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Highlighting Our History: Colonial Times Read-alouds PLUS for the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English...more
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts while infusing some social studies content, specifically the early colonial period. If you fear that social studies has taken a back seat to tested content or that students may be losing a sense of our history and heritage, this is a way to fortify your students' knowledge of early American history and heritage together with their skills in reading and writing. The article includes book suggestions as well as discussion questions and writing activities connected to CCSS Standards. Don't miss our other articles on implementing Common Core in elementary. The book suggestions are not necessarily ones your students would read on their own, but nestle in well as read-alouds in social studies curriculum across elementary grades.

tag(s): book lists (121), colonial america (90), commoncore (83), writing prompts (63)

In the Classroom

Mark this article in your Favorites and take the book suggestions with you to the library (or search for interlibrary loans) to help "fit" social studies into your read-alouds, making every minute count! Consider using them as part of a "Then and Now" or "Past and Present" focus in kindergarten or first grade, or with middle elementary students as part of a unit related to early settlements or the thirteen colonies. Be sure to look at the suggestions for connecting the read-alouds to CCSS-aligned writing prompts or for short, focused research projects to include as follow-up.

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Media Smarts - Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy

Grades
6 to 12
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media...more
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media literacy to explore articles related to television, Internet, and gender issues. An extensive teacher resource section offers many lessons and resources searchable by grade, subject, and media type. Download lessons in PDF format using links in the lesson description.

tag(s): media literacy (83)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to explore and use with lessons related to digital and media literacy. Share articles on gender and body image with students. Engage students by having them create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Enhance learning by having students find examples on T.V. and use an online poster creator, such as PicLits, reviewed here to demonstrate examples. Give students a choice and have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here, instead of the poster.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Map Stack - Stamen

Grades
6 to 12
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Create highly stylized map images with this tool. This tool is very similar to the Photoshop layers palette and easily creates map layers using data already available in Open Street...more
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Create highly stylized map images with this tool. This tool is very similar to the Photoshop layers palette and easily creates map layers using data already available in Open Street Map. Create layers using backgrounds, roads, labels, and satellite imagery. Modify the layers' color, opacity, and brightness. Easily highlight or color portions of the map you want to standout. Share the image you create via Pinterest or Tumblr. Share your map image also by a link. Use precision detail with image overlays and layer effects, even creating masks for other layers. The tool can also be used to create a regular map in the colors you want. This site takes some tinkering to figure out but yields colorful and interesting maps.

tag(s): images (253), maps (216)

In the Classroom

Use to focus on and compare resources found in various communities or geographic locations. Identify where natural resources are concentrated in the world. Compare street design in various communities, concentration of population, and more. Create artistic representations of various areas as a project. Include this tool for your tech savvy students to try as you study different types of maps. Challenge them to create a map that has traditional elements such as terrain, and also uses color and image tools to emphasize or communicate information about a location, such as toxic waste locations or musical "scenes." Art teachers can suggest this tool for students to create geo-based artworks or create images to use in Earth Day posters.

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English Cobuild Dictionary - Reverso

Grades
5 to 12
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This special dictionary for language learners has several unique features: definitions, examples, and explanations for natural language words and phrases. It also has constant updates...more
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This special dictionary for language learners has several unique features: definitions, examples, and explanations for natural language words and phrases. It also has constant updates as the "cobuilders" (other contributors) add to it. Read the explanation of the site BEFORE you start to search a word. The larger part of this site also includes tools for Translation, Conjugation, Grammar, and Spell Check (install the Reverso toolbar on your computer). In addition to defining the word or phrase, the dictionary also allows you to click on any blue word or phrase in the definition for more definitions, audio, and sometimes video explanations. There is an option to search for the word in video/text news stories. It pulls up short little blurbs of authentic news stories, some accompanied by video (with the blurb being read) or a picture. Pronunciation is available for all words (click the word, then "speak"). The company that created the site is British, but its dictionary entries include comments on both American and British usage. The site is a collaborative site, so anyone can add new entries. In addition to being useful for any English language learner, there are features available in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Portuguese. You can even set up your own vocabulary lists if you want to use this site as a personalized learning tool. Although we didn't find anything inappropriate at this site, you will want to preview this site before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): arabic (13), chinese (41), dictionaries (50), french (69), german (44), italian (26), russian (21), spanish (91), spelling (87)

