TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 29, 2011
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
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomA whole class twitter account can follow favorite authors and authors' read through of class novels. The class can direct message them with questions about the book: how they came to write the story, are the characters based on anyone the author knows, and any other ideas your students might come up with. In literature circles a different member of the group each week can Twitter the author of the book as part of the "author analyzer" job. Learn more about Twitter and find many more ways to use it from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers.
Grades2 to 5
In the ClassroomThis is a perfect activity for students to use to practice their typing skills. Put this site on your classroom webpage so students can practice at home. Place on classroom computers and have students use after they finish classwork or use as a center for small groups of students. Students will especially like that the games are similar to classic video games like Pacman and Tetris.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): writing (366)
In the ClassroomHave a contest and challenge your students to submit the best 6-word story after finishing a novel, play, or poem. Try creating some together on interactive whiteboard, brainstorming first to generate possible words from which to choose, then dragging to rearrange them into a meaningful story. Make a six word story "sidebar" at the side of your class where students can work together with a partner on the IWB to generate new stories as summaries for an act of a Shakespeare play or in response to a sonnet. In a journalism class, try this for a twist on headline writing. Introduce poetry writing by having your students try their hand at expressing an emotional experience in just 6 words. ESL/ELL students often create unusual combinations in writing; why not have them display their creativity here in an acceptable form? Share this site with world language teachers also.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): flash cards (45)
In the ClassroomJoining as a teacher you will get all the perks for free. You can create your own personalized lists and focus only on words your class needs to work on.
Change the way students learn and study vocabulary by giving it to them the way they want it with interactive flashcards and self assessment quizzes. Demonstrate with the whole class on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and use it that way periodically whenever you have a few teachable moments to fill. Embed it on your class web page for students to access frequently.
Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names, all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or use teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials."
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as practice or review of current math topics. Provide a link to games on classroom computers for student practice. Spanish teachers may want students to complete a lesson in Spanish to provide real-world language practice. Share this site with parents through your classroom website or blog to provide review materials at home.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to discuss the actual science being used and various ways it can be interpreted. Brainstorm and research various opinions about climate change and why people hold those beliefs. Search this site for the science associated with these claims. Back up the finding of the science with content for better understanding of the world around us. Have others that still believe in claims not supported by science? Allow them to find actual science processes that back up their claim. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster known as an infographic using Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomIntroduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector and allow students to explore on their own. Allow students to try Paint the Map when working with mean and median or when learning locations of states. This is a fabulous site to correlate math with social studies! Have students work with a partner to try one of the activities. Then have the groups create multimedia presentations to share their activities with the class. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomColor, Vision and Art offers students a unique opportunity to make cross-curricular connections and is a great starting point for individual or group projects. Students interested in Anatomy, Neuroscience, Painting, or Art History, will enjoy exploring this site independently. Each individual chapter comes with a selection of extension tasks from which students can choose. The "Exhibit" tab also offers suggestions for directing class discussions and provides tasks that initiate higher order thinking. Guiding questions about the neurobiological interpretation of color, will simultaneously develop student ability to analyze and interpret color used in art. Have students create a multimedia presentation to report about what they have learned using Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a reproduction of a painting (legally permitted to be reproduced), and include a narration about the artist's use of color. There are also interactive activities to demonstrate aspects of color theory. Project these interactive tools on an interactive whiteboard to the whole class and experiment with simultaneous color contrast, and luminance together. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class, especially when they are designing their own multimedia projects and want to take advantage of color's subtleties.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomAfter presenting the basic info on this site, view the posters under the tab Art of Debt. Discuss and then have students make online posters parallel to the old ones they see displayed here. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet, reviewed here. Have them make their own graphs of funds and debts based on their own finances using ChartGizmo, reviewed here. Use this site when teaching percentages; have students do problems figuring the interest on today's debt. Introduce them to the concept of buying a bond today and have them calculate its accrued interest and how many years it will take to gain face value. Have students in a team create modern day videos using a tool like moovly, reviewed here, to advertise and sell savings bonds. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 5
In the ClassroomLearn about the importance of protecting passwords and maintaining privacy settings. Follow the 12 missions to be cyber-smart. Create a password or mission guide for students to complete to show what they have learned. Discuss other issues with technology to provide more learning experiences for students. Challenge groups to create a multimedia presentation about one of the missions they complete or create a word cloud highlighting key terms using a site such as wordle reviewed here.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomUse on the interactive whiteboard or projector when introducing estimation. The pull downs on the activity give a choice for estimations to be "close," "really close," and "almost perfect." Use these for opportunities to discuss when the different choices would be appropriate for estimating. During a unit on estimation, provide this link on your class website for students to access for practice in and out of the classroom.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse as a refresher for yourself and colleagues to stay abreast of new understandings in Biology. Use to reinforce material or introduce a topic in your Biology class. For example, use the video on Stem Cells to understand what they are all about and dispel some of the most common myths. Allow time to view the material, outline the major points, and create a statement in the form of a blog post to demonstrate what they have learned and perhaps discuss some ethical issues as well. Challenge students to create their own videos on a topic being learned in your science class. Share the videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to initiate cross-curricula ELA/Social Studies projects that utilize technology to provide opportunities for group collaboration and exploration as well as individual learning that connect students to the world beyond their personal locations. Provide a link from your class wiki or webpage for easy access to the interactive timeline, the story of Miep Gies, and the interview with Hanneli Pick-Goslar, one of Anne's childhood friends. Assign students one or more of the many suggested extension activities. Perhaps create a bulletin board display or ask students to interview their grandparents and other family members and then each develop a time line that shows what their families were doing during the years 1941-1945, and share their histories, or compare and contrast life then and now. Challenge students to create interactive online timelines to share with the class using a site such as Timetoast reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): safety (89)