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ChooseMyPlate.gov - USDA.gov

Grades
1 to 12
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Find all the practical information you need in preparing your science, nutrition, and health lessons using the government's food plate recommendations for daily eating. Nutrition for...more
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Find all the practical information you need in preparing your science, nutrition, and health lessons using the government's food plate recommendations for daily eating. Nutrition for a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important pieces of information of education for our students. Early interest, information, and healthy habits will carry them into a life of good health. Find the basic information about nutrition, exercise, and diet. The interactive program and multimedia presentations pique interest of even the most picky eaters and learners! A variety of printed information is available for student research, parent education, or even a problem based learning activity. The First Lady's campaign of Let's Move is also explained. At ChooseMyPlate.gov, you will find the latest guidelines, recommendations, and recipes. Learn the basic information about the food groups and options in each group. There are food planners for moms, tots, kids, or any age. Find nutritional information on vegetarian diets, eating out, and food trackers. A section with interactive tools provides a Foodapedia, A Daily Food Plan, Food Tracker, and a Child cost calculator providing even more helpful nutritious information. Weight loss information provides all kinds of up to date ideas, plans, and tips.

tag(s): fitness (49), myplate (28), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

Dietary guidelines can be a help to all teachers, faculty, and staff. Challenge students to track their food and physical activity. Plan meals to bring you perfect health. Plan a nutrition day in which every student shares some aspect of this site in a presentation with other classes and parents. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Evaluate the cafeteria lunches to bring even more fun into your recipe! Add an international portion with your students' multicultural recipes to add to make your own cookbook, or website. Be sure to add this link to your own site.
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English Online Learners - British Council

Grades
6 to 12
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This great ESL/ELL site offers online listening and viewing activities, language games, story telling and a story telling marathon, information on language tests in Great Britain, information...more
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This great ESL/ELL site offers online listening and viewing activities, language games, story telling and a story telling marathon, information on language tests in Great Britain, information and practice with job interviews, and more. Vocabulary and grammar activities are animated and highly interactive. Don't miss the links to Language Snacks, Overcooked, Simon Says, and How To videos. There is an interactive "Wordshake" game similar to Boggle. The range of topics is wide and appealing. The opening page of the site changes weekly and offers new topics, words of the day, competitions, winner announcements, and grammar polls. All material on the site is available in Chinese as well as English. The tab at top right takes you to the extensive Teachers section of the site. Free member registration allows access to more content and offerings customized to your needs. Note that the site is from the UK, so spellings will vary from those in the U.S.
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tag(s): chinese (48), grammar (216), listening (91), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and recommend it to your English learners. Many portions of the site are also appropriate for any English speaking student to improve vocabulary, spelling, and more. Share parts of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of classroom. Consider having your ESL/ELL students create their own "how-to" videos. Share the videos using SchoolTube reviewed here.
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Five Card Flickr Story - CogDogBlog

Grades
6 to 12
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At this site students select 5 pictures from a random set of offerings and they write a story about the pictures. They can also write a new story about an ...more
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At this site students select 5 pictures from a random set of offerings and they write a story about the pictures. They can also write a new story about an existing set of pictures. Pictures are available from Flickr (reviewed here. You can save or send the story to parents or with a college application if so desired. Because some of the content is user created, you may notice some spelling errors. To save a story you must create a title, a nickname for yourself, and fill in the comments/explanation of the story. Stories can be viewed and shared by unique URL (web address), so it is easy to keep them in favorites or collect the links for en entire class stories. Be warned: as this is a user-created tool (and not constantly monitored) it is important to discuss proper language, proper use, and consequences with your students. Some of the content presented may include inappropriate language. Take caution and preview as much as necessary, if you choose to share the already created stories.

tag(s): writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Display the pictures on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have the students work in pairs to write stories. When assigning students to write stories about the pictures offered here, be sure to designate a specific number of words or sentences, since the stories already written and displayed are quite short! Share this site to explain the idea of the 5 random pictures. Then have the students take their own pictures and assign pictures to each other and write stories about them. Use subject-related pictures of science experiments or other content related subject matter for students to write about and display their understanding in a creative way. Use this site in world language classes, by having students write the story in the world language, rather than their native language.
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How to Pronounce Words and Use Them - EmbedPlus

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is exactly what its title indicates, but it's more. It's not just an audio dictionary program. At How to Pronounce Words and Use Them you see a selection ...more
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This site is exactly what its title indicates, but it's more. It's not just an audio dictionary program. At How to Pronounce Words and Use Them you see a selection of videos with the word, and different forms of the word being used in context. These are actual news stories, lectures, etc. where people are using the word for real! When you first arrive, you see a sample video. You can also click on one of the sample words at the bottom to see everything offered when you search a word. There is information about why it's important to see facial expressions when learning to pronounce a new word and why it's important not to use the word in isolation when learning to pronounce it. Be aware: this site allows any word to be typed into the text box, including words inappropriate for the classroom. Be sure students know consequences for inappropriate use of this tool just as they do for writing words on the board or in their assignments..

tag(s): pronunciation (44), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

If YouTube is blocked at your school, use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube and to convert online videos such as the ones you find on YouTube into a portable format you can play at school.