In the Classroom

Before turning students loose on this site, especially if their English is weak, show them how to navigate it on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Make it available for all ELL students. Install the Reverso toolbar on your computer to access the dictionary, translator, conjugator, grammar, and spell-checker. If your school computers are "locked down," ask the techies about installing it on at least one class computer to use for reference. Bookmark the site on classroom computers where any World Language instruction takes place. Use this site in World Language classes to enrich your lessons in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Portuguese. Share this site with families on for use at home.

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Flipboard - Flipboard

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Use Flipboard to collect, explore, and share information from many sources, all in a magazine-style format. Flipboard can hold specific articles and images you choose or a dynamic "feed"...more
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Use Flipboard to collect, explore, and share information from many sources, all in a magazine-style format. Flipboard can hold specific articles and images you choose or a dynamic "feed" from a web source such as CNN, a Twitter hashtag, or a favorite blog. Most Flipboard consumers read their magazines on mobile devices, but you can manage and access your magazines from the "web tools" page (the link from this review) on a computer. Create your personal magazine(s) with things you care about: news, staying connected, social networks, and more. Create an account with Flipboard and then connect with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube. Click the More panel to browse other categories and add them to your magazines. Drag the Flipboard button to your bookmarks bar or use the Flipboard app on your smartphone or tablet. Find an article you want to add to your collection? Click the + button next to the article to save it or simply click "Flip It" on your computer's browser toolbar to add that web page to your magazine. Edit your magazines online and share with friends and colleagues. View your RSS feeds or follow your news stream in social media with this magazine-style interface. Most of the tutorial videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. Flipboard is a device-agnostic tool. Load the free app on mobile devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (166), news (237), social networking (86), video (243)

In the Classroom

Create a class Flipboard account and create magazines for each unit studied through the year. Add information that is useful for student understanding, application of concepts, or materials to be used for projects. Create a magazine of great articles and information to read or search through. Consider creating a Flipboard magazine for student current events or happenings. Use this for reports on various topics such as food issues, diseases, political information, cultures around the world, and more. Make a customized "feed" for more advanced information on a topic for your gifted and advanced students. Students can curate a Flipboard of pictures or videos from the web on a certain topic to share with their classmates. Create a Professional Development Flipboard with other teachers. Teacher-librarians may want to work together with classroom teachers to create magazines of certain content for students to use during research units. Challenge your middle and high school gifted students to curate a magazine for themselves on a topic of individual interest, creating a "PLN" they can use for years. For example, a student interested in rocketry can locate and add blogs from rocket scientists, NASA feeds, and more. Talented writers may want to collect feeds from literary publications and author blogs. They will probably also discover related Flipboards created by others. As gifted students' interests change, they can curate other topical "magazines" to keep learning, even if the topics do not fall within the traditional curriculum. You may find that the personalization of learning is something ALL your students want to do.

Comments

There are amazing collections on this site. Cindi, NC, Grades: 0 - 6

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100Reporters - 100 Reporters

Grades
8 to 12
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One hundred of the World's top reporters have joined forces to take aim at corruption around the World. View news stories include various topics such as Agriculture, Business, Government,...more
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One hundred of the World's top reporters have joined forces to take aim at corruption around the World. View news stories include various topics such as Agriculture, Business, Government, and more. Be sure to click on the World tab to view articles by region. Build your own critical thinking as you read these articles and compare them with typical media sources. Although all articles appear perfectly appropriate for older students, we still suggest previewing this site before you share with students. Some of the topics are sensitive and/or graphic.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): media literacy (83), persuasive writing (51)

In the Classroom

In discussions of current events, find great news articles that get to the heart of the story. Compare them with other news outlets to discuss how money and the viewpoints of business owners can cloud the actual reporting. Be sure to discuss how to find parent websites by investigating the shortened address (url) of sites as well as the advertisements found on pages. Compare and contrast news stories found on a variety of news pages. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare two news stories. In world language or world cultures classes, discover what the "hot topics" are by looking at news stories from the region being studied. In writing classes, use these articles compared with those on the same topic from other sources for students to collect supporting evidence to use in essay writing.

