TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 19, 2010
Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): writing (281)
In the ClassroomUsing photos as prompts is good for the students who have writers block, are having problems visualizing what they want to convey in words, or for young writers just starting out. Giving students a photo helps them to form a story and makes their ideas more concrete. Use your projector or interactive whiteboard to project one of the photographs and have students envision the photo as a video that has been put on pause. Ask students to come up with ideas for what happened in the video before it was paused, and what will happen once the video is on "play" again. Have students annotate the picture with the ideas the class comes up with using FotoFlexor, reviewed here, and then let them get started writing their story to go with the photo. You could do several of these and make a class book of the students' writing. For this you might want to use Book Creator reviewed here, to publish student writing and to give your writers workshop publishing a professional flare.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate a Madlib using Madlibber and share it with your class using your interactive white board and projector to reinforce curriculum topics such as types of plants or famous inventors. Either show the students how to make one about the curriculum topic, or have students operate the board/computer while others suggest words to fill in the blanks in one you have prepared. Madlibs can be used in so may ways: teaching parts of speech, reviewing for a quiz, introducing a new subject, or even as a "Cloze" reading story. Use this site as a station on one of the computers in your class. Put the direct web address (URL) for your Madlibber on your class web page, since some of the public Madlibbers may not be appropriate for your students. Give extra credit to those who work outside school to create classroom-appropriate madlibbers for others to use as review (and share the direct links on your class web page).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents are "listening" to something all the time; usually is plugged into their ears through earbuds. But as skilled as they are at multitasking, can they listen to a first person account of an important historical event? Can they listen to a scholarly lecture? Might they prefer to listen to a book rather than read it? This site might help you and your students explore these issues. It's not so much about the individual topics on this site; it's about teaching students new ways to access information effectively. For those students who are not strong readers this site may be a way of recognizing their learning style as equally important.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): pythagorean theorem (22)
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector and have a student navigate a demonstration. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Provide this link on your class website for students to access at home. Consider setting up an account to use the site as a formative assessment during geometry units.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): bookmarks (49)
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to set up their free account and manage bookmarklets in their browser toolbar. Be sure to click on the Account tab to set a password or change your username. Be sure to check with your IT Department before adding on to your browser. (Some school computers may be locked down, preventing this capability.) When articles are out of sight, they are often forgotten. Decide where you plan to access articles later (iPhone app, Google Reader) to catch up on the articles you have found interesting. Download your articles in a printable file or export the entire list as a .csv or .html file. Archive your articles and easily retrieve them from the tab along the top.
Safety/security: If students are using Instapaper, plan ahead for classroom use. Be sure that students are aware of appropriate and inappropriate use, even if inappropriate articles are added to the account from home. Make sure that you have district and parent permission. Spell out consequences for inappropriate use. Students must have individual accounts (email required).