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Grammar and Words - British Council

Grades
4 to 12
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Although this is intended as an ESL/ELL site, the focused activities, exercises, and games apply to teaching grammar in any classroom. The straight forward approach is a rich resource...more
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Although this is intended as an ESL/ELL site, the focused activities, exercises, and games apply to teaching grammar in any classroom. The straight forward approach is a rich resource for those hard-to-grasp grammatical rules and structures. Complete with a quick reference section and explanations, Grammar and Words provides a number of options for practicing grammar and usage. This could also be very useful in an elementary class just being introduced to these concepts of grammar.

tag(s): grammar (214), speech (94)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a resource to supplement your grammar lessons and as another approach to those "foreign" grammar terms, like clauses and phrases that students find difficult to wrap their heads around. Some of the activities are even appropriate for the upper elementary grades. Make a shortcut to an activity on your classroom computer by RIGHT-clicking in the middle of the page and choosing the option to Create shortcut, to give yourself a quick, easy way to open an introduction or review of the grammar you expect students to be familiar with, and project it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not provide this link on your class website for students to access at home?

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English Online - New Zealand Ministry of Education

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K to 12
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English Online is a premier resource for all elementary and secondary teachers of English. It includes what students need to know, what teachers need to know, and even a section ...more
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English Online is a premier resource for all elementary and secondary teachers of English. It includes what students need to know, what teachers need to know, and even a section on how our teaching impacts learning. This site was created and is based and maintained by the New Zealand Ministry of Education; however its uses are internationally sound and practical. Whether you are searching for language and literature resources, teacher exchange of ideas, assessment tools and processes, strategies, or sequential units and models, you will find all of the offerings to be plentiful. The website is also available in various language dialects of New Zealand.

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site in your favorites for when you are planning objectives and learning activities, searching for materials, or looking for fresh, reliable ideas. No matter where you are on the career ladder, this site provides a storehouse of quality digital content from early childhood through senior year and beyond, which you can embed and blend into your existing program, use to support learning across the curriculum, download, print, project on your interactive whiteboard or projector, or have students use individually or collaboratively on individual computers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Jigsaw Classroom - Elliot Aronson

Grades
2 to 12
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Click on 10 Easy Steps to find out how to implement this tried and true technique for cooperative learning in a classroom studying any subject. Basically, teachers divide classrooms...more
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Click on 10 Easy Steps to find out how to implement this tried and true technique for cooperative learning in a classroom studying any subject. Basically, teachers divide classrooms into groups of 5 or 6 students and appoint one as the leader to direct and report on the group's activities. Teachers divide the day's learning into as many groups as there are in their classrooms. Students read their parts. Groups may exchange expert learners to report on what is going on in other groups. Back in the original groups, each group reports on its part and students have some type of evaluative activity, like a quiz or other summary activity.

In the Classroom

Have the students prepare a quick online presentation of their findings, results, summaries etc. Have each student or each group prepare one or two quiz questions to share with the entire class. Be sure help your weaker readers and ESL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Balance your group selection by ensuring each group has strong and weaker students, girls and boys, students from different ethnic groups or nationalities, etc. Use this activity also as a way to review before tests. Have students present their findings in a multimedia presentation. Why not have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Historypin - We Are What We Do

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4 to 12
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This is a site created in partnership with Google as a project to help generations share and talk more through social networking. The concept is that young people ask older ...more
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This is a site created in partnership with Google as a project to help generations share and talk more through social networking. The concept is that young people ask older people to share their photos; these photos are then uploaded through Google maps to show the world as it once was. The older pictures can be compared to today's images through Google street view. In addition to uploading photos, stories can also be shared about the time period and the pictures. Historypin is still in Beta stage; however, there are plans for events throughout the world to launch the site in the near future.

tag(s): cultures (107), maps (292)

In the Classroom

Use as an enhancement to research projects of family, historic events, and world cultures by finding and uploading pictures to the map. Use Historypin as a resource to compare and contrast different time periods in the same geographic area. Demonstrate on the interactive whiteboard or projector how different places have changed over time. Have individual students or cooperative learning groups create podcasts using PodOmatic (reviewed here) to go along with the maps. ESL students will appreciate the ability to upload pictures and/or learn about their country of original.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Library of Congress Read.gov - Library of Congress

Grades
K to 12
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Here you will find the English teachers dream come true! Read.gov is from the Library of Congress and is a new website for readers of all ages. The site offers ...more
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Here you will find the English teachers dream come true! Read.gov is from the Library of Congress and is a new website for readers of all ages. The site offers pages specifically designed for kids and teens, as well as adults, educators, and parents. There is so much here: Contests, books online, book lists, and more. The webcast section is truly extensive. There are Webcasts from famous authors such as R.L. Stine, Jon Scieszka, Jan Brett, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Neil Gaiman, and many more. These webcasts also include interesting topics like "Mystery Writers Discuss Their Craft" and "The Nuts and Bolts of Historical Fiction" among others.

