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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook...more
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ESL/ELL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Our editors made a sample for you to see.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click to Enter The Site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. The link for Writer Prompts can be found on the bottom right side of the site. The Writer Prompts link will lead you to the creator's blog, with many writing prompts (with new prompts added often). This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (144), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This one is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless.

The site creators tell us that Makebeliefscomix accepts accent marks and characters from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, in addition to English, they hope soon to add Chinese and Japanese.

Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Visit often, as new prompts are added weekly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Nepantla: Between Worlds - Race Bridges for Schools

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan set uses a Latino story teller whose stories to promote tolerance and embrace diversity. Short MP3 extracts are provided, which can be heard on Windows Media Player...more
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This lesson plan set uses a Latino story teller whose stories to promote tolerance and embrace diversity. Short MP3 extracts are provided, which can be heard on Windows Media Player or your computer's chosen audio program. At the time of this review, some of the MP3 tracks include "My Own Rhythms," "Why Do You Want To Go To College," "Bridge Between Worlds," and many others. With a complete lesson plans accompanying the story sections, this resource is ready to use in a variety of situations. Other lesson plan topics on ths site include : Feathers of the Wind: A Jewish-American Story, A More Perfect Union, Hidden Memory: Japanese American Internment, and several others. New lesson plans and story excerpts appear often. This site requires Windows Media Player (or similar MP3 audio player) and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): diversity (36), immigration (58), mexico (34), migration (59), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Social studies and language arts teachers will enjoy this site when talking about diversity, second generation immigrants, living between two cultural worlds, etc. Use some of the story extracts when your school is celebrating holidays around the world. Share the audio clips. And be sure to TURN UP THE VOLUME. When studying folk literature and culture, have your students search through the extracts for evidence of underlying myths and universal tales. Have your ESL students from Hispania compare their experiences to those in the stories.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Study Guides and Strategies - Joe Landsberger

Grades
K to 12
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If you haven't been to seminars, college classes, or professional development lately, you may feel a little rusty on innovative study guides and strategies that will enhance learning....more
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If you haven't been to seminars, college classes, or professional development lately, you may feel a little rusty on innovative study guides and strategies that will enhance learning. This site explains with clear language and no-frills web pages hundreds of ways to help our learners, from online test taking, memorizing, to managing stress and so much more. Another perk from this site is that it is available in over 20 different languages, so even limited English speakers can learn these helpful techniques. From this web link, you enter the "visitors center" where you grasp the impact this site has had on education. Millions of visitors benefit from its resources each year. Click on "index" at the top to access the page full of study guides and strategies options.

Each content area has successful resources that you can use.

Content areas include Preparing, Learning, Studying, Learning with Others, Online Learning/Communicating, Classroom Participation, Project Management, Research, Reading Skills, Preparing for Test, Science and Technology, Math, Resources, Vocabulary/Spelling, Writing Styles, Writing Basics, and Taking Tests. There are over 100 individual topics to explore: Time Management, Avoiding Procrastination, Learning with ADHD, Effective Study Habits, Peer Mediation, Problem Based Learning, Netiquette, Public Speaking, Citing Websites, SQ3R, KWL, Overcoming Test Anxiety, Ten Tips for Terrific Test Taking, Prefixes and Root Words, Seven Stages of Writing, and countless others!

There are some basic advertisements at this site. Flash and Acrobat Reader are needed for some of the links and can be obtained here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), organizational skills (122), spelling (168), stress (14), time (144), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This site is one to save in your favorites! There is so much here, it is hard to know where to begin. The language offerings provide opportunities for ESL and ELL students to learn study skills in their native language. This site could also be used in world languages classes.

Why not highlight a "study skill" each week using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students TRY it. Most of the topics provide interactive learning or another assignment to help students practice the skill. Have students work individually or with a partner to explore the "topic of the week." These life skills are so necessary, but hard to fit into the already crammed curriculum. This site does a nice job of integrating the study skills with curriculum content. Have students create their own multimedia projects about study skills using a current unit of study from your class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ELT Portal: Movies - Robet Palmer

Grades
5 to 12
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This site features interactive ESL and ELL lessons to go with popular movies and TV commercials. The activity formats include matching and cloze passages. The lessons are divided by...more
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This site features interactive ESL and ELL lessons to go with popular movies and TV commercials. The activity formats include matching and cloze passages. The lessons are divided by "Easier," "More Challenging," or "Most Challenging." Two types of lessons include vocabulary previews and "fill-in-the-blank cloze" of the movie dialog which appears while the movie or TV clip is playing. The site is growing, with more commercials and films appearing regularly.

