TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 17, 2019
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 go to the Featured Sites Archive
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Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomAdd Realism to your other resources for teaching science content; it provides an excellent alternative for teachers with a lack of resources at school or as an option for a virtual lab for your students to explore anywhere. Consider incorporating this site along with other activities into a complete unit using ActivelyLearn, reviewed here. ActivelyLearn includes many features and resources for building custom learning opportunities for your students using their data bank of resources along with those you add on your own. In addition, ActivelyLearn provides you with immediate feedback to use for assessment. As students explore the different lab activities, ask them to use Google Docs or Microsoft Word to document data collected during the experiment, including screenshots captured during the lab. Have students share their work and reflections on activities using a portfolio creation tool like Dropr, reviewed here. Encourage students to show creativity within their portfolio by adding a variety of elements using tools offered in Dropr, including images, music, video, and more to share their learning process.
GradesK to 3
tag(s): animal homes (67), animals (324), engineering (129), geometric shapes (172), main idea (9), measurement (179), numbers (191), patterns (89), phonics (68), preK (281), reading comprehension (131), STEM (209)
In the ClassroomEnjoy these free, high-quality STEM units to use in your elementary classroom. As you teach lessons found on this site, enhance learning using a portfolio-creation tool like Seesaw, reviewed here, to share student work and reflections. Upload images of student projects then use Seesaw to add video reflections, students' written responses, and more. Share Seesaw portfolios with parents during parent/teacher conferences to demonstrate student learning. If you are unable to use the complete units in your classroom, be sure to look through the many lessons to "mine" for shorter activities that work in your teaching situation.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomUse this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to experiment while viewing their results. Learn to Code with el Chavo is great for differentiating for students with different abilities and learning styles. Set up a computer center for students to practice with the program and share with parents to use at home. Encourage students to go beyond game play and reflect upon their learning through use of a video response tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. Pose a question for student response asking them to discuss difficult portions of an activity and how they solved the problem. Start another response with a question asking students to provide tips and hints for their classmates. As students become more proficient with coding use Scratch, reviewed here, in your learning centers for students to create their own games and activities. Transform learning by challenging students who are proficient to use Snap!, reviewed here, to create video tutorials using a tool like FlexClip, reviewed here.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomEven if you aren't familiar with coding, use CodeSpark Academy as the perfect opportunity for you and your students to "get your feet wet" with coding skills. After sharing and demonstrating the site with students on your interactive board, add a link to CodeSpark on student computers. If you don't have enough computers in your classroom, take advantage of the free Unplugged activities available on your Teacher Dashboard for use as a coding center. Don't forget to use this site to find ideas for your Hour of Code activities. Instead of sharing pictures of students participating in CodeSpark activities on your class newsletter, record and share videos of students engaged in problem-solving discussions and enjoying learning how to code.
Have students share their thinking process through blogging as a reflection on their learning and include their writing, images, and video in a digital portfolio using a tool like bulb, reviewed here. As students become more proficient in coding, introduce new programs that provide additional learning opportunities such as Scratch, reviewed here. Scratch includes many different activities for creating games, stories, and animations through coding. Have student experts share their secrets for successful coding by creating video explainers with Rocketium, reviewed here. Add these videos to your other resources available for student access.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): black history (60), coding (76), creativity (115), digital storytelling (147), dr seuss (11), drawing (73), environment (319), graphic design (42), great depression (28), literacy (105), nutrition (156), photography (145), poetry (221), problem solving (293), qr codes (18), read across america (6), STEM (209), stories and storytelling (34), symmetry (49)
In the ClassroomIf you feel that you are strong in the arts but not technology (or the other way around), find a teaching partner that complements your strength and work together to teach lessons from this site. Use ideas from here in your classroom makerspace. Download the browser extension, Surfmark, reviewed here, to add notes and questions as you prepare to teach lessons from this blog. Surfmark offers the ability to collaborate and share with others through the addition of written and audio notes to any web page. Use lesson activities found on this site as a replacement for traditional research projects, book reports, or written reports. Have students use a blogging tool like Edublog, reviewed here, to share images and videos of their work from start to finish and to reflect upon learning. Have older students extend learning through the use of Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Ask them to research and find additional information on the topic of your lesson and create a learning path for other students to complete. For younger students, create a Symbaloo Learning Path for students to complete as a center activity to complement your STEAM learning activities.
GradesK to 6
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In the ClassroomBe sure to add this to your toolbox of ideas for teaching STEAM topics and for ideas to use in classroom makerspaces. In addition to adding this site to your favorite bookmarks, consider creating a board on Pinterest, reviewed here, of sites with ideas for STEAM projects. Share the board with your peers and collaborate on adding STEAM sites as a group. Extend learning throughout and after project activities as you include student work as part of a portfolio on Seesaw, reviewed here. Seesaw offers tools for all ages of students to create digital portfolios including written or audio reflections on work. Instead of just sharing images of student creations on your Facebook page or school web page, help students enhance their learning by creating digital books using WriteReader, reviewed here, to share online for family and friends. WriteReader is a site specially created for use with younger students to share their writing and images.
Grades4 to 7
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site for use when implementing STEAM activities or makerspaces. Introduce this activity with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard to show students how to navigate the site. Then, in your flipped or blended classroom (or at a computer center), have students, or small groups of students, explore on their own. Allow them to choose a book (creating book groups?) or a project to explore. Ask students to create their own concept maps to record their learning and understanding using MindMup, reviewed here. Challenge students to use their concept maps to share what they learned with peers by making an interactive infographic using Gennial.ly, reviewed here. Genial.ly allows students to insert videos, hyperlinks, & maps that are interactive.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare these resources on your class website or your interactive whiteboard (where appropriate). Use these tools to deepen your students' understanding of this complex topic. There are tools here for all ages, although most are designed for secondary students.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save to use when exploring career options with students. Ask students to use information found on this site and others to create an infographic sharing information about a chosen career. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, offers many templates for creating infographics. To increase student knowledge of options within STEM careers, have groups of students create a weekly podcast sharing different career fields. Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is an online tool to use when creating and hosting podcasts.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): dna (64), ecosystems (90), energy (213), environment (319), erosion (19), fossils (44), genetics (90), human body (132), nutrition (156), oceans (163), rocks (52), senses (32), STEM (209), structures (22)
In the ClassroomBookmark this site for STEM activities and support throughout the year. Reduce your planning time by using the free lessons available on the site. Before starting activities, have students create a word cloud of terms they know using a site such as Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here, for younger students, or Wordle, reviewed here, for older students.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomStart with the books as part of your reading lessons, and you have already given STEM a way to take root in your class! Incorporate STEM in accordance with Common Core reading/math or Next Gen Science standards using the many suggestions here. This article will help you begin with whole group lessons and move through the entire problem-solving process. Perhaps you will want to work together on a project with your grade level team.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of many different STEM-based topics. Use this site for enrichment or to help non-readers understanding concepts through video. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Enhance learning and have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut reviewed here. To extend learning have students create a multimedia infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): amazon (9), architecture (83), bridges (12), cells (103), density (25), engineering (129), environment (319), forces (47), friction (13), heart (41), human body (132), latitude (12), light (57), longitude (12), map skills (77), marine biology (36), mars (42), medicine (64), motion (69), pollution (67), robotics (24), rockets (18), simple machines (34), space (232), STEM (209)