GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAccess to past boards is available only for 90 days. Simply click SAVE IMAGE to save as a .png image on your desktop. Users will find the interface simple and easy to use. Be sure to save the session number or the image of the final board for sharing on a wiki, blog, or site for continued collaboration in class.
Once shared, any whiteboard session can be seen and altered by others who know the URL. There is no record of who makes changes, so student-to-student "vandalism" is possible. Be sure students are aware of the task for the group and class rules for this behavior are known. Do not insert student drawings on wikis, blogs, or sites unless this is within school policies.
Assess prior knowledge as you start a unit by generating a class board. Save it under your class/teacher account to re-access throughout the unit, adding new topics and content. Make the URL available from your class web page for students to use as review or for learning support teachers to reinforce what has happened in class. Have student groups map out the content of projects. Encourage visual prewriting for the students who "think in pictures." Have students create review organizers or drag and drop activities to share with classmates. Brainstorm together over time or distance by letting students add ideas from home or collaborating from another school. Save your visual notes from a faculty meeting to reopen next time. Allow students to use a board as their visual during speeches. Map the sequence of steps in a chemical reaction or in the solution of a math problem. Then share the URL for absent students to "see" what happened in class. Annotate design principles directly on top of an uploaded image or have students submit their own analysis of an image by sending you the URL for their board. Have young students use a board to draw out ideas before they can even write entire sentences. Use group boards for collaborating on any kind of work or think-pair-share types of activities. This tool has endless possibilities!
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomYou could set up a writing center or post the prompts on your website for students to use in many ways. For instance, have a link on your website so parents or guardians can read the prompt, and, as part of the writing process, ask them to review with their student what was written. The writing could be initialed by the parent/guardian when this has been done. For older students you may want a writing center that results in the submission of their writing to the "Writing Around the World" category. Why not create a class writing wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Or you could simply project (on your interactive whiteboard or projector) prompts from the "Daily Ten" to use as bell work while you are taking attendance, etc.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomEvery time you visit the NWP site you'll learn something new or find a new idea or resource. For instance, did you know that the second annual National Day on Writing is October 20, 2010? At the NWP site you'll find lots of ideas and resources for contributing to the National Day on Writing. Since this site updates articles and resources fairly often it would be best to bookmark your favorites using a social bookmarking tool such as Diigo reviewed here. Using a tool like Diigo will also allow you to share sites and resources with other teachers and students, too.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this online tool in a variety of ways. Treat your students to a fun, thought-provoking way for discovering which well known author their writing most resembles. It works like a charm for motivating students to complete their writing assignment in a timely fashion. On the flip side, as an assignment after reading a literary work by Poe, Shakespeare, Dickens, or others, challenge your students to write a piece that resembles that author's style and word choice. Currently the data base has 50 famous authors. No list is available, to enhance the intrigue and keep the fun. If students come across an author they aren't familiar with, have students research the individual.
Also, give your students a "heads up" to let them know that teachers and universities book mark this and similar sites to catch plagiarism.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): independent reading (129)
In the ClassroomShow this site to your students on your projector and/or interactive whiteboard so they can search for independent reading books to suit their interests. You may even want to have them practice writing book reviews of their own following the style of the summaries here. Share the book reviews on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Talk with students about what they think their parents might say about their selected books, similar to the slant given in the story scoops. Provide a link to this site on your class webpage for students to find books both in and out of the classroom.
Grades6 to 12
Be sure to check your district's policy and obtain parental permission (if necessary), if you plan to have students commenting on the blog. At the time of this review, one of the pop songs on the main page of this website did have one questionable word in the language (H---).
In the ClassroomDisplay book reviews on the interactive whiteboard or projector as suggestions for independent reading. Use the discussion questions as springboards for classroom literature circles and as examples for creating discussion questions with other books. Share the link on your teacher web page for girls to find books on their own. Make sure parents know about the pop songs on the site.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): punctuation (43)
In the ClassroomTry this activity as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. You could print out sentences for students to complete, or use a tool such as Wizer.me, reviewed here, and enter the sentences on an interactive worksheet for student use. Then check together on the interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Use as review before a quiz on semicolons. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of class.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomFamiliarize yourself with the specifics of YoLink by viewing the information on the front page.