A special feature of the site is an exclusive story, called "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure." The Exquisite Corpse was a game in which someone would start a story, fold over their part, and the next person would add to the story and on it would go until the last person ended the story. For this Exquisite Corpse, Jon Scieszka started the story and passed it on to Katherine Patterson, who passed it on . . . and so it goes for 18 episodes. The entire story will take a year to write to the finish. There is an illustration that goes with each segment.

tag(s): authors (121), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Check out "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure" and have students listen to the stories. As a challenge ask students to look at the differences in writing style for each of the authors. Project a chart about the plot and the writing style on your interactive whiteboard or projector, and have students list the differences and similarities in writing style. Students could also keep a chart of similarities and differences for the illustrators. Another idea for an activity is to have the students read the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling and then have them read the very touching national contest winner letter to the author about his poem. Students could then write their own letters to an author of a favorite book or poem. Have students create podcasts to read their letters to the authors using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

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Jungle Photos - R.Harris

Grades
4 to 12
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Jungle photos is more than what is inferred by the title. At this site you will find not only photos, but articles about the people, animals, plants, insects, reptiles, etc. ...more
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Jungle photos is more than what is inferred by the title. At this site you will find not only photos, but articles about the people, animals, plants, insects, reptiles, etc. of the jungle. The site focuses on Africa, the Amazon, and Galapagos. Here you will find some truly beautiful photography.

tag(s): africa (179), amazon (8), jungles (5)

In the Classroom

There are so many ways a teacher could use this site. Make it a learning station, where students look at the photos and read the captions and articles about the various aspects of life in the jungle. Students could have a special notebook where they summarize, or write an opinion about, what they learned from "Jungle Photos" that day. Young children could use the information to make a picture book of their own, summarizing what they read (or had read to them).

Older students need to know background information about a topic in order to decide what they would like to know more about. Students could use this as a springboard to decide what topic they would like to investigate for more information.

Language arts and ESL/ELL teachers could have students write their own description of the pictures and then compare their captions to those on the site. Students could also write a fictional story about what is happening in one of the pictures. Why not make it more interactive and have students use Sway, reviewed here.

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conjugation.com - Best Practice

Grades
5 to 12
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See the conjugation of any English verb for free. This site conjugates over 15,000 verbs in all 3 forms: affirmative, interrogative, and negative, and in all tenses, genders, persons,...more
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See the conjugation of any English verb for free. This site conjugates over 15,000 verbs in all 3 forms: affirmative, interrogative, and negative, and in all tenses, genders, persons, voices, and moods. An added advantage at this site is you can see the definition of the verb. Other nice features are an example of the verb used in a sentence and a synonym of the verb used in a sentence. If you are a world language teacher, you may want to check back at this brand new site. They say they will next be developing pages to conjugate verbs in languages other than English.

tag(s): grammar (214), parts of speech (67), speech (94), verbs (41), writing (367)

In the Classroom

This site has a source code you can embed on your own wiki or website. In class you can use your interactive whiteboard or projector to show students conjugation.com and have them suggest verbs to be entered and conjugated. They will also learn the names of the verb forms and tenses. Have the ESL and ELL students in your class use this site to check their writing. Underline the verbs in their writing that are not conjugated correctly and let them make the corrections using conjugation.com.

