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This page shares the 25 resources most frequently marked as Favorites by TeachersFirst Members in the past 60 days. See what tops the list of TeachersFirst's database of well over 15,000+ educator-reviewed web resources. Find out what other teachers are excited about. Not a TeachersFirst member yet? See the time saving benefits of free TeachersFirst membership.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThese one-page discussion starters could help students keep up with current political issues, provide an opening or closing activity, or serve as an enrichment activity for students who move through other assignments more quickly. Available either with or without guiding questions, and covering a wide range of relevant and timely topics, they are perfect to keep as a Plan B or for an emergency substitute teacher activity. Elsewhere on the site are links to Weekly News Videos with prompts for discussion, and other information about political cartooning through history; most of these latter links connect to outside sites so be sure and preview carefully. In an art class, create a "political" option during a line drawing unit for current events enthusiasts to draw their own political cartoons. Include these cartoons during a unit on humor and satire in an English/Language Arts class or gifted program.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThere is a multitude of ways to use comics/cartoons in the classroom. For instance, create one-page discussion starters to help students keep up with current political issues. Use comics to show sequencing of events, for example, explain the sequence of a story, a science concept, or current event! When studying about characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Use comic strips for literature responses. Another idea - why not use the comics for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and feelings. World language and ENL/ESL teachers can assign students to create dialogue strips as an alternative to traditional written assessments; summarize through a comic. Challenge students who move through other assignments more quickly to create a cartoon for review of a topic studied in class. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and look at POV first for any of the listed themes that come up throughout the school year. The lesson plans also have extension activities, many for inquiry or research. Show these to students and have them choose one to extend their learning. If your students need an introduction or review of research skills you may want to parallel the POV lesson with R4S: Research for Success, reviewed here. As you work through the lesson, ask students to keep a journal about what they are learning and questions they still have. Subtitute paper and pen journals for a digital journal using a tool like Penzu, reviewed here; with Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. As a culmination activity enhance student's understanding by having them put together an interactive infographic about their learning for you and their peers using Infogram, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): agriculture (46), animals (271), careers (133), constitution (86), design (81), energy (145), england (51), explorers (59), holocaust (37), lincoln (59), nutrition (139), pi (23), planets (119), shakespeare (88), spain (11), STEM (214), virtual field trips (67), weather (171)
In the ClassroomImmerse your students into your studies with a close-up in-depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides in their own learning by choosing topics of interest. Then transform their learning and ask these students to share research findings in a video with discussion questions to go with the research and with links to outside resources using a tool such as Vizia, reviewed here. Be sure students create a script to read from before beginning to produce their own video.
Grades3 to 12
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In the ClassroomEnhance classroom technology use by using this tool with your students. They will need to know how to locate your photos on your computer or photo sharing site. Click the little white boxes to change text colors, etc. as you enter desired text. SAVE your completed cover when done. Be sure to give it a meaningful name if you are creating several covers on the same computer!
Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here. If you and your students simply use the tool without joining the site, there are no problems with email, profiles, etc. You do need to demonstrate the tool and specifically explain which links students should NOT use, including ads and links to social networking sites that are prohibited in your school. These may be blocked, anyway. Make sure you watch and teach copyright issues in snatching photos from the web.
Have students create magazine covers of themselves as a getting to know you activity and classroom bulletin board. Print and laminate magazine covers to make them appear even more authentic. Or share the images (WITHOUT student names) on your class wiki or web page. When doing reports for any subject, have students create magazine covers that mimic the real thing instead of boring plain covers. Make covers about famous Americans, scientists, or historic figures. Make covers about objects, as well. Assign students to research a vegetable and create a cover about its nutrients, recipes, and more as part of your nutrition unit! Guidance teachers or principals can feature exemplary students using this tool. Bulletin board creativity will skyrocket using Big Huge Labs Magazine Cover. Why not offer a rotating PowerPoint slide show of student-made magazine covers for parents to view as they wait in the hallway for conferences?
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Requires registration/log in (NO email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce your unit on the American Revolution. Follow the instructions to create a multiplayer game for your classroom using small groups. Instead of written reports, extend student learning by asking students to research the different points of view provided by advisors within the game. Then modify learning by having them create a website either individually or in small groups using Carrd, reviewed here, to share information backing up their final decision within the game including links to research sites and their supporting writing activities. As a class project, use student research to modify learning and create an interactive book using Book Creator, reviewed here. Have students enhance their learning by using Be Washington as a model to create podcasts using Anchor, reviewed here, to reenact the challenges faced by George Washington.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to find lessons to supplement your current curriculum in any subject. As you plan and teach any of these lessons, consider different options for using technology to enhance and extend student learning. Take advantage of the many resources found at Class Tools, reviewed here, for your or your students to create quizzes, graphic organizers, timelines, and more. As you include the lessons into your teaching unit, use bookmarking sites to organize information for your students. Symbaloo, reviewed here, is excellent for use with younger students because of the simple, easy to follow design. For older students, try SearchTeam, reviewed here. Search Team includes tools for you to collaborate and add notes while saving and sharing resources. Extend learning for students of all ages with Edublog, reviewed here. Consider using Edublog for students to write blogs, respond to their peers, and interact with a larger global community.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomAs a class, listen to a couple of radio shows, taking note of the sound effects heard. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to list the sounds. Have the class speculate about what objects could have created each sound. Post the radio site on your web page and assign the students to determine what household objects are responsible for the sounds for homework. Back in class the next day, use your interactive white board to share the student discoveries. From here it would be natural to have your students create a two or three minute radio show for a topic being studied in history or science. Students could also turn part of a short story into reader's theater (including sound effects) and record it as a radio broadcast. Use a site such as PodOmatic, reviewed here.
