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The Fun Theory - Volkswagen

Grades
K to 12
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The Fun Theory is a collection of experiments captured on video to find out if making tasks more fun can change people's behavior. One of the most popular videos on ...more
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The Fun Theory is a collection of experiments captured on video to find out if making tasks more fun can change people's behavior. One of the most popular videos on The Fun Theory is a staircase in a subway station. The stairs were converted into working piano keys as a way to convince commuters to take the stairs over the escalator. Another test uses a game-based scenario to recycle bottles. Students and colleagues at all levels are subject to the same ineffective carrots-and-sticks. Why search around for methods to motivate when fun is the key to unlocking a world of possibilities? A contest also encourages visitors to upload their own applications of The Fun Theory. After watching the videos, you will see the evidence that appealing to an individual's intrinsic motivation is better on many levels. Make the road less traveled FUN! The collection of Fun Theory videos is an excellent resource to support game-based learning in your classroom. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): psychology (64), science fairs (25), scientific method (64), video (253)

In the Classroom

Are you looking to make learning fun? The Fun Theory collection of videos is a great collection of experiments to teach your class the Scientific Method. Use the videos to identify each step of the process. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your students to brainstorm their own Fun Theory ideas for school, home, or your community. In art or music class, brainstorm ways that you can use FUN methods to learn techniques. Use bubbl.us (reviewed here) to organize your ideas. Host your own Fun Theory competition, and invite community and school board members to vote on their favorite experiment. Spice up your traditional science fair project with a fun and engaging fun theory experiment. Use Animoto (reviewed here) or another presentation tool to show your Fun Theory experiment and results. Challenge your colleagues to create their own Fun Theory experiment to better the school environment for your students or staff. For Earth Day, make it a class project to design a Fun Theory way to change human behavior to promote greener practices. Explore these ideas in a psychology class about motivation or as part of a study skills unit so students find ways to motivate themselves for better work habits!
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Milq - Jordan Jacobs and Don MacKinnon

Grades
8 to 12
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What is Milq? This tool is like the Pinterest for videos, music, and information. This user-generated network can curate and organize "channels of culture" on the Internet. Organize...more
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What is Milq? This tool is like the Pinterest for videos, music, and information. This user-generated network can curate and organize "channels of culture" on the Internet. Organize content by specific topics. Organize material into collections called "beads." You create a specific bead by asking a general question such as "How to" or a topic such as "Powerful Poems." There are also beads for music of certain decades. Other Milq members contribute to these beads by adding video or audio clips. Star beads that you like and add them to collections. Add video and audio clips to beads that you find. Many of the videos are from YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube, but Milq will not allow you to save or share such downloads. Note: Be sure to view specific collections in advance before sharing with students. Even though offensive content was not found in the public gallery, that gallery is unmoderated.
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tag(s): decades (14), music theory (42), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to collect or add specific video and audio content for any subject matter that can be shared in class. Use the existing beads to get a feel for a certain time period. (Our review team couldn't help listening to 80's music videos and reminiscing.) Since the tool is completely public, this tool is probably best used via a teacher-controlled account or by mature students with parent permission. Develop specific questions to answer about the time period as they are a time capsule of history. In a music or art class, view various beads about music genres to compare and contrast. Look at cultural/social influences on the music as well as the influence of the music on culture. In world language classes, you can collect a bead of videos for students to experience the pop culture of another land. If you search "education," you will find collections of videos about educational change and more. Use Milq to collect thought-provoking videos to use in professional development or to collect videos to support curriculum (and collaborate with other teachers on these collections).

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Totally History - totallyhistory.com

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Totally History offers a brief overview on many historical events and topics. Choose from categories including art history, U.S. history, world history, famous history, and the history...more
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Totally History offers a brief overview on many historical events and topics. Choose from categories including art history, U.S. history, world history, famous history, and the history of technology. Within each topic, find facts and a several paragraph overview of the content.
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tag(s): american revolution (86), art history (69), civil war (145), presidents (130), religions (61), vietnam (36), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Totally History offers a starting point to find basic facts and information on many topics. Use material from the site to introduce any topic such as presidents or events in World or American History. Share with students to use as a resource for classroom projects and reports. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president or any person or event in history.