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Shmoop: Biographies - Shmoop

Grades
6 to 12
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Shmoop, the study site created by Stanford grad students, now has an entire section of biographies of famous people, and they are not just famous authors! Click on the tabs ...more
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Shmoop, the study site created by Stanford grad students, now has an entire section of biographies of famous people, and they are not just famous authors! Click on the tabs at the top to read a summary, biography, or even a resume. You don't need to have an account to see the information on Shmoop. However, signing up (for free) gives you the ability to "clip" files and keep them in a folder. Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): biographies (88), famous people (21)

In the Classroom

Introduce any of the authors biographies before reading a literary work or studying that famous leader or scientist. You could have the students go through the tabs and take notes on interesting facts, trivia, etc. Then have a class game where all students stand and the first student reads a fact from their notes and crosses it out. All other students have to cross that fact out, too. Then the next person states a different fact and every one else has to cross the fact out. Proceed in this manner until there is only one (or however many you want) students left standing. They are the winners. Another idea: Have your students create an interactive online poster about an individual using Lucidpress, reviewed here.

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English Club - Englishclub.com

Grades
2 to 12
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English Club provides ESL and ELL resources and lessons for both students and teachers. There are also games, further resources, idioms, and even the "Learning English Video Project."...more
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English Club provides ESL and ELL resources and lessons for both students and teachers. There are also games, further resources, idioms, and even the "Learning English Video Project." Students can compare their English-learning experience with students from around the world; they can also create their own page to be hosted by the site. Lessons include the standard vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and reference tools. By providing both chat capability and an English question "hotline," the site would work for students learning in groups as well as individually. Games on the site are language based, educational, and designed to reinforce the language lessons. Other interactive features include a weekly news summary and activities and an opportunity to discuss via ESL forums. Free registration ensures students can take advantage of all the site offerings. Students may select their native language for website directions if needed; languages include standard European and Asian ones as well as Arabic.

tag(s): grammar (214), speaking (25)

In the Classroom

Check with administrators to be sure policy allows for students to create their own web pages attached to this site, to participate in chats with other students and teachers, and to be a member of a conversation forum. You should also obtain written parent permission. To fully register with the site you need a valid email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. If you have a number of ESL/ELL students, make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers or share it on your class web page to use it as a center. This site's activities would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops.

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WinkBall - WinkBall

Grades
K to 12
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to ...more
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to email or post on video blogs and walls. Choose to communicate with the general public, set groups, or speak to only one person. Winkball supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files and imports videos directly from YouTube. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. There are no ads except for a very short Winkball ad that appears at the end of each video clip. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. You will want to check to be sure that all portions you plan to use in class will be available using your school's network.

tag(s): journalism (55)

In the Classroom

Winkball requires the use of a webcam or video camera. Simply adjust the camera for a good shot and click record. The preview feature allows users to clear away initial takes and start again. Download video camera footage onto the computer and then directly upload it to Winkball. The site supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files. Enter a title and description for each video clip. Students can also embed videos from Youtube onto video blogs or walls. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. The site is intuitive and involves little more than point and click abilities. Create a single class account using your "extra" email address, so you can monitor and submit student work.

Winkball has the potential to extend learning beyond the confines of your school. It can provide learning opportunities for students physically unable to attend class or who need to receive coursework from another school. Students can film various features of a field trip and share them on a video wall. Video chat will allow students to record interviews with people outside of the local community. Coordinate collaborative learning projects by having students share resources on video blog. The video blog could also serve as an on-line journal for phases of a long-term unit of study, experiment, or class project. Record the stages of a student's thinking process when engaging in creative problem solving activities. Share the value of this learning process with parents and family by posting a video wall on the class website. Create a broadcasting club and post regular news reports about school events on the school website. Upload a film clip about a historic event onto a class video blog and include a probing question that asks students take a stand on an issue, express their opinion, or debate one another on-line. Provide homework help by recording step-by step procedures to solve a particular type of math problem at home. Model ways parents can help their student with their reading. Post live coverage of class plays, concerts, and school performances so that parents at work can still be in the audience. Make language learning more authentic by using video messaging to communicate with students across the globe.

