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Chuala - Chuala

Grades
4 to 12
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This site allows students to practice pronunciation in 10 languages, including English, European languages, and Mandarin Chinese. After a free registration, you can put in a search...more
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This site allows students to practice pronunciation in 10 languages, including English, European languages, and Mandarin Chinese. After a free registration, you can put in a search term for lessons. It's a bit difficult to guess search items, so looking at the entire list in any given language is a good way to start. Currently, English has 298 items. You are also able to contribute lessons.

One helpful document is the Chuala inventory which allows instructors to quiz ESL students on their pronunciation by having them pronounce 144 distinct items. They can then search the lessons for practice, recording, and making comparisons on these phonemes.

Some of the lessons take the whole language approach and appear as dialogs, discussions, or Q and A. Most, however, have students practice distinct sounds only, with no context. One advantage of the program is that you can select lessons by distinct language area. For example, American English students can hear examples of American English rather than British English. You can also request that other lessons be created. This site requires Flash and enabled Javascript. Get Flash and directions on enabling Javascript from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): chinese (49), pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

Set ESL/ELL or speech/language students up with this site on a classroom computer cluster or in a lab to practice phonemes they can't hear or pronounce (see safety notice below). You MUST have a microphone or use a computer that has one built in. Use the inventory to make initial ESL/ELL evaluations as well as periodic progress checks. Students may like the site so much they'll want to practice at home.

This website could be very useful to French, Spanish, and German teachers (or teachers of other world languages). Use this site to learn new vocabulary and improve pronunciation of world languages.

Safety concern: This site requires FREE membership to use the audio tools and access content. Membership includes social networking tools, such as "friends" and "messages," and requires an email address. You may want to set up a single class account for in-school use, entering your "extra" email address to avoid unsafe use of the site by your adventurous students. If you KNOW how they are logging in (with your account), you can remove any friends or other unauthorized contacts. The problem with this approach is that you will not know which student has done what. If you do permit individual user accounts (according to your school's policies, of course), have parents and students sign an agreement that spells out permissible behavior and consequences -- and get your principal's OK!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Garfield's Comic Creator - National Institute of Health

Grades
2 to 6
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Garfield's Comic Creator is a simple site that helps students create their own comic strips using Garfield characters. Students can choose between talking bubbles and thinking bubbles...more
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Garfield's Comic Creator is a simple site that helps students create their own comic strips using Garfield characters. Students can choose between talking bubbles and thinking bubbles as well as adding various backgrounds and accessories. Click on the ?-Box to learn more about how to use this program. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory activity for talking and thinking bubbles, as well as for dialog, by sharing your own example. Students could also use these to summarize a piece of literature or even have Garfield explain a science or social studies concept. Have students print and hand in their completed work for a quick writing sample or assessment tool. The comic strips could be used in any subject area for review or enrichment.

This is also an excellent tool for counselors or emotional/autistic support teachers to use with students. Sometimes students are less threatened to write about fears, conflict, and other issues (rather than say them aloud). ES teachers can use comics to help students learn positive ways to express feelings.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Silly Books - sillybooks.net

Grades
K to 6
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This site offers animated books with audio (some authored by children), jokes, cartoons, interactive games, and more. Some books are in Spanish, as well. Prepare to mark this site in...more
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This site offers animated books with audio (some authored by children), jokes, cartoons, interactive games, and more. Some books are in Spanish, as well. Prepare to mark this site in your Favorites when you see the extensive content. Its name doesn't reflect its depth. Many books have the text displayed, and as each word is spoken, it is highlighted. Students will learn new words used in context, since the stories feature rich vocabulary.

NOTE: The link to "Stumble It" connects to a very intriguing but random way of finding similar web sites, but it has its safety concerns for younger students. Read more about it in our TeachersFirst Edge review of Stumble Upon before you permit your students to use it.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), listening (91), literature (275), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Have your promising writers submit books for possible publication at this site (with parent permission, of course!). SillyBooks does the illustrating and audio. Make sure you click on the Catalog link to view the vast listing of books to which your class can listen. Use the expression-filled books on your projector or interactive whiteboard as choral reading readers (turn up the speakers!). Be sure to include this site on your teacher web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further reading practice. Spanish teachers, there are a few Spanish-language books available to read and hear. Learning Support and ESL/ELL teachers will love the chance to build student vocabulary as they read -- and perhaps even want to write a story of their own.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Story Nory: Kids Audio Stories - Blog Relations: Matthew Lynn and Hugh Fraser

