GradesK to 12
There is an excellent tutorial for creating your own GoogleTrek that includes step-by-step directions with pictures. After creating a GoogleTrek, it can be posted to the site for others to use. Also included is a rubric that can be downloaded in pdf form. More information on Google Maps can be found at the TeachersFirst review. You can also view the maps in Google Earth. To learn more about Google Earth, see the TeachersFirst review (here).
tag(s): maps (292)
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore independently or in small groups. Older students can create their own GoogleTrek after viewing examples for any subject. To post the GoogleTrek, you must email the creator (directions are explicitly explained on the "Posting Your Own GoogleTrek" link. Have students create GoogleTrek's about Christmas Around the World, routes of explorers, famous landmarks, and important inventions. While presenting a GoogleTrek, have students identify points displayed on paper maps located at their seats.
GradesK to 5
This site does include some minor advertisements.
In the ClassroomUse the printables under the other tab to help manage your classroom. Use behavior chart to help students track their behavior or use for the class as a whole. Use the feeling bubbles to help students articulate their feelings. Use the literacy fans during your language arts time to help students build literacy skills. Use the time and money generators to support your students during math time. All of the tools and printables can be used for center or independent work.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the information in the pictures to create a timeline of missions. Research how technology of spacecraft and launch controls have changed over time. Challenge your students to use a site such as History in Motion, reviewed here, to create and share interactive timelines. Use the links provided to find out more about specific missions and people involved. Assign a writing assignment to go with the pictures. Have students pick a particular picture that is of interest to them and explain why it captures their attention. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using the photo. Use a site such as Speechable, reviewed here. Create poems, newscasts, or other forms to showcase information and thoughts.
Grades1 to 8
In the ClassroomChoose your subject and use your interactive whiteboard and projector to introduce your students to the topic using a game, or a movie. After students have completed the study of the subject, have them create their own movie to show their understanding of the topic. Use Animaker, reviewed here, for a project like this. During your study of the Middle Ages in Europe (or any other time period) have your students read the short texts at Kids Know It (History Textbook), then divide the students into groups of four or five and divide the topics listed under the Middle Ages. Give one or more topic(s) to each group to research for more in-depth knowledge. As a final assessment have the groups create an Adobe Spark interactive poster, reviewed here, to teach the class about their topic. Have them create videos about an interesting aspect or person from their topic to upload to their interactive poster. Have them choose whether to use Animaker, reviewed here, or Animoto, reviewed here, for the video they will upload to their poster.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse the activities in each section to compliment other activities. For example, use activities in "The Science Gym" to learn about Respiration and Fitness. Share some of this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. View printable instructions for each activity, simple directions (some require actual classroom materials,) and answer the conclusion questions. Play Smartfoot Nutrition to answer questions about nutrition and healthy living in a fun and interactive way.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is great to give students a brain break while still keeping them focused. The website is a great tool to use as a center or to provide a student reward. Use this site to help your students build their concentration and language skills. You can also use the site to help students develop important study skills. Psychology classes may want to analyze why the games promote better brain skills. You do need to register for the free trial in order to access the games. If students register individually they will be able to track their progress. 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. You could also just create a class login that students could use to access the additional games.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site to show kids who are going on a field trip to a cave a little of what to expect. Or, have students use this website as a virtual cave field trip. Assign student groups topics to pay special attention to during their exploration of the website. Have groups share with the class on their new found area of expertise. Have your students create an interactive online cave poster using Poster My Wall, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUsers must have a Flickr account and be able to navigate the authorizing of flickr as well as choosing an album to publish. Be sure to create titles in Flickr since these are imported as well.
Be sure to check district policy about creating student accounts and publishing student pictures and/or other material before using this tool. Note that by choosing Public in creating the magazine, the magazine is viewable online. Check your District policy. When browsing existing magazines, note that these may not be monitored and check for possible classroom-inappropriate material (though none was detected at the time of the review.) Consider creating a class Flickr account for students to upload class and group pictures.
Use a class Flickr account to keep track of day to day happenings in the classroom (especially for younger grades). Create albums of specific events such as field trips, service projects, hands-on activities, field experiences such as watershed studies, and more. Uploaded photos can easily be manipulated into an online album. Art and photography classes can use the magazine format as a portfolio. Create a magazine of photos that portray different history and social topics, set the scenes for novels or stories, or explain a specific science concept. Anywhere photos can be used to showcase achievement or explain a concept, this service would be a great resource. Special ed teachers, speech teachers, or world language teachers can collect images into "magazines" for students to practice/develop speech and vocabulary.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit on creating auroras and the earth's atmosphere. Share this unique visual display on a projector or interactive whiteboard. ESL/ELL students will enjoy trying this site on their own since it is language free. Have students keep detailed notes of their findings when combining certain elements at varying intensities.
GradesK to 12
Be aware: this site also includes some items for sale. You may want to advise students to steer clear of these links.