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Veezzle - Vezzle

Grades
K to 12
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Use Veezzle to search for royalty free stock photos and clip art. Veezzle sources its images from a variety of royalty free sites to provide you with an efficient experience. ...more
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Use Veezzle to search for royalty free stock photos and clip art. Veezzle sources its images from a variety of royalty free sites to provide you with an efficient experience. Preserved photographer notes on the images allow you to see what the photographer said about their work and any requests for credit. Veezzle is quite fast to find photos, and it's free of banners and pop-ups. Sort your search by relevance, popularity, and latest. Buttons under the search bar also allow you easily to navigate through the photo sets. Please note that license details for images found on source sites marked with an asterisk should be carefully checked as some copyrighted material can slip through the search filters for these particular sites. Disclaimer: The use of any image found using Veezzle is at your own risk. It is your obligation to verify, read, and respect the license of each photo and use it responsibly. Warning: Remind students about school and class rules about searching on the Internet. Give students explicit directions about what to search for. Some images are sexually graphic.
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tag(s): copyright (47), creative commons (21), images (265)

In the Classroom

Is there a copyright conundrum in your classroom? It is important to teach students about copyright and owner's rights. Demonstrate good search practices as well as how to save the images on the student's computer. Teach the students how to provide full credit to the owner of the image. Use Veezzle to search for photos for presentations, projects, or research. Use the images for ESL/ELL students or speech/language students to create their own visual dictionary. Challenge your students to use images to illustrate vocabulary words using the images from Veezzle or to accompany their writing. Project an image or post it online to use as a writing prompt or to create descriptive sentences. Have one student describe the image as another creates a sketch from the description. Then, compare the described image to the real image. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Prezi, reviewed here, or another presentation tool. Be sure to hold students accountable by including a "digital citizenship" category in your project rubric, requiring proper credit for all images. You will want to spot check a few of the URLs to be sure they are actually correct credits. Share Veezzle on your class web page, wiki, or blog so students can access it anywhere, anytime.

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Top Documentary Films - topdocumentaryfilms.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Top Documentary Films contains a large collection of documentaries from around the world. Choose "Browse Documentaries" to explore documentaries available, or click on categories to...more
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Top Documentary Films contains a large collection of documentaries from around the world. Choose "Browse Documentaries" to explore documentaries available, or click on categories to view by topics such as Politics, Science, etc. Choose the documentary list to view a complete listing of all available films. Each listing includes a short description along with a link to view the video. Videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Be sure to PREVIEW videos before showing to a class as they are unmoderated. Comments are also unmoderated. There is a wonderful disclaimer at the lower left of the home page about bias and documentaries. It is well worth noting as you watch ANY "documentary."
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tag(s): advanced placement (21), animals (276), artists (75), biographies (86), drugs and alcohol (19), environment (317), evolution (100), hiv/aids (18), humor (15), media literacy (58), mental health (26), money (193), politics (99), psychology (64), religions (61), sports (96), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find videos in a wide range of topics to share on your interactive whiteboard, on a projector, or as a link on your class web page. Use videos to demonstrate different points of view. Then use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast information. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from any film using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here). Want to engage students WHILE they watch a video? Why not set up a backchannel chat using Todaysmeet, reviewed here. Be sure to ask your class if there could have been any bias in the video you watch together. What film techniques influence our thinking?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TinEye Labs - Idee, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Search Creative Commons images by COLOR(s)! Choose up to five colors. As you choose each color, the tiled squares fill with a myriad of images that include that color. Click ...more
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Search Creative Commons images by COLOR(s)! Choose up to five colors. As you choose each color, the tiled squares fill with a myriad of images that include that color. Click a second color to view images that have both colors in them. Choose up to five colors. Click on "Next" in the lower right hand corner to view more pages of images. Click on the image you like to go to its Flickr site. Use CTRL-click (or right click) to view the different sizes of images and download pictures. Our editors did not notice any inappropriate photos. However, we highly recommend previewing this site before sharing with students. You will want to discuss what to do in the unlikely event that an image comes up that is not classroom appropriate. As with all Creative Commons images on Flickr, you will want to look at the details of the license to be sure you can use any image as you intend to. Some have limited use (such as no "derivative works"). Click the Rights link at the right when viewing an individual image to see the specifics.