Grades
K to 5
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This site offers over 100 audio stories, downloadable to mp3 players or playable from your computer using Flash. It also has constant updates, news about new offerings, and several...more
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This site offers over 100 audio stories, downloadable to mp3 players or playable from your computer using Flash. It also has constant updates, news about new offerings, and several complete books available as well. The stories available include animal stories, poems, fables and legends, modern stories, and some holiday stories. A few stories include an animated video. The text of the story is included, so students can follow along during the audio reading The audio quality is high, so enthusiasm will be contagious! This site does have some small unobtrusive advertisements. Be aware - this website is a blog, so students can add comments about a story (using first names only), if this is within your school policies. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

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

In the Classroom

Beginning readers will enjoy this site as much as more capable readers, listening intently to the high quality presentation. Share this site with parents in your class newsletter or from your teacher web page. Use it also when you read Alice in Wonderland, and when you teach the concept of "series" stories (try the "Bertie" stories). ESL/ ELL and learning support students will benefit from reading and hearingstories at the same time. Project the story on an interactive whiteboard or projector with small groups of readers so students can follow along and even highlight words during the audio reading.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab - Randall Davis

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers audible everyday conversations with adult and children's voices for ESL/ELL students. There are three levels of difficulty. Each story (conversation) includes before,...more
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This site offers audible everyday conversations with adult and children's voices for ESL/ELL students. There are three levels of difficulty. Each story (conversation) includes before, during, and after listening information. Note: some content, such as "Dating Woes," "The Ideal Woman," and "Personal Problems" may not be appropriate for younger students. Preview! There are some small Google ads, but they are not objectionable. This site requires Windows Media Player or Real Media and Acrobat Reader. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91)

In the Classroom

Consider using some of the listening exercises to help all students learn to become better listeners or to discuss the concept of "main idea." Turn up your speakers (and use a projector to display the "quiz script," if you wish) to share the stories and questions or assign stories for student listening in a center. Use the follow-up questions to assess listening skills.

Be sure to follow your school district's guidelines for students posting information online if they will be responding to the blog feature on this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zoom Playhouse - PBS Kids

Grades
1 to 5
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More than 40 complete play scripts of the mini-dramas featured on Zoom Playhouse appear on this site. Each play includes casting, stage directions, and props. A photo shows the Zoom...more
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More than 40 complete play scripts of the mini-dramas featured on Zoom Playhouse appear on this site. Each play includes casting, stage directions, and props. A photo shows the Zoom cast from this popular educational show. A link on the side allows you to search to see what the local PBS station has on its docket for today, and a daily "highlight" focuses extra attention on one selected script. Some of the script stories include Anansi, Beeping Sleauty, Oliver, Stone Soup, Three Little Bears Cha Cha Cha, and numerous others.

tag(s): plays (36), readers theater (17)

In the Classroom

Use these very short plays with your class for extra reading practice and to teach them what a "play" is. Either project the plays on an interactive whiteboard or print the plays for your class. Divide your class into small groups and assign each group a different play. Then have the students present their plays to the class. What an excellent activity to practice reading and speaking skills. Students will begin to understand character development by seeing them act out their lines; use these plays as a jumping off board for talking about key elements in drama. ESL/ELL students always benefit from reading, speaking, and acting out the same words; the context of a play makes it easy and fun for everyone.

Another ideas: encourage your students to write their own mini-plays after they've tried out a few of the ones here or select scripts that survive well in an audio-only format and have students record them as podcasts for home listening and sharing with others.

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National Library of Virtual Manipulatives - Utah State University

Grades
K to 12
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This celebrated collection of countless interactive math activities was created by Utah State University. Use the simple grid to find activities by grade level (pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and...more
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This celebrated collection of countless interactive math activities was created by Utah State University. Use the simple grid to find activities by grade level (pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12)and topic: numbers & operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis & probability. Specific virtual manipulatives include attribute blocks, geoboards, pattern blocks, algebra tiles, and numerous others. Nearly all of the activities require JAVA. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): charts and graphs (194), probability (129), tangrams (14)

In the Classroom

What a perfect tool to help your visual learners connect the dots in math class. All activities are perfect for an interactive whiteboard or projector. This is also an excellent resource to use for re-teaching skills, additional practice, enrichment activities, or even advanced activities for your gifted students. Learning support teachers will appreciate the alternative way to present math topics in a "hands-on" format. Be sure to include this website as a link on your classroom web page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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CuePrompter.com: The Online Teleprompter - Hannu Multanen

