TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 17, 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
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomThis game is a MUST during any unit on the electoral process or about Congress and Congressional districts! Introduce the ReDistricting Game on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow older students to explore on their own or in small groups. Take screen shots of different redistricting options and have students share their experiences in mapping out favorable and non-approved districts. Challenge students to create presentations arguing why their redistricting plans are the best. Use a tool such as Infinite Canvas (reviewed here) to create online montages using images, slideshows, and more.
tag(s): bookmarks (62)
In the ClassroomExpand classroom use of Pinterest to include Twitter items, quotes, and more. Make pinboards for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. In lower grades, pinboard make links more accessible for non-readers. Share your pinboards with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Create pinboards highlighting topics being studied in class for use as study guides. Challenge your older students to curate their own pinboards as a research project. Use Pinterest to show their hobbies/passions, wise quotes, healthy recipes, art/lyrics, or travel Itinerary. Need your students to register for email to use Pinterest? Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): images (276)
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this to inspire other digital art work or as a creative writing prompt. In English class, talk about the motifs that are common in fantasy/science fiction and how to describe them using words instead of visuals. In art class, look for styles of drawing, line, color, and other design elements that "mean" fantasy to viewers. Allow students the opportunity to focus on an aspect or aspects of the visuals to inspire their writing. Turn off the sound and imagine the narrative, sounds, or music to accompany the images. Inspire poetry visually. Challenge artists to make a zoomable image of their own and "zoom" into it as they record a screencast accompanied by their own narration or music. Try Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, to record the zooming narrative.
Grades1 to 8
In the ClassroomMake a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use as an example, and have students create their own rhythms. Play and have other students identify what they hear. Share this site on your class website for those students taking private lessons. This is excellent practice!
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this resource when reducing original passages (not plagiarized) to fit a specific number of words or characters. Use this resource when teaching summarization. Paste in a text to summarize and discuss/brainstorm what makes a great summary. Challenge students to look for ways that the tool may have actually missed an important concept through its automated process. Have the class decide whether their own summary or the one offered by this tool is best -- and why. Use this tool as one of many angles on revision during the writing process. Have students paste in their own writing to see what ideas "show" as the most important and to consider revising to emphasize what they really intended to say. If your emails get a bit too wordy, try this tool to shorten them! Shorten your assignment descriptions to make them easier for your ESL/ELL students and lower level readers to understand.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomVisit Jennifer's Blog to find ideas about how to use these lessons in the classroom and to find additional support. Jennifer frequently updates the offerings. Share these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. FLIP your classroom and have students view the videos at home and discuss the next day in class. (This is a great option if YouTube is blocked in your school.) Use the videos to introduce a grammar or punctuation point you would like to make, and assign others in the series for homework. Look at the "Word of the Day" each morning when you begin your ESL/ELL lesson. Use the slang offerings in a similar manner. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students (and their families) to access at home for additional English practice.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): commoncore (95)
In the ClassroomFind the resources that are right for you, and begin to implement and dig deeper into Common Core. Discover recommended best practices and find practical tools to begin using today. From professional development to ready to use lessons, keep yourself current and stretch your students to go further. Be sure to bookmark this site (or save it in your favorites).
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse when differentiating in the classroom or as a resource for gifted students. Allow students to create their own account, take placement tests, and problem-solve the challenges each week. Have students share problems and their problem solving process with classmates via podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Create your own account; then share problems on your website or blog using the share feature offered on the site. If you plan to have students register using their own email accounts, read tips for safely managing email registrations here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThe Arctic Theme Page is a great resource for students doing research. Use data on the all of the characteristics of the Arctic to analyze trends. Research information on vegetation, wildlife, atmosphere, geography of the arctic, and the Arctic environment. The gallery of images and videos provide a great visual representation of the Arctic. Use the videos to assist lower-level readers with finding information. The FAQ page is great to guide initial research and basic learning. Ask the Expert essays provide a clear analysis of specific questions about the Arctic. The essays allow students to narrow their focus and learn more in-depth information on the Arctic. Use the photographs for creative writing prompts on adventures that integrate science content on the Arctic. Ask the Expert essays provide great nonfiction support for any science curriculum. The General Interest tab has a ton of links to engage any student.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this Interactive to share basic information about the Sun that students can discuss in groups or in a class discussion. This Interactive can be used on an Interactive Whiteboard or on individual computers. After using this resource, brainstorm additional questions for research. Students can create presentations to share the information that they research and learn. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomAlthough concepts are listed with each video, it is up to the user to find the concept in the video and make the connections. Have students watch videos then upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles to explain what they learned. Use a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. Have students use this site as a point of reference and find their own examples of economics in current television programming. Have students use ClipNabber reviewed here to grab favorites from online video sources such as YouTube and Dailymotion quickly and easily, then explain them in presentations to the class.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomCreate a classroom DropShots account for students to upload video projects or images for projects. Share raw materials for student multimedia projects, such as photos of lab experiments or local historic sites. Share classroom projects privately and easily from your DropShots account. In elementary classrooms, teacher can use this tool to share photos from field trips, assemblies, project presentations, and other special events. Share the password with parents only. Have older students create their own DropShots account for collaborating on multimedia projects. Consider having your students sign up using a Gmail account. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.
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
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project