TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 26, 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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GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMany schools require students to volunteer, use Golden to help manage your school's volunteer program. Be sure to use the sharing features to place volunteering opportunities on your district, school, and class websites. Help students understand the value of volunteering by taking their work beyond just time spent. Use an online bulletin board like Corkboard, reviewed here, to share and brainstorm areas of student interest with the understanding that volunteering will be more meaningful if it is something chosen by the student and not viewed as a required assignment. Encourage students to document their volunteering by taking photos and videos throughout the experience. Consider extending classroom technology by asking students to create a podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, to encourage others to volunteer by sharing their personal stories and reflections upon their own experience. As a reflection activity, and to modify classroom technology use, ask students to create and share a presentation using Sway, reviewed here. Use Sway to include images, text, and more to tell their volunteering story.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomNova Labs provide many opportunities for engaging students in authentic learning situations. Consider using this site as an introduction to any of the included topics. For example, begin your energy unit by assigning the energy lab as homework or as a flipped learning activity. Watch the introductory video together, then allow students to explore the site on their own. Use Playposit, reviewed here, extend technology use by adding questions and student responses to videos to encourage critical thinking skills. Have students share their learning after participating in the lab by annotating images using ThingLink, reviewed here. Thinglink presents a variety of levels for technology use depending on teacher requirements for the project, or even student ability; it allows for adding narration, videos, text, and links to help explain the project. Ask tech-savvy students to create their own learning games with Scratch, reviewed here, using information learned from their research.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): songs (53)
In the ClassroomUse Suan to create mixtapes for classroom use in many situations. Create a mixtape with soothing music to play during quiet times or to calm students after active periods. Use this site in music class to put together mixes of genres, composers, or instruments being studied. Find music from different eras or podcasts to create a mix to introduce the period to students. Ask students to create music mixes from their own material shared on SoundCloud as part of a course portfolio. Enhance students' technology use in class by including the URL to their mixtape in a presentation created using Wakelet, reviewed here; ask them to include video, images, and original student work.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAs you introduce this site to students, it is the perfect opportunity to remind students of the importance of providing proper credit when sharing media online. Share a link to Thematic on your class website for students to use when creating video presentations (with proper credit, of course). Ask students to create a slideshow using Renderforest, reviewed here, or other presentation software as a substitute for a written book report or research paper. For example, as students learn about states of matter ask them to find images on a sharing site like UnSplash, reviewed here, demonstrating the different properties and transformation of matter. Have students add text information to their slides and upload their slide presentation to YouTube as a video including background music found on Thematic. Be sure to have students include a slide with credits for all images and music included in their video. On a professional level, use this site to find background music when sharing images from your classroom with parents.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBeeLine Reader is an excellent addition to the already valuable reading materials found at Reading is Fundamental - Literacy Central, reviewed here. Be sure to bookmark this site to find leveled reading passages with the enhanced function of BeeLine Reader. Add the extension to your Chrome browser for use when reading any site online. Be sure to share the iOS app with parents and students for use on Apple devices. BeeLine Reader is a wonderful tool to share with ESL/ELL and Special Education specialists to use with their students. Remember, all teachers are reading teachers. Share this tool with your science, social studies, and math teachers, too!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the varying levels included with Blockly Games to introduce and develop coding skills with your students. After sharing the site on your interactive whiteboard, add a link to this site on classroom computers for use as a coding center. Include Blockly Games with your other coding resources using a bookmarking tool like Symbaloo, reviewed here, to share links in one single tool. As students learn about coding, enhance technology use by asking them to reflect upon their learning through blogs. Edublogs, reviewed here, is a free blogging platform developed for classroom use. Modify technology use by asking students to include screenshots of their work and discuss their problem-solving tips as they work through the different levels of coding skills. Use a screenshot tool such as Nimbus Screenshot Capture, reviewed here. As students become more proficient in using code, ask them to create their own games using Blockly, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomFeedback on this site is based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) scale, learn more about it here. Include this site with your other resources for practicing and teaching writing as you challenge students to improve feedback scores. Take advantage of the different levels to differentiate practice for all students. Ask students to analyze their writing before hitting the feedback button as a self-reflection tool. As students improve writing, use a digital portfolio tool like Seesaw, reviewed here, and upload all revisions. Also, use Seesaw for students to share their thoughts on their writing and individual progress.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomConsider making Kid's Search your homepage on classroom computers, or add this site as an easy to find bookmark for students to use. Share this site with students on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate the different features and how to use them. For younger students, consider creating how-to videos using Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here, to demonstrate how to access different portions of the site. Be sure to share this site with parents to use at home; include a short demonstration during Open House or Meet the Teacher events to share the available features. Take advantage of the Online Safety Guide section to share Internet safety tips in your weekly newsletter or for use with student online safety lessons. Have students create their own internet safety tips using a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, to modify their technology use and learning, and then share their comics with other classrooms.