Whether you're an English Language Arts teacher or an ESL/ELL teacher, this site can help your students learn new words. You might want to have students keep lists of words they come across in their reading. Then have them take turns using this site (at a center or individual laptops). Or, if YouTube is blocked at your school, have this site posted on your webpage for parent and student use at home.

If you are a science, history, math, or other subject area teacher, you might want to embed a few of the videos on your own page for weekly vocabulary.

The quality of the information on the videos is excellent. In the Common Core State Standards there is an emphasis on background knowledge. This program will not only help your students with vocabulary and word pronunciation, but will help them build their background knowledge!
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4teachers.org - ALTEC.org

Grades
K to 12
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At 4teachers.org find resources to help infuse and develop your classroom technology with online tools and resources for teachers and students. Discover ways to integrate technology...more
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At 4teachers.org find resources to help infuse and develop your classroom technology with online tools and resources for teachers and students. Discover ways to integrate technology with teacher success stories, technology assessment, resources in Spanish, and technology use policies and safety. Educator's resources include: explore assessment, technology planning, special needs, assistive technology, grant resources, and bilingual tutorials.

You will also find links to make your own rubrics (or adapt others), adapt or create problem based check lists, find Webquests or Thinkquests, find tools for students to write persuasively, and you can view online lessons or create your own. Those are just a few of the resources you'll find at 4teachers.org. Enjoy 4teachers video channel to see tutorials and educational videos. You might also consider joining in a weekly teacher blog on structured topics and see the featured site of the week.
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tag(s): note taking (32), persuasive writing (55), rubrics (32), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

This site is a great site to begin with basic understanding of technology in education. Tutorials explain many of the basics educators must have. Ready to use lessons, rubrics, and calendar resources are easily available. This is also a great site for Spanish resources. Share with colleagues to help boost your technology savvy classroom!

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Parapal - Williams and Weetman

Grades
2 to 12
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This ESL/ELL site has many interactive exercises in the categories of picture dictionary, vocabulary enhancement exercises, e-mail and letter writing, general English, listening, business...more
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This ESL/ELL site has many interactive exercises in the categories of picture dictionary, vocabulary enhancement exercises, e-mail and letter writing, general English, listening, business English, and student activities. You will also find Cambridge exam prep (FCE and CAE). Options for ESL/ELL students include looking at the pages in German, Spanish, Hungarian and Korean. Many of the exercises are interactive, and include spelling practice, cloze exercises (mainly using prepositions and articles correctly), and fill in the blank. Since this site is British, it includes British spellings and test prep for tests usually taken in the U.K.
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tag(s): grammar (216), parts of speech (68)

In the Classroom

You might want to put different categories from this program on different computers around your classroom. Have students, or pairs of students, rotate through the computers to experience spelling practice, vocabulary development, and a cloze reading exercise all in one period.
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English Attack - Entertainment Learning

Grades
8 to 12
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This site uses movie and music video clips to teach English vocabulary and listening. It also has visual dictionaries called "Photo Vocabs" and other learning interactives based on...more
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This site uses movie and music video clips to teach English vocabulary and listening. It also has visual dictionaries called "Photo Vocabs" and other learning interactives based on active media experiences. There is also a large component that includes social networking around the world. To receive full access to all offerings, you need to register to activate a "booster pass." There is also a Premium level, activated only after registration and payment. Everyday there is a new video booster (video clip) and accompanying vocabulary activities. Video clips are taken from things that interest teens. Students can select a "translation" language for the question vocabulary to be instantly translated on mouse-over. Students can also create an identity online, a "badge." Be certain to monitor the daily offerings and preview to make sure they are appropriate for your classroom.
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tag(s): idioms (44), listening (91), video (254), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

English and world language instructors can use this site to increase listening comprehension and vocabulary knowledge. Browse the range of video booster offerings to find appropriate themes for use in daily lessons. Share these clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to create simple how-to videos and share them using a tool such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
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The Outliner of Giants - Simon

