Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomThis is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.
Grades3 to 9
In the ClassroomSince elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.
Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.
Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model ad teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of the 50 states. One easy use would be for testing students on knowledge of the capitals. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and you can test students not only by state recognition on the map but with what the capitals are. State location and capitol information are not clearly stated until clicked on, so this would be a fairly easy formative assessment in review the information.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): african american (114), animal homes (44), animals (288), charts and graphs (195), colonial america (108), communities (35), data (152), diversity (33), ecology (134), environment (318), heroes (24), money (185), recycling (57)
In the ClassroomUse 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.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): courts (15)
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this resource as a way to practice material and improve students' scores in preparation for an actual test. Use this resource to practice involved questions that like those found on the state tests. Practicing with various question formats builds confidence and improves performance. Create quizzes and tests that students must pass before moving on to other content or other harder tests. Use these as progress steps along the way to help students learn the content as they progress through a unit. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small groups to create their own "practice" quizzes before major tests.
Everyone can create, publish, share and take tests of any subject or syllabus on this site. Kudos!John, , Grades: 0 - 12
Grades5 to 12
Although the videos are the highlight of this site, there is much more to explore! On the right side bar you will find text boxes to enter ANY date and choose the category. Some examples of categories include Civil War, Cold War, Presidential, Sports, Old West, World War I and II, Entertainment, and several others. On the left side bar there are even more topics and links to explore. Once you click on the subject area, specific "story topics" are provided under the subject. Both of the features on the right and left side of the site display text information, not video clips. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
tag(s): presidents (132)
In the ClassroomYou can add this in your RSS reader. Why not use the RSS feature to remind you of the day's events? Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The topics on the left and right side bars make excellent research references.
For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.
Perfect resource for stimulating interest on a variety of topics.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): consumers (19)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free digital lesson plans offered by this website. Useful for any economics class, regardless of age. The site includes standard criteria and images, which are helpful in preparing the lesson for class use.
An absolutely fantastic site. If you teach econ, you need this site., OH, Grades: 10 - 12
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource on a unit about patriotism, nationalism, or even Veterans day itself. Have students make an interactive book about a national symbol or holiday using Bookemon, reviewed here and share it with "little buddies" in a lower grade class.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to help students explore the branches of government in action as they address a "hot topic." Have groups of students listen to real broadcasts and analyze the issues as examples of the constitutional concepts you are studying. Make this link available from your teacher web page while studying the Constitution, the branches of government, and many other social studies topics. Use your interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share a video or audio clip to spark discussion on an issue or activate your lesson. Then, divide your class into teams and have a class debate about the issue. Have students prepare a pro/con wiki using links to the primary sources to support their position or create their own podcast commentaries with support for their opinions.
Too many resources to even summarize. I can't wait to share this resource. CONSTITUTION ON SEPT. 17.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this pdf on an interactive whiteboard or projector as part of a class discussion (great for reading comprehension in the content areas, too!). Then allow students to use it and other resources for a class debate on the pros and cons of intellectual freedom. The consitution will come to life in a context students care about.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this great resource to create Jeopardy games for any content area. This resource is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a student emcee. Use for vocabulary/terms, identifying parts of anything, and reviewing for any curriculum topic. Use as an opener to a unit to determine what students already know. Play as a review game to assist learning for all students. Encourage students to create the clues and answers to their own Jeopardy review games as a creative way to review and reinforce. Learning support teachers may want to have students create review games together.
You or your students can copy and paste the HTML code for any game on your web page, wiki, or blog for easy access to any Flash Jeopardy Game.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the site on your board when discussing current events, use as a learning center for students to read and journal, or have students look up vocabulary words featured on the site. Practice with Main Idea or summarizing using these interesting informational texts. ESL/ELL learners can also find accessible news stories here. Provide this link for students to use at home to keep up with current events.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomSome of the best data to collect is anything that is a habit: types of drinks students drink at home, hours watching TV/playing games/doing homework, meals/fast food, etc. Use the site to collect data from other students or classes for a Math, Social Studies, or Psychology class. Use Daytum for a Science class by counting animals at a feeder, recycling efforts, amount of paper used in the classroom, days of rain/no rain, etc. Anything that can be counted can be used by Daytum! Be sure to identify students who will be counters and recorders of the data.
Before using Daytum, be sure to follow the directions on the How To page. Be sure to decide the goal first and the data to be collected. Having an idea of the kind of data to be collected as well as how it will be displayed is necessary before using. This tool is best used as a class activity rather than creating individual accounts. Create a class account and use a class computer or computer attached to a projector or whiteboard to collect data as students enter the room. Set up the parameters of the data to be collected (or enlist the help of an ambitious student.)
Grades5 to 12
Keep in mind that many commenters are very spirited in their discussions! Preview the comments before sharing with your class.
In the ClassroomUse the site to teach data and the display of data graphically. Allow groups of students to choose a graphic and report to the class on how the data was made more meaningful using the graphics that were chosen. You may also want to share this link as a research tool for debates or presentations on science or social studies topics. Discuss the science, history, or math behind the data collected. Discuss other information and ways of presenting the information in order to create a more interesting graphic. Provide students with options to share their findings in a multimedia presentation using Sway, reviewed here, or challenge students to create a video and share using a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. OR have cooperative learning groups narrate a picture using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. When using data in class, discuss what makes the graphic visually appealing. Consider using data (or collecting your own) to create class graphics that show the data.
Grades5 to 12
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In the ClassroomIf filtering blocks your at-school access, use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to convert online videos such as the ones you find on YouTube into a portable format you can play at school. World language students will enjoy hearing the news in other languages, but also seeing the English translations. If you have students in your classroom who are reading below grade level, have them watch the video twice: once to listen to the words, and the second time to read along with the dialog. Have students view these sample videos and then work in cooperative learning groups to create their own videos on topics they are currently learning in science, current events, or nearly any other subject area. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. High school social studies classes can compare news coverage from different countries/cultures about the same event to analyze the "spin" or bias.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): timelines (64)
In the ClassroomCreate an ever-growing timeline throughout the school year by adding events discussed in class so students understand where events relate to each other in history. Create a timeline with events in American History and add a layer of authors' works to connect literature's time periods to history.
Have your students use Preceden to create a timeline of their life and their family's life. Then use events from their life for writing a memoir, poetry, etc. Science students could create a timeline for the stages of mitosis for a cell or the life cycle of a forest or an animal. Have students in government or history create timelines related to topics you are learning about in class.