tag(s): colors (79), creative commons (21), design (84), graphic design (35), images (265), media literacy (58), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Use this tool when you seek specific color(s) to coordinate with a presentation or other class project. Use it to talk about the emotional impact of different colors, such as during a psychology unit on perception, a media literacy lesson on advertising color, or a discussion of color schemes in art class. Be sure to discuss the ethical use of images with proper credit, including Creative Common images. Start by having students carefully NAME files as they download and save them (include the photographer's name and a title). Remind them that they still need to give credit even if it is Creative Commons. This is a great site for looking at contrast, analogous and complementary color schemes, and other artistic expressions. Use TinEye Labs to uncover various elements of graphic design found in images. Art teachers will love the many options for demonstrating different color palettes on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use the photo examples from Tineye Labs together with a tool such as Kuler, reviewed here, or Colour Lovers, reviewed here, to play hands-on with digital color. Share this with your gifted students who are especially interested in art or design.

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Robocompass - Mohamed Jaffarali, MathDisk Technologies

Grades
8 to 12
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Draw geometric constructions with the help of Robocompass's animated features. View ideas from the example list to understand how the site works. Choose one of the examples (such as...more
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Draw geometric constructions with the help of Robocompass's animated features. View ideas from the example list to understand how the site works. Choose one of the examples (such as Bisect an Angle) then click the "Play All" button to follow the step-by-step procedure in action. Stop the animation at any point and resume play when ready. In addition to using examples provided, create your own constructions using commands found in the "How to" link. Robocompass interfaces with Google memberships, allowing you to SAVE animations! For a good overview of the site, choose "Take the Tour." (The tour button only shows AFTER you have clicked a sample file or "Open Robocompass.") This option offers a video overview and explanation. If your district blocks YouTube, "Take the Tour" may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the video from YouTube. The tool states it operates best in Chrome and requires WebGL. You need to enable Web GL to use it in Safari. See directions how in this blog post. iOS and Android apps are "coming soon." Imagine this one on a tablet! Note: This site uses significant bandwidth to load the animations and the tour video. Be patient.

tag(s): angles (88), charts and graphs (195), geometric shapes (163), transformations (17)

In the Classroom

If you cannot make this site work on the first try, try again. This one is worth getting tech help to make it work! Note: This site uses significant bandwidth to load the animations and the tour video. Pretest ON the devices(s) you will use in class before planning to use it for a lesson! Display Robocompass on your interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate geometric constructions. Provide a link on your class website or blog for students to view constructions at home. This site is perfect to excite your gifted students! Challenge students to create and share their own constructions for other geometric purposes such as transformations. Even art teachers may find this tool useful for demonstrating perspective and more.

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Adventure '14 - Jason Elsom

Grades
K to 12
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Experience a worldwide, virtual, culture exchange in November, 2014. Adventure '14 is an opportunity to work with students from another culture. The only equipment needed is a computer,...more
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Experience a worldwide, virtual, culture exchange in November, 2014. Adventure '14 is an opportunity to work with students from another culture. The only equipment needed is a computer, webcam, reasonable Internet connection, and a projector. Signing up indicates an interest, not a commitment. Sign up requirements: contact information about the school or group, age range, and website address. Also, indicate if there is an interest in pairing up with others by subject, language, or interests. Although there are places to fill in Twitter account information, having a Twitter account is not required. Get to know about people in another culture, embrace the opportunity to work together on a global project, and create a website together (optional).

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105)

In the Classroom

Consider the many ways your class could collaborate. Science students can collaborate on labs, history students on research, and math students can solve some of the world's most difficult equations together. ESL/ELL students might collaborate with students who want to know about their experiences where one does not speak the language.