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50 Amazing Facts About Earth - Jason Major

Grades
5 to 12
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This Infographic offers 50 Amazing Facts not well known about the Earth. The Infographic is separated into different sections by themes including Space, Atmosphere, Sea, Under Earth,...more
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This Infographic offers 50 Amazing Facts not well known about the Earth. The Infographic is separated into different sections by themes including Space, Atmosphere, Sea, Under Earth, Ground, and Man. Take a look to learn something new... and possibly to wonder whether everything it says is true.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atmosphere (20), geology (61), landforms (37), oceans (135), soil (19), space (202)

In the Classroom

This site would be a great introduction into digital literacy. Ask students how they know that these facts are actually true? Discuss how you can research the author, the quality of the site itself, the comments made, etc. Compare this site to others that are deemed to be "authorities" and with those that are not. Each student could choose one or two of these facts to do further research, not only to determine whether the facts are true, but to find important background information that can make the fact relevant to other students and the class. Be sure to check out the comments to see those who dispute some of the "facts" in the Infographic. Use research to determine which facts are correct. Why are some of the facts correct or incorrect, and what misconceptions exist about these facts? For quick projects, have students create instant graphics of important words about the Earth using a tool such as Typogenerator (reviewed here) or Wordle (reviewed here).

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MakeUseOf Cheat Sheets - makeuseof.com

Grades
K to 12
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for ...more
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MakeUseOf offers a large collection of tip sheets for popular programs such as Gmail, Mac programs, and Windows. Find over 40 help guides. Some of the topics include Safari for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, Shortcuts For Special Characters on Windows, Evernote Search Tips & Tricks, Skype Shortcuts for Mac OSX, YouTube Tips, and several others. View by clicking the thumbnail or use the download link to print in PDF format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): computers (99), search strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Useful both with students or personally, this is a site that you will definitely want to bookmark or save in your favorites. Print the guides for use with classroom computers, in computer labs, and to tape in student notebooks. Create a permanent link to these guides on your class website or blog for students (and parents) to use at home. Encourage students to use these sheets to become "techsperts" at a certain program and to share their expertise during byod activities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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PAT - Public Domain Country Maps - Ian Macky

Grades
4 to 12
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PAT is a large collection of open source maps for every country in the world. Click on any country in the alphabetized list to view available options such as regional ...more
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PAT is a large collection of open source maps for every country in the world. Click on any country in the alphabetized list to view available options such as regional maps or neighboring countries. Choose from a traditional or high-contrast background color scheme. Download all maps in a zip file using links provided.

tag(s): africa (135), antarctica (27), asia (67), australia (27), countries (67), europe (68), maps (216), north america (11), south america (36)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save PAT as a resource for free printable maps for use anytime needed. Share with students to easily find and locate geographic information. Share the maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom.

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Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Center - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
9 to 12
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The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form....more
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The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form. Finding authentic projects for students can be a challenge. Here, students can create an account, choose a project, and contribute their transcriptions of historic documents. Current projects include diaries, field notes, and other primary sources.

tag(s): local history (14), primary sources (95)

In the Classroom

A wonderful extension or enrichment project for responsible high school students, the Transcription Center allows students to interact with primary sources, learn about the importance of everyday records of the lives of those who go before us, and have the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to the universe of information that will be available to future scholars. Small groups of students could share a transcription project and check each other's before submitting, or discuss the texts they have transcribed. Students interested in independent research might find a transcription project that adds to their understanding of a particular subject. You might even consider using transcription as a community service project or an initiative in your gifted ed class.

