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Jan Brett's Home Page - Jan Brett

Grades
K to 3
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Popular children's author Jan Brett offers a page full of games, crafts, wonderful new how-to-draw videos, book previews, contests, and card-making options. For teachers there are plenty...more
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Popular children's author Jan Brett offers a page full of games, crafts, wonderful new how-to-draw videos, book previews, contests, and card-making options. For teachers there are plenty of reading and math support activities like flash cards, book jacket covers, and word lists. click Videos to see drawing videos that include clips of real animals at play and easy-to-follow steps in drawing simple versions of the creatures.

In the Classroom

After you read one of Brett's books, have the children draw their own animals and write sentences about them. If you use a drawing program on the computer, you can put the drawings on PowerPoint slides and have students write sentences about them. Then combine the slides into a whole-class slide show (also printable as a BOOK they can sign out and take home to share as a read-aloud). If you prefer to use pencil/paper for drawing, you can also scan them into PowerPoint so you can share and print the file as many times as you like. You can even email it to parents for them to share with other family members.

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Langwitches - langwitches.org

Grades
2 to 12
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This site's goal is to encourage ESL and language teachers to use technology as yet another tool in language teaching and learning. Guidelines and examples for a number of projects...more
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This site's goal is to encourage ESL and language teachers to use technology as yet another tool in language teaching and learning. Guidelines and examples for a number of projects (digital recipes, digital movies) describe every step of the project from start to finish so that even a technological novice can complete them. Other features include a blog, a wiki teachers can contribute to, detailed tutorials for some of the projects, links to other projects including webquest creation, a regular podcast available by free subscription, and the promise of future project additions.

tag(s): blogs (88), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

This site provides specific ideas for you to try. The specific ideas for using things as simple as digital cameras for project-based language learning are easily accomplished in any language classroom.

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Language Guide - Language Guide

Grades
1 to 12
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This site allows you to learn words and hear pronunciations in 11 languages (English - Fran?ais - Espa?ol - Deutsch - Portugu?s - Russian - Italiano - Polska ...more
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This site allows you to learn words and hear pronunciations in 11 languages (English - Fran?ais - Espa?ol - Deutsch - Portugu?s - Russian - Italiano - Polska - Greek). Select your native language and a language you wish to study. Choose a category, such as fruits, and roll your mouse over pictures to hear the word, pronounced by a native speakers. There are also sections for grammar topics, such as verb conjugation. Site extras include sound effects to accompany some pictures (hear the bark, breathing sound, and growl of the dog)! This site avoids the problems of different alphabets by working from picture to sound, though the spellings do display as little text boxes as you roll your mouse.

tag(s): grammar (216), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a pronunciation backup when you do not have a native speaker teaching foreign language. If you have access to a lab or individual laptops, assign students to practice pronunciation as they learn new vocabulary. Be sure to share the link from your teach web page in your world language class. As you study world cultures or geography, some students may want to learn simple language selections, as well. Gifted students --especially younger ones curious about languages -- will enjoy trying to learn independently. ESL students may also use this site to hear authentic pronunciation. Speech and language and special ed teachers working on vocabulary development will want to use this site with students, as well.

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Illustrated Vocabulary - Institut de la Providence

Grades
1 to 10
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This illustrated word list, grouped by category, offers users the chance to test their vocabulary knowledge of basics in English, French, Danish, and Dutch. Simply select a language...more
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This illustrated word list, grouped by category, offers users the chance to test their vocabulary knowledge of basics in English, French, Danish, and Dutch. Simply select a language and category, and the graphics in the category ask for a word choice. Immediate feedback in the chosen language indicates a percentage of correct choices and allows users to guess again.One unfortunate note: since the site creators are French, they did not capitalize the months of the year--even in English. You probably will not want to use that section of the site.

tag(s): french (88), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a review for ESL students. French language students will also enjoy this quick way to check their knowledge. Speech and language teachers or primary reading teachers who are teaching simple reading vocabulary or spelling words may want to make this site as center in their classrooms.

