TeachersFirst's Student Knowledge Construction
Student knowledge construction is what happens when students go beyond just reproducing what they have learned, but generate their own ideas and demonstrate understanding of what makes the information unique. The skills of knowledge construction range from inferring to analysis to interpretation to synthesis and evaluation. Many of these skills may also be considered “critical thinking.” While teaching these skills can be a challenge, finding useful web resources can be simple. Peruse this collection to find resources to use in your lessons for all grade levels to encourage student knowledge construction.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): 1600s (20), 1700s (36), 1800s (68), 20th century (56), american revolution (80), civil war (127), colonial america (92), colonization (18), gettysburg (15), gettysburg address (11), native americans (87), OER (43), washington (24), westward expansion (37)
In the ClassroomThis site is an excellent addition to any middle or high school social studies curriculum. Bookmark this site to include with your other lesson resources. Use individual lessons to supplement your lessons through a new viewpoint since many of the tasks encourage students to think of history through the eyes of a traveler. Each lesson begins with a series of focus questions to keep in mind throughout the article. Engage students in learning and provide support for focusing on important information using Read Ahead, reviewed here. This handy tool lets you transform any text into a guided reading activity that highlights critical components of the text. As students collaborate on learning activities, enhance learning by using Notejoy, reviewed here, as a collaborative note-taking tool. Ask students to add the preview questions listed before the lesson and any other focus points, then share ideas and responses in Notejoy throughout the reading and discussions of the content. As a final learning extension, ask students to use Open-Ended History as a model for telling history through the eyes of a storyteller or from the perspective of one location. Use Vizzio, reviewed here, to create interactive timelines using animated maps. Include text descriptions, images, and videos as part of your interactive timelines.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many videos and resources found on this site to include with your digital citizenship lessons. Engage students in learning about digital citizenship using playposit, reviewed here, to add notes, questions, and student-teacher interactions to any video. Enhance the learning experience by including these videos and your other resources into a digital lesson using Curipod, reviewed here. Extend learning by asking students to share their learning using different technology tools. For example, have some students create a podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, while others create and share video presentations made with Animoto, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomHelp your students to practice critical thinking skills using these engaging resources. Share these resources with your colleagues and school parents by emailing the page or sharing the link from your school web page and in your school newsletter.
Grades1 to 12
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As educators, we can prepare every child to be influential by helping them understand how to leverage the power of social media. While students intuitively understand the mechanics of social media platforms, using them in a responsible, purposeful way to build influence is not instinctual and must be taught and practiced. Learn to develop your students' social media savvy by using practice spaces focused on digital citizenship, critical thinking, persuasion, and communication skills. Explore online and offline strategies and tools to create safe, authentic learning experiences for students in grades 2-12 in any content area. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn the importance of responsible social media use by students; 2. Understand the purpose of using social media practice spaces as part of regular instruction; and 3. Explore both paper-based and digital practice spaces that can be used with students. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.
In the ClassroomThe archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomHelp your students to practice problem-solving skills using these engaging resources. Share these resources with your colleagues and school parents by emailing the page or sharing the link from your school web page and in your school newsletter.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to take advantage of the many curated resources for teaching media and news literacy. Use a curation tool like Padlet, reviewed here, to save and share favorite resources found on this site with students. Use the shelf option in Padlet to create columns and organize information by topic, type of content, or for use by different groups of students. Enhance instruction by asking students to become creators of information as they share their learning. Have students use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics to demonstrate different forms of media bias or to share facts learned from news articles. Extend learning even further by asking students to create blogs using Edublogs, reviewed here, to demonstrate how to write and share the news using credible information and factual resources.
This is such a valuable resource and it's so helpful to have one collection that I know has been vetted with accurate, useful information that teachers can use for themselves as well as with their students. I also love the "In the Classroom" section with suggestions for ways to use the information and resources.Peggy, AZ, Grades: 0 - 8
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomWhether teaching in a classroom or online, scan the included PDF or Word documents into Google Classroom or your school student/teacher platform to share and assign to students. Enhance student learning by asking students to use highlighting and note-taking tools within their word document to provide documentation for their responses. To prepare students for Common Core Assessments on evidence and arguments, have them choose a popular topic, research it (with the materials provided) so they can provide evidence for their stance when writing about their opinion or to refute another's. The debate section is the perfect opportunity to teach students about countering an opposing opinion, deciding which is the strongest point, and then teach them how to address concerns of others in their writing or debate. For example, they can concede it is a valid point and then counter with another strong argument. Consider sharing the activities found on this site with your peers as a model for redesigning lessons you already use in your classroom (for online learning during absences and crises?). Use Padlet, reviewed here, to collaborate and share ideas, activities, and resources as you work toward incorporating inquiry lessons into your classrooms.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomShare ideas from this site with peers as part of your professional development sessions. Consider creating a monthly building-wide schedule using the suggestions provided on the site. Include your ideas with parents through your website to teach them along with you and your students on methods for working through any type of decision. Use technology resources to reinforce and reflect upon the Big6 and Super3 decision-making processes. For example, use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here to create digital posters for each of the strategies. Include suggestions on ways for students to be successful within each strategy. Provide resources for students to match strategies such as planning. Read Write Think, reviewed here, has a large number of student interactives including a Cube Creator, reviewed here, Book Cover Creator, reviewed here, and an Essay Map, reviewed here, that provides students assistance in planning writing assignments. As students learn about and become familiar with the Big6 and Super3 process, ask them to share their ideas and reflect upon learning using blogs created with Edublog, reviewed here. Have students share their knowledge with others using a video explainer tool like Kizoa, reviewed here. Be sure to share student reflections and explainers on your class website for parents and others to view!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude the NewsFeed Defenders game and lesson as part of your broader unit of teaching about online safety and media literacy. Engage studets by using Padlet, reviewed here, to share materials. Include links to videos, articles, and other materials for students to access. Ask them to add comments sharing their insights and information learned. Help students identify online disinformation by collaborating with Fiskkit, reviewed here. Change out paper and pen by sharing the URL of an article to discuss within Fiskkit, then have students highlight any area to discuss the information within the article. Enhance learning by encouraging students to teach others about media literacy using an online book tool like Book Creator, reviewed here. Book Creator can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation. Have students design and share a book that includes tips for spotting disinformation or bias using specific examples, including text, videos, and images, along with examples of factual, non-biased information.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site as an excellent resource for planning for and teaching about media literacy. Include information from the Clearinghouse using lessons created with Actively Learn , reviewed here. Actively Learn offers tools for creating interactive, critical thinking lessons using materials found on their site and your own while providing you feedback on student responses and learning. As you continue with lessons on media literacy, collaborate with students on how to interpret online information using Fiskkit, reviewed here. Use Fiskkit to replace paper and pencil by sharing the URL of online articles and have students highlight and comment on any areas. Use this in lessons asking students to identify false or misleading information or to highlight areas that provide facts and information to support a claim. As students become familiar with online cues for understanding media, ask them to use Free Online Screen Recorder, reviewed here, to modify classroom technology use by creating a short video tutorial of their own sharing insights and information from an online article.