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All About Explorers - All About Explorers

Grades
5 to 8
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It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary ...more
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It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary school and middle school students sort the garbage from the gold on the Internet. Despite the name of the site, it's not really about explorers at all. In fact, all the biographies of the (very real) explorers on this site are fictional. Teachers can use the site in two ways: The "Treasure Hunt" section allows students to compare the biography on the All About Explorers site with a linked biography on a "real" site and asks them to compare the two and draw conclusions. Alternatively, there is a more comprehensive Web Quest section that allows for a more complete and lengthy lesson with the same object.

tag(s): explorers (59), internet safety (113), media literacy (83), webquests (22)

In the Classroom

The trick in using All About Explorers is to keep the real lesson a secret at the beginning and allow students to come to their own conclusion. Processing that "aha!" moment when students recognize that there is a hidden agenda here will have a much more lasting impression than simply telling students they cannot believe everything they read. Deep inside, students often believe they can easily tell the difference between the Truth and something that is misleading or downright false. All About Explorers will help them see how difficult that can be. They might also learn something about explorers in the process! Extend this lesson by having student groups find another suspect site and create a screencast of that "suspicious" site, pointing out characteristics that indicate an unreliable source. A tool such as Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, or Screencastify (Chrome app), reviewed here, will allow them to create a "tour" of the fallacies they find.

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Scrible - Scrible

Grades
4 to 12
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Transform your students' web-based research with Scrible. Highlight and annotate web pages and easily save, share, organize, and collaborate on Internet-based research. Scrible offers...more
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Transform your students' web-based research with Scrible. Highlight and annotate web pages and easily save, share, organize, and collaborate on Internet-based research. Scrible offers browser bookmarklets for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. With the Scrible bookmarklet installed, when you're on a page just click the bookmarklet to launch a menu of bookmarking tools. Access your work right where you left off from editing. Use the option to format your bibliographies as you bookmark. Compile your article clippings into one package. Students may sign up using their academic email address. (If your school's domain name is not recognized as "academic," sign up for the free account and send a "feedback" email explaining that your email address is that of a student.) Student Scrible accounts have double the storage capacity of the standard free account. Educators sign up for the Basic Edition and then click the feedback link to let Scrible know you're an educator. They will set you up with a special edition which includes the same features. Work smarter, not harder with Scrible. Saving your bookmarks with Scrible allows you to easily go back to review a site, and you'll see immediately why you bookmarked that site.

tag(s): citations (33), Research (52), summarizing (17)

In the Classroom

Your students' online research will be efficient and effective with Scrible. Students can take notes on their bookmarks. They only need to bookmark the part of the website they need for their assignment. Students can collaborate with peers on their research. Post articles and documents online for your students to highlight and annotate. Bookmark this tool on your website or blog for your students to access in or outside of the classroom. Use Scrible to annotate professional development articles or to highlight important information for your students. The best part? It will instantly create your bibliography for you!

How many times have we heard students complain during a group project, "But I couldn't get to his or her house to work on it?" Tell them to use Scrible to interact online. The research and conversations created through highlighting and annotating what they read can greatly enhance both their research skills and their online interaction on academic level skills. Or use the site to post and share discussion assignments on specific articles or even parts of articles using the highlighting tool. Find a relevant article to your subject. Highlight the part that you want students to read. (If students are younger, keep it short to reduce the intimidating reality of too much information for kids.) Attach a note with a discussion question for the students. Have them comment on the link in a "class discussion" as an outside assignment. If you are fortunate enough to have all students with computer access in your class and at home, such as in one to one laptop (or BYOD) program schools, you can use this essentially to run your class. Post assignments or post readings. Science teachers can post online interactive labs, and more.

