Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site with students when they are researching information for state reports. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of local landforms (with audio stories and pictures included)! Add this on to your list of resources when reading books about Alaska such as Balto. Ask students to share their thoughts about Alaska, then share the common misconceptions portion of the site to see if your students have any of these misconceptions.
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In the ClassroomThe articles are short and interesting, a perfect match for non-fiction reading comprehension. With so many different activities to choose from, it will be easy for the classroom teacher to differentiate. There is an mp3 audio version of each article so students can listen as they read. Assign small groups of students to present the news each week, using the interactive whiteboard to show others the country and city from which the article originated. Make the newscasting experience even more real by having students read scripts of these news stories or their own original stories using a Easyprompter, reviewed here. Students can then go to another news source such as "Mapeas" (reviewed here) and click on the country of origin to see what else is happening in the news there. For a project, have the small groups create a "talking map" using a site such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (where their article/story took place). What a fabulous way to share the article with the rest of the class!
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with students researching state symbols, native americans, or Florida. For students studying Florida, challenge cooperative learning groups to create online books about one part of this website. Use a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomA quick class warm up covering the news of the day is easy using this site. Use the different nation views to illustrate the relative importance of different issues to different people. Save the site in your favorites so students can keep up-to-date on the news independently. If you require current events presentations or summaries, this site provides a terrific place for students to get started. Share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector as students enter your classroom.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomThis is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.
Grades3 to 9
In the ClassroomSince elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.
Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.
Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model ad teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of the 50 states. One easy use would be for testing students on knowledge of the capitols. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and you can test students not only by state recognition on the map but with what the capitols are. State location and capitol information are not clearly stated until clicked on, so this would be a fairly easy formative assessment in review the information.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): african american (113), animal homes (42), animals (277), charts and graphs (195), colonial america (107), communities (35), data (148), diversity (36), ecology (135), environment (317), heroes (24), money (192), recycling (57)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): courts (15)
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
Grades5 to 12
Although the videos are the highlight of this site, there is much more to explore! On the right side bar you will find text boxes to enter ANY date and choose the category. Some examples of categories include Civil War, Cold War, Presidential, Sports, Old West, World War I and II, Entertainment, and several others. On the left side bar there are even more topics and links to explore. Once you click on the subject area, specific "story topics" are provided under the subject. Both of the features on the right and left side of the site display text information, not video clips. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
tag(s): presidents (130)
In the ClassroomYou can add this in your RSS reader. Why not use the RSS feature to remind you of the day's events? Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The topics on the left and right side bars make excellent research references.
For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.
Perfect resource for stimulating interest on a variety of topics.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): consumers (21)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free digital lesson plans offered by this website. Useful for any economics class, regardless of age. The site includes standard criteria and images, which are helpful in preparing the lesson for class use.
An absolutely fantastic site. If you teach econ, you need this site., OH, Grades: 10 - 12
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource on a unit about patriotism, nationalism, or even Veterans day itself. Have students make an interactive book about a national symbol or holiday using Bookemon, reviewed here and share it with "little buddies" in a lower grade class.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to help students explore the branches of government in action as they address a "hot topic." Have groups of students listen to real broadcasts and analyze the issues as examples of the constitutional concepts you are studying. Make this link available from your teacher web page while studying the Constitution, the branches of government, and many other social studies topics. Use your interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share a video or audio clip to spark discussion on an issue or activate your lesson. Then, divide your class into teams and have a class debate about the issue. Have students prepare a pro/con wiki using links to the primary sources to support their position or create their own podcast commentaries with support for their opinions.
Too many resources to even summarize. I can't wait to share this resource. CONSTITUTION ON SEPT. 17.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this pdf on an interactive whiteboard or projector as part of a class discussion (great for reading comprehension in the content areas, too!). Then allow students to use it and other resources for a class debate on the pros and cons of intellectual freedom. The consitution will come to life in a context students care about.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomRegardless of the topic picked, this site is an excellent springboard for a class debate. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and allow students to examine all the arguments put forth by the court and lobbyists. Once completed, ask students what they think is constitutional. What arguments would they have used? Do they agree with any? An excellent source for any civics, philosophy or social studies class.
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.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the site on your board when discussing current events, use as a learning center for students to read and journal, or have students look up vocabulary words featured on the site. Practice with Main Idea or summarizing using these interesting informational texts. ESL/ELL learners can also find accessible news stories here. Provide this link for students to use at home to keep up with current events.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomSome of the best data to collect is anything that is a habit: types of drinks students drink at home, hours watching TV/playing games/doing homework, meals/fast food, etc. Use the site to collect data from other students or classes for a Math, Social Studies, or Psychology class. Use Daytum for a Science class by counting animals at a feeder, recycling efforts, amount of paper used in the classroom, days of rain/no rain, etc. Anything that can be counted can be used by Daytum! Be sure to identify students who will be counters and recorders of the data.
Before using Daytum, be sure to follow the directions on the How To page. Be sure to decide the goal first and the data to be collected. Having an idea of the kind of data to be collected as well as how it will be displayed is necessary before using. This tool is best used as a class activity rather than creating individual accounts. Create a class account and use a class computer or computer attached to a projector or whiteboard to collect data as students enter the room. Set up the parameters of the data to be collected (or enlist the help of an ambitious student.)
Grades5 to 12
Keep in mind that many commenters are very spirited in their discussions! Preview the comments before sharing with your class.