Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomColor, Vision and Art offers students a unique opportunity to make cross-curricular connections and is a great starting point for individual or group projects. Students interested in Anatomy, Neuroscience, Painting, or Art History, will enjoy exploring this site independently. Each individual chapter comes with a selection of extension tasks from which students can choose. The "Exhibit" tab also offers suggestions for directing class discussions and provides tasks that initiate higher order thinking. Guiding questions about the neurobiological interpretation of color, will simultaneously develop student ability to analyze and interpret color used in art. Have students create a multimedia presentation to report about what they have learned using Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a reproduction of a painting (legally permitted to be reproduced), and include a narration about the artist's use of color. There are also interactive activities to demonstrate aspects of color theory. Project these interactive tools on an interactive whiteboard to the whole class and experiment with simultaneous color contrast, and luminance together. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class, especially when they are designing their own multimedia projects and want to take advantage of color's subtleties.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to initiate cross-curricula ELA/Social Studies projects that utilize technology to provide opportunities for group collaboration and exploration as well as individual learning that connect students to the world beyond their personal locations. Provide a link from your class wiki or webpage for easy access to the interactive timeline, the story of Miep Gies, and the interview with Hanneli Pick-Goslar, one of Anne's childhood friends. Assign students one or more of the many suggested extension activities. Perhaps create a bulletin board display or ask students to interview their grandparents and other family members and then each develop a time line that shows what their families were doing during the years 1941-1945, and share their histories, or compare and contrast life then and now. Challenge students to create interactive online timelines to share with the class using a site such as Timetoast reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomA class journaling program has limitless possibilities. Engage students in discussions using a topic from current events, current social issues, independent reading, literature, and more. Any class using a journal can use Penzu. For example, science lab write ups or the problem of the week in math. Penzu can even be used for homework. Just think, no more lugging heavy boxes full of notebooks around! In language arts have students journal daily and harvest from their musings and ideas to create a short story or a poem. They can even use Penzu to develop their brainstorms and rough draft. For social studies classes, students can write posts and ideas about famous people or daily life in a time period being studied, then create a "diary" for the famous person in Bookemon or a poster about daily life. For either of these ideas, once they are ready to present a final project have them use Bookemon, reviewed here, or Piktochart, reviewed here, to share with their peers and others and possibly add other media. See more ideas for student blogging/journaling at TeachersFirst's Blogging Basics for the Classroom. Share journals with parents as appropriate by URL. Be sure to respect student privacy before sharing.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomYou will have to know how to type and drag and drop the images, backgrounds, and sounds you want in your animated story.
When saving the video you are also asked for your name. You will want to give the students a code to use instead of their name.
Use this site to make animated short stories in any content area. Have students create new events for a literary character or tell the story of a famous person. Post student work to your classroom website or blog for students to use at home for review and for parents to view. Be sure to share the presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard at school.
GradesK to 12
Because there is no search feature and no descriptions of what the webcams show, do not have young children access them without supervision. Previewing all videos before sharing with the class would be wise.
In the ClassroomThis site would be a great addition to any science, social studies, or world cultures class. Teachers click on a webcam in different parts of the world to see things like weather and basic geography. In early elementary, use web cams to introduce the world visually on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Select specific web cams and create shortcuts on your classroom computer desktop for students to "see what's happening" on a certain continent as you study the seven continents. Use animal webcams for students to observe animal behavior and keep a "lab journal" of what they see. Use this site to visit different areas that have been effected by natural disasters. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students (with a partner) create their own videos related to your location and/or specific topic of study. Share the videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
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.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomAlthough Hebrew is not commonly in K-12 school curriculum, this is a good resource to be aware of and have at your fingertips. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Include this as a resource when studying geography and culture of Israel and the middle east. Challenge students to learn specific words individually or in small groups and create online flashcards using a site such as Cobocards (reviewed here).
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomListen to one of the oral histories as a class (turn up the speakers), and then encourage your students to develop their own questions and record an interview with an older family member. An option on the site allows students from countries with no recorded essays yet to submit their own oral histories to the site. Consider having students record their interviews and create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Begin your study of civics in your classroom with the Civic Voices Student Survey. Before your study of basic citizen rights, check the Memory Bank Narratives to see what countries offer recorded interviews on certain selected rights. Discuss why the students think some countries have not collected social histories on certain topics. Ask your international students to check their own home countries and see if they agree with what has been recorded.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you are trying to create a visually rich lesson plan, this site is easy to navigate and the video clips are classroom friendly: short and focused. There are links to related content off-site, and a message board, so preview these individually before using. While studying similar topics, have students create their own timelines using a tool such as TimeRime reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): bookmarks (64)
In the ClassroomOnly a little play is needed to learn how to use this tool. Create a class account for students to use in order to collaborate with others.