Partner teachers can choose a collaborative platform students can use to brainstorm ideas they have about the other country and culture before they meet. Use a projector and Lino, reviewed here, (no membership required) to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom they will be working. Once the project is underway, go back to Lino occasionally, and add what they learned and whether it coincides with the students' original ideas. Ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Lino. Also, consider asking the partner school to blog together. It is amazing the improvement you will see in student writing when they know they have an authentic audience! If you never blogged before, you might want to check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics for the Classroom. Use the blogs as a way to discuss topics related to both culture AND your curriculum: environmental topics, different types of government, or simply day to day life.

Comments

I intend to use this. It sounds like a great idea. , MD, Grades: 1 - 1

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LessonPaths - MentorMob, Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Create, share, and explore learning lists of web-based resources with LessonPaths (formerly MentorMobEDU). Similar to Pinterest, but in a slide show format. This site shows thumbnails...more
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Create, share, and explore learning lists of web-based resources with LessonPaths (formerly MentorMobEDU). Similar to Pinterest, but in a slide show format. This site shows thumbnails of each resource. LessonPaths allows you to view and create "playlists." Browse through playlists by subject or keyword. Each playlist has links to online content correlated to the topics. As you browse through each playlist, choose Next to view an overview of each link. At the left side, roll over the list of steps to find out what to do at each stop on the playlist. Click within that link to go to the web content displayed. When ready, create an account and begin to create your own playlists.

tag(s): classroom management (134)

In the Classroom

Browse to find ready-made activities for classroom use. Create your own playlists for organizing classroom resources found on the web along with tasks to do at each place. Create playlists for students to view and/or add to as a whole class activity. Some ideas include 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.). In lower grades, create very simple sequences of activities for students to try from a class computer center or at home. Since your directions will require reading, keep it very simple! In higher grades, make playlists for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. Share your playlists with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Have them work through the tasks at their own pace. Challenge your older students to create their own playlists with thought-provoking questions as a product from a research project. For example, they can compile information about a disease and how it is transmitted, asking questions at each resource. (What a great way for them to read informational text and then generate questions that go further!) Teachers of Gifted or regular ed teachers trying to design independent tasks for gifted students to do will love the flexibility of the playlist format.

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Picfull - Picfull

Grades
K to 12
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Picfull is an easy to use, online photo editor that doesn't require registration. Upload your picture from any computer to begin. Choose from photo effect options such as red-eye removal,...more
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Picfull is an easy to use, online photo editor that doesn't require registration. Upload your picture from any computer to begin. Choose from photo effect options such as red-eye removal, vintage, dark, or pencil strokes. Use options within each photo effect to create your desired image then choose "Save" to view and download your finished image to your computer.
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tag(s): editing (60), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use this tool anytime that photos need to be edited for use on class blogs, wikis, or sites. In primary grades, use this tool to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit the project together! Encourage older students to use this tool themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use the editor to edit pictures to fit styles of pictures when doing historical reports or to set a mood.

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CraftArt edu - Craft Media Network

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Learn, create, and connect with CraftArtEdu's free online "classes" on video. This colorful site offers free online "classes" on countless art and crafts topics. Topics range from wrapping...more
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Learn, create, and connect with CraftArtEdu's free online "classes" on video. This colorful site offers free online "classes" on countless art and crafts topics. Topics range from wrapping wire loops to fan fold blends to basic embroidery and much more. Join a class and receive step by step instruction. Find the free class section, and start your new learning adventure. Develop new talents and skills. Some of the videos are not in English, so preview (unless you are looking for language learning!). Don't miss the digital art tutorials about Photoshop!
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tag(s): crafts (40), holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Find projects for holidays or that tie in with current units of study on time periods in history, different cultures, or literature being read in class. In world language classes, share one of the videos in French or German and challenge students to follow along with the directions. Then have them try to make their own how-to videos to practice new vocabulary. Use these videos as examples of digital writing for information and have student groups create one of their own. Share this site with your "crafty" students for indoor recess or use the activities in family and consumer science. Share this link on your class website for students to find crafty ways to share knowledge in unusual displays. Some of the videos might even offer ideas they could use as science fair projects testing the strength of different materials.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Activities for Kids - Activities for Kids

