TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 29, 2012
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
GradesK to 4
In the ClassroomThis site would be perfect for the 100th day of school activities! Use in a computer center and have students group the snowballs into different size groups and count how many are in each pile. Have students create a scene using the 100 snowballs then write a poem about their creation.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): charts and graphs (197)
In the ClassroomThis site is great for classroom work or teacher-created mapping. You will want to play with this tool before using it in class, but it is very simple to use. Use with any numerical data that is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science lab, survey, or math class, and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. In reading class, practice reading charts/graphs that accompany informational texts using the various examples here. Use for quick creation and sharing of graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) when introducing the different types to elementary students, then embed your examples on a class web page for students to revisit. Have students operate the board so their peers can see how the tool works and give each other oral directions as they problem solve together. Then make the iChart site a small group center during math class for further practice on a computer or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites for quick retrieval any time students need to make a quick chart. For student practice, have them chart time spent on homework or hobbies, choice of favorite pet, etc. Reinforce good study habits in middle school by having students make charts of their average grades or time spent on independent reading.
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 resource in an anatomy/physiology, biology, or health class. Use as a resource to understand structure and function as well as common health ailments and their effects. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide this link on your website for students to use who are studying human body systems. Assign a different "system" to each student (or cooperative learning group). Challenge students to create multimedia presentations on their system using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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.
Grades7 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomFor your language arts class, obooko contains many examples of contemporary writing. Selections for critiquing and editing are readily available without hurting any class member's feelings. Look at examples for current ideas and places to begin brainstorming. Included are free templates for different types of writing. Have each member of your class become a published author! Use the titles as writing prompts or read only half of the story and have students finish it in their own way. Bring each student's story into the lives of many. Assign critiques using obooko. You might even create a school or class obooko literary magazine during poetry month.
Library/media specialists may want to select certain ebooks to load on school iTouches for students to read and review. Start an obooko reading club with these free options.
If you are uncomfortable sharing here or school policy prohibits it, have your classes create a similar website (wiki) with published pieces from your school or class. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
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)
Products can be shared by URL