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Spigot - spigot.org

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This free tool is an aggregation site for news, research, information, and opinion about learning and technology. Hover over the titles to read an abstract or click to be taken ...more
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This free tool is an aggregation site for news, research, information, and opinion about learning and technology. Hover over the titles to read an abstract or click to be taken to the site. There are video clips, slideshows, articles, and more. Share easily with others through email, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media. Interested in a specific topic? Use the tags on the left to view an entire category of related information. The site operates "automatically" by following certain feeds and web news searches, so new items appear very often. Although the title is Spigot, it could seem like "Firehose"! The content seems appropriate for secondary classrooms, but you might want to preview just before you turn students loose to be sure.

tag(s): media literacy (83), news (237)

In the Classroom

Use these articles to discuss the future of education and the use of technology both in high school and higher education. As students are the most important stakeholders in education, many of these articles are relevant to them and their future. Students will especially be interested in the Practice and Alt. Culture sections of this site. Discuss current events in your classroom and ask students to investigate an angle on technology and/or education for a persuasive writing piece or debate. Students have incredible insight into their own learning and technology use. Keep this link bookmarked on your classroom computer or linked to your blog, wiki, or class page. Use examples from this site to look for bias or editorial slant as part of an information literacy unit. Select articles for experience with informational texts.

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RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation - Karen M. Christensson

Grades
6 to 12
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RADCAB is a way to evaluate information and resources. RADCAB is a mnemonic acronym: Relevancy, Appropriateness, Detail, Currency, Authority, and Bias. Click on each word for details...more
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RADCAB is a way to evaluate information and resources. RADCAB is a mnemonic acronym: Relevancy, Appropriateness, Detail, Currency, Authority, and Bias. Click on each word for details on that topic. An excellent rubric is available for download in PDF format. This simple site is a great resource for discussing and teaching information literacy lessons about evaluating information and sources.

tag(s): evaluating sources (15), internet safety (113), media literacy (83), Research (52), rubrics (31)

In the Classroom

Share this site and content on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you begin a project involving research. Demonstrate how to use this site before allowing students to explore on their own. Print and use the rubric available on the site. Require that students (or groups) complete the rubric on their chosen sources for research. Share a link to the site on your class website and classroom computer for easy student (and parent) reference at any time. Another idea: assign cooperative learning groups one part of the acronym. Each group could create a presentation to share with the class about what they learned about their part of the evaluation process. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Students will LOVE finding and sharing examples of "bad" sources!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Word Sense - codeLily LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Word Sense is a dictionary and thesaurus presented in a unique, interactive display. Enter your word in the search box and view the definition. Click on any of the related ...more
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Word Sense is a dictionary and thesaurus presented in a unique, interactive display. Enter your word in the search box and view the definition. Click on any of the related terms to view definitions and connections from the associated words. Use links to go directly to the definition of any associated word or term to continue exploring and understanding terms. There is a link to "Learn How it Works" to learn more about the possibilities at this site. We strongly recommend that you explore how it works first! Note: This is a full service dictionary, so ANY word is available for search, including those not appropriate at school. Use caution with less mature students searching independently. Be certain to set clear expectations and consequences for inappropriate searches.

tag(s): antonyms (14), dictionaries (50), synonyms (17), thesaurus (21), vocabulary (233), vocabulary development (89)

In the Classroom

Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site. Explore word meanings, connotations, and antonyms. Use a word cloud maker to create clouds of new words learned: Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Use Word Sense to understand and explore vocabulary words of the day or week. Share with students as a resource for preparing for standardized testing, such as the SAT/ACT.

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WordSense.eu - dictionary - Dirk Moosbach

Grades
7 to 12
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WordSense.eu is part dictionary and part thesaurus, based on Wiktionary information. Type in any word in the search bar to view word origin, definitions, synonyms, and more. This site...more
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WordSense.eu is part dictionary and part thesaurus, based on Wiktionary information. Type in any word in the search bar to view word origin, definitions, synonyms, and more. This site provides a multitude of information about the words. Click on underlined words within a definition to view their definitions. Our editors note that this is an unabridged dictionary including words not appropriate for school. Discuss consequences of inappropriate use and/or avoiding using this resource with immature students. .

tag(s): dictionaries (50), prefixes (10), root words (10), suffixes (9), thesaurus (21), vocabulary (233), vocabulary development (89), word study (54)

In the Classroom

Use Word Sense on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to explore word origins, definitions, and more. This is a great site to use as a resource for a word of the day or word of the week. Choose a word and have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Share this site on your class website or blog for students to access at home for writing projects. Use this tool to decipher words when studying word roots and affixes. As students prepare for the SAT, have them explore and attempt to figure out words based on roots, etc.

