Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomThere are so many ways to use this site! After introducing a feature from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, set up a learning station with a computer ready to play one of the phonics games for younger students. Older students can watch a video about how to draw cartoons; there are several from which to pick! Ask your older students to read through the very creative and thorough tutorial for Comics Lab Extreme, and then form small groups of students to create a story of an historic person, an advertisement for a curriculum topic being studied, or demonstrate the meaning of a word using Comics Lab Extreme. Don't miss the many other comic-creation tools from the TeachersFirst collectionfound here.
Grades4 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomYour students need to know about time management skills. Todoist will help you teach them and give them practice. Any student would appreciate having an online time management account, but learning support students and disorganized gifted students need one. You may want to model using this online tool to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector the first week of school to help students set-up their own accounts. Parents may appreciate learning about this site also. Use this site professionally to keep yourself organized! Make a demo account for a mythical student and organize his/hers together so students can see how it works.
What a fabulous organizational tool for teachers and students!Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5
Grades3 to 12
Be aware: some of the ideas suggested in the "Tools" section do require the purchase of various software programs. The free audio stories in the "Storykeepers' Gallery" make this a fabulous site!
In the ClassroomUse your projector to show your students the categories for the different types of digital stories. Each type of story has a description. Once you,'''''''?,"''''''?ve shown your students the stories, have them choose a category and create their own digital story. Many of the tools and programs students will need to learn can be found at (this site) which explains how these programs work. You may want to use Fliggo (reviewed here) to post student's digital stories to the web.
Grades5 to 10
In the ClassroomHow many times have you provided students with directions for writing an outstanding essay, story, or report, and how many times have you provided them with advice to use a writing process approach that includes a checklist for proofreading and revising? Too often they either do not know how to revise, or they simply choose to skip that step. Project this website on your interactive whiteboard or projector to focus on how to write an outstanding piece, whether it is to compare/contrast, to describe, to explain, or another type of written assignment. Have student partners ask each other the questions as they revise together in a writing conference. This site is especially useful when preparing for the writing portion of high stakes assessments. You will find this site helpful before, during, after, or as a review of the writing expectations. Share the link on your class web page for students to apply the revising tips to their own drafts. They'll have no more excuses for handing in an assignment that doesn't have a strong introduction, body paragraphs with specific supporting evidence, and a conclusion that restates the main idea and leaves the reader with something meaningful.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): classroom management (147)
In the ClassroomAdd Post-it notes to your back-to-school supply list and "stick" to this website for ideas that will make teaching and learning fun, motivating, and practical. Maybe even ask for Post-it contributions from home. Find unique ideas for using the repositionable sticky notes for Venn Diagrams and more comparing and contrasting techniques, timelines, story maps, bulletin boards, classroom management, and other sticky ideas.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): independent reading (130)
In the ClassroomTrying to motivate reluctant readers to pick up a book or to require independent reading is not always an easy task. Make the task more glamorous by providing your students the link to Whichbook. Demonstrate the site and invite students to try it on your whiteboard to witness the fun they will have discovering books they want and need. Then, provide a direct link on your class web page or wiki to make it easily available. Technology has built-in appeal; therefore, the idea of using it as a method to choose a book offers an imaginative way for promoting reading. As always, while in the classroom or computer lab, caution should be taken to oversee students' use of the website as it is possible to type in characteristics that may not be appropriate for the grade level. As an extension or book report alternative, challenge students to make their own simple graphics categorizing books they have read using the same system, determining where they would fall on each of the different scales. Have them explain why they would label the book that way. Share the student-made graphics and explanations on your class wiki.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites on your classroom computer and use it as a center. Introduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate games students will use for specific content practice. This is definitely a link to provide on your class website or blog for students to access both in and out of school.
