TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 29, 2014
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
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomA great classroom discussion starter, and perfect for displaying on an interactive whiteboard, the Better Life Index allows students to consider and debate what makes for a "better life." And once (or if) they can reach a consensus on those factors, where could that life be found in the world? Of course, once you discover that people are healthiest, for example, in Australia, what does that mean? Why are they healthy there? What community, government, and institutional factors make Australia healthy? Do they make choices other countries don't? This is a wonderful tool for guiding discussion about the public policy decisions made by citizens and governments, and how those decisions affect the quality of life. It would also provide powerful information for persuasive writing or debates. If you talk about utopias and dystopias, this is another way for students to decide what the criteria are for each. If you study world cultures, this site can provide a whole different lens to promote crosscultural understanding. Assign students to compare and contrast factors that matter most to them across multiple countries. Gifted students who are designing an "ideal civilization" can find meaningful data here to use as part of their plans.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you cannot make this site work on the first try, try again. This one is worth getting tech help to make it work! Note: This site uses significant bandwidth to load the animations and the tour video. Pretest ON the devices(s) you will use in class before planning to use it for a lesson! Display Robocompass on your interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate geometric constructions. Provide a link on your class website or blog for students to view constructions at home. This site is perfect to excite your gifted students! Challenge students to create and share their own constructions for other geometric purposes such as transformations. Even art teachers may find this tool useful for demonstrating perspective and more.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you are a math teacher at any level, this is a MUST-SEE (and share) site. Take the time to explore it for specific sections connected to your curriculum concepts. Students in a BYOD classroom can explore interactives on this mobile-friendly site. Mathigon is perfect for use on interactive whiteboards, projector, and classroom computers. Use Mathigon activities to excite and motivate math students. Some activities require reading so you may need to partner your weaker readers with a buddy. Create a link to games and activities on your class website or blog for students to explore at home. Use Mathigon with gifted learners to extend your current math curriculum.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): coding (77), computational thinking (33), cooking (34), electricity (96), equations (155), fractions (230), homonyms (10), homophones (16), india (33), latin (22), light (57), logic (250), politics (108), puzzles (204), quadratics (33), ratios (65), statistics (129), STEM (209)
In the ClassroomAssign Oppia explorations to gifted students as part of your differentiated learning lessons. Use Oppia explorations as part of your flipped classroom. Have students complete explorations and then discuss in class. Add links to (or embed) Oppia explorations on your class website or blog for students to explore at home as a review tool or as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson. Join the Oppia Users Group to collaborate with others to create your own Oppia explorations.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Trove to create student-navigated lessons or review materials for any topic. Create a whole class Trove account to follow Troves safely under teacher supervision. Allow students to set up their own accounts if over 13 and permitted under school policies. Have students work together in groups to create their Trove on current articles they can use in a research project. Have student groups create Troves of articles in the news related to the curriculum topic you are studying. For example, collect articles about disappearing habitats, design concepts that use new engineering materials, food and religion in a certain culture, or climate change and weather. Demonstrate a new math concept using articles found on the Internet. Create a class study guide for students to access before the big science test! Include Trove as part of your current events lessons and allow students to explore articles demonstrating different points of view. Use Trove as a professional resource for following current topics in education such as standardized testing or Common Core Standards. Speaking of Common Core, the articles collected in Trove could serve as practice with informational texts. Library/media specialists can collect Troves to teach students about using media in research projects.
Grades5 to 12
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tag(s): nutrition (156)
In the ClassroomBegin with the quiz to see what students know. Share the quiz on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take the quiz independently in a BYOD classroom (or computer lab/laptops). As they take the quiz, students can note items that interest or disturb them. Begin a class discussion with the most interesting or shocking items they learned from taking the quiz. Research the history of the Farm Bill, the FDA, or the USDA. Compare diets of today and of the past, and identify differences and medical issues (good or bad.) Create a debate about monopolies in food production and lack of oversight in the food industry. Have students investigate one food aisle and share what they learn.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomHave your students set up collaborative groups for projects, lab data, and more. Anything students can do on a single computer, they can do collaboratively on this tool, accessing their work from any online computer. Be sure to test out this tool before using with your class. It may be a good idea to set up the groups with the teacher as a "member" but have students work from home for group projects. Make sure you are protecting the safety of student work and identity and are within your school's Acceptable Use Policy.
Create an innovative, exciting revision experience for students to suggest revisions to each other's writing and instantly engage in the peer review process by using Meetingwords. This tool facilitates teacher comments on student essays by not having to wait until students turn in their papers. Have them share links with you to their works in progress. Check essays online, monitor progress, and even make suggestions for revisions to provide feedback along the way and drive successful evidence support, proofreading, and editing skills. Challenge gifted students on their drafts and push their thinking further, adding questions or responses. Since most if us do not have time to provide such individual challenge throughout the writing process, why not connect them with other gifted students to collaborate and debate beyond just your classroom? Obviously, this tool is also fabulous for collaboration among students or teachers creating a shared writing piece at any level. You could even use it for parent input into draft IEPs.