Grades
2 to 12
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This handy online tool (Windows only--sorry) makes any computer screen into a "teleprompter" (scrolling screen with the text YOU paste in). No membership or log in is required. Just...more
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This handy online tool (Windows only--sorry) makes any computer screen into a "teleprompter" (scrolling screen with the text YOU paste in). No membership or log in is required. Just open the site and copy/paste in the text from a word doc (or type it in, but there is no way to SAVE it on the site). We recommend keeping your text ready-to-copy/paste and saved in another program. Set the font size and screen size to large or small. When you are ready to "speak," click the "start prompter" button. The speed controls are at the top of the screen. Remember that F11 will make any web page full screen without menus and toolbars. If you are fortunate enough to have a rear projection screen, the text can even be reversed. Anyone who wants scrolling text can just paste and go. The maximum text length is 2000 characters, but you could always have a second window ready and switch mid-speech. See System Requirements if you cannot get it to work.

tag(s): fluency (23), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Why bother with this one? Lots of reasons! Once they see it, your students are sure to come up with more, but here is a start: Try making a sample dialog for students to follow out loud as your project it in a foreign language or ESL/ELL class. Be sure to write in script format so they know who is speaking! Or share this tool with students who need help getting their nose out of their notes in presenting speeches. They can run it on a laptop only they can see and look out at the audience past the prompter. The comfort of having their text right there will ease many butterflies.

An alternate use: build reading fluency by having students read aloud from this tech-tool. They will be FAR more motivated to read up to speed! Speech clinicians may want to try it for articulation practice, as well.

Comments

While this is a great tool. I found http://www.freeteleprompter.org/ much easier to use. Cueprompter looks rather cluttered and dated. Just my 2 cents as you guys would say. Dave, , Grades: 6 - 12

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Mango Languages (beta) - Mango

Grades
3 to 12
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This well planned site makes language learning easy. See a complete demo from a link on the "Features" page. Select the language you wish to study after free registration. ...more
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This well planned site makes language learning easy. See a complete demo from a link on the "Features" page. Select the language you wish to study after free registration. Gifted students seeking independent study of a language will enjoy the extensive offerings.Lessons begin with a conversational preview. Each portion of the conversation appears on a separate screen, with multiple practices and translation. Hear native speakers pronounce the conversation sand explore many other rich features. If you mouse over the words, you can see the phonetic pronunciation. follow the color coding to see exactly which section of the language corresponds to the English. Although the site is in BETA as of this review, more language offerings appear frequently. Unfortunately the site does not offer English as a second language except to Spanish and Polish speakers. Presumably more English is coming.

This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): chinese (49), french (88), german (64), greek (41), japan (61), japanese (42), russia (38), russian (27), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use this as a supplement to beginning language lessons or a marvelous enrichment when studying other cultures and countries. Share the link on your teacher web page for students to use as extra practice or study for tests. If yous school does not provide or permit student email accounts, a teacher can set up a class account using his/her "extra" email address and allow students to use that one account.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learn English Vocabulary - LEO

Grades
3 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site, originally developed for German students learning English, offers an impressive number of vocabulary lists, grouped by subject category. When students see the lists, they...more
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This site, originally developed for German students learning English, offers an impressive number of vocabulary lists, grouped by subject category. When students see the lists, they can click on the sound icon to hear the word pronounced. The site also offers phrasal verbs, idioms, grammar, and song lists. Some of the comments and spellings are British, so may be confusing to U.S. students. However, the pronunciation of individual words and phrases is clear and helpful, even to those learning American English. This website requires Real Player. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): pronunciation (44), vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page and newsletter - so the students can easily access this site as an online dictionary and pronunciation reference.

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Eclectic English - eclecticenglish.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers grammar practice, exams and quizzes, worksheets, and more for learning ESL. Spellings and vocabulary are British. Drag the words to match a picture in the vocabulary...more
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This site offers grammar practice, exams and quizzes, worksheets, and more for learning ESL. Spellings and vocabulary are British. Drag the words to match a picture in the vocabulary exercises. Submit a request for new ESL exercises on the Wish List. NOTE: the ESL forums provide an opportunity for students to use new English knowledge, but they may not include topics you wish to make available in the classroom. PREVIEW first. Requires JAVA: Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (213), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Use the listings on this site to find review and extra practice for your ESL students. Make the specific activities available on your classroom computer.

