TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 26, 2012
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
GradesK to 5
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In the ClassroomUse this site to practice word recognition, pronunciation, and phonics rules. The Mr. Thorne Does Phonics site would be a wonderful site to have available for students on classroom computers as a reading/learning center. Or share specific video clips with your entire class on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge your students to make their own Mr. Thorne inspired videos for phonics or grammar. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomThis site would be perfect to use when introducing a unit on rocks and the rock cycle, plate tectonics, or heat and pressure within the earth. Allow students to explore the interactives and compose questions that they would like to have answered. Challenge students to create a word cloud of terms from one of the interactives using a tool such as Wordle reviewed here. Continue to add to the Wordle throughout your unit.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomThese interactives make great center activities to support learning. Or if individual computers aren't available, use your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider using the IWB as a student-run center for pairs to take turns. There are numerous activities to choose from and differentiate for your students' needs. This is definitely one to save in your favorites (or bookmark). Be sure to share this link via your newsletter or list it on your class website, blog, or wiki. Use your TeachersFirst public page (part of free membership) to share with a single click!
Grades6 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse this resource to create homework help for students to peruse when they are stuck on their own trying to complete assignments. Create mini lessons for students to review or learn the material they may have missed. Consider allowing students to use your account to write a script and record mini lessons for use by other students. Even two recordings of the same lesson is valuable as information can be explained differently from more than one person. Be sure to include this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse these videos as an introduction or as a way to review material covered in class. Make theoretical biology concepts more concrete through visuals and real diseases. Share these video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide this link on your class website for students to view both in and out of the classroom. Be sure to check out the videos on the Malarial life cycle for a great application of many different biological concepts.
Grades4 to 12
Note: QR code readers exist for every type of phone and are easily found on the Internet. For computers, add-ons exist for Firefox and Chrome as well as a desktop application from Adobe.
In the ClassroomUse to make any class content into a treasure hunt for knowledge. Keep students engaged by creating learning centers that have a question requiring an answer and perhaps another activity at the center before going on to the next. Have students learn and answer questions about mystery objects, art prints, or books/authors with accompanying QR codes. Identify trees by creating a QR code with a question about the tree and perhaps another link taking them to specific information. Create a scavenger hunt around the school asking questions about activities in the school or certain student projects found in showcases. (The first QR code could be printed in the school newsletter.) Create a treasure hunt with books in the library to test library search skills or to find a specific book and answer questions from the index, table of contents, etc. Use QR codes on objects in Geometry to ask questions about the shapes or solve a problem based on a physical object. Any subject area and content could find a use for this Treasure Hunt Generator. Challenge students to create their own QR treasure hunts as a way to "present" research projects. Use in social studies for the entire class to create a QR code hunt around your community to bring local history to life for all residents.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this resource for any project or other classroom research where students can benefit from collaborative research. This is a great alternative to meeting at a group member's house or the library. And it saves gas! For students under age 13, use a whole class account and have each group use a different TAB that you set up for them. A how-to video on the site will guide you through set up.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomTo use this tool, create an account and start playing with the features. There are also tutorials and showcases featured on the site to show what can be done. This would be great for creating time lines in social studies class, showing different places and teaching geography and social studies together. Foreign language students could create maps explaining culture aspects of the language or trace the origins of language. Assign students in math or family consumer sciences to be travel agents and plan vacations, including the costs of the trip.
As part of a book project, have your students show the setting of a novel they are reading, with images that annotate their impression of what the setting looks like. Have students create visual current events, especially for events that take place over time, such as the primaries and Presidential Elections.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomDemonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to create their own Wridea tool. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group study guides or review charts before a test. Have students use Wridea as a study guide by brainstorming all the important concepts they remember about the unit being studied in history or science, and then have them share their Wridea with another student who will add concepts that were left out. Build student creative fluency by having them use Wridea to create categories of wonder, question, and answers for research; map out a story or plot line, or map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings based on pivotal points.
This resources looks like it has a wide variety of applications suitable to upper elementary and secondary classrooms. Sign up was quick and easy, but I received a message upon completing those steps that Wridea doesn't support Internet Explorer. It "suggested" using Mozilla Firefox instead. I'm a strong advocate for being comfortable with using several browsers, so, this doesn't throw up any huge roadblocks to me, but if you do not have or use Firefox, you will need to take that extra step as well before actually making use of this tool.Rita, WA, Grades: 6 - 12
Editor's Note: the review has been updated to reflect this new information.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomAdd the dimension of sound into your language arts classes with SoundCloud! Turn written stories or poetry into works of spoken art. Use SoundCloud recordings of places such as; the city, the forest, the beach, or a cafeteria to bring settings to life. Make and share audio writing prompts. Challenge students to create their own story using sounds. Add sound into projects such as webquests, PowerPoints, podcasts, or blogging to hear the results! Emphasize important messages to your parent or student emails using sound. What a practical solution for ESL/ELL learners. Record and share poetry readings during Poetry Month. Save quarterly recordings of speech articulation students s they can hear their own progress (and you can share it with parents). Check school policies, of course, before uploading any student recordings to the web. Instrumental music teachers can share clips of musical pieces for students to emulate during at-home practice.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
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)
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
Requires download/installation of software