TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 15, 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
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomNeed a quick lesson starter or attention grabber at the beginning or end of each class? Try a 60-second Civics lesson. If you access the day's podcast via the website, you'll also find a one-question multiple choice quiz that relates to the podcast so you can check for content acquisition. These podcasts are perfect for a civics or government class! Share the podcasts on your projector (or interactive whiteboard) so the entire class can hear the podcast and see the quiz at the end. If you are the adviser for the school news program, these would be a terrific addition, ready to go for you every day. During the run-up to Consitution Day in September, include these in the morning PA announcements. Load the podcast on iTouches or other mobile devices in the media center for students to browse and learn. Encourage students to create their own "stump the teacher" or "stump the student citizen" quizzes based on these podcasts. Use one of the many poll/quiz tools in the TeachersFirst Edge.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThe availability of inexpensive video cameras and film editing software makes including film making as a part of the regular classroom easier than ever. With digital writing included as part of Common Core, documentaries are a wonderful way to share student-written, informational text in a multimedia format. Incorporate the lessons that accompany these films as you introduce a documentary project. Help students understand that no matter how much fun it might be to watch the latest homemade viral video on YouTube, effective film making requires planning and design. The lessons presented here will be of particular assistance to students who are considering a National History Day entry in the documentary category.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site can put a human face on the numbers for students studying current events, economics, or social studies. The site may also be useful as an example of how to tell stories related to history. Consider asking students to analyze HOW the stories are told, either using film or still photography. How can we use these media to illustrate a historical event? For students considering a History Day exhibit or documentary, these stories may provide inspiration and direction. As Common Core calls on students to engage in digital writing, showing these examples to help students plan student-made media will be more meaningful than simply talking about it.
Grades3 to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): assessment (102), decimals (133), equations (157), exponents (42), fractions (239), functions (70), geometric shapes (164), homework (45), measurement (157), polynomials (32), probability (130), ratios (53), statistics (122)
In the ClassroomShare this link on your class website or class newsletter for students (and parents) to practice at home. Create a link on classroom computers for a math center activity. Although the free assessment test may take up to 60 minutes to complete, it may be worthwhile to have students complete this to include with parent teacher conferences.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBrief.ly is a lifesaver for every classroom, teacher, or school. Whenever you are sharing multiple sites at centers, during small or whole group presentations, or even sites gathered for a research projects, Brief.ly takes away frustration and saves time! Save different content areas, subjects, or study links in one simple click. Gather all grade level websites on your school webpage, and list all classes. Unclutter your own class webpage or blog with just a few links. Sending links to parents or colleagues could not be any easier! Collaboration within classes, groups, or home is a snap! Improve organization for yourself and your class. As students work on group projects, they can share their link list easily. Use a class account so students do not have to register, and you can watch what they are using for sources.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomStarting a lesson on copyright? With so much social media and access to almost anything on the web, it is important to teach students about copyright and about owner's rights. Use this site to search for photos for presentations, photos, projects, or research. For your ESL/ELL students or speech/language, use the images for them to create their own visual dictionary. World language teachers can also challenge students to use images to illustrate vocabulary or accompany writing. Use images for writing prompts or even to create descriptive sentences. Have one student describe the image as another sketches the image. Now compare the described image to the real image. To find more Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here or PhotoPin, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBecome a "RAKTIVIST" and start a kindness raid on unsuspecting communities, classes, or schools! Give children power and voice through their actions. Partner this with character education programs to make a difference in all the lives you touch. During social studies, find ways kindness has changed the world. Look for times in which kindness was thwarted, such as during civil wars, dictatorships, or wars. Start a research project on world leaders who have changed the world through nonviolence, education, or generosity. Explain the power of nonprofit organizations and all the lives affected. Look into your own community and school to find needs that are waiting for active, caring participants. Create school or classroom rules to promote the power of kindness. Challenge student to create "kindness" commercials. Share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Emotional Support or Autistic Support teachers may find some of the ideas here helpful for talking about how others feel and ways to show kindness in a very deliberate way.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): addition (249), area (67), decimals (133), division (172), fractions (239), geometric shapes (164), mass (23), money (192), number sense (96), numbers (203), patterns (85), percent (82), perimeter (32), preK (283), subtraction (206), time (144)
In the ClassroomShare a specific activity or two with your students on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Assign students to centers and have them rotate around to learn or review the concepts on which they will work. Be sure to include a link to specific lessons on your class webpage or newsletter for students to practice at home. Share this site with parents who are asking for practice activities for home use.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomWeJIT's templates are applicable for every subject at the beginning, middle, or end of a unit. Want student engagement in a BYOD or 1:1 class or to gather student opinions about upcoming activities? Use WeJIT to find out what your students are thinking. Use WeJIT as a way to check for prior knowledge at the start of a unit. Use one to collect answers to simple data questions (favorite food, color, vacation spot, number of siblings etc.) to use in graphing activities. Find out what people believe about various issues or ideas to introduce in class discussions or debates. Keep students thinking outside of class by posing a controversial question related to what you discussed in class today: "What would life be like in the U.S. if Germany had won World War II?" What would you name the next book in the series (for a book read by the class)? Coax participation out of students who are usually very quiet. Use this tool easily in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomBe sure to check out the "About Our Games" portion of the site for game features and information. This site is excellent for use as a classroom center or on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to share the link with parents on your classroom newsletter or website.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): drawing (77)
In the ClassroomStoodle is an excellent tool to use for impromptu peer tutoring sessions or hosting online brainstorming sessions. Students can also use it on 1:1 or BYOD devices during class to collaborate on diagrams, brainstorms, or mind maps. This tool is perfect for snow days and school breaks. Use as a place to collect web quest links and information. Solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. Use as a new format for book reports. Use for students to illustrate their personal definitions for vocabulary words. Need an open space for debates or viewpoints? Post assignments, reminders, or study skills. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use this tool for them to record information from class that you can share via a link on your class web page.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to just share the address to the backchannel YOU created when using with students. You can agree upon a specific way for students to create a handle for use. For example, your subject or class name with student initials or first name. Use as a backchannel on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the Onelinr. 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 a backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. 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. In videos where issues are discussed, use the Onelinr for student input and questioning.