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Draw A Stickman - drawastickman.com

Grades
1 to 10
12 Favorites 2  Comments
 
Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving...more
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Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving mysteries, thinking creatively, and solving problems. To begin the adventure, you draw a simple stick figure and then bring him or her to life. Your figure is faced with several challenges; you must follow directions and draw several props for your stick figure to use. You will love the hero of the story (the character you created) and the villain (a dragon). Finished stories can be replayed or shared on Facebook, Twitter, or email. There is also an online gallery for students to explore and view others' creations.

tag(s): creative writing (167), digital storytelling (151), interactive stories (31)

In the Classroom

Aside from just fun practice at following instructions, Draw a Stickman would be a great fictional story prompt. Students have the bones of a story and can fill in details, vivid verbs, adjectives, etc. to tell the story. This would be a good practice activity with writing sequences of "first, then, and next." Students can elaborate on their hero, the plot of the story, the details, the setting, etc. Students can write a moral for a story to add in the customized ending. These stories would be fun to share as a class...how wide a variety of can come from the same basics? Share finished stories with a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can "read" the story. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Teach story mapping easily with this activity: On an interactive whiteboard (or projector), students can go through the stick figure story together, labeling the different parts of the story (beginning, problem, climax, resolution, ending). This interactive can help students identify story elements, including setting, characters and plot. This site would also be perfect for ESL/ELL students for practice in reading and following directions or for speech/language students to practice retelling a story from the visual prompts. Another idea: use this activity for verb/vocabulary practice in a world language class.

Comments

This will be a great fill-in activity when my students finish their assignments. I can't wait to use it! Beverly, TX, Grades: 6 - 12
Love this! So creative. I know the kids will love it too and I think the learning activities sound very promising too. Jeannie, MI, Grades: 0 - 5

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Living Math Book List - Living Math Book List

Grades
K to 8
7 Favorites 0  Comments
Math teachers (and others) will enjoy using this site to find literature that corresponds to math topics. What a great way for cross-curricular connections! To find a book, choose from...more
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Math teachers (and others) will enjoy using this site to find literature that corresponds to math topics. What a great way for cross-curricular connections! To find a book, choose from a list of math topics such as angles, percents, regrouping, place value, and many others. A list of books that can be used will be displayed along with a link to purchase the book on Amazon. The concept is simple, yet can be very useful to classroom teachers or parents looking for literature options to connect with math lessons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (223), angles (85), area (73), book lists (133), charts and graphs (199), counting (109), division (159), equations (148), estimation (48), fractions (225), geometric shapes (172), matching (23), measurement (171), negative numbers (21), patterns (88), percent (81), perimeter (31), place value (52), ratios (62), rounding (19), sequences (15), subtraction (184), time (139)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and use this site as a resource to find literature to include with math lessons. Provide a link to this link on your classroom website for parents to use at home to find literature connection to math concepts! If you like the idea of connecting math and independent reading, TeachersFirst also offers a CurriConnects list for "Math in Use."

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Pinterest - Pinterest.com

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Browse the site without registration. Type Edu in the search ...more
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Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Browse the site without registration. Type Edu in the search bar, and find an Education area with menu tabs like Science, Elementary, English, Higher, STEM, and more. Images have a short caption; clicking on a picture gives the option to Repin or Like. To create/add to your pinboards, register for free. If you have an account, you can Repin the picture to a pinboard you have titled and created within your account. Click on the image again to visit the original site of the image. Often this is just what you are looking for to learn specific details. You can also search Pinterest for specific items such as Guided Reading, File Folder Activities, or other classroom needs. Pinterest members can "follow" other users and see their new items as they add them to their pinboards. Use Pinterest on any device or computer, and there is a related Facebook app.

tag(s): architecture (83), cooking (31), creativity (121), DAT device agnostic tool (177), fashion (10), guided reading (48), nutrition (154), organizational skills (128), professional development (162), social media (22), social networking (111)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for finding printables and other items for classroom use. Create your own pinboards for organizing classroom resources found on the web. Create pinboards for students to view and/or add to as a whole class activity, such as "things that use energy," food groups, or groups of items for primary level vocabulary/practice (clothing items, farm animals, clock faces for telling time, etc.). Maybe even create "which one does not belong?" pinboards for PreK and early grades to view and change on an interactive whiteboard and repeat at home. In higher grades, make pinboards for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. Share your pinboards with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Challenge your older students to create their own pinboards as a research project. Use Pinterest to show their hobbies/passions, wise quotes, recipes that fit a specific theme, art/lyrics, or a travel Itinerary. Follow other teachers using Pinterest to see items that they are adding and using in their classrooms. Add TeachersFirst to your pinboards! Note: Take a screenshot of something you find to upload to Pinterest!