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Using Timeline Games and Mexican History to Improve Comprehension - IRA/NCTE

Grades
3 to 6
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The IRA/NCTE has created this wonderful resource that incorporates timelines, Mexican history, and comprehension. The unit is broken down into eight 45-minute sessions. The website...more
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The IRA/NCTE has created this wonderful resource that incorporates timelines, Mexican history, and comprehension. The unit is broken down into eight 45-minute sessions. The website challenges students to study some basic information about Mexican history. Then the students are asked to create an illustrated timeline. There are numerous other "mini" activities available within this lesson plan. If your class doesn't have the time to complete this entire unit, pick and choose what works for your class. The lesson plans are ready to go, easy to follow, include interactive elements, and are highly motivational. This website requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): aztecs (8), mexico (34), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

The interactive timeline maker tool linked in this lesson is outstanding for ANY timeline you want students to make. The final product is printed and is NOT saved anywhere, however. Make sure you allow enough time to complete the work and print.

Use this lesson plan to teach your students Mexican history, how to use/create a timeline, and to improve their reading comprehension. Your students with family heritage from Mexico would benefit twice from using this lesson for comprehension activities. This is truly an interdisciplinary unit, and includes directions, objectives, standards, and more. The lessons would work well as independent study in the computer lab, cooperative learning activities, or whole class research using an interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Location - National Grid for Learning (UK)

Grades
K to 2
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This interactive site teaches young children about location and position. Pictures of toys are used to demonstrate various locations or positions (i.e. above, to the left, or inside)....more
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This interactive site teaches young children about location and position. Pictures of toys are used to demonstrate various locations or positions (i.e. above, to the left, or inside). There are three main lessons - all are easy to use, interactive and motivational. Note that the lessons require reading basic words. This website requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a learning center. Speech/language teachers and ESL teachers can also use the activities to practice reading, saying, and understanding basic "position" words with students. If you have an interactive whiteboard, students will LOVE practicing the skills in small groups.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Quizlet: The End of Flashcards - Brainflare: Andrew Sutherland

Grades
3 to 12
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This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study...more
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This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study in any language or a content area. Students may choose to create electronic tests, or the networking page allows them to interact and learn with other users who have the same words. Teacher or students can create groups to share word lists. See a sample matching activity about TeachersFirst created by our editors to show a variation on using this online tool for simple words/definitions. Use this tool from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. The iOS and Android apps practice tests can be multiple choice, true/false, or written questions. Turn on "Instant Feedback" (new feature for the apps) that will give real-time feedback on right/wrong answers as you go; or wait and get your score at the end. As wonderful as this technology is, the coolest thing about Quizlet might be in its history--its creator was a high school student who tells his inspiring story and shares his blog through links at this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), quiz (85), spelling (168), vocabulary (324), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Membership asks for an email. Email allows you to notify others that you want to share a word list or activity with them. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here, this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class. KEEP A LIST of students usernames (non-identifying) and passwords, incase they forget them! If you already use Google Classroom with your students, it only takes a few minutes to get them set up with a Quizlet Class.

There is a very thorough "Help Center" to get the idea of how the site works. Save your "sets" and decide whether you want them to be entirely public, just for you personally, or shared with a "group." Create your own groups for each class or subject. Be sure to note the fact that you can upload vocabulary lists by copy/pasting from various formats--- a time real saver! Use this tool easily in your byod classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

Content and English teachers may set up their personal network of users. Pretest your gifted students and allow them to "test out" of material they already know. Learning support teachers will want their students to create their own Quizlet sets and help learn them in the process! Teachers may create your own sets of words, or let students do the work for themselves and each other. Use the interactive whiteboard for quick flashcard or electronic testing using your sets. World language and ESL/ELL teachers will find many word sets already built and ready to use at this site. If you team teach with others at your grade level, take turns making the online Quizlets to accompany your science or social studies chapters. Be SURE to share this tool on your teacher web page for students to use at home.

