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My Immigration Story - R. Ramos Y Sanchez

Grades
8 to 12
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This site shares real immigrants' personal tales of coming to America. It also shares helpful resources for immigrants. Read unique stories about the many immigrants. With a simple...more
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This site shares real immigrants' personal tales of coming to America. It also shares helpful resources for immigrants. Read unique stories about the many immigrants. With a simple click, a box opens to share a story in writing. Writers only need a name (even just a first name), address, and email address (optional) to register. Also included on the site is an NPR interview with the creator of the site, indicating the site is not political, just a vehicle for allowing immigrants to share their concerns and triumphs. Other features of the website include an interesting quote from Benjamin Franklin concerning the public view of immigrants of his time, and many compelling photos of immigrants from all around the world. This site does include some minor advertising.

tag(s): immigration (58), migration (59), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Have your ESL/ELL students share their stories here (with permission from parents) when doing a biography writing unit. Have all students search for stories of immigrants whose ethnic background resembles their own. Have each student choose one story to read about and share a quick multimedia project with the class, such as a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here). Use stories from this site as a writing prompt for a poem or essay about an aspect of immigrant life, asking students to put themselves in the immigrant's shoes.

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Phrasemix - Aaron Knight

Grades
3 to 12
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning...more
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning clear. Many of the situations described are those experienced by adults or older teens, not children, such as giving a speech or shopping alone. Of course, this site could also be used in a regular classroom to teach speech/language or grammar. Students can look at the site or have a phrase emailed to them every day. Phrases include commonly used groups of words, idioms, and other typical language of both casual and formal English. To find a list of all phrases in the system, students can click on "Learning Tools." In addition to an index, this section offers explanations of basic grammar terms like parts of speech, stress, and other conversation techniques. Students can also make comments and read the comments of others. No email address is required to comment on the blog posts. (Our reviewers found no objectionable comments from the public, but teachers should always preview.)

tag(s): idioms (44), phrases (6), slang (15)

In the Classroom

Put this link on your classroom blog or newsletter for English learners. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Have students prepare online projects about phrases they learn, using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here). Check with your school policies before having students comment on other blog posts.

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What's Your Reading History - NY Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of ...more
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of readers and persons they are today. Students close their eyes and listen to a guided journey through their reading pasts; they then respond to it in a journal. Options include reading the words of a published author who realized she was illiterate and discussing or writing about what she said. A teacher's pdf is included to help students format their writings. McREL standards are included (for grades 6-12).

tag(s): independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Use this activity both at the beginning and ending of a school year to impress upon the students the importance reading plays in their self-concepts. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce the idea of regular journal keeping. After students complete their writing segment, have them do a media project that reflects their reading "identities."

Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits reviewed here. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). Share the results of their writing and posters at open house nights or --even better- embedded in your class wiki or web page. Ask students to find what other celebrities and authors say about how reading has influenced their lives. Collect quotes from famous people about writers and list them on posters in your classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ESL Holidays Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
1 to 8
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Look no further for holiday activities for your ESL and ELL students (or for reading/listening comprehension activities you can use with all learners! This site lists conventional and...more
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Look no further for holiday activities for your ESL and ELL students (or for reading/listening comprehension activities you can use with all learners! This site lists conventional and unusual holidays by month. Click the holiday you would like to feature to find a complete lesson including a tape script, an oral recording of the script, and a variety of review exercises. The printable activities include matching, several varieties of fill-in-the-blank, word choices, spelling, reordering events and sentences from the holiday information, and writing activities. An online clickable reading activity presents parts of sentences, so students must select which sentence part comes first. The screen changes when the correct part comes up, and students select the next part.

tag(s): holidays (151)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ESL/ELL students improve listening, reading, writing, and cultural knowledge. Invite an ESL/ELL student to present a holiday from their home country to the class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Many of the review activities would also work well as reading comprehension practice on interactive whiteboard, especially if students use highlighters and pens to mark up the text passage to locate key terms, etc.

Have students create online holiday posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share this site with families of your ESL/ELL students to learn more about American holidays.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Quiz Revolution - QuizRevolution

Grades
2 to 12
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Create cool, professional looking quizzes and tests! Quiz Revolution offers a platform for developing online quizzes for your websites and blogs. Multimedia options offer the opportunity...more
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Create cool, professional looking quizzes and tests! Quiz Revolution offers a platform for developing online quizzes for your websites and blogs. Multimedia options offer the opportunity to personalize quizzes and to create a more interesting look for your pages. You can add text, images, video, and html as well as choosing from pre-made "skins." There is a "look and play" section where you will get an idea of this program's capabilities.

tag(s): assessment (105), quiz (89), quizzes (101)

In the Classroom

Create quizzes to use for pre- and post- lesson assessments. Post the quizzes to your class website or blog as assignments. Insert videos, photos, and text into your quiz to reinforce concepts before students take the test. Assign students to create a quiz on a current topic as a wrap-up to a unit. Share the quiz on your interactive whiteboard or projector (use it as a center, rather than a "whole-group" activity. Learning support teachers may want to have students work with a partner to create review quizzes they can use as study aids.

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Things to Learn With: Learning Almanac - Cheryl Davis

Grades
6 to 12
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some...more
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some 2.0 programs such as wikis and YouTube across the curriculum. Browse through the outstanding resources which are perfect for middle school and beyond.

tag(s): blogs (90), charts and graphs (195), communities (36), experiments (73), geology (82), literature (274), news (265), search strategies (29), spreadsheets (18), statistics (124), tutorials (48), wikis (21)

In the Classroom

For example, use the lesson It's a Statistical World to bring statistics and the use of spreadsheets into the classroom. Follow project ideas, suggestions, and how to's to complete the activity. Specific examples, suggestions, and tutorials for using the resources are given throughout. Find unbelievable ideas that are exceptional for many curricular areas. Mark this one in your Favorites to use when you need inspiration or a new approach to curriculum that never seems to "stick" the way you wish it would.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iPod user group Wiki - Joe Morelock

Grades
K to 12
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If considering writing a grant for iPods or iPads, then this is a site not to miss. View examples of grant proposals, learn how to develop a management system for ...more
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If considering writing a grant for iPods or iPads, then this is a site not to miss. View examples of grant proposals, learn how to develop a management system for your new acquisition, integrate the iPod or iPad into curriculum, and examine the results others schools have had. There are many resources to explore at this site! The resources here explain how to set-up multiple iPods or iPads, provide syncing tips, directions on how to create meta-playlists, manage school-wide podcast files, create digital portfolios, and practices that will enhance reading fluency. Much of the content may apply to other brands of tablets, as well. Impressive presentations and teacher reflections are free for download. View the hard data of previous school grant results in the form of bar graphs, pie charts, and line graphs. These all clearly demonstrate the positive effect iPods/tablets can have on reading fluency, state standardized tests and ENGAGEMENT! This is also an excellent resource to use when creating dynamic presentations meant to bolster support for innovative programming.

tag(s): grants (19)

In the Classroom

This blog provides examples of grants that serve as wonderful models when writing your own. Most of the examples on this blog are for the iPod touch, but many of the same concepts pertain to iPad use or other tablets as well. Librarians or IT directors will want to access this site for valuable background information on how to manage the maintenance and circulation of e-readers, iPods, iPads, or other tablets. If outside funding or school support is an issue, look beyond the tool and examine their instructional practices. Much of the grant success is due to incorporation of voice recording. Consider having students record their reading or writing by using some of the free web resources TeacherFirst suggests such as PodOmatic reviewed here or Audio Pal reviewed here. Examine how these grants use multitasking in the classroom. Consider using audio books while students engage in less cognitively demanding tasks. ESL/ELL instructors will find the lesson examples and results valuable.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National TESOL Standards: Online Edition - TESOL

Grades
K to 12
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Read the national TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of other languages) standards for ESL. Of particular interest are the Sample Progress Indicators and scenarios that decribe...more
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Read the national TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of other languages) standards for ESL. Of particular interest are the Sample Progress Indicators and scenarios that decribe differeing levels of proficiency for ESL/ELL students you may find in your classroom. THIS SITE OPENS SLOWLY Please be patient. TeachersFirst has more information on how you may want to use ESL/ELL levels and tips for working with these students.

tag(s): differentiation (50)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your classroom desktop to allow for easy reference later on!

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Stories for Kids - Pitara Kids Network

Grades
4 to 7
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This is a great source for simple, short, and interesting children's stories. The international focus draws the attention of a variety of readers. The display opening page has ten stories...more
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This is a great source for simple, short, and interesting children's stories. The international focus draws the attention of a variety of readers. The display opening page has ten stories of about two pages each, but there are over 10 other pages all containing an equal number of stories. These are "text only" reading stories and some are rather difficult to follow, as there are advertisements throughout the page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): short stories (24)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind when you have a few minutes at the end of the day. Read one together and then set your students at computers in pairs to take turns reading aloud to each other.

