TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 4, 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
5 Favorites 0 Comments
View portraits of classrooms in many cultures 2004-2012, taken by photographer Julian Germain. The collection is actually from a book. As Archive Magazine reviewer Tom Shakespeare...more
View portraits of classrooms in many cultures 2004-2012, taken by photographer Julian Germain. The collection is actually from a book. As Archive Magazine reviewer Tom Shakespeare explains, "By presenting different pupils, different schools, different year groups, Germain asks questions about contemporary educational practices and social divisions." The photos are clearly deliberate portraits, not candids, but offer a glimpse into other cultures and a chance to ask questions about why a class ( and classroom) might look the way it does, inviting discussion about what we have in common and how each culture conducts and values education.
In the ClassroomShare these photos as a writing prompt about cultural differences in a world cultures class or as a way to get students thinking before writing an essay about their "dream" school. Use the common experience of school as an entry point into conversation about cross-cultural understanding. Share on a projector or whiteboard as students use powers of observation to notice what might be different about life in another culture and how school reflects a culture's value systems. Have them write a blog post about what they see.If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Webnode, reviewed here. Use this site in art class or even as a media literacy exercise. Have students jot down the words they would use to describe the emotions they see/feel in these images. What message is the photographer conveying about school? Extend the discussion by challenging students to take their own photos to portray "school." Share the photos on a class wiki, blog, or online scrapbook using a tool such as MyScrapNook, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
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Create interactive, choose your own adventure (branching) style stories with inklewriter. This site is ideal for anyone to create a story and then share with others via a unique URL....more
Create interactive, choose your own adventure (branching) style stories with inklewriter. This site is ideal for anyone to create a story and then share with others via a unique URL. These stories allow for others to create their own path or choose an existing one. Begin by choosing to read stories or create your own. Type parts of the story including the title, author, beginning, introduction, and add sections as needed. After each paragraph is the option to create different outcomes of the story, offering choices the reader makes. The site contains excellent tutorials for getting started with stories. When finished, share the URL for your story using Twitter or Facebook or copy the URL to share and bookmark as you wish. Of course, your "story" need not be fiction! You could also write an opinion piece with branches for people to ask (click) on questions about facets of your argument! NOTE: When you click to begin writing, you should click SIGN IN and choose to make a new account. Do this before you start writing in order to be able to save. The tool will then save your work as you go along. Although you do not HAVE to sign in before you start, it is risky to sign up later! . Inklewriter has also made it easier for teachers to sign up students WITHOUT student email addresses. Read the directions about how to do this on the landing page by scrolling down and finding "Sign-up and email addresses."
This site includes advertising.
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomView stories on the site together to understand the components of the site and discuss how different choices in characters and settings lead to different story outcomes. (Be sure to preview stories before sharing, since there is "public"' content.) Watch the tutorials together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) before students begin to write stories. Use a graphic organizer to "map out" the story before writing. Create a short story together as a class to become familiar using the site. Assign a group of students to create an interactive story each week to share on your classroom website or blog. Have students create a story map before beginning a story on inklewriter; use a tool such as 25 Language Arts Graphic Organizers, reviewed here. Create class stories to teach about literature, geography, reading comprehension, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Inklewriter to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. A graphic organizer for planning and organizing evidence is a must! Teachers of gifted could use this for students to develop elaborate fictional or informational pieces. If you work with students who struggle, scaffold with a template for them to organize their thoughts.
GradesK to 12
3 Favorites 0 Comments
SpeakPipe offers a widget to install on your blog, website, or podcast so readers and listeners can send you an audio message of up to 90 seconds in length. Other ...more
SpeakPipe offers a widget to install on your blog, website, or podcast so readers and listeners can send you an audio message of up to 90 seconds in length. Other features for the free plan include recieving 30 messages per month, one Widget, and email notification. The message goes to your Speakpipe inbox, and you receive an email notification. You also receive a URL for the message that you could post on the blog or your podcast so others can hear the comments. Visitors click the "leave voicemail" button to access. Next, the visitor records a message for you. Visitors have the option of including their names and email addresses.
