Grades9 to 12
Using the site requires a log in (be sure to enable "cookies"). Log-in requires some personal information (first name, surname, email address, and description - if you are a student, parent, or teacher). Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using their own names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
There is no charge for using the site, and advertising is very minimal and fairly unobtrusive. Parts of this website require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomCompleting the 13 "munchings" might make a good independent assignment for college bound students, followed by some sort of reflection essay. The tips for writing a good college application essay might also prove helpful in a writing class. We'll pretend we didn't think about what generally results when a cow digests its "munchings" and hope for a higher quality end product.
GradesK to 12
Each year the strands vary, so be sure to visit the site early to learn more about the current focus. Our editors are very impressed at the changes in this conference since our first review in 2006 and cannot wait to see what will happen next. Every teacher can find something to learn and stretch without being overwhelmed.
Don't miss the "Fireside Chats," opportunities to talk live with the presenters and ask questions. NO question is too minor or "dumb."
In the ClassroomPut this conference on your calendar every year. Consider holding a get-together after school for pizza and participation with some face to face teacher friends as you meet new ones "virtually." Many of the presentations are available as podcasts to carry along to children's soccer games or listen as you commute or jog, too! As you move forward, possibly rethinking the way you teach in the 21st Century, consider sharing your experiences by submitting a presentation proposal. Most of the presenters are "just teachers" like you. Don't have time to "attend" during these two weeks? That's OK. The entire "conference" remains online in perpetuity for you to experience personalized professional development. Ask your administration to allow you to "attend" and earn continuing ed credits. Don't miss the archived material from 2006 and each year thereafter.
Grades1 to 12
Once registered, you click to create a quiz. Then you are asked to choose between a personality quiz or a scored quiz. This site offers extraordinary details. At the scored quiz, you are able to provide a title, tags, description, and choose the type of questions (multiple choice, essay, or fill in the blank). It is simple to insert images, change font styles, insert links, and even score the online quiz. You can create a pass/fail quiz, a graded quiz (with YOU determining what qualifies as an A, B, etc..). You are also able to set a time limit, issue a certificate of achievement, and fill in the possible total score.
Once students have taken the quiz, immediate feedback is provided (including a scale of all participants, the correct answers, final score, and grade). This is a fantastic tool to use to create online quizzes!
Caution: this site does include some minor advertisements. At the time of this review, all advertisements were appropriate. But it would be wise to advise students NOT to click off of the quiz onto any of the advertisements or links.
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): quiz (88)
In the ClassroomUse this site to create online quizzes. Create a quiz as a review to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take the quiz independently or in cooperative learning groups. Have students create their own quizzes to use for review or as a final project. Embed your quiz (or provide a link to it) on your class website.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): creativity (118)
In the ClassroomSave this site in your TeachersFirst favorites! Keep the page handy as you develop new lesson ideas in the 21st century. Use this site as you create rubrics with project choices for students. This site lists MANY ideas of how to incorporate this site (and its ideas) into your classroom. If you teach teachers-to-be or mentor new teachers, help them envision technology as a real tool for learning instead of "fun."
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): editing (71)
In the ClassroomKnow how to browse to find files saved on your computer and be willing to "play" with the tools and menus, if you are unfamiliar with photo-editors.
Click Jump In to access Photoshop-type tools. Select an image saved on your computer or your desktop or create a new one. Currently, pictures cannot be accessed from online photo storage sites. The top menu contains almost any option the average user would need to edit and manipulate pictures. The menu is easy to navigate and read. Help is minimal at this time. The site is easy to use, and users of other paint and editing applications will be at ease using this site. Students will love the filter options for altering pictures. Multiple images can be edited or "montaged." When editing is complete, save the image by specifying an image name and file type (JPEG or PNG). Click "OK," and the file will be downloaded to your machine. The simple interface and fast site makes this a great editing application to try.
Use this site to add information to pictures for class and student projects and creations. Add attributions (copyright info and sources) directly to the photo. Add student responses to pictures of class experiments. Create artistic effects with student pictures. The ideas for picture taking, creating, and sharing are endless. Make this a link from your class wiki so students can cut down file sizes before uploading large photos or make edited composites to communicate their message visually. As you study propaganda, have students create propaganda images to share on a class wiki or classroom bulletin board. Art teachers will love the ability to teach photo montage without expensive software. Make creative bulletin board displays from multiple digital pictures of special events, adding text and captions right into the photo. ESL/ELL, language, and special ed teachers can ask students to label images with sentences including correct vocabulary and grammar. Have students in your reading class create visual idiom images using digital pictures.
Keep this tool handy as a link from your teacher web page for quick access any time!