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Toy Theater - Toy Theater

Grades
K to 5
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Memory puzzles, comic stories, action alphabet and math flashcards are just a few features at this site. Art, music, reading, math, puzzles and more are accessed through easy dropdown...more
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Memory puzzles, comic stories, action alphabet and math flashcards are just a few features at this site. Art, music, reading, math, puzzles and more are accessed through easy dropdown links. The difficulty ranges from simple primary skills to more challenging puzzles. Use these great interactives to teach music composition, practice with numbers, letters, and colors, do paper cut-outs like Henri Matisse, or practice math and reading skills. ESL or elementary spelling teachers will like the simple "crossword" vocabulary interactive. All links are interactive and require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): alphabet (92), animation (63), counting (120), numbers (204), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Use these activities as a center, with partners, or on an interactive whiteboard. Turn up the speakers for sound on the music portions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mem Fox: Teaching, Learning, Living - Mem Fox

Grades
K to 7
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This author page features plenty of ideas about how to help kids enjoy reading and includes many stories. Hear Mem Fox reading her own stories (click Hear Mem Read ...more
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This author page features plenty of ideas about how to help kids enjoy reading and includes many stories. Hear Mem Fox reading her own stories (click Hear Mem Read Aloud). She gives advice on how to read to children and gives great examples. This author page has many good suggestions for promoting literacy and love of reading. There is also a section of advice on writing your own picture book for children, an excellent writing activity for upper elementary and middle school students. Parts of this site require Quick Time. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): authors (120), literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Create shortcut to Mem reading aloud on your classroom computer for a center activity for primary grades, and place a copy of Mem's book there for students to follow along. Print out Mem's suggestions for reading aloud to give to parents at conferences or share this site on your teacher home page for parent and students to access from home. For older students, this site is an excellent resource for planning cross-grade reading activities for Read Across America or other special times, including having middle school students write picture books for young students, then share them at an in-person visit or on a podcast recording.PowerPoint slides are an easy way to "create" and share large format picture books electronically.

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Kids Book Club Book - Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

Grades
2 to 12
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This site, a companion to a print book, focuses on ideas and activities for book clubs, including short summaries of books, recipes, and activities paired up with featured books. ...more
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This site, a companion to a print book, focuses on ideas and activities for book clubs, including short summaries of books, recipes, and activities paired up with featured books. Books included are of many levels and genres, all of high interest for children. Children's authors write some of the book reviews; book club members are welcome to list their book club, book descriptions, and activities on the site as well. Links include an author section with a comprehensive list of authors who will speak to your book clubs by phone and authors and illustrators willing to visit your school.

In the Classroom

Find food ideas and activities to promote reading on this site! Mention this site to your school librarian for use with school book clubs. FCS teachers may want to coordinate some of the recipes with books featured in language arts class. Parents would appreciate the link on your teacher web page or newsletter so they can encourage reading at home. Your school parent organization can find great ideas, as well. Make this link part of your family literacy treasury.

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Little Critter World Wide Network - Mercer Mayer

Grades
K to 3
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The Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer have more to offer on this site. Listen to the author read stories, join in with sing-alongs (turn up your speakers!), watch ...more
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The Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer have more to offer on this site. Listen to the author read stories, join in with sing-alongs (turn up your speakers!), watch interactive videos of the books, and find games, art, and other activities on this great website. The read and play activities highlight the text as it reads aloud to you, and even has music and giggle to go along with the story. Users can also read about the author and even write a letter to Little Critter. This is a great reading reinforcement site! Site requires Shockwave and Flash: get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): preK (279)

In the Classroom

Select items on this site to use as a center or whole-class activity after you read a Little Critter book to your class. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who love these books. ESL students will enjoy listening to having the books read as they follow along on the pages of the book. You will want to be sure that students steer clear of the "store" section where Little Critter items are sold.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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estories by Story Teller - Enoch Pratt Free Library

Grades
K to 4
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Master story tellers tell stories on video. The multi-cultural stories appeal to all children and adults, but work especially well with pre-school and younger children. Organized by...more
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Master story tellers tell stories on video. The multi-cultural stories appeal to all children and adults, but work especially well with pre-school and younger children. Organized by name of story teller, each story listed is followed by a short summary. If readers enjoy a specific story teller, they can check at the bottom of the page while they're listening to see if this story teller has more offerings. This site requires RealPlayer. Download it at the site or the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91)

In the Classroom

Then list and explain new vocabulary words on the board (if children can read) before you play the story on a projector or whiteboard. Ask listening comprehension questions or talk about story structure with older children (rising action, climax, and falling action, for example). The stories would also make an excellent story center with headphones. Let them listen and watch over and over. Another idea: Consider having your students create recorded audio or video podcasts of their own favorite stories to be shared on a class web site, if you have the technical capabilities. Be sure to connect and turn up your speakers. Real Player's "Theatre mode" works well on a projector.

