Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomCheck your school policies for allowing students to use social networks. This site is good practice for students using their English to follow directions to set up their profile as well as writing brief notes in English to communicate with their new "friends" on Talk and Learn. This may be a good site to provide to ESL/ELL families via your class website.
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)
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomWorld history, and world culture teachers could use this video by putting in a city and country where you know there are historical buildings from the time period you are studying. Science and math teachers could put in cities and countries for the origins of famous scientists or mathematicians or locations of major environmental events. And, of course, world language and geography teachers can input any city and country you are studying.
Any student, but especially ESL/ELL students, will discover forgotten memories after putting in an address and watching the film. Students who have always lived in the same home may want to put in the address of a favorite relative or vacation spot. At the end there is a prompt to write a postcard; however, it cannot be mailed to anyone in particular. So, have students jot memories ignited by the video on paper or in an open word processing document. Have them use one of the memories as a prompt for a memoir. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!
During Poetry Month or a poetry unit, talk about the song lyrics as poetry, then have students write their own poems and read them along with their personal location video (with sound muted). Make poetry a personal performance piece!
Have you ever wanted to show your students the setting of a novel you are reading as a class? Imagine using the setting for Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet and putting in the street, city, and zipcode for Hyde Park and the University of Chicago. Powerful! At the end of the book there is a chase scene, and the students will really be able to visualize this section of the book. You might want to show the setting at the beginning and ask the students to write about why the person is running. After reading the novel, students could select different music to fit their impression of the book. Just mute the music in the video and allow their selection to play. Have students explain why they felt their choice fit that part of the novel better. Have students do this and vote on the musical selection they think fits best by using a tool such as Thinkmeter reviewed here.
This video could also be used as a prompt for a creative writing. Ask the students to listen carefully to the words in the music and connect the runner with the words, and explain why the figure is running? What might the figure be running from? Toward? Or, students could create a poem for the video, and even put the poem to music, or use the music from a favorite song for their poem. This site invites creativity and multimedia responses.
Grades2 to 12
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In the ClassroomThis site offers multiple levels and themes, so it is easy to differentiate for ability levels and interests within your class. Peruse the many printable pages available and determine which are useful for your students. Provide this URL on your class website for students to access (for practice) at home.
Grades2 to 12
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In the ClassroomMark this site on your classroom computer for ELL/ESL students who wish to work on their English during their free time. Share this link on your class website for students to access (and practice) at home.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool to offer differentiated resources for the different reading levels in your class. At the beginning of the year, as you learn your students' capabilities, use this tool to find reading at the appropriate level to eliminate frustration. This is perfect for finding the "just right" level for your highly advanced/gifted students and those needing extra remediation. If you do discover that a website you want to use is over your students' independent reading level, you can still use it, just open Lingro reviewed here first; then enter the URL you want them to read. Lingro is a study aid and open content dictionary that makes all of the words (on a particular website) clickable for definitions and translation. Of course, if the sentence length or complexity is at a much higher reading level, simple word definitions will not make it "readable" for struggling readers.