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Story Starter - Roxie Carroll

Grades
1 to 3
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This writing site encourages children to use their creativity to finish stories. Select the type of story to write or choose to complete a limerick from its first line. ...more
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This writing site encourages children to use their creativity to finish stories. Select the type of story to write or choose to complete a limerick from its first line. Seasonal story prompts include a variety of common holidays. There are also prompts for poetry writing. Some stories can be written on the computer and require FLASH.Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): holidays (152), poetry (225), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Use simple story writing for beginning keyboarding or write a whole-class story on your interactive whiteboard. Have ESL students write their own stories to reinforce their writing, grammar, and reading development. Share the site on your teacher web page as an at-home activity during school breaks and snow days!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Picture Prompt Story Starters - Story-It

Grades
K to 4
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This page offers a series of illustrated, printable story prompts. Printing in portrait or landscape for larger spaces between the lines. Another option includes a black and ...more
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This page offers a series of illustrated, printable story prompts. Printing in portrait or landscape for larger spaces between the lines. Another option includes a black and white drawing that the children can color before or after writing the story. The pages also contain a box to write a word list for help spelling more difficult words. The story topics include many seasonal and holiday offerings, as well. Some of this site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Use this site with beginning readers, beginning writers, and ESL students to reinforce the skill you are teaching and to show connections between reading and writing. Make it available for your active writers to choose their own prompts, too, or for parents to use at home during breaks. Special ed teachers will appreciate these prompts as a way to promote language development. Use the pictures to record students' vocabulary on the lines below as they "tell you about the picture."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Musical English Lessons - Bibi Baxter

Grades
4 to 10
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This very ambitious site reviews many traditional grammar rules/issues and attempts to link the grammar with lessons gleaned from lyrics to popular songs. The grammar is in the center...more
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This very ambitious site reviews many traditional grammar rules/issues and attempts to link the grammar with lessons gleaned from lyrics to popular songs. The grammar is in the center of the page and lots of options for using music frames the page on both sides. There is a wide variety of content, for teachers willing to take the time to search. Lesson plans, information on hot topics, proverbs, sport features, and games are only some of the offerings which try to link grammar to music.

tag(s): grammar (213), idioms (44), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Use this website to connect grammar rules and issues with songs that know. Share this site with learning support teachers or as extra help during a tough grammar lesson. Use music with ESL/ELL students as much as possible to reinforce pronunciation, listening, and memorization of grammar structures. These activities are ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Project the activity on the screen and have students work individually or in pairs to complete the challenge. These activities are appropriate for small group instruction in an ESL, ELL, or Special Education class - but they could also be used in a regular education class to reinforce grammar understanding.

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On-Line Stories and Resources - Babbooks

Grades
1 to 3
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Children will enjoy these short interactive stories on a variety of high-interest subjects such as animals, magic, holidays, princesses etc. Some stories rhyme and soem have lovely,...more
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Children will enjoy these short interactive stories on a variety of high-interest subjects such as animals, magic, holidays, princesses etc. Some stories rhyme and soem have lovely, hand-made illustrations. To encourage children to write, a story tool called Adlib is available with hints about what the required parts of speech mean. Children who write using Adlib can see their stories instantly appear on the computer! Ignore the repeated mentions of "Kids Voyager" unless you want to pay for this read-aloud service. Unfortunately, the stories do not include reading levels. If you cannot tell, check them by simply copying the pasting the URL for the first page into this online reading level checker. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): writing (363)

In the Classroom

ESL students and emergent readers will enjoy seeing the words of the stories as they hear the words read by a big buddy or other helper. Beginning readers would benefit from hearing slightly more advanced readers voice the stories; try a collaborative project with another grade. Try recording students as they read, as well. Make this story site a classroom center or computer cluster option for reluctant readers. Another option: share a story on an interactive whiteboard so students can highlight words with certain consonant clusters, etc.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ninjawords - Phil Crosby

Grades
3 to 12
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A rapid-fire dictionary, this site gives you the definition of any word you type into the box. It also keeps a history of the words in a list on the ...more
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A rapid-fire dictionary, this site gives you the definition of any word you type into the box. It also keeps a history of the words in a list on the right as you look them up, a very useful tool. While the definitions are quite complete, including parts of speech and synonyms for most words, they are not comprehensive. A word such as "look" produces only 2 of the many definitions that could be applied to that word. However, entering in such words as "mercenary" or "ambiance" yields a great short, straightforward definition great for a quick check while reading. The site also provides the ability to enter a single listing of terms, separated by commas, and create a link to EXACTLY that list of definitions (as a glossary for a specific lesson, for example). See a sample created by the TeachersFirst editors here.

