Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomAside from the pure "wow" factor of this site's appearance, projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector, it would serve as a good current events warm up for a social studies or science class. Additionally, its very configuration would spark an interesting science or culture discussion. Perhaps more beautiful than practical, it still deserves a place in your bag of tricks. Pull it out when you need something to spark discussion or wake up your class. Have students investigate a story of their choice and create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. As a higher level thinking challenge, have students discuss the "why" connections behind these articles or use ideas from this site to spark an unusual essay or blogging assignment. Teachers of gifted will want to share this link on their class web page, for sure!
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomWhat a great way to give kids a brain break while still keeping them focused. This site can be used on an interactive whiteboard or projector with the whole class. Psychology classes may want to investigate the games and how/why they might affect memory and brain function. The website is also a great tool to use as a center or to provide a student reward. Some of the games do not require a sign in but others do. Teachers could create a class login that students could use to access the additional games.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomYou could map your entire lesson, chapter or unit in one Prezi. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great way to connect prior knowledge with the next step if you share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector throughout the unit. Or you could post it to your web page or give kids the URL so they can review as often as they need it. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create timelines of relevant events, or in science or math class have them map steps in a process. Have students create Prezis for different events, and then have them post the link to their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Prezis. The possibilities are endless!
If you have gifted students n your class, offer Prezi as one alternative for sharing extensions to the regular curriculum. If they already know the material, have them investigate a related process or example and share it in the form of a Prezi.
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
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades1 to 10
In the ClassroomWhen introducing the concepts of Algebra, display the "Pan Game" on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to see if they can solve the problems. After students become comfortable with balancing the pan, introduce the term variables and apply this to what has already been learned through the activity. Reinforce math vocabulary through the use of the activities. After introducing the term "multiple" allow students to try "Sleeboz" to help develop speed with recognition of multiples and to reinforce the definition of multiple. Save this site in your favorites. You may also want to provide this link on your class website for students to use at home.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomStudents can use the activities on this site to help improve those all important problem solving and critical thinking skills. Each activity starts out easy and then builds to more difficult situations. This site can be used as a center in the classroom, in the computer lab as an activity, or at home for extended problem-solving practice. Tie games into geometry, scientific method (hypothesis testing), design and composition, and many other curriculum concepts. Primary teachers can reinforce basic sequencing with maze games. Challenge your students to build informational writing skills buy writing their own desriptions or directions for a favorite game. Share the writing pieces on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): cultures (105)
In the ClassroomIn American history courses, use this site as a resource for research on decades projects. This site could also be used in science classes to compare old thoughts and techniques to new and accepted thoughts and techniques. As a challenge, have students create a "Bad Fads" wiki page about today's trends or interview older family members about past fads for comparison. Make comparisons using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Help your students understand references to past objects, cartoons, etc. that today's students no longer know about (ex. the Smurfs!).
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard, then allow students to explore on their own. This is a great site to use as a learning station or center. Be sure to list this link on your class website for extra practice or advanced materials for gifted students. Save this site in your favorites, since there are so many topics you are sure to find materials throughout the entire school year.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomShare these puzzles on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a mind-bending challenge. Help students develop problem-solving skills such as thinking several steps ahead by offering the link on your class web page. Higher level and gifted math students can try to determine a formula for calculating the number of moves it may take to solve a puzzle. Give awards to students who accomplish the "goal" in the stated number of moves, then ask them to explain their strategy or think aloud as they repeat it on an interactive whiteboard. Offer a puzzle club for your mathematical/logical thinkers or simply develop visual thinking skills by sharing these challenges.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to help students identify misconceptions, discuss points of view, and search for information that is free from bias. Use many of these topics as springboards for projects, additional blog posts, public service announcements, letter and video campaigns, etc. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics highlighted at this site. Gifted students, with their heightened sense of "fairness," will especially enjoy breaking through stereotypes using this site. Create a class wiki to discuss the topics. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the topics using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have groups narrate a photo using a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): music theory (41)
In the ClassroomTest this site to be sure you can open it at school. Then turn up your speakers and open this site on a projector or -- even better -- interactive whiteboard to begin a music class, discuss key signatures, pitch, or instrumentation, and allow students to mix and remix their choice of sounds in harmonious blend. In science class, use the various sounds and an oscilloscope to teach about sound waves and the physical nature of sound. Challenge your musically gifted students to create a very simple version of this musical "machine" by recording and embedding videos of their own in a class music and technology wiki. Upload the videos to a school-friendly site such as SchoolTube reviewed here or TeacherTube reviewed here to avoid filtering issues. Set up a simpler face-to-face option by allowing student "conductors" to "turn on and off" multiple instruments and objects in your music classroom all playing the same pitch.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomBring CSI to your classroom! Use this interactive site when discussing the scientific method, inquiry, or the tools of scientists. Students can report on uses of lab equipment and follow up work on this site with additional in class or web simulation activities such as viewing cheek cells in the lab or online DNA simulations as reviewed here. This site is engaging and also sheds light on the various science and technical careers students may be interested in pursuing. Challenge gifted students to create their own forensic science unsolved cases for others to try! Use a wiki to share the casebooks.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the graphics on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use data visualizations to ask questions about interactions among the parts shown. For example, use any of the food chain visualizations to look at the interactions in the chains and identify roles of organisms. Ask students to use the whiteboard tools to explain how the visual "shows" the underlying information. Be prepared for less visual students to struggle while more visual students thrive using such a tool. Share the interesting map graphics in geography class. Use this at the beginning of a discussion and identify the organisms in the chain to uncover the relationships. Use the graphics for creative writing projects (displaying the graphic on a whiteboard while students react in writing). Ask your gifted students to choose a graphic they particularly enjoy as an inspiration to create one of their own.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomFind great question starters and projects for increasing critical thinking and creating higher order projects and activities. Use these question starters for writing assignments or larger projects in any content area to move beyond just knowledge. As you design project-based learning, be sure to visit this site to be sure you are putting the HOTS into student tasks!
