TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 11, 2015
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
In the ClassroomUse this engaging (and fun) tool to create an announcement for the start of a student presentation. Create one to share the writing prompt for the day. Students may be inspired by the movie/TV clips that generate the message. Create a "6 degrees of" type assignment where the video/TV clips generated must have something in common. Students can take time to look at the clips to identify items in the background, characteristics of the actors/actresses, etc. Create a similar type of message from video clips of students taken throughout the year. Or, create your own by taping students saying words and splicing them together to create a similar end result. Use a tool such as StepUp reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
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tag(s): organizational skills (128)
In the ClassroomUse FollowUpThen to receive reminders when waiting for email responses from colleagues or parents. Set up annual or monthly reminders for recurring events such as conference dates, programs, or report card due dates. Clean-up your email accounts. Send yourself reminder emails for due dates, future projects, parent contacts, and more.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Inspirograph to create fascinating art and to explore math concepts. Have students experiment with different gear sizes (both fixed and rotating) and explain changes. Design a table for students to map out findings such as number of points made when using different gear sizes. Find patterns between the fixed circle sizes and the number of points generated. Work collaboratively with other groups of students to create and answer questions about spirograph designs. Identify the various shapes created. For gifted and advanced students, find information on formulas for spirograph designs here. Be sure to sign up to receive notification when the Inspirograph app is available for mobile devices.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomPlace a link to this interactive on your website for students to access. Allow time for students to collect data from their work on this interactive and complete a lab experiment where students can demonstrate what they learned. For some "non-technology" challenges provide various materials to use as insulation and different sizes of ice to determine the degree of melting. How would they measure it? Students should identify the procedures they will use first and then make a prediction. Research various types of insulation, make comparisons, and report about the history of insulation.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe study of propaganda is an important adjunct to understanding how governments can shape the views of their citizens; the US is no exception. This slideshow can provide visual impact to a discussion of the US decision to enter World War I. Are there images used today that are designed to change public opinion? How can we learn to recognize propaganda and distinguish it from more unbiased information? Use this tool in art class and challenge students to create their own propaganda (or advertisement) posters. Discuss what moods certain colors evoke in the pictures. Unfortunately, there seems to be no good way to present the images full screen, which would give them more impact on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The slideshow would also be a useful resource for students researching propaganda in general.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomWhile the objects are classified with an eye toward their relevance to British history, there are plenty of connections to historical inquiry regardless of geographic area. If you are not focusing on British history yourself, consider using this concept to challenge students to select 100 (or some more manageable number) objects to represent their area of interest. What 100 objects might represent their community's history? Their school's history? Their family's history? From a historian's perspective, how do objects represent historical themes? How can we discover more about a culture or historical time period by examining the objects of that time? Why and how do historians choose particular objects to put into museums, and how do those objects tell a story? How could you create a "museum" of your school or of your community using objects?
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis amazing collection of Doodles can be used to spark thinking in a variety of classes. Use the Doodles to teach a little history. View the resources about the event, person, or country that inspired the Doodle. Encourage thinking with your gifted kids by sharing the whole gallery for exploration or a specific Doodle. Use these Doodles to spark a new project idea or challenge kids to create a simple "doodle" as a new way to report on a historic figure or a content idea. Think your students will be intimidated making a computer Doodle? Consider creating a Doodle using any computer art software or simply creating one on paper. Use these ideas in Science to show the scientific inventions or concepts. In social studies, use Doodles to showcase specific events here and around the World. When looking at perspectives of people around the world, create doodles that can show more than one point of view. Write paragraphs or stories based on Google Doodles. Use Google Doodles in STEM initiatives at your school. Don't forget Art or Gifted programs! Get your students excited about the making of the Doodles and what code writing can do! Use tools such as Scratch, reviewed here, or Tynker, reviewed here, to practice coding.
