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Raise a Reader - Illinois Reading Council

Grades
K to 4
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The Illinois Reading Council has selected 12 favorite children's books and created many activities to go with the books. Many of the books may be ones you include in ...more
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The Illinois Reading Council has selected 12 favorite children's books and created many activities to go with the books. Many of the books may be ones you include in your classroom or find in your literature series. These activities include books and newspapers as well as reading and writing. The activities are designed to be used within families but most would be appropriate for classroom use. Besides the twelve featured books, there are more extensive bibliographies divided by grade level.

tag(s): family (59)

In the Classroom

Suggest this site to parents to help their children with reading by including the link on your teacher web page or in a newsletter sent home. You might want to share the list with your school librarian in case children ask for the books.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Vocabulix - Vocabulix

Grades
3 to 12
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This free site allows users to learn German, Spanish, or ESL (English) online by studying vocabulary and hearing it pronounced. Students can select English-Spanish or Spanish-English...more
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This free site allows users to learn German, Spanish, or ESL (English) online by studying vocabulary and hearing it pronounced. Students can select English-Spanish or Spanish-English for example. In addition to learning word by word, viewers can select the conjugation approach and focus on verb forms. In this section, students must complete a sentence by inputting the correct verb tense in their selected language. Teacher-users can create their own lessons based on their needs, their previous results in the training, or their own ideas. A free login is required to participate in the lesson-creation section. This website will soon offer other languages, vocabulary and verb conjugations. There are some ads to ignore, but they are not obtrusive.

tag(s): german (64), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Set up your own language reviews with this site. You can also encourage students to make their own lessons to review items they are having difficulty with. Ask each student group to create a challenge for the rest of the class and have a review day where groups try the others' challenges in a lab or on laptops. For safety reasons, it is best to have students use a single account created by the teacher.

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Learn Spanish - Jacob Richman

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1 to 12
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This site provides pronunciation of Spanish words. Options include seeing the word in Spanish or seeing it in a combination of English, Spanish, and its phonetic pronunciation form....more
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This site provides pronunciation of Spanish words. Options include seeing the word in Spanish or seeing it in a combination of English, Spanish, and its phonetic pronunciation form. Pronunciation is clear and always in Spanish. By selecting the Spanish-English option, users can also use it as an English to Spanish dictionary. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): pronunciation (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Keep this link handy on your teacher web page or classroom computer if you have Spanish-speaking students. Your English speakers will enjoy learning how to communicate with their classmate, and you may find this tool very helpful in bridging communication gaps with your ELL student!

Level I Spanish teachers will want to include this link on their teacher web page to help beginners with pronunciation.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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K to 12
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Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) refers to the field itself as well as the professional association. Its mission is to ensure excellence in English language...more
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Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) refers to the field itself as well as the professional association. Its mission is to ensure excellence in English language teaching to speakers of other languages. TESOL values professionalism in language education; individual language rights; accessible, high quality education; collaboration in a global community; interaction of research and reflective practice for educational improvement; and respect for diversity and multiculturalism.

In the Classroom

Once you become a member of this site, you gain access to the tons of resources they have in it. TESOL has great advice and lesson plans for teachers, as well as online workshops they can take part in to increase their effectiveness and awareness of alternative instructional methods.

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Arcademic Skill Builders - Developmental Learning Materials

Grades
1 to 5
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This set of attractive games allows students to practice basic math facts, antonyms, homonyms, synonyms and verb tense and agreement. At the start of each game is an explanation of...more
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This set of attractive games allows students to practice basic math facts, antonyms, homonyms, synonyms and verb tense and agreement. At the start of each game is an explanation of how to play the game and a choice of game speed. Students receive immediate feedback as they play. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (216), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Include these review links on your teacher web page for students to access both in school and at home. Have students use the student record sheet (provided) to track their progress.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ESL Environmental Education - Charles LaRue