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Smories - Lisa Swerling & Ralph Lazar

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for a place to publish your student's writing? Smories is a cool site to do this for your student writers. At this site you will find videos of students, ...more
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Looking for a place to publish your student's writing? Smories is a cool site to do this for your student writers. At this site you will find videos of students, 8 to 11 years old reading short stories. Click "Submit a filmed Smory" to submit a video of your Smory. Submitting a video of your Smory requires an email address. Writers can be any age, however narrators must be 16 or under. There is also a place where students sixteen and older may have their stories become one of 50 stories entered into a monthly contest. (Visit the "Submit a Smory" link). There are five winners a month, with a monetary prize. If you're a writer (established or aspiring), send in a story! Be sure to get parent permission to publish stories.

tag(s): word choice (27)

In the Classroom

This would be a great way to have your older students study word choice! Start by going to the "Writing Fix For Kids" (reviewed here) and look at the left column index to find "Six Traits" click on "Word Choice." At this site you will find several recommendations for picture books and chapter books to use with your students so they can analyze good word choice. Read a few of these, and ask the students to point out the descriptive writing that stands out for them. Then use a wordless picture book and have your students write a short story for an 8 to 11 year old that doesn't rely on the illustrations. From there your students can write their own short story, and have an 8 to 11 year old student read it while being video taped. You might consider pairing up with a local elementary or middle school teacher to have one of their students do the reading.

For younger students, use your projector or interactive whiteboard and project the student reader full screen. It would be like having a visitor come to your classroom at story time!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tar Heel Reader - University of North Caroline

Grades
K to 12
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide...more
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide free resources to give everyone an opportunity to learn to read and write. All books are free and available for download as slideshows using PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash. Book topics include biographies, fairy tales, history, science, math, nursery rhymes, poetry, food, and more! All stories have speech enabling, can come in as many as fourteen different languages, and are compatible with touch screens. Since a wide range of age groups use this site, they have a rating system to suggest what is suitable for younger readers. Tar Heel Reader is also a great way to write books. Upload images from your computer or Flicker, add text, create, and share student stories with an authentic audience of readers. Tar Heel Reader is a great way to engage students with reading material, increase class participation, and create inclusive instruction for those with illiteracy or learning disabilities.

** This site does contain some materials NOT suitable for all classrooms. Be sure to read the "rating" system, and contribute your own opinions (as the ratings are only as reliable as the pool of contributing voters). Books rated 'E' are meant for everyone but a 'C' means to use caution as it may not be proper material for some. Determine what titles are suitable and save them to the favorites file for students to access.

tag(s): literacy (106)

In the Classroom

Increase your big book collection ten fold by projecting Tar Heel Readers onto an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use interactive shared reading lessons to strengthen student recognition of common sight words, concepts of print, decoding skills, and use syntax cues and unlock the meaning of text. Ask students to circle known sight words, count the number of words in a sentence, trace capital letters, or point to the first letter of a word during a choral read. Help ESL/ELL students by creating books out of photos from class field trips, events, or experiments. Integrate text that uses key vocabulary words and creates reading materials that are both relevant to grade level curricular standards and match your student's readability level. All books you publish on the web site are public domain and available to all other users. Be sure to get parent permission before publishing student books on-line. In order to create a book, users will need to register. Unfortunately, this requires users to email gb@cs.unc.edu to request of an invitation code. With this code, simply create a username, submit your name, and email address. Set up a single teacher account and have all the students use that login to avoid safety concerns. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further reading practice.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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UVic's Language Teaching Clipart Library - University of Victoria

Grades
K to 12
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The University of Victoria's clip art library is a small collection of images meant to assist with basic language instruction and development. The graphics are useful for developing...more
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The University of Victoria's clip art library is a small collection of images meant to assist with basic language instruction and development. The graphics are useful for developing the vocabulary of speech/language students or ESL/ELL students. There is a keyword search option and a topic gallery that contains subjects such as food, animals, and clothing. One draw back is that the images are typically only 100 by 100 pixels. The library does allow for free download of its .GIF images but if users post clip art on a website they need to add an acknowledgement to the UVic Humanities Computing and Media Center and Half-Baked Software.

tag(s): spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Create non-verbal task cards or visual directions for assignments with graphics from this library collection. Download imagery from a variety of different categories and create an interactive whiteboard or projector sorting activity. Have students decide what images have in common and then sort them into groups. Use online graphic organizers from sites such as Webspiration reviewed here. to sort clip art. The images are also excellent to design language-teaching flashcards, game cards, illustrate songs, add to worksheets or include on class websites.