In the ClassroomWhen installed on a school website, SpeakPipe provides a good way for parents to leave voicemail messages. Unless one of you shares the URL, the communication remains confidential. Download messages to your computer as a simple way for students to record their voice responses for use in a multimedia project on your classroom blog. After posting student work on your classroom website or blog, allow students to record information responding or explaining each project. Encourage emerging readers to record their own voices reading a blog post they write. Auditory learners will truly benefit from this tool. Install this on your class blog or wiki so parents who visit can leave audio comments for the class. World language teachers could post an image on a class web site and ask students to record a response in their new language. School library/media centers can invite students so comment about new books listed on the web page.
GradesK to 12
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Your spoken words are instantly changed to written text. Just click on the microphone and speak. Follow simple directions and immediately begin to dictate. As soon as speech is ready,...more
Your spoken words are instantly changed to written text. Just click on the microphone and speak. Follow simple directions and immediately begin to dictate. As soon as speech is ready, it appears in red, and you push ok. Corrections are suggested in red. If your speech is not recognized, there is an alternatives button to help you dictate correctly. You can also click on the speaker button to hear the written words played back to you. Click the blue arrow to move the text down to the larger text box. There you can store several phrases or sentences together. Choose to print, email, or tweet your message. Talk Typer is also available in a variety of languages. Be sure to speak slowly and clearly. This is best used with short phrases or sentences.
This site includes advertising.
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomTalk Typer is a very versatile tool, for students, parents, and teachers alike. Bypass poor typing skills, dysgraphia, dyslexia, and physical disabilities. Use this tool in emails, documents, or anything requiring typed text. Use in your writing class so students can either write or edit their work. Use when you are in a hurry with emails requiring long text. Use for your newsletters or family emails. Share this on your class website and at Back to School Night. Emerging literacy students will enjoy the success they have with their oral language into written word. Improve content and forget about mechanics of writing or typing. Focus in on grammar and mechanics after seeing the recognized mistakes. Include this website on every tool bar and as a favorite on your class web page. ELL students can speak English, play it back, and correct it until it "sounds right" and expresses their ideas correctly.
Grades6 to 12
9 Favorites 0 Comments
Find videos recorded by professional educators. These are not just the humdrum lecture type videos you might expect. These are dynamic speakers, energized by their desire to share what...more
Find videos recorded by professional educators. These are not just the humdrum lecture type videos you might expect. These are dynamic speakers, energized by their desire to share what they've learned and know. The videos are even more appealing because of the professional animators who worked in the background (with the educators) to get the message across to the audience. You can search these videos by "Lessons" (under "Discover") and from there by subject, "Collections," is organized by theme, or by "Exploration." Every video has a "Think" section with multiple choice and open ended questions. If you get a multiple choice answer wrong you will receive a video hint to help you get it correct. Every video has a Dig Deeper section with additional resources for exploring the topic. You can take one of these videos, a video from YouTube, or any other video with a URL and "flip" them to make them your own. You can change the title, put in instructions, discard or keep the questions, create your own questions. In other words, you can make the video your own, to suit your needs. Once you save the video it will have a unique URL so you can track the progress and participation of anyone using it. Don't miss such clever offerings as David Hunter's video about the importance of geography concepts in deciding "How do you decide where to go in a zombie apocalypse?" Ted-Ed is only part of the TED offerings. View the full TED site reviewed here. Be sure to look at the Discover and Create tabs on the top menu.
In the ClassroomChoose a video or create your own videos for students to use for review. After students view a video that has the questions, show one that doesn't, and have students generate questions for it. Assign videos for students to view at home or in the computer lab. Use them as a springboard for engaging writing prompts or to spark a discussion connected with a unit of study. Challenge students to do a compare/contrast activity using an online Venn Diagram tool, reviewed here. Most of the videos are less than twenty minutes, which makes it realistic to use them in a one-period class lesson or if you are implementing blended learning or flipped learning in your classroom or school (leaving class time for asking questions and clarifying).
Show a video or two with your class and discuss the set up of the lesson. Discuss the difference between basic comprehension questions and open-ended questions. Show your students an inspirational video or two from TED reviewed here. As a class, pick out eight or ten of the TED videos and allow students to sign up to work on one of the videos. Have cooperative learning groups develop a TED Ed video lesson. You will need to proofread all work using a word processor, before allowing students to upload their questions on TED Ed.