Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomExplore this site on interactive whiteboard or projector to show students how to improve writing with descriptive words. Consider allowing students to share a favorite word of the day for 30 seconds on your interactive whiteboard at the start of class. Use this in a word study unit by covering up the original word.Students will then try to discover the word based on the word relationships found around the word. Build understanding of parts of speech through this tool every time you look up a word. Reinforce these concepts for visual learners continuously by using the same colors every time you highlight on your interactive whiteboard. World language teachers can also type in words to demonstrate and expand vocabulary in Spanish, French, German, Dutch, and Italian. Special ed teachers, especially those in speech/language will love this tool to help students SEE relationships between words. Encourage your language-delayed students to look up words and build "word sense" even when they are familiar with the word's meaning. Make this site available as a reference on classroom computers and on your class web page.
Grades4 to 7
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for a book study. Print many of the materials to keep on hand. The online quizzes offer a quick assessment. As a culminating project, have students create online books about characters or themes in Hatchet, using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 8
In the ClassroomThis hero unit includes endless ideas, from comparing and contrasting real life heroes with fictional superheroes. Have your students try an online Venn diagram tool such as the one (reviewed here).
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomAsk your students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation from the information about any specific year they see there. Or have them compare life in two different decades. Have students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to create an online poster using Padlet (reviewed here).
When studying literature, point out this site as a source authors might use for cultural background information in their writing. Pick out the details while reading a novel, for example, that might be found at this site. Or before studying a historical period, use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students collect information tidbits and predict what might be put into the site for the current year.
Ask your ESL/ELL students to share similar information about the years they were born and the events that occurred in their home cultures. Use the site when preparing a unit on summarizing or informational paragraphs, showing the students how to select and condense relevant information from the site into a few sentences.
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.
Grades4 to 12
"Bestsellers" is free to use. Additionally, there is an option to create a free account which allows the advantage of using the tools like the online dictionary, "Stickies," and sharing on social networks. Creating an account requires an email address. 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. 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.
In the ClassroomAre you looking for a way to motivate your reluctant readers to pick up a book, or do you have some book hungry students who sneak to read their own book while you are teaching a lesson? The "Bestsellers" site provides a wealth of internet-based material for navigating the twists and turns of the plots and characters in books like Harry Potter and the Twilight series. The online learning guides have a table of contents that gives a quick view of what is included in each tab, which enables you to quickly find what you want without opening each section. This site provides more information than the standard textbook teacher's edition, and provides brilliant connections between some of the literary classics. There are photos, videos, and links galore. You might want to include a link to this site on your class web page, or if you prefer to control the amount of information that you want students to have before actually reading the book, then bookmark it in your favorites and dole out the information at your discretion.
If looking for a different instructional method, share one of the slide shows on a projector or interactive whiteboard as you introduce a unit or allow students to use portions of the slide shows as part of their own presentations on a specific author or book on the bestsellers list.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomWhile this is a free site, in order to participate in all its functions, each student will need to sign up for a "flork" account which is open to worldwide use and discussion forums. Teachers may want to limit student use to the content that does not require membership or use a whole-class account created by the teacher. This site could be used with an interactive whiteboard or projector to illustrate how author selection works and show relationships between similar authors. Students may search individually for new authors. In higher level literature classes, ask students to explain why certain authors are shown as similar. What similarities do they see? Have students use this question as a prompt for a blog post or full expository writing piece.
Grades5 to 12
The project states that they are currently working on literature forums, which may be useful for students in discussing literature once it becomes available.
In the ClassroomUse this site to assign reading of classic texts and stories. Students will benefit since they do not have to access actual books. As the site boasts, it is more "environmentally friendly"! Students may want to use the topic sites to research for class reports, glogs or other projects. Use classic texts from this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Either copy/paste for some quick electronic text or simply open the actual web page. Use the passages to annotate and explore literary devices, examine sentence/paragraph structure, or analyze writing style or context clues for vocabulary, having students use whiteboard tools to explain their analysis or present their own thoughts about the literature. This site is also a great place to "grab" passages of text and paste them into a graphic word cloud-maker such as Wordle, reviewed here. With electronic text, you can easily compare the writing style of two or more authors or poets in a snap. Invite students to create visual interpretations of text passages, illustrating themes or motifs using a tool such as GlogsterEDU, reviewed here.
Electronic text can also be "read aloud" by text-to-speech software on your computer, assisting those who may have weaker reading skills.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): flash cards (47)
In the ClassroomJoin the site or let them create an account for you -- but be sure you remember that username, etc. so you can access it again! (email required). Read through the various options or use their "wizards" to create materials.
Create materials for review and practice with basic information, terms, and more. Students can collect and save rows or information they missed to aid with their learning. Ask your students to create their own flashcards or memory set to review before a test or quiz. Have students make practice materials for each other, as well. Learning support teachers will find their students enjoy reviewing more if they are creating something themselves, and the process of MAKING the cards is actually a review in itself.