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Proverbia.net - Vicent Jorda

Grades
3 to 12
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Finally, a rich resource of proverbs to use for classroom bulletin boards, quotes of the day, and, most importantly: teaching figurative language and idioms. Find proverbs alphabetically,...more
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Finally, a rich resource of proverbs to use for classroom bulletin boards, quotes of the day, and, most importantly: teaching figurative language and idioms. Find proverbs alphabetically, by topic, or by author. Click for the Spanish version of the site, as well. Spanish teachers will love this way of teaching the nuances of the language. If you teach about Ben Franklin, you could spend a full class on his proverbial sayings found here. ESL/ELL students will benefit from exposure to the idioms included in the proverbs, as well.

tag(s): figurative language (16), franklin (12), idioms (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Ask students to find three proverbs unknown to them and explain them visually on a PowerPoint slide (can easily be printed into a big book or poster). Feature a proverb a week in your classroom or on a bulletin board to build analogous thinking, cultural literacy, and inferencing skills as you ask students to explain what it means. This will gently ease your concrete thinkers into broader understanding.

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Karin's ESL PartyLand - Karin M. Cintron

Grades
4 to 12
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Originally written for ESL students to practice language skills, these interactive quizzes are very useful for allowing all levels of students to test their skills online in a nonthreatening...more
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Originally written for ESL students to practice language skills, these interactive quizzes are very useful for allowing all levels of students to test their skills online in a nonthreatening way. These interactive quizzes seem to touch on all bases from business English to grammar to vocabulary (including idioms), making them great for either pretesting, practice or review. They also allow the teacher to individualize what students need from a variety of choices.

tag(s): grammar (216), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Assign individual or mini-lesson practice on laptops or a computer cluster in your classroom after grading writing assignments or while studying grammar. Learning support and ESL teachers will also like the extra practice options to help students with grammar skills and idioms. Since there is no "scoring" function, you may want students to raise hands and SHOW you how they did as they complete activities.

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Newpapers in Education - Capital Newspapers

Grades
2 to 12
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This wonderful, time-tested collection of lesson plans and activities using local newspapers offers a wide variety of motivating plans including how to use different sections of the...more
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This wonderful, time-tested collection of lesson plans and activities using local newspapers offers a wide variety of motivating plans including how to use different sections of the newspaper for educational purposes, how to include multicultural programming when reading them, and how to match curricular content with various newspaper activities (Curriculum Guides). Although these activities originally went with WI newspapers, the activities are flexible. A Special Programs section offers timely, short-term projects that correspond with holidays and seasons and current hot topics. One example of an activity for younger children is the Newshounds Activity Guide for grades 4-6, downloadable in pdf format. The goals of this guide include meshing reading, writing, vocabulary development, and understanding the different parts of a newspaper. Other guides are equally well-developed.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), fashion (10), news (261), newspapers (94), sports (96)

In the Classroom

Although some of the lessons described here require actual hard-copy newspapers, many can be adapted for the online versions of newspapers, as well. If your schools does not have the means to receive actual newspapers, consider using this resource or this one to find online papers and conduct some of the same lessons. In the course of the discussion, you will inevitably run into some of the differences between hard copy and online newspapers, a topic of basic information literacy in the 21st century as printed papers are rapidly supplanted by online editions.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Word Games - east of the web

Grades
2 to 12
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This interactive website provides hours of mind stretching fun. The mind challenges include cryptoquote, popword, eight letters, define time, storyman, wordsearch, and codeword. Some...more
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This interactive website provides hours of mind stretching fun. The mind challenges include cryptoquote, popword, eight letters, define time, storyman, wordsearch, and codeword. Some of these challenges are perfect for spelling practice, learning new vocabulary, problem solving and basic math practice. Each activity provides instructions for the user to explain the purpose of the activity. Many of the activities also have various difficulty levels to differentiate the activity for a variety of learning levels. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

This website is "interactive whiteboard ready." Students will love these mind stretching challenges and teachers will love the easy-to-use format of the activities. Put a game up on the whiteboard as students are taking their seats to focus attention and minds on WORDS before you start class. ESL teachers may find these games will help students practice language skills more readily. If you don't have time to utilize this challenge in class, provide the link in your class's newsletter or on your teacher web page.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mystery Writing Lesson Plans - Mystery Net

