Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomYou can create and/or assign quizzes for any topic. You need not register students to simply assign an activity, but registration is required to keep and report scores. You simply check which countries to include to narrow activity searches, so decide whether alternate spellings might be an issue for your curriculum topic. Students can use quizzes either at home or in school. Use this site to help students review concepts and receive immediate feedback on their performance. There is a direct link in the quizzes to send a link to registered students or to share on social networking sites such as Facebook, iGoogle and Blogger. Assign small groups of students to create their own quiz for any topic you might be studying. Students can challenge their peers as a review.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this interactive coral reef in a study of nonrenewable resources, conservation, or ecosystems. Put the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and watch your class jump into the water! As a starting point for Socrates seminar, debates, and persuasive writing, this site offers a great variety of passionate debate! Using this site as a model, have your students make a similar situation with other ecosystems. Have students create other scenarios for non-renewable resources, arguments for alternative energy, or even bring closer to home with a local dilemma. In writing class, develop an interactive based on the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. Why not have students create a Prezi presentation (reviewed here), simple to use with endless possibilities. Use the model for other scenarios and develop other story ideas. Use a problem based learning scenario into ways humans affect the environment. These activities will engage every learner!
GradesK to 12
tag(s): h1n1 (13)
In the ClassroomShare 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
In the ClassroomSince news sources often generate specialized but temporary web resources just in time for Inauguration Day (January 20), you will want to use these resources in combination with a Google News search for the most timely information, such as news articles and images. Assign older students to compare historical background and current practice in a chosen aspect of the inauguration and create a multimedia presentation, wiki page, or mock "news" video about the day's events. Share selected images and explanation with younger students using your projector or interactive whiteboard.
GradesK to 12
If you wish to choose from a more extensive list election-related resources or to narrow your list for a specific topic and grade level, try entering your topic and elections as search terms in the TeachersFirst keyword search (under Search menu), setting the grade level you seek, as well.
tag(s): elections (73)
In the ClassroomUse this handy "spcial topics" collection to find just the right student activity or reference information when you are studying elections. You can also share it on your teacher web page as an "approved" list of election resources for home and school study.
Grades6 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomFind data belonging to a specific country through its own data portal page. Collect similar data and data sets from more than one country at the same time to compare and contrast and identify trends. For example, view categories such as Agriculture, Crime, Culture, Economy, Education, Energy, and more. Enter keywords to find data matching your needs. Use this site to look at data and determine reasons for difference. Encourage students to find articles written in these various countries to explain culture differences. Students can also make infographics (data visualizations) to display comparisons and contrasts. Make connections with educators in these countries to encourage discussions between the different classes either through multimedia or blogs. Resources such as Classchats or Skype in Schools can get you started.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomPodomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.
Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a mini cast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions, record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events, Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News." Have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!), Have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.
If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini casts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.
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
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the chart as a basis for writing prompts, fishbowl discussions, blog posts, and more. Create a wiki page about the background information of the chart. Consider using the topics here to conduct your own research and publish your own charts through a wiki or blog. Want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for current events projects - assign students various weeks through out the semester in which they are to be the class news reporter, keeping their peers up to date and informed. Have students research whats going on via this news site, and present a small presentation at the beginning of class every day during their week. Students can either orally present, or for the technologically inclined, create a short video summarizing the same information. Have students create news briefs and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): europe (72)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for current events discussions, or as a source for a Euro-centric viewpoint on the news. Display the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to read specific articles and create multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students annotate an image using Fine Tuna, (reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomChoose whatever fits your curriculum or as a daily warm-up for current events. This provides a great alternative to reading news articles and is especially motivating for visual learners and students who struggle with reading comprehension. After your class views the video, use the daily discussion activities designed to promote critical thinking. You are also able to print the learning activities to assign as group work or for homework. There is even a news quiz. You may want to distribute copies of the transcripts for ESL students to refer to, for use as a research source, or to use for practicing reading comprehension for state exams and other assessments. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research one topic at this site and share their findings with the class by creating an interactive online poster (infographic) using Piktochart, reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): population (64)
In the ClassroomUse this infographic in class by posting the link on a wiki, blog or website. (You can also embed it right in your wiki or blog.) Provide time for students to look at the material and to generate questions about it. Brainstorm not only questions but what has been learned from it. Allow groups time to research the economic and social issues that have caused such a change in population and how people live. Encourage students to use the links referenced and to evaluate them as sources. Students can also find their own sources to validate information shown. Create multimedia or conventional displays of information to share what has been learned by others. Have your students try something other than PowerPoint: create a Prezi presentation (reviewed here), simple to use with endless possibilities.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the lesson plan suggestions to meet the mandate for instruction on Constitution Day, but be sure and check out the other resources for lessons on civics, government, current events and the Constitution itself. The section called "Dialogues" provides resources to engage students and community members in discussion of fundamental American legal principles and civic traditions.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the photos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the series of steps on this activity to teach students the skills of observation, deduction, and drawing intelligent conclusions. Have students do this activity in pairs in a computer lab. The steps are available to use on paper or printable in pdf format, so students can select their own mystery photos and create a similar activity away from the computer. ESL/ELL students can benefit from using the steps in this process. Images will help them understand material better, and they can also create their own presentations. Have students bring and exchange mystery photos; see if the conclusions they draw match the family stories the photo owners have. Science teachers can use this photo activity to teach about scientific method and, in particular, making observations. Start with the offerings on this site, then try it with more "scientific" images.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): timelines (57)
In the ClassroomIf you only plan to VIEW timelines, no extra skills are needed. Step by step directions are provided. You will also need to choose a username to create your timeline.
