Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomHave a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and try to see who can solve the puzzles first. Use the puzzles as a quick time filler and revisit on occasion until the puzzle is solved.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomExpose your students to different levels of the learning spiral by challenging them to use problem-solving skills for increasingly difficult obstacles. Students can work in small groups to foster cooperation and teamwork as they sort, graph, follow and give directions, and discuss ideas. Of course you will need some LEGOs, so you might try raiding your own children's toy boxes, include a request in your classroom newsletter for donations, look around for LEGO kits collecting dust on classroom shelves, or put it on your school's PTA wish list. Be sure to have cooperative learning groups video their activities to share with the rest of the class using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
GradesK to 3
At the time of this review, there was one cartoon available which was entertaining - however, not particularly educational.
In the ClassroomMark this site in Favorites on the computers in your classroom. Pair students on individual computers to try some of the activities. If individual computers aren't available, share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make an IWB "center" for small groups. Share this site with ESL or special education students who need to catch up on alphabet or math skills. This is a fabulous site to list in your class newsletter or on your class website or blog for extra practice at home.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBring teaching and learning to new heights by using this service as a great form of professional development. At conferences, use Twitter as a backchannel to expand upon thoughts and ideas during presentations and after. Have a question to ask others' opinion about? Throw it out to Twitter to see the great perspectives given by those who follow you. Start out slowly and look at conversations that catch your eye. Follow people with experience in your areas of interest to gain from the conversations. Start off by following @teachersfirst or @cshively (our leader).
Learn about hashtags -- ways to mark, search, and follow conversations on a specific topic. For example, the #ntchat tag is for new and pre-service teachers and the #edchat hashtag is for all teachers. Participate in these chats which are scheduled at certain days and times or search for their tweets anytime. Find archived tweets from these chats to learn from some wonderful and motivated teachers when it is convenient for YOU. Use other Twitter applications to search or collect specific hashtags.
As a teaching tool, Twitter is amazing! If your school permits access, have a class account to share what you are doing with parents and especially for your class to follow people in topics you study. Studying space? Follow NASA. Studying politics and government? Follow your congressional rep or the White House. Consider using your teacher or class account to send updates to other teachers across the country or across the globe. You can also teach about responsible digital citizenship by modeling and practicing it as a class. A whole-class, teacher account is the most likely way to gain permission to use Twitter in school, especially if you can demonstrate specific projects. That can be as simple as making sure you and that teacher are FOLLOWING each other, then sending a direct message (start the tweet with D and the other teacher's twitter name) or creating a group with your own hashtag for a project such as daily weather updates. Even if you are not "following" someone, you can send them a tweet using @theirtwittername in the body of the message. This is called a "mention" but can be seen by others, too. Compare what your class is observing in today's weather, which topics you will be discussing today, or ask for another class' opinions on a current events issue. Ask for updates about local concerns, such as talking to California schools about wildfires in their area or a Maine school about a blizzard. Challenge another class to tweet the feelings of a literacy character, such as Hamlet, and respond as Ophelia, all in 140 characters or less. Have gifted students? Connect your classroom with the outside world to find greater challenges and connections beyond your regular curriculum.
Learn much more about teaching ideas and tools for Twitter in the many resources listed on TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for a problem of the day activity. Challenge students to solve and provide explanations to logic puzzles and create their own problems. Display on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a springboard to class discussion of the Mathematics involved within each of the problems.
Grades1 to 3
In the ClassroomChoose this site for a math computer center to allow students to practice money counting skills. Use on the interactive whiteboard or projector while students draw and write the correct answers at their seats. If you are teaching a unit about money, provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
Grades4 to 6
In the ClassroomDemonstrate the use of a protractor on your interactive whiteboard or projector with this activity. Challenge students to guess the angle before measuring with the protractor. Assess understanding of acute and obtuse angles through students' estimates of angles.
Grades4 to 7
In the ClassroomUse this sight on your interactive whiteboard or projector when beginning a unit on addition or subtraction of decimals to help students recognize the real world uses of decimals. Challenge students to create their own version of the game for classmates for additional practice. Incorporate the activity into your class website or blogs for students to access and practice at home.
Grades1 to 4
tag(s): logic (243)
In the ClassroomPractice vocabulary of geometry terms by allowing students to play the game, as they reach each level, challenge them to define terms such as rotation, reflection and translation. Set up the activity at a computer center to practice logic and problem solving skills. Challenge students to create their own map with a path for other students to play.
Grades3 to 5
In the ClassroomUse this game as a math center to practice multiplication facts. Play as a class on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site on your class webpage for students to utilize both in the classroom and out.
Grades1 to 6
In the ClassroomDisplay on your interactive whiteboard or projector to use as a center for logic and problem solving. Keep a class chart and challenge students to increase their speed and increase level of difficulty.
Grades2 to 8
tag(s): worksheets (62)
In the ClassroomThis is a great site to help students better understand fractions. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector and fill out the sheets on the board. Print out the worksheets and pair them with manipulatives and create a center. Since the worksheets have different levels, use them to differentiate for students who need extra scaffolding or for students who need extension activities.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): printables (39)
In the ClassroomThis site is a great way to add creativity to your teaching. Make games boards that can be used to review curriculum in any subject area. These games can be used as a center to support your curriculum. These boards aren't just for the teacher, have pairs of students work together to create their own games. Perhaps have them research a topic, then share the information with peers in the form of a game. Then have students exchange games for other pairs to play. This is a great way to differentiate an assignment by providing different versions of a game or having students create their own at an appropriate level of difficulty. For students who need more support, provide partially completed versions for them to "create" the rest from a word bank.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): assessment (112)
In the ClassroomUse this site to search for rubrics for any type of assignment or classroom use. Material isn't limited to academic use, it also includes attendance, homework, and other types of rubrics.
Grades1 to 6
In the ClassroomCheck school policies about setting up student accounts and passwords and be sure to keep a record of student passwords! No email is required. Set up at the computer center and keep a chart for each student's progress and points collected. Demonstrate on the interactive whiteboard or projector, record terms used during the games (ex: history - iron age, stone age, and bronze age) to research. This would be an ideal link to provide on your class website for students to access at home.
Grades3 to 8
tag(s): fractions (225)
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. After introducing equivalent fractions, have students practice making equivalent fractions with this interactive. This would be a great site to use for a warm up or review.
Grades1 to 6
tag(s): planets (128)
In the ClassroomPlanet Size Comparison is an interesting way to show size comparisons when teaching about the planets. Project the site for a larger feel of the size differences. Students will really enjoy seeing the planets in a larger-than-life view. Have students find pairs of images that have the same relative size or create their own electronic drawings, then stretch/shrink them to create size comparisons of their own on PowerPoint slides or to print out. In math class, use the size comparisons to discuss ratio as well as the solar system.
Grades4 to 7
In the ClassroomA great interactive to use with students who need a little extra practice with decimal number sense. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector to discuss strategies and then let students play independently or with a partner. Students would enjoy competing against each other during whole class time.
GradesK to 12
Visit this website to find out exactly what the national K-12 standards are for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technology, as well as mathematics, and to find out if your state is one many states (at the time of this review) that have already committed to adopt the Common Core State Standards. Watch videos and the recorded webinar, and read about the key points and rigorous curriculum standards, including the content and skills related to the use of media and technology for critical analysis and production.
tag(s): commoncore (98)