Another idea would be to introduce a unit on the 20th century, the Great Depression, or WWII or by having the class listen to a broadcast from that time period. Have them experience radio as it was, with everyone huddled around to listen (and no multitasking!).Talk about how the changes in entertainment formats have changed the way we interact in our homes.
To hone in on listening skills, you could create a worksheet with questions to answer, or have students take two column notes, asking questions about what they are hearing in the left column.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and use the resources from Poetry Out Loud as part of any poetry unit or to encourage students to explore poetry within any classroom subject. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to curate and share students' favorite poems. Divide your Padlet into columns to organize by genre, be sure to create a column for students to share their original work! Share the tips for reciting poems as you encourage students to learn performance techniques. Ask students to record their work using FlipGrid, reviewed here. Flipgrid has a built-in coaching tool that provides real-time feedback to users. Feedback includes information on the number of hesitations, use of filler words, and pacing of the presentation. Share this tool with your students to encourage students to reflect and improve any audio or video presentation.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of this site's many storytelling resources to teach and share the art of storytelling with your students. Watch videos together and discuss how storytellers use different techniques to engage an audience. Use EdPuzzle, reviewed here, to create interactive video lessons by adding questions and notes to featured videos to guide students as they watch storytellers in action. As you encourage students to learn about storytelling, use activities found at ReadWriteThink, reviewed here, to help students plan and create stories. For example, use this lesson to create book trailers instead of book reports to guide students through a digital storytelling activity. As students gain confidence in storytelling, ask them to create a podcast series featuring their work. Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is a simple to use podcasting tool that offers up to two hours of free uploads per month.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Mt. Cleverest to create quizzes as pretests or final assessments. Use your documents stored in Google Drive or OneDrive to provide the URL for creating quizzes. Mt. Cleverest includes a search feature for finding previous quizzes, take advantage of this to add content for your classroom. Ask students to reflect on missed quiz questions and research the content further. Have them replace paper and pen and extend their learning by sharing their reflections on a simple webpage using Hashify, reviewed here. Hashify provides a simple tool for sharing texts and images without the distractions of multiple backgrounds and formatting options.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of these free lesson plans and classroom activities to integrate art into your everyday classroom activities. Consider coordinating lessons with your school's art and music teachers. Expand upon the ideas found on this site to bring other art forms into the lessons. For example, take advantage of poetry resources and interactives found at ReadWriteThink, reviewed here, and have students create diamante, acrostic, and haiku poems relating to your lessons. Enhance student learning further by asking students or groups of students to create webpages sharing their learning activities using a resource like Carrd, reviewed here. This very simple tool allows users to add images and text to create a beautiful website using the provided templates. Be sure to ask students to include a reflective writing piece describing their learning throughout your unit. Take learning to the highest level and ask students to design and create a series of podcasts using Anchor, reviewed here. Ask students to discuss their learning activities, and also hypothesize on different outcomes of experiments when changing elements or activities. For example, if creating a podcast discussing changes in matter, have students share their thoughts on how the room and outdoor temperature affects outcomes. What if they used juice instead of water? Would the change from ice to liquid take the same amount of time?
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomMovies offer an entertaining format for history and thematic studies. Use a video to add to the learning experience of students who are visual and auditory learners. Use this site to find videos in a wide range of topics to share on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Take advantage of the free lesson plans for classroom use. Preview the lessons before viewing and convert those that can be to a real-time discussion to engage students WHILE they watch a video! Enhance classroom learning and technology use and achieve this by setting up a backchannel chat using GoSoapBox, reviewed here. Alternatively, if you are distance or remote teaching or have a blended classroom, use VideoAnt, reviewed here, to ask questions and have students respond directly on the video.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): 1600s (15), 1700s (33), 1800s (54), 1900s (48), 20th century (48), architecture (66), art history (76), artists (75), china (57), greece (24), medieval (25), photography (129), renaissance (31), romans (30)
In the ClassroomShare this site with art and history teachers to use for cross-curricular lessons and activities to enhance instruction. Use a bookmarking tool like Padlet, reviewed here, to collect and share ideas with students. For example, when teaching about 20th Century history, create a Padlet with a column that includes ideas from the 20th Century Photography collection, add a column with 20th Century fashion, and another column with links to music from the same time period. Use the information from your Padlet collection along with your current lessons to provide students with an overview of the culture of the time along with the historic information. Have students use a timeline creator such as Timeline JS, reviewed here, to provide a chronology of art incorporated with important dates in history. Ask another group of students to create interactive maps using Google My Maps, reviewed here, that include images, links, and videos to tell the story of art and history in different areas of the world.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the Integrating the Arts sections to find printable lesson plans to create cross-curricular lessons. The lesson plans include objectives, multiple activities, examples, and a wrap-up. Students can then use the site to find other pieces of art that demonstrate or support the same concept.
Connect middle and high school students to the museum through one of the prescheduled video conference calls to learn about specific topics. Be sure to prepare students for the conference call, and encourage students to participate with comments and questions to enhance the learning experience. After the conference, have students navigate through the pieces of art on the site that relate to the topic from the video conference. Enhance student learning by posing questions on Flipgrid, , reviewed here, for students to answer and comment on each other's answers.