TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 18, 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 2
In the ClassroomTest the site on your classroom computers to be sure you have the right plug-ins. Create links on classroom computers for students to complete word puzzles, listen to children's music, or create their own silly story. Print each silly story created by students and make a class book for students to enjoy over and over. After creating a story, have older students exchange with a partner, identifying nouns, verbs, and adjectives found in their partner's creation. Share this site with parents through your classroom newsletter or website for students to enjoy at home.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): addition (226), classroom management (155), decimals (124), differentiation (45), division (160), fractions (229), measurement (178), multiplication (211), number sense (96), numbers (196), place value (56), subtraction (186)
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site for use when implementing math centers or guided math activities. This site offers many ideas for math games, use these as a resource for your classroom. Modify activities as needed for your own use. Differentiate for multiple skill levels using the management tips shared here. Looking for specific content ideas? Choose from the Quick Clicks on the right side of the page to find ideas that have been posted on the blog.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a must-bookmark site for any high school journalism or English teacher and even as teacher background for Newspaper units at any level. Share resources with students. Download and use lesson plans. Assign groups of students different articles to read and present to the class. The News Literacy resources and feeds are also useful for social studies classes looking at the media and bias as they stay up to date with current events. Challenge your students to go past PowerPoint and make an online presentation using Animoto (reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge to share their findings.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomDo you still have a favorite picture book from your childhood? Consider going to the library to find a more current version and compare the differences. Have your students ask their parents if they still have a copy of their favorite picture book, and they can pick up a copy of the current edition to compare. With older students, you can use the Best Word Book Ever comparison to see the changes in what is politically incorrect now that was in the earlier version. Students then discuss what society valued at the time of the older edition compared to what our current society values. There are not just the gender role differences (policeman vs the woman police officer). Look at the wording in the older version for behavioral expectations, too. Literature teachers could carry this one step further and make a comparison of the expectations of society at the time of a classic (Tom Sawyer, Pride and Prejudice ) and what society valued during that time. Students could make one of these comparisons using a program like Bookemon reviewed here, which creates interactive online books. They could take that project one step further with UtellStory, reviewed here, and add narrated commentary. Make sure your students adhere to Copyright laws if creating online. You may want to work offline using PowerPoint so student products can include copyrighted images under "Fair Use."
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) when studying presidents or to include with your President's Day unit. The reading levels, however, will require adult help or more able partners for many elementary students. Have students create magazine covers of George Washington using Magazine Cover Maker, reviewed here, and include information from the timeline. Have students use a mapping tool such as Click2Map, reviewed here, to create a map of events included on the timeline. They can even include display markers featuring text, photos, and videos!
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare activities on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to complete as a class or allow students to explore on their own. Share this site with parents and students through your classroom website or newsletter as a resource for math practice at home.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomIn your science or health classroom, look at the functions of a system and how it works together. Use as a reference source or use as an example to adapt to your unit of study. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have cooperative learning groups investigate specific sections/topics and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades5 to 8
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUse this collection for some fun science experiments for the classroom. Can't use food in your school? Perform the experiment at home and videotape or give students the directions to perform at home (with parental help). Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. View videos of the experiments on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and have students predict results before watching the ending. Have students create their own comics to explain one of the activities using comic-creation tools reviewed here. Some explanations are fairly simple. Challenge students to explain concepts more fully with "talking pictures" using Fotobabble reviewed here. Extend the study by having student research the chemistry of other foods.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare "distraction-free" videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the URL for the clearer video on your class website or in assignments. Removing the comments and advertisements can make for a much better viewing experience. This is especially true of your ADD, autistic, unfocused gifted, or other special needs students. Less distraction = better learning experience for all.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse to comment and annotate on pictures and information anywhere on the web. This is a great tool for you (or your students) to annotate research and information on the Internet. Create teacher annotations or question and answer comments on pages. Ask comprehension questions or guiding questions for places you send students on the web. Ask questions that students can complete as homework to show that they accessed the web resource assigned. If students have access to the add-on with individual log-ins, they can converse and debate about web page content. This tool wold also be a powerful way for students to point out bias on a web page or for art students to comment on images and design elements. Create writing prompts by adding questions or comments to a web page and sharing it with students.
Grades4 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomBecause of the public content, be SURE to tell students to go directly to the creation tools (and not to explore the public strips). If you cannot monitor/trust individuals, use a whole class account and have one group at a time work where you can monitor. Instead of writing boring summaries, why not assign a rotating scribe to summarize class through a comic strip. Make a class wiki collection of the comics created throughout the year. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and/or feelings. Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or create pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.
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 embedded
Products can be shared by URL