TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 31, 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
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse for any work students may wish to collaborate on. They can easily make documents public or private and share with others. Though not a complete back up of all your documents, Dropbox can be used to collaborate and to finish work easily when on different computers. Any item you can work with using word can be used with Dropbox. Use this site to help all of your students (gifted, learning support, ADD) stay organized. 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. Share whole files and folders with students easily!
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
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Requires download/installation of software
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this interactive coral reef in a study of nonrenewable resources, conservation, or ecosystems. Put the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and watch your class jump into the water! As a starting point for Socrates seminar, debates, and persuasive writing, this site offers a great variety of passionate debate! Using this site as a model, have your students make a similar situation with other ecosystems. Have students create other scenarios for non-renewable resources, arguments for alternative energy, or even bring closer to home with a local dilemma. In writing class, develop an interactive based on the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. Why not have students create a Prezi presentation (reviewed here), simple to use with endless possibilities. Use the model for other scenarios and develop other story ideas. Use a problem based learning scenario into ways humans affect the environment. These activities will engage every learner!
GradesK to 5
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomFind great lesson plans that would be great in a health and science cross curricular unit. Students use simple tools such as thermometers and more to collect data and compare results. For a creative extension and informational writing activity, have students create their own "germ" profiles by using a paint program to draw a picture of an imaginary germ, its f vorite environment, and the things humans can do to keep it under control. Use a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to upload student-drawn images and have students narrate about them.
Grades2 to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): charts and graphs (195)
In the ClassroomYou will want to play with this tool before using it in class, but it is very simple to use. Use anywhere numerical data is collected and is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science, survey, or math class and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. Use for quick creation and sharing of created graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard when introducing the different types to elementary students. Have students operate the board so their peers can see how the tool works and give each other oral directions as they problem solve together. Then make the chart site a small group center during math class for further practice on a computer or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites for quick retrieval any time students need to make a quick chart. For student practice, have them chart time spent on homework or hobbies, favorite pets, etc. Reinforce good study habits in middle school by having students make charts of their average grades or time spent on independent reading.
tag(s): homework (46)
In the ClassroomThis tool would be mighty handy for online assignments and anything that is completed digitally. Best of all, as the teacher you can set up one email account, share the password with all of your students, and they can send you files. They never need to access anything but this website. This is extremely handy for those who are conducting or pushing towards paperless classrooms.
Grades6 to 10
In the ClassroomHave students try this activity as an introduction to bacteria. Allow students to "play" for about fifteen minutes, depending on the grade of the students. Then discuss what the students have discovered. Have students investigate further using other sources to find facts on the six different bacteria included in the simulation. This is a great way to engage students in the study of bacteria. Once students have learned more about the bacteria, have students replay the simulation and evaluate how much more effective they are at keeping the bacteria alive.
If you click on the lizard on the right at the top of the page, he gives the you a challenge: "Can you think of a brand new way that microbes can help us?" Have small groups of students brainstorm about how else microbes could be used. Have students use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share concept maps of their ideas.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great find for gifted students, those working to advance their vocabulary levels, and for ESL/ELL students who may be puzzled by rapidly changing idiomatic language around them. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for future reference. When teaching word study, such as roots and affixes, include this site to show how new words evolve and that language is a living thing. Perhaps even share a word a day from this site for students to guess the definition.
During a study of dictionary skills, discuss with students how new words might come to be in the dictionary. Have small groups of students brainstorm slang words they've heard around school and their neighborhoods. Once they have their list, they can look these words up on Word Spy. For any word that isn't there, have them create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here as a page that could be included in Word Spy.