Be careful, since the site is nondiscriminatory and will give a response to any word you enter, regardless of the propriety of the word!

tag(s): vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Use the "random" button to generate a word of the day in an instant! Create pre-made word lists for students to access online from your teacher web page by entering them all , separated by commas, and clicking "Link to this page" at the end of the page. The URL that then shows in the address bar IS the URL to access that word list any time from any computer. Have students make personal lists of their own for individualized vocab study. Open Ninjawords as students read a selection in class--even in science or social studies texts, and allow students to take turns entering new words they encounter. If you have a projector or interactive whiteboard, the entire class can "see" the current "word wall" created by the history function. Or you can simply keep it on a classroom desktop to help those who need it. If you mark each "glossary" page as a Favorite on your computer, you can NAME IT "Chapter 3 Glossary" or "Amphibian Unit Glossary" etc and make it available for students to use any time. The history feature allows you to "track" whether students have entered inappropriate words. The history list seems to remain on your computer for a period of time, probably by leaving "cookies" on your computer -- in this case a useful thing! Use it on your machine to recall vocab from day to day for continuing lessons.

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Kindersay - Webmosis

Grades
K to 1
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Although it describes itself as being "preschool" site, Kindersay is a great web site for primary readers, ESL/ELL students and special education students working on speech and language....more
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Although it describes itself as being "preschool" site, Kindersay is a great web site for primary readers, ESL/ELL students and special education students working on speech and language. This site offers simple, easy-to-use activities such as letter recognition and vocabulary. Each letter and vocabulary word has a corresponding video with correct pronunciation. The Favorites tab provides an opportunity to create differentiated instruction for each child. Registration is free!

tag(s): alphabet (90), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Add the link to a classroom homepage for center-time or for parents and children to practice at home. Use a different activity category each day or week with ESL/ELL or special ed students to build vocabulary. Then use a digital camera to create some pictures and sound files of your own for new categories using PowerPoint slides or the online "My Family" area.

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Inspiration Lane - Susan Alyn

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the ...more
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the Day," "This Day in History," "Article of the Day," "Comic Creators," "Cooking State," "Match Up," "Museum Town," and "Caption Central." All change daily! "Today's English Lesson" changes on weekdays. Like a newspaper, teachers and students can read a single feature or the entire sheet. Interspersed with the information are grammar reminders and practical applications. For foreign language students and beginning language learners, there is an option to translate the page into Korean, French, German, Italian, Portuguese,Spanish, Japanese, simplified Chinese and even Arabic!

tag(s): cooking (35), news (261), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Project this on your whiteboard at the start of your lesson as students enter or to wrap up the final five minutes with interesting clips from history, quotes, ESL in music etc. Encourage your students to try a new vocabulary word each day on their own. If your students have Internet access outside of class (even in study hall), require a weekly current events response for writing practice--perhaps on a class blog?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zozanga.com - Zozanga.com

Grades
3 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
This is an excellent, well-organized compilation site of links to the various language skills for ESL/ELL learners: grammar, listening comprehension, vocabulary, reading, general learning...more
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This is an excellent, well-organized compilation site of links to the various language skills for ESL/ELL learners: grammar, listening comprehension, vocabulary, reading, general learning skills and tips. Many of the links are internal, that is, created by the Zozanga project. Others are carefully selected; the presentation indicates care in formatting and precision in meeting the needs of students. Many skills include an ESL/ELL level. A list of English grammar skills makes it easy to find the specific skill your student needs.

tag(s): grammar (213), listening (91), pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find extra practice for ESL/ELL students in the regular classroom, especially as specific needs show up in regaular assignments. Many of the language learning tips can be used by teachers of other languages, as well.

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Word Games at the Gameroom - LoveToKnow Corp.

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
There are LOTS of word games here for all abilities and levels of understanding. The crossword puzzle sites are cool, and there are great ideas for kids like palindromes, writing ...more
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There are LOTS of word games here for all abilities and levels of understanding. The crossword puzzle sites are cool, and there are great ideas for kids like palindromes, writing your name in exotic alphabets, word oddities, and tongue twisters. There are even word games in other languages. Cautionary note: there is one area, "Online Games and Video Games," you might want to steer students away from. It is filled with games hints for other types of games, not related to words. ESL/ELL, world language, and learning support students will find these games helpful for building spelling and vocabulary.

tag(s): crosswords (18), spelling (166), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

This would make a fantastic learning center, extra credit, or enrichment for the kid who finishes first. You can create your own worksheet using links from this site and have students do them like "cyber" stations right on the web. Have them check off each site as they have completed something there. They will be learning vocabulary, spelling, and more about words than they even realize.

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