There is also a supplementary section in WORD which contains discussion questions for the movies. Some of the clips require QuickTime and/or Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Share this site (and the activities) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Print the list of vocabulary words and have students keep the list with them at their seats while they view the video (or listen to the audio). ESL and ELL students will benefit from the ability to re-watch the video clips and hear the dialog several times. Learning support students will also benefit from the comprehension check and vocabulary development. Although all material appeared appropriate, you may want to preview any video or audio you plan to share, to avoid any "surprises."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Befuddlr - Erik Kastner and Amy Hoy

Grades
K to 12
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as ...more
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as "Patterns," "Hello kitty," "Water drops," and many others. Choose a picture you wish to "befuddlr." Pieces of the original picture are moved around in a new order. Continue to choose a different combination, change the lines that divide segments of the picture, and even drag a button to your toolbar to "befuddlr" any picture. Once done, use the snapshot function of your computer to take a picture. In Mac, use apple-shift-four to take a snapshot. In PC, use the print screen (Prt Sc key) function to "copy" the picture and then paste it into a document or elsewhere. You are able to submit your own photos to the site (found on Flickr, of course). Learn more about flickr, a photo storage and sharing site, in the TeachersFirst review here.

tag(s): images (266), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

To use the pictures provided, simply chose a "group" title, such as water drops, and click to befuddlr it. If you wish to befuddlr your own pictures, you must first upload them to Flickr, so you will need to learn that simple tool. Be sure to TAG your pictures so you can FIND them again! No membership or saving are available on befuddlr. Its is an on-the-spot tool. Be sure to use your own images or copyright free images and images that are available to be built upon. If students click to choose other pictures from Flickr, they could encounter ANYTHING that someone has uploaded, so be sure to guide them to the pictures you want them to use and have a stated policy and consequence for those who wander off into inappropriate places. Flickr does have anti-porn policies, but girls in bikinis, for example, are still available! Use snapshots of animals, numbers, letters, or other pictures and have students scramble the pieces. Befuddlr a picture on your interactive whiteboard to start a language lesson! Students can create their own and provide hints using a variety of constraints such as no more than 5 words, a poem, using adjectives only, etc. in order to help those guessing the original picture. In Art, create new patterns for analysis. Use befuddled pictures to practice new vocabulary for young ones or for ESL and world language students. Accompany student poetry with befuddled pictures
 
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busuu.com - UNESCO

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers language lessons for 4 languages: Spanish, English, French and German. The site plans to add additional languages in the future. Joining for free allows students to...more
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This site offers language lessons for 4 languages: Spanish, English, French and German. The site plans to add additional languages in the future. Joining for free allows students to learn vocabulary, dialog, writing, oral skills, comprehension, and more - in a highly interactive format. Support from native speakers is a regular feature of this site using the interactive video chat capability. The range of topics includes more than 100 commonly used language situations. The site saves errors for review, lists of lessons already studied, results of those lessons, etc. This project of UNESCO's International Year for Languages offers lessons in "What you really need to know!" This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), social networking (112), spanish (108), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Check school policies concerning both student memberships and interaction with outsiders. You will want a written set of rules which both students and parents agree to before allowing students to navigate on their own in the portions of the site that use video chat with outsiders. Younger students (under 13) should use a teacher or class account, rather than an individual one, to avoid conflict with COPPA (child online protection act in the U.S.).

Make this site available from your class web page or as a favorite on local machines for ESL, ELL, and world language students to use to reinforce their survival and vocabulary skills. World cultures classes might even want to "taste" a bit of a language as they learn about other countries. French, German, and Spanish language students will enjoy the opportunity to "chat" with native speakers in their target study languages. (Be sure you have parent permission for students to interact with outsiders!). You will need headphones or speakers for the audio portions of this site. This site is excellent for enrichment or personal learning. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MyVocabulary.Com - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Are you looking for some new tricks and tools to entice your students to learn and practice root words, vocabulary, and spelling? The main links at this site include Root ...more
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Are you looking for some new tricks and tools to entice your students to learn and practice root words, vocabulary, and spelling? The main links at this site include Root Word Lesson Plans, Thematic Puzzles, Word Lists, Test Prep/Assessment, and Daily Root Puzzles.

The Root Word Lesson Plans offer three difficulty levels, a prefix study, interactive puzzles focused on Greek and Latin roots. There are fill in the blanks, crosswords, true-false, word finds, and more.

The Word Lists are extensive and include nearly every topic one can imagine: Shakespeare, Legal Terms, Stock Market, ESL, Photography, Dance, Patriotism, Debate, Women in History, Psychology, Mythology, Kwanzaa, and MANY other topics.

