Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomBegin with the comic strip to introduce a concept (share on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Have students note the physical and chemical properties occurring in each frame and to identify the scientific principle being presented. Use as a class discussion and introduction to specific principle. Use the suggested experiments and activities for further inquiry and investigation. When discussing other topics in class, encourage students to create their own comic either traditionally or digitally to demonstrate their understandings of the concept. Try using an online tool for students to create comics, such as the Comic Creator (explained here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse experiential learning to model how higher-level math concepts have a direct correlation to current environmental issues. Learn to measure wind energy, calculate "gear ratios," the area of a blade's "sweep," measure the amount of energy or wind a turbine is producing.
There is a range of lessons and activities here, some more complex than others. You may want to choose a few that fit your curricular needs and then allow small groups of students to investigate one together. Have student groups make an online Stixy (reviewed here) of things they discover about their topic, and later rearrange the items to "explain" their topic to classmates visually.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomFor many students, envisioning how molecules are put together is challenging. Identify how many atoms are put together, including how many bonds they form by using this as an introductory, inquiry activity. Have students use information learned here to create their own models using a drawing program such as Draw.to reviewed here,or use more conventional material like marshmallows and gum drops that are always a hit! Identify the atoms in the molecules on this site and research the effects of these molecules in living systems.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse as a reference to answer questions that students have. Use this site to also apply information learned in the classroom. For example, when discussing light energy and wavelengths, use the explanation of why it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter to apply the information about energy and wavelength. Follow the use of this site with related labs and other activities. Follow up also with more research. For example, after learning about how an hour glass works, research, report, or create other timepieces used throughout history focusing on the advantages and disadvantages as well as the limitations and changes in technology over time.
Grades5 to 9
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In the ClassroomHave students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this link on your class website for students to access at home. This site offers multiple modes of use, so it is easy to differentiate for ability levels within your class.
Grades5 to 9
The articles contained in this site are to the point, clear to understand, and in a large font. There are very few distractions going on in the site. It is easy to navigate and has a cool teacher tool in the buzz blog. Click on the Community tab, and the blogs are indexed by standards and grouped into topics such as earth science and physical science with subtopics.
In the ClassroomThis site would be a great resource for current events projects. Students could be assigned a specific article to read, and then post to a discussion forum on the class wiki or another internet discussion board that is acceptable at school. Or have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomThe projects outlined are in simple steps to show students how to create their own renewable energy technologies. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get hands on experience with engineering, design, and sustainable energy technologies. It also could be a resource for science fair projects.
If you live in Canada, you can participate in a solar oven design challenge. Teachers from other countries may want to have their class host an on-line collaborative project to compare and contrast the performance of their home made solar ovens
The website provides a unit plan meant to be completed in 11 class periods. You can download free complete lesson plans with detailed instructions. A student planning worksheet outlines research procedures, project guidelines, timeline for completion dates and evaluation criteria they are expected to meet.
Grades6 to 11
In the ClassroomPrint out instructions and have student work through the experiments when relevant to topics. Also, some experiments could be used as demonstrations. Assign cooperative learning groups specific experiments to try out and create a video to share with the class. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
Grades3 to 9
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In the ClassroomUse questions as a good bank of "hooks" to start classroom discussions on various topics. Allow students time to expand the question and arrive at their own answers, and then have them view the actual given answer. From here, students can accept or reject the answer by finding more information on the topic.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this resource to review concepts that have been learned in a biology class such as photosynthesis, cellular respiration, protein synthesis, or electrophoresis. Give students time to view the animations and create study notes for each part of the process that is happening. For example, have teams of students create the script for the scene unfolding in each slide of the movie. Team members could share the work using a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here to create the script. Create a glossary of terms that need to be known to understand the process. Create a concept map either using conventional or digital means to outline the major points of the process and the similarities or differences that occur between each of the processes. Use a tool such as bubbl.us reviewed here).
Provide time for students to generate questions from the information they still do not understand or to create quiz questions to check for understanding following the viewing of the resource. You might want them to use Quiz Snack (reviewed here) to create online polls or surveys with their classmates to see who has the answers to the questions they still have.
Grades6 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse Science Friday as a springboard and resource for research projects, or as an end of the week fun discussion. Play a podcast, and have students discuss the meaning and any possible misunderstandings. You could set up a computer in your classroom with a Science Friday podcast or video set up and ready to go for students to cycle through or for those who finsh their work early.
GradesK to 12
In case you are wondering about the title, SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).
