TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 1, 2014
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
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomWhen assigning group projects to be done outside of class, suggest that students share work via DropCanvas. This eliminates the need to actually be in the same place at the same time, which can be difficult for students to arrange due to their schedules and their parents' schedules. Use this to have students share files with you. Students can send you any file up to 1GB (or 5GB with registration) with a few simple clicks. Use this as an extra file back-up when transporting files for a grad presentation or other important event. Easily share files and lesson plans with other teachers using DropCanvas.
Grades3 to 12
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tag(s): dictionaries (55)
In the ClassroomSave Dictionarist or add the bookmarklet to your computer for use anytime foreign translations might be needed or for correct pronunciation of difficult words. Dictionarist may be especially useful in ESL/ELL classrooms as an online tool for definitions and pronunciations of English terms. This site is very simple to use, even for younger students. Share this site on your class website for families to use to find definitions and pronunciations for difficult words.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomShare Brainly as an online homework help resource with your students. If you aren't comfortable with students receiving too much homework help, ask students to let you know when this resource has been used and have them provide feedback with what was learned. This is also an excellent opportunity to talk about reliability of your information source and rechecking to be sure an answer is correct. If they see the responses as "hints" more than trustworthy answers, they will learn well. Often students learn best from each other. Encourage your students to provide answers for other students through Brainly. Offer bonus points for debunking any Incorrect answer they find at Brainly and submitting it to you! List this resource on your class website or wiki. You may have to explain to parents that this resource is allowed, as long as students realize that any answers they receive should be rechecked.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomMapping Our World is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on maps, map skills, or the earth and continents. Some activities allow for several responses, providing the opportunity to predict the outcomes then analyze results together. Create a link to this site on classroom computers for students to explore on their own or in small groups. Have students or groups collect ideas and findings using Padlet, reviewed here. The Padlet application creates free online bulletin boards.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to include The Places We Live with any unit on poverty around the world or in a general world cultures class. Share this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further exploration. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here). Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare life in your area to the life of teens shown here. Share the images, with no sound, as writing prompts for students to imagine themselves in the slums. What would their lives be like? What would be the same or different? What could they do to help their family to get out of those living conditions? Is there anything anyone can do to help?
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomDemonstrate HOW to use this website on your interactive whiteboard or projector (with your mike nearby!). Divide your class into teams and test out the site together. Create a link to Spell Up on your class website or blog for students to play at home. Use Spell Up at varied levels for different students to differentiate challenges for your students. Share this link on your class website for students to use at home (especially for spelling practice during the summer).
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomMake a sample dialog for students to recite as you project it in a foreign language or ESL/ELL class. Be sure to write in script format so they know who is speaking! Or share this tool with students who need help getting their nose out of their notes when giving speeches or recording videos. They can run it on a laptop only they can see and look out at the audience past the prompter. The comfort of having their text right there will ease many butterflies. Use this site to feed information used in group or individual presentations to the class. Set this up on another computer when recording video and audio recordings. Why use this tool? Information fed through the prompter can be read at a steady and consistent pace. Use this site with emergent readers to practice basic reading fluency. Make oral reading fluency practice more engaging by having students pretend they are newscasters. If you advise the school announcement crew, try this handy tool to make them sound and look more professional. Share this link on your class website for young readers to use to practice reading skills at home or for older students to use to practice building confidence in their speeches.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomEncourage students to submit writing for publication throughout the school year. Use this resource to find magazines and publications to fit individual student strengths. Share a link to the Young Authors Guide on your class website for students to access (and submit publications) from home. Use the Young Author's Guide as a resource for finding ideas to use as writing prompts for stories, poems, and more. Share this site with your gifted students to extend their writing reach beyond the classroom and school community. Be sure that they have parent permission to submit, and have them keep a record as part of their personal writing portfolio of what they submit where.
Grades3 to 9
tag(s): insects (68)
In the ClassroomBe sure to share this site during any unit on insects or careers. As news stories tell us about the rapid demise of honeybees and the resulting danger to our food supply, step back to see what bees are all about. Allow older students to explore on their own. Younger students will benefit from viewing and reading together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a week in the life of a beekeeper. Use the glossary as a resource for differentiated spelling lists each week. French teachers may want to use this site as a reading experience!
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate Jeopardy style quizzes to gamify review and reinforcement of classroom content. Have groups of students create a quiz to share with the class or with other groups. Use a class account for younger students or those who do not have email addresses. Have students brainstorm what they like about each of the different activities for more analysis on their strengths and weaknesses and how they learn best (metacognition). Have student emcees operate the student-made quizzes on an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Share the quizzes by url on a class wiki so every student can take a try. Learning support teachers may want to have small groups create their own review quizzes, since creating the quiz is a great way to reinforce content. Share a link to any FlipQuiz on your class website or blog for student use at home.
GradesK to 3
tag(s): synonyms (38)