TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 11, 2014
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
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomBookmark this site and combine it with TeachersFirst's CurriConnects leveled reading list forColonial America and the Revolution and Frontier Forts on the American Revolution for multiple offerings and angles on the Colonial and Revolutionary time period. Create a link to various activities, quizzes, and downloadables for students to explore on classroom computers. Include crafts and recipes from the site during your unit. Have students create an annotated image about Colonial times including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to demonstrate concepts learned when making crafts or recipes. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare Colonial life to present day. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a student their age living in Colonial America.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomWhile much of what you find here will be useful for your own lesson planning, the photograph archive will be useful for images related to the Cold War era. Some of the documents could be printed and used for small group discussions or analysis. Consider referring students who are doing research for a National History Day project to this resource. Challenge students to research the information shared at this site and create blogs as Cold War personalities. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomOffer individualized rubrics for every project so each student can demonstrate appropriate expertise. These rubrics are perfect to use in the heterogeneous classroom where you might have a mix of ESL/ELL, gifted, and learning support students. Many of these activities are ideal for differentiating for your gifted students and providing challenges more suited to their ability, creativity, and thought process.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse No Bullying as the starting point for individual or group projects or lessons on bullying. Bookmark and save this site as a resource to address bullying concerns in your school or classroom. Share this site with parents as an important resource for discussing bullying and Internet safety with their family. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings concerning bullying using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Challenge students to create an antibullying presentation using Prezi (reviewed here).
A really informative website offering an extensive range of bullying advice and stories. This website covers all types of bullying and is a great resource to help support the teaching of Internet Safety and the importance of dealing with bullying.Michelle, , Grades: 0 - 12
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThese programs are ideal for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to read through directions before beginning. Some programs may have a slight learning curve. Create a link on classroom computers or share on your class website for student practice at home. This site is perfect for use when differentiating instruction, Allow students to explore different program options at their ability level. If they need to submit "completed" work, they can take a screenshot and share it with you (Prtscn key, then PASTE into a document on a Windows machine; Command+Shift+4 on a Mac to save the image to the desktop).
Grades3 to 9
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): colors (80), density (24), dictionaries (60), electricity (92), experiments (69), forensics (26), images (278), light (51), magnetism (38), plants (174), rocks (52), science fairs (25), soil (18), water (134)
In the ClassroomIf you want to remove distracting advertisements, use a tool such as Readability (reviewed here). Bookmark Love My Science for use throughout the year as a resource for quick and easy science experiments. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos demonstrating experiments and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Share ideas found on this site with parents to try at home with their student.
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. That will get the students in the habit of checking how much time they have left. Project the time TeachIt Timer while students take a test, solve a drag and drop, practice speeches, rotate between learning centers, or join cooperative learning groups. Be sure to turn up the volume! When rotating between centers or taking turns in a cooperative learning group, schedule the time sequence to keep everyone on track.
Great timer resource to use with visual students.Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5
Grades4 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomThis free tool is a great way to identify a value or rating of various items. Use this in science class to poll students on various types of renewable and nonrenewable energies as cheap/expensive and clean/dirty for the environment. Poll students on types of cars, rating the cost and gas mileage. Follow up with research into the various makes and models. Poll about famous presidents and various influences on the economy and society. Compare characters in various novels in measures of motivation and other characteristics. In younger grades, gather data about students favorite animals and why (such as fluffy/ferocious) or favorite colors and mood. Learn more about your students through polling of various social and cultural topics such as fashion, movies, and songs. Use this to identify misconceptions and resistance to various subject areas. Identify foods and feelings for each specific kind of food in Family and Consumer Science or attitudes towards various sports. Conduct specific polls for Introduction to Psychology or Sociology about various topics and reactions to the topics. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs or wiki pages to increase involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections, or for critical thinking activities dealing with the interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students in issues that matter to them. For Professional development, rate the various types of technology tools for ease of use/difficulty and high/low value for instruction. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to increase parent involvement. Gifted students would love this tool to dig deeply into the multiple facets of issues they worry about.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAllow students to create collaborative drawings as responses to literature. They can map out the plot or themes, add labels, create character studies, and more. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing, that another group can use as a writing prompt. Use a Draw It Live board as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups or the class share ideas for a major project or to solve a real world problem. Use this site with students in a computer lab (or on laptops) to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is being read aloud. As a creative assessment idea, have students draw out a simple cartoon with stick figures to explain a more complex process such as how a democracy works. If you are lucky enough to teach in a BYOD setting, use Draw It Live to demonstrate and illustrate any concept while students use the chat and drawing tools to interact in real time. If you are studying weather, have students diagram the layers of the atmosphere and what happens during a thunderstorm, for example. Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Or have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a problem by typing it on their board. Then have them work through it together, noting all of their reasoning and steps of work along the way. Have them "turn in" their work by url, or post the url on the class wiki to compare with others. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. This would be a great tool for gifted students (or any students) to collaborate with others outside of their own class, even from other schools. It is simple enough for ANY student to figure out and get started without a membership.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomCreate a Webnode class website at any grade level for parents and students to stay updated about what is happening in the classroom if your school does not offer a class web site tool. With teens (and in accordance with school policy), try using Webnode for: "visual essays;" digital biodiversity logs (with digital photos students take), online literary magazines, and personal reflections in images and text. Consider using Webnodes for research project presentations, comparisons of online content, such as political candidates' sites or content sites used in research (compared for bias). The tool requires that a member be 13+, so you will want to create an account for your younger students to use. Using a whole-class account under your supervision, students can create pages documenting experiments or illustrating concepts, such as the water cycle, and "Visual" lab reports. Create digital scrapbooks on a class or individual page using images from the public domain and video and audio clips from a time in history -- such as the Roaring Twenties, Local history interactive stories, and Visual interpretations of major concepts, such as a "visual" U.S. Constitution. Imagine building your own online library of raw materials for your students to create their own "web pages" as a new way of assessing understanding. For younger students, provide the digital images, and they sequence, caption, and write about them on the class site under your supervision. For older students, provide the steps in the design as a template, and they insert the actual content of their own. After the first project where you provide "building blocks," the sky is the limit on what students can do. Even the very young can make suggestions as you "create" a whole-class product together using an interactive whiteboard or projector. You might consider making a new project for each unit you teach so students can "recap" long after the unit ends.
Grades1 to 4
In the ClassroomThis is a great introductory homophone activity leading into further use and practice. Introduce on your projector or interactive whiteboard. For individual practice, have students try this site at a learning center or on individual computers (with headphones). Bookmark this site on your class website as a reference for students to refer back to. Have students make up their own sentences with pictures for choosing the correct homophone. Create a presentation (similar to PowerPoint) to illustrate your classroom creations. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): financial literacy (87)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a fun way to explore budgets and financial planning with teens. Allow students to create different scenarios to find a practical approach to budget planning. Use as part of a debate for students to discuss their opinions on the amount to spend on prom expenses. This is a great lesson to do around prom season as part of a math class or consumerism unit. You could also use it with younger students planning for prom a year or more from now! Even though middle schoolers don't have prom, some of them would LOVE dreaming about it.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): anthropology (12), archeology (32), architecture (85), business (58), engineering (129), environment (325), geology (81), german (66), marine biology (35), medicine (70), paleontology (42), politics (97), psychology (66), religions (68), sociology (22)