Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomTo use this tool, create an account and start playing with the features. There are also tutorials and showcases featured on the site to show what can be done. This would be great for creating time lines in social studies class, showing different places and teaching geography and social studies together. Foreign language students could create maps explaining culture aspects of the language or trace the origins of language. Assign students in math or family consumer sciences to be travel agents and plan vacations, including the costs of the trip.
As part of a book project, have your students show the setting of a novel they are reading, with images that annotate their impression of what the setting looks like. Have students create visual current events, especially for events that take place over time, such as the primaries and Presidential Elections.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): architecture (84), cooking (35), creativity (119), DAT device agnostic tool (170), fashion (10), guided reading (45), nutrition (159), organizational skills (128), professional development (156), social media (21), social networking (112)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for finding printables and other items for classroom use. Create your own pinboards for organizing classroom resources found on the web. Create pinboards for students to view and/or add to as a whole class activity, such as "things that use energy," food groups, or groups of items for primary level vocabulary/practice (clothing items, farm animals, clock faces for telling time, etc.). Maybe even create "which one does not belong?" pinboards for PreK and early grades to view and change on an interactive whiteboard and repeat at home. In higher grades, make pinboards for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. Share your pinboards with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Challenge your older students to create their own pinboards as a research project. Use Pinterest to show their hobbies/passions, wise quotes, recipes that fit a specific theme, art/lyrics, or a travel Itinerary. Follow other teachers using Pinterest to see items that they are adding and using in their classrooms. Add TeachersFirst to your pinboards! Note: Take a screenshot of something you find to upload to Pinterest!
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
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
Grades9 to 12
Videos can be shared through email, embedded, or linked with the URL by copying and pasting it to your own blog or website. Video content is categorized into business, environment, politics, science, technology, and culture. Each category has numerous sub-categories available. Please preview anything before you share it with your students. At the time of this review there was a subcategory "Sex" which may not be appropriate for most classrooms. But always preview! Teachers may want to share ONLY specific video links.
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tag(s): business (57), cultures (110), elections (78), energy (202), environment (318), evolution (101), genetics (95), investing (8), news (265), politics (99), psychology (66), religions (68), sexuality (14), stock market (13), sustainability (20), video (276)
In the ClassroomSearch to find videos relevant to the subjects that you are teaching. Videos are thought provoking and suggest different viewpoints. Once you select a video, show it as an inepth look into a topic you are already studying. Share the video and start a class discussion about the viewpoints of the video and the students' own viewpoints. From here, students could write a position paper from their own side or do further research for a class debate. Challenge your students to create their own video about topics being discussed/learned in class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomA must for any art classroom, Smarthistory adds an extra dimension and deeper understanding to any history, social studies, or cultural studies classroom. Use in writing workshops to provide insights to art and culture and to into thoughts and feelings. Study written works alongside the art of past time periods. Tempt students into the amazing world of art history by watching the new videos. Bring unlimited, world-class resources to each class. All of the videos are easily adaptable to an interactive whiteboard or projector. Debate clubs can study techniques and develop their own styles of debate. Gifted classes will devour this website. Provide this link on your class website to offer students extra challenge and exploration.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): american revolution (89), civil war (145), digital storytelling (153), great depression (26), industrial revolution (25), primary sources (93), westward expansion (29), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)
In the ClassroomIf you teach history or social studies, you know what a great emphasis is being placed on the use of primary documents in helping students develop an awareness of the perspectives of those who lived during a particular era. Use this site to develop sophisticated lessons using primary documents on US History with the activity builder. Use the ready-made activities (the majority of which are available once you've registered), on an interactive whiteboard or projector for the whole class or assign groups of students to work independently at a computer workstation or at home. These activities encourage higher order thinking among students rather than simply the memorization of facts.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce a class novel, a unit in the 20th century, the Great Depression, or WWII by having the class listen to music from that time period. You can also couple this site with the Old Radio World site, reviewed here, to help students get an overview of what life and entertainment was like.
Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime, reviewed here, to create an interactive timeline of artists during a specific musical era.
Have your students create an online "scrapbook" of a specific composer using Smilebox, (reviewed here.) Throw out the tests and have students demonstrate what they have learned by creating a scrapbook full of information!
Grades4 to 8
tag(s): abolition (7), american revolution (89), bill of rights (29), black history (61), colonial america (108), declaration of independence (13), history day (24), inventors and inventions (95), louisiana purchase (7), maps (293), native americans (78), politics (99), presidents (132), slavery (72), states (164), washington (36)
In the ClassroomEven if you do not have time to explore all the offerings, check the list of activities often to enrich your background information on U.S. historical events and people and your lessons. Search for templates or maps that are useful to what you are currently studying.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): animals (288), baseball (36), biomes (100), business (57), charts and graphs (195), civil war (145), dinosaurs (55), egypt (70), field trips (12), immigrants (21), immigration (58), japan (62), maps (293), mayans (13), medieval (27), mexico (34), multiple intelligences (11), musical instruments (47), nutrition (159), olympics (49), painting (65), probability (131), religions (68), rocks (50), russia (38), sports (98), statistics (124), tessellations (6), test prep (96), virtual field trips (50), volcanoes (65), water cycle (33)
In the ClassroomImmerse your students into your studies with a close up in depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Create a personalized field trip to meet your every need with the detailed tutorials given. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global!
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is ideal for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to do a general overview of the history of medicine. Students can then select specific areas of medicine and find articles to get more information. Have them do an online poster project combining information from here and from their own research using a tool such as Zoho Show (reviewed here). Or have students create their own interactive timelines using a site such as TimeRime (reviewed here).
