Grades1 to 8
In the ClassroomChoose your subject and use your interactive whiteboard and projector to introduce your students to the topic using a game, or a movie. After students have completed the study of the subject, have them create their own movie to show their understanding of the topic. Use Animaker, reviewed here, for a project like this. During your study of the Middle Ages in Europe (or any other time period) have your students read the short texts at Kids Know It (History Textbook), then divide the students into groups of four or five and divide the topics listed under the Middle Ages. Give one or more topic(s) to each group to research for more in-depth knowledge. As a final assessment have the groups create an Adobe Spark interactive poster, reviewed here, to teach the class about their topic. Have them create videos about an interesting aspect or person from their topic to upload to their interactive poster. Have them choose whether to use Animaker, reviewed here, or Animoto, reviewed here, for the video they will upload to their poster.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomThis is a must for any social studies or US History class. Start by checking out the teachers area so you can follow the progress of your students. Use the demo game on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector to introduce it to your students. Once classes are set up have your students work in cooperative groups and work their way through the activities. There are wonderful teacher resources available including models for instruction, tips, instructions and student handouts. Resources are available in both PDF and Word so you can customize the worksheets for your students. This feature is great for differentiating materials for various student levels. When all students are done have a class discussion about what side they chose and why?
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThe resources on this site are useful for ANY grade level. Each lesson lists how it connects to UK learning standards, which are not unlike those in the U.S. The workshops and videos integrate beautifully with a diverse range of curriculum topics such as: science, poetry, math, history, and much more. Connect a unit about plants and photosynthesis to the collaborative work by Loop.PH. Liven up the process of publishing a writer's workshop book with workshops modeled after bookmaker and illustrator Sarah Dyer or Jane Ray. Take a unit about birds of prey and examine how Sulky Best creates animations of their flight. View the workshop videos on laptops, interactive whiteboard, or a projector before beginning one of ArtisanCam's suggested lessons. These videos are an engaging way to give directions and provide wonderful overview of the activity. Each lesson includes clear systematic directions and suggests practical guidelines for teachers to follow. Share this link on the class website for enrichment or even a fun homework assignment. Teachers of gifted can find inspiration for many extension activities from this site.
Some of the activities ask the students to enter their name, age, and town before submitting them to their online gallery. Be sure not to include any identifiable information that outsiders could trace to an individual students. Consider asking students to leave these fields blank or assign initials and logical pseudonyms (Ex. MsGper2-12, MsGper2-13, etc.) for their user names. Of course, you will want check school policies and get written parent permission before submitting student work. Spell out both permissible use and consequences before you send students to this site.
Grades1 to 6
In the ClassroomIntroduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then allow students to explore on their own. Share a link to the site on your class website or blog for students to practice at home. Practice with the flashcards as an alternative to traditional hand-held cards. Use this fabulous practice site in your math and social studies lessons.
GradesK to 12
As an FYI, TeachersFirst/The Source for Learning is a partner in the Global Education Conference effort -- another free, non-profit effort to support teachers and students using technology effectively for THINKING and learning.
tag(s): cross cultural understanding (122)
In the ClassroomMark this one in your favorites to use for inspiration and connection as you plan upcoming units. You can join for free -- requires email. Just click "Sign up" in the upper right. Then tiptoe in or take a plunge. If you have been looking for ways to connect your classroom with others across the country or around the world, this is a great place to start. If you have never participated in a Ning, just click on the various headings to find your way around.
Grades4 to 8
Every year, people across the country pause on April 15 to celebrate the historic event that marks the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball in 1947. Use this educational program to bring the significance of Jackie Robinson's legacy to your classrooms. Although Breaking Barriers centers around an essay contest, you may choose to simply use the ideas to offer and assist your students in learning opportunities to teach them values that will enable them to face their own barriers and express themselves in written form. There are lessons, printables, book lists, and more that align with language arts, math, and social studies national standards.