There are many uses for the ready-made timelines: use your interactive whiteboard or projector to learn about historical events, research literature, learn about different decades and events throughout the world, and more. Have students create timelines for research projects using Photo Timelines. Use this tool to make a timeline of your class,''''?,"'''? school year for younger classes who are just learning the graphical representation of time. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel, interspersed with the ways themes appear throughout the novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Elementary students could even interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents,''''?,"'''? generation for Grandparents' Day. Why not create a timeline highlighting students' family events for a special gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or other holidays? You may need to assign students to do some investigative work first (years of births, marriages, vacations, etc.). In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students can learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and photo digitization while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review history and cultural developments.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomA class journaling program has limitless possibilities. Engage students in discussions using a topic from current events, current social issues, independent reading, literature, and more. Any class using a journal can use Penzu. For example, science lab write ups or the problem of the week in math. Penzu can even be used for homework. Just think, no more lugging heavy boxes full of notebooks around! In language arts have students journal daily and harvest from their musings and ideas to create a short story or a poem. They can even use Penzu to develop their brainstorms and rough draft. For social studies classes, students can write posts and ideas about famous people or daily life in a time period being studied, then create a "diary" for the famous person in Bookemon or a poster about daily life. For either of these ideas, once they are ready to present a final project have them use Bookemon, reviewed here, or Piktochart, reviewed here, to share with their peers and others and possibly add other media. See more ideas for student blogging/journaling at TeachersFirst's Blogging Basics for the Classroom. Share journals with parents as appropriate by URL. Be sure to respect student privacy before sharing.
Grades10 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site for having students read science writing. The cross-curricular aspect of the articles is great. Nonfiction, especially in science, is harder for students to understand and read. This site can provide great practice for students in comprehension of informational texts. Have students read articles as homework and bring questions to class. Or assign an article on the class website and have students post responses. A good strategy for this type of assignment is to require students to create one original post and two responses to other students. This can begin the conversational ball rolling. Another idea for this site, is to use the obituaries section as a start for student research. Students are already exposed to historically important scientists, but this would bring more current physicists to the learning lime light.
If you plan to have students write comments on the articles, an email address is required. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, 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.
GradesK to 12
Because there is no search feature and no descriptions of what the webcams show, do not have young children access them without supervision. Previewing all videos before sharing with the class would be wise.
In the ClassroomThis site would be a great addition to any science, social studies, or world cultures class. Teachers click on a webcam in different parts of the world to see things like weather and basic geography. In early elementary, use web cams to introduce the world visually on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Select specific web cams and create shortcuts on your classroom computer desktop for students to "see what's happening" on a certain continent as you study the seven continents. Use animal webcams for students to observe animal behavior and keep a "lab journal" of what they see. Use this site to visit different areas that have been effected by natural disasters. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students (with a partner) create their own videos related to your location and/or specific topic of study. Share the videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades1 to 6
Be Aware: some links lead to subscription and shopping sites so students may need to be introduced to the site to be made aware of links to avoid.
In the ClassroomShare the latest polls with students and compare results to those found within your class. Create a link on classroom computers and allow students to read headlines and latest news then prepare a summary to present to the class. Have students use a multimedia tool such as Adobe Spark For Education, reviewed here. Follow students' favorite teams through the site to use as story starters and journal topics. Practice math by following statistics of Major League Baseball teams.
Grades3 to 12
Be aware: some of the ideas suggested in the "Tools" section do require the purchase of various software programs. The free audio stories in the "Storykeepers' Gallery" make this a fabulous site!