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomIntroduce Safety Land to students on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Bookmark this site on classroom computers for use at any time. Be sure to include a link on your class web page for students and parents to access from home. Use Safety Land as an introduction for any lessons or units for on online safety. As a substitute for paper and pencil have younger students use a video response tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here, to reflect on their learning and share tips for their peers. Older students could use Flipgrid, too, or to extend technology use, at the end of your unit, have students organize what they've learned into a storyboard with SuperNotecard, reviewed here. Students can then use their storyboard to organize a presentation for their peers sharing safety tips. With their storyboards students or student groups can create online books sharing cybersafety tips using Book Creator, reviewed here. BookCreator presents a variety of levels for technology use depending on teacher requirements for the book or even student ability; it allows for adding narration, videos, text, and links to help explain what different cybersafety tips. As a modification to the above, instead of using Book Creator, challenge students to create a multimedia presentation with a tool like Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, or Powtoon, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark SciGirls Connect! as a resource for finding interesting classroom activities for both girls and boys. Consider creating an after-school club for girls to explore different STEM careers and activities, if possible, bring in female STEM leaders from your community to help host the club or provide ongoing activities and support. Encourage the use of technology by incorporating and embedding digital tools throughout your STEM lessons. For example, instead of asking students to take notes using pencil and paper, use Google Docs or Microsoft Word. As students continue through their learning activities, use editing tools in these office products to add comments, images, and additional information. Be sure to demonstrate how to view editing changes to your students so that they can look back and reflect on their work throughout the process. Encourage your students to reflect upon their work both during individual activities and throughout the year with the use of a digital portfolio tool like Seesaw, reviewed here. Use Seesaw to create individual accounts for students to take pictures, add video, and add written commentary as part of their reflection and assessment of activities. Really transform student learning and technology use by letting them become the teacher. Extend technology use by asking students to create podcasts using Anchor, reviewed here to teach others about concepts in science and technology, or share information about STEM careers. In addition to podcasts, you can modify technology use by asking students to use a video explainer tool like Biteable, reviewed here, to demonstrate and share the procedures of experiments.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site to use with a wide variety of science and social studies activities. Take advantage of the free lesson plans to include with your classroom activities. Include the section for kids with your other bookmarks on classroom computers for students to explore during science centers or during free reading time as a non-fiction selection. Share images from the media gallery with students as you study biomes, states, or historic areas of the United States. As students learn about different parks around the country, ask them to modify their technology use to create infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to share facts and information. Transform student technology use even further by asking students to use Google My Maps reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip to a national park or across different biomes found in the United States. Include this site with your history lessons then ask students to use History in Motion, reviewed here, to create an animated map telling the story of historic events including text, images, historical maps, and more.
Grades3 to 9
In the ClassroomSince elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five-point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.
Do the questions as a whole-class activity with a projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.
Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model and teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare the link to this special collection via your class web page, newsletter, or email to all your students as they depart for vacation. You will help parents and students alike. Avoid the "summer slide."
Grades2 to 8
tag(s): keyboarding (40)
In the ClassroomShare this link on your classroom computer, teacher web page, or in a class newsletter so students can practice keyboarding outside of class or at home. If you have some students who have computers at home and some who do not, give the less experienced students time during recesses or after work is done to improve their skills using these engaging games.
Love this service, recommended.Adam, , Grades: 0 - 12