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Desert - MBGnet

Grades
4 to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Teaching about deserts? Check out this site to learn where deserts are located, which animals and plants live in the desert, different types of deserts, and what a desert is ...more
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Teaching about deserts? Check out this site to learn where deserts are located, which animals and plants live in the desert, different types of deserts, and what a desert is really like. This site is also a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit.

tag(s): biomes (116), deserts (10)

In the Classroom

During a unit on deserts, introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of desert locations throughout the world (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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What's It Like Where You Live: Taiga Biomes - MBGNet

Grades
4 to 8
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Learn about the Taiga biome that stretches across Asia, Europe, and Canada. This site goes beyond just the location of the biome, but also includes information about the climate, type...more
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Learn about the Taiga biome that stretches across Asia, Europe, and Canada. This site goes beyond just the location of the biome, but also includes information about the climate, type of plants and animals found in this biome, general facts and more.

This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!

tag(s): biomes (116)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics presented at this site. Challenge groups to create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Blabberize - Mobouy Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
18 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. There are some real treasures among...more
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. There are some real treasures among the ready-mades. These will help you get ideas for ways to use a Blabber! Here is an example created by the TeachersFirst Edge team. Upload an image from your computer, select an area to become the talking "mouth," and record sound from the mike on your computer. Sound can also come from a sound file you upload. You will need to "allow" access to your computer's microphone. You have 30 seconds to narrate your photo. When you complete the blab, click SAVE. You will be prompted to create an account on the spot. You will also have the options to mark your blab "mature" or "private" (not shown on the "latest" pages and other public areas). Completed Blabs can be shared via email or embedded in another web page, blog, or wiki. Users unfamiliar with copy/pasting embed code can simple share by the URL of the blab's page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (63), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

If your students have never tried to make a Blabber, share the introduction blab on the home page (click the Blabberize logo to get there) on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Browse a few examples first to get ideas on how to make a mouth on your photo to move and "talk." Be sure to turn up your sound! Have a student demonstrate uploading an image from a safe and legal source. You may want to use a single, whole-class account you create with your "extra" email account. Be sure to spell out consequences of inappropriate use/content of blabs. Have students enter the site through the "Make" page link provided in this review to steer clear of the "latest" blabs. You may want your students to make their blabs "private" so they do not show on the public areas, depending on school policies.

Blab the homework directions on your teacher web page. Have your students use photos or digital drawings to "blab"! Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then make it "speak." Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters tell about themselves. This tool is great for gifted students to go above and beyond the basics with an independent project. Create entire conversation sequences of blabs between people in world language or ESL/ELL classes (with students speaking in the language, of course), then embed them in a wiki. Have speech/language students make blabs to practice articulation and document progress over time. Promote oral reading fluency with student-read blabs. Create book "commercials." Have students blab what the author may have been thinking as he/she wrote a poem or literary selection or as an artist painted. Blab politicians' major platform planks during campaigns for current events. Blab the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make an animal blab about his habitat if you set up the blab as a center. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?) Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then blab the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class blabs on your class web page or wiki! Give directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parents' attention for important information.

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Dinosaur Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Kids "dig" dinosaurs, whether they learn about them in science class while studying paleontology and geology or simply include explore dinosaur as a personal favorite topic. Dinosaurs...more
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Kids "dig" dinosaurs, whether they learn about them in science class while studying paleontology and geology or simply include explore dinosaur as a personal favorite topic. Dinosaurs are an elementary school perennial, but even high school students enjoy digging into fossils and geologic time. This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst features a wide range of lesson ideas and research sources for students of all ages. Spend some "geologic time" as you try some of the project ideas or simply make this collection available to your dino-maniacs.

tag(s): dinosaurs (57), fossils (44), paleontology (41)

In the Classroom

Use the resources on this site to supplement a unit about paleontology, fossils, or dinosaurs. The resources listed can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like! This is a great resource for Earth Science teachers.