Grades
K to 5
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Find crafts and activities for both home and in the classroom. First, figure out which are ads and which is actual site content! Discover activities for families or after school. ...more
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Find crafts and activities for both home and in the classroom. First, figure out which are ads and which is actual site content! Discover activities for families or after school. Find your area by searching within your state or area code. Discover party ideas, theme ideas, crafts, classroom helpers, puzzles and games. Free personalized printouts include; blank checks, thank you cards, coupon books, and bookmarks. Find fun worksheets for holidays.
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tag(s): crafts (40), directions (20), holidays (147), parents (56)

In the Classroom

Bring great ideas to your next PTO meeting with Activities for Kids! Feature this site during parent nights, open houses, and curriculum nights. Include this link on your class website for kids to access during snow days or vacations. Encourage teachers and students to use it in after school craft clubs or after school care. In math, work with fractions using kid friendly recipes. Use the blank checks for a unit on personal finance or as a checkbook reward system. In language arts, practice personal letter writing with the thank you notes or use the how-to activity directions as an examples for following directions. During thematic units, check for ideas in the party section.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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4 Free Photos - 4freephotos.com

Grades
K to 12
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4 Free Photos offers public domain and free stock images. Preview and download the photos at no cost. Use the search feature to find the image you are looking for. ...more
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4 Free Photos offers public domain and free stock images. Preview and download the photos at no cost. Use the search feature to find the image you are looking for. The images on this site are contributed by the photographers for open sharing under Creative Commons. Be aware, there are photos for sale (clearly labeled). Some of the links for "More Free Photos" and other ads take you to outside sites. You may want to advise students to avoid those links. Note that all uses of the photos are supposed to be accompanied by the link to the license (available on each photo's display page).
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tag(s): copyright (47), creative commons (21), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Starting 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.
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Giza 3D - Dassault Systemes

Grades
6 to 12
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This tool is a stunning 3D reconstruction and tour of the Giza pyramids, Sphinx, and other structures. Watch a guided tour both around and inside the structures. This tour also ...more
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This tool is a stunning 3D reconstruction and tour of the Giza pyramids, Sphinx, and other structures. Watch a guided tour both around and inside the structures. This tour also shows structures at various points in history. To view in 3D, the 3D Lifeplayer needs to be installed. Note: This site may take a little time to load.

tag(s): architecture (83), egypt (67), pyramids (29)

In the Classroom

View this site in the classroom using a projector or interactive whiteboard. View the reconstruction of these artifacts from information collected during its discovery. Use the 3D tour to view the Necropolis, join a guided tour of the monuments, and look at the collected objects reconstructed from the site. Bring the history of Egypt to life. This is a powerful tool to show the role of Archaeology in reconstructing history. Compare this site to the work of archaeologists at Jamestown or other historic locations to talk about different techniques of science used to reveal history.

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The Historical Marker Database - HMdb.org

Grades
5 to 12
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The Historical Marker Database is an illustrated and searchable website for finding and viewing historical road markers. Information includes photographs, marker locations, and more....more
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The Historical Marker Database is an illustrated and searchable website for finding and viewing historical road markers. Information includes photographs, marker locations, and more. Search and browse the site in several ways. Find markers near your location, enter a keyword in the search bar, or choose from category options. Most entries include a short description, map location of the marker, the transcription, and links to other nearby markers. This site is rather text-heavy. It is full of great information. There is also a link to a free Google Field Trip app that uses these markers.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (51), american revolution (86), anthropology (11), civil rights (117), civil war (145), disasters (39), explorers (61), heroes (24), hispanic (18), labor day (5), native americans (78), natural disasters (20), natural resources (59), vietnam (36), war of 1812 (14), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use the Historical Marker Database to find information and locations of important events near your hometown or relating to any area of study. For example, choose the Civil Rights link to find markers noting important events related to Civil Rights. Then have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines of historic events near your school (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).