Share this link on your website for parents to review with their student. This format is very flexible and can be used to create materials for everything from math to Social Studies.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomYou need to know how to copy/paste text passages (ctrl or command + C, then ctrl or command + V to paste. Think Velcro to stick it there!). If you wish to Save, you must join the site (email required). Alternately, capture the image using screen capture (apple/shift/4 on a Mac or Print Screen on a PC.)
Use a word cloud in virtually any class. With emergent readers, enter multiple words with the same consonant cluster or vowel sound, so they can SEE a visual grouping of that sound on your interactive whiteboard and guess the sound. Project a teacher-created word cloud at the start of a new lesson or unit and have students determine what the lesson will be about. Have students use word clouds to proof their own essays or stories. Use word clouds for students to identify the subject and frequently used words to check if they are on target with their intended message. Have students find overused words in their own writing as part of lessons on word choice. Teachers could create and save a word cloud then share it as a visual prompt for students to work individually or in groups to identify words they know (and the definitions) as well as the words they are unfamiliar with. Create word clouds of passages or stories and allow students to guess the author, title, subject, or meaning of the story. Underscore motifs in literature by creating clouds of passages, especially poetry. Have students work together to make clouds of alternative ways to say "said" or "went" in story-writing to post in your classroom as a reference. Create word clouds of opinion passages to determine the bias of the author and possible reasons for that specific opinion. Make word cloud posters on health topics such as the potential health risks of smoking. Make word clouds of different food groups. Create higher order thinking activities by approaching text in a unique way.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers will need to create a free teacher account. Use this limited free account for 30 students and 15 activities at a time. Note that the account will be deleted after sixty days of inactivity. A Pro and Ultimate paid account is available.
Create student accounts and group profiles. Prepare activities and create permissions for them. Provide login data to students for access. Consider adding links to a website, blog, or wiki page for student access. Alternatively, create a group with anonymous access by creating activities with a web address. Note that statistics of individual student use are not available this way. Publish the web address on a site for access or print the activities for use in a class. The 5 sections of the site control all aspects: Students, Groups, Activities, Files, and Profile. Use the Student section to check results, delete a student, or edit a student account. Click "Add student" at the bottom to create student accounts. Create group access to activities, enable a group forum with the group space icon, or share information under the Group section. Click on "Add group" at the bottom to create a group. Personal access requires students added to your account. Anonymous access creates a class page that students access via URL. Create the group and the kubbu url to save. Create activities and quizzes in the Activities section. View statistics, set permissions, print, review, duplicate, or share activities in this section also. Click on "Add activity" and enter a title and set permissions including time limit, answer revealing, and instructions. Upload pictures and sound files in the Files section. Use these items in with the Composer activities. Change your information including login and password under the Profile section. Hover over any icon you are unsure of to view a description of the function. This is a very helpful resource of this site.
Material can be made public for others outside your class to use. Student information is not available for others to see. As teachers add students or create anonymous groups, this creates an ideal educational environment that is CIPPA compliant. Use a teacher site, blog, or wiki page to share links to created quizzes and other activities.
Create matching activities for many subject areas. Match synonyms, state or country capitals, definitions, terminology, and many others ideas. Create crosswords easily. Consider using student-created words and hints to be entered easily for practice and quizzing. Create student groups with each group working on a separate section of the chapter or unit. At the end, compile these crosswords and quizzes for a file of practice activities for all students. Keep a file of activities to be printed for substitute plans or extension activities.
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)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be shared by URL
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades3 to 8
tag(s): writing (365)
In the ClassroomTeachers should model the use of this tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector prior to student use. Essay Map can be placed on the desktop of a classroom computer for students to access during Writer's Workshop or throughout the school day.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomHave students struggling with citations? Clauses, commas, capitalization posing problems? Send them to Dr. Grammar! Teachers can refer to Dr. Grammar using a projector or interactive whiteboard for in class use and demonstration or can encourage independent student use during composition. Have pairs of students research a specific area of this site and create an electronic "poster" or word graphic using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here). This is also a great addition to a teacher website, wiki, or blog for students to use both in and out of class. Be sure to save this site on your computer's favorites.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is a good site to use if you want to introduce more primary sources into your teaching. There is an extensive activities and resource section that covers the topics of photography, history, farming and genealogy. In addition, the PDF entitled the Turning Point would be a good resource to use in a lesson on narrative writing. Share the photos in art (or photography) class on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students create blog entries from the perspective of Frank Sadorus. Use the pictures for creative writing exercises. Why not have a photo of the week and have students write a short piece on the class wiki about what they feel the picture represents, what is happening in the photo, what the animal or person was doing/thinking in the photo, or whatever else is applicable in your class. Do you want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades3 to 12
There are additional features if you choose to subscribe, particularly the Visual Thesaurus interactive word maps, which can be saved and printed, and an online edition in multiple languages for English-speaking students learning other languages and ESL/ELL students.
