Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject. Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): portfolios (27)
In the ClassroomLeap into the age of technology by making your student portfolios digital. Use DIY for student portfolios of class projects, explorations at home, and family fun. To get started, make a whole-class account to share class accomplishments. Then move to having each student create his/her own. The digital portfolio includes an extra bonus: parent involvement. Using parent emails, the work shared brings a close home-school connection going beyond just parents to extended family and friends. Have basic standards and requirements for posting to encourage quality control. Excite and motivate students using this easy portfolio. Use for an after school club, such as book club, photography club, Lego club, Odyssey of the Mind, chorus, or news team to keep a digital record of events, ideas, or projects. During science fair or any long-term project, record step by step progress. Use as a presentation tool, data notebook, or reflection tool. Teachers of gifted (or teachers who have gifted students in their class) can encourage these students to start collecting a portfolio of their best work, especially projects that go beyond the regular schools curriculum or school year. If a student has a special interest in poetry, rocketry, or forestry, encourage him/her to start documenting accomplishments with explanations, pictures, and links.
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
GradesK to 12
tag(s): video (253)
In the ClassroomBe sure that your teaching style fits the use of Presentation Tube before using in the classroom. Easily create presentations for students to access. Be sure to play with the software before using to create your first real product. Provide links to presentations on your wiki, blog, site, or other courseware site.
Time is always short in the classroom, and sometimes it's hard to make time for oral presentations. Have the students use Presentation Tube to report out their research, and you and their peers can watch it and grade it any time. Or, have students post their Presentation Tube to your web page or TeacherTube reviewed here, and they can view and peer evaluate the projects. You may want to create your own rubric with student input for this. See a selection of rubric makers here on TeachersFirst. Another idea would be to have students create a Presentation Tube for the results of their research, and then pause and comment during an oral presentation to the class. Students with speech difficulties or challenges with English fluency will appreciate the opportunity to prerecord their presentations without an audience. High school students can also narrate a portfolio slide show for Art school applications or a show of accomplishments for college applications. Students can package book reviews or author reports to be shared in the media center. In primary grades, have students narrate their portion of a whole-class slide show, then share it with parents and grandparents by url. They can practice oral reading as they share their story slides.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomBring out the budding engineer, scientist, or designer in your students. Create simple models or use one created by others in Tinkercad. Give ample time for students to play with the variety of shapes and letters. As they become proficient, create a 3D model science fair for products that solve problems. As part of a multidisciplinary unit in science, technology, economics, math, social studies, and English classes, use this site to create a culminating design project.
Have the final design project be a new museum or historical/tourist attraction to commemorate a local hero/heroine. In English classes, have students create a written grant for the design proposal. In economics, have the students discover how to construct the project for the best possible cost. In math and science classes, have the students "build" the project with accurate measurements. Then as a follow up, have students use Google Earth reviewed here to predict the environmental impact of the new construction. Or, in technology education or industrial arts class, use this as a way to submit project drafts for construction.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): search engines (65)
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for your visual learners or weaker readers. Use this site on an interactive whiteboard to show students how to search for information. Use the page counter to show students how different search terms provide different results. Place on your class webpage for students to access at school and home. Be sure to check out their education page where you can find lesson ideas. Learning support and ESL/ELL students will appreciate being able to search without as much reading. Even very young students can LOOK for a site using this search tool, assuming they can type just a little bit.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Unscrew America to introduce your students to a unit on energy and the environment. View the site using a your LCD projector and/or interactive whiteboard. The site uses mouseovers so you will have to see if your whiteboard supports that. Group students and have them research the differences between CFL and LCD bulbs. Have them create a presentation on why to use these bulbs using Google Presentation Creator, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): computers (78)
In the ClassroomHave trouble sharing files with students because they do not have email? Do they need to share files with each other for collaborative projects ? Try using Just Beam It! No email or flash drive needed. File transfer is quick. Drag, drop and share! So easy, a savvy fourth grader could do it.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Ottobib.com as a lesson on citing sources and bibliography on your interactive whiteboard. Include Ottobib.com as a saved favorite on all student computers as well as a link on your webpage. Use as a springboard to discuss styles of documentation including MLA, APA, Chicago, and Bibtex. Be sure to use in writing your own professional articles, books, or classes, as well as a reference for your students.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): infographics (42)
In the ClassroomRead through this professional tutorial if you have even considered trying infographics with your students. You will find just the encouragement you need. Mark this one in your Favorites and share the many examples with your students, including student-created examples from a ninth grade class, as you launch your own infographics projects. Let your students "show what they know" in a new way.
Grades3 to 9
In the ClassroomBe sure to save (bookmark) this page on your blog, wiki, or class website for easy access. Provide a link on a classroom computer for ease of access during an ecology unit. Allow opportunity for students to look at the information on the site to find a topic of interest to them for further research. Or choose a project to do together as a class or school in connection with Earth Day. Create an awareness campaign for students to educate others in the community about the science behind nature, why it is important to conserve, and simple actions that everyone can do. 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. Connect the science learned in your class with the nature around your students lives.