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Sharon, OH, Grades: 4 - 12

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Smarthistory Art History Converstaion - Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker with Khan Academy

Grades
3 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning...more
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Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning site. Investigate the world of art history accompanied by two professors at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Smarthistory started as a a blog featuring free audio guides, podcasts, and videos. Later it became an interactive exploration of eras, styles, and artists. Smarthistory has recently merged with KahnAcademy utilizing the same concept: that high quality education should be free and available to all. Included in each video are informational resources to give extra information. Many universities use Smarthistory as a required part of their curriculum.

tag(s): art history (74), medieval (26), renaissance (31)

In the Classroom

A must for any art classroom, Smarthistory adds an extra dimension and deeper understanding to any history, social studies, or cultural studies classroom. Use in writing workshops to provide insights to art and culture and to into thoughts and feelings. Study written works alongside the art of past time periods. Tempt students into the amazing world of art history by watching the new videos. Bring unlimited, world-class resources to each class. All of the videos are easily adaptable to an interactive whiteboard or projector. Debate clubs can study techniques and develop their own styles of debate. Gifted classes will devour this website. Provide this link on your class website to offer students extra challenge and exploration.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Public Domain Pictures - Bobeck Ltd.

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Public Domain Pictures is a database of pictures allowed to be used in any way that you see fit. You can also upload pictures to share. The only time to ...more
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Public Domain Pictures is a database of pictures allowed to be used in any way that you see fit. You can also upload pictures to share. The only time to worry about a model or property release is if you choose to use an image for commercial use. Most images are free. Enjoy some time browsing pictures. Please note that a log-in (with an email address) is required to upload your own pictures. You do not need an account to download a picture for free. Be sure not to click on the "Premium Download" button, as this download is for a fee (even with the "free" photos). Scroll down a bit and click on "download picture" to download for free.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): graphic design (36), images (273), photography (159)

In the Classroom

Share this website on your class web page so that students have easy and legal access to pictures for their projects and presentations. Of course, you will still require proper image credits! Be sure to offer clear instructions about how to download FOR FREE. In an art or photography class, have students post their work to get exposure and recognition for their great images. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

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Festisite Text Layout - Festisite

Grades
1 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Make a pdf using the text you enter and a creative layout you choose. Simply type or paste in your text into the large box, choose from one of the ...more
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Make a pdf using the text you enter and a creative layout you choose. Simply type or paste in your text into the large box, choose from one of the three available fonts, font size, and paper size. Then choose a layout for the finished project. Text can be produced as a banner, maze, rebus, spiral, Valentine (heart), or waves. Students will love seeing their work reproduced in a new way! The finished product is generated as a pdf file to be saved and easily printed.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (167), poetry (221), valentines day (15), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (128)

In the Classroom

Motivate reluctant writers. When they complete work, allow them to use the site to generate a copy in whatever way they choose. Share student work on your bulletin board using this site to create interesting layouts to use. This is a must-have at Valentine season. Have students write a series of words they use to describe their mom or dad, then paste them into the heart layout generator. Poof! Instant Valentines, ready to print on colorful paper and send home! Older students will appreciate making creative layouts of vocabulary words and more, including world language classes. Make spelling practice more fun by having students make their own layouts or personal spelling lists.
 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fiction Teachers - Meadowbrook Press

Grades
2 to 8
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Jump into fiction and poetry with fictionteachers.com. Find information about teaching reading, poetry, readers theater, and inviting such authors to visit your classroom. Write a Girls...more
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Jump into fiction and poetry with fictionteachers.com. Find information about teaching reading, poetry, readers theater, and inviting such authors to visit your classroom. Write a Girls to the Rescue, a mini mystery, or a new fangled fairy tale. Lesson plans have creative ideas to inspire students, teachers, and parents.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): poetry (221), readers theater (17)

In the Classroom

Jazz up your language arts class with fun, laughter and great readers theater scripts. Find links for other websites for more resources. Discover book resources to make your language arts workshop become the favorite part of your students' day. Use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector), at centers, for parent resource, or additional advice for tutors.

