Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomHave students write an essay, present a class argument, or submit an editorial about concerns with our ocean biomes. Research the historical use of oceans, their impact in our lives, and possible problems economically, socially, culturally, and biologically with current issues and trends. Have students create a multimedia presentation to share their findings, such as an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here .
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): environment (321)
In the ClassroomEngage students in topics relevant to today and students' lives by reading and responding to a variety of timely and peer reviewed articles. Use your own class blog or wiki to elicit responses and conversations from your students. Use this site for research and lesson ideas. Additionally, teach students to review and annotate articles while searching for more information to validate or refute those viewpoints. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects to share their findings: wiki, video, or podcast. Not sure what a wiki is? Check out TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Share the video using Teachers.tv (reviewed here). Create a podcast using a tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here). Learning support teachers working to build content-reading skills will find these articles ideal for practice. Share an article on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key terms and generate a sentence for the Main Idea of the article. Cooperate with the biology teacher so students practice with topics currently being studied. If you are not sure of the reading level, check the URL for the article using a tool such as Juicystudio, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis would be a great Earth Day activity, although younger students may not know how to answer some of the questions (the square footage of their house, the size of their hometown). The information gives students very concrete feedback about the environmental impact of their life on the planet. Taking the quiz takes only a few minutes, but the discussion it yields could easily fill a whole class period! If individual computers aren't available, share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
GradesK to 12
Note that all jeopardy templates created become part of the domain and can be used by others.
In the ClassroomUse any already-created game as a quick assessment of prior knowledge or review on projector or interactive whiteboard.
To prevent others from editing your template you create a password when you start. Others will be unable to edit your created game without your password. After creating your password, you are taken to the familiar blue jeopardy screen. Here, enter the title at the top and the topics at the top of the columns. Click on a dollar amount under each topic to enter the clue and the What is... question in a pop-up box. Click done to enter the information. The dollar value square becomes blank to let you know it was completed. When done, click "Save." Click on Browse to view random template titles or enter a term into the search bar. On the "Build" page, follow the quick instructions and even browse tips for editing. When done, an internet link will be given for your Jeopardy game. Put this link in any website, blog, or wiki for students to click on and review information for study.
Use this as an introductory activity to uncover misconceptions. For example, prior to a unit on viruses, create a jeopardy game about myths and truths about viruses. Share the Jeopardy activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these as a starting point for understanding concepts in the unit. Create review games for students to learn and remember content. After making one game together as a class, allow students to make their own games to challenge each other on segments of the material. This not only provides students with material to review, but the creation of a game takes thought and understanding of the material. Be sure that students understand how to create such a game and how to choose parts carefully. Check student games prior to saving. Maintain a page of Jeopardy links for review of a wide range of curricular topics.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): literature (267)
In the ClassroomStudents could be divided into groups to explore the different parts of the website and then report and compare their findings. Why not have the groups prepare a multi-media presentation. For example, have students create or find (with permission) a photo of Frankenstein or a topic discussed at this site, and use UtellStory, reviewed here, to narrate and add text the photo with what they have learned through researching this site.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomNavigation of the site is rather simple. Once you put in your own name, there are buttons on the bottom right and left side of your "name box" to "add" an additional family member or "edit" the current name. Once you click to "add" a member, you are able to put in their name, birth date, death date, marital status, and email address (see safety concerns). One tip: to scroll UP use the DOWN arrow, to scroll DOWN use the UP arrow.
This site allows users to set-up their family tree as PRIVATE. It allows you to control who can and can't view your profile, family tree, and other information. For more information about this feature, visit the Privacy link (on the bottom bar). Before you plan your family tree project, be sure to get parental permission. You may want to use this tool with first names and last initials and keep email addresses out of it for safety's sake.
Use this site to create family tree projects in elementary or middle school classes. Have high school students create family trees as part of a unit studying immigration patterns in social studies classes. In science class, have students create fictitious "people" as they study genetics. With younger students, create a class "family" sharing important dates for individuals (i.e. birthdays) or to teach vocabulary and spelling of family terms, such as "grandmother" and "uncle." Have students share their family trees on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to "advertise" this project on your class website (and newsletter, if applicable) so students have time to gather names, birthdates, and other information about family members. In world language classes, have students create a family tree using the correct vocabulary for relatives and talk about it (in their new language!) as they share it on the interactive whiteboard. When researching famous people, reading biographies, or even reading literature, have students create a family tree illustrating their discoveries about their famous person, writer, artist, musician, explorer, literary character, etc.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomFCS and health teachers can use this site for student research or scavenger hunts about the heart. The recipe section would be great for FCS classes learning to plan healthy menus. Health/PE classes studying life habits and disease will find lots of information on cardiac conditions and prevention.
