TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 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
Grades7 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUse Wunderlist to stay on top of everything you do or even for communicating with parents. Students can use this resource as a way to stay organized in all tasks or to plan intermediate steps of a long-term project. Even disorganized students will love getting organized with the help of technology! Begin by demonstrating how to use Wunderlist on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a whole group activity. In primary grades, use this tool as a class to introduce and reinforce time management. Demonstrate how to use the program to stay on top of long-term assignments or projects. Be sure to include checking off the task when finished. Since membership requires an email account, you probably will not be able to use this with individual student accounts in lower grades. Older students with individual accounts (if permitted by school policy) can keep their school year organized by adding assignments and tasks, uploading work, taking/keeping notes, and sharing their board. As students work on and complete tasks, they can move items from one column to the next. Use Wunderlist as a collaboration tool during group projects to track responsibilities, resources, and progress. Have each group invite you as the teacher so you can monitor group progress and each student's participation. Use the program as a unique way to keep track of homework. Learning support teachers and teachers of gifted-but-disorganized students will want to include this as a tool to meet IEP organizational goals. Add reminders, due dates, reoccurring to dos, or notes to each task.
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)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Requires download/installation of software
Grades7 to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): forensics (26)
In the ClassroomWhether teaching a course that is purely forensic science or seeking a hook to capture student interest in science through the topic of forensics, this resource is extremely useful. Why do all that searching for yourself? Nancy Clark has taken the time and done all the work. Science and language arts teachers can team up together to use this site. Most students love a compelling mystery and the chance to solve it! There is nonfiction reading here that will fit both curricula. The science teacher can answer questions about DNA, fingerprinting, etc., and the language arts teacher can help students with strategies for reading nonfiction. First, try something short like a video clip, and if you like it, dig deeper and incorporate more into your lessons. The lessons here would integrate nicely into biology or chemistry. Looking for more? Try this TeachersFirst Exclusive unit for more science inquiry lessons using forensics.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomAlthough this site is not the most visually exciting, it would still be useful on an interactive whiteboard, particularly when you are discussing a defined time period. Select the relevant Congress, then compare the legislative activity with world events. For example, choose a Congress during wartime, and highlight events related to war or the military. As elections approach, use the timelines to compare the activities of a previous Congress during "election season" to see if there are patterns of Congressional behavior.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomOne of the truisms about analyzing culture is that it is difficult to see the impact of cultural norms and practices from the inside. Students will probably agree that advertising targets boys differently than girls, but they may have serious difficulty considering what impact it has had on them. This site may help them see the subtle messages in advertising, and how those messages constrain or empower them. Project the mashups on an interactive whiteboard and then ask students how the audio changes the message on the video portion. Reverse the two and ask the same question. What does this say about the girls' gender roles? What does this say about boys' gender roles? What does this say about the impact of play on learning adult roles? Have student groups create digital "collections" of examples of gender-targeted ads using a tool such as Evernote (reviewed herehttp://www.teachersfirst.com/single.cfm?id=10550) or turn them into mosaics of ad images using Mosaic Maker (reviewed here). Note: Since students are specifically studying advertising and critiquing the ads, it would not be a copyright violation to add images as part of a media project to illustrate gender targeting.
This is fascinating but somewhat difficult to know how to use. A rich resource. I found the key to making it usable was the list of questions for discussion which are here: http://www.genderremixer.com/curriculum/Sandra, , Grades: 0 - 5
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): earth (224), earthquakes (52), ecology (133), energy (212), environment (322), extinction (4), forests (33), hurricanes (40), landforms (48), maps (294), mountains (17), natural disasters (21), natural resources (57), ozone (8), pollution (66), religions (68), transportation (47), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (65), water (136), wetlands (11)
In the ClassroomExplore one of the subtopics on GeoCube with your class on the interactive whiteboard. Discover different aspects of the world through the subtopics. Use the text as a basis to find another text, either narrative or expository, and compare and contrast the knowledge. You might want to allow students to investigate the different topics on their own at a learning station. Language arts, social studies, and science teachers can use the information found on GeoCube to build background knowledge for students before studying a unit. Introduce a unit on the environment by reading and viewing the videos for waste and pollution, water resources, energy resources, deforestation, species extinction, and climate change. Physical science teachers can use GeoCube as a unique way to introduce volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and conflicts in the earth's systems. These are just a few of the 54 subtopics your will find on GeoCube. ESL/ELL and learning support will all enjoy and benefit from viewing and reading GeoCube.
Use the GeoCube idea for students to present information they research on any science or social studies topic. Adapt it slightly, having students create foldable visual aids using FoldPlay, reviewed here, or interactive video cubes using YouCube, reviewed here. YouCube needs to access YouTube, so may not be accessible at school.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomThis would be a great site to share during your poetry unit as a resource for rhyming words. Create a list of student-generated rhyming words before using this site to discover words missed. Challenge students to use lesser-known words found through the site. Share with your school's music teacher to use when writing songs with students. Have students create rhyming word clouds using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Hang printed word clouds on the classroom walls during poetry units so students see many choices or share them on a class wiki.
Use the text of nursery rhymes to create class interactive books using Bookemon reviewed here, or make student-illustrated "big books" using PowerPoint to create and print. (Copyright is NOT an issue for this public domain text.)
In world language classes, share a translated nursery rhyme each day as a challenge for students to decipher and guess the "real" nursery classic
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomShare these images as inspiration to begin a related curriculum unit or to draw students into the powerful world of scientific discovery. Explore and discuss "What is science?" by viewing these images. Consider taking up close pictures of what your students see when they are looking at their labs in your science class. Include the arts in your science class by asking your arts-oriented students to talk about why the images are artistically appealing as an avenue into the world of science. Challenge students to watch for similar art/science photos-- or perhaps take their own -- and add them to a class art or science wiki page. Invite your art teacher (if you have one) to share these photos in art class, as well.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site to create a "think outside of the box" space in your classroom. Keep the area stocked with materials and activity sheets. Use the area as a place for students to go when they finish up work. Better yet, make design thinking part of your science curriculum by tying in some of these challenges with curriculum topics such as gravity, forces, materials, and more. Set one Friday a month aside as "think outside of the box" day, and use the activities from the site. Send home an activity as extra credit homework and create a museum of student's creations. Make this link available on your class web page for parents to access during school breaks or snow days.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomUse the story section to model how to write a story. Have students create their own environmental stories and submit them to the website. Using an interactive whiteboard, have students play one of many games. Bookmark the site on your classroom computer, and use it as a center during language arts time. Be sure to click Guide for additional classroom activities.
Magic Town is no longer available, as of 5 May 2013 when I looked. There is a new App called My Story World for ipad.Donna, IN, Grades: 0 - 8
Note from the editor: we checked this site on May 6, 2013 and it appears to be working fine. Thank you for your comment and we will keep our eyes on this site to make sure all is working properly.