TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 22, 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 6
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore on their own on individual laptops or at a learning station. Share a link to the site on your class webpage or blog for exploration at home. You will need headphones or speakers for the audio portions of this site. This is an excellent site for use with classroom centers.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to create your own charts or diagrams to share on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to create their own charts using this tool. Create charts for literature that you are reading in class, pinpointing the plot, conflict/resolution, and more. Create a diagram to highlight important dates in an individual's life or even dates in a war. Students could use this site for a project on any topic: science, government, history, literature, and many others. Have students create study guides using this site. Share or embed the BEST maps on your class website. One of the best aspects of this site is that students can collaborate online for group projects. Learning Support teachers can encourage small groups to create study guides together, reinforcing their knowledge as they discuss and work together.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to your Civil Rights, Black History, or Heroes unit. Allow students to explore on their own. Use the study guide as a resource for vocabulary, deepening understanding, or for extension activities. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare Nelson Mandela to other Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King. Have students create timelines about Civil Rights (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Timeline JS, reviewed here. Find music for this period in history using Radiooo, reviewed here. Challenge students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Civil Rights leaders.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson for Black History Month or about heroes in Civil Rights. As you discuss Martin Luther King, Jr, include discussion of major Civil Rights leaders from other countries. Have students create an annotated image of Nelson Mandela including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students collaborate to create maps of Mandela's journeys using Maphub, reviewed here. Students can add icons, text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Timeline JS, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This site is perfect to include with Black History Month activities or in a unit on Civil Rights leaders. Have students create a simple infographic with words used to describe Mandela sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have 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 an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare South Africa at the time of Mandela's arrest to current South Africa. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Mandela during his time in prison or after his release.
In the ClassroomDisplay and use these very short videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce and explore the world of art to students. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos based on other famous works of art and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Do a collaborative project with your school's art teacher, having students write in English/LA class and discuss art in that class. Have older students explore areas of this site to find artwork from time periods studied in Social Studies classes. Display one of the works of art and view the short video. Use the art piece as inspiration for a creative writing project. Use videos during career exploration units to demonstrate the different career options available within the field of art. Create a link to videos on classroom computers for students to view on their own or use the embed code to add a video on your class website or blog for additional exploration. Teachers of gifted who have students interested in visual arts can use this site to take them further, even if art is not your expertise!
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomShare these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These are ideal for Spanish speaking students. Why not crossover math and Spanish lessons and do a unit together? Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Share this link on your website for any student (or parent) who may benefit from hearing directions in Spanish. ESL/ELL students and their teachers will love this find! If you teach math with many ELL students, these videos can help you learn Spanish terminology to sprinkle into your classes. Why not have students create some of their own bilingual math videos to help their classmates and future students?
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomTo prepare students for Common Core Assessments on evidence and arguments, have them choose a popular topic on Quibl. Challenge students to research it so they can provide evidence for their stance when writing about their opinion or to refute another's. Use a whole-class account with a teacher email or individual student accounts, depending on your school policies and access. Science and social studies teachers can use this site for current events. When students are interested in a topic, access Quibl to see if there is a debate about it. If not, you may want to consider creating your own. In language arts, show the students both sides of an issue, then have them come up with an issue they care about that is not on Quibl. Have them write about both sides of an issue. Many students will have weak writing on the side opposite their opinion, and this is a teachable moment for word choice and phrasing. Have your students write about these "ready made" topics before showing them what others have to say. Once finished, they can read what others are thinking and add ideas to their opinion. Also, this would be an ideal time for them to look at the opposing opinion, decide which is the strongest point, and then teach them how to address concerns of others in their writing. For example, they can concede it is a valid point and then counter with another strong argument. If you teach French, give your students practice reading French by clicking on the FR tab. Though Quibl is monitored, the general public has access so be sure to review any issue before presenting it to your students.
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)
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShow to the class on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector. Students WILL likely find some humor in the outdated fashions in this video! However, the content is phenomenal. Create a study guide that students can use to record vital information to remember for later. Consider having students take two part notes with words and phrases written in one column with pictures of the processes or ways for them to remember in the second column. While the video is playing, have specimens of the various rocks and minerals available for students to observe. As they draw or write observations about the specimens in their notes, they can also record any questions they might have to ask later. Students can depict various parts of this information in easy to understand language and examples with their own demonstrations recorded as a podcast or video. Students can choose from many presentation tools reviewed here. For an even more exciting tech-infused project, have student groups enhance this video with their own annotations and resources using Vizia, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 10
In the ClassroomWhen discussing the Food and Fiber system (materials used to produce food and the many products we use daily), use this site to gather initial information of where their items come from. As products are no longer made closer to our actual lives, many students are disconnected from the materials and processes used to create everyday products and are unaware of their global footprint. Students can continue research by investigating other items used daily to determine what they are made from, where they are manufactured, etc. Continue this process with the foods that they eat to show how many popular foods are very removed from the whole foods that we should be eating. In geography classes, have students use a reviewed geo/mapping tool from the TeachersFirst Edge to map the path across the globe from raw materials to finished products, just to make one pair of jeans. Discuss the role of natural resources and economics in determining this path.
Grades3 to 12
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