Grades1 to 9
Editor's note: There is one group of links (to sites that start with "hometown.aol") that no longer work. Since this is only a small portion of the site, TeachersFirst continues to list the resource for its many GOOD links. Roll your mouse over the links before clicking and check the address in the gray bar at the bottom left of your screen. Don't bother with the hometown.aol links.
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tag(s): readers theater (13)
In the ClassroomMark this one in your favorites, then let student groups select from scripts to record their own audio podcasts or create a Thinglink, reviewed here, of a tale, illustrated with a selection of copyright-safe images or student drawings. Or have students make a high-tech excerpt from a reader's theater script by creating avatars to read each part using Voki, reviewed here. Sequence the embedded conversation bits on a class wiki so viewers can enjoy the performance by clicking through them in order. These wiki excerpts could be used to "advertise" an upcoming performance or a featured literary piece.
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.
Grades7 to 12
Be aware: at the time of this review, a few of the links were no longer active. What remains is quite worthwhile, however.
In the ClassroomBe sure to bookmark this website in your favorites for your study of Shakespeare. Post a link to it on your class page to give students access to the literary works at home. Not only will they be able to have an entire copy of Shakespeare's works on hand, they will also be able to click on links for summaries, analysis, and assistance with nearly everything they will need to know about his life and writing. This is a great resource for you and your students to refer to for review, research projects, or just for reading the text, both in and out of your classroom. Are you looking for more Shakespeare sources and ideas? Save yourself plenty of time by visting TeachersFirst Shakespeare Resources reviewed here, where you will find almost everything you are looking for within this rich collection of valuable materials.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUsers need to be able to record music on their own computer, locate files on their computer, and follow onscreen instructions. Parents and family can hear their student's work as long as the student shares the URL with them.
Have musically gifted students use this to create school sound tracks for the school television show or announcements. Have students create their own drama club or musical interludes for performances. In music clubs, have students record their music to their artist page, share the URL with others in the club, and remix each other's work. In music class, use as a submission space. Have students upload work to their artist page and check work digitally.
GradesK to 12
Be aware: there is an allow/deny button that pop up on this site. You must allow access in order to fully utilize this website. Before the site opens, they ask permission to access your computers camera and microphone. This will enable audio recording functions. Denial of this access will still allow students to create and write stories.
tag(s): art history (81)
In the ClassroomPicture a story is an engaging way to inspire students to write. Working from this rich bank of imagery can nicely support writing lessons about voice, sensory description, point of view, descriptive narrative, and story structure. Use this site with a projector or interactive whiteboard when presenting a writers workshop mini-lesson to the whole class. Use this site together with younger students (unable to read on their own) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can submit their writing and record themselves telling their story. This is a great opportunity to address reading fluency, expression, and communication skills. Integrate writing lessons with art history. Have students research the historical significance of the images they choose. Take time to enjoy and review stories by other students and professional storytellers. This activity would work well for individual students in a lab or on laptops. Share the final project through email or submit it to the Delaware Art Museum's online gallery of pictures and stories.
General Tips and Reminders: Remember to obtain parent/guardian permission before allowing students to submit their stories. Also, check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to interact with the public online. Adobe Flash Player is necessary to record audio.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): journalism (57)
In the ClassroomWinkball requires the use of a webcam or video camera. Simply adjust the camera for a good shot and click record. The preview feature allows users to clear away initial takes and start again. Download video camera footage onto the computer and then directly upload it to Winkball. The site supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files. Enter a title and description for each video clip. Students can also embed videos from Youtube onto video blogs or walls. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. The site is intuitive and involves little more than point and click abilities. Create a single class account using your "extra" email address, so you can monitor and submit student work.
Winkball has the potential to extend learning beyond the confines of your school. It can provide learning opportunities for students physically unable to attend class or who need to receive coursework from another school. Students can film various features of a field trip and share them on a video wall. Video chat will allow students to record interviews with people outside of the local community. Coordinate collaborative learning projects by having students share resources on video blog. The video blog could also serve as an on-line journal for phases of a long-term unit of study, experiment, or class project. Record the stages of a student's thinking process when engaging in creative problem solving activities. Share the value of this learning process with parents and family by posting a video wall on the class website. Create a broadcasting club and post regular news reports about school events on the school website. Upload a film clip about a historic event onto a class video blog and include a probing question that asks students take a stand on an issue, express their opinion, or debate one another on-line. Provide homework help by recording step-by step procedures to solve a particular type of math problem at home. Model ways parents can help their student with their reading. Post live coverage of class plays, concerts, and school performances so that parents at work can still be in the audience. Make language learning more authentic by using video messaging to communicate with students across the globe.
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
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomWitness great storytelling techniques in action. Discuss these techniques with your students. How do storytellers use their voices to convey mood, tone, emotion, and sound? How can storytellers use descriptive language to paint a picture in the mind of the listener? How can onomatopoeias and sensory imagery make stories come alive? What can students infer from a story based on tone and verbal expression? What lessons and morals do some stories imply? Encourage visualization by asking students to sketch story events, create portraits of characters, or paint the setting. With younger children, help them learn to identify character, problem, and setting. Discuss story sequence and plots common to folk tales. Diagram how a circle story plot starts and ends in the same place. Search for stories that contain common themes of self-acceptance, friendship, transformation, or personal journeys. Let students use individual computers to listen (with headphones) to the stories.