Grades
7 to 12
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The Outliner of Giants is a free, web-based outline program designed to support large, complex documents, such as reports and academic thesis. You can embed content from sites, such...more
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The Outliner of Giants is a free, web-based outline program designed to support large, complex documents, such as reports and academic thesis. You can embed content from sites, such as YouTube Videos and PDF documents or simply attach your own files. You can export your outlines at anytime to your Google docs. The service uses Google's own user account system and an HTTPS internet connection. You and your students will be able to access your outline on your computer, iPads, tablets, smart phones, and Androids.

tag(s): college (43), concept mapping (22), letter writing (21), process writing (42)

In the Classroom

On an interactive whiteboard or projector, create an outline of facts or concepts in any subject area. You can assign students to "outline" a chapter or story or assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Why not use a student-operated IWB at the side (as a "sidebar") during lessons and have students continuously add to the outline as a set of class notes. This will help them to become familiar with the traditional, formal outlining format. The class can create outlines together, after a brainstorming session using a tool such as Popplet reviewed here. Use Outliner of Giants for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Create family trees or menus in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group outlines before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study: outline a story, plotline, or plan for the future; outline a step-by-step process (life cycle). As students discover whether they are more visual or verbal, allow them to choose between outline and mindmap/concept map as a planning tool.

This is a great tool for you or your students to use to plan a resume, a masters thesis, or any academic thesis. You may want to suggest Outliner of Giants to students to plan their letter of introduction when submitting college applications. You might even want to use it in your own graduate program!

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Librophile - librophile.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers free audio books and free e-books. You have several options; you can play the audio book. You can also download chosen chapters for later use, open as ...more
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This site offers free audio books and free e-books. You have several options; you can play the audio book. You can also download chosen chapters for later use, open as an e-book, or open as a free audio book in ITunes. Most of the free books are in the public domain. There are some books on the site that are available only for a charge. Simply click on "free" to see the ones available at no cost. Separate links offer popular, audio, and ebooks as well as genres. There are many genres available, even children's books.
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tag(s): audio books (32)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their mp3 players. Share a story on your projector or interactive whiteboard (with speakers for audio). Provide this site on your class blog, wiki, or website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Learning support and ESL/ELL teachers can suggest this as an alternative source of books for book reports. Students can listen and read instead of feeling saddled by tough text.

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Making Books with Children - S. K. Gaylord

Grades
K to 10
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This site offers free book making activities -- the old fashioned way with paper and art supplies. Of particular interest is the project titled Making Books around the World...more
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This site offers free book making activities -- the old fashioned way with paper and art supplies. Of particular interest is the project titled Making Books around the World in which students can make slat books, palm leaf books, accordion books, "papyrus" scrolls, and cloth books of many types. Tips for teachers make the book making projects accessible. Book plans are also available in Spanish.

tag(s): artists (75), book reports (35), creative writing (166)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan to do final projects on research of a variety of topics. This is a great find for gifted students or ESL/ELL students since it is so varied and flexible. Challenge students to make books as an end of unit project in science, social studies, and math. Have a bookmaking contest in your classroom. Have students make creative books rather than a traditional book report. Share this site together with art teachers. Share this site with parents to use to create books at home.

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ESL video - ESL Video

Grades
5 to 12
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This site features a video collection for second language learners. It allows you to select short videos on a wide variety of subjects for classroom use. There are also pre-written...more
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This site features a video collection for second language learners. It allows you to select short videos on a wide variety of subjects for classroom use. There are also pre-written quizzes -- or you can prepare your own quiz about the video. Students can view, test, and receive the results of their quizzes from any computer; results appear immediately. Videos and quizzes are available at four levels. The same type of offering can be used in French, Spanish, German, and other languages. You can simply set up a class group and students can use a log in to access the videos and quizzes. You can also add your own video selections and quizzes to the site. The parameters ask that videos be rated up to PG-13 only. Registration is free. You can make comments on the videos and quizzes. Other offerings of the site include transcripts of the videos and culture notes with relevant information, as well as grammar, vocabulary, slang, and pronunciation help.
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tag(s): listening (91), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Assign these videos and quizzes to ESL/ELL students and world language students to help improve their listening comprehension and vocabulary in a fun way! This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Check with your administrators to be sure they allow students to make comments on such sites. Registration requires an email. If you choose to have students register individually, read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Encourage students to find appropriate videos their teachers can share; students could get wonderful listening and writing practice by preparing their own quizzes. Teachers can then submit them if approved.
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Protagonize - Taunt Media

