Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomChoose recipes to create a menu that meets all of the requirements of the new USDA "MyPlate." Analyze a typical dish to look at calories and the breakdown of the nutrients. Be a food scientist, choosing recipes that are examples of different types of solutions (homogeneous and heterogeneous) or basic chemical reactions. Encourage healthy eating, ethnic exploration through foods, and many other topics with these easy to follow pictures and directions. World language teachers will love this visual approach to foods in another culture and can ask students to "narrate" a visual recipe in the new language while presenting on interactive whiteboard or projector. Use visual recipes to teach sequencing for writing about step by step process using words like "first, then, next." Challenge cooperative learning groups to make their own slideshow/recipe for a favorite dish of their choice using a site such as 280Slides (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
Without registering, you can download items manually. All you have to do is navigate to a book page, scroll down and click on the name of any episode. Play it on your computer or save it to your hard drive for later. Registering allows Podiobook to build a custom podcast feed just for you. They will customize each feed so that it is updated once a week. You can change that to once a month, or once a day if you need to. Be aware: the titles on the main page (at the time of this review) were not appropriate for elementary students. There is an option "Erotica" in the search options. So be sure to preview what you wish to share AND be certain that students know where they are allowed to search and the consequences for not following the rules. Adults may want to download for the students and offer the files offline. Joining and designing a "feed" of teacher-selected books avoids the complicated issue of monitoring content.
In the ClassroomTeachers and parents need to supervise title selection or do the downloads themselves. Send students directly to the children's or young adult categories to ensure age appropriateness for your students. Find appropriate books for students to use at a listening learning center. Have an actual hard copy of the book; then use this site for your learning support students or weaker readers to help them build fluency, increase their vocabulary and pronunciation of new words. Provide this link ( maybe the link to just the children's section) on your class website for students (and families) to access out of the classroom.
Make a listening center or load the mp3 files on a set of iTouches for student listening. If you choose to register, an email address is required. Rather than using your personal email address (or professional), sign up for a gmail account (FREE).
GradesK to 12
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tag(s): african american (109), baseball (36), civil war (142), comics and cartoons (62), dance (27), folktales (50), greece (27), habitats (108), immigration (60), literature (268), mexico (32), musical instruments (51), myths and legends (25), native americans (80), painting (65), surrealism (2)
In the ClassroomSearch this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to do themselves in small groups.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites and provide a link on your class web page to give students access to review and consult expert advice any time it is needed for drafting, revising, and editing essays and other writing assignments. You will want to project a few of the handouts on your classroom whiteboard or projector to make students aware of the offerings, how easy they are to access, and how useful they are to use as a reference. You may even want to print a class set of particular handouts. Be sure to list this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own online "resource" posters dealing with a topic you are studying. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here).
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomPut this link on your classroom blog or newsletter for English learners. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Have students prepare online projects about phrases they learn, using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here). Check with your school policies before having students comment on other blog posts.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): independent reading (127)
In the ClassroomUse this activity both at the beginning and ending of a school year to impress upon the students the importance reading plays in their self-concepts. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce the idea of regular journal keeping. After students complete their writing segment, have them do a media project that reflects their reading "identities."
Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits reviewed here. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). Share the results of their writing and posters at open house nights or --even better- embedded in your class wiki or web page. Ask students to find what other celebrities and authors say about how reading has influenced their lives. Collect quotes from famous people about writers and list them on posters in your classroom.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site would be a valuable resource in a paperless science classroom. Information is reminiscent of textbook style writing with the convenience of informational hotlinks. Use as an alternative to the textbook. Have students use the information to research and create multimedia presentations. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Adobe Spark For Education, reviewed here, or PicLits (reviewed here. Reading teachers will also find these passages useful for practice with finding main idea and summarizing informational texts. Share them on interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key words and compose a main idea sentence.
Grades1 to 8
tag(s): holidays (138)
In the ClassroomUse this site to help ESL/ELL students improve listening, reading, writing, and cultural knowledge. Invite an ESL/ELL student to present a holiday from their home country to the class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Many of the review activities would also work well as reading comprehension practice on interactive whiteboard, especially if students use highlighters and pens to mark up the text passage to locate key terms, etc.
