TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 29, 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
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): blogs (88)
In the ClassroomUse this tool as an easy to use blogging tool for the classroom and every subject area. Use in language arts classes to strengthen students' writing ability and 21st century skills. Teach about proper commenting etiquette on simple first blog posts. Use for student-written book reviews for the school library. (Why not add a QR code on the book's cover to lead to the review?). Use as a tool for class or parent communication. Engage students in discussions on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. Ask students to play the role of a historical figure and write about their viewpoints or experiences. Use the site as a forum for any simulated or real task. Invite parents to join to give their points of view on upcoming elections or public policy issues by commenting on student posts. Share a blog in even the youngest of classes, for parents to use to learn about a specific unit of study, field trips, and more. Use this site in world language classes to have students write a blog entry in the new language. Include the principal or superintendent in class discussions of students' rights as you study the Constitution. Create incredible discussions of environmental, political, or economic issues. Create a standing assignment for elementary and middle schoolers on snow days. Have students write a post about the snow using Throwww and share the url on a class wiki. Post the various links on the class web page so students can comment on each other's posts after they come in from sledding.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): images (269)
In the ClassroomBookmark Compress Now (or save it in your favorites). Use this site throughout the year when working with images. Compress images for use on web pages to make pages loading more quickly. Use when emailing images to make sure they will get through.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomThis site is excellent for use during professional development time in grade level meetings. Choose a different standard for exploration monthly or weekly across district levels without having to leave your building. Use for your personal knowledge. Complete modules to gain a better understanding of Common Core Math Standards.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Stella's Stunners as a problem of the day to begin math class. Assign problems for homework or extra credit. Have students create an online or printed comic using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection to describe how to solve problems. Use as part of student math journals and have students explain the problem solving process for each problem. Use this site with your gifted students. Challenge your gifted students to create their own "Stunners."
I like this idea because it uses technology, something kids enjoy, and engages them in mathematics. Thanks, HeatherHeather, CA, Grades: 9 - 12
Grades7 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomShare with students as a tool for organizing and collaborating on group projects. Demonstrate the different tools and functions on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Suggest students use Azendoo to remain on track with project deadlines. Use this tool to collaborate with colleagues for use with professional projects such as unit planning and long term scheduling. You may also want to use it with your grad school group projects.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomStart off with a visit to the Teaching Guide to find some great ideas to incorporate in your class. Use materials from this site to enhance and bring historical teaching to life. Print the student guide for writing effective essays for students to include with history notebooks. Use questions from the teaching materials here to add to your current teaching plans or as discussion topics. Create a link on your class website for students to view this site at home. Have students research and find documents and artifacts in your own community or online to share in the classroom. Have them create curated collections in digital form with accompanying writings to explain them. Students could create annotated images including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomSmyface is excellent for use in Special Education classrooms (or ESL/ELL) for students to express feelings with a short written response. Autistic support and emotional support teachers can use this to both show emotional expressions and encourage students to write about them. Use in early elementary classrooms for students to practice short writing prompts. Display using your interactive whiteboard or projector and have students use as a story prompt based on the face created. Display while reading stories and change to demonstrate emotions of characters throughout the piece. You could use this as a behavior management tool in elementary classrooms. Put up the "happy" emoticon on the whiteboard if the kids are on task and following the rules. If their behavior starts to decline, use this to show (and explain) why their behavior isn't appropriate (in 80 words or less). Even older kids (with more understanding of social networks) will enjoy playing around with this site.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomView and modify lesson plans to meet your classroom needs. This site is highly appealing to the older student! Allow students to play the interactive games as part of your financial literacy unit. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Include information from the career portion of your site as part of any career exploration activities.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is an excellent resource for web design and graphic design classes. Share portions of this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for lessons in type basics, typeface history, and more. Use some of the project ideas (see Extras: Tools for Teachers) to have students create poetry posters for poetry month using artistic type and their own words. Have students explore the site and create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomCreate a name for your chat and share the URL with others. They join in simply by entering a name (or initials, to keep it safe) and clicking Join. Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel. Ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a backchannel chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or copy/paste or put the link to the chat transcript on a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.
In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students backchannel descriptions of what they see as classmates act out a scene from a video, using new language vocabulary and/or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or - in history class - between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Money trial. Make brevity an impetus for well-focused thoughts and use instantaneous response as an incentive for engagement.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomDownload the teacher's guide to use for lessons with any nutrition lessons. Print posters available on the site for use in your school's cafeteria. After participating in lessons and viewing provided posters, have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View together as a class to see easy to understand explanations of the process of exploring and providing oil and gas to communities. Have students watch information on their own and then create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have cooperative learning groups create online books about the energy process using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Use this site as part of your career unit and focus in on the portion of the site explaining the job of geologists. For a powerful critical thinking lesson, challenge students (especially your brightest ones) to look for alternative angles on the information here. Would environmentalists present it in the same way? Can you find any current news articles that reveal more than is said here? Which information, if any, might be open to debate?
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): africa (180), careers (132), china (66), debate (41), earthquakes (49), ethics (16), food chains (22), hiv/aids (18), india (36), journalism (46), media literacy (57), water (130), women (101)