TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 5, 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
Grades4 to 12
Note that the general public can write and answer PUBLIC Q/A sessions, so preview for appropriateness before sharing with others. If you create a private Q/A you can avoid this problem.
tag(s): video (262)
In the ClassroomBegin by searching for pre-existing public videos that already have questions. Preview and share these with students as you begin a unit or for review. Create your own videos for students to use for review or have students generate questions for a video you choose. Assign videos for students to view at home, in the computer lab, or on laptops. You can even have students post their questions and responses within the video. Learning Support teachers could have students write questions and test each other using videos to reinforce topics they are studying without using loads of reading material.
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)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades3 to 7
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomCollect data in your classroom and quickly create a graph to represent it. Share through links or adding images to blogs, wikis, or websites. Graphs can also be shared on an interactive whiteboard or projector for better analysis of data by the class. Graph results of a test, answers from students, favorite foods, fictitious budgets, class schedules, and whatever else is applicable in your classroom. Use the pie charts students create to teach their peers how to read charts that accompany informational texts. Have cooperative learning groups create their own graphs to share with the class on the class wiki. Use this tool to create quick pie charts on your interactive whiteboard whenever you count class votes or encounter other data so students "see" data on a regular basis and visual students have another way to absorb the information. Keep the link handy on your web page to access it quickly in or out of class.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomCheck out the TeachersFirst review of Skype here as an introduction and for more classroom ideas. Participate in a Mystery Skype call with another classroom to compare and contrast local geography, collaborate on book projects, or as an introduction to a careers unit. Locate authors, scientists, or directors of museums interested in Skyping with classrooms, and take your students on a virtual field trip. Skype with other classrooms in your district without having to leave the building! For specific ideas for Skype author visits, be sure to see Meet the Author from TeachersFirst's Help I Lost My Library/Media Specialist series.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomThis site is terrific for use on interactive whiteboards. Challenge students to create entertaining sentences using as many different colored backgrounds as possible. Then ask them to identify the parts of speech. See how long it takes them to notice that all nouns are the same color! This is an excellent resource to share during Poetry Month. Why not make a poetry center on your interactive whiteboard for students to work with a partner? For create-your-own magnetic poetry at a higher level, try Triptico's free, downloadable software, reviewed here.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): addition (248), charts and graphs (195), data (148), division (171), estimation (46), exponents (42), fractions (239), integers (41), measurement (157), multiplication (226), order of operations (32), percent (82), place value (56), probability (130), problem solving (272), roman numerals (9), substitutes (21), time (143)
In the ClassroomSearch the wiki for videos to use on your interactive whiteboard as an introduction to new concepts or individually to reinforce learning. Share a link to videos on your classroom website or blog for students (and parents) to view at home. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos about math. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here, and add to the Student Math Movies wiki.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomAfter checking with your administration about submission policies, have your class submit group or individual reviews of books they are reading. Also, students can check to see if books they've read have a review. If not, have them write one. Bookmark the site on a classroom computer so students who finish work early can look for a new book to read. Put a link to this site on your teacher page for parents and students for access at home.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomAdd intrigue and mystery, to your science unit on electricity, motion, or inventors as you study the life and accomplishments of Nikola Tesla. Excellent lesson plans include a concrete understanding of potential energy, mechanical energy to electrical energy. Use on an interactive white board to begin your unit or create a "Who Dunnit" with electricity or radio. Follow the structure of ideas presented to create an online "famous scientist" wiki, blog or PowerPoint to add to your class website. Use a Socratic seminar to debate which scientist should get credit for the induction motor, radio, and even the Industrial Revolution. Use the readings for older students, advanced readers, or gifted students, as they are far above the reading level of elementary and early middle school students. In language arts, writing topics could include "What a shock electricity is in my life" and "Will the true inventor of electricity please stand up?" The ideas and resources are electrifying!
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as part of your unit on the environment to demonstrate the effect of decisions made by leading industries. Have students create presentations using one of the many tools from the TeachersFirst Edge presentation tools. Consider dividing your class into four different groups, one for each industry. After playing, have them discuss and compare results from each group. Alternatively, have students operate this on your interactive whiteboard and play together as a class, discussing decisions and the impact that they have on the environment. Teachers of gifted can suggest this as an extra challenge for students studying environmental issues in science or even business class.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): internet safety (103)
In the ClassroomUse this simple and effective tool for creating random passwords. It's great for use in generating passwords for students or sites that you use. Unfortunately, Passcreator is unable to help us remember the generated passwords! For help with that, we recommend creating a document or spreadsheet to keep track of passwords for your students. Computer teachers can also use this tool when teaching about online safety/security.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Spotzi to make information more relevant and meaningful when paired with an actual map. Find trends easily. Have students choose a topic and investigate maps to identify and develop general statements from the data. Ask students to generate questions to further research the topic. This tool is invaluable for environmental, ecology, health, economics, and other research topics. Use this map to add new dimensions of information about places in the news. Share on a projector or interactive whiteboard to learn more about countries participating in the Olympics. Use data to compare countries and discuss possible cause/effects for poverty, health challenges, and more.
Grades1 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUse Word Dynamo to explore or study new words. Create lists of words to learn. Have students keep track of their progress by creating their own page. You may want to post the address for this program on your website or wiki, and bookmark it on the classroom computers. There is no need to sign up to simply play games.
Be careful! The Greek and Latin root games on this site are fakes and do not offer the benefits that real root-learning does. Also, even the definitions of elementary level words contain many much harder words, meaning that students may get an inaccurately low reading.Ellisha, , Grades: 0 - 12
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): drugs and alcohol (20)