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)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomFocus on the topics that repeatedly occur in a student's writing by sharing a link to the topic they need most right now. The Misused Words and Expressions sections are especially helpful for explaining how to correct for cliches, etc. As always, the timing of seeing the tip matters most. Share it when you see the problem. Encourage students doing peer editing or collaborative revision to use this site and find the tip to help a classmate when something "sounds funny." That way every writer in your class can become an expert in supporting other writers, not just you, the writing guru/teacher! While learning centers are generally considered an elementary tool, they can be exciting and valuable for secondary students as well. Use sections of this site as the focus for different writing centers. The links from this site can help students move through areas where they are having difficulty and enjoy the process of interaction as well. Have them create a clever writing tip video or a quick podcast about the tip that resonated with them personally. Try Spreaker, reviewed here. Collect links to the tip videos or podcasts on a class writing wiki. Teachers will also find this reference useful as a writer of graduate papers or newsletters for parents.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): video (276)
In the ClassroomIf you wish to upload your own SchoolTube video, you must register as a user at the site. Registration is free. Create and save your edited videos where you can find them on your computer. (Windows Movie Maker or iMovie are great, free tools for video). Then upload to SchoolTube. You can share the video via link or by embedding it in another web page. See our editor's SchooTube video here. If the teacher is the one uploading, the only potential concerns include posting videos with identifiable information or images about your students, school, or class. Check your school policies about posting pictures of your school. If you post student videos, obtain written parent permission to post student work, again within school policies. Any student visible in a video should also have parent permission in accordance with school policies. Students can use SchoolTube to share videos with sister schools, or to broadcast weekly news from their school or classroom. Students can also produce project videos on any curriculum topic. Try making "You Are There" videos about different events in history! Teachers may want to use this site to share ideas and lesson plans with other teachers across the nation. Make "how to" videos to share with parents and friends. Embed SchoolTube's video player into your school's website and encourage parents to view school news or clips from events they were not able to attend.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTeachers, plan professional development using the free videos at this site. Perhaps on Parents' Night, you can showcase internet safety using the wonderful, engaging resources located at this site. Or encourage your PTO/PTA to host an Internet Safety evening for all parents.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomRead the Blog at this site to learn many cool ways to interact with your personal computer an devices using RTM. Learning support teachers and teachers of disorganized gifted students may want to "model" using such an online tool to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Make a demo account for a "mythical" student and organize him/her together so students can see how it works. You will have to check school policies and access to some of the messaging tools, however, since some may be prohibited in your school. Learning support and gifted teachers will welcome this online tool as an engaging way for students to become better-organized. Give students a tech tool, and they just might try it!
GradesK to 12
tag(s): wikis (21)
In the ClassroomTake the time to read this article to build your own confidence to make a big change in your teaching -- one step at a time. Better yet, share it with your colleagues as the starting point for a teacher-conducted inservice where you work together to implement change. Not allowed to conduct your own inservice? Take the article to your principal and ask for a pilot cohort within your school to work on wikis together, starting from this article and the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. All you need is the confidence to ask. If Louise can do it, you can, too, no matter what grade/subject you teach.
GradesK to 6
Lesson content includes letter-sound relationships, parts of speech, paragraph writing, sequencing, earth science, animals, egg-laying animals, volcanoes, addition, and more. The staff of TeachersFirst has incorporated technology options, tips, and templates appropriate for younger students into the lesson plans to add yet another way for your students to experience and interact with new concepts.
Many of these ideas and templates can be adapted for use with almost any subjects and concepts, to differentiate for different learning styles. All lessons include national standards. Experienced and new teachers alike will find these examples helpful in designing multi-sensory, technology-infused lessons.
In the ClassroomIf your classroom includes special needs learners or simply students who need a multi-sensory approach in order to master new concepts, try these lessons or use them as prototypes as you plan for other curriculum content. If you mentor new teachers or student teachers, share these examples for infusing technology into lessons and for differentiating lessons.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThis fundraising organization may be a prudent way to fund your school's wildlife or biology club. Why not kick-off this event near Earth Day? Also, teachers, you can coordinate your recycling and earth-loving lessons around this fundraiser.
GradesK to 12
If you are looking for other "green" fundraising opportunities, check out the Greenraising: Eco-Friendly Fundraising site (reviewed here). This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomClick on the left link, "Lesson Plans and Activities" for more ideas on teaching students about recycling. Check the site frequently, as they offer 'specials' which translates to more money. If you submit a lesson plan on recycling, you earn a $10 credit. How about holding a 'green' competition to see which classroom submits the most items.
Get parents involved. Make sure they are aware via your website and newsletter about submitting these items to the school. Many parents will be able to contribute items from their workplace that was otherwise destined for the landfill.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomKeep this page handy as you develop new lesson ideas in the 21st century. If you teach teachers-to-be or mentor new teachers, help them envision technology as a real tool instead of "fun." This is a MUST-have Favorite.
Grades2 to 6
In the ClassroomUse this handy tool to guide your students through the process of organizing information in Venn diagram form. View the demonstration video together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete a Venn Diagram as a class activity. Then have students work on individual computers to create their own Venn Diagrams to correlate with a language arts, social studies, or interdisciplinary lesson. Have students print out their Venn Diagrams and share them with the class. Once they have mastered this skill and underlying concepts, allow them to create even more colorful Venn diagrams using colorful Autoshapes circles, clip art, and text boxes on PowerPoint slides or using Inspiration software. Show them how to use color as a way to communicate meaning by color-coding, as well.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): australia (36)
In the ClassroomTeacher ed institutions and graduate classes you are taking on contemporary issues in education may want to explore these scenarios for discussion. Even high school classes exploring careers or trends in current events may discuss the reshaping of education over the next 20+ years as today's high schoolers become tomorrow's teachers. Teachers of Gifted working with forecasting and futures will find this an interesting model.
Any teacher planing to remain in the profession will want to think about how these scenarios might affect YOUR classroom in some way in the near future.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): literacy (106)
In the ClassroomShare this site on your class website so parents can learn about this free resource. Include links to specific publications tha fit your class' needs. Or choose helpful information with your particular parents/students and share the pdf files as print-outs at conferences or via email to help parents.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you need ideas to get students reading for fun and to help develop their confidence, try this site. Highlight this on your class website so parents can try the activities with their older students. When doing author biographies, share this site with your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the "Classroom Strategies" link for even more literacy ideas.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomSearch the multitude of webquests that are "ready to go" at this site. If you are looking for a more personal touch, you can create your own webquest for each class, tailored to what you want to cover or want students to research. This site also provides a place to post a personal portfolio of your work (if you choose to include any student work, you must have written permission to do so from the student and his or her parent). You might also want students to create webquests as final products of group research projects. Be sure to provide a meaningful rubric for the essential features.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): spelling (169)