GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomConsider creating a class account for easier access. You may want to send students directly to URLs for their own projects or use the site as a whole-class activity using a teacher-created Meograph to spark discussion. Create Meographs that introduce new topics and content for great student discussion. In lower grades, use a teacher or whole-class creation done on your interactive whiteboard. Students can use pieces of the timeline to brainstorm questions, initiate research, and learn more about the topic. Meographs are an interesting way for students to tell stories about a project, research, or as a class activity. Use to showcase fun items such as "what I did on my summer vacation," "the story of my dog," and more. Create Meographs from the point of view of a literary character or historical figure telling his/her story. Encourage students to use Meograph to connect a variety of events together in history by creating a timeline or tracking the various discoveries about DNA that have led to present day understandings. Remember to teach about copyright, since using copyrighted images in a Meograph would not be "fair use" due to unlimited distribution. Look for images in the public domain or with Creative Commons licensing and model giving attribution for them. See TeachersFirst's Copyright and Fair Use collection for safe sources and more information.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with students and demonstrate how to enter and access Algebra Nation using their Florida High School name or entering "other." Share this resource with parents as an excellent tool for review and study of Algebra topics. Create a teacher account and share videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as an additional learning tool to use along with current classroom materials. Provide this link for students to use at home to hone their algebra skills.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the age ranges (5-7, 7-9, or 9-11) to differentiate for your students. Provide this link on your class website for students to access at home. This is a great site to provide on a list of summer "practice" sites.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site would be excellent for use during a unit on careers, economics, or financial literacy. Allow students to explore pay for different career options not only in your city but in different locations across the country. Have students create magazine covers using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here. Use this site during Family and Consumer Science units to explore the cost of living and typical salaries across the United States. Have students put together a mythical "budget" for living in their chosen career.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource when beginning group projects. Most videos are under 3 minutes (even around one minute). It would be feasible to show nearly all videos prior to starting group projects. Show videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to display suggested approaches to problems within groups. Use throughout projects as needed to address specific problems that have arisen with groups in your classroom. Make the link available for students to access as needed when frustrations crop up. Counselors and support teachers may also want to use these videos to help students improve interpersonal "smarts" for group work.
GradesK to 1
In the ClassroomUse the video clips or activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site at centers to reinforce skills (counting, matching, learning shapes, and more). Share this link on your class website for students to access at home.
Grades6 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse these newsletters to show students how their lives are connected to STEM achievements. Students can read and comment on specific articles or careers. Use a variety of these PDF's when researching various STEM careers or highlighting inventions and discoveries. Students can create a traditional or multimedia report on the information learned.
Grades5 to 10
In the ClassroomIn the classroom, use Figure This to help differentiate instruction for all levels, especially the high-achievers and gifted students. Allow students to work independently, or work in pairs to solve challenges. Introduce the challenge on your interactive whiteboard projector. Then allow students to dive into the challenge! Use for gifted enrichment, or even a Math Challenge Day for a reward. Offer extra credit for the number of challenges solved. Use as a model to allow students to create their own challenges. Add to your website as a fun resource for students and families.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the Critical Thinking videos as a stand alone, or use them in conjunction with other units. When teaching debate or persuasive writing this will be an invaluable resource. You might also consider using "Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies" reviewed here. Share critical thinking strategies with students, and have the students create lists of how and when these strategies are used in the classroom. Create a bulletin board with critical thinking strategies for your classroom. Use the lessons included on the site as a resource for lessons in your classroom. Bookmark this site and save it in your favorites as a professional resource. Share suggested activities and resources with other staff members. If your school blocks YouTube, use one of these two programs to download videos at home and bring to school on a mini USB drive: KeepVid reviewed here or HD Downloader reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomBookmark this site for use throughout the year for strengthening use of word walls, finding games/activities for classroom use, and ideas for strengthening teaching of reading and math. Check out the activities for use with ADHD students to help with focusing.
GradesK to 12
A tip: when creating your QR Code, you will see a link to "generate your image" on the last step. It will give you the options of "try again" or "next." Choose "next" to go to the final step. "Try again doesn't mean that your image wasn't created, it just gives you the option for personalizing the code differently before completing the process.
tag(s): qr codes (21)
In the ClassroomCreate a QR code that directs to your class site or blog and include it on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students, making a webquest more engaging. Add QR codes to documents for students to check their answers to questions. Expand knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that expands upon what is in the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student. Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, student's reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Place the links in a newsletter using QR codes instead of a series of words that need to be typed. Be sure to search TeachersFirst resources for many other great ways to use QR codes in the classroom!
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)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to explore symmetry with your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Watch what happens when you choose from the different available options. Discuss what emotions certain colors can induce. Have students create their own artwork then print and post to a class bulletin board display (or share on your class website or blog). Challenge students to identify the type or types of symmetry shown in each design. Use this site in both art and math class while learning about symmetry. Have students take screenshots and write about their creations.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Story Builder to retell a moment in history or a social studies or science concept. Share some samples on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students or groups of students create their own Story Builder to retell a story or tell a story from a single character's point of view. Assign student groups to tell a story related to your curriculum. Create a Story Builder at the beginning of a unit with what I want to know questions, or use for the end of a unit as a review. Share student Story Builders with a link on your website or blog. In math class have students explain a procedure using Story Builder. Use Story Builder to create drama scripts or to demonstrate writing skills. Have "Annie Adjective" add colorful words to a draft while "Pete Punctuation" proofs for errors. Have students collaborate to create their own "live" edit sessions using an anonymous student draft you provide or from their OWN writing. By naming the character who is making changes, they can show what they are emphasizing, such as Sam Support adding supporting details when writing informational texts. Teachers of gifted could challenge students to create "epistolary" tales using this tool. Once they discover it, your gifted students will come up with new ways to share projects using this tool (and a little humor).