Grades
2 to 6
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This site, intended for ESL/ELL students, has environmental education issues on six topics; Each topic is available in English, Hmong, Arabic and Somali. Students-- even those without...more
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This site, intended for ESL/ELL students, has environmental education issues on six topics; Each topic is available in English, Hmong, Arabic and Somali. Students-- even those without special needs-- can listen to the very simple lesson while viewing a related picture online or they can opt for the print version and read the lesson themselves. English learners and special ed students would benefit from listening and following along with the written versions. Quizzes are available to check comprehension of the material presented. Topics include recycling, reuse, personal involvement in conservation, and hazardous waste disposal. The non-English language choices offered are less common, but this is an extremely useful site for adapting curriculum for ESL and special ed students.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (20), earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

If you teach environmental issues or ESL, this is a good site to know about when planning a lessons. Make sure you have headphones available for students to listen without disturbing others. ESL and Special Ed teachers may want to make regular ed/science teachers aware of this site to include with their environmental units.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learn English Kids - British Council

Grades
K to 6
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This ESL-focused site provides stories, activities, links, games, and plenty of opportunities for writing practice. Children can listen to the stories as they read them. Teachers can...more
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This ESL-focused site provides stories, activities, links, games, and plenty of opportunities for writing practice. Children can listen to the stories as they read them. Teachers can print flashcards for survival English vocabulary such as clothes, food, parts of the body, jobs etc.; accompanying activities provide reinforcement for vocabulary. Learn English Kids changes weekly, offering weekly activities, opinion polls, learning through songs, playground fun, and more. The read-aloud stories are a wonderful option for beginning readers and even non-readers. Both spelling and pronunciation are British.

Speech/language clinicians will join ESL and primary teachers in using the many activities on this site. It even has sorting activities such as fruits/vegetables (see "Food"). Although the interface is graphically appealing, by clicking on "Topics," users can find activities, songs, and games all organized by subject. There is also a large section for parents to help their child at home. Requires Flash plug in. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flash cards (46), holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to an activity each day on your classroom computer (RIGHT-clicking in the middle of the page will give the option to Create shortcut). This will give students an easy way to open today's activity, especially if you RENAME it with the student's name or place it in a certain corner of the desktop. Longer stories require the Real Player plug in. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. In these stories, Students can double-click a word to find out its meaning!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ESL Teacher Lesson Plans & Worksheets - Using English.com

Grades
2 to 8
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This index to short ESL lessons and resources in three levels provides material for quick review of grammar, reading, and special-topic classroom activities. Some contain photographs...more
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This index to short ESL lessons and resources in three levels provides material for quick review of grammar, reading, and special-topic classroom activities. Some contain photographs that clarify the questions or provide conversational stimulation. HAndouts are in PDF format and are well prepared. Many have cloze passages or similar activities to reinforce vocabulary. Special ed teachers seeking materials to reinforce basics will find some activities helpful, as well.
Note: At certain busy times of the day, this site opens slowly. Be patient.

tag(s): grammar (216)

In the Classroom

Find reinforcement and review activities quickly. For a multi-level classroom containing some ESL students, use these plans with your regular lessons to provide extra help.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Song Lyrics for Teaching ESL - Songs for Teaching

Grades
1 to 8
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This site offers words and audio clips from songs helpful in teaching ESL. Categories include teaching conversational skills, teaching grammar, and teaching children through songs....more
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This site offers words and audio clips from songs helpful in teaching ESL. Categories include teaching conversational skills, teaching grammar, and teaching children through songs. Note: you will have to "learn" the song from the clip, a small portion of the entire song. You can download songs ( for a fee), but the clips should be enough to get you started. Links offer further song categories including alphabet songs, holidays and rap! The audio clips require the Quicktime plug in. Although the site has links to purchase books, this is not necessarily a negative feature for teachers who have been searching for ESL songbooks for their classroom.

tag(s): grammar (216), lyrics (19)

In the Classroom

Use ESL songs from books written by ESL specialists! Use links provided for using songs in the regular classroom, too.

Follow the simple suggestions at the end of each set of lyrics for ways to do the activity with your students.