Grades
5 to 12
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories...more
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories are available for others to comment on or add to. You can easily specify two endings like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series or leave the story's ending unfinished. Alternatively, choose to create different "chapters" of a story. Before writing, choose from many different story genres. If you prefer not to have outside input on the story, you can select "solo" writing. It is easy to change solo to collaborative writing, however. There is also an option to digitally link the chapters. The site is very flexible, and you can write poetry, drama, song lyrics, and writing exercises including role plays. Before writing, students set up "story guidelines" so that future contributors can see the parameters of the piece. Students can also view the work of others. Mature content is marked with a "Mature" marker. Students and other writers have an obligation to report inappropriate content. PDF format or RSS feeds allow the created work to be saved to another format.
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tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), expository writing (44), narrative (24), persuasive writing (55), poetry (228), six traits of writing (8), songs (52), stories and storytelling (33), word choice (26), writers workshop (31), writing (359)

In the Classroom

You may wish to set up a group or class account, so that you can keep a careful eye on what outside additions are made (use an RSS feed!) . Students would then need to sign their writing or their comments on other class members writing, with a code known by you. Or you can invite students through email, and then create a group on the program that would include your students; however this group would also be open to the public.

Create groups of students who would like to work together on a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story connected to a science or social studies topic. Have the students create the story guidelines and parameters. Once the students have started the story, have them use your projector and interactive whiteboard and get feedback from class members about the different directions the story could take. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

Have your students create "solo" stories, and then have them switch to "collaborative" to receive comments and input from other members in their writing group or class. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

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Resources for Writing Prompts - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources includes many types of writing prompts, both visual and verbal, to inspire writing. Whether you want students to try their hand at poetry or informational...more
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This collection of reviewed resources includes many types of writing prompts, both visual and verbal, to inspire writing. Whether you want students to try their hand at poetry or informational writing, there are ideas here to help. Make this collection available for students to find their own inspiration for open-ended, creative writing assignments. Teachers can also use this list to find 2-3 possible choices for a targeted writing assignment. Student choice is key in helping student voice come through in their writing.

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Make this collection available for students to find their own inspiration for open-ended, creative writing assignments. Teachers can also use this list to find 2-3 possible choices for a targeted writing assignment.

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ESL Bits - Skip Reske

Grades
5 to 12
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Don't let the title mislead you! Find listening and reading activities for any listener who enjoys audio stories at a teen and adult level, including the advanced English language learner....more
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Don't let the title mislead you! Find listening and reading activities for any listener who enjoys audio stories at a teen and adult level, including the advanced English language learner. There are short stories, books, radio scripts, and songs to listen to and read, as well as English idioms, sayings, and slang. You'll also find a Reading Comprehension and Test Preparation area with interactive activities to help students read and understand English and prepare for reading exams. Unlike many audio book sites, this one includes recent and popular selections for almost anyone, including teachers and parents! Don't miss classic radio shows perfect for discovering life in 20th century decades past.

tag(s): listening (91), radio (27), reading comprehension (116), short stories (25), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Project a story or song on an interactive whiteboard or projector for group listening, reading along, and discussion. Literature teachers can use the site for a class novel, so lower readers can have audio support at home for listening and review. You could have small groups of students listen to different short stories, and make up Bloom's type questions for the next group of students to answer, or they could turn the story into a Reader's Theater piece and video tape it, or perform it live for the class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. This is a terrific site to list on your class website for students to use for at-home practice or enjoyment. For elementary and middle school students, you will want to provide the specific url for the selection you want them to use so they are reading articles appropriate in content for their age group. If you supervise a study hall, keep this link handy as a listening option for students who "don't have any homework."

Comments

Excellent resource! alma grimaldi, , Grades: 7 - 9

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EasyDefine - Prabbav Jain

Grades
4 to 12
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Create definition lists easily and completely. Simply enter the terms, and click "generate" to create a list of words with definitions. View synonyms, download as a document, or email...more
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Create definition lists easily and completely. Simply enter the terms, and click "generate" to create a list of words with definitions. View synonyms, download as a document, or email your list to others. Be aware: there are no filters on this definition site, so ANY word (appropriate or not) can easily be searched by students. Use under teacher supervision with students likely to enter inappropriate terms for immature reactions.
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tag(s): dictionaries (56), synonyms (38), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

You must know where you are saving downloads on your computer to save the list as a document. Pay attention and name files with meaningful file names, such as "chapter17vocab." Enter your list with one term per line or separated by commas, etc. Click on advanced options to add other options to the search: number or alphabetize the definition results, maximum definitions, and hiding parts of speech.

