TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 29, 2013
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 12
tag(s): images (261)
In the ClassroomBookmark Compress Now (or save it in your favorites). Use this site throughout the year when working with images. Compress images for use on web pages to make pages loading more quickly. Use when emailing images to make sure they will get through.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomStart off with a visit to the Teaching Guide to find some great ideas to incorporate in your class. Use materials from this site to enhance and bring historical teaching to life. Print the student guide for writing effective essays for students to include with history notebooks. Use questions from the teaching materials here to add to your current teaching plans or as discussion topics. Create a link on your class website for students to view this site at home. Have students research and find documents and artifacts in your own community or online to share in the classroom. Have them create curated collections in digital form with accompanying writings to explain them. Students could create annotated images including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is an excellent resource for web design and graphic design classes. Share portions of this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for lessons in type basics, typeface history, and more. Use some of the project ideas (see Extras: Tools for Teachers) to have students create poetry posters for poetry month using artistic type and their own words. Have students explore the site and create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomCreate a name for your chat and share the URL with others. They join in simply by entering a name (or initials, to keep it safe) and clicking Join. Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel. Ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a backchannel chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or copy/paste or put the link to the chat transcript on a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.
In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students backchannel descriptions of what they see as classmates act out a scene from a video, using new language vocabulary and/or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or - in history class - between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Money trial. Make brevity an impetus for well-focused thoughts and use instantaneous response as an incentive for engagement.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomDownload the teacher's guide to use for lessons with any nutrition lessons. Print posters available on the site for use in your school's cafeteria. After participating in lessons and viewing provided posters, have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View together as a class to see easy to understand explanations of the process of exploring and providing oil and gas to communities. Have students watch information on their own and then create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have cooperative learning groups create online books about the energy process using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Use this site as part of your career unit and focus in on the portion of the site explaining the job of geologists. For a powerful critical thinking lesson, challenge students (especially your brightest ones) to look for alternative angles on the information here. Would environmentalists present it in the same way? Can you find any current news articles that reveal more than is said here? Which information, if any, might be open to debate?
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): africa (143), careers (136), china (58), debate (40), earthquakes (47), ethics (21), food chains (23), hiv/aids (19), india (27), journalism (66), media literacy (84), water (125), women (101)