Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomNon-fiction reading and background knowledge have found a new emphasis with The Common Core State Standards. It is more important now than ever to help connect students with quality, non-fiction reading and viewing material. Find great news resources and videos of the week to create assignments for your class at DOGOnews. You may want to create a class page and load several news articles. Have students choose from the articles, and email it to themselves. Have students print out the article and complete a "close reading" of the article by annotating it. Then have students who chose the same article get together in groups to discuss their reactions about the article, create a summary together, and create four or five open-ended questions about the article. Lastly, create groups of four, with each student having a different article, and have them present their article to the others in the group and ask them their open-ended questions to trigger a discussion. Create a class magazine from the articles. Or better yet, have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Strengthen reading comprehension by having an 'article du jour' on your interactive whiteboard or projector as students arrive. Link this site on your homepage.
Grades3 to 10
For each of your classes, you see a full report of each student's activities by going to your classroom tab. Youngzine also provides a safe "blog" environment for classrooms - a constructive, creative, and controlled way for teachers to create classroom assignments and foster discussions about current events! The blog can be completely private so outsiders cannot see student comments. Teachers control these settings.
In the ClassroomHave your students make comments on articles (public comments), take quizzes, rate articles, and participate in contests. You can create custom assignments and have students respond and discuss, right on Youngzine! This is a great way to assess student's understanding and create an arena for a discussion/debate between class students. Or, ask your students to summarize an article, as a way to encourage them to think and write.
There is also a tab for "U Write." This section appears to allow students to write about issues in their community, or programs they've heard about to help a suffering communities. You might consider having your students look at the different articles and decide on a community to help. Have them vote on the community they would like to help by using Votesy, reviewed here.
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)
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades6 to 12
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tag(s): arabic (21), architecture (84), business (58), engineering (128), geology (81), german (67), literature (275), medicine (70), psychology (66), religions (68), sociology (22), sports (98), video (276)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for videos to use in the classroom. Have art students use Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, or Screencastify (Chrome app), reviewed here, to make narrated recordings about videos that they find on this site. Share this site with gifted students who are delving deeper into topics than your current curriculum allows. This is a great site to share on your class blog, wiki, or website for students to use for extra practice or advancement.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIf YouTube is blocked at your school, use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube and to convert online videos such as the ones you find on YouTube into a portable format you can play at school.
Whether you're an English Language Arts teacher or an ESL/ELL teacher, this site can help your students learn new words. You might want to have students keep lists of words they come across in their reading. Then have them take turns using this site (at a center or individual laptops). Or, if YouTube is blocked at your school, have this site posted on your webpage for parent and student use at home.
If you are a science, history, math, or other subject area teacher, you might want to embed a few of the videos on your own page for weekly vocabulary.
The quality of the information on the videos is excellent. In the Common Core State Standards there is an emphasis on background knowledge. This program will not only help your students with vocabulary and word pronunciation, but will help them build their background knowledge!
In the ClassroomChoose a parameter to display, such as wind speed. It is best to choose only one topic (data set) at a time and be sure to instruct students to uncheck previous boxes before choosing a new one. Use as an inquiry activity to look at various parameters around the globe and ask questions about what they see. For example, Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly shows areas of the oceans that are warming and some that are cooling more than others. Provide time for students to spin the globe and zoom in to look at where various changes are occurring and make observations. Bring these observations to light in class and brainstorm why the phenomenon exists. If you have an interactive whiteboard, have students add their observations to the board as they make discoveries. Then have them discuss and sort their statements into "proven" and "unproven" columns on the IWB. Research what has already been demonstrated about warming and cooling as well as the potential impacts it may have. Compare these changes with other parameters such as chlorophyll to understand producers and their ocean environment.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site to use with any animal research or projects. Introduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector and allow students to explore on their own. Have students choose an animal from the site to research then make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use questions from the Issues and Topics section during classroom debates and discussions on the environment.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): africa (175), architecture (84), cells (105), europe (74), evolution (102), genetics (95), grammar (214), literature (275), motion (61), numbers (203), operations (126), probability (133), statistics (126), verbs (41)
In the ClassroomUse the more than 200 Interactive activities and 855 ready-to-use lessons to provide technology-rich lessons to teach many of the most difficult concepts in the core subjects. Use the variety of assessment options that are found within each lesson. Note the Quick Launch numbers on the resource you will be using to direct students to the correct activity. Example activities include a Web Inquiry which is a guided and self-paced investigation that is built around a focus question.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse as an introduction to a unit on water or pollution. Use to introduce the chemistry of water (and how life on Earth would not be possible without it) by finding ways that water is affected by other materials and discussing the chemistry behind it. Explore in a civics and government class as a contemporary issue not constrained by international boundaries. Allow students the opportunity to explore on their own and report interesting facts and troublesome points to the rest of the class for further review and research. Use on Earth Day or as part of Earth Week activities. Divide younger students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Create letters to the editor, blog posts, and other multimedia or conventional items to portray what they have learned. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts and their additional research. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades10 to 12