Grades6 to 10
tag(s): civil war (127), colonial america (92), concept mapping (17), debate (38), democracy (19), evaluating sources (28), greece (26), inquiry (25), maps (204), mexico (29), middle east (43), native americans (87)
In the ClassroomInstead of using paper documents, scan the included PDF or Word documents into Google Classroom or your school student/teacher platform to share and assign to students. Be sure to include mentor texts for student use. Enhance student learning by asking students to use highlighting and note-taking tools within their word document to provide documentation for their responses. Although this site includes many high-quality graphic organizers, create your own and using Diagramo, reviewed here to engage students and personalize for your classroom use. Have students use a digital portfolio tool to share their investigations. Spaces, reviewed here includes many resources for creating online portfolios and web pages. Consider sharing the activities found on this site with your peers as a model for redesigning lessons you already use in your classroom. Use Padlet, reviewed here to collaborate and share ideas, activities, and resources as you work toward incorporating inquiry lessons into your classrooms.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomMore than ever, understanding the use of media to manipulate readers is a critical skill. Use this game as a supplement to lessons on verifying news sources and fact-checking. Help students discover trigger words found in fake news articles by creating lists of sensational words. Replace word lists with a word cloud creator like Wordsift, reviewed here, to help visualize the use of trigger words found in online news. Have students find fake news online to analyze for misrepresentations of facts. Instead of doing this as a pencil and paper project, ask students to transform their learning and use Image Annotator, reviewed here, to share an image of the article and add links, images, and videos to "debunk" false information. As students become more familiar with recognizing fake news, have them use a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, to modify their learning by creating single frame cartoons with tips for avoiding false information then share these comics on your class or school webpage.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): american revolution (80), climate change (84), critical thinking (108), environment (233), martin luther king (41), media literacy (98), middle east (43), nutrition (133), OER (43), presidents (117), russia (33), social media (53)
In the ClassroomBecome acquainted with these free curriculum kits and lessons to integrate media literacy within content already taught in the classroom. As you teach lessons found on the site, incorporate technology to enhance learning and build student understanding by using Word Ahead, reviewed here, or WordSift, reviewed here, to introduce and develop vocabulary as a prereading strategy or older students can use either as they are reading. Incorporate images with annotations to help students understand "big picture" ideas using Image Annotator, reviewed here. For younger students create a Image Annotator as a class to add text, video, and more to images. Ask older students to create their own Image Annotator sharing information learned throughout your lessons. Be sure to share all of your images on your class website for students to view at any time. To transform classroom technology use and as a culminating activity, use a digital book creation tool like Book Creator, reviewed here, as an alternative assessment to quizzes or tests. Include student-created writing, Annotated images, and add videos with student commentary within each book. Be sure to provide students with your rubric to use as a guide before turning in digital books. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here. Whether students work individually or in groups, be sure to share your new digital library related to your lesson topic with students to review and revisit at any time!
Grades6 to 8
tag(s): black history (114), civil rights (187), constitution (84), democracy (19), elections (77), freedom of speech (13), immigrants (31), immigration (62), inquiry (25), media literacy (98), politics (111), racism (75), Research (79), world war 2 (142)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free materials on this site to encourage debate and discussion within your current civics lessons and lessons on civil rights and racism. Introduce Case Maker by showing the class the student introductory video. Each lesson includes primary sources to use when responding to prompts; ask students to find and share additional primary sources to include in their response to each question. Instead of just creating a list of additional resources, engage students and augment classroom technology use by sharing additional resources using Padlet, reviewed here. Padlet offers features for adding comments; ask students to use this feature to indicate important information found on the document. Enhance learning by finding and sharing videos that support the topic being discussed. Use Edpuzzle, reviewed here, to add comments and question prompts for students. Upon completing student projects, extend learning by having stidents share their thoughts through a podcast featuring students' challenge solutions. Be sure to include a group of students in each podcast featuring various points of view and their backup documentation. Try using Acast, reviewed here, to create student podcasts.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): critical thinking (108), cyberbullying (39), digital citizenship (80), evaluating sources (28), internet safety (109), media literacy (98), news (228), primary sources (106), professional development (365), social media (53)