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomHave students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have them create word games for interactive whiteboard, if you have one, such as matching or ranking activities that use these words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here. Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource when studying different time periods in history to understand math concepts and famous mathematicians of the time. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to provide background on the development of math concepts over time. Share this site with students to use when researching mathematicians. Allow students to explore the site for information relating to certain countries and their contributions to mathematics.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): alphabet (89), careers (136), dance (28), data (152), decimals (131), diseases (69), human body (127), mark twain (10), multimedia (63), music theory (41), percent (83), probability (131), problem solving (273), psychology (66)
In the ClassroomFind more details and teacher information under "Customization for States and District" to align the offerings here with your state's standards. Check this site for an introduction to a curriculum topic or unit or when looking for support activities to reinforce concepts. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Share the interactives as a learning center or on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is one that you want to save in your favorites.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): africa (176), area (68), atoms (57), bill of rights (29), branches of government (50), cells (104), civil war (145), constitution (87), elements (37), equations (153), exponents (42), factoring (31), factors (40), functions (69), inquiry (37), integers (41), matter (60), nutrition (159), oceans (150), order of operations (39), quadratics (34), rainforests (13), ratios (56), songs (53), sound (105), volume (44), water (130), world war 2 (141)
In the ClassroomPlay songs related to math, social studies, or science concepts in class to supplement current lessons. Download and play the tunes on iPods or mp3 players in a listening corner. Have younger students sing along with the songs (reading the lyrics). ESL/ELL students will benefit from such an alternate presentation of concepts, as will any who have strong musical/rhythmic intelligence. Give students copies of song lyrics, and have them create their own songs. After listening to a song, have students create their own song relating to current classroom topics. Suggest some familiar tunes so students do not have to start from scratch. Create a video of the songs and share using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomChoose one current events lesson as a Problem of the Week for class discussion along with some of the questions provided in the lesson. Challenge students to create their own lesson with local newspaper or magazine articles. Search the archives for articles that relate to lessons taught in class. Display the article on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and discuss, use whiteboard tools to highlight vocabulary and search for context clues in finding definitions.
Grades8 to 12
If a search does not return something immediately, there is a feature which will notify you of the results of your search at a later time. The time range of these documents is quite wide. Both a simple search and an advanced search make it easy to find interesting data. The A to Z index is a fun place to browse for subjects. Many of the documents are in PDF format.
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for researching primary documents from different eras in American history. Looking at the authentic documents is always exciting, so share one or two on a projector or interactive whiteboard with your class before assigning students to search on their own. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Have students make a mash-up presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Tools reviewed here. This is a great find for gifted students (unusual topics, historical documents, fascinating photos)!
Grades2 to 8
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In the ClassroomUse for any topic in any subject area. For example, a search for evolution revealed the following clusters: Texas Board, Biology, Human, and Theory. View more options by clicking on all clouds at the bottom of the list. Discuss with your class what kind of information about the topic that you are looking for before choosing a cloud. Have a broad concept to discuss in class? Assign a specific cloud to each group of students and have them report their findings back to the class. Have a class discussion about how all of the pieces of information fit together. Create a class concept map that ties all the information together. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share the concept maps.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to introduce comparisons to your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. After demonstrating how to use the site, create a link on classroom computers for students to make their own comparisons to be printed and shared. Divide students into 3 groups - one for each type of comparison essay - and have them create comparisons for their type, then share and compare with other students. Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate the different types of comparisons using Fotobabble reviewed here. Use this site with gifted students as a way for them to explore subjects more deeply than discussed in class. Use this site with ESL/ELL students to help organize information easily and as a visual representation of class material.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomReel Life Wisdom supports character education programs with a parent PDF offering useful tips. Use relevant quotes in discussions on theme, choice, and empowerment. Lead your students to understand they are in charge of their lives. Improve reading comprehension of any text, by making connections or comparisons to a movie. Strengthen writing skills by critiques, explanations, and point of view essays. Challenge students to reach a deeper understanding of theme by finding a quote to match the theme. Use movies as an example for positive, effective goal setting strategies. Develop written or oral language by using the quotes as writing/speaking prompts. Challenge students to discover the many choices available to every individual. Encourage a meaningful sense of story development while connecting to each student's interest. The movies also offer a personal story into the study of people, government, and values. Create a thematic bulletin board of quotes on a topic, or have students generate word clouds from several favorite quotes on the same theme. Use a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here. Post the clouds for class inspiration. During the first week of school, share this site and ask each student to share a favorite quote on a class blog or wiki for students to get to know each other.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse for many kinds of societal, political, or environmental discussions and decisions, such as paper or plastic bags, drilling or not in ANWAR, etc. Use in literary discussions of alternatives faced by characters. Use in preparation for debates or persuasive writing. Generate a list of actions and alternatives and create the decision matrix. Use multimedia or conventional posters to generate information about the advantages and disadvantages of each position. Try a site like Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here). Create a case study about a real life situation where a decision would have to be made and provide roles for students. Students use the decision making matrix with their assigned role to generate a vote for the issue. Consider using this tool for a project actually occurring in their neighborhood. For example, a field and trees being taken down as well as the changing of the landscape for a proposed development. Use the decision making matrix in Decico to determine why the decision to proceed happened or should happen.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore specific composers on their own (or in cooperative learning groups). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
U.S. and world history teachers will love this site! (As well as music teachers) Use interactives to integrate music into history classes, math classes (for timing and fractions), and English classes (reading and writing about music). All teachers can check out the thematic links for their subject to music. Take advantage of the FREE lesson plans. Chances are good that you could incorporate music into every type of class. Simply check out the education link, and your imagination and educational wheels will start spinning!