Grades8 to 12
There are some advertisements on the site, and students should be cautioned not to click on these. Many of the activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomHave groups of students view different topics through the periodic table to view the trends and offer explanations why. Teams of students can then present to the class and provide practical examples for understanding. Include this link along with other online periodic tables and ask students to decide which is the best tool to help them understand major chemical concepts.
Grades5 to 10
In the ClassroomUse portions of this site as an anticipatory set in your science or math class. The information is simple to understand and would be useful for students struggling with a topic. Use the site for research about specific topics. Have teams of students explore each of the "sub-topics" within the main topic. Ask them to record their findings in a digital portfolio of resources using WeLearned.It, reviewed here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create informational videos sharing their research using a tool like My Simpleshow, reviewed here. Then share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Why not list this link on your class website, so students can access the page both in and out of the classroom.
Grades6 to 12
Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomUse these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades1 to 12
Once registered, you click to create a quiz. Then you are asked to choose between a personality quiz or a scored quiz. This site offers extraordinary details. At the scored quiz, you are able to provide a title, tags, description, and choose the type of questions (multiple choice, essay, or fill in the blank). It is simple to insert images, change font styles, insert links, and even score the online quiz. You can create a pass/fail quiz, a graded quiz (with YOU determining what qualifies as an A, B, etc..). You are also able to set a time limit, issue a certificate of achievement, and fill in the possible total score.
Once students have taken the quiz, immediate feedback is provided (including a scale of all participants, the correct answers, final score, and grade). This is a fantastic tool to use to create online quizzes!
Caution: this site does include some minor advertisements. At the time of this review, all advertisements were appropriate. But it would be wise to advise students NOT to click off of the quiz onto any of the advertisements or links.
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): quiz (84)
In the ClassroomUse this site to create online quizzes. Create a quiz as a review to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take the quiz independently or in cooperative learning groups. Have students create their own quizzes to use for review or as a final project. Embed your quiz (or provide a link to it) on your class website.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site for research projects or in science class while learning about various animals. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share some of the videos and "kids" interactives with your elementary students. Then provide individual computers (or set up a learning station) for students to explore the site on their own. Be sure to list this site on your class website or wiki for students to explore at home and use for homework and research projects.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans available at this site. High school teachers (and middle school), share the tutorials and interactives on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share this link on your class website, so students can access the information outside of your classroom.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector, or simply list the link on your class website for students to use for additional information on topics learned in biology class. Why not use laptops (or the computer lab) and complete a LabBench exercise with your AP biology students? You could use the LabBench with lower levels also (possible as a teacher-led activity).
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThis fundraising organization may be a prudent way to fund your school's wildlife or biology club. Why not kick-off this event near Earth Day? Also, teachers, you can coordinate your recycling and earth-loving lessons around this fundraiser.
GradesK to 10
In the ClassroomUse this animated site for students to gain background information about Solar Energy. Students can then work in groups to investigate various concepts from the animation. Student groups can also investigate renewable vs. nonrenewable energy sources following this introduction. Students can create posters using conventional materials or many of the multimedia applications for a digital version. Students can create a pamphlet, draft a letter, or editorial for change in energy policies, etc. With younger grades, share the website on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades5 to 12
Notes: Links on the site ask for donations to the organization and suggest places to volunteer. A store link is also included. This site is best suited for teachers, as it contains lesson plans. Links to articles can be provided directly from your class web page.
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUse the information on the site to enhance lessons on sustainable topics. The background information is extensive and easy to follow. Form students into small groups, based on their interest, for learning about one of the sustainable concepts. Students can create a multimedia presentation of their concept in order to improve awareness for others in the community. Great tools for creating a multimedia project are Venngage, an infographic tool, reviewed here, Padlet, a poster tool, reviewed here, or Gravit, that creates a flyer, post card, or infographic, reviewed here. Use these in conjunction with Earth Day to create local change.
Grades2 to 10
In the ClassroomUse this site as a kick-off when students return to write their "What I Did on my Summer Vacation" papers. If you're teaching research skills, this site is a good place to start, since it is highly visual but definitive. ESL and ELL students can independently use this site since the vocabulary is limited to names, regions, and sizes. Biology teachers can use this site as a reference when teaching about classification.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomConsider having the entire science department request the download and installation of this exciting free software. If you are the lone science teacher, ask your principal to request installation of the software on computers of your choice. Be sure to download the datasets in advance, as file sizes are large. Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to show the microscope view for whole-class discussion. Load the software on student computers for small-group activities.
Be sure to provide this link on your teacher web page. Parents can install the software at home for homework assignments.