GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomA music site that is not just for musicians and music teachers! Students in all classes can use files from this site when preparing multimedia class presentations that require music or background sounds. Use this site when preparing lessons on plagiarism, copyright, and the open source software concept. Musically inclined students who enjoy this site should check out ccMixter reviewed here for more enriching types of musical interaction and collaboration!
Grades7 to 12
Keep in mind, music on this site is submitted by the general musical public and may include lyrics inappropriate for school. The "Hip Hop" genre includes some inappropriate offerings, so teachers will want to decide the best way to handle use of this site by students.
Each genre has its own URL, so it is possible to make only certain areas available. The "classical," "jazz" and other instrumental areas are safer. Depending on the maturity and trustworthiness of students, teachers may want to directly supervise use of this site.
In the ClassroomMusic teachers and content area teachers alike have a perfect opportunity to explicitly teach ethical use of internet materials and especially music. This discussion could spark a debate about plagiarism, copyright, patents, or inventors' rights, depending upon the course that is being taught. This can also be used in any content area as a free source of music for different multimedia class projects. If your students are mature enough, share the link to this site via your class web page (with a disclaimer about possibly inappropriate lyrics). Music teachers with talented composer/performer students may want to share the site as a potential place for students to share their work (with parent permission). Use this site during creative writing blocks (sharing the music on speakers).
GradesK to 12
tag(s): rhythm (21)
In the ClassroomMusic teachers trying to build understanding of basic rhythms will love sharing this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard and having students create their own rhythms online, then duplicate them with their own hands to build music listening skills. Health teachers can use the site to draw attention to the new CPR and invite students to send it out to their friends and family members.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Print the coloring pages for use in your classes. Use the activities and tie in to concepts in class (matching, etc). Share this link on your class website for families to explore together.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): keyboarding (40)
In the ClassroomInclude this site for your computer center time. Challenge students to post the highest score on the math games. Use the keyboarding practice games to help students learn proper keyboard placement of fingers.
GradesK to 3
At the time of this review, there was one cartoon available which was entertaining - however, not particularly educational.
In the ClassroomMark this site in Favorites on the computers in your classroom. Pair students on individual computers to try some of the activities. If individual computers aren't available, share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make an IWB "center" for small groups. Share this site with ESL or special education students who need to catch up on alphabet or math skills. This is a fabulous site to list in your class newsletter or on your class website or blog for extra practice at home.
Grades1 to 7
tag(s): independent reading (129)
In the ClassroomMake a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center, or post the address on your teacher website so students and parents can access the program at home, too. Set reading goals for individual students or the class.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomYou will need to be able to download this program, and you will need 4 MB of space on your computer to do so. The program will automatically pull some photos from Windows Media or iPhoto depending on what your computer uses for photos. You can save web images or use screen shots, as well, to be used in your creations. Watch copyright! Check out Snag.gy, reviewed here, for details for a screen shot taker. From here, it is easy to simply click and follow the on screen instructions. The program is simple to navigate and very user friendly for those who are accustomed to web tools.
With the variety of formats, this program has a wide variety of applications in any type of classroom! Use in history class to have students create collages of different periods of time such as the American Civil War. Create topics such as the Lincoln's Election, the Gettysburg Address, Battle of Antietam, Emancipation Proclamation, Battle of Gettysburg, and Lee's Surrender. Have pairs or groups of three select topics at random, and then have them create a collage or "scrapbook" of the event. Try having students choose a role from which to create their assignment such as a Rebel soldier, a Union Soldier, a volunteer nurse, a mother or father of children fighting on different sides of the war, etc. Have students collect copyright free images online for their use or create their own by reenacting and creating visuals to take pictures for their productions. Unleash student creativity by showing them this tool as resource in creating presentations and projects for your class and others. What a fabulous tool to use on the first day of school (as a welcome), beginning of a new unit, or back to school night with the parents! Elementary classes could create whole-class scrapbooks of curriculum projects, such as their science garden or Colonial Days celebration.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Requires download/installation of software
GradesK to 12
tag(s): assessment (117)
In the ClassroomUse this site to search for rubrics for any type of assignment or classroom use. Material isn't limited to academic use, it also includes attendance, homework, and other types of rubrics.
Grades1 to 6
In the ClassroomCheck school policies about setting up student accounts and passwords and be sure to keep a record of student passwords! No email is required. Set up at the computer center and keep a chart for each student's progress and points collected. Demonstrate on the interactive whiteboard or projector, record terms used during the games (ex: history - iron age, stone age, and bronze age) to research. This would be an ideal link to provide on your class website for students to access at home.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents can use this cover to hold a music CD or DVD movie that relates to a literary work, but there are a lot of other great extensions you can implement as a means to assess critical thinking skills, especially when it comes to synthesizing and assimilating concepts. Rather than assigning a book review, literary essay, or standard research paper, adventurous technology users could burn a CD of PowerPoint slides or use the CD cover to hold a DVD slideshow of narrated photographs. Slightly less adventurous technology users could use it to house a written assignment related to plot, theme, or character study, or to illustrate a poem or narrative. Big Huge Labs offers other similar tools, such as Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here and Mosaic Maker reviewed here, which could be used in conjunction with the CD Cover Maker to make your projects even more amazing. 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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse these award winning ideas to commemorate September 11 in a lesson to demonstrate unity or build worldwide understanding. Use the concepts as a springboard to a collaborative project. Ideas vary from sending chains of origami cranes as a wish for peace, composing and singing a song for unity with an online tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, writing letters to local politicians, creating poems and transforming them into digital videos or multimedia presentations using ThingLink, reviewed here, or taking responsibility for the environment while creating a sense of community by planting gardens. Choose from many ways to inspire students to recognize the importance of September 11 and to involve them in working together to become a more tolerant society. You might be so amazed with the results that you will want to submit your students' projects to be considered for next year's Tribute Center September 11th Teacher Awards. The annual award ceremony takes place on February 26, to commemorate the 1993 first attack on the World Trade Center.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomWitness great storytelling techniques in action. Discuss these techniques with your students. How do storytellers use their voices to convey mood, tone, emotion, and sound? How can storytellers use descriptive language to paint a picture in the mind of the listener? How can onomatopoeias and sensory imagery make stories come alive? What can students infer from a story based on tone and verbal expression? What lessons and morals do some stories imply? Encourage visualization by asking students to sketch story events, create portraits of characters, or paint the setting. With younger children, help them learn to identify character, problem, and setting. Discuss story sequence and plots common to folk tales. Diagram how a circle story plot starts and ends in the same place. Search for stories that contain common themes of self-acceptance, friendship, transformation, or personal journeys. Let students use individual computers to listen (with headphones) to the stories.