tag(s): civil rights (121)
In the ClassroomShare the video of Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Listen to her personal story of her famous baseball player Dad's courage, determination, integrity, and persistence to break the color barrier on and off the playing field. Use an online tool like bubble.us reviewed here to engage students in whole class brainstorming of some of the real life barriers that students face today, and then lead into a journal writing activity for students to think about how to use Jackie Robinson's values to face and overcome barriers in their own lives. Whether you are celebrating the anniversary of Jackie Robinson Day, Black History month, a unit on courage and heroes, or introducing these concepts anytime during the year, the downloadable and whiteboard ready materials will increase the richness of your class discussions and broaden students' understanding of how to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): inventors and inventions (93)
In the ClassroomFind information for science and technology reports on this site. Allow students to view the dates of many of the inventions to determine what scientific principle was just known to push technological thinking. Create a timeline of inventions to determine the impact of science, economy, and society on inventions. Use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here. Choose an invention and research other forms of that model, alternatives before and after, and what we are using today. Discuss environmental impacts, how the invention changed society, and other impacts.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUsers must have a Flickr account and be able to navigate the authorizing of flickr as well as choosing an album to publish. Be sure to create titles in Flickr since these are imported as well.
Be sure to check district policy about creating student accounts and publishing student pictures and/or other material before using this tool. Note that by choosing Public in creating the magazine, the magazine is viewable online. Check your District policy. When browsing existing magazines, note that these may not be monitored and check for possible classroom-inappropriate material (though none was detected at the time of the review.) Consider creating a class Flickr account for students to upload class and group pictures.
Use a class Flickr account to keep track of day to day happenings in the classroom (especially for younger grades). Create albums of specific events such as field trips, service projects, hands-on activities, field experiences such as watershed studies, and more. Uploaded photos can easily be manipulated into an online album. Art and photography classes can use the magazine format as a portfolio. Create a magazine of photos that portray different history and social topics, set the scenes for novels or stories, or explain a specific science concept. Anywhere photos can be used to showcase achievement or explain a concept, this service would be a great resource. Special ed teachers, speech teachers, or world language teachers can collect images into "magazines" for students to practice/develop speech and vocabulary.
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
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents have become "copy and paste" fanatics, but do they know the answer to, "If the material is on the Internet can I use it?" Even though they might not see a copyright notice on a website, that doesn't mean they're free to copy whatever they see or hear. Project these no-nonsense, impressionable videos on your classroom whiteboard or projector to set the tone for expectations when doing research and other projects, or use the printable versions, (these may be more adaptable and appropriate for older students), to emphasize your position on plagerism. Be sure to provide this link on your class website.
You may want to take it full circle by having the class compose and submit a song, poem, or other work to the Library of Congress to register a copyright. Be aware that there is a fee to submit the application, so you might want to consider doing a whole class project to send as one registration.
GradesK to 12
Be aware: this site also includes some items for sale. You may want to advise students to steer clear of these links.
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site by sharing photos or videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this site on a list of hotlinks for students to access when researching the Rainforest, climate change, sustainability, or carbon footprints. Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers for students to view rainforest maps, ask questions, or read magazine articles. Ask students to visit the site and create an interactive multimedia presentation from the information they learn there using Sway, reviewed here. Register your school with Cool Earth and take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources they offer. The ultimate experience would be to personalize student learning and sponsor a tree or organize a fundraiser to purchase an acre of land. Ask students to research their tree, or the biome biodiversity characteristic of their acre. Include a link to this site on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): flickr (7)
In the ClassroomTag Galaxy offers an engaging way to introduce new concepts or informally assess prior knowledge in science or social studies on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Search key terms such as "leaf" or "kids" and then narrow that search using additional tags. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Ask students to annotate an image using a tool such as Fine Tuna, (reviewed here). Compare and contrast the tags for two photographs. What traits do they share and determine what tags differentiate them from one another. Compare the traits using a site such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Once they understand how tags work, challenge students to generate a list of tags for a species image or location image (a digital picture they have taken or found online), using concepts and terms they have studied.