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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents can use this cover to hold a music CD or DVD movie that relates to a literary work, but there are a lot of other great extensions you can implement as a means to assess critical thinking skills, especially when it comes to synthesizing and assimilating concepts. Rather than assigning a book review, literary essay, or standard research paper, adventurous technology users could burn a CD of PowerPoint slides or use the CD cover to hold a DVD slideshow of narrated photographs. Slightly less adventurous technology users could use it to house a written assignment related to plot, theme, or character study, or to illustrate a poem or narrative. Big Huge Labs offers other similar tools, such as Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here and Mosaic Maker reviewed here, which could be used in conjunction with the CD Cover Maker to make your projects even more amazing. 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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse these award winning ideas to commemorate September 11 in a lesson to demonstrate unity or build worldwide understanding. Use the concepts as a springboard to a collaborative project. Ideas vary from sending chains of origami cranes as a wish for peace, composing and singing a song for unity with an online tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, writing letters to local politicians, creating poems and transforming them into digital videos or multimedia presentations using ThingLink, reviewed here, or taking responsibility for the environment while creating a sense of community by planting gardens. Choose from many ways to inspire students to recognize the importance of September 11 and to involve them in working together to become a more tolerant society. You might be so amazed with the results that you will want to submit your students' projects to be considered for next year's Tribute Center September 11th Teacher Awards. The annual award ceremony takes place on February 26, to commemorate the 1993 first attack on the World Trade Center.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomWitness great storytelling techniques in action. Discuss these techniques with your students. How do storytellers use their voices to convey mood, tone, emotion, and sound? How can storytellers use descriptive language to paint a picture in the mind of the listener? How can onomatopoeias and sensory imagery make stories come alive? What can students infer from a story based on tone and verbal expression? What lessons and morals do some stories imply? Encourage visualization by asking students to sketch story events, create portraits of characters, or paint the setting. With younger children, help them learn to identify character, problem, and setting. Discuss story sequence and plots common to folk tales. Diagram how a circle story plot starts and ends in the same place. Search for stories that contain common themes of self-acceptance, friendship, transformation, or personal journeys. Let students use individual computers to listen (with headphones) to the stories.
After examining stories told on Story Bee, have students create and practice their own storytelling skills. Demonstrate how to compose modern versions of familiar tales, or retell family stories and recent events. Use plot diagrams to assist in the organization of their own stories. Record and share class stories with tools such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their stories by using sites such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Help students create a checklist or rubric to use for self-evaluation or peer review. Use a tool like Quick Rubric, reviewed here, for the checklist and rubric. Use this same document to help students make constructive suggestions for story revisions. Post a link to Story Bee on your class web page or wiki so that students can access it both in and out of class.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): creative commons (23)
In the ClassroomAddress the needs of the visual learner and include media files as part of the research process. Wikipedia Commons offers a way for students to gain an understanding of content through images, sounds, and video. Give students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge by narrating a slideshow of images found on Wikipedia Commons or create multimedia presentations on a site such as Lucidpress, reviewed here. These free media files will also help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. This site is a valuable resource for imagery useful when creating presentations, lectures, digital stories, reports or to include on a class websites. Students learning a foreign language may benefit from using Wikipedia Commons to learn about more about the culture and lifestyle of the country whose language they are studying.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMusic teachers and content area teachers alike have a perfect opportunity to explicitly teach ethical use of internet materials and especially music. This discussion could spark a debate about plagiarism, patents or inventors rights depending upon the course that is being taught. Also, older students who are talented musicians could be encourage or just inspired to use Jamendo to post their own music from home for sale. Depending on district policies, this could be used as a take home lesson for upper level music classes.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): literature (270)
In the ClassroomUse the list to find literature you can use in your classroom. You may want to choose short stories or poems and their music so students will get the idea of how music and literature can fit together. Then have students choose appropriate contemporary music for an independent reading novel presentation or report. Have students figure out how they would divide up the book into sections. Then select a piece of (school appropriate) music that they think captures the feel or tone of each section. They record the pieces and possibly do voice-overs explaining what is happening in the novel during the piece of music and why they felt this piece of music fits the section of the novel. As a choice, students could use "podOmatic" to create podcasts, reviewed here. Or have students create ThingLink, reviewed here. Be sure to PLAY the music out loud as the student is talking. If you want students to "mix" or create music with their own computer, check out Soundtrap, reviewed here. You may wish to take that a bit further and challenge students to record a song using a tool such as UJAM, reviewed here, where you simply record your voice (even talking and not singing!). UJAM is free and synchronizes your voice and its speed to a variety of different background music options.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomTo add events to the site, locate the "add event" found at the bottom of the Timelines.com homepage. Follow the very clear (with samples) directions to insert your own event. Viewing the timelines is simple. Click to watch videos, view the maps, click "Like" or "Dislike" or make comments by clicking on the words.
