Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomHave your students enter the global economy. While studying different countries, research the corresponding currencies. Compare and contrast different regions, countries, coins, or values. In art, social studies, world languages, and literature, study the symbolism of each artwork represented on the coin. Have children create their own imaginary country and invent a currency. Prepare for a real, or even imagined trip to sharpen financial skills, math skills, research skills. Then find country attractions, travel costs, hotels, and even cultural attractions. Now have your students prepare to pay the costs in the currency of the country. Prepare a Prezi or PowerPoint to highlight travel plans and costs. Assign students two economically different countries. Research currency and determine average housing, car, education, average salaries, and living costs. Now calculate in that currency.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool anytime that photos need to be edited for use on class blogs, wikis, or in presentation tools (reviewed here). In primary grades, this tool could be useful for teachers to use to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit together! Encourage older students to use this site themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use this tool in photography or art classes. Use the editor to edit pictures to fit styles of pictures when doing historical reports or to set a mood. Use text options for the photos themselves to tell the stories. Have students annotate or label Creative Commons online images of cells, structures of an animal, and much more.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomDemonstrate how the program works using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Students can then read, quiz, and display their results and progress on their own. This program is perfect for differentiating in the classroom where beginning English learners are mainstreamed with English native speaking learners. You can assign the same book to all readers at a certain level, and they will all have a different quiz to take. This assures that you know exactly how each student is doing since they can't share quiz answers with each other.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): design (84), environment (317), estimation (46), game based learning (103), gravity (45), literacy (103), measurement (159), operations (126), painting (66), patterns (85), reading comprehension (116), sight words (37), suffixes (14), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)
In the ClassroomUse activities from this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to supplement current lessons. Create a link to specific activities on classroom computers for use as a learning center. Allow students to explore these sites on individual computers. Share links to games and activities on your class web page for students to try at home.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with students to create their own private diary or journal. Use The Little Memory as a good option for students to use for prewriting and brainstorming before beginning writing projects. Create your own account and use The Little Memory as a tool for reflecting on lessons and classroom activities each day. If you have individual laptops for students, or are in a BYOD school, why not begin class with an entry each day. Have students keep a simple, yearlong journal of the highlights of their learning. Use The Little Memory as lesson "closure" writing a summary of each day's events.
Grades1 to 6
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tag(s): professional development (123)
In the ClassroomNeed resources for a new unit or even want to spruce up an old unit? Search the extensive database of Apples 4 the teacher. Add as a resource to your class website as a safe place for students to explore. Find new ideas in art, languages, literacy, math, science, social studies, and research. Put your student technology team to work to the search for sites to help classes.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): search engines (65)
In the ClassroomWhen discussing 21st century skills, use Cluuz alongside other search engines to compare the results and determine whether the search engines deliver relevant results. Use this search engine when researching any person, event, or concept in your classes. Be sure to link this search engine along with the others on your web page.
Grades2 to 5
In the ClassroomMaggie's Earth Adventures makes an excellent addition to any classroom computer center. Create a link to activities for students practicing Spanish, grammar, and basic computation facts. Use this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) during indoor recess or for those who finish the assigned work early. Be sure to share a link to the site on your class webpage or newsletter for students to use at home.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomEnter the world of ancient Romans and become a citizen. Use as a resource when reading Roman Myths or other Roman literature. Compare and contrast other ancient civilizations such as ancient Greece. Use this website as an example for creating other research projects on time eras or places. Introduce on your interactive whiteboard or projector to your class and continue study at centers. Use as background information to create stories placed in ancient Rome. Challenge your gifted students to create their own world and all the inventions, foods, numerals, gods, entertainment, art, education, and leadership.
GradesK to 10
tag(s): addition (251), animals (276), antarctica (29), atmosphere (26), australia (35), cells (102), climate change (64), continents (50), counting (120), decimals (133), division (172), earth (228), earthquakes (48), ecosystems (88), egypt (67), energy (197), environment (317), food chains (22), forces (44), forensics (27), fossil fuels (18), game based learning (103), gold rush (19), human body (120), immigration (58), insects (69), light (46), maps (288), molecules (43), money (193), multiplication (227), nuclear energy (24), nutrition (154), oceans (148), parts of speech (68), percent (82), perimeter (32), place value (56), plants (144), probability (130), rhymes (33), rocks (49), songs (52), sound (100), subtraction (208), time (144), vietnam (36), volcanoes (61), weather (188), whole numbers (16), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)
In the ClassroomThis site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter for help with homework and school projects. These high-quality media resources will engage your students and enhance their learning.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): animals (276), climate change (64), commoncore (92), earth day (112), ecology (135), energy (197), food chains (22), map skills (80), maps (288), migration (59), multimedia (57), oceans (148), STEM (134), weather (188)
In the ClassroomBe sure to bookmark (or favorite) this site for use throughout the year to find real-world resources for classroom use. Don't forget to look for materials on National Geographic for use with Earth Day and Arbor Day activities! Differentiate easily using the multiple levels of materials found within National Geographic. Some text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here. If you use Apple products in your classroom, be sure to download the interactive iBooks for use in classroom centers or independent reading.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThis collection could accompany a unit in health, science, or physical education. These books provide experience with both fiction and nonfiction informational texts. They often require students to draw inferences about the "facts." Allow students (or partners) to choose their own book. Share this list with your school library/media specialist or public library, as well, for them to "pull" books in support of your science/social studies units. Extend the experience by having students create visual presentations of the concepts they learn. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) or Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here.
