GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMake this page a must-learn for teaching in the 21st century. Mark it in your favorites to return often to watch the embedded tweets from educators all over the world. Then muster your courage to set up a Twitter account of your own. Follow @teachersfirst or our lead Thinking Teacher @cshively, and we'll be sure to welcome you!
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): speeches (17)
In the ClassroomUse this site to feed information used in group or individual presentations to the class. Set this up on another computer when recording video and audio recordings. Why use this site? Information fed through the prompter can be read at a steady and consistent pace. Teachers promoting oral reading fluency can make practice more engaging by having students pretend they are newscasters. If you advise the school announcement crew, try this handy tool to make them sound and look more professional.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomA whole class twitter account can follow favorite authors and authors' read through of class novels. The class can direct message them with questions about the book: how they came to write the story, are the characters based on anyone the author knows, and any other ideas your students might come up with. In literature circles a different member of the group each week can Twitter the author of the book as part of the "author analyzer" job. Learn more about Twitter and find many more ways to use it from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): creative writing (170)
In the ClassroomThis project is a wonderful addition to any English or language arts classroom. This is a great extension activity for older students to complete on their own. Younger students will benefit from the guided writing activities. The site is very well organized and the creator of the site provides you with everything you need. Be sure to check project dates so you don't miss registration. If you aren't familiar with Voicethread, see the TeachersFirst review here.
Grades2 to 5
In the ClassroomThis is a perfect activity for students to use to practice their typing skills. Put this site on your classroom webpage so students can practice at home. Place on classroom computers and have students use after they finish classwork or use as a center for small groups of students. Students will especially like that the games are similar to classic video games like Pacman and Tetris.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): poetry (224)
In the ClassroomUse the Poetry Idea Engine as a starting point to introduce the different poetry forms. Extend this further into creating poetry with other subjects in the given form. Start your own classroom collection to be shared digitally on your website with Power Points or multimedia presentations. In audio form, create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here) and then share them on your website. Add digital images and make a photo book of your favorite poems from your poetry unit using a site such as Mix Book (reviewed here). Save the poetry images/audio for your end of year remembrances to share with students and their families. The Poetry Idea Engine can provide concrete examples and success for ESL/ELL students as well as inspiration for gifted students.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): flash cards (47)
In the ClassroomJoining as a teacher you will get all the perks for free. You can create your own personalized lists and focus only on words your class needs to work on.
Change the way students learn and study vocabulary by giving it to them the way they want it with interactive flashcards and self assessment quizzes. Demonstrate with the whole class on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and use it that way periodically whenever you have a few teachable moments to fill. Embed it on your class web page for students to access frequently.
Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names, all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or use teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials."
In the ClassroomTo browse the activities, no special skills are required. If you plan to create your own activity, a Skype account is necessary. Use your Skype login to use this site. Be sure to check with school authorities before scheduling or using Skype with students. Be sure the Acceptable Use Policy covers the use of such tools. Spend time discussing appropriate and inappropriate behavior with students prior to using Skype or participating in many of the projects found on this site.
Browse through the projects link to find ideas, tips from other teachers, and to find teachers to collaborate and connect with your students. You can search the project ideas by project, age range, language, subject, tags, and more. 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 or this blog for contact information). 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 valuable website.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be familiar with Google documents and forms. You must also have a Google account (FREE). Follow the demo and overview to become acquainted with this tool. This tool is best used by teachers for ongoing formative assessment. If allowing students to create formative assessments, be sure to create a separate class Google and Flubaroo account for use. Consider assigning groups to to make daily quizzes for the whole class to take as an ongoing formative assessment. Use for check point quizzes to check on terminology, general understanding, and to identify weaknesses in student understanding. Be sure to save this site in your favorites to use professionally to save time and keep your learning tasks organized.
