Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Blockly as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class for beginners and experienced coders. Display Blockly on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you explore the different features of the site, then have students create and explore on their own. To generate ideas on how to use Blockly, have students practice using Blockly at Blockly Games, reviewed here. After school clubs can use Blockly to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis game is perfect for use as an introduction to lessons on digital citizenship, media literacy, and social media. Share the site with your students to explore on their own and encourage them to play several different times using the different options provided. Your students won't mind playing over and over; it is easy to get hooked on trying to find the best way to gain as many followers as possible! Once students become familiar with the game and the different options presented for spreading misinformation, ask them to apply their findings to online content. Have them do some online research to find sites or information using tactics such as emotion and the others featured in Bad News. As they research sites and online information, have them add links to the sites they find on a class Padlet. Padlet, reviewed here, offers an option to create columns, use this option then label a column for each badge found in the game and ask students to share a link to their sites in the appropriate column. In addition to adding a link, have students include a comment providing information on why their site belongs in the category. Instead of assessing learning with quizzes or a written report, enhance learning and transform your assessment by having students create infographics to share information learned. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, provides easy to use templates to create interesting and informative infographics. Extend leaning and ask students to become the teacher using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create an online learning activity teaching others on how to recognize and avoid disinformation found online. Be sure to share your assessment rubric with students as part of your assignment. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude activities from this site as part of any online safety lesson. Use these lessons at the beginning of the school year to teach students how to evaluate online information and as an assessment for the understanding of the ability to judge the credibility of information and sources. Student responses from this site are created through Google Forms, use these responses as a template to create your own Google Forms for personalized content such as local news articles or T.V. news. Instead of creating a table to compare and contrast various sources of information, replace paper and pencil by using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, for students to evaluate similarities and differences between news sources. Have students enhance their learning by creating an infographic using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to share with their peers. Challenge students to include facts, comparisons, and images to create the infographics.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude the information from this site with your other resources for teaching about online safety. Instead of creating a list of links for students, share safety tips with students by replacing the list using a bookmarking tool like Padlet, reviewed here, to share all resources including videos, websites, and more in one place. Invite students to add their own resources to the Padlet as a collaborative activity on internet safety. Create quizzes using Baamboozle, reviewed here, as a formative assessment during your online safety unit. Baamboozle is a quick and easy quiz creation tool to replace paper and pencil. Divide the class into groups to research the different topics found on this site then let them create their own Baamboozle quizzes for their classmates. Instead of teaching online safety in individual lessons, consider using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create a learning path including all of your lessons. Have students follow at their own pace and use tools with the Learning Paths to offer differentiation for the abilities and interests of your students. To modify learning and further challenge students, have them create their own internet safety Learning Paths for classmates to complete.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this site with your other bookmarks for images and space-related content. Use Symbaloo, reviewed here, to share all of your space bookmarks in one easy to find location. This NASA site is an excellent resource for finding images to use with creative writing prompts; display an interesting image from the site for student storytelling lessons. Exchange paper and pen writing journals, and share their writing using Edublog, reviewed here. As students learn about space topics, ask them to find an image on this site then use ThingLink, reviewed here, to enhance their learning by annotating the image with text, video, and web links to additional information. Extend student learning by having students create a video presentation about space using a video creation tool like Typito, reviewed here. Typito includes templates and additional tools to create professional-looking videos or use your own images and video.
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 ThingLink, 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.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomInstead of printing a periodic table for students to include in folders, share a link to this site for students to bookmark on their computer or mobile device. Add online notes to this web page with additional information for students using an online annotation tool like eMargin, reviewed here. eMargin allows you to add notes, highlight portions of the web page, and more. Ask students to research elements further then create an annotated image including text boxes and related links sharing their research using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have groups of older students create interactive periodic element books for younger students with images, videos, and descriptions using a site like Book Creator, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): american revolution (73), climate change (77), critical thinking (103), environment (218), martin luther king (39), media literacy (87), middle east (40), nutrition (132), OER (36), presidents (115), russia (33), social media (44)
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 ThingLink, reviewed here. For younger students create a ThingLink together as a class to add text, video, and more to images. Ask older students to create their own ThingLink 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, ThingLink 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!