GradesK to 10
In the ClassroomThis collection could accompany a unit about animals, weather, habitats, landforms, or other topics. Some of these books would also connect well when teaching units (or classes) on character, friendship, coping strategies, and more. These books provide experience with both fiction and nonfiction informational texts. They often require students to draw inferences about the "facts." Allow students (or partners) to choose their own book. Share this list with your school library/media specialist or public library, as well, for them to "pull" books in support of your science/social studies units. Extend the experience by having students create visual presentations of the concepts they learn. Share projects using one of these reviewed presentation tools from the TeachersFirst Edge.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThere are many uses for this practical online tool. At the beginning of the school year, display on your interactive whiteboard or projector to time or count down any classroom activity. This will get the students in the habit of checking how much time they have left. Project the Stopwatch or Timer while students take a test, solve a drag and drop, practice speeches, rotate between learning centers, or join cooperative learning groups. When rotating between centers or taking turns in a cooperative learning group, schedule the time sequence to keep everyone on track. Use the Date Countdown to share days until any important event via social media. Share this tool on your class website for students to use at home (to practice taking timed math practice tests, practice for a speech, and more).
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and activities to supplement current curriculum materials. Share with students and parents for ideas to use with math and science fairs. Include this site on your class website for parents to find at-home math, language arts, and science projects.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomLooking for an easy to use tool that gives even the viewer more functionality? Encourage your students to use this tool for projects and reports. Use this tool for analysis of a lab report, a culminating project for literature circles, book reviews, discussion of various historical figures or periods, or a digital portfolio for work completed in class (not just art or music). Students could illustrate a short story they wrote, using the audio to record the story as the illustrations slide past. Use this program when you have to be away from the classroom instead of writing out all the directions for a sub. Use it for absent students to stay on top of what has been discussed, assigned, or completed in class. Consider having students explain how to solve a math problem and posting it on the class website for students to refer to at home. This tool would be useful for blended or flipped learning, giving students time to absorb information about content, leaving class time for individualized learning. This tool would be a great one for gifted students to use when reporting on research. Students will love the ability to move through portions easily.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomJeopardy games are a great way to review all types of information, in any subject, with your students. As part of the review, have small groups of students take a category and create the Jeopardy game. Have students create a Jeopardy quiz for their classmates to take after they give a presentation. Learning support teachers may want to have small groups create the review quizzes since creating the quiz is a great way to reinforce content. Share a link to any Jeopardy Rocks activity on your class website or blog for student use at home.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomUse the many images for any class. Use a specific image to share with the class and have them journal what they see in the picture, what they think is going on, and questions that they have about the image. Use their thoughts to begin discussion about the science, math relationships, or history of the image. Be sure to ctrl-click to save the image for use in class! Students might generate their own "collections" of related photographs to illustrate a topic or theme, or create a photo montage for an activity or project. Under Fair Use, students should identify the website that owns the photos and determine the copyright before using in class projects. Most of these images are not copyright free and our editors do not suggest copying and posting them on the web in blogs or wikis, since this would violate copyright laws. You can easily include them as linked images to the original website of the image, however, to appear seamlessly on the blog or wiki page. Why bother? This is a great way to teach about giving proper credit to images.
Grades3 to 5
In the ClassroomBefore introducing this ebook (or PDF) to students on your interactive whiteboard (or projector), preview the links and videos. Create a study guide that follows the important points and a vocabulary list for student use during the reading. Create the study guide using a tool like ProcessOn, reviewed here. Embed the study guide on your class website for student use at home. Include clickable links to videos about the insects on the study guide for those who do not have OSX to view them. This reviewer did a simple Google search for Asian giant hornet and found a National Geographic video about them within the first three items listed. To capture student interest, first show the video of the insect the class will be reading about. The PDF version of the illustrated ebook is worth the time it takes to read it! It is full of high-interest nonfiction reading!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomOnce you set up your account and classes, this could be your classroom online! Teach anything here that you can teach in a physical classroom with a lot less hassle and prep time! Choose to have the parent portal active or not. Save all resources by using the bookshelf, so you can use them again in the future. You have a central bookshelf, and you can share anything from there to your classes (each class has its own bookshelf), other members of Otus, and more. Use the calendar for scheduling assignments, tests, field trips and anything else for your classes. On the class home page there are two different type posts: they are the Side Bar and Main Bar, both of which can be renamed to make them pertinent to your class. Title the posts and add media if appropriate. Students can comment on posts.
Sharing via the bookshelf is one reason Otus is such a powerful tool. Be sure to watch the video tutorial about it. The Assessment section is another powerful tool that can include short answer, multiple choice, and true/false questions. Add a photo (such as a graph, map, cell, etc.). The ability to randomize questions and answers, assign Common Core standards, create tags to make it easier to find in the future, and grade online all make the assessment section very teacher friendly.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students