Why not have students put in the URL for their blog or wiki (or simply paste in a writing sample) to see the level at which they are writing? This is one way to encourage writing as a craft and challenge students to include more varied vocabulary and sentence structure in their writing.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a learning center or station for students who finish their work early. Be sure to mark the site on classroom computers, making it easier for students to navigate there. Or, if you have access to multiple classroom computers, you may want to start your language arts lessons with five to ten minutes of work on Vocabulary.com. Once students have learned this program they can be totally independent. This is one to list on your class website for students/parents to access at home for additional practice.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomTildee could become a very powerful tool in your classroom. Have students use it to demonstrate what they understand about any concept you teach. Tildee would be the ultimate in "show your work" to explain how students came to a conclusion. Students could use Tildee for persuasive speeches, or speech and debate by uploading facts, videos, and images to prove their point during their speeches. They can also use it to write sequenced directions. Students in history, math, science, art or music classes could showcase their knowledge by creating a tutorial about any topic: how an animal became endangered and the steps to reverse this, the major events that led up to the Civil Rights Movement, or the Holocaust, how to reduce a fraction, the cycle of a cell, or anything else you feel would be worthy of assessment. Physical Education teachers could create tutorials for any move for any sport or exercise, i.e. how to do a proper sit-up or push-up. Teachers can use this site to create tutorials for absentees and/or review and post the URL on your webpage.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): alphabet (91), careers (132), dance (27), data (148), decimals (133), diseases (66), human body (121), mark twain (10), multimedia (59), music theory (40), percent (82), probability (130), problem solving (272), psychology (64)
In the ClassroomFind more details and teacher information under "Customization for States and District" to align the offerings here with your state's standards. Check this site for an introduction to a curriculum topic or unit or when looking for support activities to reinforce concepts. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Share the interactives as a learning center or on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is one that you want to save in your favorites.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse these activities with ESL/ELL students or special ed students to reinforce concepts visually and with sounds. Let students experience practical life skills such as how to use an ATM machine using the interactive. Share the many interactives and/or video clips on your interactive whiteboard or in a learning center. A printable AIDS workbook would be helpful for older students in health classes. This is a great site to link on your class website for students (and families) to check out at home. Middle school Family and Consumer science classes will find many of the topics fit right into the curriculum.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomThis free organizational tool can be used in classrooms at every level. Teachers can use this tool to help organize learning units and share the orgnanization on screen so students see how pieces fit together. Share the unit map with other teachers, students, or parents, to highlight goals, objectives, learning tasks, assessments, and resources. Share before your unit and expectations become very clear. Use as a yearly overview for parents showing units with resources at the beginning of the year at Open House. Let parents see the multiple ways their child will be assessed through the year. Students can use this tool for direction in problem based learning situations. Use this tool in science for collecting data, experiments, or science fair outlines. Use the tool in writing class to make writing guides for narrative or expository writing. In reading, use for predictions, sequencing of stories, inferences, or organizing genres of books each student has read. Have students map multiple ways to solve a single problem in math class. Have students keep daily requirements or schedules with readily available resources as links. Let students enjoy taking notes from content based classes. Have a student scribe create the notes each day and share with the class. Have student groups map the current unit before the test as a review activity.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): africa (180), area (67), atoms (56), bill of rights (28), branches of government (48), cells (102), civil war (145), constitution (79), elements (36), equations (157), exponents (42), factoring (31), factors (42), functions (70), inquiry (37), integers (41), matter (58), nutrition (153), oceans (149), order of operations (33), quadratics (32), rainforests (14), ratios (53), songs (53), sound (100), volume (44), water (130), world war 2 (142)
In the ClassroomPlay songs related to math, social studies, or science concepts in class to supplement current lessons. Download and play the tunes on iPods or mp3 players in a listening corner. Have younger students sing along with the songs (reading the lyrics). ESL/ELL students will benefit from such an alternate presentation of concepts, as will any who have strong musical/rhythmic intelligence. Give students copies of song lyrics, and have them create their own songs. After listening to a song, have students create their own song relating to current classroom topics. Suggest some familiar tunes so students do not have to start from scratch. Create a video of the songs and share using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomChallenge your students to use both homonyms in a meaningful sentence. Each word's meaning should be obvious in the context of the sentence. Then give the students a fill in the blank test on the words where they have to choose the correct spelling of the word. Challenge students to put some of the more difficult words/homonyms on a poster using Automotivator reviewed here. For a creative challenge, have students create simple animations distinguishing the homonyms using one of the animation tools from the TeachersFirst Edge. Award Homonym Oscars for the best animations.
