GradesK to 3
Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomShare this fairy tale on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume (or turn it off), and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
GradesK to 1
In the ClassroomPrint out these handouts and copy when meeting pre-kindergarten parents for the first pre-registration meeting. List this site on your class website. Use with international parents whose cultures might not include using books and America's free public libraries. Encourage international parents to tell stories from their cultures and families to help children succeed in school.
GradesK to 2
tag(s): literacy (104)
In the ClassroomMake these brochures available to parents of the very young. The added bonus of having some of the brochures available in Spanish makes the development of good readers a task shared by parents and educators alike. PLace some on the table in your conference waiting area or send them home in backpacks!
GradesK to 8
Be aware there are several advertisements at this website (all appropriate). But considering this site is free (and full of ready to go math activities), the advertisements are worth the minor annoyance.
In the ClassroomThis site has countless possibilities in the classroom. Use the descriptions and activities as an anticipatory set for a new topic in math class. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Set up a learning station for students and differentiate the activities for your lower and higher level math students. Provide this link on your class website for students to use to review at home.
Grades1 to 12
Once registered, you click to create a quiz. Then you are asked to choose between a personality quiz or a scored quiz. This site offers extraordinary details. At the scored quiz, you are able to provide a title, tags, description, and choose the type of questions (multiple choice, essay, or fill in the blank). It is simple to insert images, change font styles, insert links, and even score the online quiz. You can create a pass/fail quiz, a graded quiz (with YOU determining what qualifies as an A, B, etc..). You are also able to set a time limit, issue a certificate of achievement, and fill in the possible total score.
Once students have taken the quiz, immediate feedback is provided (including a scale of all participants, the correct answers, final score, and grade). This is a fantastic tool to use to create online quizzes!
Caution: this site does include some minor advertisements. At the time of this review, all advertisements were appropriate. But it would be wise to advise students NOT to click off of the quiz onto any of the advertisements or links.
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): quiz (84)
In the ClassroomUse this site to create online quizzes. Create a quiz as a review to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take the quiz independently or in cooperative learning groups. Have students create their own quizzes to use for review or as a final project. Embed your quiz (or provide a link to it) on your class website.
Grades4 to 12
Preview any podcasts and/or videos before sharing them with your class. Some topics may be inappropriate for younger grades. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomSave this site on your favorites on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page for ESL and ELL students to access from anywhere. Remind them to check back often for new activities and lectures.
Have your ESL or ELL students create their own videos or podcasts about current events. Use a site like TeacherTube (explained here), to record and share your videos.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): editing (74)
In the ClassroomKnow how to browse to find files saved on your computer and be willing to "play" with the tools and menus, if you are unfamiliar with photo-editors.
Click Jump In to access Photoshop-type tools. Select an image saved on your computer or your desktop or create a new one. Currently, pictures cannot be accessed from online photo storage sites. The top menu contains almost any option the average user would need to edit and manipulate pictures. The menu is easy to navigate and read. Help is minimal at this time. The site is easy to use, and users of other paint and editing applications will be at ease using this site. Students will love the filter options for altering pictures. Multiple images can be edited or "montaged." When editing is complete, save the image by specifying an image name and file type (JPEG or PNG). Click "OK," and the file will be downloaded to your machine. The simple interface and fast site makes this a great editing application to try.
Use this site to add information to pictures for class and student projects and creations. Add attributions (copyright info and sources) directly to the photo. Add student responses to pictures of class experiments. Create artistic effects with student pictures. The ideas for picture taking, creating, and sharing are endless. Make this a link from your class wiki so students can cut down file sizes before uploading large photos or make edited composites to communicate their message visually. As you study propaganda, have students create propaganda images to share on a class wiki or classroom bulletin board. Art teachers will love the ability to teach photo montage without expensive software. Make creative bulletin board displays from multiple digital pictures of special events, adding text and captions right into the photo. ESL/ELL, language, and special ed teachers can ask students to label images with sentences including correct vocabulary and grammar. Have students in your reading class create visual idiom images using digital pictures.