Grades4 to 9
Specific activities include "Square Off," "Factor Dazzle," "Fraction Feud," "Times Square," and "Slam Ball". Click on the "For Parents and Educators" tab to learn more about each game and the content area being addressed.
In the ClassroomStudents can create a login to save their game play as well as challenge others in their class or elsewhere. Students must have individual accounts (email required). Check your school policies about accessing/sharing student email on school computers. 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. If your students do not have their own emails follow the Gmail subaccount directions explained here.
Grades6 to 12
There are a number of short stories from all areas of science taken from Kettering's Radio talk shows. The general topics include "Introduction to Science and Invention," "Science and Invention in Transportation," "Science and Invention in War." Specific topics vary from Energy from the Sun to The Wright Way to Unraveling the Atom and many others.
In the ClassroomThis site would be a helpful alternative text in the science classroom. Use this site for research projects or explaining some famous inventions. Extend reading into an online journaling project or even a classroom blog or wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. The opportunity for collaboration, reflection, and eventually creating their own stories of their projects is wonderful. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Have groups create news reports and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomIf using a phone, understanding calling plans and additional charges is needed. You must know how to use embed codes to place audio files within your blog, wiki, or website. No login is required! Simply click the "Get Yours It's Free" button. Choose the method to create the audio and preview and edit the file. Enter your email address to receive a link to your file. Click on the link to grab widgets. Copy the code and place in your blog or website.
The tool does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students mark their contributions in order to get credit. Consider using a class email account set up for this purpose. Be sure students understand the appropriate use of this email account.
Classroom use: Use this service to record audio of passages used in class, homework assignments, and other written material. Young students can practice reading aloud at this site (and listen to themselves), showing improvement in fluency as the year goes on. Have students use this site in place of a traditional book report. Have cooperative learning groups create a news broadcast and share it using this site. Use this site with ESL/ELL students just learning the English language. Use this site in world language classes for students to hear and learn the pronunciations. Place the embed code in a site that students can access outside of class for review, identifying directions, and listening to text. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to record student articulation and demonstrate progress through the year.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAs an example, use a verb from Bloom' taxonomy such as "evaluate." Click on the part of the sentence at the top, in parenthesis, to enter your content such as "patterns of environmental issues." Choose the resource you want students to use, the product you want them to make, and the number of students in a group by clicking on the tabs. Example objective: Students will evaluate the patterns of environmental issues using websites to create a news report in groups of two. Save your objective by copying and pasting it into any document or online tool. The Differentiator will give you many project ideas that you may not have thought of yourself, and serves as a welcome reminder of different activities and expectations you can use in your classroom. Take a look at this site at the beginning of the school year or when creating a new unit (or project). Find new ways to differentiate for your gifted students using this creative and powerful tool. If your gifted students test out of your current math lessons, use this site to find new material to challenge their minds. This site is deceptively quick and simple, but it could be very useful when writing detailed, powerful lesson plans.
GradesK to 12
NOTE: Although the videos are listed on this site, they actually "live" elsewhere on the Internet, so some videos may be blocked in your school (those on YouTube, for example). Always pretest to be sure the video you hope to use is accessible at school!
In the ClassroomShare these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is a great site to use when planning for substitute teachers, as an introduction to a new unit, or even as additional information on a specific topic.
Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos about topics being studied in social studies, science, math, or nearly any other topic. Share the videos using Teachers.TV reviewed here. Include this link on your class web page for students to access outside of schools for reinforcement and further exploration of concepts.
Grades4 to 9
Our reviewers found a glitch in the technology using Firefox on a Mac: once you start the interactive version of the experiment, clicking over to the offline version caused Firefox to "crash." Decide which version you want to use first! There is also a "kids comment" section of the site where students who have done the experiments can write what they thought about the activity.