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site by sharing photos or videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this site on a list of hotlinks for students to access when researching the Rainforest, climate change, sustainability, or carbon footprints. Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers for students to view rainforest maps, ask questions, or read magazine articles. Ask students to visit the site and create an interactive multimedia presentation from the information they learn there using Sway, reviewed here. Register your school with Cool Earth and take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources they offer. The ultimate experience would be to personalize student learning and sponsor a tree or organize a fundraiser to purchase an acre of land. Ask students to research their tree, or the biome biodiversity characteristic of their acre. Include a link to this site on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): flickr (5)
In the ClassroomTag Galaxy offers an engaging way to introduce new concepts or informally assess prior knowledge in science or social studies on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Search key terms such as "leaf" or "kids" and then narrow that search using additional tags. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Ask students to annotate an image using a tool such as Fine Tuna, (reviewed here). Compare and contrast the tags for two photographs. What traits do they share and determine what tags differentiate them from one another. Compare the traits using a site such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Once they understand how tags work, challenge students to generate a list of tags for a species image or location image (a digital picture they have taken or found online), using concepts and terms they have studied.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Students can use this when researching alone or in groups, sharing files, videos, and pictures quickly from one computer to another. Have students write tasks for each member of the group on a sticky so that everyone has a responsibility. Show them how to copy/paste URLs for sources onto notes, too. Use Lino as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Use a Lino for students to submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on. Use it as a virtual graffiti wall for students to make connections between their world and curriculum content, such as "I wonder what the hall monitor would say finding Lady Macbeth washing her hands in the school restroom... and what Lady M would say back." (Of course, you will want to have a PG-13 policy for student comments!) Encourage students to maintain an idea collection lino for ideas and creative inspirations they may not have used yet but do not want to "lose." They can color code and organize ideas later or send the stickies to a new project board later. In writing or art classes, use lino as a virtual writer's journal or design a notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips. In science classes, encourage students to keep a lino board with (classroom appropriate) questions and "aside" thoughts about science concepts being studied and to use these ideas in later projects so their creative ideas are not 'lost" before project time. A lino board can also serve as a final online "display" for students to "show what they know" as the culmination of a research project. Add videos, images, and notes in a carefully arranged display not unlike an electronic bulletin board. This is also a great tool to help you stay "personally" organized. Use this site as a resource to share information with other teachers, parents, or students.
Grades3 to 6
tag(s): scientists (69)
In the ClassroomExcite students about science by encouraging them to participate in this challenge. Integrate it as part of the science curriculum. Take your own science fair to the next level by having the students that place high in your own fair submit their ideas and experiments to the Kid's Science Challenge. If your available time is out of sync with the challenge, you could still have students create science experiments to share with the class. Video the winners and share on a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
GradesK to 12
tag(s): dental health (22)
In the ClassroomThis is a fabulous site to use during Dental Health Month! Share the visuals (and quizzes) on your projector or interactive whiteboard. The activities and quizzes are divided into 3 levels (elementary, middle school, and high school). Find a topic/quiz that will work with your students. Challenge older students to investigate one of the topics presented at this site and create an interactive infographic using Piktochart, reviewed here, to share what they learned.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThis site will be great to use with a projector or whiteboard to have a visual time reminder for students. Use the three timers to track science experiments. It is a great way to track intervals. Use the timers for clean up time, students have to be cleaned up by the time the third bell rings. Use for games or group work. Set all the timers to the same time, divide your class into three groups and give them a challenge problem. See who finishes in the fastest time. If you often use the same times, set the timers and add the page to your favorites. Now you have timers set up ready to go. Your students will probably have some creative ideas for using the timers, as well. Primary grade teachers introducing concepts of time and clocks can challenge students operate the timers themselves as a center, maybe timing how long it takes to tie a shoe or read a page, then reading the timer or writing the words for the time.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMark this in your professional favorites for planning and finding webquests. The webquest format has been around for years and can be adapted many ways. Start from this collection and consider designing a webquest "Task" that uses a collaborative, web 2.0 tool such as those reviewed in the TeachersFirst Edge listings. Today's students will love the authentic, creative tasks and collaboration made possible by today's tools. TeachersFirst Edge reviews include ways to use the tools safely and within school policies, for a learning "win-win." You might even want to have student groups design their own webquests for classmates to try as a new twist on "jigsaw" learning.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to determine the question and possible responses to generate the poll online. Remember to Publish your quiz to be able to share it.
This tool does not show the individual votes of students. Though this tool can be used by students, it may be best used by a teacher. Students using this tool, need an email to register.
Use polls created using Polldaddy on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit, asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why those in class would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to gain knowledge of student understanding and a means of formative assessment. Have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase read involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections or for critical thinking activities dealing with interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students on issues that matter to them.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): printables (39)
In the ClassroomSave the link to this site for easy access to any type of graph paper or grid you may need throughout the school year. Provide students the link through your class website or blog so that they can access graph paper to use at any time, including for homework. Print out copies of graphs to provide for students. Art teachers will find these grids and geometric patterns useful for teaching about fonts, design principles, and tessellations. Open a pdf on your interactive whiteboard for students to graph using the whiteboard pens or highlighters. You can even use the hexagon grids for students to create "quilt" designs to explore color schemes and repeated patterns. Have students construct geometric figures using various grids to demonstrate area and other geometry concepts on interactive whiteboard.
Grades2 to 5
tag(s): problem solving (292)