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Engaging Students With Primary Sources - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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The Smithsonian Institution offers a printable guide to using primary sources in any classroom. View examples of how to do it and suggestion! Explore each of the main sections including...more
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The Smithsonian Institution offers a printable guide to using primary sources in any classroom. View examples of how to do it and suggestion! Explore each of the main sections including documents, photographs, oral histories, and objects for ideas and tips. Each activity is aligned to National Center for History in the Schools standards. The guide is in PDF format for easy printing and use.

tag(s): primary sources (95)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year as a guide for using primary sources. Use some of the lesson strategies with other primary source collections
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Every Second on the Internet - designly.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore what happens every second on the Internet with this interesting and engaging site. View how many Skype calls and Tweets are issued each second. Find out how many happened ...more
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Explore what happens every second on the Internet with this interesting and engaging site. View how many Skype calls and Tweets are issued each second. Find out how many happened just since you began exploring the site. Keep scrolling to see graphics of Google searches, Facebook likes, and emails sent. Each action is represented with an icon making this visualization stunning and mind boggling at the same time. It provides a sense of the magnitude of information offered on the Internet each and every second.

tag(s): internet safety (113), social networking (86)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) during lessons on computer use or Internet safety. Have students predict the number of Google searches, emails sent, etc. each second before displaying the actual number. Use information on this site as part of a lesson on comparisons, fractions, or number sense with large numbers. Share with parents during your Open House to offer an understanding of the impact of computers and social networks on their students lives.

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Saylor - Free Online Courses Built by Professors - Michael J Saylor

Grades
8 to 12
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common...more
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common Core information (for teachers or parents), test prep, and English lessons. Explore a specific area of study to find courses or choose the course list to view all offerings. Some courses include a full textbook and/or a full set of video lectures and are listed on the content matrix. Each course lists learning outcomes, course requirements, and a course overview. Create your own eportfolio to enroll in courses, track progress, download transcripts, and engage with the online community. Pass the final exam of each course to receive a certificate of completion.

tag(s): professional development (250)

In the Classroom

Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others in your building as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Story Maps - Esri

Grades
5 to 12
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Story Maps takes learning in a new direction. Interactive maps tell a story through videos, images, audio, and links. Learn more about the topics in text that accompanies each map....more
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Story Maps takes learning in a new direction. Interactive maps tell a story through videos, images, audio, and links. Learn more about the topics in text that accompanies each map. A timeline of "dots" allows you to move through the story step by step. A satellite view is available on some maps, and legends give you important information to read the map accurately. A wide variety of topics are available to inform and educate. Use the search bar to find a map to meet your needs. Travel to the most visited National Parks or explore an interactive map of the three days and decisive moments of the battle of Gettysburg. It is important to pay as much attention to the text pop-ups as the cartography and other aspects of the map. New stories are added every two weeks. so come back often! This review was for the free area of the site that allows you to view the map stories. There are extensive directions on how to create your own maps, but these suggest purchase of maps, etc. from ArcGIS, an affiliate of Esri. Some of the map storytelling ideas could be used with other free mapping tools, however.

tag(s): gettysburg (16), map skills (57), maps (216), measurement (142)

In the Classroom

Map out interactive virtual field trips on Story Maps. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have a team competition as students navigate the site on an interactive whiteboard to complete a scavenger hunt. Students can find geometric shapes in real life objects on the images with the maps. Calculate distances or time if the map is a timeline of events. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting them on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Have students create online posters to summarize what they learned from the map, individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Ask students to write informational essays on the topics or use the maps to write creative stories. Challenge your most tech-savvy or gifted students to explore the step by step map storytelling directions and try their hand using google Maps or other map tools. The advice in these directions is excellent.

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