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Visual Dictionary - Bernard D?ry

Grades
3 to 12
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This well-illustrated visual dictionary has five categories of illustrations: biology vegetal, biology animal, human body, music, transport, and clothing.(For some reason, the clothing...more
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This well-illustrated visual dictionary has five categories of illustrations: biology vegetal, biology animal, human body, music, transport, and clothing.(For some reason, the clothing category is located toward the bottom of the page, near the Contact Us box.) Click on one area find many thumbnail graphics. Click on the thumbnail graphic for the fullsize, labeled image. For example, the human body category has 69 thumbnails. Click on the eye for an enlarged eye labeled with the scientifically correct terms. Definitions for the terms are at the bottom of the page. You can also search by the actual word. Click the Lexicon button to search all the detailed labels from all the illustrations, like "iris", a label on the "eye" page. The site is also available in French, so it would be useful for French language, ESL, or the general population.

tag(s): french (88)

In the Classroom

Caution: Since this site was developed in France, the attitude toward nudity is different from that in the U.S. Illustrations under the human body section include nudity and labeling of ALL body parts. However, this is a very comprehensive visual dictionary and not directed just toward younger children.

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Spin and Spell

Grades
K to 3
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This is an interactive spelling game with easy to follow directions for individual and partner play. Choose a topic and picture. Spell the word, dial the letters, and check the ...more
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This is an interactive spelling game with easy to follow directions for individual and partner play. Choose a topic and picture. Spell the word, dial the letters, and check the answer. The directions are all out loud, so even weaker readers can play. Flash is required. The site is entirely done in Flash, so make sure oyu have this plug-in. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

TURN UP your speakers, then bookmark this web site on a classroom computer or laptop (if available) for students to use as a center or extra practice. Assign partners of similar skill so one student does not always win, or don't keep score and have the better speller help sound out the letters.

Speech and Language or ESL teachers will also love this site, as it give practice with basic vocabulary-- and it TALKS! Students can roll the mouse over pictures, hear the word, and try to spell it as they repeat it aloud.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bookpal's Storyline Online - Screen Actors Guild Foundation

Grades
1 to 6
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This wonderful site has a collection of 17 original stories read by actors and actresses. A wonderful way to show children that reading is valued by folks in all walks ...more
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This wonderful site has a collection of 17 original stories read by actors and actresses. A wonderful way to show children that reading is valued by folks in all walks of life! An example is "Dad, Are You the Tooth Fairy" read by Jason Alexander. Many of the story titles are parodies of famous tales. Users can see the actor holding the book and turning the pages as he hears and sees the story being read. Accompanying activities and an activity guide complete the offerings. The activities are terrific comprehension checkers and build solid reading strategies. The video is available in three screen sizes. Flash required.

In the Classroom

Make the stories a center or use a projector for the whole class to watch the video. Then share the link on your teacher web page for students to repeat it over and over at home. Make sure your spakers are turned up!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kids Psych Games - Magination Press

Grades
1 to 6
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This site offers interactive kids' games at two levels, ages 1 - 5 and ages 6 - 9. Since psychologists designed these games, they are no ordinary activities. Each activity ...more
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This site offers interactive kids' games at two levels, ages 1 - 5 and ages 6 - 9. Since psychologists designed these games, they are no ordinary activities. Each activity comes with an explanation for parents or teachers about what developmental steps the game is supporting as well as links to further information. The games are simple but unique, and the graphics are enticing. Children who play these games learn beginning computer skills as well as the developmental goals behind the games. Requires the Flash plug in.

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Young Writer's Workshop - Chateau Meddybemps

Grades
1 to 6
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This site contains many beautifully illustrated worksheets in pdf format that contain the beginning of a story. More story beginners are added frequently to the site, and students or...more
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This site contains many beautifully illustrated worksheets in pdf format that contain the beginning of a story. More story beginners are added frequently to the site, and students or teachers may submit a student story created with a Meddybemp starter. Students whose stories get published receive a free T-shirt and online publication! Selected students become Young Writers Workshop Published Authors!