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The State Hermitage Museum - State Hermitage Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a virtual field trip to one of the oldest and largest museums in the world without leaving your classroom! The Hermitage Museum located in St Petersburg, Russia offers virtual...more
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Take a virtual field trip to one of the oldest and largest museums in the world without leaving your classroom! The Hermitage Museum located in St Petersburg, Russia offers virtual visits, viewings, and academies through their extensive website. Virtual Tours offer descriptions and panoramic views of all rooms in the museum. Choose the Virtual Viewing link to exhibits, art collections, and themed exhibitions exploring different people and eras in Russian history. Be sure to check out the Children and Education link for many offerings in the virtual academy exploring topics such as medals and the Winter Palace. App versions are available.

tag(s): artists (75), DAT device agnostic tool (196), medieval (27), museums (49), religions (61), russia (38), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

View exhibits and information together with your class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore the site on their own. Have students create a timeline of artworks and more using Xtimeline (reviewed here). Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here). Have students create a word cloud of the important terms (or people) they learn about the Hermitage using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Seeing America - Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester

Grades
6 to 12
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An artist sees the world and then tries to communicate that vision through his or her work. The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester presents 17 works of ...more
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An artist sees the world and then tries to communicate that vision through his or her work. The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester presents 17 works of art, each illustrating the artist's view of America. Each piece is indexed by theme such as Meeting America's People or Telling America's Stories and is accompanied by a rich set of resources including lesson plans, classroom activities, and a printable image that can be duplicated. There are works from as early as the 18th century up until the present time. An interactive timeline helps pinpoint pieces according to the dates they were created.

tag(s): art history (69), artists (75)

In the Classroom

Aside from its obvious usefulness to an art history class, consider choosing an image from an era under study in a history course --or from the time period of a piece of American literature --and incorporating a look at the time through the eyes of an artist. How did events from that time influence the artist's vision of the world? What was America like to that artist? How is that different today? These are great "plug and play" resources that can be used to design an entire unit around using one of the themes or can be as short as an activating activity at the beginning of a class. Ask: When do you think this was painted? What tells you that? What is the artist trying to tell us about his or her view of America? The only limitation here is that it's difficult to view the images in full screen; you will need to use your browser's zoom function to use the images effectively on an interactive whiteboard (or projector).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Easy Street Prompts - Writing Blogs

Grades
5 to 12
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Throw away the traditional story starters and inspire writing (and art) with Easy Street Prompts. The prompts include videos, random words, and picture prompts that will truly inspire...more
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Throw away the traditional story starters and inspire writing (and art) with Easy Street Prompts. The prompts include videos, random words, and picture prompts that will truly inspire you and make you think. There are over a thousand prompts in the archives, even though the site does not seem to be adding new ones anymore.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), journals (21), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Save this website to your favorites or link from your class web page. These inspirational ideas are perfect for journals, quick writes, or to develop into a full story or essay. There are plenty of unusual ideas to give even your most reluctant writer or artist an inspirational nudge. ESL/ELL students can be motivated easily with the video or picture prompts. Share these prompts with your gifted students for some "out of the box" writing ideas. Keep these creative ideas in your "emergency" lesson plan folder for substitutes or for your own spontaneous writing needs. Challenge students to share writing aloud in a podcast format with websites such as PodOmatic (reviewed here) or Spreaker (reviewed here). Create a Prezi (reviewed here) or PowerPoint with artwork or quotes created.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wikispaces - Wikispaces

