TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 10, 2013
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
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Teaching Tree as a great resource for students who want to learn about computer science on their own. This is a great tool to share with students considering a major in computer science in college or wondering about computer careers. If you teach computer science courses, Teaching Tree could be useful for locating review materials to share with your students. You may also consider having your students search for or create videos to share on Teaching Tree and then tag them to help other people learn from their work. Use a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTimeline.TV is tailor made for classrooms with interactive whiteboards (or projectors). The video clips generally run between five and ten minutes, so are a perfect reinforcement for classroom lecture or for outside reading. If you are running a "flipped" classroom, ask students to access the timelines at home, knowing that the presentations will help expand understanding of concepts to be discussed in class. There is also a mobile and tablet version of this resource. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own timelines on a topic not highlighted at this site. Use a tool such as Capzles (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUse these newsletters to show students how their lives are connected to STEM achievements. Students can read and comment on specific articles or careers. Use a variety of these PDF's when researching various STEM careers or highlighting inventions and discoveries. Students can create a traditional or multimedia report on the information learned.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomApplicable to nearly every political issue from the 1950s and 1960s, this archive will assist students in understanding these turbulent decades. Analyzing political cartoons helps students grasp the adversarial nature of politics and brings the debate alive. The cartoons can be enlarged for use on an interactive whiteboard as a catalyst for class discussion, distributed for small group discussion or debate, or used as a writing prompt for further study. There are lesson plans associated with many of the cartoons with ready-made discussion questions. Additionally, there are general suggestions for using political cartoons effectively in a classroom setting. Have students create an online or printed comic related to a current political topic. Use one of the tools and the ideas included in this collection.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce the site and watch the tutorial together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students try to identify animals on Snapshot Serengeti as a great way to learn about the various animals that they see and the adaptations of animals to their African habitat. One thing to note about Snapshot Serengeti (before you turn your students loose on it) is that students may end up going through a lot of blank pictures that don't have any animals on them before they get to ones that do show animals. This is because remote cameras can sometimes be triggered by strong gusts of wind blowing something in front of them. Have your students create an online "scrapbook" on Serengeti animals using Scrapblog (reviewed here).
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomPlace a link to this site on your class computer or your class web page for students to access. Use to introduce or reinforce topics learned in class. Students can work individually or in groups. Assign specific topics for cooperative learning groups to explore. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomBookmark this site for use throughout the year for strengthening use of word walls, finding games/activities for classroom use, and ideas for strengthening teaching of reading and math. Check out the activities for use with ADHD students to help with focusing.
GradesK to 12
A tip: when creating your QR Code, you will see a link to "generate your image" on the last step. It will give you the options of "try again" or "next." Choose "next" to go to the final step. "Try again doesn't mean that your image wasn't created, it just gives you the option for personalizing the code differently before completing the process.
tag(s): qr codes (22)
In the ClassroomCreate a QR code that directs to your class site or blog and include it on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students, making a webquest more engaging. Add QR codes to documents for students to check their answers to questions. Expand knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that expands upon what is in the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student. Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, student's reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Place the links in a newsletter using QR codes instead of a series of words that need to be typed. Be sure to search TeachersFirst resources for many other great ways to use QR codes in the classroom!
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to explore symmetry with your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Watch what happens when you choose from the different available options. Discuss what emotions certain colors can induce. Have students create their own artwork then print and post to a class bulletin board display (or share on your class website or blog). Challenge students to identify the type or types of symmetry shown in each design. Use this site in both art and math class while learning about symmetry. Have students take screenshots and write about their creations.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Story Builder to retell a moment in history or a social studies or science concept. Share some samples on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students or groups of students create their own Story Builder to retell a story or tell a story from a single character's point of view. Assign student groups to tell a story related to your curriculum. Create a Story Builder at the beginning of a unit with what I want to know questions, or use for the end of a unit as a review. Share student Story Builders with a link on your website or blog. In math class have students explain a procedure using Story Builder. Use Story Builder to create drama scripts or to demonstrate writing skills. Have "Annie Adjective" add colorful words to a draft while "Pete Punctuation" proofs for errors. Have students collaborate to create their own "live" edit sessions using an anonymous student draft you provide or from their OWN writing. By naming the character who is making changes, they can show what they are emphasizing, such as Sam Support adding supporting details when writing informational texts. Teachers of gifted could challenge students to create "epistolary" tales using this tool. Once they discover it, your gifted students will come up with new ways to share projects using this tool (and a little humor).
Engage student and parent attention about important announcements by giving a link to s Story Builder where you explain a project or plans for a special PTA event. Write it as a Q/A session, and they will watch the whole thing!
GradesK to 1
In the ClassroomUse this at a center, or a way to start conversations about feelings or situations. Share the interactives or videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use the printables for students to create their own adventures for Daniel Tiger. Have your class create an adventure for Daniel Tiger. Put the stories into a class book. Take this idea to a new level, and create your own "neighborhood" in your class. Each student can add their own experiences with podcasts, videos, or writing. Have students create podcasts using a site such as Spreaker (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomAs teachers, we need to be aware that such a tool exists, since savvy students may compile a "paper" without a logical thought pattern simply by clicking to include suggestions from OuiWrite. The best strategy for such a tool is to show students how to use it well. Take the drudgery out of writing formal papers by emphasizing thinking over mechanics. Whether teaching beginning research or seniors in high school, introduce them to OuiWrite. For younger students, seeing all the formatting and citing done correctly, from the beginning, makes sense whether it is the body of the writing or the bibliography. With either age group, give lessons about each part of a paper or letter. Demonstrate on an interactive whiteboard and think out loud as a group to pull together ideas, sources, quotes, and more to support an argument and build a paper. You can use it, too, when you write for your graduate program. Since you can choose from MLA, APA, or Chicago Style, you do not have to worry about memorizing punctuation and double checking the format. OuiWrite will do that for you and take the stress out of formal writing.
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site to your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and have your ELL/ESL students use it as one of your learning stations. Short stories and other interactive features of the site would work well with weaker readers and learning support students, too. Encourage your ESL/ELL students to share their writings on Learn English Teens (if allowed by school policy).
GradesK to 12
tag(s): speech (94)