Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to navigate the icons for editing and creating a mindmap. Icons and commands are the same as in any office and free applications that most people use. View the free demo for an introduction of using Wisemapping. Use the demo editor to play with the tools and learn what they do. Note: the demo function does not allow you to save your creation as it is a sandbox area for learning. Allow students an opportunity to learn to play first without teacher direction as each person will find different ways to use wisemapping for their best benefit. Click on a set of words to edit the words, color, font, etc. in the bubble. Drag items easily around the screen by clicking and dragging the icon to drop into a new configuration. Add "icons" and flags anywhere on your mindmap. Add a "note" to a bubble anywhere. The note appears like a little sticky note on the bubble and expands when clicked on. Add a "link" to any of the text on the wisemap that leads to any link on the web you specify. Export as a scalable vector graphic (svg), PDF document, or image file. "Share" to work collaboratively with others. Users must have a login in order to share and publish. Click on the "history" of a wisemap to view the contributions of others.
Assign sections of current curriculum topic to groups of students to map out and explain in detail. Link to outside web pages and pictures and create notes with additional study hints and information. Assign a different group to review information for accuracy and add additional information and explanations. Using this process, a wisemap of a chapter or unit can be created easily and efficiently while benefiting all learners.
There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given topic. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum." Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. Be sure that they RENAME it before they start work to an individual name so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn in.
Grades6 to 12
Without registering, you can download items manually. All you have to do is navigate to a book page, scroll down and click on the name of any episode. Play it on your computer or save it to your hard drive for later. Registering allows Podiobook to build a custom podcast feed just for you. They will customize each feed so that it is updated once a week. You can change that to once a month, or once a day if you need to. Be aware: the titles on the main page (at the time of this review) were not appropriate for elementary students. There is an option "Erotica" in the search options. So be sure to preview what you wish to share AND be certain that students know where they are allowed to search and the consequences for not following the rules. Adults may want to download for the students and offer the files offline. Joining and designing a "feed" of teacher-selected books avoids the complicated issue of monitoring content.
In the ClassroomTeachers and parents need to supervise title selection or do the downloads themselves. Send students directly to the children's or young adult categories to ensure age appropriateness for your students. Find appropriate books for students to use at a listening learning center. Have an actual hard copy of the book; then use this site for your learning support students or weaker readers to help them build fluency, increase their vocabulary and pronunciation of new words. Provide this link ( maybe the link to just the children's section) on your class website for students (and families) to access out of the classroom.
Make a listening center or load the mp3 files on a set of iTouches for student listening. If you choose to register, an email address is required. Rather than using your personal email address (or professional), sign up for a gmail account (FREE).
Grades2 to 7
In the ClassroomProject this story onto an interactive whiteboard or projector for shared reading or have students listen to it in small groups at a computer station. Ask students to explore the "About the Art" tab, and research one of the four artworks featured in the story. Afterwards, have them present their findings to the class. Integrate the study of Art with writing lessons by inviting the class to compose an additional chapter and research page to this story. Let students decide what additional awesome adventures Aaron might have with other pieces of art in the Metropolitan. Let students choose artwork found in their database collection. If you are lucky enough to live within field trip distance to the Metropolitan, have students select a work of art while touring the museum. Consider having students post their stories on Thinglink, (reviewed here), or create a comic strip version of their chapter with Comic Creator, (reviewed here). Include a link to this site and the class stories on your class webpage.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomTake advantage of this free and interactive lesson plan! Just be sure to save it as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on!
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites and provide a link on your class web page to give students access to review and consult expert advice any time it is needed for drafting, revising, and editing essays and other writing assignments. You will want to project a few of the handouts on your classroom whiteboard or projector to make students aware of the offerings, how easy they are to access, and how useful they are to use as a reference. You may even want to print a class set of particular handouts. Be sure to list this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own online "resource" posters dealing with a topic you are studying. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here).
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomHave your ESL/ELL students share their stories here (with permission from parents) when doing a biography writing unit. Have all students search for stories of immigrants whose ethnic background resembles their own. Have each student choose one story to read about and share a quick multimedia project with the class, such as a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here). Use stories from this site as a writing prompt for a poem or essay about an aspect of immigrant life, asking students to put themselves in the immigrant's shoes.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomYou can use this online guide in a variety of ways ranging from simplistic to complex. It can give you project ideas, and you can collect relevant information and images on a variety of related themes, such as persecution and the liberation and aftermath, right from this site. Use this site for research and challenge your students to use a site such as Timeglider, reviewed here, to create and share interactive timelines. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster using Padlet, reviewed here. Students must register to start an online project, which allows them to save all the information they have collected, so that they may come back and continue their work from where they left off. Since your user name is the name that the computer recognizes you by, students can make one up, but teachers should keep a list of the fictitious log in information for future reference.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomPut this link on your classroom blog or newsletter for English learners. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Have students prepare online projects about phrases they learn, using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here). Check with your school policies before having students comment on other blog posts.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): independent reading (130)
In the ClassroomUse this activity both at the beginning and ending of a school year to impress upon the students the importance reading plays in their self-concepts. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce the idea of regular journal keeping. After students complete their writing segment, have them do a media project that reflects their reading "identities."
Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits reviewed here. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). Share the results of their writing and posters at open house nights or --even better- embedded in your class wiki or web page. Ask students to find what other celebrities and authors say about how reading has influenced their lives. Collect quotes from famous people about writers and list them on posters in your classroom.
Grades1 to 8
tag(s): holidays (146)
In the ClassroomUse this site to help ESL/ELL students improve listening, reading, writing, and cultural knowledge. Invite an ESL/ELL student to present a holiday from their home country to the class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Many of the review activities would also work well as reading comprehension practice on interactive whiteboard, especially if students use highlighters and pens to mark up the text passage to locate key terms, etc.
Have students create online holiday posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share this site with families of your ESL/ELL students to learn more about American holidays.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe use of primary sources in teaching has been greatly increased by our digital access to documents like these. Peruse the list of "milestone" documents, and commit to using the photographs on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) when the document comes up in a lesson or discussion. For teachers who are supporting student projects for National History Day, this site also has a link to specific tips, although it appears the site has not been kept up to date with current information on individual competitions. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one of the documents and create a multimedia project of their choice. Looking for some inspiration? How about having groups create a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here). Or have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students narrate a photo of the document (using a FREE and LEGAL photo) using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 7
In the ClassroomThis is a motivating webquest during the cold months of winter. The webquest incorporates literature, science, research, writing and more!
Instead of creating paper posters, make the assignment a little different and have them create online posters for the final product. Try a site like Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Students can create them on classroom computers, and can present them via projector or interactive whiteboard!
Grades3 to 5
tag(s): poetry (221)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of this free lesson plan during a language arts unit on poetry. For a twist on the skit idea, you could also have students complete the almost the same task by creating online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomDivide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them research a specific section and create a brief poster project of what they found. We recommend using a site such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). This site would be a great supplement to any unit on Victorian England, from all aspects of history!
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): book lists (133)
In the ClassroomUse this resource in study of classical languages as well as cultural world history. Add the site URL to your list of top online libraries. In literature class, share this site and have students (or groups of students) explore one of the many works listed at this site. Challenge the groups to create electronic "posters" or word graphics (about their piece of literature) using a tool such as Piclits (reviewed here).
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): statistics (126)
In the ClassroomUsers must be knowledgeable of simple formatting and the various choices available for a survey. Follow the simple online guide to make your survey. View the demo on the main page for more information on how to use Obsurvey.
Consider creating a class account for students to use. Students can turn in a word document of questions to be able to attribute work to students. Be sure to spell out appropriate and inappropriate use, consequences, and then be sure to follow through.
Use a survey or poll to find answers to questions that are simple to collect data on (favorite food, color, vacation spot, number of siblings etc.) Use data to show averages, results of small and large samples, graphing, simple statistics, and more. Find results of what people believe about various issues or ideas to introduce in class discussions or debates. Want student input on a unit or possible next activity? Use a poll to find out! Use as a way to check for prior knowledge at the start of a unit. Polls and surveys are applicable for every subject at the beginning, middle, or end of a unit. Uncover misconceptions from students in your class as well as the school community.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): poetry (221)
In the ClassroomIntroduce your poetry unit by showing this site on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrating the three types of poems created from items known to students. Create poetry from student-created websites for classroom display. Have students create poems from websites then use this site to create poems and compare the different outputs. Choose websites that aren't language arts related such as math, history, or science sites and create poetry from their content. For some interesting, high level discussion, ask students what makes something a "poem" vs. simply a collection of words.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): biographies (91)
In the ClassroomShare this site with students as a resource when writing biographies of famous mathematicians (or women's history.) Share one woman mathematician on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) each day as students arrive in class. Use this site in history class to locate and research famous mathematicians alive during the time period being studied. Challenge students to research one of these famous women and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTo use this site, you will need to create an account. You will need to navigate using onscreen instructions. There is a video tour of the features if you would like to view it, but it is just as fun and easy to play with the tool. Slide themes are limited, but the tools are simple and it is easy to publish to a URL that can be shared with everyone.
Use this tool to create presentations when students will need more than class time to finish. Have students make individual presentations. Instead of presenting on projector, have them share to the class wiki or within their zoho group to promote discussion and peer review. Assign a round-robin peer review so everyone gets some feedback.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project