Be sure to teach copyright (for material instantly copied to a Google doc) and how to use good keywords to search when using this tool. Students may find comparing results of YoLink with those of Google, Wolfram Alpha, Yahoo, and other popular search engines very productive. Compare the findings on an interactive whiteboard or projector to discuss not only the usefulness of the search results but also how different words in the search query can bring different results.
Use this site as you discuss how to search and use materials on the web. Practice showing different searches and aspects of the searches that are useful. Challenge students to use these sites for individual research projects. Use YoLink to find specific information about a curriculum topic and use the search results to begin discussion of the concepts.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): twitter (44)
In the ClassroomKeep track of trending topics for your students or for yourself. Keep up to date professionally by following several education hashtags such as #edchat. Links posted using the hashtag appear in your "newspaper" and can be viewed at any time. Share your daily newspaper with others by clicking on "Promote it" or "Share." You do not need to ever send a "tweet" to read and learn.Teachers at any level can see what their teaching peers have to say. Secondary teachers can share the latest on a political topic, disaster, or other hot news story by creating a "newspaper" about it for students to investigate. You can even "embed" the newspaper on your class web page or wiki.
Grades6 to 12
Although this site is originally intended for McDougall Littell, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt book users, many of the various publishers include the same state recommended core works in their anthologies. Many of the teacher and student tools are only accessible to McDougall Littell/ Houghton/Mifflin Harcourt users; however there is an abundance of materials that do not require a log in. It is worth exploring!
In the ClassroomUse this site as an extension to your repertoire of literary works, including background information on authors, discussion starters, a variety of graphic organizers custom-tailored for different literary genres, or for motivational ideas. The available resources are flexible enough to use as a teacher-driven tool projected on the classroom whiteboard, or made available on your teacher web page for students to click on the questions they want to ask and get answers from the experts. This is especially valuable for remediation and review. Use the Language Network for grammar, usage and mechanics, writing workshops, practice SAT, ACT English, ACT Reading tests and more. Share this link on your class website for students to access at home.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this website as a resource to supplement your grammar lessons and as another approach to those "foreign" grammar terms, like clauses and phrases that students find difficult to wrap their heads around. Some of the activities are even appropriate for the upper elementary grades. Make a shortcut to an activity on your classroom computer by RIGHT-clicking in the middle of the page and choosing the option to Create shortcut, to give yourself a quick, easy way to open an introduction or review of the grammar you expect students to be familiar with, and project it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not provide this link on your class website for students to access at home?
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to find, upload, and edit images to this site. Users must also have an understanding of downloading final images or using links and embed codes for sharing. No email is required, but deleting photos is possible only with an account.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site in your favorites for when you are planning objectives and learning activities, searching for materials, or looking for fresh, reliable ideas. No matter where you are on the career ladder, this site provides a storehouse of quality digital content from early childhood through senior year and beyond, which you can embed and blend into your existing program, use to support learning across the curriculum, download, print, project on your interactive whiteboard or projector, or have students use individually or collaboratively on individual computers.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomHave the students prepare a quick online presentation of their findings, results, summaries etc. Have each student or each group prepare one or two quiz questions to share with the entire class. Be sure help your weaker readers and ESL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Balance your group selection by ensuring each group has strong and weaker students, girls and boys, students from different ethnic groups or nationalities, etc. Use this activity also as a way to review before tests. Have students present their findings in a multimedia presentation. Why not have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): skype (13)
In the ClassroomBe sure to check school policies and obtain parent permission before using Skype in the classroom. Discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior and the consequences. Anything you can do by telephone or video call you can do on a projector with your entire class. Connect the Skyping computer to a projector or whiteboard for the entire class to see if you are using video. (The video will be fuzzy, but good enough to follow a person's face.) Use Skype to talk to authors (check out their web sites.) Have students write questions in advance. Use your contacts, web page "contact us" emails, and parent contacts to find others willing to Skype into your classroom. Interview scientists or government officials, deployed military personnel, or classes far away in a different culture or language. Younger students can compare weather, family life, community events, and more. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom
GradesK to 12
tag(s): skype (13)
In the ClassroomFamiliarize yourself with Skype and how to use the tool. Be sure to read information on this site and the review of Skype mentioned above. Add your name to the list of teachers who are willing to Skype into classrooms. Be sure to check your district policy on using this tool with your students. be sure to seek parent permission as well. Connect with the teacher to discuss objectives of the Skype visits. Be sure students understand what is considered acceptable and unacceptable use of this tool and reinforce consequences.
