TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 9, 2020
Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThe archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomInclude Nepris with your other bookmarked sites for career exploration and STEM lessons. Use the provided templates to request sessions with subject matter experts. Browse the video library to share sessions on your interactive whiteboard with students or to find specific topics that match students' interests. Include items from this site and others and build a webmix using Symbaloo, reviewed here, for students to explore on their own based on their career interest or topics they want to learn. Have students share their findings by creating a digital book using Book Creator, reviewed here. Use Book Creator to add videos, images, drawings, and more to highlight and share students' knowledge of their topic. Use BookCreator for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with students as part of career exploration lessons. Instead of creating a list of sites to share with students, replace the list by saving bookmarks with Symbaloo, reviewed here, to make information easy to find and access. After researching the different engineering fields ask students to extend their learning and create a web page sharing a day in the life of their chosen field. Carrd, reviewed here, is a free webpage creation tool that provides many tools for professional-looking pages. Find many other resources to encourage creativity and engineering at TeachersFirst Makerspace Resources, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): animals (322), cells (103), earthquakes (50), engineering (131), equations (156), measurement (174), plants (175), pollution (64), problem solving (291), space (233), stars (71), STEM (219), temperature (35), weather (207)
In the ClassroomBe sure to bookmark this site as a resource for many interactives and activities for teaching STEM topics. Place students in cooperative groups to complete activities or share ideas from this site for science fair projects. Ask students to share their research and projects and extend their learning using a tool like PortfolioVillage, reviewed here. PortfolioVillage offers a variety of options for building a personalized webpage without knowledge of coding.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): air (137), architecture (83), careers (151), charts and graphs (195), engineering (131), measurement (174), recycling (52), rockets (17), senses (32), simple machines (31), soil (21), sorting (12), STEM (219), water (138)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of these free lessons and videos to add to your current STEM teaching resources. Ask students to blog about their experiences as a substitution for handwritten journals using a tool like Seesaw, reviewed here. This tool makes blogging easy, even for the youngest students. To enhance learning for students, take pictures of class activities, then have students annotate images using ThingLink, reviewed here. Use ThingLink for students to modify their learning by adding a voice recording of their understanding of science and math concepts learned during lessons.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomShare information from this site as part of career or STEM lessons. Include games and resources on your class website for students to access. Have students research careers in civil engineering, then challenge them to enhance learning and share their information in an infographic using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Extend student learning with the challenge for them to create a simple, one-page website sharing career information using an easy webpage creation tool like Carrd, reviewed here. Canva's infographic maker includes many templates and allows users to customize content including images, backgrounds, and design. After researching careers and engineering accomplishments, have students stretch learning and use a tool like Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create virtual field trips to engineering accomplishments around the globe.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse these resources for your digital MakerSpace. Find tools for all grades. Don't miss the Twitter Chat for teachers just starting a MakerSpace. There are also a few sites that have more information for educators just learning about MakerSpace. Some of these resources are ideal for individual devices.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark SciGirls Connect! as a resource for finding interesting classroom activities for both girls and boys. Consider creating an after-school club for girls to explore different STEM careers and activities; if possible, bring in female STEM leaders from your community to help host the club or provide ongoing activities and support. Encourage the use of technology by incorporating and embedding digital tools throughout your STEM lessons. For example, instead of asking students to take notes using pencil and paper, use Google Docs or Microsoft Word. As students continue through their learning activities, use editing tools in these office products to add comments, images, and additional information. Be sure to demonstrate how to view editing changes to your students so that they can look back and reflect on their work throughout the process. Encourage your students to reflect upon their work both during individual activities and throughout the year with the use of a digital portfolio tool like Seesaw, reviewed here. Use Seesaw to create individual accounts for students to take pictures, add video, and add written commentary as part of their reflection and assessment of activities. Really enhance student learning and technology use by letting them become the teacher. Extend learning and technology use by asking students to create podcasts using Anchor, reviewed here, to teach others about concepts in science and technology, or share information about STEM careers. In addition to podcasts, you can also extend technology use and learning by asking students to use a video explainer tool like Biteable, reviewed here, to demonstrate and share the procedures of experiments.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomDiscover the many free resources on this site as part of career exploration lessons. View videos together, or have students view on their own. Take a virtual field trip to a manufacturing plant to learn more about design and the manufacturing process. Enhance student learning by challenging them to create a simple infographic sharing information about manufacturing careers using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or by having them create a multimedia, interactive poster using Lucidpress, reviewed here, or ask them to use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a week in the life of an engineer or designer.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare Full Steam Ahead with students as part of any STEM lesson on engineering or sink and float. After using the interactive several times, have students create a simple infographic sharing their ship-building observations using Easel.ly, reviewed here. The original ship was launched in 1843, have students compare the structure to other ships of the time or as a contrast to modern ships.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude the Try Engineering website when exploring career options with students, be sure to point it out to students with an interest in engineering and computers. Use the site to help students understand the various options available in engineering and computer careers and the education necessary for different roles. Have students create online posters detailing requirements of their chosen career using a tool such as PicFont, reviewed here, or Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here. Alternatively, have students create an infographic showing the steps needed to advance to a career in computers. Use an infographic tool such as Easel.ly, reviewed here.
GradesK to 8
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In the ClassroomBring out the "inner engineer" in each of your students! During physical science units, visit this collection to get directions for students to build simple models to supplement content. You might want to visit the accompanying site How to Teach Project Based Engineering to Kids before getting started. Students can work in small groups to create a project. Different groups can demonstrate different laws of physics. Add this to your class website as a do-at-home project to encourage exploration at home. During language arts when focusing on using concise, clear, language, listen to the directions and use as a model. Enhance learning by having students write the scripts for creating other models using Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Using these online documents affords many benefits, including the ability to add comments, highlight information, and add links to online information. Extend learning by having students create a multimedia presentation featuring the directions and construction of the student model using Thinglink, reviewed here. With Thinglink students can annotate, narrate, and add related links to an image. In gifted and talented classes or pull out programs, consider for a beginning of a deeper understanding of the concepts. Move forward with virtual field trips to see the "real" machines at work. Find ideas for after school clubs, camps, and more.
Grades10 to 12
In the ClassroomIt will be very beneficial to spend some time with the toolkit to see all that it offers. Use the resources to engage students in content that would otherwise be considered dull to some students. Use the lessons to change from teacher-led information about topics to research-driven student investigations. Use the lessons to provide a vital connection students need to the natural world that is becoming increasingly lost with each generation. Find simple activities found on the Core Concepts pages. Each section has articles and other resources for better understanding. Many of the resources encourage questioning, the creation of ideas, and formation of solutions. Other resources (such as in the Core Concepts), encourage students to look at nature differently and understand how we are part of nature and the biodiversity on Earth. Expand many of the Patterns lessons to identify how humans have copied patterns found in nature around us and how these patterns improve our designs (ex. the shape of an egg/strength of an arch). This resource would be a wonderful extension of the classroom for motivated students, especially gifted! Include it as a challenge level during a unit on plants and other science topics for your gifted middle schoolers. Assign each group a specific concept of Biomimicry to learn and understand. Enhance student learning by having students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomTeach students about applied science and math through the use of design. Students will see real life applications, get energized about a possible career, and go beyond repetitious facts or abstract theories. Use this site to spark ideas for your students. Use one of the smaller past challenges for your class. Have students compete to create a new student locker or lunch tray. Have them do research and design prototypes. Have students display their work locally for the school and community. Judge work by the public or by classmates on a rubric. Even if you are not part of the larger Maker's Faire movement, your students can be involved in hands-on design and innovation.
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