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Big Huge Thesaurus - Big Huge Labs

Grades
1 to 12
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This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of...more
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This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of the words offered provides the same information for THAT word, sending you on word-paths through the English language. Innocent-looking links at the top of the page also provide hundreds of prompts for blog posts and stories, with enough choices to inspire any writer. Don't let the boring white background and plain-text presentation fool you. This tool has magic powers to make words interesting to almost anyone. The database of words used to generate this thesaurus comes from "the Princeton University WordNet database, the Carnegie Mellon Pronouncing Dictionary, and suggestions from thousands of people on the internet just like you." See a special note to teachers below regarding student behavior!

tag(s): rhymes (33), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324), word study (80), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Keep this link handy among the resources on your class web page or wiki, and be sure to bring it up on your screen or interactive whiteboard to remind students of the rich tools it offers as you teach grammar, revision, poetry, essay-writing, or even letter and resume writing. With primary grades, share the rhyming words to help teach spelling and phonics! As students share in revising a passage or writing a poem on the interactive whiteboard, have this thesaurus available on another window to model their search for just the right word. Encourage students to look up any new vocabulary or terminology at the start of new science or social studies units so they can gain a broader "sense" of the words themselves through a constellation of synonyms and related words. Help students refine vocabulary by having them rank the various synonyms offered for a certain word, deciding which has the most positive or negative connotations. Offer the writing prompts for student journal or blog posts or creative stories. ESL/ELL students can explore new words with this tool, even practicing the rhyming sounds and noticing their varied spellings. 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.

NOTE: If students enter an inappropriate word, they WILL find classroom-inappropriate terms. As with use of any reference, your students need to know your classroom's consequences of such activity. The options are no different from students looking up body parts or pornographic terms in a print dictionary or on Google.

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Magazine Cover Maker - Big Huge Labs

Grades
3 to 12
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you...more
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you do not even need to join the site. Covers you create can be downloaded as completed images or sent via email and other sharing tools (Facebook, etc). Photos can be uploaded from your files, Flickr, your website, or other photosharing sites. Fill in your desired text for the titles and sub-titles and choose colors for them. It's that simple. Click 'Create' at the bottom and you have a magazine cover that will leave others in awe. For more creative ideas using Big Huge Labs, go to the top of the page and click on Big Huge Labs Blog or Forum. Big Huge Labs offers MANY similar tools, such as Mapmaker, reviewed here. Of course, this site offers advanced options for a fee or with free registration, but neither is necessary.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), collages (17), flickr (7), images (265)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to locate your photos on your computer or photo sharing site. Click the little white boxes to change text colors, etc. as you enter desired text. SAVE your completed cover when done. Be sure to give it a meaningful name if you are creating several covers on the same computer!

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. If you and your students simply use the tool without joining the site, there are no problems with email, profiles, etc. You do need to demonstrate the tool and specifically explain which links students should NOT use, including ads and links to social networking sites that are prohibited in your school. These may be blocked, anyway. Make sure you watch and teach copyright issues in snatching photos from the web.

Have students create magazine covers of themselves as a getting to know you activity and classroom bulletin board. Print and laminate magazine covers to make them appear even more authentic. Or share the images (WITHOUT student names) on your class wiki or web page. When doing reports for any subject, have students create magazine covers that mimic the real thing instead of boring plain covers. Make covers about famous Americans, scientists, or historic figures. Make covers about objects, as well. Assign students to research a vegetable and create a cover about its nutrients, recipes, and more as part of your nutrition unit! Guidance teachers or principals can feature exemplary students using this tool. Bulletin board creativity will skyrocket using Big Huge Labs Magazine Cover. Why not offer a rotating PowerPoint slide show of student-made magazine covers for parents to view as they wait in the hallway for conferences?

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Make a Flake - Barkley

Grades
K to 8
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This creative website allows you to create a personalized snowflake (perfect for winter). It is the virtual version of construction paper and safety scissors snowflakes minus all the...more
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This creative website allows you to create a personalized snowflake (perfect for winter). It is the virtual version of construction paper and safety scissors snowflakes minus all the mess. Some visual and mechanical dexterity is still necessary, but not nearly as much as complex paper snowflakes require.

tag(s): snow (21), symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

This site would work well in an elementary art class as a winter project or when teaching about the seasons in primary grades. All of the saved snowflakes are assigned an ID number. The flakes can be downloaded as jpeg files, EPS files (to be manipulated in your own graphics programs), or emailed to you. Use downloaded images to create a winter "big book" along with winter poems by your young students. Use this site in upper grades in both graphic design classes as part of a winter webpage project or in a geometry lesson on angles or reflections. The website could be previewed on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Then students can create their own on laptops or in the computer lab. What an entertaining way to teach symmetry to younger students!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Break It Down! - Science Net Links

Grades
4 to 8
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Break It Down is a simple game showing a machine working as a system, including elements of simple machines. It is a fairly easy game to master. Read the instructions ...more
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Break It Down is a simple game showing a machine working as a system, including elements of simple machines. It is a fairly easy game to master. Read the instructions provided. You may want to turn down the volume if multiple computers are using this game at once or just to save your sanity.