Possible Uses: Anything you can do by telephone or video call you can do on a projector with your entire class. Connect the Skyping computer to a projector or interactive whiteboard for the entire class to see if you are using video. (The video will be fuzzy, but good enough to follow a person's face.) Use Skype to talk to authors. Have students write questions in advance. Use your contacts, web page "contact us" emails, and parent contacts to find others willing to Skype into your classroom. Interview scientists or government officials, deployed military personnel, or classes far away in a different culture or language. Younger students can compare weather, family life, community events, and more. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom at this site.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): writing (367)
In the ClassroomAdopt this idea in your professional life as you correspond with parents (or suggest it to your administrator). Try adopting Five Sentences as your New Year's resolution. Though students today rarely USE email, share emails with them -- and the Five Sentences limit -- as writing prompts for a five sentence response to teach concise, purposeful writing and 'netiquette. (Note that this review, not including this aside, is 5 sentences!)
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the activities and resources on this site to help students connect global and individual events, and realize that a positive attitude is possible despite terrible misfortune. Use the online resources to help you select the topics, activities, and articles that center around the themes you want to emphasize as a preview or follow up to reading The Diary of Anne Frank. Let the students collect and save their information on a class set of computers, (groups of three students work well.) Work toward one or several of the suggested final products, such as creating a wall poster, collage, or mosaic by using one of the online tools reviewed by TeachersFirst. Have students create an interactive online poster using Adobe Spark, reviewed here. Challenge students to use Mosaic Maker, reviewed here. You might want to start by having students brainstorm a list of past or present acts of discrimination of which they are aware. Develop their brainstorming list on an interactive whiteboard or projector using bubbl.us, reviewed here, and ask students to think about and associate feelings of the victims of these acts. How might those feelings look in graphic form? Have each student or groups of students choose one example from the list, along with a few words about the feelings that accompany the acts of discrimination, and select online images that reflect those emotions. When students express their feelings onto visual media, it helps them relate to what Anne did by writing in her diary. For more adventurous technology users, all individual or group work can be merged to create an online scrapbook that can be shared with the entire class and families, using Smilebox, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to determine the question and possible responses to generate the poll online. Practice creating your first poll even before creating a login. Enter the suggested question and possible responses to see how the codes are generated and displayed. Respondents text the code word to a specific number displayed on the screen. Be sure to check out the easy to use controls along the side of the screen.
Ask a question. Voters choose from the responses and use the SMS code with their mobile phone to send their vote. Cast a vote also using Twitter or on the Internet. Click the gear icon next to the poll to change the size and color of various aspects of the poll. Use the panel along the side to view either a static or live chart, summary table, or response history. Be sure to click on the tab "Ways People Can Respond" to check not only SMS but other methods as well: Web Voting, Twitter, and Smartphone. Twitter uses @poll followed by a keyword to tabulate responses. Use the "Download as Slide" tab to choose the type of slide you would like to create. "Share and Publish" using Posterous, Twitter, or Blog/web page.
This tool does not show the individual votes of students. Though this tool can be used by students, it may be best used by a teacher.
Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study by asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why those in class would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to gain knowledge of student understanding and a means of formative assessment.