In the ClassroomAllow students the opportunity to choose various data and view the charts that follow. Ask questions about various trends noticed and research behavioral and environmental reasons for better understanding. Assign a various types of data and allow time for groups of students to manipulate in different ways to learn how various data sets can be interpreted differently by scientists. From each question asked, use more data sets to learn more about various species of birds or environmental factors.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBuild student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about Earth Science, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on Earth Science. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomTeaching online? Try using parts of this site as reading selections in an alternative to a standard textbook. Using one or more of these topics in your class? Introduce students to the site and have them read about the topic outside of class ahead of the teaching so that they can have richer discussions when the time comes for discussion. Or, use this site as a reinforcement activity after you have taught about the topic in class. It is a good, multipurpose site which could turn into a fast and easy tool for your classroom!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomProvide example topics to your class once they have tried this site, and let them go! Podcasts can be used in any subject area. In math, have students "teach" the class a new skill via podcast. Rather than a traditional book report, have students create a podcast highlighting the main character, plot, conflict, or storyline or a book. In current events, have cooperative learning groups create a podcast debating a current area of dispute. You could record your assignments or directions; you can record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have better readers record selected passages for your non-readers (perhaps older buddies). Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy! Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. Create great podcasts that can be shared on your wiki site, or blog!
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomYou may need to request installation of the Unity player if your schools computer prevent downloads. Try the activity at home to decide whether you want to use it in class. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, have students work with a partner. Ask students to write about the effects of various decisions they make on the environment and their city. Provide the link to students to create individual games to compare/contrast effects of game decisions. Create a class wiki to discuss the effects of game decisions. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Math teachers can have students create charts and graphs comparing data from different decisions within each game. Have students use a site such as Daytum reviewed here to analyze the data.
Grades2 to 7
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In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link on classroom computers and allow students to explore the site on their own. Create a link to specific activities on your classroom website or blog each week for students to practice. Have students create their own word search using vocabulary, terms, or spelling words. Use a site such as PuzzleMaker (reviewed here).
GradesK to 10
In the ClassroomBuild student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about Geography, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on Geography. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomChallenge students to investigate a certain facet of this site (for example, Past Predictions) and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students use one of the many TeachersFirst multimedia Edge tools reviewed here. Share the projects on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website for families to explore at home.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomUse the quizzes on the site as a pre-assessment when beginning a new unit. Share images and videos included on the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to supplement classroom learning. Use the ideas from projects or experiments as resources for Science fairs. Assign experiments for students to demonstrate in class. Video the experiment presentations and share them with parents using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Create a link on classroom computers for students to try the activities on the site.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): animals (291), business (58), cells (105), chinese (52), grammar (214), grammar review (39), life cycles (24), microscopes (13), plants (156), psychology (66), sentences (50), sociology (22), speech (94)
In the ClassroomFind a variety of topics for each subject area. For example, use learning objects in biology topics: How to use a Microscope, Life Cycles of Animals and Plants, and Cell Division. Choose from many others. Use as an introduction to a new unit. Additionally, these learning objects can be used for reinforcement or as a review. Under the Written Communication subject you will find 50 Learning Objects from parts of speech, commonly confused words, to how to summarize, brainstorm, and many others. Share direct urls to specific review activities to help students who need extra practice or as links on a class web page or wiki for all students to access outside of class. Encourage students to comment on your wiki about the learning objects they found most helpful in explaining tough concepts (use the discussion tab).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as an example of how important it is to question what we find on the internet. Who is the author? What is the author's perspective? How believable is the information on the site? Is it influenced by a particular point of view? Help students question the information they find online and become good information consumers.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomConsider using this site to teach students to read carefully and evaluate the claims made on websites. You might divide the class into teams and have each group examine one of the page links from the site. One link provides paper and pencil games for kids. What can they find in these games that is ironic or reveals that the site is a spoof? (Hint: look for words in the word search that are not listed in the word bank!). Another link offers free inhalers for kids. Where do the links lead? Do students find anything strange about "baby's first inhaler"?
After students have dissected the site and discovered all the misleading statements and "propaganda," encourage them to read the blog post at Coal Cares Site a Brilliant Hoax, reviewed here, for more information about the hoax, and how it was devised. Then, discuss the implications of this example. How can it make them better internet consumers? Challenge groups to create multimedia projects sharing their finding. Have students use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.