Grades
3 to 8
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Write mysteries using complete lesson plans include pre-writing, brainstorming, responding to a "mystery" picture, following the writing process using a worksheet form, and sharing...more
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Write mysteries using complete lesson plans include pre-writing, brainstorming, responding to a "mystery" picture, following the writing process using a worksheet form, and sharing the piece-in-progress with other students for suggestions. To complete this creative writing activity, students edit and present their final mystery story. Links on the page lead to other lesson plans for approaching the study of mysteries, learning its vocabulary, and interesting students in writing and reading mysteries.

tag(s): creative writing (166), mysteries (25), process writing (42), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use this site when preparing students to enter a writing contest such as the national Scholastic Art and Writing competition or simply as a way to teach about story structure, story mapping, and writing. You can even create your own "Flash" mysteries based on pictures students take with a digital camera. Not enough time or cameras for students to take pictures? You can supply a collection from which they may choose a picture. Create and share their final products on a class wiki along with the photos.

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Simple English Wikipedia - Wikipedia Foundation

Grades
3 to 10
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Simple English Wikipedia is a new production of Wikipedia, focused on readers and learners with less vocabulary than native speakers of English. According to the producer, the pages...more
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Simple English Wikipedia is a new production of Wikipedia, focused on readers and learners with less vocabulary than native speakers of English. According to the producer, the pages featured here contain simpler words and shorter sentences than the regular Wiki pages. The number of pages is more limited as well, though this should grow with educators and learners contributing information. Another difference is that any slangs or idiomatic language is carefully explained to accommodate the ELL reader. The HELP pages explain how to write and submit articles for Simple English Wikipedia and have suggestions for simplifying English.

tag(s): writing (358)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school ESL teachers as well as classroom teachers who may have ESL students who are involved in researching and possibly even writing new articles. Bookmark this for your classroom computer. If you do recommend wikipedia as a source for research, be sure to have the discussion about its unknown authorship and usefulness as a general information tool but not as a "scholarly" resource. As a challenge to your better writers, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics in simpler English. They will have to analyze their own language and writing style with far greater scrutiny than ever before. Or have the class create a two-version wiki glossary of your own on curriculum topics in any discipline, using this as a model for the "easy reading" side.

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KIDiddles Song Lyrics - KIDiddles

Grades
K to 3
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find the lyrics to favorite children's songs, ready for you to share in the classroom. Many also have MIDI audio files with them for you to sing along. The indexing ...more
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Find the lyrics to favorite children's songs, ready for you to share in the classroom. Many also have MIDI audio files with them for you to sing along. The indexing is well done with songs organized alphabetically by the first word of the song. There is also a subject index helpful for planning a lesson on a certain theme. You can also search by phrase and more (see the explanation of phrase searching as well as substring matching. Some songs include a suggestion how it might be used: dance, fingerplay, etc. Information about song origin, adaptation, and copyright information is available as well.

tag(s): lyrics (19), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Turn up your speakers, then share this site with the school librarian and parents for great times using songs with fingerplays, dances, and other activities. Sing along as a center by finding a song to fit this week's classroom theme or invent your own class set of words to a familiar tune once your students know the original. Students can write verses, and the entire class create a chorus!

Use songs with elementary ESL/ELL students help perfect pronunciation, intonation, and memory of English phrases. Include this link on your teacher web page for parents to help speech or ESL/ELL students "sing along" at home.

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Word Search Maker - A to Z Teacher Stuff Tools

Grades
K to 7
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This is a time-saving online tool for any subject. Reinforce concepts and spelling with your own customized word searches. This tool allows for a variety of options for the ...more
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This is a time-saving online tool for any subject. Reinforce concepts and spelling with your own customized word searches. This tool allows for a variety of options for the placement of the words or even the shape of the grid puzzle. Teachers can personalize the font styles and sizes as well.

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

In the Classroom

Read the home page carefully for directions on setting your browser for a more customized look. Landscape mode works best for most puzzles. Make sure you take their suggestion of copying your word list onto your clipboard just in case you lose the word search. For younger students, consider sharing a word search on an interactive whiteboard and letting them "highlight" the words with a finger in different colors.

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