Engage student and parent attention about important announcements by giving a link to s Story Builder where you explain a project or plans for a special PTA event. Write it as a Q/A session, and they will watch the whole thing!
GradesK to 12
tag(s): speech (91)
In the ClassroomThe potential for using Croak.it for and with your students is limitless. As you create (or update) your website at the beginning of the school year, considering using this site to verbally greet all visitors! Record a message for absent students explaining something done in class and email it to them. Leave verbal instructions on your web page or homework page that might be too complicated to write out or for your students to read. This program has incredible promise for use with learning-support students, speech and language students, ESL/ELL students, non-readers, and for differentiating instruction. If your students have blogs, consider adding Croak.It to their blog pages for spoken comments. An excellent idea from the blog "Inquiry Live in the Classroom" is to use Croak.it with QR Codes and have your students make 30 second book reviews for your classroom or school library. Students can then scan the code of a book they think they are interested in reading to see what others think of it, or to get a 30 second summary of it. Use Croak.it for tutorials on your website. Use a QR Code generator and put the code next to diagrams in text books. To view many more ideas see "QR Codes and Using Them in the Classroom," reviewed here, and know that you can combine these with the use of Croak.it, too. There are many personal ways you and your students can use this program: create a wish list, Mother's Day or birthday greeting, a message to a grandparent, or a recording of part of a picture book for a younger sibling. Because of the 30 second time limit, encourage students to rehearse (never a bad idea) before recording. One suggestion for saving recordings is to create a Google Form or wiki page where students can use to submit their recording links. This allows you to collect student recordings without having to use an e-mail account. Speech and language teachers could create wiki pages (on a private wiki) for each student to record samples throughout the year to demonstrate progress with articulation. World language teachers could record assignments and ask students to respond orally on a class wiki.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomDisplay the virtual geoboard on your interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate what students create on their individual whiteboard. Younger students can use the online geoboards to practice creating squares, triangles, and more. Older students can use the geoboard to explore various triangle formations and angles. Create a link to this site on classroom computers for students to explore as a center. Use the print option on your computer to print creations formed with virtual geoboard for students to label and identify. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students to access at home.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThose who teach geography and world cultures will like this! Use this resource to get your students thinking about the sounds around them. Include it when studying sound or the human ear in science class. Connect with other subjects by envisioning smells that would be there or craft a story inspired by the sounds heard at a specific location. Play sounds for your younger students and ask what they hear. Create sound stories together -- or as a creative project --by playing a series of sounds to tell the tale! Use your imagination to add this resource to other location projects used throughout the year. World language teachers could assign students to create a sound and word story about a cultural location. Use these sounds as background and add the dialog!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare articles with students and replicate activities included in the article. Share the video demonstrations on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos after reading articles and attempting activities. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Use activities in the article as inspiration for Math night activities or Math Fair projects.
Grades3 to 12
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In the ClassroomIntroduce your students to infographics and this video in class. Share this (approximately 14 minute) video on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then, post this video on your website for students to watch whenever they need help while creating an infographic. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand content and connect it with the real world. See a full TeachersFirst article about using infographics as a scaffold and formative assessment here. Have students create an infographic about the impact of slavery on an economy or to explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Use one of the tools described in the video, Visual.ly, reviewed here, Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Infogr.am, reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool during a unit on infectious disease in biology or health classes. Identify the difference between a cluster outbreak, secondary transmission, epidemic, and other categories of outbreak. View the various diseases and have students research each to report to the class about the transmission and dangers of each of the diseases. Identify the prevalence of various diseases in certain parts of the World compared to other locations. Identify why certain diseases are found in each of these areas. Research various ways to prevent further epidemics from occurring as well as the various social, religious, and political issues. Assign cooperative learning groups a disease to investigate. Use an online tool such a Creately (reviewed here) to create diagrams and other visual graphic organizers.
Grades3 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse this site for students to post simple projects such as stories, poems, and art projects. Students can also create online "me-portfolios" where they collect and curate all the links to their various online projects. Collect a master list of links to student pages on your classroom website, wiki, or blog for easy access. If students are creating pages, be sure to check with your district's policy on student use of email as well as publishing of student work.
Try using Infinite.ly for: "visual essays," digital biodiversity logs (with digital pictures students take), online literary magazines, personal reflections in images and text, research project presentations, or comparisons of online content (such as political candidates' sites or content sites used in research -compared for bias). Use this tool for science sites documenting experiments or illustrating concepts (such as the water cycle), "visual" lab reports, digital scrapbooks using images from the public domain and video and audio clips from a time in history -- such as the Roaring Twenties. More ideas include local history interactive stories, visual interpretations of major concepts (such as a "visual" U.S. Constitution). Imagine building your own online library of raw materials for your students to create their own "web pages" as a new way of assessing understanding. You provide the digital pictures, and they sequence, caption, and write about them (younger students), or you provide the steps in a project as a template, and they insert the actual content of their own.
After a first project where you provide "building blocks," the sky is the limit on what they can do, but watch the file size and space limits. Even the very young can make suggestions as you "create" a whole-class product together using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider making a new project for each unit you teach, so students can "recap" long after the unit ends. Separate pages mean smaller sites, so they can remain free.