After examining stories told on Story Bee, have students create and practice their own storytelling skills. Demonstrate how to compose modern versions of familiar tales, or retell family stories and recent events. Use plot diagrams to assist in the organization of their own stories. Record and share class stories with tools such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their stories by using sites such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Help students create a checklist or rubric to use for self-evaluation or peer review. Use a tool like Quick Rubric, reviewed here, for the checklist and rubric. Use this same document to help students make constructive suggestions for story revisions. Post a link to Story Bee on your class web page or wiki so that students can access it both in and out of class.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is useful for drama, creative writing, psychology, or even character education and school counseling. Behavior support teachers may also want to use it to help students "read" body language. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Explore how people communicate emotion in verbal and non-verbal ways. It is also possible to write subtitles in different languages. Foreign language instructors may want to ask students to write subtitles in the language students are studying. Teachers may find this a humorous way to make class announcements, explain concepts, or even announce homework assignments. Have students work collaboratively to create commercials and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Preview the site before hand and be sure to get permission from your school administrator to share commercials online. When presenting the site do so with cultural sensitivity. Take into consideration that the language used in the movie clips may be the first language of some students or their families.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): vocabulary (315)
In the ClassroomWhat a perfect addition to music or art class! Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Encourage them to add terms of their own, as well. Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomEncourage your students to revise and edit their writing by turning their stories into stopmotion movies. Have students work in small groups to visually re-create events from their own writing. This will help develop stronger characters, dialogue, and draw attention to the elements of time and place. The planning sheets are a helpful tool to help students examine story structure and sequence. Alternatively, develop reading comprehension and fluency by asking students to re-create a fable or folktale. The new term for this is "Readers stopmotion." Teachers may want to be comfortable using a digital camera and movie making programs before embarking on this project."
Challenge students to share their videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here or post them on your class website. Get parent permission before posting any student work on this sharing site and check with your school administrator to be sure that your school allows students to post videos on-line. Teachers may want to be comfortable using a digital camera/webcam and movie making programs before embarking on this project.
Grades2 to 9
In the ClassroomPlan to use this site as the hub of your social studies units on westward expansion or related American History topics. What makes this site exciting is that students interact with other students from around the country. Through technology they get to meet online to make decision and chat with each other. At the end of the 5 weeks students could create a living museum by dressing up in character and present to parents how they accomplished their "journey." Have students videotape the living museums and share them using a resource such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomThe site is so simple, you can utilize the entire pre-prepared curriculum and lesson plans or just add pieces of it to your current curriculum. Integrate the lessons into your language arts component as cross-curricular activities. The pre-K to 1st grade activities and curriculum are available in Spanish. Choose the Spanish version for ESL/ELL lessons or enrichment activities. The Spanish version would be a great supplement for secondary Spanish teachers. Have your science or health class create a Heart Health wiki or use Click2Map, reviewed here, to map out walking landmarks for your community.
Grades7 to 12
This site does offer the option of signing up for RSS feeds. There are some unobtrusive advertisements at the site.
In the ClassroomThese lessons give great examples as well as "pop quizzes" as you go through them. It would be great to do these on a projector or interactive whiteboard, having students comment as you go; then you can assign their own writing to follow up. Of particular interest is the lesson on "note taking on a computer." As essential as computers are to writing these days, it may be the best place to begin. This might also be a good site to link from your class website. It is very easy for students to explore on their own and get extra help where needed. Or have small groups investigate a specific area together and then create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have the groups create a podcast to share using a tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomSocial studies and language arts teachers will enjoy this site when talking about diversity, second generation immigrants, living between two cultural worlds, etc. Use some of the story extracts when your school is celebrating holidays around the world. Share the audio clips. And be sure to TURN UP THE VOLUME. When studying folk literature and culture, have your students search through the extracts for evidence of underlying myths and universal tales. Have your ESL students from Hispania compare their experiences to those in the stories.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe world is open on this site. Choose any activity your students are interested in and this site can help you mold it into what you want for your curriculum. Students interested in fantasy? Have them investigate and write from the "Fantasy-Myths and Legends" prompt. Trouble with grammar? Have them print off the worksheets from "Gorgeous Grammar" and play online, interactive, Grammar Gorillas. This site's use is only limited by your imagination! From virtual site studies to student web projects-- it's all here!
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).
Grades6 to 12
The Mission: Humane projects have recently won the prestigious Harris Wofford service award from Youth Service America. The projects are provided and easy to understand in a step-by-step format. Be aware: this site does include a Community link that has message boards, registration, and sign-in options (which are not required to use this site), and some other collaborative features. Be sure to watch students carefully if you allow them to navigate this site independently. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomUse this eye opening site in any of the subject areas listed above. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the activity guides, they are ready to go and very easy to follow. Present this site and an opposing one as part of a discussion of web sites and even or slanted presentation of information. Ask students to decide whether they see any "bias" on this site.
Use this site for research projects. Print off the list of service project ideas for students to use to earn credit in community service. Share the online course link with students that may be interested in pursuing this topic even further. Use the site as one of several sources for a class debate on animal rights or charge students to explore alternate points of view on animal issues, such as from the AKC or the meat industry. Then invite students to write a position paper with supporting facts.
Grades5 to 8
tag(s): listening (86)
In the ClassroomEncourage students to build vocabulary by listening to these short pieces. Share the stories with groups on an interactive whiteboard or projector (turn up the speakers). Students could also write and record their own similar talks on closely related subjects or on similar occurrences in other locations. Learning support teachers will find the option of offering a written text along with audio a good option for comprehension practice with weaker readers.
Grades3 to 8
tag(s): ireland (12)
In the ClassroomUse this website to prepare a drama and/or musical with your students. Or pick and choose smaller segments of the website to incorporate into your lesson plans. If you plan to have students write and perform short plays as part of a social studies or interdisciplinary unit, this site is a great reference. Share this lively website with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector (be sure to turn up the volume).
Grades4 to 7
tag(s): egypt (64)