Nice to have past "Google Doodles" in one website to go back and look at.David, AK, Grades: 9 - 12
Great ideas for short, informative paragraphs to practice this type of writing. Let kids find a google idea for a day, for their particular world/setting/priorities...FUN! Archives are instructive.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomSee ideas for creating lessons on Verso by clicking on the tab in the top menu labeled "Getting Started." You will see several "challenges" (lessons) created by teachers. There is plenty of video support for setting up your classes, getting students registered, and creating lessons. There is even a "challenge" for students to use before you assign them your lesson. If you have ever wanted greater student engagement, increased student interest, and heightened discussion and interactivity in your classroom, Verso is the answer. Students can give their input and express their views anonymously. This tool will give everyone in your class a voice, even the shyest student.
Use this site to create unique lessons that require critical thinking responses from your students. Math and science teachers can use annotated images such as a microscope, cell, equation parts, etc. Pose questions or allow students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. In world language classes, have students use new vocabulary to comment on descriptions of what they see while classmates act out a scene from a video or novel. Autistic or behavior support students can guess the feelings of the people while watching a video. For longer videos, you may want to put a tag or comment in certain areas before uploading them to Verso. Use a tool like Zaption, reviewed here, for students to pause the videos and ask or answer questions right on the video.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThere are two ways for students to sign up. Give them the code to join the class, and they sign up themselves, or you enter them manually making the student username a combination of their name and the class code. Challenge (and excel) your gifted students with the concepts practiced at this site. Since student assignments are at their level, students can experience significant acceleration in practicing these necessary skills. ESL/ELL students will undoubtedly benefit from the practice using correct English, in their writing, over a continuous period. Use this site as part of your rotation during learning stations or centers. Inspire every student in the class to become a proficient writer by using Quill at least weekly. Be sure to share this tool on your class website so that students can practice at home, too.
Excellent self checking quiz format. Great resource to show why or why not the answer is correct.Kevin, SC, Grades: 0 - 5
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomHistory, science, and art teachers can explore the galleries dedicated to those subjects to include pictures in newsletters, blogs, and class websites. Share the site with students on an interactive whiteboard or projector when they need images for projects. Find images from locations you are studying in world cultures or geography class. Find images to use in student online projects such as Bookemon (to create online books) or Superlame (an image editor to add text and thought bubbles). Art teachers can find images for students to use as references or in photomontages (with credit). Use images for writing prompts or even to create descriptive sentences. Have one student describe the image as the other sketches the image. Now compare the described image to the real image. Keep this site as a reference link on your class web page for any time students are creating wikis, blogs, or electronic projects where they need images.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomImagine the excitement of featuring new books on an interactive whiteboard or projector every month with your students. Use the suggested reading activities during learning centers. Start following Edventures in your class. Share Ed's Poetry Zone during Poetry Month. Provide this link on your class website for families to use to find books, spelling activities, word fun, and math practice. Share the Number Quizzes on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the activities in Ed's Word Zone to create interactive learning stations or as an activity in your 1-1/BYOD classroom. Start a class blog with children suggesting their favorite book. Put the blog URL on your class website so that families can follow the class favorites. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. Allow families to add reading activities on the blog to accompany the stories. Help parents, grandparents, and children discover newly published books and interesting ways to share them!
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate playposit videos for use in your flipped classroom or for differentiating instruction in any subject. Assign videos to individuals or groups of students. Monitor student usage and progress using the site's tools. Allow students to create their own videos to review classroom material. Create videos for beginning of units, end of unit review, or ongoing instruction throughout the year. Share with Special Education and ESL/ELL teachers as a resource for creating and differentiating assignments. Create playposit videos for end of year review sessions.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): commoncore (95)
In the ClassroomUse with your colleagues to improve your curriculum and teaching methods. Evaluate your resources to ensure you are using quality materials. Use this resource as a professional learning group study. Find lessons that are ready to use in your classroom that encourage high quality Common Core standards.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): assessment (105)