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Open Clipart Library - Jon Phillips and Bryce Harrington

Grades
K to 12
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This is a large archive of public-domain clipart. All images are free for download and artists are encouraged to contribute to the site. Search for imagery by keyword or category. ...more
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This is a large archive of public-domain clipart. All images are free for download and artists are encouraged to contribute to the site. Search for imagery by keyword or category. The individual images download as PNG thumbnails or html pages. Users can also download a complete package of all of the site clipart. Review all imagery before students go to the site. Although a majority of the site images is appropriate for students, some may be questionable.

tag(s): creative commons (23)

In the Classroom

Pre-select clipart and save to albums meant for students use. A complete library will be useful for multimedia presentation, digital storytelling, reports, and presentations. This is a great site for ESL/ELL students and special education students working on speech and language. Visual representations will help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. Open Clipart is a valuable resource for imagery to use when designing language-teaching flashcards, game cards, directions, illustrating songs and poetry, or including on class websites.

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Lit Tunes - Corndancer

Grades
5 to 12
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Wow! Wow! At this site you will find lesson plans that connect grammar, literature, and music. Use music to teach students about sentence structure, plot elements, basic grammar, literary...more
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Wow! Wow! At this site you will find lesson plans that connect grammar, literature, and music. Use music to teach students about sentence structure, plot elements, basic grammar, literary terms, and much more. You'll also find a database of hundreds of contemporary and classical literature titles connected to contemporary music. Click on "Connection" on the left to find music for every major work you will ever want to teach.

tag(s): literature (274)

In the Classroom

Use the list to find literature you can use in your classroom. You may want to choose short stories or poems and their music so students will get the idea of how music and literature can fit together. Then have students choose appropriate contemporary music for an independent reading novel presentation or report. Have students figure out how they would divide up the book into sections. Then select a piece of (school appropriate) music that they think captures the feel or tone of each section. They record the pieces and possibly do voice-overs explaining what is happening in the novel during the piece of music and why they felt this piece of music fits the section of the novel. As a choice, students could use "podOmatic" to create podcasts, reviewed here. Or have students create ThingLinks, reviewed here. Be sure to PLAY the music out loud as the student is talking. If you want students to "mix" music with their own computer, check out Garage Band (Mac) or Audacity (free download) available on Mac or Windows. Looking for more ways to use these audio tools? Take a look at a webquest explaining how these programs work, reviewed here.

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Pullfolio - pullfolio.com

Grades
8 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create an online portfolio created from your flickr set of specific photos. Choose your photos by choosing a set or a specific tag. Pictures are displayed in an elegant and ...more
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Create an online portfolio created from your flickr set of specific photos. Choose your photos by choosing a set or a specific tag. Pictures are displayed in an elegant and beautiful format. Since Pullfolio is not flash based, the ipod/iphone app is another plus. Pullfolio instantly updates as you update your flickr set or continue to use the tag. Use the free version or go pro to use your own domain and access additional features.

tag(s): flickr (7), images (275), photography (162)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to add pictures to a set on flickr or use a specific tag for particular pictures. Be sure to choose your username carefully as it becomes part of the url of your portfolio. Follow the directions to identify your flickr account with Pullfolio.

Have students create their own pullfolio, but why not create a class pullfolio that showcases student work? If using as a class pullfolio, pictures will not be attributed to the individual students. Create some way of identifying pictures to various students. Require students to tag their pictures with their initials as well or create a comment with their initials in the picture's description.

This tool would be a great asset to a photography or art class but can be used in any subject area. Create a pullfolio of pictures that showcase life around us, or in a Math class to show various Math functions in man made structures and nature. Use this site to take your geography class around the world (virtually). Have students create presentations in any subject area and narrate the pictures rather than doing a traditional oral report. Speech and language on lower grades or ESL/ELL teachers could create pullfolios for vocabulary development, tagging them for positions, feelings, etc. Involve students in taking the pictures, then share the resulting pullfolios for them to practice their new words.

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Midomi - midomi.com

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
On this general music and music video site, students and teachers can find the name of a song they have forgotten by simply humming or singing into the computer mike. ...more
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On this general music and music video site, students and teachers can find the name of a song they have forgotten by simply humming or singing into the computer mike. Note: when you click to sing or hum, you will get a message asking you to ALLOW or DENY permission for the web site to access your computer mike. IN some web browsers, the security settings may prohibit this. Test the tool on your computer to be sure it will work before assigning students to try it. It takes a little practice!

tag(s): songs (53)

In the Classroom

Use this site for ear training. Play a reverse "Name that Tune" game to see how accurately the site finds songs. Try to find two songs with similar beginnings and see if the site can distinguish the two. Learn about other songs that have similar beginning melodies. ESL and ELL students can use this site and participate without knowing the English words for a song just by humming. Students can introduce their favorite songs this way.