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for quick web pages that even students can author? Then "wiki-wiki" this way! (Wiki means quick in Hawaiian.) This is the one tried and true wiki to use. Create ...more
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Looking for quick web pages that even students can author? Then "wiki-wiki" this way! (Wiki means quick in Hawaiian.) This is the one tried and true wiki to use. Create your own Wikispaces site by creating a site name. Educators get a free upgrade to a non-ad site, so remember to confirm it is for educational use. Enter your students manually (or upload a list). Students can also create an account and "join" your wiki. Use Settings to manage privacy settings for viewing and editing. Be sure to check out many of the settings that make Wikispaces versatile including the ability to lock pages so others do not edit them. Individual students can have their own page and/or belong to a group page. Check the participation of individual students in the group by checking the history of the page to "see" what each student edited at specific times. Choose traditional Wikispaces which looks like traditional sets of pages on a site. Also choose from the new Wikispaces Classroom (this can be done at any time and can be converted back to a traditional wiki as needed). In Wikispaces Classroom, members of your wiki can be assigned to various project groups the teacher creates. Set the privacy settings for each individual group or for all of them. If private, only members of that group can see their information. Create announcements, calendar events, discussions, and more for individuals, single groups, or all groups. Wikispaces Classroom takes interaction and management of student projects to a new level. As they work on an assigned project, the teacher can view the activity of each student including pages editing and viewing. Follow help videos or simply play to learn the simple wiki editing toolbar and settings. Creating a site has never been so easy. If you have not tried a wiki yet, visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for a step-by-step explanation, starter help, and practical management and safety tips. Be sure to check your district's Acceptable Use Policy. We recommend having parents and students sign a Wiki Warranty (downloadable here ), spelling out wiki behavior and consequences.

tag(s): wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to create a collaborative space online with your students in any subject, allowing as many people to edit, make changes, and add new content. In its simplest use, use the wiki to post assignments by creating pages for each unit to place assignments. Enter these in text form, or upload documents/PowerPoints, teacher created videos, and other resources from around the web without having students leave the wiki to view. (Use the widget icon in the toolbar to paste the embed code of the resource you want to use). Weave your content around the many resources that can engage and connect learning in your classroom. When students create learning groups in your classroom, they can also create their own wiki page, documenting their learning within the page. For science, reporting about a lab can also include their digital graph, photos taken throughout the lab, and extensions of learning from the natural world. For Math, extend learning to the world around them such as determining circumferences of a variety of natural objects, etc. then reporting on them with pictures. Give students a problem and create a step by step tutorial on how to solve the problem. Students can embed their movie, podcast, PowerPoint, document, or even sets of images to show the solution. When answering discussion type questions, students can paste the link to the resources that they used. Create a wiki for art classes as a gallery showcase. Use with gifted students as a portfolio space. Use Wikispaces Classroom to create discussions (threaded discussions are to be developed soon) within groups or with the whole class. Discuss current events in Social Studies, ethics in Science or Civics, or create a literature circle in English. The uses of wikis are endless and can serve many different functions. Use for placing all your content on the web (great for absent students or for those who want to get ahead) while also creating some assignments that students can use with their individual pages and other assignments for their team pages. Student pages can be works in progress, allowing students to revisit and revise information whenever they want. Be sure to visit the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for dozens of ideas for using a wiki in the classroom.

Comments

Easy to use, versatile, free to educators. Can be kept private easily. Easier than PBWorks wiki. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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scistuchat - Adam Taylor

Grades
6 to 12
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This grass roots effort by a Tennessee science teacher spawned a monthly Twitter chat between high school science students in MANY locations and practicing scientists in the "real world."...more
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This grass roots effort by a Tennessee science teacher spawned a monthly Twitter chat between high school science students in MANY locations and practicing scientists in the "real world." The site looks plain vanilla, but the topic is dynamite! Find information, preparation, and topics for upcoming chats, basic information about the chat formats, chat archives, past pre-chat prep resources, and Twitter handles for the scientists and teachers who participate in the chats. Don't forget to follow @2footgiraffe, the instigating teacher, and click through to his blog for some of the back story on how he was able to convince school administration to unblock Twitter (and other tales of tech challenges). The TeachersFirst editors met Mr. Taylor at the ISTE conference and knew this was a resource our users would want to know about.

tag(s): twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Even if you do not choose to join this particular Twitter chat with practitioners in the field, mark this simple site as a professional development resource to learn how to plan and organize successful Twitter chats between your students and the outside world. If you teach another discipline, try searching on Wefollow, reviewed here for people in the field that connect to your curriculum: writers, artists, curators, engineers, and more. Need to learn more about Twitter? Start with help from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page. Extend the curriculum for your gifted students by having them help organize a chat with professionals and write the questions.

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