TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 26, 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
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThere are several ways you can use this site. For young readers and writers: Select a story from the children's book area. Use your whiteboard or projector and select a story to read with your students. Then as a class, have the students change the ending of the story, or write a sequel. You can then publish this class book on BookRix. Older students can publish their poems, short stories, current event articles, persuasive writing for an issue they are into... for free. Some teachers have their students write novels for National Novel Writing Month, and at BookRix they will be able to publish them. Don't miss the great collection of audio books at TeachersFirst, found here.
Books are tagged, so you can search by keywords. You can also go to the "Books" tab and search by "Popular Categories." Click on the "See all" to find the "Children's Books" category. If your intent is to publish yours or your student's writing, then you will need to know how to navigate the site. You have three choices for the book format: text only, illustrated book, and audio book.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): social networking (83)
In the ClassroomClick on one of the applications to see a great list of alternatives that may meet your needs or those of your students. Offer this site as a means for students to differentiate and express their understanding of the content in different ways. In a technology class, provide time for groups to explore the variety of options and report on ease of use and features for each. Be sure to check whether the sites listed are blocked by any filters in your school first.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomSome of the best data to collect is anything that is a habit: types of drinks students drink at home, hours watching TV/playing games/doing homework, meals/fast food, etc. Use the site to collect data from other students or classes for a Math, Social Studies, or Psychology class. Use Daytum for a Science class by counting animals at a feeder, recycling efforts, amount of paper used in the classroom, days of rain/no rain, etc. Anything that can be counted can be used by Daytum! Be sure to identify students who will be counters and recorders of the data.
Before using Daytum, be sure to follow the directions on the How To page. Be sure to decide the goal first and the data to be collected. Having an idea of the kind of data to be collected as well as how it will be displayed is necessary before using. This tool is best used as a class activity rather than creating individual accounts. Create a class account and use a class computer or computer attached to a projector or whiteboard to collect data as students enter the room. Set up the parameters of the data to be collected (or enlist the help of an ambitious student.)
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomYou might want to do the first investigation as a class using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students help analyze and annotate the information they are learning from the primary sources, using Fiskkit, reviewed here. This way you can also point out different points of view on the topic so students will know to look for this in other investigations. In your blended or flipped classroom, have students complete investigations before beginning any complementary unit. You, your gifted, or more technology inclined students could use these investigations as a model to enhance learning and create inquiries into any unit of study. Use a tool like Webs, reviewed here, a free and easy web maker, to share a project such as this. Have students "become one of the people" in the historical event and put together a web page or online poster using a site such as Webs, reviewed here, portraying that person and justifying their point of view. This could be done in small groups where each student, or partners, portrays a different (or opposing) character in the event and tells the story from their point of view, citing the evidence to justify that point of view.
Grades10 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomShare this site to promote independent reading as a life habit or as a way to facilitate book discussion and book sharing among your mature students. Since the site is intended for the general public, not just for schools, it includes ALL books and open discussions. Be sure to have discussions about safety concerns in an online environment. You might also want to use a whole-class account to be able to monitor activity. Have students initial their own comments. Use the quotes available on this site as writing prompts or daily class starters or encourage students to "collect" their own favorite quotes about writing and other topics. For more visual students, suggest that they create an online multimedia response space for their independent reading using Dotstorming, reviewed here. They can include quotes, images, and responses (and accept comments) to the books they discover via Goodreads.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to learn more about the human body. Allow students time to peruse the site and ask their own questions. Encourage students to ask their own question if they cannot find an answer. Teach critical thinking by searching further into the web for additional information and finding similar/dissenting views. Discuss the validity of information found on these sites. Create prompts that can be used to write blog posts about the various topics. Allow students to choose a topic of interest and create blog posts linking back to the content. Students can comment on each other's posts to learn health and wellness information. Challenge students to research a specific health topic and share their findings using Wakelet, reviewed here, where they can add a cover image, background, and chose the layout they prefer for presenting.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): speeches (17)