Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you're looking for meaty writing prompts, this site is full of interesting and open-ended questions. The questions might also serve as a good data base for a class learning debate. It may also be helpful for students to see that philosophers use formal rules of thinking in answering their questions; they don't just say what they "feel" is right. Understanding that moral and ethical decision making is based on a set of predetermined principles is a concept that many students struggle with. This site would be useful for teaching ethical decision making with students whose thinking has progressed to the point where they are able to think more abstractly and philosophically: a gifted class perhaps? Have a class wiki dedicated to philosophy and profound questions. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): college (49)
In the ClassroomInclude this site in your favorites for college bound students and allow students who have finished work ahead of their classmates to use their extra time by completing the quiz. Consider having students complete the quiz at home and journal (or blog) about the results they discover. Advise parents of this site and encourage them to review student results with their student. Of course, once the student has results, US News and World Report's website provides a wealth of data about specific colleges as well as their annual rankings of colleges by category.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): red ribbon week (10)
In the ClassroomSchools participating in Red Ribbon week may want to post a link to this site on the school website to explain the history and purpose of this campaign. This site focuses primarily on parent support. This is a helpful resource to stay up to date with drug abuse trends and advice to offer families dealing with these issues.
GradesK to 6
Kindersite collaborates with outside institutions to develop educational projects that compile resources, generate new curriculum models, create training materials, and implement teacher-training seminars. Researchers can gather user data from Kindersite that represents varying population sizes, geographical groupings, and languages.
General Tips and Reminders: Some sites originate from the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. There is some advertising on the right side of the page. Some links may direct students to sites that also contain advertising. Warn your students to avoid them.
tag(s): literacy (107)
In the ClassroomInvigorate shared reading with Kindersite's songs and stories. View the colorful illustration and text on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Some stories and songs highlight the tracking of words. Other sites provide character voices when you click the text in quotations. The animation will definitely engage everyone even those who wiggle on the carpet. Differentiate computer centers with the "my page" function. Save interactive tasks that target the instructional needs of students. Make a shortcut to the "my page" site collections on classroom computers and use it as a center. Be sure to take advantage of the professional resources Kindersites provides as well. Post a link to this site on your school website for parents to access at home.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this to watch episodes of Glee in sociology class, and have student compare and contrast the television show with their real life high school experiences. Use science movies to reinforce concepts in class, or embed the codes given into your class website or wiki and assign television as homework! Have cooperative learning groups investigate a certain news story or current event and create multimedia presentations. Challenge students to create a video and share using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site for student explorations about different careers. Have students create online career posters or comparisons using a tool such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, or Canva, reviewed here.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is useful for drama, creative writing, psychology, or even character education and school counseling. Behavior support teachers may also want to use it to help students "read" body language. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Explore how people communicate emotion in verbal and non-verbal ways. It is also possible to write subtitles in different languages. Foreign language instructors may want to ask students to write subtitles in the language students are studying. Teachers may find this a humorous way to make class announcements, explain concepts, or even announce homework assignments. Have students work collaboratively to create commercials and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Preview the site before hand and be sure to get permission from your school administrator to share commercials online. When presenting the site do so with cultural sensitivity. Take into consideration that the language used in the movie clips may be the first language of some students or their families.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomCollege counselors can provide links to College Confidential as one of the resources for students to use in searching for a college. Although a double edged sword, the on line forums for students to share opinions can provide important first hand information from an unbiased perspective, and the reality is that more students are turning to social networking to gain information about post-secondary education. There are virtual chats and open houses happening regularly from the site, and students may feel these "conversations" offer more honest and useful data than relying on the traditional college controlled marketing material.
Grades6 to 10
tag(s): body systems (57)
In the ClassroomUse this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce the topic. Have students work with partners to complete the activity. Following the activity, start a conversation asking "why" questions to reinforce the function of the different muscles and techniques involved in the surgery. Have students (and partners) create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Have students create videos and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. This simulation would also be helpful for students doing exploration projects about careers in medicine.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomFind and write about career opportunities as an exploration topic. Discover how many careers use engineering, math, and science and it is not just for boys anymore! Search for other possible engineering related careers and create interactive posters using Adobe Spark, reviewed here, that informs others of the possibilities. Create newsletters using Revue, reviewed here, outlining job descriptions, locations, and educational requirements. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations to share their findings such as an infomercial video using a tool such as Powtoon, reviewed here, or My Simpleshow, reviewed here. Share the videos on a site such as TeachersTube, reviewed here. This resource is also terrific for girls spending the Take Your Child to Work Day at a STEM-related workplace. Have the young woman use her workplace visit experience and information from this site to share an interactive newsletter about a STEM career using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the resources on this site to help prepare and teach peers and students about Fire Safety. Share the link on your teacher web page to allow students to access the resources both in and out of the classroom!
GradesK to 12
tag(s): bullying (52)
In the ClassroomUse the resources in this collection if ever in need of help concerning bullying online or in the classroom. Be sure to pass this one along to parents, counselors or peers if bullying is ever a concern or issue.
