TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 19, 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
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site as an introduction to social studies lessons on the Houses of Congress and the judicial and executive branches. Encourage your students to write letters to senators or representatives after learning about their accessibility here. Students can fill out a survey of interest to legislators with their parents here. Assign students specific government officials to research and prepare a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create a Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here). Rather than a traditional report, challenge students (independently or collaboratively) to create an online book using a site such as Mixbook (reviewed here).
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector and allow students to explore on their own. Create a scavenger hunt with questions from the students and have students explore the site to find answers. Watch videos on your interactive whiteboard during lessons on energy production, conservation, or history lesson. After learning about a specific topic, challenge cooperative learning groups to complete a multimedia presentation such as a "talking pictures" using Fotobabble reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomMake a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Challenge students to complete the Investigations in the site, then write about their thinking process in Math journals or on the class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and try the activities as a whole class. Or have small groups rotate to a whiteboard and manipulate the activities together. Put a link to the activities on your class website and let students use as a center. Use the quizzes as a pretest to see what students already know. When you have finished studying the unit have students retake the quiz to see how much they learned. Print out the provided activities and use for homework or to provide extension activities for more advanced students.
GradesK to 5
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students interact with the site as a whole group or place on your classroom computers and use as a center. Use this site with older students, especially the Find the Typo activity. This is a really good way to strengthen proofreading skills. The geography quizzes will be another great addition to your teaching. Quizzes are available for several countries and all the continents. Share this site with your students and parents via your class website or newsletter. This is an excellent tool to use for basic practice during the summer, to avoid "summer slide."
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): pi (25)
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, then allow students to explore on their own. Use the poems, photos, and other aesthetics as examples, then have students create their own Pi aesthetics to share on your classroom website or blog. Have a class competition to see who can memorize the most digits in Pi after training with the Pi memory trainer.
Grades1 to 8
In the ClassroomThis site is good for the computer class or for teacher professional development. Several of the tutorials support National Technology Standards. Use the presentation titled "Searching the Internet" to show students how to effectively find information. When it's Science Fair time, use the "Graph with Spreadsheets" lesson to help students report their project data. Put a link on your classroom wiki or website so students can learn skills on their own. Great if you and your students participate in TechYES or GenYES. Technology Coordinators use these to help your staff become more proficient using technology.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to do a general overview of the history of vaccines. Students can then select specific areas of interest and go to the articles section to get more information on areas of their choice. Have them do an online poster project combining information from here and from their own research using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Or have students create their own interactive timelines using a site such as TimeRime reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomYou will want to save this website to your favorites to return to it often and implement materials to fit your curriculum. The materials may be projected on your classroom whiteboard or projector to enhance background information, comprehension, and critical thinking for the literary selection you are currently studying. Thought provoking questions could be used for both oral and written responses.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the chart as a basis for writing prompts, fishbowl discussions, blog posts, and more. Create a wiki page about the background information of the chart. Consider using the topics here to conduct your own research and publish your own charts through a wiki or blog. Want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomProvide students with a copy of the explorations questions to complete alone or with a partner. Use on your interactive whiteboard for a quick 5 minute filler, change the amount of the tortoise's head-start each time to offer different outcomes each time. Ask students to predict the outcome of each race before beginning, allow changes midway, and discuss what is happening to change students' opinions.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomExplore new worlds in reading by introducing your students to The Exquisite Corpse Adventure. Children of all ages have played progressive story games for centuries, where one person begins a story, stops at a cliffhanging moment, and the next person picks it up and continues, and so on, until everyone in the group has the opportunity to contribute. Take a look at the website to become familiar with the episodes and then put your own spin on a similar project. It can combine the tradition of oral storytelling with the written form, and even include illustrations so that you can tap into students' range of strengths and weaknesses. Whether you choose to "tighten the reigns" by setting the parameters, such as including the use of vocabulary, grammar, and literary elements you are studying, or letting it evolve spontaneously, the possibilities are endless. Best of all, the contributors get to decide what happens next. Perhaps students could be involved in creating a similar ongoing story on a class wiki (learn more about wikis at the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through). The story can continue throughout the school year and culminate with a digital story presentation created with tools from Educational Uses of Digital Story Telling reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): comics and cartoons (71)
In the ClassroomHave small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of something you just read in class. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon about the characters and plot. You can also have your students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant or the planets.
Register and play with the simple tools to choose how many frames, settings, people, dialog bubbles, and props. Save your work to come back later or you may "publish" right away. You have a choice about whether others are allowed to view and "remix" your work. You also have the option to edit work or embed it in a website, blog e-mail or wiki. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy, (since you own the master account).
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project