Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse as an enhancement to research projects of family, historic events, and world cultures by finding and uploading pictures to the map. Use Historypin as a resource to compare and contrast different time periods in the same geographic area. Demonstrate on the interactive whiteboard or projector how different places have changed over time. Have individual students or cooperative learning groups create podcasts using PodOmatic (reviewed here) to go along with the maps. ESL students will appreciate the ability to upload pictures and/or learn about their country of original.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomExpose your students to different levels of the learning spiral by challenging them to use problem-solving skills for increasingly difficult obstacles. Students can work in small groups to foster cooperation and teamwork as they sort, graph, follow and give directions, and discuss ideas. Of course you will need some LEGOs, so you might try raiding your own children's toy boxes, include a request in your classroom newsletter for donations, look around for LEGO kits collecting dust on classroom shelves, or put it on your school's PTA wish list. Be sure to have cooperative learning groups video their activities to share with the rest of the class using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades1 to 5
In the ClassroomUse the mapping activities from this site as a classroom activity during a unit on Chinese geography or history. Print out the mapping worksheets, and have student pairs or cooperative learning groups complete the activity. This would be a great way to review Chinese geography, or bring in contextual information about the geography during a unit on Ancient or modern China.
Grades3 to 5
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plan on this site! Be sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy reference later on.
GradesK to 3
At the time of this review, there was one cartoon available which was entertaining - however, not particularly educational.
In the ClassroomMark this site in Favorites on the computers in your classroom. Pair students on individual computers to try some of the activities. If individual computers aren't available, share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make an IWB "center" for small groups. Share this site with ESL or special education students who need to catch up on alphabet or math skills. This is a fabulous site to list in your class newsletter or on your class website or blog for extra practice at home.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBring teaching and learning to new heights by using this service as a great form of professional development. At conferences, use Twitter as a backchannel to expand upon thoughts and ideas during presentations and after. Have a question to ask others' opinion about? Throw it out to Twitter to see the great perspectives given by those who follow you. Start out slowly and look at conversations that catch your eye. Follow people with experience in your areas of interest to gain from the conversations. Start off by following @teachersfirst or @cshively (our leader).
Learn about hashtags -- ways to mark, search, and follow conversations on a specific topic. For example, the #ntchat tag is for new and pre-service teachers and the #edchat hashtag is for all teachers. Participate in these chats which are scheduled at certain days and times or search for their tweets anytime. Find archived tweets from these chats to learn from some wonderful and motivated teachers when it is convenient for YOU. Use other Twitter applications to search or collect specific hashtags.
As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account to share what you are doing with parents and especially for your class to follow people in topics you study. Studying space? Follow NASA. Studying politics and government? Follow your congressional rep or the White House. Consider using your teacher or class account to send updates to other teachers across the country or across the globe. You can also teach about responsible digital citizenship by modeling and practicing it as a class. A whole-class, teacher account is the most likely way to gain permission to use Twitter in school, especially if you can demonstrate specific projects. That can be as simple as making sure you and that teacher are FOLLOWING each other, then sending a direct message (start the tweet with D and the other teacher's twitter name) or creating a group with your own hashtag for a project such as daily weather updates. Even if you are not "following" someone, you can send them a tweet using @theirtwittername in the body of the message. This is called a "mention" but can be seen by others, too. Compare what your class is observing in today's weather, which topics you will be discussing today, or ask for another class' opinions on a current events issue. Ask for updates about local concerns, such as talking to California schools about wildfires in their area or a Maine school about a blizzard. Challenge another class to tweet the feelings of a literacy character, such as Hamlet, and respond as Ophelia, all in 140 characters or less. Have gifted students? Connect your classroom with the outside world to find greater challenges and connections beyond your regular curriculum.
Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.
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)
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMake a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their mp3 players. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to access at home. Learning support teachers may want to use selections from this site as alternatives to reading print literature selections. Play a story on your computer speakers as a listening activity in younger grades.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomSave this site as a favorite and use it as a resource to find supplementary materials or lesson plans for a lesson or unit on China. Several of the activities would make great learning centers or stations as a review tool before an assessment or after immediate instruction. Be sure to save the sites as favorite on classroom computers, making it easier for students to navigate there.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): china (65)
In the ClassroomBrowse through this site to find activities to fit your specific class during a unit on Ancient China. After you've found games that can work, save them as favorites on classroom computers and use them as learning centers or stations. This would be a great way to review before an assessment or immediately after a lecture introducing the topic.
Grades4 to 8
tag(s): landforms (49)
In the ClassroomWhat a great addition to any class studying landforms, continents, bodies of water, and many other geography concepts. Be sure to save this site in your favorites. Share this site "on the big screen" using your projector or interactive whiteboard.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate more compelling graphics for presentations, multi-media projects, reports, yearbooks, newsletters, or class websites. When publishing student writing, liven up the "About the Author" page with a more artistic photograph of the author. Instead of using a dull student mug shot for the class job board or for class routine charts, replace it with photo illustrations. Share class rules through interesting "characters" speaking on the bulletin board! The speech bubble option may help students learn to write in the first person narrative, or reveal the unspoken thoughts of a character from a book or point in time. Use BeFunky characters in a center for creative writing or as visual writing prompts for the entire class. Use the images for creating political posters for fictitious candidates and their platforms. Photograph a reenactment of scenes from a fairy tale or folktale. Transform these photos into illustrations for a wordless interactive online book using a tool such as on Bookemon reviewed here. Students participating in a social network for class such as a blog or wiki, will enjoy using Befunky to create entertaining profile pictures. 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. Many schools prohibit use of "social networking" sites. Check your school policies and/or obtain parent permission before allowing students to use social features. Spell out specific permissions and consequences. Of course you will also want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online gallery.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): printables (39)
In the ClassroomThis site is a great way to add creativity to your teaching. Make games boards that can be used to review curriculum in any subject area. These games can be used as a center to support your curriculum. These boards aren't just for the teacher, have pairs of students work together to create their own games. Perhaps have them research a topic, then share the information with peers in the form of a game. Then have students exchange games for other pairs to play. This is a great way to differentiate an assignment by providing different versions of a game or having students create their own at an appropriate level of difficulty. For students who need more support, provide partially completed versions for them to "create" the rest from a word bank.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the site with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work in cooperative groups and take part in the mock congress. They will develop critical thinking and collaboration skills as they research, draft, and pass original legislation. Use the downloadable campaign simulation software (free), and have your students role play and run a senatorial campaign.
br> If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): assessment (117)