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TeachersFirst's Study Skills Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading strategies, review ideas, and notetaking methods that students and teachers can try as lessons in themselves or --even better-- as they go about the regular curriculum. Whether you want to use a graphic organizer, create your own electronic flash cards, or simply learn how to approach a test, there is a resource to help. Learning Support teachers and teachers of gifted will also want to share these alternate ways for students to organize and retain concepts, vocabulary, and more.

In the Classroom

Make learning how to learn part of your class routine at any grade level and in any subject. Feature one or more new study strategy each month and share this entire list as a link from your class web page for students and parents to access both in and out of school.

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Tagxedo - Hardy Leung

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. ...more
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Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. Create a visual representation of a passage to pull out and identify important words or show the text in an interactive, visually appealing way. The resulting cloud pops out the words as you roll over them, so viewers can "see" each word separately. See a sample, created by the TF Edge review team. Explore the gallery for many inspiring examples, including some that use the customizable image shapes uploaded from your own computer (premium feature). Some features may change slightly after the beta phase, but developer Hardy Leung assures TeachersFirst users, "Even after beta you'll be able to save the animated version of the Tagxedo for free to your computer or to the web without the paid version. I may require a membership, though unlikely, but even then I'll make sure there is a free version for teachers and students."

Tagxedo requires Silverlight. The site will appear as a blank page with the "Install Silverlight Plugin" button if your computer does not have it installed. See your tech folks to allow download and installation of this plug-in if school computers do not have it and/or are "locked down."

tag(s): firstday (26), vocabulary (324), word choice (27), word clouds (11)

In the Classroom

NO membership required to create a cloud, though saving may require a (free) membership in the future, according to developer Hardy Leung. Click "Create" and then "Words." Paste URL to "cloud" words from a web page or copy/paste (or type) a passage of words into the given field. (Repeat words to make them larger). Experiment with various settings and "themes" to create the different colors and shapes of the word cloud. Change the theme, shape, direction, layout, and other parameters easily. Click SAVE to easily download a static image of various sizes or take a screenshot using shortcut keys. Saved images do not have the cool "pop-out" feature (rats!), though the developer tells TeachersFirst that users will be able to download animated versions in the future. You can also save and obtain the direct URL to your animated cloud. Be sure to bookmark it or copy/paste the URL for safe keeping in a document, wiki, etc. During beta, the tool allows you to save and copy embed code, but this feature will cost money later.

In the classroom: This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In primary grades. Enter a group of related words into the text box, such as sight words, words with the same spelling cluster, or vocabulary terms. Then have students roll over the words to read them aloud as they pop out (only works in the ONLINE version of the clouds). Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize terms and important vocabulary, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Use themes and shapes that coordinate with the word cloud (for example, use a bird shape when creating a cloud about flight or a heart when interpreting a love poem. Consider using a word cloud as a first week of school activity where students discuss summer vacation or what they did over the summer. As a first day activity, students could also make a cloud with words about themselves, then have classmates guess which cloud matches which person.

For a free gift for special occasions, make word clouds about mom for Mother's Day or Thanksgiving "I am thankful" visual poems. Share them by emailing the URL or in printed form.

Comments

Very versatile, creates word clouds in specific shapes. Adds another dimension. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Sentence Scrambler - altastic.com

Grades
1 to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This sentence scrambler allows teachers to type or paste in as many sentences as they would like and scrambles the words at random. Any punctuation typed in remains attached to ...more
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This sentence scrambler allows teachers to type or paste in as many sentences as they would like and scrambles the words at random. Any punctuation typed in remains attached to the word it is next to. Students can then try to unscramble the sentences. Options include putting slashes or dashes between words to make them easier to distinguish. After typing/pasting the desired number of sentences, teachers should check the box marked "Add Numbers" in order to have the sentences separated and numbered. Sentences in Spanish can also be scrambled. Rearranging the words is not part of the interactive activity.

tag(s): grammar (214), inferencing (5), sentences (50), sight words (37)

In the Classroom

ESL and ELL students will find this activity useful for practicing correct English word order. Primary teachers can also use it to teach basic sight words, sequencing, and inferencing skills with short sentences. After typing/pasting in the sentences, copy the scrambled word box on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students write or type the paragraph in the correct order.

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