After examining stories told on Story Bee, have students create and practice their own storytelling skills. Demonstrate how to compose modern versions of familiar tales, or retell family stories and recent events. Use plot diagrams to assist in the organization of their own stories. Record and share class stories with tools such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their stories by using sites such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Help students create a checklist or rubric to use for self-evaluation or peer review. Use a tool like Quick Rubric, reviewed here, for the checklist and rubric. Use this same document to help students make constructive suggestions for story revisions. Post a link to Story Bee on your class web page or wiki so that students can access it both in and out of class.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): creative commons (23)
In the ClassroomAddress the needs of the visual learner and include media files as part of the research process. Wikipedia Commons offers a way for students to gain an understanding of content through images, sounds, and video. Give students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge by narrating a slideshow of images found on Wikipedia Commons or create multimedia presentations on a site such as Lucidpress, reviewed here. These free media files will also help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. This site is a valuable resource for imagery useful when creating presentations, lectures, digital stories, reports or to include on a class websites. Students learning a foreign language may benefit from using Wikipedia Commons to learn about more about the culture and lifestyle of the country whose language they are studying.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMusic teachers and content area teachers alike have a perfect opportunity to explicitly teach ethical use of internet materials and especially music. This discussion could spark a debate about plagiarism, patents or inventors rights depending upon the course that is being taught. Also, older students who are talented musicians could be encourage or just inspired to use Jamendo to post their own music from home for sale. Depending on district policies, this could be used as a take home lesson for upper level music classes.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): literature (272)
In the ClassroomUse the list to find literature you can use in your classroom. You may want to choose short stories or poems and their music so students will get the idea of how music and literature can fit together. Then have students choose appropriate contemporary music for an independent reading novel presentation or report. Have students figure out how they would divide up the book into sections. Then select a piece of (school appropriate) music that they think captures the feel or tone of each section. They record the pieces and possibly do voice-overs explaining what is happening in the novel during the piece of music and why they felt this piece of music fits the section of the novel. As a choice, students could use "podOmatic" to create podcasts, reviewed here. Or have students create ThingLink, reviewed here. Be sure to PLAY the music out loud as the student is talking. If you want students to "mix" or create music with their own computer, check out Soundtrap, reviewed here. You may wish to take that a bit further and challenge students to record a song using a tool such as UJAM, reviewed here, where you simply record your voice (even talking and not singing!). UJAM is free and synchronizes your voice and its speed to a variety of different background music options.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomTo add events to the site, locate the "add event" found at the bottom of the Timelines.com homepage. Follow the very clear (with samples) directions to insert your own event. Viewing the timelines is simple. Click to watch videos, view the maps, click "Like" or "Dislike" or make comments by clicking on the words.
Monitor what students are viewing in the premade timelines. Also, teach students appropriate events to include and check their work before having them submit work so that they are more accurate.
Use the timelines on the site in science class to help students understand the history behind discoveries that they take for granted, such as the the space race. Today's students have never lived in a world where traveling to the moon was not possible, and understanding the history of the event could be very helpful in understanding the magnitude of such an event. This site would also be useful in art or music class. Have students investigate the history of their favorite group or type of music and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. How about a video (including music, of course). Use a tool such as Moovly, reviewed here, and then share the videos on a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): songs (53)
In the ClassroomUse this site for ear training. Play a reverse "Name that Tune" game to see how accurately the site finds songs. Try to find two songs with similar beginnings and see if the site can distinguish the two. Learn about other songs that have similar beginning melodies. ESL and ELL students can use this site and participate without knowing the English words for a song just by humming. Students can introduce their favorite songs this way.
Grades2 to 8
tag(s): sound (105)
In the ClassroomEnhance student awareness of the sounds common to their own community. Have students create soundtracks by combining industrial, animal, and earth sounds in the "Soundscapes" section of the site. Have students share their music via podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Then turn off the computer and go outside. Ask students to be still and pay attention to the sounds that surround them everyday. After absorbing these sounds, extend the lesson by having students record environmental sounds and create their own soundtrack with applications such as Garage Band or Audacity.
Plan a "field trip" to see "Wild Music" exhibit either in person or in virtual form. Download the Teacher Exhibition Guide and follow the lessons they suggest using before and after the visit. Each activity corresponds to a certain grade level and addresses the National Standards in Music and Science. Where is the exhibit showing? Click on the "Wild Music: The Exhibition" link to learn more.