Grades3 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomYou need to know how to locate your photos on your computer or photo sharing site. Click the little white boxes to change text colors, etc. as you enter desired text. SAVE your completed cover when done. Be sure to give it a meaningful name if you are creating several covers on the same computer!
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. If you and your students simply use the tool without joining the site, there are no problems with email, profiles, etc. You do need to demonstrate the tool and specifically explain which links students should NOT use, including ads and links to social networking sites that are prohibited in your school. These may be blocked, anyway. Make sure you watch and teach copyright issues in snatching photos from the web.
Have students create magazine covers of themselves as a getting to know you activity and classroom bulletin board. Print and laminate magazine covers to make them appear even more authentic. Or share the images (WITHOUT student names) on your class wiki or web page. When doing reports for any subject, have students create magazine covers that mimic the real thing instead of boring plain covers. Make covers about famous Americans, scientists, or historic figures. Make covers about objects, as well. Assign students to research a vegetable and create a cover about its nutrients, recipes, and more as part of your nutrition unit! Guidance teachers or principals can feature exemplary students using this tool. Bulletin board creativity will skyrocket using Big Huge Labs Magazine Cover. Why not offer a rotating PowerPoint slide show of student-made magazine covers for parents to view as they wait in the hallway for conferences?
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Requires registration/log in (NO email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomAlthough intended for students with special needs, this site would also be helpful for teaching basic English vocabulary (emotions, facial expressions, positions), for safety lessons during bus safety week, and for ESL/ELL learners. The many printables in the free areas will also help you teach basics of any primary classroom. Speech/Language teachers, emotional support teachers, and autistic support teachers will appreciate the many ways to share emotion words, including an interactive facial expression tool and the emotions color wheel. Many activities are well-suited for interactive whiteboard with the student navigating using his/her finger or touch tool. Others would make ideal learning centers at a classroom computer with headphones. Share this site with parents, as well, via a link on your class web page, since many of the activities bear repeating over and over.
Grades2 to 10
In the ClassroomUse parts of this site when doing units on prejudice, diversity, and discrimination. Refer students to do research in some of the books listed here on those subjects. Have students interview people from other cultures to check the information given here on aspects of their cultures. Do they agree with what is said here? Even younger students will enjoy learning about flags and peace symbols. Make the craft links available for students doing reports on different countries or preparing for an International Day. Have students copy flags or other country symbols. Ask them to create their own "country" from these models. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific topic at this site and prepare a podcast to share with the class using PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): time (141)
In the ClassroomThis is a great find for the interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with career counseling staff, as well. Use this site when studying U.S. history and economics. Compare the role in society of various occupations (such as a farm laborer) from the 1850s to 2000. Have students hypothesize about why the changes occurred and predict what might show in census data in 2010 and beyond. Use this when teaching graph reading and graph creation, as well. As with any data on the Internet, you will want to challenge students on how they know whether this data set is reliable -- what is the source?
Grades3 to 10
In the ClassroomBrainstorm situations that cause fear and identify how the brain processes this information. Explore the similarities of fear responses with the feelings when riding thrill rides. Identify as a class how people respond to fear and ways fear can help you. Creative writing students can explore different ways that people show fear so their writing can describe what fear LOOKS like instead of simply saying, "he was afraid." Why not include this site when studying Poe's tales of terror or as a curriculum-related activity during Halloween season? Check out the "Dealing with Fear" section to help students struggling with anxieties and worry. Emotional or autistic support teachers and school counselors may also find this site helpful in allowing students to understand their body's reactions to fear. Health and psychology classes can use this site to explore the physiology of fear.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomRead these materials carefully to learn how to introduce lesson plans that focus on relationship abuse. As with all sensitive issues, be sure you are within school policies in holding discussions, perhaps by involving the school counselor or health teachers, as well. Share this site with your counseling staff and psychologists. Create a class wiki to discuss this and other "hot topics." Obviously, students should not share specific personal experiences, but create more of a "what to do" type of wiki. Not sure what a wiki is? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades9 to 12
The "Troubling Behaviors" area follows a problem-solution format: first describing the behavior, pointing out things to consider, questions for further self-understanding, ways to help, and signals that a mental health professional ought to be involved. There are video clips with many of the topics. The site is notable for its straightforward and non-judgmental tone.
In the ClassroomConsider sharing the video clips (relevant to your class) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In health (or psychology) class have students investigate one topic and present their findings to the class in a multimedia format: wiki, blog, podcast, or video. How about having students create a podcast using Podomatic (reviewed here). They might even role-play some of the scenarios. If students create a video, share the videos using a site such as Teachertube (explained here).
While this site might be useful as a resource for a high school health, psychology, or child development class, its main benefit is for teachers, parents, and other adults who care for and work with children and teens. Consider adding this link to your class web page as a resource for parents or sharing specific ideas with parents at conferences.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): summer (11)