Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this interactive coral reef in a study of nonrenewable resources, conservation, or ecosystems. Put the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and watch your class jump into the water! As a starting point for Socrates seminar, debates, and persuasive writing, this site offers a great variety of passionate debate! Using this site as a model, have your students make a similar situation with other ecosystems. Have students create other scenarios for non-renewable resources, arguments for alternative energy, or even bring closer to home with a local dilemma. In writing class, develop an interactive based on the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. Why not have students create a Prezi presentation (reviewed here), simple to use with endless possibilities. Use the model for other scenarios and develop other story ideas. Use a problem based learning scenario into ways humans affect the environment. These activities will engage every learner!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great find for gifted students, those working to advance their vocabulary levels, and for ESL/ELL students who may be puzzled by rapidly changing idiomatic language around them. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for future reference. When teaching word study, such as roots and affixes, include this site to show how new words evolve and that language is a living thing. Perhaps even share a word a day from this site for students to guess the definition.
During a study of dictionary skills, discuss with students how new words might come to be in the dictionary. Have small groups of students brainstorm slang words they've heard around school and their neighborhoods. Once they have their list, they can look these words up on Word Spy. For any word that isn't there, have them create an online, interactive poster or simple web page using Tackk, reviewed here, as a page that could be included in Word Spy.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomPodomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.
Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a mini cast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions, record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. 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 students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events, Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News." Have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!), Have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. 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.
If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini casts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse in the classroom to quickly upload and share images. Create albums where individual photos can be titled or captioned. Have students categorize photos and describe them. Use for any project, class explanation of concepts, experiments, or demonstrations. Share pictures of class happenings, speakers, field trips, and other opportunities you would want to share.
Users must be able to find a suitable image for upload from their computer or the Internet. Follow the very simple directions to manipulate the image. Since no registration is necessary, Imgur is easy and safe to use. Be aware that relying on services such as these can be a problem if the site no longer exists in the future. Be sure that students understand rules for sharing appropriate and inappropriate images and copyright concerns.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomHave pairs of students create a story by working collaboratively after you have explained and demonstrated the basics. Encourage your older students to use this tool for projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales and recreations from their home countries.
Grades7 to 12
There are suggestions, resources, and support to empower young people and give them the energy to take action and make a difference. Whether their passion is to feed the homeless, end bullying, help even the playing field of educational inequalities, or many more needy causes, this website is chock full of easy to access information and strategies that encourage teenagers to decide for themselves how they can contribute their time and desire to make a difference.
tag(s): service projects (26)
In the ClassroomDo you believe that kids can change the world? What are you doing about that? If you have been thinking about involving your class in some type of community service, but need some direction, DoSomething.org is a phenomenal place to "shop" around for ideas. Perhaps you may want to start by showing the film, Pay It Forward, or with a writing prompt, "If you were given time in school to come up with one idea that could be put into action right now by people your age that would make this school or this community a better place, what would it be and how would you put your plan into action?" Have students share ideas in small groups, then introduce them to DoSomething.org by projecting it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, viewing some of the short videos, and using the power of the internet to empower them to act now. Challenge students to collect Internet resources for their cause using Wakelet, reviewed here, where they can add a cover image, background, and chose the layout they prefer. Next, have your students create an interactive simple infographic using Piktochart, reviewed here, to explain their ideas about their cause and how they would put their plan into action. Club advisers, school counselors, and teachers of gifted can use the empowering resources of this site to inspire students to ACT.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomBring galleries from all around the globe right into your classroom and project them in full view on your whiteboard or screen. Whether your objective is to explore curriculum connections to topics you are studying, introduce and examine concepts such as a particular theme or time period, practice descriptive writing, pair works of art with literary selections and historical documents, or develop art appreciation, start by selecting a museum, and then either chose to explore the museum or view the artwork. The drop-down menus and information bars let you navigate easily between the museum and artworks. Choose the "Create an Artwork Collection" feature to build a class collection of specific views of the artworks and add comments; then share online. Create and annotate a class collection to pair with a literary work or invite each student to select a work for a Favorites Museum, explaining his/her choice in written comments. Then share the link for parents to tour the "museum" and comment back. For more ideas, lesson plans, and projects, check out the National Gallery of Art reviewed here and browse the online resources for teachers and students. Try inviting the art teacher to collaborate on a joint venture with you.
Grades6 to 12
Please note that the game page has some ads. Be aware: some of the animation shown in this game may not be appropriate for your classroom. Please preview this activity before sharing with your class.
tag(s): puzzles (207)
In the ClassroomIntroduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then create links on classroom or lab computers for students to explore on their own. Create a classroom list of puzzles encountered during the activity along with solutions when they have been found. Maybe use your class wiki to share solution tips.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): classroom management (159)
In the ClassroomAdd Post-it notes to your back-to-school supply list and "stick" to this website for ideas that will make teaching and learning fun, motivating, and practical. Maybe even ask for Post-it contributions from home. Find unique ideas for using the repositionable sticky notes for Venn Diagrams and more comparing and contrasting techniques, timelines, story maps, bulletin boards, classroom management, and other sticky ideas.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Put this on classroom computers or on a whiteboard at the side of the classroom for students to use as a center. This game would be great for students preparing to take SATs. Another activity is to have a team competition. Divide your class into three or four groups and give each group a laptop. Have them work together to see how many words they can type. Before you begin be sure that you change the language to English US because it defaults to English Canada/Britain. Have a team tournament for high scores throughout the year. Gifted students -- even very young ones-- will love this challenge.
Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships (if you decide to register). If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site on your classroom newsletter or blog for students to access at home. Introduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then create a link on classroom computers. Challenge students to progress through different grade levels and share problems with the class.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomMake this site a link on your class web page during a unit on space or all year round. Gifted students and those with a passion for space will find endless discoveries. Include this site as a research source when assigning projects about space or the planets. If you have more able students in upper elementary or middle school, use this site as a differentiated alternative for them to research at a higher level. Inspire students to read in content areas by sharing space-related "current events" articles from this site. These selections would work well on interactive whiteboards for practice using highlighters to find main idea, context clues, and other comprehension skills. No whiteboard? No problem! Use your projector and eMargin, reviewed here, to highlight and annotate as a class. If you assign portions of the site to the entire class, you may need to assign "reading buddies" for weaker readers and they can use eMargin together. Challenge students to narrate space image galleries (search for the blog entry on the "New Flickr collection of historical NASA photos") or design and explain their own devices for space exploration on Thinglink, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): maps (295)