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Independence Day Around the World - Chartsbin

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see ...more
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see the date of its independence from that country. All countries that used to be part of Great Britain are the same color; color coding for other former empires indicates the empire's former holdings. Data comes from reliable government and other statistical sources. At the bottom of the page, related charts that may be of interest show: Father's Day around the World, Mother's Day around the World, Halloween Celebrations around the world and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colonial america (108), holidays (151), july 4th (8)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as a reference source when students study world cultures or foreign languages. Challenge students to use this site to create research projects about individual (free) nations around the world. Have individual students or cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation using a tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of the country they researched (with audio stories and pictures included)!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Happy Valentine's Day in Different Languages - Chartsbin

Grades
2 to 12
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This "visualization" is an interactive chart showing the world map. Various ways to say Happy Valentine's Day pop up in different languages as the student mouses over any participating...more
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This "visualization" is an interactive chart showing the world map. Various ways to say Happy Valentine's Day pop up in different languages as the student mouses over any participating country. If a country is multi-lingual, all of the country's language translations appear. Many languages appear in their own script. Data comes from reliable government and other statistical sources. Check out the bottom of the page for more interactive maps on other topics such as space travel.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): holidays (151), valentines day (14)

In the Classroom

Use this interactive map as an example of how to create a graph in an interesting and unique way. To show what they can compile with other similar holidays, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Or have them create an online map showing the same data using a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here). Use this map as a jumping off point for ESL/ELL students to talk about other holidays from their cultures.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Aesop's Fables - Adapted by U Mass students/Aesop

Grades
K to 8
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This charming site (created as a project by University of Massachusetts students) offers Aesop Fables online! The students have reformatted and illustrated the traditional Aesop Fables;...more
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This charming site (created as a project by University of Massachusetts students) offers Aesop Fables online! The students have reformatted and illustrated the traditional Aesop Fables; the project is ongoing, having started in 1994. Today, some of the stories are simply text, while others use FLASH and are more interactive, and some even include audio.

tag(s): animation (65), folktales (59)

In the Classroom

Share these stories on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Set up a learning station using these fables (and headsets, if necessary.) Use these illustrated stories as models for your computer students to illustrate their choice of children's stories and collect a class anthology on the web. Challenge your students to narrate a photo and read the story/fable using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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News English Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and...more
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and many teaching materials to go with them. Though the look of the site is cluttered with advertising and plain text, the content is worthwhile. Developed for ESL/ELL students and teachers, the site would also work well in a subject area, learning support, or reading classroom. There are MANY articles "ready to go," including mp3 audio files to listen to the articles. At the time of this review there were 200+ new additions! Each article includes several types of activities such as "online gap fill" (a Cloze reading activity), vocabulary flashcards, and hangman, and matching. A full script is available in pdf form. There is also an online, interactive quiz for students. The articles, and a lot more activities, can be downloaded and printed, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): diseases (69), listening (91), news (265)

In the Classroom

The articles are short and interesting, a perfect match for non-fiction reading comprehension. With so many different activities to choose from, it will be easy for the classroom teacher to differentiate. There is an mp3 audio version of each article so students can listen as they read. Assign small groups of students to present the news each week, using the interactive whiteboard to show others the country and city from which the article originated. Make the newscasting experience even more real by having students read scripts of these news stories or their own original stories using a Easyprompter, reviewed here. Students can then go to another news source such as "Mapeas" (reviewed here) and click on the country of origin to see what else is happening in the news there. For a project, have the small groups create a "talking map" using a site such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (where their article/story took place). What a fabulous way to share the article with the rest of the class!

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Speak Up - Cartoon Network

Grades
2 to 8
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and...more
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"Speak Up" is a straightforward cartoon-creator site meant to teach the importance of character, setting, problem, and solution. The site provides possible characters, settings, and conflicts from which students can choose. Creating cartoons is an effective way to teach students how to write stories with a clear storyline and structure. The story problem section allows students to write in their own scenarios. Students are responsible for creating the solution to the story problem themselves. Each cartoon strip contains six boxes, allows two characters per page, and speaking bubbles as well as narrative box across the bottom of the page.

tag(s): bullying (52), comics and cartoons (71), creative writing (170), digital storytelling (153), problem solving (274)

In the Classroom

Use "Speak Up" as part of a mini-lesson about problem and solution or dialogue. Have students create their own cartoons as part of a craft lesson. Print out the cartoon and students can use it as an outline to help them write narrative text or plays. Demonstrate how to combine narration with dialogue in one text from this cartoon outline.

Use scenarios of social conflicts your class may be facing or are currently discussing in character education. For example, use bullying or peer pressure issues. Pair up classmates to re-tell a conflict similar to those students face during recess, in class, or from home. Together they can discuss ways to solve these conflicts. Use the results to open up dialogue about student issues and as a tool to brainstorm constructive ways to solve them.