Grades2 to 8
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomThis site is useful for both teachers and students. During the first day of school, create a simple animation to share with your class. Highlight information about yourself, class rules, highlights from the year, and more. Create math animations showing different geometric shapes on 2-3 slides (just click to copy a frame, rather than remaking the slide) and giving the students a chance to guess the shape before the answer is provided on the next slide. Challenge students to create their own animations "introducing themselves" to the class. Students could also create animations to demonstrate what they have learned about a piece of literature, a science unit, social studies theme or unit, or more. Save the students' work and share the animations on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your gifted students to create animations about their in-depth interests or curriculum concepts they have pretested out of so others in the class can learn from them. This tool is simple enough for bright students in early elementary to navigate on their own, a real asset when your gifted ones are working alone while you teach others.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomWikipedia Races reward thinking that is divergent and flexible. Rather than having to narrowly focus on one right answer, racers win when they can generate lots of different associations among disparate ideas or items. Use Wikipedia Races when you have a little time left at the end of the period. A single race will last only 3 to 5 minutes for older students. It can be an individual competition among two or more racers, or students can work in small teams with one student at the mouse taking suggestions from the team. Consider being strategic with your destination pages, choosing topics related to your unit lesson, so students will need to have a broad understanding of those topics. ESL/ELL teachers can use this as a vocabulary development activity.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Course Hero to introduce note taking for your study skills class or integrate into any subject. After introducing each note-taking strategy mentioned, have your students try each type and decide which works best for each individual. Immediately after your first audio lecture, give a pop quiz. Let students try note taking and discover the value for success. Use as a remediation tool for learners who need more reinforcement. Introduce in gifted classes, when these learners can no longer rely on simply remembering. At your parent orientation, give this site as a resource. And be sure to provide this link on your class website.
Grades7 to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): matter (56)
In the ClassroomUse this site as an introduction to a physics lesson or new topic. Consider encouraging students to create their own video explanations of concepts in Physics to teach others what they have learned. Share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Gifted students will love these videos. Share this link on your class web page and have students choose a favorite video to explain in detail to the class as a "student teacher." If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this game on classroom computers for a logic or problem solving center. Encourage students to share strategies that worked and didn't work and to consider the causes of each. Have them chart the various strategies they test and the results. If individual computeres aren't available, share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share a link to the site on your classroom website or newsletter for students to try at home.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): polls and surveys (47)
In the ClassroomMentimeter is helpful in the classroom as a formative assessment tool. Educators can interact with others inside class or during presentations. Because the poll address and ID code number can be given verbally, it is very easy to create and give to classes. Survey students during activities and lectures to check on understanding of important concepts. Responses can also be open ended by creating your poll without any choice of answers. Students can only vote once per question with this tool.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): aircraft (24), atmosphere (26), aviation (40), data (149), energy (197), engineering (119), equations (155), functions (70), geometric shapes (160), magnetism (35), measurement (163), number sense (97), oil (46), operations (126), ratios (52), robotics (25), scientific method (64), solar energy (38), space (205), statistics (122), STEM (125), teaching strategies (25), water (130)
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site as a resource for STEM lessons in your classroom. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects or differentiating lessons in your classroom. Search this site for some new ideas to implement in your classroom. Share the Student tab on your class website for students to explore several "kid friendly" topic such as Fish-y Gardening, Pirate Race, Slime Time, Engineer Girl, Build a Bot, and more. Students who complete one of the "kid friendly" projects at home could develop a presentation using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to PowerPoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here), or a multimedia presentation to share with the class. For tools and ideas about creating multimedia presentations see one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomConsider creating Infographics of material learned in class and for better understanding and connection with other topics and the "real world." Make curriculum content more real with infographics that students can relate to. Have students create their own infographics with this site to display what they have learned from a unit of study, how vocabulary words are related to the unit content, or as a review before a test. It could even be a replacement for the test! Connect data found on the Internet to information needed to understand that data. (Consider looking at different ways to show the data which can generate bias.) Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to allow student groups to present an Infographic about a book they've read, related news article, etc. Create Infographics about events such as Earth Day, D-Day, Take Your Child to Work Day, and other observances.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomConsider using quantitative data (or collecting your own) to create class graphics explaining and sharing the data. This tool does not create infographics that show flow charts or non-numeric relationships. Use the site to teach data and the graphic display of data. Common Core expects students to interpret data from visual representations and to create their own visual representations of information. 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.
To challenge your gifted students, have them research and create infographics depicting the data to support stances on issues related to your curriculum topics: Numbers of people affected by climate change, economic effects of pollution, etc. Have them research the data and present it visually on a class wiki, then write an accompanying explanation or opinion piece.