If you do not have a web-page consider sending a newsletter home. If you are doing an Internet safety lesson with your class, parents can reinforce the lesson at home with information and ideas from NetFamilyNews. Have students make a poster with rules that help them stay safe when using technology such as the Internet and cell phones. Students can take this poster home, share it with parents and add rules for use at home. The poster can be displayed by the computer or in students' bedrooms.
Grades1 to 8
In the ClassroomShare these stories during an anti-bullying lesson. Talk about how you would feel if you stuttered or were bullied for another reason. Make a list of ways to react to bullies. Encourage students to add their own experiences to this site, if appropriate permissible under school policies (check with your administrator). Get parent permission before posting any student work on this sharing site.
GradesK to 8
Please be aware that ClassDojo falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use ClassDojo with their child.
In the ClassroomConsider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participation, helping others, creativity, hard work, or create your own categories. Using ClassDojo for group behaviors will give immediate feedback to students if projected on your whiteboard or your projector. Use this tool to help your unfocused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Use ClassDojo to offer both negative and positive feedback to parents and students.
Are you a regular education teacher with special education students mainstreamed into your classroom? Use Class Dojo to privately keep track of student behaviors and send a report to special education teachers or parents. This could be invaluable to a life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP/GIEP. Alternative ed programs may find this tool very useful, as well, even up through high school.
GradesK to 8
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomHave students try out this site with headphones on individual computers. Turn up your speakers and share this on your projector or interactive whiteboard as a listening activity. Use this site as extra listening practice for ELL/ESL students or any class. Create some reading/listening comprehension questions for students. Or better yet, have cooperative learning groups listen to DIFFERENT short stories and create 3-4 comprehension questions. Then have students rotate stories and try out the comprehension questions created by their classmates. Since nearly all stories are audio only, this site is excellent for listening practice. If you have print versions of these classics, be sure to have them handy at a listening center for beginning readers to follow along.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): letter writing (19)
In the ClassroomWhat a nice way to teach letter writing! Teach your students how to write a friendly letter for an authentic audience. Have them put their final copy on Thanks for Teaching Us. In lower grades, work together to write letters to "community helpers" in your school. What about that favorite coach? The custodian who got the ball off the roof? The lunch lady who gave your student a lunch even though his/her account had no funds? The principal? Counselors? Avoid having students identify themselves on the Internet. Use first names only with parent permission.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomMark 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.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site with students and have students choose an article to read, summarize, or expand upon. After reading articles on the site, have students choose a current topic that interests them and have them write an article as practice of informational writing. In science or social studies, study the newspaper format as students write articles reporting on scientific discoveries or famous people. Use the format of this newsletter as a resource for creating and publishing your own classroom newsletter online. During newspapers in education month, use this site to findaccessible articles for any age. Create a newspaper using a site such as Zinepal (reviewed here). Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site when you are teaching budgeting or learning about poverty in America. Business classes or courses on "life in the real world" will benefit from trying the entire simulation. Challenge students to work this site individually and keep notes of the choices/consequences they discovered on their path. Have them write blog entries based on their experiences. If individual computers aren't available, share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create online "how to" books on surviving the challenges learned about on the website using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Great game! The students at our alternative school LOVED it!Nonya, NC, Grades: 9 - 12
Superb site. I use this a lot!, OH, Grades: 10 - 12
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomRead about positive behavior interventions and use this site as a resource for implementing the practices that you are comfortable with. If nothing else, try some of the "100 free ways to reward children." These simple ideas can mean a lot to your students. Check out the list of Character Education books. Educate yourself using some of the special education information available here. Be sure to share useful ideas with parents by sharing this link on you class web page or i newsletters. You may want to suggest specific ideas to individual parents at conferences.
GradesK to 4
Choose books several ways: latest additions, popular books, classics, or by clicking on keyword tags at the right side. Creating an account isn't necessary, but it does provide the option of saving books to your library. You can also choose the campaign to receive book donations from their account. What an excellent way to give without spending a penny!
In the ClassroomUse this site on your interactive whiteboard as you read aloud for students to follow along; stop occasionally and allow students to read portions of the book. With younger students, share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, and read the story to the class. Use this site as a resource for additional reading materials in the classroom by creating a link on classroom computers. Encourage students to read books and enjoy giving books to others in need. Set a goal for books to read using the site as a way of developing a sense of giving back to the community. Share this link on your class website for families to learn how to "read and give." Maybe even set a year long goal for a donated book total for your class.
Grades1 to 12
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