The Thematic Puzzles include printable pages, interactive definition match games, and over fifty topics.

If you have students preparing for the SATs or ACTs, don't miss the Test Prep section with over 200 vocabulary words.

tag(s): prefixes (16), root words (13), spelling (168), suffixes (14), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Search the site for topics that you are teaching or that are timely, such as holidays. Share the puzzles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students research various vocabulary words (provided with each topic). Have students create a multi-media project about their vocabulary words: wiki, blog, or PowerPoint. Be sure to take advantage of the free lesson plan ideas, discussion topics, and printable puzzles. As an ongoing vocabulary project, have student create interactive "word books" using Bookemon (reviewed here).

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Salsa - Georgia Public Broadcasting

Grades
K to 12
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This Spanish language program features TV segments of popular children's stories in Spanish. The forty-two TV episodes include puppets, animation, live action and music characteristic...more
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This Spanish language program features TV segments of popular children's stories in Spanish. The forty-two TV episodes include puppets, animation, live action and music characteristic of Hispanic culture. Besides transcripts, the website includes activity guides, educational games, review activities, etc. In some episodes, the action is translated into sign language for the hearing impaired, as well! Complete transcripts in Spanish and English allow the instructor to pre-teach vocabulary and set up the situation before showing the video. One of the main advantages of using this program in a mixed language class is that the Spanish speaking students suddenly become the authorities in the classroom; they can assist the instructor with the episodes and activities.

Although the site contains the option to buy the TV segments and booklets, the materials are available for free on the website. The site also includes a complete broadcast schedule from Georgia Public Broadcasting.

tag(s): spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use these episodes as a supplement to regular Spanish language classes or as enrichment for elementary classes wishing to learn a language. Encourage your Spanish speaking class members to assist with pronunciation, episode summaries, songs, etc. Provide this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom; both the activities and stories help with Spanish language comprehension. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a model for world language stuedents, then challenge students create their own stories (on video, of course). Use a tool like Stupeflix, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Candlelight Stories - Candlelight Stories, Incorporated

Grades
2 to 8
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This site offers online children's stories (text, audio, and video). Unfortunately, some oral versions of the stories are not part of the free offerings of the site. Scroll down the...more
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This site offers online children's stories (text, audio, and video). Unfortunately, some oral versions of the stories are not part of the free offerings of the site. Scroll down the home page and find many free oral tales. . Students can view the entire site in a variety of languages including French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. When the site is in a language other than English, students can mouse over the text to see the English version. The home page also contains "games," which are educational. Be aware: some of the activities (games) are listed for ages 13+ due to their violent nature. This is probably not a site that you want students to explore unsupervised. You can, however, allow students -even young ones--to work on their own within the "Free Sound Stories" area of the site. These traditional tales are offered as downloadable podcasts or can be played right at your computer for listening activities. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): listening (91), movies (65)

In the Classroom

Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector (turn up the speakers). Download and share Sound Stories as a listening center. Search through the "Games" to find appropriate activities for your class to use to reinforce grammar, spelling, and literature review. If you are having students view this site on individual computers, don't forget headsets!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Magic Key - Adventures - BBC

Grades
K to 2
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This site (created by the BBC) offers nine interactive language arts activities. HMS Sweet Toothdiscusses "full stops" also known as the ends of sentences. Lug and the Giant...more
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This site (created by the BBC) offers nine interactive language arts activities. HMS Sweet Toothdiscusses "full stops" also known as the ends of sentences. Lug and the Giant Storks talks about capital letters, and there are several other topics. Once you click on the activity you wish to teach, you are presented with a choice of "Game, Worksheet, or Teachers Resources." The Teachers Resources include detailed lesson plans with standards (matched to UK standards), extension activities, and other classroom ideas. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): patterns (85), sentences (52), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

If you are teaching any of the nine concepts that are highlighted at this site, be sure to take a look. Share HOW to do the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to explore on their own. Use the ready-to-go lesson plans, worksheet pages for homework practice, and interactives as learning stations or centers. Use this site with emergent readers, special education students, or your ESL and ELL students. List this link on your class website for students to use to practice at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures.

NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.