In the ClassroomThis is a perfect way to organize and sort lessons by topic or age range for future classroom use or to share with fellow teachers. Create a community list of lessons to use within your district. Share this site with other teachers in your building or district as a resource for STEM lessons. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades3 to 12
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In the ClassroomFollowing a lesson on conversions, allow students to access the site to check answers. Mark this site in your favorites and share it on your TeachersFirst public age for quick access. Use as a handy resource on your interactive whiteboard or projector anytime that conversions come up in your classroom. Share this site with students through your class web page or TeachersFirst public page as a resource to use outside of class-- even when cooking with mom or dad!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThere are different levels of use of this site with incremental time and effort. The most basic users will need to create an account. Once the account is created, the user can create classes in the "Home" section of the site. This can be found on the left side of the screen. Beside "My Classes" choose "add a class." Here you will create different sections of students. Name your courses what you wish, but remember the sign-up word. You will give this to students when they create their accounts, and it will automatically enroll them into your class. Once they have signed up, their names will show up in the "My Students" section. Once the class is named, choose the activities you would like to have in your ITSI-SU class. Save your choices and the sign-up word will be shown in green print on the screen. Again, save this word. (You can go back into class information to find it if you forget, but you can save yourself time by remembering it.) From this point, basic users need only to show the site to the students and perhaps make some instructions for signing up for their students. Modules are ready to go. As the teacher, you can view the students' work and answers once they have completed the activity they are assigned. More adventurous users can modify activities by following onscreen instruction or even creating their own.
The only thing that could snag the use of this program is that the Java download may be prevented by your district's web filtering software. Please try this first ("preview activities"). One other concern is that downloading the Java app to every computer in a class of twenty students or more can pull a lot of bandwidth in a network. If your school's internet is not exactly top of the line, try running six computers with students working in groups to accommodate the internet capabilities. Have other students sit at their seat and work on preparing materials, so all students are learning and being productive. This program should be tried for the first time by the teacher to avoid any "tech" complications. Teachers who must request software installation by tech staff may want to try this tool at home so they can explain and convince administration of its educational value.
A great way to use this programing, on the smallest scale, is to share the initial lab question and picture to start a classroom discussion. Have students speculate about the possible answers to the question and possible "whys." Have students ask questions about the picture and attempt to explain its relevance to the question, and coincidentally the activity. From this point, you can have students log into the site and create accounts. Either as individuals or have groups of students create a group log in, name, and password. (Student passwords are available to the teacher at any time from the teachers homepage. Please warn students of this when they are choosing passwords so that they choose something school-appropriate.) Another way to use this portal is to pick a modeling lab as an ongoing science enrichment project for students.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be shared by URL
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Requires download/installation of software
Grades3 to 10
In the ClassroomUse this site to introduce and discuss how leaves change color each fall before taking your class outside to view what is happening in your area. Before going outside have students draw the different types of leaves shown on the site and try to find them outside. Take a digital camera to view leaves in your area and compare them to graphics shown on the site. Use this site as an introduction to fall changes and take pictures of trees in your area throughout the school year to arrange on a time line to show change throughout the year. Share this site as part of your fall festival!
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomTry using this activity after initial vocabulary of electricity has been established in class. Have students work through one section of the site at a time (there are five total.) You might want to have students take online notes about what they are learning by using Postica (reviewed here.) Then use your interactive whiteboard or projector to discuss what they have learned as a class. Post the notes on your web page or wiki for review.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this resource as a way to practice material and improve students' scores in preparation for an actual test. Use this resource to practice involved questions that like those found on the state tests. Practicing with various question formats builds confidence and improves performance. Create quizzes and tests that students must pass before moving on to other content or other harder tests. Use these as progress steps along the way to help students learn the content as they progress through a unit. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small groups to create their own "practice" quizzes before major tests.
Everyone can create, publish, share and take tests of any subject or syllabus on this site. Kudos!John, , Grades: 0 - 12
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this great resource to create Jeopardy games for any content area. This resource is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a student emcee. Use for vocabulary/terms, identifying parts of anything, and reviewing for any curriculum topic. Use as an opener to a unit to determine what students already know. Play as a review game to assist learning for all students. Encourage students to create the clues and answers to their own Jeopardy review games as a creative way to review and reinforce. Learning support teachers may want to have students create review games together.
You or your students can copy and paste the HTML code for any game on your web page, wiki, or blog for easy access to any Flash Jeopardy Game.