I would be curious to know how good you have to be with Google docs to be able to use this. Sounds like a summer project for me!Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then students can use it independently. With grammar classes, you can find interesting synonyms, parts of speech, and definitions while finding ways to fix incomplete sentences. Great ideas for providing details or work with sentence variety accompany each entry. Improve your students' skills with similes and analogies. In writing classes, begin writing prompts with Phrase up results. Phrase up results can start and expand brainstorming in all subject areas. Create your own Phrase up collection with a collection of lists of science, math, and social studies vocabulary for the year. ESL students can learn the nuances of English by trying incomplete phrases and exploring the different ways words can be used. Have ESL or grammar students make simple posters of suggested phrase completions to show different word meanings or idioms used in a variety of ways. Be sure to include this link on your class website as a reference.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomIt is helpful to have a Flickr account to organize photos. Users must be able to find and upload/provide the URL of a specific photo. This tool is so simple with very little steps for creating. Simply upload your photo, select from a few options, and then create.
Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.
Options here are endless. Find out what students understand about a concept by creating a 6 word story. Students find a suitable picture and sum up the concept in 6 words. Students can use the Motivator tool reviewed here to create. Place their creation on a blog, wiki, or site and have students write about how their understandings of the concept have changed throughout the study of it. Create Badges for field trips and other activities. Use the Trading Card Maker reviewed here to identify what a student understands about a concept. Create trading cards of the many species that exist in the world or of places to visit, past leaders of nations, or states and other countries. Create vocabulary trading cards. Use social networking in the classroom? Create an Avatar to use on these spaces. Reading a book or viewing documentaries? Create Movie Posters to share information or to inform others about various times in History. Whatever you use this tool for, it is powerful for students to use a great image and word captions to display their knowledge.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Requires registration/log in (NO email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomShare the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector to accompany curriculum topics in science, art, physical education, language arts, health, or family/consumer science. Or show the videos to a class as examples for writing how-to (demonstration) speeches and/or videos done in language arts classes. Challenge students to create their own videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). Look here also for ideas of holiday craft projects. Share the link on your class web page for students to try activities at home during breaks.
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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare the link to this magazine with your students via your delicious or diigo links that can be posted on your wiki or website. Then have students sign up for an article to read on their own time using your wiki as a sign up location. Then have students share what they have read in class discussion or on an online discussion board or blog post. Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation to share their topic. Have your students create an interactive online infographic using Piktochart, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): keyboarding (37)
In the ClassroomYour students will thoroughly enjoy practicing their keyboarding using some of these fun-filled space themed activities. Want to know how your students are doing with typing? Then give them one of the typing tests. You can choose the passage and the length of time they have to complete it. If you want a record of their results, have them take the certificate test. When students have finished have them use the typing lesson section to practice letters that need more work. In addition, place on classroom computers and have students use after they finish classwork or use as a center for small groups of students. Share this link on your class website for students to practice their typing skills both in and out of the classroom.
GradesK to 3
tag(s): vocabulary (325)
In the ClassroomHave students complete the site during center time and print out their Who Am I? books. This is a great site to use on the first day or week of the school year. Mix the books up and pass them around to all of the students. Have each student try to find the person who belongs to the book by matching their characteristics. An alternate version of that activity would be to have students choose a partner and play question and answer games to figure out whose book they are holding. Use this opportunity to explain to young students that they are the authors of their own Who AM I? book.
GradesK to 2
tag(s): calendars (46)
In the ClassroomInclude the Make A Calendar site during center time for students to review important vocabulary terms within their proper context. Extend this skill into Morning Meetings at the beginning of each month by placing the site on an interactive white board or projector and have students transfer the month, days of the week, and "special" days onto the classroom calendar. Assign it as a job for a few students to work on together. Use the printable versions as assessment tools. Print a calendar for each student to use throughout the month to track monthly activities: music, art, library, gym, class birthdays, assemblies, etc.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomCreate a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore the games. Share the site with parents on your classroom website or blog as a resource for using play as a learning tool. Share the site at conferences or parent meetings as a resource for developing learning skills through play. Include the inventor biographies as a resource for students when researching inventors.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): iwb (31)