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomSeptember and October are perfect months for baseball fever, with the World Series right around the corner, so why not get on base with The Brooklyn Nine: A Novel in Nine Innings and make a double play by introducing your class to the historical fiction genre. Divide your students into teams of two or three players to complete this WebQuest over the course of several days, using a class set of computers for a "home game" or take them to the computer lab for an "away game." There are many projects to choose from; assign all of them, select just a few, or have different teams be responsible for various activities. One of the tasks involves students creating an information web, using Inspiration software. If your school does not have a license for that software or it is not already downloaded on your school's computers, you can use free web-based alternatives, such as bubble.us reviewed here or one of the many tools available from Teachersfirst toolbox. Even if you do not have time to do the entire WebQuest, the links provide valuable background information for shorter investigations.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this resource to learn about and become acquainted with Google Earth. Google Earth is a free application download.
Find some great resources and project ideas on this technology hints site. Be sure to check the Google Earth review here for other great ideas. Take your students around the world using the fabulous tool. Create narrated tours for students (or have students create their own). The possibilities are immense with Google Earth.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): statistics (123)
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a supplement to resources used in the classroom for learning basic math skills. Use this site in English class as a lesson for citing internet articles. Share the site on your classroom website or blog for students to use as a resource when working at home. Have student groups make an online Stixy (reviewed here) of things they discover about math concepts and later rearrange the items to "explain" their topic to classmates visually.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Put this on classroom computers or on a whiteboard at the side of the classroom for students to use as a center. This game would be great for students preparing to take SATs. Another activity is to have a team competition. Divide your class into three or four groups and give each group a laptop. Have them work together to see how many words they can type. Before you begin be sure that you change the language to English US because it defaults to English Canada/Britain. Have a team tournament for high scores throughout the year. Gifted students -- even very young ones-- will love this challenge.
Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships (if you decide to register). If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomMake sure students are aware of copyright laws. Use this site to encourage proper use of photographs that students have the authorization to use. Model including appropriate photo credits on the posters. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.
Younger students can use this tool together as a whole-class activity or simply enjoy the posters their teacher creates. Have students create a picture about a unit topic with a caption using new terms learned. For example, create posters about predators and prey or classifications of animals. Students can create a poster of a study skill or learning activity that helps them learn. Create a caption that explains how the student learns the best. Every subject area can use this resource to create interesting presentation posters for display or as springboards to talk about what was learned. For example, in Biology, students could create a poster about a cell part with a clever caption about the importance of the job. In Literature or History, students can create posters about the perspectives of others in the story or at that time of history. Rather than a traditional research project, have cooperative learning groups use this site to show their knowledge in any subject area. Ask students to apply concepts such as constitutional rights by illustrating them in poster images with captions. Teachers can create bulletin board images, as well. Have a classroom motivation poster competition to start off the school year! Share the winners on your class wiki or in a PowerPoint presentation at back to school night/open house. As special occasions approach, have students bring in or take a digital picture they can make into a poster as a family gift with their own inspirational saying. Create a portfolio of 6 word stories, utilizing a powerful picture and 6 words to demonstrate the concept that was learned. Assign students the task of placing their project on a blog with a larger explanation of their understanding of the concept used in the picture.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this website as your online destination for teaching, researching, and starting a conversation about the primary people, changes, speeches, and events of the John F. Kennedy era. Do not miss the links at the upper left corner of the home page for the Legacy Gallery, Downloads and Resources, and "History Now" which provides an interactive timeline that links today's date to details of what transpired during JFK's presidency. Highlight the ideals articulated fifty years ago to serve as a springboard for today's students to become actively involved in public service by projecting the authentic broadcast reports, videos, newspaper accounts, and other media on your classroom whiteboard or projector. Team up with colleagues in other departments to engage in interdisciplinary learning projects. You may want to have students collaborate to put a new spin on a research report. Challenge them to create a newspaper article about the domestic affairs, foreign policies and diplomacy, the arts, or any of the other extensive topics found on JFK50 by using the Newspaper Clipping Generator. Polish it off by having students create magazine covers that reflect the content of their articles, essays, or reports by using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomProject any of these beautifully appealing, magical films on your interactive whiteboard or projector when you are doing a whole class unit on folk tales or intersperse them throughout your year-long study of literature. Be sure to turn up speakers. Expose your students to the art of oral storytelling, and have them discover the lesson or moral the story teaches. Some of the tales are accompanied by interactive learning games, which students can do on individual computers or as a whole class. Allow students to explore this site on their own using laptops (don't forget the headsets).