World language teachers or ESL/ELL teachers can also use this tool for students to practice written dialog and appropriate social interaction.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Roy Tale of a Singing Zebra - Tim Bowerbank

Grades
K to 4
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers interactive stories and reading activities for free. Colorful graphics interest "emerging readers." The songs and reading support materials provide reinforcement of...more
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This site offers interactive stories and reading activities for free. Colorful graphics interest "emerging readers." The songs and reading support materials provide reinforcement of the reading skills being learned. Each story comes with pre-reading and post-reading questions and other word attack and grammar activities. Word games are fun and introduce early reading techniques such as alphabetization and phonetics. Since the site is Australian made, some of the worksheets use British names for grammar components, such as full stop for period. Since the text of the stories appears before the stories, this site would work well with ESL students too.

tag(s): guided reading (45), literacy (106), sight words (37), spelling (167)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to enjoy the story and its follow up activities. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Kids Should See This - Rion Nakaya

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and ...more
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and up. Media isn't divided into categories. The newest items appear first. However, you can search the site by keyword. Information ranges from animal stories of a dog without legs to video of Ella Fitzgerald scatting. Obviously, this site is updated frequently, so contents will change. Students and adults alike will love browsing for interesting stories and information.

tag(s): news (265), speaking (25), video (275), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Check first to be sure the media are not blocked by school web filtering. Choose one item from the site to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter on current topics or as a lead-in to a lesson. (Example: show the YouTube video about order of the planets when beginning an astronomy unit). Share the site with students and let them explore to find interesting topics for research reports. Ask students to choose one item from the site to share with other students as a way to practice oral presentation skills. Use videos or images as writing prompts or blog prompts. ESL/ELL students can practice their language skills by retelling a favorite video. Challenge your students to create their own informative videos on a topic that your class is exploring. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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LITCHARTS - Get Lit - LitCharts

Grades
6 to 12
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LitCharts is an online site similar to the familiar Cliffs Notes but with their own spin. Charts are available for literary classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the ...more
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LitCharts is an online site similar to the familiar Cliffs Notes but with their own spin. Charts are available for literary classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Jane Eyre, and several more. Charts can be viewed online, downloaded in a PDF file, or accessed through an iPhone app (apps are 99 cents each). Each chart offers a side by side summary and analysis of story events making events easier to follow and understand than typical summaries. In addition, they include a color coded theme tracker to help follow themes throughout the book. Each LitChart is 10 pages or less, making them concise and easy to use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): literature (274), summarizing (15)

In the Classroom

LitCharts is a great resource to use with ESL/ELL and intervention students to reinforce concepts in texts provided. It is also helpful for students who lack experience with challenging literary classic. Share a LitChart with your class when reading one of the books on the site then have students create their own LitChart for the next book or to improve on the ones offered here. Provide a link to LitCharts to students to use as a study resource for end of novel assessments. Hint: make sure any assessments you use ask questions that go beyond what these charts offer, or students will not even try to read the actual texts! An intriguing challenge would be to ask them what else they would include in a study guide for the work.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Paper Rater - paperrater.com

Grades
6 to 12
14 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free ...more
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At Paper Rater you can check your grammar, detect plagiarism, and find writing suggestions all at one place. Use this site for sixth grade writing and above. With the free version you are able to check for plagiarism, grammar, vocabulary, word choice and style (transitions). No login is required. PaperRater offers a premium version for a fee.

tag(s): book reports (37), editing (68), essays (21), grammar (214), plagiarism (35), proofreading (23), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to find their document and copy and paste into the correct fields. Follow the easy directions to determine grammar errors and create a better document. Use without a login or sign up.

Have students use Paper Rater to check their rough drafts. Have students work in pairs, as a peer review, to help each other improve their papers using the suggestions given by Paper Rater. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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WordTwist - PuzzleBaron

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done ...more
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WordTwist is an online version of the word game, Boggle. The idea is to create as many words as possible in the 4X4 or 5X5 grids. Play can be done without registration; however, registration allows you to keep track of your scores and compare yourself to other players. Scores are based on the number and difficulty of words found on the game board. There are two versions of the game, a Flash version and one that doesn't require Flash.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (113), spelling (167), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Create accounts for your students and let them compete against each other for points. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Display this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to create words as a class. Challenge students to create lists of new words they learn from WordTwist.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Melanie , KS, Grades: 0 - 12

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Doctor Doctor Lesson - Genki English

Grades
K to 4
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes...more
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes it easy for language learners to acquire body part name knowledge easily. The video and song lyrics make the "Body Part" lesson entertaining and memorable. There is also a "Make a Face" interactive. To use the video part, download the "Realvideo" player. This is about the only items that are FREE at this site, but they are still worth a look if teaching body parts or expressions of the face.

In order to get the "free" printable cards, worksheets, and acompanying language games you must buy the Teacher's Set, Superpack, or Download Pack. However, the video and songs ARE free and fun!
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tag(s): faces (3), human body (126), preK (289), video (275)

In the Classroom

Use the videos on this site to introduce basic English to ESL/ELL students in a fun and energetic way. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view that at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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