Monitor what students are viewing in the premade timelines. Also, teach students appropriate events to include and check their work before having them submit work so that they are more accurate.
Use the timelines on the site in science class to help students understand the history behind discoveries that they take for granted, such as the the space race. Today's students have never lived in a world where traveling to the moon was not possible, and understanding the history of the event could be very helpful in understanding the magnitude of such an event. This site would also be useful in art or music class. Have students investigate the history of their favorite group or type of music and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. How about a video (including music, of course). Use a tool such as Moovly, reviewed here, and then share the videos on a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): songs (53)
In the ClassroomUse this site for ear training. Play a reverse "Name that Tune" game to see how accurately the site finds songs. Try to find two songs with similar beginnings and see if the site can distinguish the two. Learn about other songs that have similar beginning melodies. ESL and ELL students can use this site and participate without knowing the English words for a song just by humming. Students can introduce their favorite songs this way.
Grades2 to 8
tag(s): sound (103)
In the ClassroomEnhance student awareness of the sounds common to their own community. Have students create soundtracks by combining industrial, animal, and earth sounds in the "Soundscapes" section of the site. Have students share their music via podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Then turn off the computer and go outside. Ask students to be still and pay attention to the sounds that surround them everyday. After absorbing these sounds, extend the lesson by having students record environmental sounds and create their own soundtrack with applications such as Garage Band or Audacity.
Plan a "field trip" to see "Wild Music" exhibit either in person or in virtual form. Download the Teacher Exhibition Guide and follow the lessons they suggest using before and after the visit. Each activity corresponds to a certain grade level and addresses the National Standards in Music and Science. Where is the exhibit showing? Click on the "Wild Music: The Exhibition" link to learn more.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomMany students' favorite past time, when not texting or social networking, is listening to their iPods. Why not use that venue to hook them into understanding the 'music of poetry?" Stories Behind the Songs; Introduction includes the music, lyrics, song-based lessons, projects, and activities for many popular songs and ballads that express universal themes of poverty, hunger, discrimination, and hope. Students listen to the music and examine the origins and inspiration for contemporary lyrics. Popular songs can be used in a classroom setting to facilitate meaningful discussions on a particular theme or topic. Songs also create an emotional hook and may be used as a springboard to introduce poetry, literature, and historic documents. Students enter the Song Guide by clicking on the song's title to enjoy the full authentic cultural experience the music and lyrics offer. Follow up with asking students to write poems or short essays describing their feelings and impressions of the lyrics, or have them create new poetic verses and images to accompany the music. Challenge students to narrate an image using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): poetry (221)
In the ClassroomDelight your students by projecting digipoemon your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard to demonstrate how the words in poems create visual images. Then, be amazed at how quickly this will motivate them to write poetry. Take them to the computer lab or use a class set of lap tops, and put a link to this site on your class web page. Younger students should first type their poems into a Word document with a built in spell check, and then copy and paste them into the website's text box.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): literature (270)
In the ClassroomUse a projector or interactive whiteboard so everyone can view the Rare Book Room at once. Small groups can write down their observations about the art and text, and then share out with the whole class. You can also have small groups of students investigate Rare Books from certain authors or time periods. Navigating and annotating the books on the interactive whiteboard and sharing their findings with the whole class. The interactive whiteboard is the ideal tool for annotating. Older students can also annotate them using an online tool such as Fine Tuna, reviewed here : reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): vocabulary (318)
In the ClassroomWhat a perfect addition to music or art class! Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Encourage them to add terms of their own, as well. Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!
Grades2 to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): organizational skills (123)
In the ClassroomOnce an account is created, add the bookmarklet to your browser bar for quick access. Check with your IT department to have the ability to download bookmarklets on your computer. Knowledge of embed codes are required to manage Livebinders in other sites. To get a better idea of Livebinder basics, watch the 90 second video tour before you "play."
Click on "start a blank binder," enter a description, tags, category, and mark it private or public. Click yes to "use Google search to fill a binder" to find plenty of information fast. Your new binder will instantly be filled with a new tab for each site matching your search term. After entering "climate change," a new Livebinder was created with tabs that matched research I had previously spent a lot of time to find. Now it can be instantly shared. Click on "edit menu" in the upper right of your binder to change description, title, etc. as well as fonts, tabs, and other details. To share, click on share this binder along the bottom right to share by email, Facebook, Twitter, or embedding via link or embed code. Embed your Livebinder in a blog, wiki, or other site or provide the link for access by others.