GradesK to 12
tag(s): browser (6)
In the ClassroomKeeping your browsers updated helps to provide the latest security for your computers. Use this site to discover the most popular browsers available. Download different browsers to compare and contrast features to find the one that is most user-friendly for your needs.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this activity with any unit on the environment, water cycles, or weather. Extend this activity further to learn more about water conservation in your community. Ask students to take pictures around the school or at home showing the inefficient use of water. Use PhotoCollage, reviewed here, and have students create a collage of their images to use as a starting point for research. Ask students to enhance their learning and upload their collage to a blog and write analyzing and sharing ideas for water conversation based on their collage. Use a blog tool such as Edublog, reviewed here. Use Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create a learning path for your students for your entire unit. Add videos, quizzes, embed this game and add all the information for students to follow. Symbaloo Learning Paths also includes options for differentiation for different interests or ability levels of your students. Ask older students to modify their learning and create their own Learning Path to demonstrate and share learning throughout the unit.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomSet the home page on classroom computers to MSN Kids for students to explore and learn about current events around the world. Have students choose an article and use it as a basis for a research project. Challenge students to create an infographic using Canva, reviewed here, to share information learned from the site. After researching information using MSN Kids, ask students to create an explainer video using Biteable, reviewed here, to provide facts, background information, and discuss any topic.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site to your students on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector and explore one or two of the games together. Create a short story together to learn about how to use the different story-writing options. As students begin creating games using this site, consider having students create explainer videos to modify their learning using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and to demonstrate tools that need a more detailed explanation than what is on the site. Have students create stories to show what they have learned about literature, geography, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Choice of Games to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This idea could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. Redefine student learning by having them include their text-based game as part of a collaborative multi-media presentation created using Sway, reviewed here. In addition to their game, ask students to include their written documents, images, and video creations.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomYou and your students will benefit from this site's free materials to include in your science lab activities to teach content, problem-solving, and scientific investigation techniques. As students begin activities replace paper and pencil and use a digital graphic organizer such as one found at TUZZit, reviewed here, to organize questions and gather information. Upon completion of experiments, enhance learning and have students share their work using Printing Press, reviewed here, to create a one-page newspaper or brochure including images and text. At the end of your unit, have students use Biteable, reviewed here, to redefine their learning and create an explainer video sharing and demonstrating the results of their lab activities.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with students as part of career exploration lessons. Instead of creating a list of sites to share with students, replace the list by saving bookmarks with Symbaloo, reviewed here, to make information easy to find and access. After researching the different engineering fields ask students to extend their learning and create a web page sharing a day in the life of their chosen field. Carrd, reviewed here, is a free webpage creation tool that provides many tools for professional-looking pages. Find many other resources to encourage creativity and engineering at TeachersFirst Makerspace Resources, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): atoms (41), cells (82), charts and graphs (163), decimals (88), earth (173), electricity (61), equations (120), fractions (164), magnetism (33), molecules (38), number lines (33), number sense (70), planets (111), ratios (51), space (204), stars (61), STEM (225), sun (59), transformations (12), variables (14)
In the ClassroomInclude Expii with your links for students to use at home and in class. Expii is an excellent way to provide content explanation through the voice of many different speakers, allowing the opportunity to increase student understanding. To enhance learning, ask groups of students to view lessons provided by the different contributors, then ask them to compare and contrast information by creating a concept map or Venn Diagram using Canva, reviewed here. At the end of a teaching unit, ask students to redefine what they learned using a multimedia tool like Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, or Sway, reviewed here, to share their learning. Be sure to have them include their own video explanation of the content.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomInclude a link to Science News for Students on classroom computers to include with other non-fiction reading resources for students. Have students browse through the site to find information of interest when choosing science fair or research topics. Enhance students' learning by asking them to create an infographic related to a science topic using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. This very easy to use tool includes drag and drop tools for easy creation of infographics using included templates or your own design. Take student research a step further and redefine their technology use by having students use ThingLink, reviewed here, to upload an image related to their science research and add annotations. Thinglink offers tools for adding text, audio, video, and more to images. Weaker readers will need a reading buddy for some of the more challenging articles. Classes in lower grades will want to read the articles together. A quick check on one article using Juicy Studio's Readability test, reviewed here, provided an approximate grade level of 6.5. Check articles before assigning to elementary students. You might also want to use Word Sift, reviewed here, to quickly identify important words that appear in the text.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomAdd this site to your tool kit of December teaching resources. Include the games on classroom computers and add to your class website. Replace paper posters and have students share their favorite activities using an on line poster creator like Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. After practicing coding using the games provided on this site, enhance learning by challenging students to create their own game using a tool such as Scratch, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomShare Turtle Academy with students as part of a computer coding center. The ability to select different portions of lessons makes this a great tool for both novice and experienced programmers. Ask more proficient students to become advisors to newer programmers and share their knowledge and skills. Begin using this site by demonstrating lessons and activities on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Modify student learning and understanding by asking them to create video explainers for different skills using a tool like Rawshorts, reviewed here, then share videos on your class website for student use at any time. Looking for other coding activities for your classroom? Find more at TeachersFirst's Coding in the Classroom special topic page.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): black history (90), coding (75), creativity (93), digital storytelling (129), dr seuss (7), drawing (58), environment (218), graphic design (49), great depression (27), literacy (96), nutrition (132), photography (127), poetry (182), problem solving (217), qr codes (18), read across america (4), STEM (225), stories and storytelling (34), symmetry (29)