"Learn It" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Advanced lesson plans for teachers are viewed in the "Learn It" tab as well. "View the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Note: Advertisements run alongside the PicLits screen. Caution students to ignore these. Here is an example:
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), images (266), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Users of PicLits must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URL's and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. Help also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits for a curriculum topic or as a literary magazine online. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

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Visual Dictionary Online - Merriam-Webster and QA International

Grades
3 to 12
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Be sure to save this site in your favorites for your visual learners! As its name implies, this dictionary 'defines' the word a student types by providing a detailed, labeled ...more
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Be sure to save this site in your favorites for your visual learners! As its name implies, this dictionary 'defines' the word a student types by providing a detailed, labeled graphic. In 15 category themes, there are over 6000 images and 20,000 definitions available. Use the index for easy access to the words you need locate. Once the image is seen, click on the audio button to hear the correct pronunciation. Scroll down the page to find words and phrases that relate to the word being investigated. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): images (266)

In the Classroom

Science teachers will love this site. Most of the 15 categories revolve around science terminology that benefit from images. ESL and learning support students who have difficulty with verbal definitions will also find this resource helpful. Speech and Language teachers can use the Clothing and Articles categories to build student vocabulary. Use your whiteboard alongside your science text to clarify terms. Encourage students to study for tests by perusing this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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EcoKids - Earth Day Canada

Grades
K to 8
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This clever, creative, and entertaining resource is a must for elementary science classroom! Click to enter the Room 26: Kids or the Teachers' Lounge. Kids from all over...more
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This clever, creative, and entertaining resource is a must for elementary science classroom! Click to enter the Room 26: Kids or the Teachers' Lounge. Kids from all over the world can learn oodles from this Canadian ecology site. Teachers will find a trove of information and instructional materials as well. You will appreciate the Earth Day activities and information. There are also numerous educational interactives highlighting the food chain, bugs, animal adaptations, acid rain, transportation, and other topics. Students can participate in interactive stories; play and learn with more than 50 ecology-based on-line games and activities; learn about a variety of topics including wildlife, energy, and environment issues; and print out word games or coloring sheets.

Be aware: recently, this site started to offer certain features of the Teacher's Lounge to "members only." Membership is FREE, but does require an email address. The link for students does NOT require membership to access the interactives, information, or printables. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): acid rain (5), earth (228), earth day (112), ecology (135), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

There is SO much to look at and explore, so browse through the offerings, create a plan for your students based on their age and ability level, then mark the site as a favorite on classroom computers. Upper elementary students can use it as an independent learning center. Younger children may need help with some of the text, so consider using an interactive whiteboard or projector and exploring the activities as a class. Click on "Downloads" on the bottom left to find printables, including coloring sheets of Canadian wildlife and various ecology-related worksheets and lesson plans. Click on the 'games and activities' tab and use the interactive whiteboard or projector for whole class eco-minded fun. ESL and ELL teachers, don't miss the 'teacher' section for a cache of activities written for your ELL/ESL students. Interested students will use this one for hours, so some directions will be important for classroom use.
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Census in Schools - U.S. Census Bureau

Grades
4 to 10
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This site, created especially for students who need to understand information collected during the census (up to, and including the year 2000), offers five main areas: State Facts for...more
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This site, created especially for students who need to understand information collected during the census (up to, and including the year 2000), offers five main areas: State Facts for Students, Program Overview, Teaching Materials (K-adult), Reference Materials, and Highlights. The state pages include a generalized lesson plan and pertinent information for each state. The City map section under reference materials is especially interesting as it shows city growth from 1790 to 2000. The teaching materials section includes activities and downloadable, printable census kits for classroom use from kindergarten students to adults.

tag(s): census (19), maps (287), states (162)

In the Classroom

This historical census data is ideal for comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends. Use this page when studying various states; students can make a quick comparison between targeted states with the facts ready to read all on one or two pages. If you teach data analysis and graphing in your math class, this data provides real world information for students to use in math exercises, spreadsheets, and graphs. You could even use it in Google Docs spreadsheets (reviewed here). If you have ESL and ELL students, check out the special ESL pages found under the teaching materials section. The easy to read materials include glossaries, exercises, and excellent maps, perfect for geography lessons.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Just Crosswords - CleverMedia

Grades
2 to 12
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The name says it all--this site is just crosswords, created by you or your students. Cool features: 1. You can customize a crossword puzzle around any subject. 2. Once ...more
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The name says it all--this site is just crosswords, created by you or your students. Cool features: 1. You can customize a crossword puzzle around any subject. 2. Once created, you can link it to you website or blog. 3. You can bookmark it, so that you, your students or their parents can return to it whenever they choose. 4. You can email your puzzle to anyone in the world. 5. Puzzles can be worked online, and there is even a stopwatch tell you how long it takes to complete it. (Warning: Changing an answer is cumbersome.) 6. Explore the archive to find previously made puzzles in standard or crozzle format.