tag(s): machines (30), simple machines (36)

In the Classroom

Introduce this challenge on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students could use this activity as practice or enrichment during science computer labs or when assigned work is complete. Challenge individual students (or pairs) to see who can complete the activity (successfully) in the shortest amount of time. Ask student groups to write an explanation of the physics of how the system works once they successfully complete it.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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KitZu - Orange County Department of Education, CA

Grades
3 to 12
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KitZu offers teachers and students a cache of copyright-safe and ready-to use "raw materials" for specific curriculum topics. As the site explains, "For students, this becomes the construction...more
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KitZu offers teachers and students a cache of copyright-safe and ready-to use "raw materials" for specific curriculum topics. As the site explains, "For students, this becomes the construction paper of the 21st century --allowing them to create reports and projects filled with rich, immersive media for communicating their vision of whatever subjects they chose." Developed by the Orange County Department of Education (CA), KitZu offers collections of free media resources revolving around themes. Photos, background music, narratives, video, and text are some of the possible items found in the kits. KitZu invites authentic assessment as measured by the products students produce from using KitZu resources. As students, teachers or organizations build their own resources, new kits can be uploaded (see right side link for contributor information to KitZu). Search for topics by grade level or by subject. Click on the appropriate links on the left side. You will appreciate the fact that downloadable items are copyright-friendly and include all the necessary information to give appropriate credit to the sources (see the pdf file in each zipped folder). The pdf file also includes California standards related to the topic. Offerings are especially rich in science and social studies, but include arts topics and literature/language arts collections. There are even 11 collections for math topics (at the time of this review).

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

At the simplest, you can open image files on your interactive whiteboard to make lessons more visual. Share images, video clips, and more as quick-starts for your lessons on your projector, interactive whiteboard, or speakers. Then share the collections of raw materials with your students as they create projects of their own on an assigned topic or one of several options. For example, have groups research and present their own creative ThingLink, reviewed here, on 18th century authors or historic sites in your state. ThingLink allows users to narrate a picture. You will need to browse or search what is available on Kitzu before making any assignments! Downloads are in zipped format. This means that the file must be saved on your computer (try your desktop for starters), then double clicked to extract, unzip, or unpack. The result is a folder of files -- or kit. Share this folder via your school network or on a USB stick. You can also send more savvy students to download from the site themselves. You might want to demonstrate on a projector or interactive whiteboard so you can include a demo of how they should give credit to their sources.

Some ideas: have students use the materials on a class wiki (learn more about wikis reviewed here), for narrated ThingLink (reviewed here) on a topic or to make Bookemon (reviewed here) interactive books. Anywhere you can use images, sound, and video you can use Kitzu contents as raw material!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visual Blooms - Mike FIsher

Grades
K to 12
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This wiki is all about applying Blooms Taxonomy to learning tasks using web 2.0 tools. If you know you would like to challenge students to APPLY new knowledge, for example ...more
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This wiki is all about applying Blooms Taxonomy to learning tasks using web 2.0 tools. If you know you would like to challenge students to APPLY new knowledge, for example map skills, look at the Applying page for ideas and tools to use. Participate in this wiki project by making comments and suggestions in the Discussion tab. The offerings for each level are far from exhaustive, but that is exactly the point of this teacher-to-teacher wiki: to involve you and your professional judgment, too. Follow the sidebar link to Blooms Rubrics (a separate but related wiki) to find examples (links) of rubrics teachers are using to assess different visual Blooms projects. As you launch into more and more student-centered learning projects and want to be sure you are getting your "bang for your web-buck" in terms of learning and thinking, this resource can get your thinking juices flowing.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your Favorites, and make it a goal to try one of the tools at each level of this visual Blooms taxonomy during this school year. Take advantage of work and experience done by teaching colleagues by viewing rubrics, tool suggestions, and more on this site. Before you try a tool, you can learn more about it by reading a review on TeachersFirst. Search the tool name on our keyword search or browse through our Edge reviews for detailed suggestions about implementing the tool in your classroom safely and within school policies.

