Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Five Fantastic Websites You Should Use NOW!

1. Teaching Channel
This is a store house of teaching inspiration! Watch video clips of other teachers reflecting on their practice, passing along helpful hints, and explaining their thoughtfully crafted lesson plans. This site completely revived in me a desire to better my skills in the classroom!

2. Glogster EDU
This online poster-making website has completely reshaped the way we do science fair here at school! Instead of the traditional trifold boards and boring, glued-on letters, Glogster allows students to create interactive, animated, and fun virtual displays of their projects. Students can embed videos, add music, attach documents, and layer predesigned graphics to create splashy, yet content-rich posters to show their work. The interface is incredibly user-friendly, and it took my girls less than a week to become completely fluent with the site. Glogster also provides built-in rubrics to help you grade the students' work!

3. Rubistar
An absolute must for lab reports, science fair components and other projects. Rubistar lets you customize a rubric as much as you want, or use a prefilled template of your choice. Perfect for accurately and consistently grading projects that you may have never done with the students before!

4. Screencast-O-Matic
This website has completely changed my teaching this year. I use it to make screencasts of my powerpoint lessons, and then upload them to my YouTube channel for the students to view any time. Totally free, and completely easy to use.

5. Poll Everywhere
A quick way to get immediate student feedback! Create a poll, and students can vote using their computer or cell phone. Results can be displayed on screen in real time, so not only do you get a quick snapshot of what your students know, but you can immediately identify where students are making mistakes and then reteach the necessary material. Super easy and completely free!

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