TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 12, 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
Grades1 to 10
In the ClassroomAside from just fun practice at following instructions, Draw a Stickman would be a great fictional story prompt. Students have the bones of a story and can fill in details, vivid verbs, adjectives, etc. to tell the story. This would be a good practice activity with writing sequences of "first, then, and next." Students can elaborate on their hero, the plot of the story, the details, the setting, etc. Students can write a moral for a story to add in the customized ending. These stories would be fun to share as a class...how wide a variety can come from the same basics? Share finished stories with a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can "read" the story. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here. Teach story mapping easily with this activity: On an interactive whiteboard (or projector), students can go through the stick figure story together, labeling the different parts of the story (beginning, problem, climax, resolution, ending). This interactive can help students identify story elements, including setting, characters and plot. This site would also be perfect for ESL/ELL students for practice in reading and following directions or for speech/language students to practice retelling a story from the visual prompts. Another idea: use this activity for verb/vocabulary practice in a world language class.
This will be a great fill-in activity when my students finish their assignments. I can't wait to use it!Beverly, TX, Grades: 6 - 12
Love this! So creative. I know the kids will love it too and I think the learning activities sound very promising too.Jeannie, MI, Grades: 0 - 5
GradesK to 8
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): addition (220), angles (82), area (67), book lists (136), charts and graphs (193), counting (105), division (155), equations (152), estimation (42), fractions (233), geometric shapes (173), matching (23), measurement (169), negative numbers (18), patterns (84), percent (77), perimeter (28), place value (55), ratios (67), rounding (16), sequences (15), subtraction (182), time (137)
In the ClassroomBookmark and use this site as a resource to find literature to include with math lessons. Provide a link to this link on your classroom website for parents to use at home to find literature connection to math concepts! If you like the idea of connecting math and independent reading, TeachersFirst also offers a CurriConnects list for "Math in Use."
GradesK to 12
tag(s): architecture (79), cooking (35), creativity (114), DAT device agnostic tool (172), fashion (9), guided reading (42), nutrition (167), organizational skills (106), professional development (264), social media (43), social networking (91)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for finding printables and other items for classroom use. Create your own pinboards for organizing classroom resources found on the web. Create pinboards for students to view and/or add to as a whole class activity, such as "things that use energy," food groups, or groups of items for primary level vocabulary/practice (clothing items, farm animals, clock faces for telling time, etc.). Maybe even create "which one does not belong?" pinboards for PreK and early grades to view and change on an interactive whiteboard and repeat at home. In higher grades, make pinboards for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. Share your pinboards with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Challenge your older students to create their own pinboards as a research project. Use Pinterest to show their hobbies/passions, wise quotes, recipes that fit a specific theme, art/lyrics, or a travel Itinerary. Follow other teachers using Pinterest to see items that they are adding and using in their classrooms. Add TeachersFirst to your pinboards! Note: Take a screenshot of something you find to upload to Pinterest!
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
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades5 to 10
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): area (67), decimals (127), enrichment (12), exponents (45), factors (38), fractions (233), integers (39), multiplication (206), percent (77), polynomials (28), prime numbers (31), ratios (67), square roots (20)
In the ClassroomTry integrating these activities into (or as an alternative for) traditional math practice. The beauty of this type of practice is that students receive immediate feedback, before they have already started to internalize the wrong procedure and in time to learn the correct methods. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard as one of several learning stations or practice options. If individual computers are available, allow students time to explore and log their progress against an individual math nemesis. Provide this link on your class webpage for students to access both in and out of class.
Grades9 to 12
Videos can be shared through email, embedded, or linked with the URL by copying and pasting it to your own blog or website. Video content is categorized into business, environment, politics, science, technology, and culture. Each category has numerous sub-categories available. Please preview anything before you share it with your students. At the time of this review there was a subcategory "Sex" which may not be appropriate for most classrooms. But always preview! Teachers may want to share ONLY specific video links.
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): business (54), cultures (116), elections (73), energy (201), environment (296), evolution (106), genetics (89), investing (7), news (260), politics (106), psychology (66), religions (68), sexuality (16), stock market (11), sustainability (16), video (273)
In the ClassroomSearch to find videos relevant to the subjects that you are teaching. Videos are thought provoking and suggest different viewpoints. Once you select a video, show it as an inepth look into a topic you are already studying. Share the video and start a class discussion about the viewpoints of the video and the students' own viewpoints. From here, students could write a position paper from their own side or do further research for a class debate. Challenge your students to create their own video about topics being discussed/learned in class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site when you are teaching budgeting or learning about poverty in America. Business classes or courses on "life in the real world" will benefit from trying the entire simulation. Challenge students to work this site individually and keep notes of the choices/consequences they discovered on their path. Have them write blog entries based on their experiences. If individual computers aren't available, share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create online "how to" books on surviving the challenges learned about on the website using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Great game! The students at our alternative school LOVED it!Nonya, NC, Grades: 9 - 12
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomA must for any art classroom, Smarthistory adds an extra dimension and deeper understanding to any history, social studies, or cultural studies classroom. Use in writing workshops to provide insights to art and culture and to into thoughts and feelings. Study written works alongside the art of past time periods. Tempt students into the amazing world of art history by watching the new videos. Bring unlimited, world-class resources to each class. All of the videos are easily adaptable to an interactive whiteboard or projector. Debate clubs can study techniques and develop their own styles of debate. Gifted classes will devour this website. Provide this link on your class website to offer students extra challenge and exploration.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomRead about positive behavior interventions and use this site as a resource for implementing the practices that you are comfortable with. If nothing else, try some of the "100 free ways to reward children." These simple ideas can mean a lot to your students. Check out the list of Character Education books. Educate yourself using some of the special education information available here. Be sure to share useful ideas with parents by sharing this link on you class web page or i newsletters. You may want to suggest specific ideas to individual parents at conferences.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate a QR code for your class site or blog and include it on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students, making a webquest more engaging. Add QR codes to documents for students to check their answers to questions. Expand knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that expands upon what is in the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student. Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, student's reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Place the links in a newsletter using QR codes instead of a series of words that need to be typed.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce a class novel, a unit in the 20th century, the Great Depression, or WWII by having the class listen to music from that time period. You can also couple this site with the Old Radio World site, reviewed here, to help students get an overview of what life and entertainment was like.
Challenge students to create an interactive timeline of artists during a specific musical era. First, show them how to embed media transforming their findings and then challenge them to use a site such as Timeline JS, reviewed here. Timeline JS offers the option to upload and add photos, videos, audio, Tweets, and Google Maps making it interactive.
Have your students create an online "scrapbook" of a specific composer using Smilebox, (reviewed here.) Throw out the tests and have students demonstrate what they have learned by creating a scrapbook full of information!