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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in Bflat 2.0 - Darren Solomon from Science for Girls

Grades
3 to 12
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Make music a web 2.0 interactive experience using this "mashup" of musical YouTube videos, all in the key of B Flat. If you can access YouTube videos at school, you ...more
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Make music a web 2.0 interactive experience using this "mashup" of musical YouTube videos, all in the key of B Flat. If you can access YouTube videos at school, you will open the eyes and ears of those who never thought they would even care about music. See twenty different "instruments," both traditional and electronic, playing excerpts YOU combine by starting and controlling the volume on your choice of instruments. They sound great together or in any combination you choose. If you click "More info," you will find out FAQ and more about the project and its creator, including how it was done.

tag(s): music theory (42)

In the Classroom

Test this site to be sure you can open it at school. Then turn up your speakers and open this site on a projector or -- even better -- interactive whiteboard to begin a music class, discuss key signatures, pitch, or instrumentation, and allow students to mix and remix their choice of sounds in harmonious blend. In science class, use the various sounds and an oscilloscope to teach about sound waves and the physical nature of sound. Challenge your musically gifted students to create a very simple version of this musical "machine" by recording and embedding videos of their own in a class music and technology wiki. Upload the videos to a school-friendly site such as SchoolTube reviewed here or TeacherTube reviewed here to avoid filtering issues. Set up a simpler face-to-face option by allowing student "conductors" to "turn on and off" multiple instruments and objects in your music classroom all playing the same pitch.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Automotivator - Zach Beane

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own motivational poster easily and effortlessly. Choose a random picture, one from the Internet, or one chosen from your computer. Choose colors to border the picture and...more
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Create your own motivational poster easily and effortlessly. Choose a random picture, one from the Internet, or one chosen from your computer. Choose colors to border the picture and the type of text to be used. Enter your text and preview the result. Once complete, save to Flickr, your computer, or print using a separate site. Remember you can use a saved image in PowerPoint shows and on a class wiki, as well.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160), posters (36)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to browse and upload a file from your computer or find the URL of an image already on the web (one you can legally use, of course!).

Make sure students are aware of copyright laws. Use this site to encourage proper use of photographs that students have the authorization to use. Model including appropriate photo credits on the posters.

Younger students can use this tool together as a whole-class activity or simply enjoy the posters their teacher creates. Have students create a picture about what has been studied with a caption of what has been learned. For example, create posters about predators and prey or classifications of animals. Students can create a poster of a study skill or learning activity that helps them learn. Create a caption that explains how the student learns the best. Every subject area can use this resource to create interesting presentation posters for display or as springboards to talk about what was learned. For example, in Biology, students could create a poster about a cell part with a clever caption about the importance of the job. In Literature or History, students can create posters about the perspectives of others in the story or at that time of history. Rather than a traditional research project. Have cooperative learning groups use this site to show their knowledge in any subject area. Ask students to apply concepts such as constitutional rights by illustrating them in poster images with captions. Teachers can create bulletin board images, as well. Have a classroom motivation poster competition to start off the school year! Share the winners on your class wiki or in a PowerPoint presentation at back to school night/open house. As special occasions approach, have students bring in or take a digital picture they can make into a poster as a family gift with their own inspirational saying.

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Armored Penguin - Armored Penguin

Grades
K to 12
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Create puzzles and other word games using this resource. Puzzle types include Word Search, Crossword, Word Scramble, Bagels (Interactive Logic Game,) and Math worksheets among others....more
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Create puzzles and other word games using this resource. Puzzle types include Word Search, Crossword, Word Scramble, Bagels (Interactive Logic Game,) and Math worksheets among others. There are also quotes, illusions, and more. Creating a log in is not required. Puzzles created remain for two months and can be saved as a pdf file on your computer. Many puzzles are already permanently archived and can be found by looking through the categories. Don't miss many holiday and calendar-event puzzles! Search puzzles of the day to find new and interesting puzzles to use. Printable puzzle versions from this site require Adobe Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): holidays (147), logic (235), puzzles (208), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Need a puzzle to reinforce the words in a particular unit? You may find one already created. If not, it is simple to create and save to your computer or share by URL (remember the online version is saved for two months). Use the "Quotes" page for great quotes of the day, the "Illusions" page for optical illusions, or the "Fresh Words" page to see what words can be made from a word, phrase, or collection of letters. Have cooperative learning groups create their own puzzle pages for a topic that they are researching or learning about in class and use them to challenge their classmates or another section of the course. Have students create puzzles as a cost-free, printable gift for families on special occasions such as Mother's Day.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kids Saving Energy - US Department of Energy