Caution! Before purchasing a subscription, see if the free portion of the website satisfies your needs or take advantage of the 14-day risk-free trial to see all the features in action. When a school subscription is purchased, student workbooks and Teachers' Guide with lesson plans are included.
In the ClassroomTeachers and students can use the VocabGrabber on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or individual computers to highlight vocabulary specific to a literary work or curricular subject area, to improve reading comprehension by choosing key concepts and literary terms, and to build background knowledge for a given text. As an added benefit, have students click on the VocabGrabber when typing their own assignments such as a poem or an essay, to avoid repeating the same word. They simply type in a word and generate a list of synonyms and more descriptive words. VocabGrabber enables students to see how words are used in context, instead of memorizing word lists. Additionally, VocabGrabber is extremely helpful for students preparing for standardized tests. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice.
Grades3 to 12
The categories on the site include "Play a game," "Print some activities to do," "Listen to a song," "Read a story," "Practice your writing," and "Find lots more activities." AND, each one of these categories is multi-leveled.
In the ClassroomThis extensive site will make the life of the ESL, ELL, or remedial reading teacher so much easier! Though intended for ESL/ELL teachers, this site can be used by any teacher who is teaching elementary reading and writing. It would also be good for remedial readers. In some parts, i.e. the interactives, you may want to pair up a proficient reader with the ESL/ELL student or remedial reader. The reading of the stories could be done with a projector or interactive whiteboard for a small group or the whole class, and then small groups of students could brainstorm the writing prompts at the end on an interactive white board. Share some of the activities with parents, as well, for at home practice with ESL/ELL students and their family members. Be sure to include this link on your class website.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse your teacher gmail account to create different Mailinator accounts for each student by sending an email to the "spoof" account. For example, a student sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Magically, your "spoof" email address has been created. Use this "spoof" email all year long for any web 2.0 tool you wish to sign up for. Find emails sent to the "spoof" account by viewing on the mailinator site (type in your "spoof" email address) or following an RSS feed (use a feed reader to view them all.) Important Note: emails must be read within a few hours as they are then permanently deleted. Caution students not to use these email addresses for anything important as it is not a regular email address. Use only for creating logins and registrations for other web 2.0 tools. Stumped with coming up with a unique name. Possible name choices are given on the site (refresh to see more options.) Be sure to read the FAQ's to familiarize yourself with the service and answer any questions you may have. Check to be sure this is not blocked by your school. If available on a teacher computer, consider cycling each student through your computer to get them signed up while being monitored. Record their "spoof" emails in case these are needed later and students forget. Be advised that these email accounts are public. If the same email address is entered on the site by someone else, those emails will be viewed. Despite this, use the service to quickly enter students to use the variety of cool online tools found on the Internet today.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomFor ESL/ELL students, use magazines at this site to teach vocabulary and American culture. For current events classes, display the latest news online on your projector or interactive whiteboard, finding it quickly with just a few clicks. Have groups explore current news headlines and compare coverage or create their own videos (news or infomercials) using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. This may also be a link that you would want to list on your class website for both students and parents to use at home. If you require current events article summaries each week, your students can use this site to find the latest at no cost. Reading teachers can easily find passages to use for comprehension skills such as main idea, summarizing, inferencing and more, all from current articles and ready to project on your interactive whiteboard for underlining, highlighting and discussion.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): vocabulary (324)
In the ClassroomThis site does far more than aid memorization. Reading teachers can also use it to teach comprehension skills, such as using context clues to determine meaning in a paragraph. Paste in the paragraph (perhaps a passage from a non-fiction science or social studies article) and use this tool on your interactive whiteboard for students to "figure out" the missing words. Do the same with world language texts to reverse match using subject verb agreement and to analyze missing content using inflected endings. In science class, use this site to remove clues from a paragraph explaining a concepts or terms, subtracting information and having students fill it back in as they review for test and quizzes. Learning support teachers will love this option! Enter passage students write that include new vocabulary words, letting students challenge each other by subtracting portions. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to provide practice with expressive language.
For work with memorization, use this site with popular song lyrics in class. Listen to the song first and give the students the lyrics to be memorized. Or, go to YouLyrics (if district policy allows) to get the song and see a video of it and then have the students use this site to help them memorize the lyrics. ESL, ELL, and students of other languages will enjoy memorizing songs which helps them improve their vocabulary and accent. Use this site in a group by projecting the screen on a whiteboard or projector and systematically show fewer and fewer words on the screen. Have teams of students compete against each other by writing the text as quickly as possible on two boards in the classroom. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the class to memorize new information. Share it as a personal study skills tool, as well.
GradesK to 12
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