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (358)

In the Classroom

An easy way to encourage free writing! With this site, you can give one class a variety of story starters.You MUST have Acrobat Reader to open the handouts! Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Children's Storybooks Online - Children's Storybooks Online

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1 to 3
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These illustrated and animated online books - organized by level of difficulty - give students a chance to interact with the story and choose what happens next. Project them in ...more
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These illustrated and animated online books - organized by level of difficulty - give students a chance to interact with the story and choose what happens next. Project them in the classroom for a "spirit reading" activity, or use to encourage independent reading - at school or at home. Although this site offers stories for readers of three age groups, the best and most interactive stories are in the first section, Books for Young Children. Featuring limited vocabulary and repetition, the stories are well illustrated, and many contain links to riddles, mazes, and coloring books. Requires the Flash plug in. There is NOT sound for the stories, unless your computer has a read-aloud program built in.

tag(s): literacy (103), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher web page for students who have Internet access to reinforce reading skils at home. NOTE: Turn on your pop-up blocker to avoid annoying pop-ups form this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ESL Through Music - CASLT/ACPLS

Grades
1 to 8
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This compilation site describes websites that use music to teach language skills. Not only useful for limited English speakers, this site offers ideas for elementary teachers, as well,...more
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This compilation site describes websites that use music to teach language skills. Not only useful for limited English speakers, this site offers ideas for elementary teachers, as well, with specific songs and suggestions for including music as part of a regular lesson. You will find that addressing musical/rhythmic intelligence may draw in students who otherwise struggle. And all of them will find the different approach a refreshing change.

In the Classroom

Make music a part of every day teaching by using some of these great sites and ideas! Your music teacher may even be willing to reinforce both his/her curriculum and your by singing some of the songs in music class. Why not ask?

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Children's Encyclopedia of Women - Pocantico Hills School

Grades
2 to 5
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A very interesting resource developed by children at an elementary school in New York, this project began in 1998 and has been updated every year since then. For children doing ...more
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A very interesting resource developed by children at an elementary school in New York, this project began in 1998 and has been updated every year since then. For children doing research on a woman or a topic that involves important women, this would be a great place to start looking for information. There are brief biographies of many women and a timeline. Although the entries are short and basic, they include the very information that would interest young children. This is a great resource for Women's History month in March.

tag(s): women (101)

In the Classroom

A great example of an ongoing classroom project!! Also, a great way to show children an outcome of learning website making skills. This is an example of a class project for which you could use a class wiki. See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for more about wikis (VERY easy!).

Comments

Terry , NY, Grades: 1 - 8

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Rhyme Bot - CDN

Grades
1 to 3
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After a lengthy but entertaining introduction, children can choose rhyming words to help complete a rap song. They immediately hear the song backed up by fantastic animated graphics.This...more
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After a lengthy but entertaining introduction, children can choose rhyming words to help complete a rap song. They immediately hear the song backed up by fantastic animated graphics.This is an entertaining game for early elementary students and a good way for kids to learn that rhyme has to have meaning in the context of its selection.

tag(s): poetry (227)

In the Classroom

This activity would work well on a projector or interactive whiteboard, folloed by time for students to try it on their own on a classroom or lab computer.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English - Larry Ferlazzo

Grades
2 to 8
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This is an excellent, frequently updated collection of links especially appropriate for ESL/ELL learners and instructors. The site's creator is a teacher himself. We do not usually...more
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This is an excellent, frequently updated collection of links especially appropriate for ESL/ELL learners and instructors. The site's creator is a teacher himself. We do not usually list "hotlists" of links, but these are quite helpful for ESL teachers or those with ESL students in their classroom. Check here if you're looking for help with a specific language learning need or some new way to present standard materials. The teacher section include links categorized by native language so you can individualize your approach with different language learners.

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your Favorites as a valuable reference.

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Yahooligans News - Yahoo

Grades
2 to 8
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Children see the latest news stories (Sports, Entertainment, Top Stories, Animals, Science and Nature, and Grab Bag) organized into slide slows so there is minimal reading and a new...more
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Children see the latest news stories (Sports, Entertainment, Top Stories, Animals, Science and Nature, and Grab Bag) organized into slide slows so there is minimal reading and a new photo for each focus item. In addition, there is another link to the most important story, for a recent movie, and an opportunity for children to vote on a news question.

tag(s): movies (64), news (261)

In the Classroom

Share a current events story on a projector or interactive whiteboard as a day-starter while children trickle in from the bus. Note: if you send students to this site on their own, they may be distracted by numerous "fun" offerings from Yahooligans (music videos, celebrity info, etc). You may want to give them specific guidleines about where they are permitted to go.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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