TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 23, 2011
Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomTo use this site constructively and to have students learn through exploration, try introducing the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students look at the course and discuss if and why miniature golf is an application of Newton's laws. Review Newton's laws. Show students how to make different angled shots and different strength of shots. Then, have students discuss how many strokes each hole should take according to Newton's Laws. Have students discuss how they could use the laws to play the best possible game of miniature golf. Once you allow the students to work on this on their own computer, have them take screen shots with jing (reviewed here), and have them type their reasoning for why the shot worked or did not work. Once students have had the chance to work with the program, an independent assignment could be created where students use Google sketchup explained hereor another online drawing program to create holes of their own. With this, have students create three holes one for each law or have them create holes that are impossible according to Newton's laws. Also have students discuss real miniature golf and why the action and reaction situations may be different in real life.
GradesK to 10
In the ClassroomUse these lessons in your health classes to help students understand the importance of heart health, CPR, and good emergency responses. Or, go to the comics, find a one that matches your lesson, copy it into a PowerPoint, and show on the interactive whiteboard to start class or as an entry journal topic. Use these resources to prepare your class for Jump Rope for the Heart or the other opportunities provided at this site.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): valentines day (11)
In the ClassroomReference the information on this website to use with a lesson on holidays or various history units. Assign speculated theories listed within the text to students and have them work in small groups to expand upon the information. Have them present their information to the class in a jigsaw format. Students could use the Valentine's Day information to compare and contrast with other holidays having similar historical connections such as Easter and May Day. Have cooperative learning groups compare the two holidays using a site such as, Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThese questions present a wealth of challenging writing prompts, class discussion starters, or extension/enrichment activities for gifted students or high ability writers in science or social students classes, in debate club, or in enrichment programs. Access the site yourself and cherry-pick your favorite questions. Alternatively, provide a link to the site and ask students to explore possible questions they'd like to answer or discuss. Finally, collaborate as a class to develop question prompts of your own as a group project and then post them to the site. Bookmark this site as one of those you go to when you have unexpected time to fill in class, or as a resource for a substitute teacher-led discussion. Science teachers can use technology issues to connect science with real world topics for students who may not otherwise see value in mastering concepts. Assign groups to explore a topic of their choice from this blog and present it in open-ended debate once a month in your science class or as part of a science careers unit.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomHelp your students understand why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and raise their awareness of discrimination and the struggle for civil rights by involving them in active viewing of A Class Divided projected on your classroom interactive whiteboard or projector. You can view the film in its entirety, or in separate chapters followed by the Discussion Questions. You may want to give students a specific task to do during the film. For example, you might ask them to listen for a particular issue or the answers to a set of questions, or take notes in preparation for one of the post-viewing activities. Replay the video or pause for discussion whenever you choose for focused, in depth exploration. Depending on your students' background knowledge and grade level, you may want to review or introduce some of the basic tenets of the United States Constitution that provide the legal grounding for equality and protection of individual rights. Explain that there are examples in American history when individuals' rights were denied and that many civil rights activists were arrested for either challenging demonstrating or breaking rules that they thought were unfair. Pose some of the questions for written assignments and discussion. This is a perfect lesson for Black History Month! Divide the class into groups to brainstorm situations that exist today within our own communities, and how they would feel and deal with it if they were the subjects. Students can easily create mind maps using free tools from Teachersfirst, such as diagrammr.com reviewed here or bubbl.us reviewed here. Have students choose words from songs to explore themes of freedom and equality, using Stories Behind the Songs reviewed here. High school students could extend this to a reading and study of the final chapter of "One America in the 21st Century," the 1998 report of President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race, which lists 10 things that every American should do to promote racial reconciliation. Ask students to add anything they think is missing and make a commitment to continue the crusade to end discrimination.
Grades2 to 12
NOTE: The Gallery does not display in Safari, but it does work in Firefox and Internet Explorer. Pretest to be sure this site functions fully on your computer or try a different browser.
tag(s): nutrition (126)
In the ClassroomWorld language or cultures classes can use this site to explore what school food is like in other cultures. When teaching nutrition, ask students to collaborate to describe a more healthy American lunch tray and create a drawing or pictorial to illustrate their ideas. Maybe have them upload images to Voicethread reviewed here and narrate to explain their food choices. With younger students, design a visual lunch on an interactive whiteboard together after brainstorming the best options. Alternatively, design an "international" lunch offering incorporating some of the world wide food choices that appeal to American children. Invite international parents to prepare and offer some international choices popular with children from their cultures on a World Culture day.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): browser (5)
In the ClassroomUsers must have a knowledge of finding and uploading documents, copying/pasting URL's, and creating a comment or annotation with the service is required. Consider creating a class account for use by students, however work attributable to each student will not be available. Students can initial their entries to keep track of participation. Discuss appropriate and inappropriate comments with students prior to using. Be aware that students can use this service to create a proxy server to view blocked pages while at school.
Use this tool to share citations within academic groups or to discuss design changes on a class or group page such as a wiki or blog. Use Webklipper to create a brand new page for your use. Use to review a movie or book, create silly jokes or stories, and more. Use this site to help ESL/ELL students learn new language skills by highlighting certain phrases. With Webklipper it is easy. Receive a unique URL with your content highlighted in the exact manner you wish. Use with classes to allow students to comments to any page you assign for discussion. Students can find pages of interest about a specific content topic and comment their likes and dislikes. Look at various political, environmental, or ethical viewpoints by adding URL's for both sides of the argument and allow time for commenting and voicing of opinion. Collect direct URLs to student "klips" on a wiki page for a specific topic such as water conservation or examples of executive powers. Teachers can share "klips" via links on the class web page to steer student reading of a web page. Include guiding questions to build reading comprehension or to connect reading to concepts being studied. Learning support teachers may want to create "klips" together with students, annotating assigned text to show understanding and learn target vocabulary.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): experiments (63)
In the ClassroomUse many of these resources for brain teasers, mind stretchers, or anticipatory sets to initiate class. Encourage students to brainstorm, explain, and even blog their reactions to these resources. Provide time for students to work out the science behind the demonstrations. Consider creating little podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here), with students demonstrating end explaining the science to show true understanding.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomFor those who are not strong readers, the audio-video combination provided here may make the concepts in the Gettysburg Address more accessible. For other students, there may be deeper, more complex questions sparked by the video. Did the creator of the video capture the concepts authored by Abraham Lincoln adequately? This video could be the "jumping off place" for a variety of questions the class might consider or project ideas for individual students. How might you do it differently? What about other well-known speeches or documents? How would you illustrate them for a similar video? Challenge students to create their own video accompanying a famous speech and share the video using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomHave your students open a word document and save it. Then have them take the quiz, without signing up. Use the "Print Screen" feature on the computer to have the students copy their test. They can then paste it in their word document. Next have them look to see what is their most dominate style, and have them copy and paste the description for that style first, then their next dominate and so on. Not only can your students use this when trying to figure out final projects for assessments, but if they are having trouble with tests, they can look and see what might help them when it comes to study time. You can also use the results to group students or for them to select a "study buddy" before tests! Many of the styles include possible careers for students to pursue.
Grades10 to 12
tag(s): functions (51)