TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 6, 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
Grades3 to 7
In the ClassroomUse this site as an introduction to longitude and latitude. Share the activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students to find coordinates for other locations on this map. If the music is distracting, click the little speaker icon to turn it off.
In the ClassroomUse to manage pictures or videos taken in the classroom and uploaded to Dropbox. If you are using Dropbox in your class, set up this site at the beginning of the year to save you time! Create a rule that moves them all into the same folder (or folders) for easy organization and location of files later. Assignments that are turned in can be moved by a rule you create to go to a private folder that can be accessed later for grading.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse as part of a flipped lesson. Have students watch videos or read portions of the site and create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Penzu, reviewed here, with Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Take this a step further and challenge students use a mapping tool such as Click2Map, reviewed here, to add points of interest with display markers featuring text, photos, and videos. Share videos and site information on your interactive whiteboard for viewing together.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomEnhance and modify student writing by having them use StoryToolz. First, share it with students with a projector in your writing class to generate ideas for stories, possible centers of conflict to map out the new tale, and show them how to use the tool. Use the readability section with any writing to determine appropriateness for use with students. Have students paste their writing in the readability section to determine if their writing is at an appropriate grade level or to note information such as words per sentence or use of various parts of speech. Paste into the cliche buster to point out ho-hum wording and overused expressions. Suddenly, students may begin to write more complex sentences or use more vivid language. Be sure to include a link to this site on your class webpage and classroom computers for use throughout the year. The readability portion of the site is a great resource for ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers to help determine the appropriateness of reading materials.
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomBe sure to bookmark and save this site for math lessons and instruction throughout the year. Use the search feature to locate lessons appropriate for your teaching situation. Share webinars on the site for viewing during professional development sessions. Explore the collections for resources in every content area (be sure to choose "all" to view all available collections). Register on the site to save resources to easily find them.
Grades4 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomCalkoo is a great free tool to replace expensive graphing calculators that many students may not have. Calkoo works well on computers, mobile devices, and interactive whiteboards. Use this site during a unit on careers, economics, or financial literacy. Include it as part of a measurement unit. Share during Family and Consumer Science units to explore the cost of living and have students put together a mythical "budget" for living in their chosen career. Have students send you on a vacation and include calculations for the currency converter, fuel cost calculator, sales tax for souvenirs, and more! This is a great site to support many experiments in science. Calculate acceleration, velocity, and time, or use the mathematics category to complete problems. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. Visit Calkoo and select a calculator to meet your needs! Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. The various languages make this tool very useful for ESL/ELL students.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomPrint and share posters to get your colleagues and students thinking about their own multiple intelligences. Be sure to maintain the attribution and copyright information on the posters. Explore with students learning about their own strengths in learning. Hang the posters in your classroom. Share information during parent conferences and professional development. Share posters on your board during back to school information sessions to help parents understand different types of intelligences. Encourage students to create comics of themselves using their most comfortable "intelligence" and use it as a locker decoration or on a class bulletin board during the first part of the school year. Use one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomHave students 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). Use this great site for your students to interact with students and scientists all over the world. Have your students keep a journal of their interaction on the site. Post questions from class discussions and labs for GLOBE Scientists to answer. Teach digital citizenship skills (commenting etiquette) and blogging basics to your students. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. Watch the website to see if your students' comments generate further discussion, and to read new topics as they develop. Encourage gifted students interested in science to participate in this community as a chance to learn above their grade level.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you never blogged before, you might want to check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics for the Classroom. Have your students choose a question from Thought Questions reviewed here. Have students respond to the question, and then have them ask the reader to respond to their writing and answer the question from their point of view, too. The benefits go beyond just writing. You can also build cultural understanding and world language skills through blogs. Help your students become aware of environmental issues or how to live "green" for our planet. Try Greenlearning.ca, reviewed here, or choose something from the Environmental News Network, reviewed here, for students' Quadblog projects.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): classroom management (144)