Keep this tool handy as a link from your teacher web page for quick access any time!
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)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
GradesK to 2
Once you register (which is free, but requires an email), you can go to the Teacher's Desk to add as many students as you wish (just names, no emails needed). This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
tag(s): sight words (36)
In the ClassroomIntroduce this website to your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Signing up each of your students will only take a few minutes. You simply type in a name and choose a picture. For security, assign student numbers or initials rather than names. Set this site up as a learning station during your L.A. block. Don't forget your headsets. This site is also ideal for special education, ESL, and ELL students.
Be sure to list this site in your class newsletter or on your class website (especially if you aren't going to be using the site daily in class).
Grades1 to 3
In the ClassroomUse this as an anticipatory set for a lesson on synonyms. Display Sam's Lab on your interactive whiteboard or projector and have students play along at their seats. Have students take turns coming up and choosing the answers. Then use this site to create a learning center for students to practice synonyms. Allow students to explore this site during indoor recess or for reinforcement of understanding. Provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website for at-home synonym practice.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomUse this site to spruce up language arts class! Take a tour of Animalia together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work on individual computer to watch video clips and try the interactives. Have students write the story or "crack the code" at the Games and Activities link. Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers so students can visit during language arts class or when work is complete. Use this site to help your ESL and ELL students further familiarize themselves with the English language. Gifted student respond well to this book. Consider extending your study of animals or writing by creating your own books modeled on Animalia.
Grades1 to 9
In the ClassroomUse this site in your beginning Spanish classes or with ESL or ELL students. Demonstrate the activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work on individual computer or with a partner to try "the race" themselves. This is an excellent site to list on your class website or in your class newsletter for students to use at home for additional practice. Have students create their own questions and "real life" game. Take your class to the gym and play a real life version of this game. Even better, borrow some sit-down scooters from the phys ed department for your Spanish/English race.
Grades3 to 8
This site does have some minor advertisements. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomUse this activity as practice with states state capitals, or state shapes. Your visual and kinesthetic learners will benefit from this different approach. This site is accessible to ESL and ELL students; provide them with a map of the states and they can use this activity to familiarize themselves with state names, pronunciation, shape, location, etc.
This site is "interactive whiteboard ready." Try the activity as a class challenge (at the beginning of social studies class). Have students take turns "drawing" the state, and then use the "quiz" questions a class (or team) activity. Once students are familiar with this site, allow them to explore on their own. Have students create their own dot to dot state papers and quizzes to share with the class.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomSend your Spanish, French, German, and Italian beginning level students to this site for review and practice. ESL and ELL students will benefit from the practice. Be sure to list this site in your class newsletter or on your class website, so students can practice at home.
Grades1 to 12
This site requires registration (with an email address and user name). The registration page says that the site is available "by invitation only," however our reviewers found that we were able to register. This site requires Windows Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomUse this site to tape read-alongs for reluctant readers, ESL, or ELL students. This site is especially useful for ESL, ELL, speech, world language, and special education classrooms. Have your students use initials or assign logical pseudonyms (Ex. MsGper2-12, MsGper2-13, etc.) for their user names. Keep your own record of their user names and passwords for accountability in case there are any problems. Make this site available on classroom computers with ear phones for any time students want to hear something read.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): video (269)
In the ClassroomIf you are looking for a specific topic, save time and use the search option If you wish to add comments or upload your own Teachertube video, you must register as a user at the site. Create and save your edited videos where you can find them on your computer. (Windows Movie Maker or iMovie are great, free tools for video). Then upload to TeacherTube. You will also receive comments on your uploaded videos. If the teacher is the one uploading, the only potential concerns include posting videos with identifiable information or images about your students, school, or class. Check your school policies about posting pictures of your school. If you post student videos, obtain written parent permission to post student work, again within school policies. Any student visible in a video should also have parent permission in accordance with school policies. The most common classroom use would be viewing many videos that match curriculum content. Rap math, visit Anne Frank's historical locations, or view a grammar lesson--these are just a sampling of videos that you may want to use to enhance your curriculum lessons. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the videos with the class. Use the site's videos as an anticipatory set to a new unit or lesson on a specific topic. Have your students create their own TeacherTube video together as a class on any lesson/topic that you are teaching. Have a contest for the best videos and upload the winners to the site (within school policies, of course). Once the class has videos hosted at TeacherTube, you can also embed them in your class bog or wiki for easy sharing with those in your extended online "community."