Create teacher-made mashups to collect materials for a web-based assignment. Use this site for student groups to collect materials in mashups for their group projects. Assign students a topic and allow them to interact online. The research and conversations created through highlighting and annotating what they read can greatly enhance both their research skills and their online interaction on academic level skills. Or, use the site to post discussion assignments on specific articles or even parts of articles. Add stickies to highlight areas or for others to comment. Have students comment on the link in a "class discussion" as an outside of class assignment. Post assignments, post readings, science teachers - post online interactive labs, and more. Create whole-class mashups on a unit topic in lower grades, such as "things we learned about frogs" or "things that use energy."
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)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomJoin XW1W with your class using a single Twitter account or any blog or wiki tool where you can share student answers to the weekly question. If you cannot access Twitter at school, that is not a problem. You do not even have to use Twitter (though this is a great way dip your toes into Twitter). See the FAQ page for specific hints on using XW1W with your students. Share the XW1W idea with teaching colleagues in other places, and perhaps even with families to try at home. Want to learn more about Twitter and teaching. See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this refreshing, extensive collection of clip art anytime you need an image to project on your whiteboard or to include in an assignment or presentation. Click on any category to reveal numerous photos. Click on the individual picture to see the full image, which you may download to your PC or Mac, label, and print. Directions are simple to follow. Be sure to bookmark this site in your Favorites and provide a link to it on your class web page to make it easily accessible to students. When doing research projects, have students use this site to narrate pictures on their topic using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for gifted learners or academic enrichment based on individual interests. Students can choose a course to enroll in, then present information in the form of a multimedia report. Challenge students (independently or collaboratively) to create an online book using a site such as Mixbook (reviewed here.
Grades7 to 12
Be aware: at the time of this review, a few of the links were no longer active. What remains is quite worthwhile, however.
In the ClassroomBe sure to bookmark this website in your favorites for your study of Shakespeare. Post a link to it on your class page to give students access to the literary works at home. Not only will they be able to have an entire copy of Shakespeare's works on hand, they will also be able to click on links for summaries, analysis, and assistance with nearly everything they will need to know about his life and writing. This is a great resource for you and your students to refer to for review, research projects, or just for reading the text, both in and out of your classroom. Are you looking for more Shakespeare sources and ideas? Save yourself plenty of time by visting TeachersFirst Shakespeare Resources reviewed here, where you will find almost everything you are looking for within this rich collection of valuable materials.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you are teaching a course that covers the African slave trade, this site will be invaluable. Take some time to browse the interactive maps and timelines, look through the lesson plans, and find images that can be used to supplement reading and discussion. Discover the glossary of terms that could be used for vocabulary work, the tables of information useful for teaching data analysis, and the African name database for genealogy research. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific section of this site and create multimedia presentations. Try Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to upload a copyright-safe photo, and then narrate as if it were a news report. Another idea: have students create an online presentation using Smilebox, reviewed here, or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomImageBase provides a great place for students to find pictures that can be used to communicate information. Find pictures about a particular topic. Keep this site as a reference on your class web page for any time students are creating wikis, blogs, or electronic projects where they need images. Create collages, projects, and more with these high quality pictures. Use images as blog prompts or illustrations in student projects. Have your students create an online "scrapbook" using Smilebox, reviewed here. Find images of locations you are studying in world cultures or geography class. Find images to use in student online projects using Bookemon, reviewed here, or UtellStory, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThere are countless ways to incorporate this website into many subject areas. Math teachers will love having a way for students to apply data skills in a real world context. During Women's History month, compare statistics of countries and how women are compensated for their pay. In health class, share the HIV occurrences throughout the world. Assign cooperative learning groups one specific area to investigate and present their findings to the class via a multimedia presentation. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of specific locations within their research. They can even include audio "stories" and pictures.
Grades6 to 12
Maps are also available in PDF format so you can download and print for classroom use. Note however, the very specific terms of the license under which these maps are available. A limit of 25 maps can be used in a single project without special permission, and a link to Florida's ETC must be included when maps are used on websites. The license is clearly spelled out and would also serve as a good exemplar to use with students to teach them how to credit the resources they find on the internet.
tag(s): maps (292)
In the ClassroomEach of the maps is available as a GIF or JPEG file to use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector), or to insert in a document or website. Use this site for nearly any historical research project. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): europe (75)
In the ClassroomBecause the information uploaded to Historvius is user generated, teachers should preview the site before using it with students. Because the site is constantly growing, it may be most useful as an opportunity for students to research their own local sites and create a collective submission as a group or whole class under teacher supervision. Since Historvius editors must approve and edit any submissions, the upload won't be instant, but students should find it exciting to be part of building the database themselves. The editor-approval process makes the site "safer" and far less likely to include inappropriate content.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): note taking (39)