TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Apr 8, 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
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomHistory teachers struggle for "coverage," or the ability to teach across all eras. U.S. History teachers often don't get to the Vietnam era, but these resources are a superb reason for pressing forward. Teacher resources include a number of guided investigations and classroom listening guides that can be incorporated in their entirety or adapted to complement lessons on the Vietnam era in a recent U.S. History class, on social change for a Sociology class, or on contemporary music as an agent of political protest for a music class. For independent or gifted learners, this site could provide the basis for sustained small group inquiry as part of curriculum differentiation. Start by asking students to explore the site and write a blog post about their initial impressions.
Grades1 to 8
In the ClassroomShare these stories during an anti-bullying lesson. Talk about how you would feel if you stuttered or were bullied for another reason. Make a list of ways to react to bullies. Encourage students to add their own experiences to this site, if appropriate permissible under school policies (check with your administrator). Get parent permission before posting any student work on this sharing site.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse your interactive whiteboard and projector to introduce this site and one voyage. Point out all the little sail boat icons. Click to see text and images. Use these lessons as is or adapt for your own use. Consider having students work in groups of four, and have each group explore a different voyage (listed by year). There are a lot of sail boat placemarkers for each voyage. Have the small groups of students investigate the first several days of each voyage together. After that, suggest they split the placemarkers up, take notes about what they learn, and inform each other about what happened on the days they investigated. Once they've investigated their voyage, remix the groups so you have one student from each of the different voyages together. Have them share information and determine what was alike and different for each year. Use a graphic organizer or mind mapping tool such as WiseMapping reviewed here, or Exploratree reviewed here to help students keep track of the information. Once done have students access the additional resources page and click on the comparison mapping button. Have them compare their information to the maps provided. Older students may want to investigate information about careers related to GIS, Conservation, and Marine Biology by using the link at the bottom of the page.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomUse activities on this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as whole class activities or in classroom computer centers. Share the site with parents through your classroom website or newsletter as a resource for skills practice at home.
Grades8 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomEncourage students to do a project about learning and post their results here, if policies permit. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter so they can better understand the nature of learning and its challenges. Use the self-assessment with any class -- without joining the site -- as you talk about study skills and finding individual strengths for studying and learning. Consider letting students form study groups based on the results. This is an ideal activity for early in the school year.
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)
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIn math class, have students choose and analyze a musical pattern as part of a unit on algorithms. Have them change the parameters using the program controls to produce a sound that they like. Then have them relate the changes they hear to the changes in the math. In music class, have students create their own portfolio of music using Wolfram Tones. Encourage students to replicate their tones with their own musical instruments. Your talented math/music students and gifted students will love this site! Be sure to share the link on your class web page for easy access.
Grades2 to 10
In the ClassroomCreate a classroom account and create playlists for different instructional content. Assign content as stuednts move along in the curriculum. Assign videos for students to use for review and remediation, or assign videos for self-motivated students who are ready to move ahead. Share this site with parents (on your class website or wiki) to use as review when helping their student with homework.
Grades3 to 6
tag(s): animal homes (44), animals (290), cells (104), grammar (214), operations (123), order of operations (39), planets (127), plants (155), problem solving (274), root words (13), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (124), word choice (27), word study (79)
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect to use on your interactive whiteboard as a center or quick review activity. Create a link on classroom computers and allow students to "test themselves" during free time. Send a link to the site home on your class website or newsletter for students to play at home. This is a great site to visit during the summer to keep students fresh. Use the site as an example, and have students create their own multiple choice game for any subject or based on individual research topics.
GradesK to 8
Please be aware that ClassDojo falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use ClassDojo with their child.
In the ClassroomConsider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participation, helping others, creativity, hard work, or create your own categories. Using ClassDojo for group behaviors will give immediate feedback to students if projected on your whiteboard or your projector. Use this tool to help your unfocused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Use ClassDojo to offer both negative and positive feedback to parents and students.
Are you a regular education teacher with special education students mainstreamed into your classroom? Use Class Dojo to privately keep track of student behaviors and send a report to special education teachers or parents. This could be invaluable to a life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP/GIEP. Alternative ed programs may find this tool very useful, as well, even up through high school.
Grades9 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomIntroduce a topic by sharing the Infographic and allowing time for students to identify various items that they notice about the chart. Allow time to think-pair-share in class and list questions for further understanding. Consider creating Infographics of material learned in class and for better understanding and connection with other topics and the world around them. Make curriculum content more real with infographics that students can relate to.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): adaptations (17), carbon footprint (11), chemicals (41), ecology (135), electricity (90), energy (202), environment (318), friction (13), heat (15), light (49), motion (61), nuclear energy (24), safety (91), senses (29), solar energy (40), waves (24)
In the ClassroomShare some of the animations on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Early elementary teachers may want to set up a science center with one of the interactives for students to watch with a partner. Challenge individual groups to explore specific facets of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades2 to 8
tag(s): search engines (65)