Create definitions easily for word lists in any subject area. Have students enter a series of similar words to see variations in connotations. For example, enter various words that mean "fat" and discover the variability in positive and negative connotations. Follow up with a ranking or sorting activity with the same words on interactive whiteboard to build word choice options. Have students generate individualized reading vocabulary lists for content are reading chapters or literature. Click on the synonyms tab to find related words. Save as a document for easy sharing in groups. Advise students to collect definitions and compare to those they write in their own words. As with any other reference, students should be cautioned to be sure these are accurate definitions needed for the context in which they are studying the words.

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Read the book -- then see the film - Christchurch City Librarires

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides descriptions of children's and young adult movies and the books they come from. The site encourages kids to read the book first, or watch the movie first, ...more
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This site provides descriptions of children's and young adult movies and the books they come from. The site encourages kids to read the book first, or watch the movie first, whichever they prefer. The list has frequent updates, so students can check back on a regular basis to see if what they're reading has become a film yet. A link provides contact with the complete list of book-movie pairs including books and films for adults. Clicking the name of the book goes to the library catalog and the film goes to the IMDB (Internet Movie Database).

Besides the book-movie pairings, the site allows students to review books and also provides interactive reading guides for six subgenres of children's books: pirate books, fantasy, adventure, and more. Another separate section deals with books that become TV shows and TV shows that become books later. Since this is a site from New Zealand, however, the TV portion may not be applicable elsewhere.

tag(s): book lists (128), movies (65), video (254)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site to your class using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students time to explore on their own about a book they want to read that has an accompanying movie. This could be a class book, and the treat after reading would be to watch the movie. Students could then write a compare contrast essay, or an essay that evaluates which was better, the book or the movie and why. Have students compare the book and movie using an online Venn diagram site such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

This site would also be a good site to use with ESL/ELL students and reluctant readers. Students could read a section of the book, then watch that section of the movie, and verbally compare or evaluate, ask questions, etc.

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Math Glossary - McGraw-Hill

Grades
6 to 12
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This site features a multi-lingual glossary for middle and high school mathematics along with a listing of mathematical formulas. Thirteen languages are included ranging from Arabic...more
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This site features a multi-lingual glossary for middle and high school mathematics along with a listing of mathematical formulas. Thirteen languages are included ranging from Arabic to Vietnamese. Upon entering the site, you select a grade level or formulas. A list of all vocabulary terms are on the left side of the page, or the initial letter of the vocabulary word can be chosen from a list at the top of the page. After choosing the word, the definition is displayed. The option is also available for an audio definition of the term. Changing language is as simple as choosing the desired language from a drop-down box at the top of the page. Formulas are available as an easy-to-print PDF document.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers to use the site as a resource for students to use as needed for vocabulary help. Share this site with the ESL/ELL teacher to use when helping students with mathematics. World language teachers may want to use this site for higher-level students to increase vocabulary skills.

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Reading and Writing Project Booklists - Teachers College of Columbia University

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a compilation of themed book lists focusing on two types: those with general themes,and those compiled by publishers or well-known libraries and/or schools. Of particular...more
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This site offers a compilation of themed book lists focusing on two types: those with general themes,and those compiled by publishers or well-known libraries and/or schools. Of particular interest is the book list entitled "Book Ladders" since it lists books in a series or with the same characters and the specific order they should be read in. Some book lists correspond to grade level, reading level, or genre. The themes are very broad and the grade level varies from Read Alouds through Middle School.

tag(s): book lists (128), media literacy (58)

In the Classroom

Share this list with students looking for a new book to read. Post a couple of the lists you like the best on your Edmodo reviewed here or Wiki classroom site. Share this compilation with other educators and librarians.

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Headline Clues - Michigan State University

Grades
8 to 12
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Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in...more
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Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in the blank phrases. What an excellent tool for researching and reading comprehension! There are three levels of difficulty. Choose from favorite news topics on the main page: sports, world and U.S. news, technology, off-beat, entertainment, and even the New York Times. Other publications available for headline finding are NPR and New Scientist. Although this is an activity in "game" format, it is an excellent reading skill builder. Students can see how many letters are missing; they use both semantic and syntactic clues to complete the headlines. Options include a timer and a speed meter. As you play, ask the site for clues to help. Due to the graphic nature of some of the headlines, this site is recommended for mature middle school students or high school students.

tag(s): context clues (8), descriptive writing (41), newspapers (94), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Use this "game" as an introduction when studying the latest news stories and/or basic reading comprehension. Teach reading in context when explaining to students how the activity works. Use the headline builder as a jumping off point for teaching summary writing based on news stories. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as an "ice-breaker" for the start of class or as one of several reading activities during newspapers in education week.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), speech (92)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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