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): readability (7)
In the ClassroomThis site can be helpful in a variety of ways. Primary and secondary classroom teachers can check students' work or have students check their personal work by placing their own text in the box. Reading specialists, classroom teachers, ESL and ELL teachers, and special education teachers can check readability levels of various books to find the right fit for each student. E-books and on-line literature is easy to check with the cut and paste option! Note: if the text is available as a complete web page, you can also use this tool. Student word processing can also be analyzed using the Grammar tools in Word (tools menu), but these two tools yield slightly different information.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomClassroom applications abound. Imagine your class chatting with pen pals in Crete or Amsterdam, and asking them current events questions. Imagine practicing foreign language skills using this tool. Send messages to experts in other countries as your class researches their culture. Travel around the world virtually, through discussions with other classrooms in foreign countries. Use two laptops and you and your ESL or ELL student can chat while learning each other's language, since all translations are on screen. Caution: As with all instant messaging, you would want to only talk with pre-approved people. This is not a program you would want your students to use unsupervised. There are forums, a blog, and chats already set up (look in your "room drawer" after you log in). Preview these to select the best venue for your class' purposes. Since the site requires a membership, you will most likely want to use a single class account so you can monitor how it is being used and avoid inappropriate contacts. If you do use student accounts, check your school policies on using student email to register and make sure classroom use is within approved school policy. This beta is constantly adding new features. Check the blog for the latest.
Grades1 to 6
Be aware: this site does include some advertising. This site requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomCheck with your administrator about students submitting their own names or making comments about the stories. You may want to give the students a classroom name so their identities remain anonymous. Use this site to find stories that represent cultures of the students in your classroom, whether they are ESL or students with different ethnic backgrounds. Use this site also to find stories for various school holidays. Play a story aloud on your speakers, then allow students to record their own stories with musical backgrounds.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomYou need to know how to copy/paste. No email registration needed to create. Click Create to get started. Copy/paste text, type into a text box, or paste in the URL of the page you wish to "cloud." Play with options under Layout, Color, and Font menus to change the look. When done, choose to Print, take a screen shot of it in New Window view (PrntScrn on Windows, Command+shift+4 on Mac) or save to public gallery. Once it opens in the gallery view, be sure to copy the URL and keep a record of the exact URL of wordles you save to the Gallery. You will never be able to find them again without it! Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.
The public can enter text and create their own Wordles, some of which appear on the home page for "recent" Wordles. Teachers should preview the Gallery and home page immediately before sharing this site with a class. TeachersFirst's review team has not witnessed any objectionable examples. In today's world, a brief lesson or honest discussion on ignoring, clicking out of, or avoiding the inappropriate on the web might be worthwhile, depending on the age and maturity of your students.
This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create wordles of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language.
Another idea: use this site during the first week of school. Have students create "Wordles" about themselves and create a "Wordle" bulletin board introducing your students (and yourself). Or use Worlde for a whole-class positive statement as shown in this example. Remember that the most frequently appearing words will appear larger so plan accordingly.
So versatile and easy to use. Needs supervision because of what some people post in the galleries. Kids find it very easy to use. Nice for quick analysis of text (love to use with Shakespeare).Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8