Safety/Security: Users must be 13 years of age to create an account. Teachers can create an account and share Livebinders for student use at any age. Create a class account with a global login and password. Students use the same login to access the Livebinder and create tabs on various topics. As each collaborator would not be known, ask students to add initials to tabs they create so you know the source. Check your school policies on whether student work may be displayed online and what information is permitted, then enforce that policy with your students.
Create a Livebinder to assemble information and requirements for a student project. Make the Livebinder the actual ASSIGNMENT sheet. Use a new tab in the binder for each type of resource or topic of information. In English classes, use to offer spelling, writing, or grammar hints for students. Create a binder for specific sports teams that showcase team accolades, resources for increasing skills, or to create snack lists and travel information. Create a Livebinder for groups of students to plan or report on vacation plans, learn about cultures or countries, or maintain information for student projects. Students can use Livebinders to assemble information for group projects that can be discussed with the teacher to track progress. Consider creating a binder for assignments for students that focus on the use of information versus just the searching for the information. Any content or subject area can be easily managed by creating a Livebinder for student learning. Create an art or music gallery easily with a Livebinder. Use each tab of a Livebinder for each cell part necessary for the functioning of a cell. Create tabs in a binder for each battle or campaign in a specific war. Create a tab for each candidate in a specific election. Have students or student groups (13 and over) create Livebinder "tours" or annotated collections on a topic such as the pros and cons of organic foods, a cultural tour of a country, or applications of geometry in architecture. Of course their student-written annotations and commentary will be key to make these collections into meaningful products. They might even create tasks and questions for other students to try to learn about the topic.
If you are simply looking for a way to share technology-infused project assignments with students from grade 2 and up, a teacher-made Livebinder is an easy way to do it, and you can share the assignment with parents and learning support teachers by simply providing the URL.
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)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
I've used LIveBinder successfully at the 3rd/4th grade level to share web pages with students on specific subjects and topics. My students went back to the binders to read more, even when that unit was finished. I also create and fill binders as I am planning and gathering webpages as I plan my units.Linda, IL, Grades: 3 - 4
Takes some getting used to, instructions not as clear as they could be, but very helpful for sharing lots of resources that share a common theme.Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomThis colorful website will appeal to lower elementary students immediately, but its activities are stimulating for older students as well. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard. Have pairs of students explore the site together and create multimedia presentations to share with the class. You could create a class wiki for students to share their thoughts on the podcasts, video clips, or artwork. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Another idea, have students create online books demonstrating their new knowledge using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomWhile this is a free site, in order to participate in all its functions, each student will need to sign up for a "flork" account which is open to worldwide use and discussion forums. Teachers may want to limit student use to the content that does not require membership or use a whole-class account created by the teacher. This site could be used with an interactive whiteboard or projector to illustrate how author selection works and show relationships between similar authors. Students may search individually for new authors. In higher level literature classes, ask students to explain why certain authors are shown as similar. What similarities do they see? Have students use this question as a prompt for a blog post or full expository writing piece.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomStudents can use the activities on this site to help improve those all important problem solving and critical thinking skills. Each activity starts out easy and then builds to more difficult situations. This site can be used as a center in the classroom, in the computer lab as an activity, or at home for extended problem-solving practice. Tie games into geometry, scientific method (hypothesis testing), design and composition, and many other curriculum concepts. Primary teachers can reinforce basic sequencing with maze games. Challenge your students to build informational writing skills buy writing their own desriptions or directions for a favorite game. Share the writing pieces on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): vocabulary (318)
In the ClassroomThis site does far more than aid memorization. Reading teachers can also use it to teach comprehension skills, such as using context clues to determine meaning in a paragraph. Paste in the paragraph (perhaps a passage from a non-fiction science or social studies article) and use this tool on your interactive whiteboard for students to "figure out" the missing words. Do the same with world language texts to reverse match using subject verb agreement and to analyze missing content using inflected endings. In science class, use this site to remove clues from a paragraph explaining a concepts or terms, subtracting information and having students fill it back in as they review for test and quizzes. Learning support teachers will love this option! Enter passage students write that include new vocabulary words, letting students challenge each other by subtracting portions. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to provide practice with expressive language.
For work with memorization, use this site with popular song lyrics in class. Listen to the song first and give the students the lyrics to be memorized. Or, go to YouLyrics (if district policy allows) to get the song and see a video of it and then have the students use this site to help them memorize the lyrics. ESL, ELL, and students of other languages will enjoy memorizing songs which helps them improve their vocabulary and accent. Use this site in a group by projecting the screen on a whiteboard or projector and systematically show fewer and fewer words on the screen. Have teams of students compete against each other by writing the text as quickly as possible on two boards in the classroom. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the class to memorize new information. Share it as a personal study skills tool, as well.