Grades
3 to 8
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Fun and energetic about energy, this site features Tinker Bell's energy saving commercials as just one of the highlights that lower grade students would find enjoyable. The site also...more
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Fun and energetic about energy, this site features Tinker Bell's energy saving commercials as just one of the highlights that lower grade students would find enjoyable. The site also features links to energy lesson plans, games and activities about energy conservation, and basic information about renewable energy resources of biomass, solar, wind, and geothermal energies. One of the more engaging features in the games and activities section of the site is "Roofus'Home." The features are clickable and linked to information about how that feature is energy efficient.

tag(s): conservation (127), energy (197), resources (112)

In the Classroom

In the lower grade levels, this site could be introduced on the interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to energy and renewable resources. Elementary students are sure to be engaged with Tinker Bell! Also, once the students have some exposure to the site, it could be used in a learning station set up where some students are working with the whiteboard to play the energy saving games together.

In the higher grade range, Roofus' Home could be used as a launch for a research project where students investigate the energy efficiency of their own homes. Students could take digital pictures of energy efficient features of their own homes and then create a photo story to explain their findings to their classmates either by posting to a wiki or presenting in class from the interactive whiteboard. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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Watch Know Learn - Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi

Grades
K to 12
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What is Watch Know? Short for "You Watch, You Know," it provides explanations for students. Finding bits of information to help students can be frustrating as resources are disorganized...more
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What is Watch Know? Short for "You Watch, You Know," it provides explanations for students. Finding bits of information to help students can be frustrating as resources are disorganized on the web and may be hard to find." Watch Know" is a free site that organizes small video clips to help with the understanding of a variety of topics in subject areas. Search by age (3-18+). You can click and drag the age filter to the youngest and oldest ages to include. Videos are also organized by sequence of topics taught. The site is an ongoing project with input from educators and organizations interested in education of children. Registration is not required to view the videos. Creating and saving videos to the site, as well as commenting, require registration. You can monitor site recent changes and additions using the "Change Log."

tag(s): computers (94), crafts (40), decimals (133), environment (317), ethics (16), fractions (239), holidays (147), scientific method (64), vocabulary development (126), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Search for videos relevant to your upcoming units or share the link with older students to search on their own. Use clips as engaging openings to units or as a review at the end. Have students identify the main points in the video and relate it back to class information. Students can use the examples on the site to create their own videos about a topic they have studied that could be beneficial to others.

If you do join the site to submit videos (for more adventurous technology users), we recommend uploading, commenting, and participating in the project (the creation and growth of WatchKnow) as a whole-class collaborative activity. If your students create videos, critique them locally before submitting them to the site as the "bests" from your class.

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Exploring the Secret Life of Trees - University of Illinois Extension

Grades
2 to 9
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This animated video explains in detail how an acorn becomes a tree. The audio uses simple terms, however some vocabulary may need further explanation with younger grades. The slides...more
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This animated video explains in detail how an acorn becomes a tree. The audio uses simple terms, however some vocabulary may need further explanation with younger grades. The slides can be advanced or reversed with the buttons provided on the pages. This is a modern version of the old fashioned film strip. The narration is also available in Spanish.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), trees (30)

In the Classroom

This is ideal for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Due to the ability to easily pause the video, students can take notes directly from the whiteboard. Create a guided note sheet to accompany the interactive by capturing the screens into PowerPoint slides or a smart notebook and put blank text boxes over the writing so that students can enter the information as they watch it. This is a great one to save in your favorites for an Earth Day activity! Have student create their own "tree stories" using digital pictures of a tree they know and narrating it on Slidestory, reviewed here.
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The Sun In Motion - Gary Palmer

Grades
2 to 12
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Take your students on a trip to the SUN! Look at the Sun closeup from the safety of your computer screen. Observe phenomena such as solar flares and specula's. Watch ...more
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Take your students on a trip to the SUN! Look at the Sun closeup from the safety of your computer screen. Observe phenomena such as solar flares and specula's. Watch IMAX movie clips of various aspects of the sun and the chemistry behind the giant fireball. Some of the video clips are from YouTube, so you may have trouble accessing them from school.

tag(s): sun (71)

In the Classroom

This site is definitely one for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this in a unit on stars or astronomy. Use in the classroom when discussing various events related to seasons or astronomical events. Use a whiteboard and/or classroom projector to really generate size and awe about the Sun. Students can research characteristics of stars and the differences between the various types. Create multimedia or conventional displays that show size and characteristic comparison among them.
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ScribbleMaps - Scribble Maps