Have students create online holiday posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share this site with families of your ESL/ELL students to learn more about American holidays.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe use of primary sources in teaching has been greatly increased by our digital access to documents like these. Peruse the list of "milestone" documents, and commit to using the photographs on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) when the document comes up in a lesson or discussion. For teachers who are supporting student projects for National History Day, this site also has a link to specific tips, although it appears the site has not been kept up to date with current information on individual competitions. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one of the documents and create a multimedia project of their choice. Looking for some inspiration? How about having groups create a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here). Or have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students narrate a photo of the document (using a FREE and LEGAL photo) using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThere are many different calculators for students to explore as ways to apply math in real world situations. For example, choose weather and then wind chill. Enter the information and wind chill will be calculated. Enter the information, view the calculated answer, and then have students determine how it is actually calculated. This site is a great find for gifted students to use to further investigate specific topics beyond your "regular" classroom content. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work with a partner to explore various "buttons" on this interactive calculator. Have the groups create multimedia presentations to share their findings or demonstrate them on the whiteboard as advertisements or infomercials! Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
GradesK to 8
Once registered, your Whyzz are kept as a record for review later. Site members can also comment on Whyzz answers which are offered by many professionals. Each answer also features a section called "exploration" where additional learning can take place as well as "related Whyzz." Check the spotlight, browse categories, and look at a featured answer.
tag(s): inquiry (32)
In the ClassroomTeachers may be the experts but the greater gift is helping students find answers. Use this site as a class to receive kid friendly answers to normal and weird kid questions. Whyzz not only give the why, but also the hows and the whats! Have students create interactive projects that share the answers to the "WHY." Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share the link with parents of younger elementary students to use at home, as well!
Grades4 to 7
In the ClassroomThis is a motivating webquest during the cold months of winter. The webquest incorporates literature, science, research, writing and more!
Instead of creating paper posters, make the assignment a little different and have them create online posters for the final product. Try a site like Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Students can create them on classroom computers, and can present them via projector or interactive whiteboard!
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): book lists (132)
In the ClassroomUse this resource in study of classical languages as well as cultural world history. Add the site URL to your list of top online libraries. In literature class, share this site and have students (or groups of students) explore one of the many works listed at this site. Challenge the groups to create electronic "posters" or word graphics (about their piece of literature) using a tool such as Piclits (reviewed here).
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): statistics (126)
In the ClassroomUsers must be knowledgeable of simple formatting and the various choices available for a survey. Follow the simple online guide to make your survey. View the demo on the main page for more information on how to use Obsurvey.
Consider creating a class account for students to use. Students can turn in a word document of questions to be able to attribute work to students. Be sure to spell out appropriate and inappropriate use, consequences, and then be sure to follow through.
Use a survey or poll to find answers to questions that are simple to collect data on (favorite food, color, vacation spot, number of siblings etc.) Use data to show averages, results of small and large samples, graphing, simple statistics, and more. Find results of what people believe about various issues or ideas to introduce in class discussions or debates. Want student input on a unit or possible next activity? Use a poll to find out! Use as a way to check for prior knowledge at the start of a unit. Polls and surveys are applicable for every subject at the beginning, middle, or end of a unit. Uncover misconceptions from students in your class as well as the school community.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): poetry (221)
In the ClassroomIntroduce your poetry unit by showing this site on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrating the three types of poems created from items known to students. Create poetry from student-created websites for classroom display. Have students create poems from websites then use this site to create poems and compare the different outputs. Choose websites that aren't language arts related such as math, history, or science sites and create poetry from their content. For some interesting, high level discussion, ask students what makes something a "poem" vs. simply a collection of words.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomShare this site with other teachers as a resource for locating recent literature and for book orders. Keep this site handy as a resource for ideas for student reading material, book clubs, summer reading lists, book circles, and classroom read-alouds. Be sure to list this site on your class website for students to access both in and out of school. After reading a new book, rather than having students complete a traditional book report, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Be sure to share the link with parents, too!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTo use this site, you will need to create an account. You will need to navigate using onscreen instructions. There is a video tour of the features if you would like to view it, but it is just as fun and easy to play with the tool. Slide themes are limited, but the tools are simple and it is easy to publish to a URL that can be shared with everyone.
Use this tool to create presentations when students will need more than class time to finish. Have students make individual presentations. Instead of presenting on projector, have them share to the class wiki or within their zoho group to promote discussion and peer review. Assign a round-robin peer review so everyone gets some feedback.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate quizzes to use for pre- and post- lesson assessments. Post the quizzes to your class website or blog as assignments. Insert videos, photos, and text into your quiz to reinforce concepts before students take the test. Assign students to create a quiz on a current topic as a wrap-up to a unit. Share the quiz on your interactive whiteboard or projector (use it as a center, rather than a "whole-group" activity. Learning support teachers may want to have students work with a partner to create review quizzes they can use as study aids.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): blogs (84), charts and graphs (196), communities (38), experiments (68), geology (81), literature (268), news (260), search strategies (24), spreadsheets (21), statistics (126), tutorials (49), wikis (15)