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomSelect from the many attractive, motivating activities that fit your curriculum, and make some of them available on your web page for students to access when in the computer lab. Having a meaningful collection of online activities for students to engage in when finished with their work is a great classroom management tool, especially when using a set of classroom computers. The activities are suitable for individual work and many of them lend themselves to group or whole class assignments that you can project on your whiteboard.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this refreshing, extensive collection of clip art anytime you need an image to project on your whiteboard or to include in an assignment or presentation. Click on any category to reveal numerous photos. Click on the individual picture to see the full image, which you may download to your PC or Mac, label, and print. Directions are simple to follow. Be sure to bookmark this site in your Favorites and provide a link to it on your class web page to make it easily accessible to students. When doing research projects, have students use this site to narrate pictures on their topic using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomWhen older students sign up for an account, be sure to tell them to use their code or acronym instead of their real name. For younger students you can create an account and as many groups as you need. Invite students to the group they will be working with. Older students can sign up for the program and create their own project and invite their group members. Have the students agree on tasks and who will complete them and post it on Wedoist. Use this site to help students organize for individual or collaborative research projects. Take the "time" to actually teach about time management skills, one of the most sought-after skills listed by today's employers.
Grades7 to 12
Be aware: at the time of this review, a few of the links were no longer active. What remains is quite worthwhile, however.
In the ClassroomBe sure to bookmark this website in your favorites for your study of Shakespeare. Post a link to it on your class page to give students access to the literary works at home. Not only will they be able to have an entire copy of Shakespeare's works on hand, they will also be able to click on links for summaries, analysis, and assistance with nearly everything they will need to know about his life and writing. This is a great resource for you and your students to refer to for review, research projects, or just for reading the text, both in and out of your classroom. Are you looking for more Shakespeare sources and ideas? Save yourself plenty of time by visting TeachersFirst Shakespeare Resources reviewed here, where you will find almost everything you are looking for within this rich collection of valuable materials.
GradesK to 12
There is an excellent tutorial for creating your own GoogleTrek that includes step-by-step directions with pictures. After creating a GoogleTrek, it can be posted to the site for others to use. Also included is a rubric that can be downloaded in pdf form. More information on Google Maps can be found at the TeachersFirst review. You can also view the maps in Google Earth. To learn more about Google Earth, see the TeachersFirst review (here).
tag(s): maps (290)
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore independently or in small groups. Older students can create their own GoogleTrek after viewing examples for any subject. To post the GoogleTrek, you must email the creator (directions are explicitly explained on the "Posting Your Own GoogleTrek" link. Have students create GoogleTrek's about Christmas Around the World, routes of explorers, famous landmarks, and important inventions. While presenting a GoogleTrek, have students identify points displayed on paper maps located at their seats.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers need to know how to select and upload a photograph from a computer. Be sure to take advantage of the helpful on-line tutorials. Enjoy spending some time experimenting with the site before introducing it to your class. The on-line gallery takes submissions and lets users view artwork. This is only accessible with a Facebook account. Many schools block Facebook entirely, so check first. Facebook accounts DO require a valid email address. One option is to register for a class Facebook account using a free class gmail account. It is essential that permissible use and consequences are set before introducing the site. Get parent permission before posting any student work on the sharing site. Downloading drawings allows "local control." Without a Facebook account it is possible to view the work of others but not, comment, rate and submit artwork. Preview artwork in the user's gallery before having your class accesses it. Students will also need to know how to cite the original source of a photograph. Psykopaint is a wonderful alternative to hand drawn pictures. Students can liven up reports, stories, websites, and podcasts with manipulated photographs. Model how to use this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard and then give students at least one full class session to experiment. Create your own set of pictures in advance and limit students to the class set so they do not search and find pictures inappropriate for the classroom. Have students take photographs of historic landmarks or important buildings in their town and then use Psykopaint to transform them into illustrations. Help students use these images to create an online, multimedia, town history infographic using Piktochart, reviewed here. Consider scanning or photographing student artwork and then use this site to edit their creation. Let students photograph themselves acting out scenes for a story they wrote then transform them into painterly illustrations. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. The artwork students can create on this site will spice up any published projects.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL