TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 2, 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
In the ClassroomAlthough lesson plans are geared to high school, this site is also useful for students in lower grades. Go directly to the quiz portion of each section, display on your interactive whiteboard, and take the quiz as a class as an overview of what students know about the election process. View sections on your interactive whiteboard to help students understand the different facets of a campaign. Assign students (or groups) different sections; then have them present information learned to their classmates. Create posters about the American political process using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site for the basics of screencasting to begin your flipped journey. Mark it in favorits as you try some of the "flipped" teaching strategies for a unit or one day a week. If you read the "accountability" portion of the "Vodcasting" process, you will see an idea about "someday" being able to stop in the middle of the video and have the students answer questions. This is now possible if you use YouTube to store your video and use Grockit/Answers, reviewed here. Once finished, copy and paste the YouTube video address into Grockit/Answers. Watch it and stop it where you want to insert a question for students to answer. Your students type the answer directly into the space that goes with the video. You receive the answers online with your video.
Grades8 to 12
What's missing? There is no audio recording of the script that could accompany the slides; you must print the script and read it while viewing the slides. And, despite its goal of "making it simple" for busy folks, you have to dig a little in the site to discover that the author is firmly in the "Progressive" political camp, and that the presentation on Health Care, for example, includes one section on "GOP Myths" and repeatedly slams the Republican party's handling of the health care crisis. To its credit, the sources for the information presented on the graphics are cited. Be aware also that the graphics use language like "We're Getting Screwed!" which may be inappropriate for younger kids.
In the ClassroomThe infographic presentations would be great for discussions of election-year politics for Civics/Government classes or Current Events debate. They would be better if the accompanying scripts were available in an audio file. Exercise caution, however, because there is clearly a political agenda here. Ironic that a site that purports to cut through the rhetoric is loaded with its own. Use it, therefore, as yet another example of how a savvy media can "spin" the issues. Invite students to look for the bias inherent in some of the information presented. What questions should be asked about the data contained in the slideshow? How could you verify the information? How would you rebut it with your own infographic? Can you find a site that presents an opposing spin on the same topics?
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomThis website is great to use when making creative product such as movies, podcasts, websites, commercials, or even slide presentations. Often students are at a loss for sounds or music they can legally use. This is a great resource for music and a way to teach about ethical use, citation, and copyright. Subject specific ideas include: having students in physical education classes create playlists for different types of exercise and have them edit them after exercising, relating the beats per minute to how effective their exercise session was. In music class, have students find the beat, add a new instrument track to an existing song, or maybe even create their own song to share with the site creator. In biology or health class, play songs with varying beats per minute and have students take pulses and compare to the music to see the impact that it has on their heart rate and mood.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): area (66), charts and graphs (195), decimals (133), estimation (46), fractions (239), inequalities (29), logic (235), numbers (204), patterns (85), percent (82), perimeter (32), polls and surveys (48), probability (130), problem solving (272), statistics (122), symmetry (55), variables (22), whole numbers (16)
In the ClassroomBookmark this site as a resource for math videos to use on your interactive whiteboard or on classroom computers. Watch videos together to introduce or review classroom concepts. Or "flip" your classroom by sharing the videos oor independent viewing before you discuss the topic in class. Share a link to videos on your classroom website or blog for students to use as a review resource at home. Share this entire site on your class website, wiki, or blog for alternative presentations of topics that are difficult. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos of their own on math concepts. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is a terrific resource to share with students who are self-motivated and have an interest in exploring and learning skills for specific careers. Share this site and allow students to view tutorials; students will have to create their own account using email and password information or log in through Facebook to save information accessed through the account. Create an account and share portions of the site as students explore careers to learn skills and training necessary. Teachers might want to set up a mock or demonstration account to show students how the site works. INclude this link as one of several during a career exploration unit.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomThis site is great during units on plants, farms, conservation, or even inventions and engineering. Create links to games on classroom computers. As students complete games, let them fill out the passport included on the site. Print and use classroom activities included on the site as a supplement to current lessons. Have students create their own comics to explain a topic from the site using comic-creation tools from this collection.
Grades2 to 5
In the ClassroomUse Make 5 as a math center on the classroom computers. Students can visit the center in groups of two and try the challenge together. Make 5 would be an engaging whole class game using an interactive whiteboard. Split the math class into two teams. Students take turns coming to the board as representatives of their team. Give teams 30 seconds to plan their move before sending up their representative. You may have to play more than once to make sure every student gets a turn.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomAs you create the water scene in the classroom, discuss the habitat and niche of each of the organisms. Be sure to discuss the ocean food chains. (Great to know when deciding which creatures should stay away from one another!) Make this activity part of an ocean day or week at school. Write stories about a chosen creature. Create artwork and posters about the ocean creatures using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here). Have students move as the creature would move, and have ocean inspired snacks and lunches. For extra counting or color practice, have students place a certain number or color of creatures at an interactive whiteboard "center."
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomPhoto Pin is invaluable for students and teachers needing high quality photos for use on class blogs, wikis, or presentation sites. Be sure to remind students to use the attribution link along with the photo, especially when publishing on the web. Art students can use these images to create collages, design studies, and more, all with attribution of their sources. Use images as blog prompts or illustrations in student projects. Make sure students see you giving attribution, too! Find images of locations you are studying in world cultures or geography class. Find images to use in student online projects such as Bookemon, reviewed here, or Superlame, reviewed here. Keep this site as a reference link on your class web page for any time students are creating wikis, blogs, or electronic projects where they need images. They can find just the right picture with CC licensing, and you should require them to include the citation provided! Be sure that students understand rules for sharing appropriate and inappropriate images and copyright concerns.
Grades7 to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): podcasts (52)