Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse your projector or interactive whiteboard and spend time moving through the objects and looking at the relationships between the sizes. Be sure to instruct students on how to read powers of 10 for understanding of the sizes. This would also be a way to help students visualize the concept of scientific notation! Use the items as part of a "size scavenger hunt." Consider creating visual displays of information similar to this to show relationships between objects. Use a zooming tool such as Prezi or any other multimedia tool.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUsing controversial topics that have more than one side is a great way to develop critical thinking and problem solving. Find issues on this site that relate to your curriculum and use them as an entry point for a new unit. Use the teaching resources found under the Teacher's Corner. Use this site to teach how to distinguish facts from opinions, using information to write essays or create speeches, or hold a class debate. Help students develop flexibility in their thinking by having them argue a side they do NOT agree with. Focus on critical thinking with your students to develop skills needed for life. Use as a whole class activity or for individual students to find an issue of interest to them. Gifted students often think deeply on such issues at an early age and will find these topics of great interest. Use this site to guide a deliberate discussion or debate.
I also love this site, but I don't see any advertising on there at all. The site is free. Not sure how they stay afloat but I'm glad they do. For me, it is better than Opposing Viewpoints database for its depth, ease of use, and lack of registration/passwords. I use it for student debates on current events, and my wife (an English teacher) uses it for persuasive essays and role play debates., , Grades: 0 - 12
I've used this and it's great! Balanced, has good resources. Helps students see both sides of an issue.Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomProvide time for student groups to explore this tool, record observations, discuss information they know, and generate questions. Research information to answer questions. Use this site before discussing the metric system or conversions between various units. It can be used to discuss the use of significant figures and errors in measurements and numbers. Use it as a springboard to measuring and comparing various items that students are familiar with. Embed this on to your class site for easy access by students.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomCreate flashcards for your classes -- or have them make their own. Try using them as an introduction to a concept, then again in the practice of the concept, and one more time as a final review. This would be great for teaching Latin prefixes and suffixes of words used in science terms or for standardized test preparation. Try having students create flashcards and share with each other to quiz themselves within their own groups. Clicking on Discussion Group in the upper right corner to start a discussion thread about a flashcard to extend learning. Teach students in higher grades how to create flash cards with multiple blanks to challenge their brain to remember more pieces of the puzzle. Show them how to carefully read through their classroom notes and underline the most important word or words in a sentence. Then have them leave out the most important words for their flashcards. Learning support teachers might want to have small groups create cards together to review together before tests. Have students create flashcard sets to "test" classmates on what they "teach" in oral reports.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): media literacy (64)
In the ClassroomShare this article with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector before they begin preparing projects for presentation. Use information from the site for your own information when preparing presentations for the classroom or professionally.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomReading is a cross curricular activity. Every teacher, not only English, language arts, and reading teachers, should teach or review these strategies with students before asking them to find information and read on the Web. The Successful Web Reader provides teacher and student-friendly, practical tips and information to aid "critical linking" and path following, effective scanning, avoiding distractions, and how to get the most out of a quick visit. Bookmark this website in your favorites. Choose from the many links of helpful information to project on your whiteboard at opportune times.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomSet up Newtools on a classroom computer. Make this one of several writing prompt options for blogs or other open-ended assignments. Allow students who finish work early or who need a journal idea to scroll through and try to find an idea that you have studied in class. Write several of these on your interactive whiteboard and then have students choose which one they would like to work on. Once all the projects are complete, rotate the students around the room to share with classmates who worked on a different project. Use this site to challenge gifted students to produce a higher level project. Some of the projects suggest using video or another presentation format. Be sure to check TeachersFirst Edge Presentation tools here to find one that is just right.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): portfolios (32)
In the ClassroomLeap into the age of technology by making your student portfolios digital. Use DIY for student portfolios of class projects, explorations at home, and family fun. To get started, make a whole-class account to share class accomplishments. Then move to having each student create his/her own. The digital portfolio includes an extra bonus: parent involvement. Using parent emails, the work shared brings a close home-school connection going beyond just parents to extended family and friends. Have basic standards and requirements for posting to encourage quality control. Excite and motivate students using this easy portfolio. Use for an after school club, such as book club, photography club, Lego club, Odyssey of the Mind, chorus, or news team to keep a digital record of events, ideas, or projects. During science fair or any long-term project, record step by step progress. Use as a presentation tool, data notebook, or reflection tool. Teachers of gifted (or teachers who have gifted students in their class) can encourage these students to start collecting a portfolio of their best work, especially projects that go beyond the regular schools curriculum or school year. If a student has a special interest in poetry, rocketry, or forestry, encourage him/her to start documenting accomplishments with explanations, pictures, and links.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
GradesK to 12
tag(s): video (279)
In the ClassroomBe sure that your teaching style fits the use of Presentation Tube before using in the classroom. Easily create presentations for students to access. Be sure to play with the software before using to create your first real product. Provide links to presentations on your wiki, blog, site, or other courseware site.
Time is always short in the classroom, and sometimes it's hard to make time for oral presentations. Have the students use Presentation Tube to report out their research, and you and their peers can watch it and grade it any time. Or, have students post their Presentation Tube to your web page or TeacherTube reviewed here, and they can view and peer evaluate the projects. You may want to create your own rubric with student input for this. See a selection of rubric makers here on TeachersFirst. Another idea would be to have students create a Presentation Tube for the results of their research, and then pause and comment during an oral presentation to the class. Students with speech difficulties or challenges with English fluency will appreciate the opportunity to prerecord their presentations without an audience. High school students can also narrate a portfolio slide show for Art school applications or a show of accomplishments for college applications. Students can package book reviews or author reports to be shared in the media center. In primary grades, have students narrate their portion of a whole-class slide show, then share it with parents and grandparents by url. They can practice oral reading as they share their story slides.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomBring out the budding engineer, scientist, or designer in your students. Create simple models or use one created by others in Tinkercad. Give ample time for students to play with the variety of shapes and letters. As they become proficient, create a 3D model science fair for products that solve problems. As part of a multidisciplinary unit in science, technology, economics, math, social studies, and English classes, use this site to create a culminating design project.
