TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 24, 2015
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
In the ClassroomDemonstrate how to play BotLogic on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Let students explore and play on their own using classroom computer or other web-enabled devices. Use BotLogic to teach logic, problem-solving, systems thinking, and, in some cases, collaboration. BotLogic is perfect for differentiation, allow students to move through levels at their pace. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered math or science curriculum.
Grades6 to 10
In the ClassroomShare Groove Nation on an interactive whiteboard, a projector, or classroom computers for student use. Encourage students to discuss and share the impact of different financial situations on the outcome of the activity. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on finances.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Sway as an alternative to Prezi or PowerPoint presentations. Sway is perfect for use in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Use during your presentations to increase student interest and interaction. Check understanding of your ESL/ELL students by having them respond or pose questions throughout the presentation. Share with students for them to use during their own presentations, inviting other students to comment and answer questions. During Open House night with parents, demonstrate how Sway provides interaction. Use Sway during professional development presentations to invite discussions from colleagues.
Grades2 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse an interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events and more. Have students create timelines for research projects. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master using vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and more while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history of a current event or cultural developments.
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)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomChallenge students to find other paintings depicting famous events in United States (or another country). Have cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation about the paintings. Create fictitious blog entries from one character in a painting to another character within another painting at another famous event. What would John F. Kennedy write to Benjamin Franklin? Assign students different roles, i.e. founding fathers, and have them use the biographies on this site to allow them to research what their role was and what their beliefs were for a debate as to whether or not to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomOn Twitter follow hashtags for current events. View the information in real-time by projecting Twittalert on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Construct a question about events occurring elsewhere in the world to read student perspectives. Use a class Twitter account to set up chats with classes in other schools using this tool. Create a focused chat session based upon a particular question, such as the constitutionality of a law or the environmental impact of fracking project answers as they come in using Twittalert. Use Titttalert to interact and follow other classrooms and projects anywhere in the world in real-time. Looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomJokes and riddles make excellent language exercises, and kids love them. Once the students have guessed the answer, use the sentences for grammar practice by identifying parts of speech, subject and predicate, and even diagramming. Younger students and ESL/ELL students can learn new vocabulary words, too. The twist and/or play on words will surely attract your gifted students. Once you have gone through several of these, encourage students to create their own and share with the class. If you would like to take this one step further, see the TeachersFirst review forI Spy Riddle Rhymes with Jean Marzollo reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse this highly visual revision program with your students who are ready to refine and improve their writing. Use GrammarCheck for revision after editing of grammar and mechanics is complete. Partner an advanced writer with one not so advanced and have them use GrammarCheck to improve their styles. Put the link to this site on your class web page for students and parents to use from home. Remind seniors to use it for their college essays. Use this tool to polish your professional writing, parent newsletters, blog posts, and papers for grad classes!
I love it, it is helpful to improve writing.Elesio Catalla, , Grades: 0 - 12
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save Visual Writing Prompts for use with creative writing assignments, journaling, or debate. Sort by genre to find prompts to match different writing styles. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool with Google Earth to discuss population changes, incidence of various diseases, or look at environmental data such as carbon dioxide emissions. Use this tool when discussing various countries and populations throughout the world, looking at the various factors that affect countries. Use this information to question the history and current state of various populations. Create more than one .kmz file to place on your class website. Provide time for student groups to look at one of the files and draw conclusions or report on their findings. Use class time to look at the information from all groups to obtain a snapshot of various regions, looking at populations, diseases, and more. For younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show these files in Google Earth and compare what students know about the United States or other areas in unfamiliar countries. This tool would be perfect for gifted students to use to extend learning in a Science or History/World Cultures class to better understand the world around them.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomInitially, share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector during your unit on body systems. Next set up rotating stations where students could learn about several concepts in a week. Create small groups of students to investigate the different categories of the body system and generate a learning station for other students to use. Have them use Adobe Spark, reviewed here, an online, interactive poster creator. Have them create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. They could then create a quiz for station visitors to complete using QuizBean, reviewed here. The text portions might be challenging for ESL/ELL and younger students. Use Talk Typer, reviewed here, a text to speech program, that will allow these students to copy and paste the text to follow the text as the article or passage is read to them.
Grades3 to 5
tag(s): insects (72)