Be Aware: You can't easily print your puzzle into a sleek format without all the website clutter. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): puzzles (208), spelling (168), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Let your imagination run wild. Spelling words, content vocabulary words, or holiday words are obvious uses of this tool. Link puzzles to your teacher's site, or your school's site. Have students create puzzles to exchange with classmates. Create a crossword puzzle booklet to be given to loved ones (especially aging loved ones) as a holiday gift.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bookmaking with Kids - Cathy Miranker and Susie Peyton

Grades
K to 12
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the ...more
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the extensive blog material to learn about author presentations and how schools incorporated those visits into making books. The creators say this site is part scrapbook and notebook, so click on the categories frequently to see the new content.

Teachers who desire professional development and fresh ideas will want to include this site in their repertoire.

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ANY grade level create original books. Have students work with a partner to create a book together. With older students, challenge them to create a book as a culminating project for a research assignment. Have younger students create books at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves to the class. The possibilities are endless at this creative site! Use some of the ideas to make online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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refseek - refseek.com

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
RefSeek is a different search tool (beta--new in Nov, 2008) for beginning researchers as well as those already knowledgeable about the process. Although this search engine appears "plain...more
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RefSeek is a different search tool (beta--new in Nov, 2008) for beginning researchers as well as those already knowledgeable about the process. Although this search engine appears "plain vanilla," it is a great option for research purposes. As they explain it, they "search the entire Web for freely available academic information, providing relevant results while filtering out most commercial content." This is different from Google's standard search. RefSeek looks through web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers for your chosen topic. With special search features, students can also limit searches to specific web pages, search two topics (either-or option) at once, and even include search words usually dismissed by academic searches (like "the" and "if"). After starting a search, click on Directory to limit searches to certain types of publications and resources, including quotations, almanacs and teacher resources.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Use this site to compare the validity of various types of reference material sources. Compare results of searches to teach critical reading skills and 21st century information literacy. Compare info from sources on this site to those in print materials. Encourage your students to use this tool for individual as well as group projects. Encourage ESL and ELL students to find sources with lower reading levels that still give the necessary information.

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Fingerplays for Young Children - Songs for Teaching

Grades
K to 3
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This subsection of the Songs for Teaching site has excellent chants and other childhood favorite songs which get children moving, speaking, and rhyming. Words to the fingerplays and...more
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This subsection of the Songs for Teaching site has excellent chants and other childhood favorite songs which get children moving, speaking, and rhyming. Words to the fingerplays and songs are copyable, and many contain Quicktime sound excerpt files as well (enough to get you going with the song, though not the complete song). A few even have pictures of someone going through the motions of the song or rhyme. A link to Songs for Early Childhood allows you to see even more action songs. There are even songs to go with class content, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Your kinesthetic learners will retain the concepts in these songs. ESL, ELL, and speech/language students will respond to the music; it aids with articulation, accent development, and memory. This site requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): plays (37), preK (281), rhymes (33), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter so that parents can use it at home too! Don't forget to turn up your speakers if you are using the music in class. If your class responds very well to using songs, you might try writing lyrics together about something you are studying -- using one of these familiar tunes.

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Teach Children ESL: Games - Teach Children ESL

Grades
K to 3
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This site has many games available for downloading including card games, board games, and Valentine's Day bingo. Children learn vocabulary and have fun while manipulating the various...more
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This site has many games available for downloading including card games, board games, and Valentine's Day bingo. Children learn vocabulary and have fun while manipulating the various versions of memory cards, Go Fish, and other traditional children's past times. Downloads include colorfully illustrated cards and game parts as well as instructions. Links include more goodies: worksheets, songs, and flashcards. At certain times of the day this site can be slow in loading. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115)

In the Classroom

Download the games and laminate the materials or send them home for parents and children to do together. Speech and language teachers as well as ESL/ELL teachers will love the free games-to-go!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Leo Loves to Spell - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Come along with Leo to practice spelling in various locations. There are twelve locations to choose from (i.e. a firehouse, restaurant, farm, aquarium, zoo, airport, and others). Once...more
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Come along with Leo to practice spelling in various locations. There are twelve locations to choose from (i.e. a firehouse, restaurant, farm, aquarium, zoo, airport, and others). Once at the location, students are provided with audio instructions to drag and drop upper and lower case letters into a box. The challenge is to drag and drop the same letters that are in the word under the box. As students drag and drop the letters, audio encouragement and information is provided. For example, they say the letter aloud and the word aloud to help students make connections. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore it on individual computers. This site is ideal for emergent readers, since the letters and words are read aloud. Young ESL, ELL, and special education students would also benefit from the practice available at this site. Be sure to save this site in your favorites and list this link on your class website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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