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map ...more
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map with added scribbles and labels. Add your choice of placemarker labels for geology locations, people, etc. There are even little icons available to use. Your drawing or "Scribble Map" is then available to share by URL, email, or print. Slightly more savvy users can download, save as a kml file (readable in Google Maps or Google Earth), or embed the map in another site. The tools include sharing the map on Facebook and Twitter, as well. Add images by pasting in their urls. Drawing tools include lines, circles, place pointers, text labels, and color/size/transparency controls for all tools. Place pointers can be edited by selecting them (arrow tool), then clicking the small pencil. This site does include Google Ads and all the normal controls of Google maps, including satellite, map, terrain, hybrid views and Night Sky. See a sample Scribble Map created by the TeachersFirst editors (drag the map with your mouse!). Explore the tools and MENU options at the top left when you start out. Try the different Maps views (lower right) and zoom controls. Search for a starter location using the search at the top left, just below the tools. There is no help available, but it is easy to do basic maps. Share, save, etc. by clicking Menu (top left). When you first save a map, it will ask you to create a password for that map to use to edit it later. Note that if you SAVE a map and share it by URL, those accessing it will be able to use the tools and change the map. If you want them to see it without changing it, you will need to embed it in a blog, wiki, or other web site. The map ID can be changed and customized by simply typing in your own choice of ID when you are saving the map.
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tag(s): directions (20), geology (81), landforms (45), landmarks (26), map skills (80), maps (288), space (205)

In the Classroom

Students and teachers will want to keep a written record or map URLS and passwords for future reference. Model this for students so they do not lose hours of work! Teachers can prepare partially-made maps or maps for students to make corrections and changes by giving the students the URL, then having them SAVE the map with a NEW ID. To SAVE the map with a new name and URL, click "Save map" in the menu, then enter your OWN map ID. Students could use a code including their initials, such as SJ12-3-09 for a map made by Sally Jones on Dec 3, 2009. Teachers should PASSWORD protect their originals so changes can only be saved under a new name. Similarly, if a student saves the map with a map password, they don't have to worry about other students vandalizing their work. But they DO need to remember the password! Wise teachers will keep a class list of maps and passwords for forgetful students! In primary grades, make maps of your local community together on your interactive whiteboard as you teach basic map skills. Create your own "key" with symbols you choose for playgrounds, etc. Have students help map locations of favorite playgrounds, grandparents' houses, stores, etc. as they gain basic understanding of map skills. Make sure you allow students to operate the tools! Save the map and share it as a link from your class web site (or embed it there). Keep names generic so it is "safe." Other ideas to challenge gifted student beyond the curriculum or elevate challenge for small groups include: natural resource maps, immigration maps, maps of civil war battles day by day, maps of key sites in the life of a famous person, artist, or author, maps of the settings in a novel, landform maps of a continent or state, "My life" maps of places important to an elementary student's family, annotated watershed maps of pollution sources, maps of the water cycle, maps of constellations in the night sky created by students to demonstrate understanding, maps of a dream community to be built in a vacant area (desert), including the water sources, etc. that will be needed, maps of a redesigned city/town on top of its current map. Teachers can provide map challenges or templates to be completed or corrected, including maps where students must label distances and cardinal directions between points (using map scale and skills). Or provide a teacher-created map with labels in the wrong places for students to correct the landforms, resources, etc. What will YOU do with Scribble Maps?
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One minute wonders - BBC

Grades
K to 8
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View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a ...more
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View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a Northern Oriole that can eat 17 caterpillars in a minute, music in the 16th century, or vehicles in the world. Videos are entertaining and sure to capture student attention. After viewing videos, click on quizzes to check understanding.

tag(s): animals (276), engineering (125), inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Use these minute-length videos to introduce a topic on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These would also make a great introduction to writing prompts or blog posts. Consider using these as examples for one minute projects for students to demonstrate understanding for any topic or content area (and make accompanying quizzes for their peers to try). Have cooperative learning groups view videos of their choice and add their findings to your class "One Minute Wonder Wiki." Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. In lower grades, have students plan and act out their own one minute wonder plays to explain something they have learned or simply share the videos as humorous but accurate portrayals of science topics. American students will need to grow accustomed to the British accents.
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WordSearchFun.com - WordSearchFun.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you ...more
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you can't find one, make your OWN ONLINE word search. What a fantastic tool to use and/or create in any subject!

tag(s): photography (160), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Share the relevant word searches on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups practice spelling or vocabulary words by creating their own word search. List this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. This is a great one for those word search lovers in your class. Why not have students use a whole-class account to make their own word searches to challenge each other with new vocabulary and terms?

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