Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomInclude a link to Science News for Students on classroom computers to include with other non-fiction reading resources for students. Have students browse through the site to find information of interest when choosing science fair or research topics. Alter students' learning by asking them to create an infographic related to a science topic using Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here. This very easy to use tool includes drag and drop tools for easy creation of infographics using included templates or your own design. Take student research a step further and redefine their learning by having students use ThingLink, reviewed here, to upload an image related to their science research and add annotations. Thinglink offers tools for adding text, audio, video, and more to images. Weaker readers will need a reading buddy for some of the more challenging article. Classes in lower grades will want to read the articles together. A quick check on one article using Juicy Studio's Readability test, reviewed here, provided an approximate grade level of 6.5. Check articles before assigning to elementary students. You might also want to use Word Sift, reviewed here, to quickly identify important words that appear in the text.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site isn't just for science teachers! Use these journals for non-fiction reading in language arts classrooms or as examples of journal writing. Explore features around the globe in social studies class as part of your geography lessons. In science class, use this site as part of your lessons on animals, habitats, or scientific inquiry. Use this site as a model for science research projects. Complete the entire project digitally beginning with an online notetaking tool such as ReadWriteThink's Notetaker, reviewed here. Notetaker allows students to organize and plan research projects with their different outline formats. During the revision portion of the project, use PeerGrade, reviewed here, for students to share their writing, extend their learning, and receive constructive feedback from classmates. For the final presentation redefine learning, by using a multimedia tool like Sway, reviewed here, to create a presentation including video, images, text, and other research information.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBoth experienced and newbies to makerspaces should bookmark this site as an excellent resource for developing makerspaces. If new to makerspaces, consider using this site similar to a book study group with your peers. Break the site into different portions beginning with the Why Makerspace? section to learn about constructive ideology and the benefits of makerspaces. Work together to build a database of makerspace resources including professional development information and lesson ideas. Share these resources using Padlet, reviewed here. Padlet offers tools for collaborating and organizing information, use the column feature to organize resources by topics such as professional development, lesson ideas, videos, and makerspace blogs. As you use makerspaces, don't forget to share student successes and struggles as part of the learning process. Have students create a weekly or monthly podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, to enhance their learning. Buzzsprout makes it easy to record podcasts in advance, then publish them on your desired time and date. Use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a video response tool to have students modify their learning and share ideas and problem-solving methods with you and their classmates.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomAdd this site to your tool kit of December teaching resources. Include the games on classroom computers and add to your class website. Replace paper posters and have students share their favorite activities using an on line poster creator like Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. After practicing coding using the games provided on this site, enhance learning by challenging students to create their own game using a tool such as Scratch, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomShare Turtle Academy with students as part of a computer coding center. The ability to select different portions of lessons makes this a great tool for both novice and experienced programmers. Ask more proficient students to become advisors to newer programmers and share their knowledge and skills. Begin using this site by demonstrating lessons and activities on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Modify student learning and understanding by asking them to create video explainers for different skills using a tool like Rawshorts, reviewed here, then share videos on your class website for student use at any time. Looking for other coding activities for your classroom? Find more at TeachersFirst's Coding in the Classroom special topic page.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): black history (60), coding (76), creativity (115), digital storytelling (147), dr seuss (11), drawing (73), environment (319), graphic design (42), great depression (28), literacy (105), nutrition (156), photography (145), poetry (221), problem solving (293), qr codes (18), read across america (6), STEM (209), stories and storytelling (34), symmetry (49)
In the ClassroomIf you feel that you are strong in the arts but not technology (or the other way around), find a teaching partner that complements your strength and work together to teach lessons from this site. Use ideas from here in your classroom makerspace. Download the browser extension, Surfmark, reviewed here, to add notes and questions as you prepare to teach lessons from this blog. Surfmark offers the ability to collaborate and share with others through the addition of written and audio notes to any web page. Use lesson activities found on this site as a replacement for traditional research projects, book reports, or written reports. Have students use a blogging tool like Edublog, reviewed here, to share images and videos of their work from start to finish and to reflect upon learning. Have older students extend learning through the use of Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Ask them to research and find additional information on the topic of your lesson and create a learning path for other students to complete. For younger students, create a Symbaloo Learning Path for students to complete as a center activity to complement your STEAM learning activities.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMake use of the resources offered by Microsoft to share with your students as they learn how to code. Share project ideas with students and include materials for them to create their projects as part of makerspace activities. Have students take pictures of their creation and enhance their learning by using ThingLink, reviewed here, to add audio to describe their creative process. Add images to your class website as part of your student work gallery. Challenge students to redefine learning by using Sway, reviewed here, to create an online multimedia page including images, video, and text to describe, evaluate, and share their work with coding projects. Include project ideas from the site and set up a makerspace during open house events at your school.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomDelight your students with the videos and activities provided on the site to include with your current science lessons. Place students in groups to complete the challenges offered. Have students replace paper and pen and take collaborative, digital notes using Webnote, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Ask students to record their work images and video. Redefine learning and challenge students to share their final projects including the digital research notes, images, and videos using a multimedia presentation tool like Sway, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): animals (324), cells (103), earthquakes (52), engineering (129), equations (154), measurement (179), plants (174), pollution (67), problem solving (293), space (232), stars (71), STEM (209), temperature (35), weather (211)
In the ClassroomBe sure to bookmark this site as a resource for many interactives and activities for teaching STEM topics. Place students work in groups to complete activities or share ideas from this site for science fair projects. Ask students to share their research and projects using a tool like PortfolioVillage, reviewed here. PortfolioVillage offers a variety of options for building a personalized webpage without knowledge of coding.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this infographic on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector with students as part of ongoing discussions on becoming good digital citizens. Ask students to create their own infographics using Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here, to share different components of online safety and responsibility. Consider having groups of students create weekly podcasts sharing tips and information on digital citizenship. Podcast Generator, reviewed here, is a free tool for creating and sharing podcasts.
Grades4 to 10
In the ClassroomTake advantage of these free activities to include with any STEM lessons already taught. Many activities are perfect for use with Genius Hour or Makerspaces in the classroom. Ask students to share their journey in completing activities in a blog. bulb, reviewed here, offers tools for building digital portfolios and incorporating blogs. Ask students to annotate images taken of their activities with text, URL's, or videos using ThingLink, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Plan ahead as you request that this application be installed on your classroom or laptop cart computers. Share Sinespace on classroom computers and allow students to create and explore on their own. Consider sharing with "tech savvy" students first and let them learn how to create within the site's program. After some students become experts, share Sinespace with other students to begin learning how to work within a virtual environment. Use an infographic creation tool like Canva, reviewed here, to create and share tips for using Sinespace. Once students learn how to perform specific functions, ask them to create an explainer video for other students use using My Simpleshow, reviewed here.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Requires download/installation of software