TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 20, 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
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomTeach one of the highest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (evaluating) using this tool. Have s student operator open it on a projector or interactive whiteboard and have the class determine criteria for decision making, such as how to choose the best location for a field trip or decide on the best book to read. Ask how they choose books for independent reading, and have them develop their own criteria as a class. Send out questions for students to decide on classroom events such as field trips - offer 2 or 3 choices along with criteria to consider when choosing. Offer to allow students to choose the next read-aloud book to be used in the classroom, choose student of the week or month recipients, activities for classroom parties, etc. Use this site to start a class debate on historical choices that may be considered controversial (i.e the use of the atomic bomb). Share this with other staff in your building and use the site to make decisions on professional development topics, dates for get-togethers and more. Include this link on your class website for groups to use in making project decisions or to simulate political process and the ways legislators make decisions.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with students when researching careers or space exploration. This is a perfect site for Women's History Month! Use information from the site for students to use as a model for researching career information. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here) to put a fictitious radio news story on a woman they learned about from this site. Woices also includes map features, so be sure students share the location where their researched woman is originally from.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site to use with any animal research or projects. Introduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector and allow students to explore on their own. Have students choose an animal from the site to research then make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use questions from the Issues and Topics section during classroom debates and discussions on the environment.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): africa (180), architecture (83), cells (102), europe (75), evolution (101), genetics (90), grammar (217), literature (275), motion (60), numbers (203), operations (125), probability (130), statistics (122), verbs (41)
In the ClassroomUse the more than 200 Interactive activities and 855 ready-to-use lessons to provide technology-rich lessons to teach many of the most difficult concepts in the core subjects. Use the variety of assessment options that are found within each lesson. Note the Quick Launch numbers on the resource you will be using to direct students to the correct activity. Example activities include a Web Inquiry which is a guided and self-paced investigation that is built around a focus question.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse as an easy way to edit videos without using costly programs or difficult, time consuming applications. Use for any video that needs to be edited before placing on a wiki, blog, or site. Use for any student project, videotaping of classroom activities, or tapes of students explaining their experiment. Create a compilation video of short clips from throughout the year to share as an end of the year overview. Take long sections of video from a field trip and use Magisto to shorten to the most important bits. Magisto. 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.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for use on the interactive whiteboard. Display the game and challenge students to make adjustments to the shapes. Create a class chart of scores for a class competition. Use the site to review Geometry terms. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to practice on their own.
GradesK to 5
The site is free; however, many portions require registration for a username and password. Parents can also sign up for a paid membership that entitles them to use the Parent Report Center and access to hidden worlds not available with a free membership. Click on the "Membership" link to learn more about what is available. The site is free, and a few activities are available without signing up. However, to have access to more games you must register with an email. There is a premium version with additional reporting tools available for a fee.
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomIntroduce the site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) then create links on classroom and computer lab computers to use as a center. Share the link on your classroom website or blog for students to access from home.
Grades9 to 12
The current download is the second version of the game. The first was edited and enhanced based on the feedback of teachers and the students who used this interactive in the classroom. The download takes about five to fifteen minutes depending on Internet connection. Also, it is Windows-only. You are able to download the program onto a CD and upload it on several computers. No registration is required to download the game. However, if you register, you will be notified of updates and it qualifies you to be a beta tester if interested. The game is fairly complex; however the graphics are great and the game is challenging. Students will probably "get the hang of it" much faster than most adults. There is a key that you can print with the commands to make the vessel do what you want it to do. Educationally speaking, the learning assistant is a great tool! It provides detailed information about different parts of the body and cells.
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomBe sure that if you download at school on to school computers that you have sufficient permissions. If downloading is a problem at your school, the file is big (500 MG), it can be saved to a CD and burned so that there are multiple copies as long as the discs are being used for educational purposes. Have students use earphones as they listen/engage in this interactive. The students will love the sound, but you may want to keep your sanity by only listening to one at a time. If you are adventurous enough to master the game, you could demonstrate how to use it on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Or, have students come to your computer and have them operate it in front of the class. To enhance the educational value of the game, have students learn at least three new facts about the immune system each time they are allowed to play in class. You could use this educational tool in science class as enrichment during a unit on cells. If students have completed all daily classwork and are current on all work, allow them the opportunity to try their hand at this game. Or create a stationed lab on microbiology, and have this be a hands on media station at the interactive whiteboard.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse as an introduction to a unit on water or pollution. Use to introduce the chemistry of water (and how life on Earth would not be possible without it) by finding ways that water is affected by other materials and discussing the chemistry behind it. Explore in a civics and government class as a contemporary issue not constrained by international boundaries. Allow students the opportunity to explore on their own and report interesting facts and troublesome points to the rest of the class for further review and research. Use on Earth Day or as part of Earth Week activities. Divide younger students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Create letters to the editor, blog posts, and other multimedia or conventional items to portray what they have learned. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts and their additional research. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades10 to 12
In the ClassroomAllow students the opportunity to choose various data and view the charts that follow. Ask questions about various trends noticed and research behavioral and environmental reasons for better understanding. Assign a various types of data and allow time for groups of students to manipulate in different ways to learn how various data sets can be interpreted differently by scientists. From each question asked, use more data sets to learn more about various species of birds or environmental factors.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): search engines (65)