Have the final design project be a new museum or historical/tourist attraction to commemorate a local hero/heroine. In English classes, have students create a written grant for the design proposal. In economics, have the students discover how to construct the project for the best possible cost. In math and science classes, have the students "build" the project with accurate measurements. Then as a follow up, have students use Google Earth reviewed here to predict the environmental impact of the new construction. Or, in technology education or industrial arts class, use this as a way to submit project drafts for construction.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): search engines (58)
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for your visual learners or weaker readers. Use this site on an interactive whiteboard to show students how to search for information. Use the page counter to show students how different search terms provide different results. Place on your class webpage for students to access at school and home. Be sure to check out their education page where you can find lesson ideas. Learning support and ESL/ELL students will appreciate being able to search without as much reading. Even very young students can LOOK for a site using this search tool, assuming they can type just a little bit.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): computers (101)
In the ClassroomHave trouble sharing files with students because they do not have email? Do they need to share files with each other for collaborative projects ? Try using Just Beam It! No email or flash drive needed. File transfer is quick. Drag, drop and share! So easy, a savvy fourth grader could do it.
Grades10 to 12
tag(s): test prep (97)
In the ClassroomProject this website on your classroom white board to show all students the power and opportunity to improve their scores and make their college entrance dreams attainable. Demonstrate the easy to navigate menu of the available resources in addition to practice questions and advice, such as sample essays and the ongoing blog with responses to frequently asked questions, samples of exemplary college applications, and scholarships. Inform parents and provide a link for I Need a Pencil on your class web page. Make your guidance counselors, principal, and other administrators aware and ask them to include the website in the school's newsletter. Many school districts set aside a night to meet with students and parents of high school juniors and seniors. What a great opportunity to encourage them to use this web site.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): infographics (51)
In the ClassroomRead through this professional tutorial if you have even considered trying infographics with your students. You will find just the encouragement you need. Mark this one in your Favorites and share the many examples with your students, including student-created examples from a ninth grade class, as you launch your own infographics projects. Let your students "show what they know" in a new way.
Grades10 to 12
In the ClassroomIncrease the amount of DIY learning in your classroom by joining the Maker Faire movement. Not close to an actual Maker Faire? Implement ideas in the playbook to increase the amount of STEM in your class and a new way to learn to engage your students and create excitement in careers they have not thought about. Consider holding an in-school Maker Faire of your own with parent help.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Course Hero to introduce note taking for your study skills class or integrate into any subject. After introducing each note-taking strategy mentioned, have your students try each type and decide which works best for each individual. Immediately after your first audio lecture, give a pop quiz. Let students try note taking and discover the value for success. Use as a remediation tool for learners who need more reinforcement. Introduce in gifted classes, when these learners can no longer rely on simply remembering. At your parent orientation, give this site as a resource. And be sure to provide this link on your class website.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): polls and surveys (55)
In the ClassroomMentimeter is helpful in the classroom as a formative assessment tool. Educators can interact with others inside class or during presentations. Because the poll address and ID code number can be given verbally, it is very easy to create and give to classes. Survey students during activities and lectures to check on understanding of important concepts. Responses can also be open ended by creating your poll without any choice of answers. Students can only vote once per question with this tool.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): aircraft (25), atmosphere (29), aviation (35), data (162), energy (210), engineering (133), equations (152), functions (69), geometric shapes (173), magnetism (39), measurement (178), number sense (96), oil (40), operations (122), ratios (63), robotics (27), scientific method (67), solar energy (40), space (225), statistics (128), STEM (187), teaching strategies (26), water (134)
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site as a resource for STEM lessons in your classroom. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects or differentiating lessons in your classroom. Search this site for some new ideas to implement in your classroom. Share the Student tab on your class website for students to explore several "kid friendly" topic such as Fish-y Gardening, Pirate Race, Slime Time, Engineer Girl, Build a Bot, and more. Students who complete one of the "kid friendly" projects at home could develop a presentation using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to PowerPoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here), or a multimedia presentation to share with the class. For tools and ideas about creating multimedia presentations see one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomConsider creating Infographics of material learned in class and for better understanding and connection with other topics and the "real world." Make curriculum content more real with infographics that students can relate to. Have students create their own infographics with this site to display what they have learned from a unit of study, how vocabulary words are related to the unit content, or as a review before a test. It could even be a replacement for the test! Connect data found on the Internet to information needed to understand that data. (Consider looking at different ways to show the data which can generate bias.) Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to allow student groups to present an Infographic about a book they've read, related news article, etc. Create Infographics about events such as Earth Day, D-Day, Take Your Child to Work Day, and other observances.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomConsider using quantitative data (or collecting your own) to create class graphics explaining and sharing the data. This tool does not create infographics that show flow charts or non-numeric relationships. Use the site to teach data and the graphic display of data. Common Core expects students to interpret data from visual representations and to create their own visual representations of information. Allow groups of students to choose a graphic and report to the class on how the data was made more meaningful using the graphics that were chosen. You may also want to share this link as a research tool for debates or presentations on science or social studies topics. Discuss the science, history, or math behind the data collected. Discuss other information and ways of presenting the information in order to create a more interesting graphic.
To challenge your gifted students, have them research and create infographics depicting the data to support stances on issues related to your curriculum topics: Numbers of people affected by climate change, economic effects of pollution, etc. Have them research the data and present it visually on a class wiki, then write an accompanying explanation or opinion piece.