Grades1 to 12
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In the ClassroomBring Natural Reader into your language arts classroom to help all students edit written work. Bring an extra helper into your class to pronounce difficult words. This program allows students with decoding difficulties to focus on comprehension on all texts. Natural Reader offers repeated readings to improve fluency, comprehension, and confidence. Add an extra learning dimension to any textbook or written notes. Honor the auditory learners with their natural style. Learning support, ESL/ELL, dyslexic, or ADHD learners have shown marked improvement. Writing classes can benefit by having individuals, copy and paste into the text box to help edit and proofread. Add extra reinforcement with directions by recording and being available for playing multiple times. Be sure to include this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this map when studying map reading and graphs. Talk about what geographic, climate, or economic factors may influence "well being" in a certain location. Have students create a simple online posters comparing two areas using PicLits (reviewed here. Or use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare two areas. Incorporate information from this map when doing state projects. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. This site is very accessible for ESL/ELL and learning support students since there is little reading.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to introduce comparisons to your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. After demonstrating how to use the site, create a link on classroom computers for students to make their own comparisons to be printed and shared. Divide students into 3 groups - one for each type of comparison essay - and have them create comparisons for their type, then share and compare with other students. Have students create "talking pictures" to illustrate the different types of comparisons using Fotobabble reviewed here. Use this site with gifted students as a way for them to explore subjects more deeply than discussed in class. Use this site with ESL/ELL students to help organize information easily and as a visual representation of class material.
Grades1 to 5
In the ClassroomShare the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Build oral reading expression with these examples, as well. Following this model, have your students select a favorite story or poem. After they make original pictures and/or graphics to go with the stories, have them record themselves reading the story page by page. Have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here. Another options, have groups create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Share the Bookemon books or videos on your class website. (Be sure to get parent permission.) Share the Highlights site on your class webpage for families to read together.
GradesK to 12
Highlights from the youngest level (ages 5-9) include Reading for Information, Sorting Shapes, Sorting Information, Kim's Game, Writing About Different Things, and others. The middle level (ages 10-14) includes Time Management, Exam Preparation, Note Taking, Revision, Memory Tips, Mindmaps, Pictograms, and others. The older students (ages 15-18) delve into topics such as Summarizing, Essay Writing, Learning Styles, Referencing, Learning from Lectures, and several others.
For professional purposes, there are also links (some PDF files) to research about the importance of teaching study skills. This site makes it easy and fun to teach these life skills! This site was creating in the United Kingdom, so you may notice a few spelling and pronunciation differences from American English.
In the ClassroomThis is one of those rare sites that should be saved in ALL teachers' favorites. Be sure to list this link on your class website.
Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to navigate the age appropriate activities at the site. Why not highlight a different area each month or unit of study so you have material with which to apply it (Do, Get, Remember, or Understand). During month/unit one introduce study skills using the Do link and resources. Then further investigate subsequent study skills each month/unit using the other main topics : Get, Remember, and Understand. Have students try out some of their "new skills" before the unit test. Be sure to ask them afterwards why they were successful (or not) in applying the new study approach. Maybe even add a question about the latest study skill at the end of every test.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomStart your year off right! Set up an account using WeeBehave. Special education teachers can set up weekly progress monitoring using this website. This could be invaluable to a life skills, autistic support, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students on their roster. Have regular education teachers with these students set up accounts, complete weekly data, and then print or take a snap shot of the week's chart and email it to the teacher in charge of tracking the student's data. Or have students who are struggling with following the rules set up charts to evaluate themselves, comparing their ratings with the teacher's charts. This would allow for a quality discussion about differences between what students think of their behavior and how others see it. Please keep in mind if planning to share charts with anyone other than yourself (teacher) and the student's parents, you should use codes or fictitious names to protect student identity. Assign a code that has no relationship to the child or student ID.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you have an entire class of non-readers, make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support (or ESL/ELL) students. Use the materials on this site for extra support for those learning to read.
Grades1 to 8
Use the site map to find hundreds of book trailers listed by the publishing year and title, or grouped by grade level. This site is frequently updated, so check back often!
In the ClassroomUse your projector and interactive whiteboard to demonstrate to students how to use the reference part of this site before starting individual or group projects.
Use the author portion of this site to have students look for new books to read, or to complete a project on author studies.
This site is excellent for enrichment. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. Include it on your classroom computers for students to access in class. Ask students to use and review various parts of this site.