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Students can use this when researching alone or in groups, sharing files, videos, and pictures quickly from one computer to another. Have students write tasks for each member of the group on a sticky so that everyone has a responsibility. Show them how to copy/paste URLs for sources onto notes, too. Use Lino as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Use a Lino for students to submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on. Use it as a virtual graffiti wall for students to make connections between their world and curriculum content, such as "I wonder what the hall monitor would say finding Lady Macbeth washing her hands in the school restroom... and what Lady M would say back." (Of course, you will want to have a PG-13 policy for student comments!) Encourage students to maintain an idea collection lino for ideas and creative inspirations they may not have used yet but do not want to "lose." They can color code and organize ideas later or send the stickies to a new project board later. In writing or art classes, use lino as a virtual writer's journal or design a notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips. In science classes, encourage students to keep a lino board with (classroom appropriate) questions and "aside" thoughts about science concepts being studied and to use these ideas in later projects so their creative ideas are not 'lost" before project time. A lino board can also serve as a final online "display" for students to "show what they know" as the culmination of a research project. Add videos, images, and notes in a carefully arranged display not unlike an electronic bulletin board. This is also a great tool to help you stay "personally" organized. Use this site as a resource to share information with other teachers, parents, or students.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThis site will be great to use with a projector or whiteboard to have a visual time reminder for students. Use the three timers to track science experiments. It is a great way to track intervals. Use the timers for clean up time, students have to be cleaned up by the time the third bell rings. Use for games or group work. Set all the timers to the same time, divide your class into three groups and give them a challenge problem. See who finishes in the fastest time. If you often use the same times, set the timers and add the page to your favorites. Now you have timers set up ready to go. Your students will probably have some creative ideas for using the timers, as well. Primary grade teachers introducing concepts of time and clocks can challenge students operate the timers themselves as a center, maybe timing how long it takes to tie a shoe or read a page, then reading the timer or writing the words for the time.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the resources from this web site to plan and implement lessons that students will relate to, and help to bring an end to harmful name-calling and "dissing." Select some of the many safe Web 2.0 tools reviewed by TeachersFirst Edge, such as Automotivator, reviewed here for designing digital posters that can be printed, or PhotoPeach, reviewed here for creating a digital slideshow that includes music, captions, and more. TeachersFirst also has an entire collection of on line resources to create comic strips, available here to drive home the message that bullying is never a laughing matter.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMark this in your professional favorites for planning and finding webquests. The webquest format has been around for years and can be adapted many ways. Start from this collection and consider designing a webquest "Task" that uses a collaborative, web 2.0 tool such as those reviewed in the TeachersFirst Edge listings. Today's students will love the authentic, creative tasks and collaboration made possible by today's tools. TeachersFirst Edge reviews include ways to use the tools safely and within school policies, for a learning "win-win." You might even want to have student groups design their own webquests for classmates to try as a new twist on "jigsaw" learning.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomKeep this site in mind as a reference for students who are studying Israel, learning Hebrew, or using the Hebrew alphabet. Share the video clip on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use Google's translation tool to learn more about the meaning of Hebrew words while studying Israel, the Holocaust, or Jewish subculture within the U.S. and other countries. Have students create an annotated, narrated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here; with Thinglink, students can use images of words or signage in Hebrew and add explanations, videos, text and more.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to determine the question and possible responses to generate the poll online. Remember to Publish your quiz to be able to share it.
This tool does not show the individual votes of students. Though this tool can be used by students, it may be best used by a teacher. Students using this tool, need an email to register.
Use polls created using Polldaddy on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit, asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why those in class would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to gain knowledge of student understanding and a means of formative assessment. Have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase read involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections or for critical thinking activities dealing with interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students on issues that matter to them.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): digital storytelling (151)
In the ClassroomFind great project ideas from educators who have used Voicethread in the classroom. For example, in Math find great projects about measurement, probability, and problem solving. In Science, view stories about Astronomy. View projects about Ellis Island and the Reconstruction along with other Social Studies examples. Find great projects on these subjects as well as Language Arts, Foreign Language, Information Technology, Professional Development, and Performing Arts. Have a great project using Voicethread? Join the community and submit your as well.
Grades4 to 8
tag(s): money (180)