After students have experienced two or three of the reader's theater scripts from this site, have them create their own script for a favorite story. Use the script writing tips found on Aaron Shepard's Reader's Theater Page reviewed here.

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Lilian's Tool Box - Lilian Marchesoni

Grades
1 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site is a wiki that allows ESL/ELL teachers to share helpful websites, games, presentations, and songs with other ESL/ELL instructors. There are PowerPoint presentations, games,...more
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This site is a wiki that allows ESL/ELL teachers to share helpful websites, games, presentations, and songs with other ESL/ELL instructors. There are PowerPoint presentations, games, templates, tutorials, songs, and more... all ready to go! You don't need to join the wiki to enjoy the games, PowerPoints, etc., but , by joining the workspace, you can comment on materials and methods, and add your own activities. Another benefit of joining is that all members receive notification of changes and new activities added to the wiki, in their email.

tag(s): directions (19), grammar (210), songs (53), vocabulary (323), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Scan this site for both activities and presentation methods for your target lesson. Take advantage of the ready to go ESL/ELL activities at this site.

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Word Talk - CALL Scotland

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Enter the world of assisted learning with Word Talk, a free plugin for use with Microsoft Word. This software downloads onto unlimited computers for educational use. A talking dictionary...more
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Enter the world of assisted learning with Word Talk, a free plugin for use with Microsoft Word. This software downloads onto unlimited computers for educational use. A talking dictionary assists with definition and spelling. The ability to turn the words into MP3 format is available. This plugin has won the Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award.

tag(s): dictionaries (57), text to speech (18)

In the Classroom

Include Word Talk as your classroom helper for FREE! Offer assisted learning for struggling readers or writers to provide success. Provide study guides or notes in an MP3 file to include on your website. Offer as a way to encourage independence and confidence in all learners. Incorporate into writer's workshop to help with editing and proofreading. Help your ESL/ELL and special needs students find more success. This helps you achieve the technology goal of assisted learning in IEP students. Offer all directions with the text to speech option.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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We Give Books - Pearson Foundation

Grades
K to 4
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Find award winning digital picture books for students through age ten. There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction, a variety of authors, and a balance of read-aloud books and ...more
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Find award winning digital picture books for students through age ten. There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction, a variety of authors, and a balance of read-aloud books and independent readers. New books are added every month along with special, seasonal books. Now any student has access to high-quality picture books! The more books you read, the more books that are made available for everyone. After finishing a book, choose the Give a Book option for a hard-back book to be donated to a needy child. All that you need to provide is a valid email address. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

Choose books several ways: latest additions, popular books, classics, or by clicking on keyword tags at the right side. Creating an account isn't necessary, but it does provide the option of saving books to your library. You can also choose the campaign to receive book donations from their account. What an excellent way to give without spending a penny!

tag(s): folktales (58), independent reading (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site on your interactive whiteboard as you read aloud for students to follow along; stop occasionally and allow students to read portions of the book. With younger students, share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, and read the story to the class. Use this site as a resource for additional reading materials in the classroom by creating a link on classroom computers. Encourage students to read books and enjoy giving books to others in need. Set a goal for books to read using the site as a way of developing a sense of giving back to the community. Share this link on your class website for families to learn how to "read and give." Maybe even set a year long goal for a donated book total for your class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Brightstorm English - Brightstorm, Inc.

Grades
3 to 9
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find FREE English videos covering every topic in Grammar and Writing. Categories include: parts of speech, sentence basics, sentence style, voice, and style with multiple videos for...more
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Find FREE English videos covering every topic in Grammar and Writing. Categories include: parts of speech, sentence basics, sentence style, voice, and style with multiple videos for each topic. The Writing topics include: Parts of an Essay, Types of Essays, Writing Terms, and Writing Process.

tag(s): essays (22), expository writing (43), grammar (210), grammar review (41), parts of speech (66), process writing (46), sentences (49)

In the Classroom

Do your students tune out when you start explaining grammar? Bring another teacher into your room by using these videos. Put on the Nouns video and have your students take notes. They will learn about common nouns, proper nouns, concrete nouns, abstract nouns, etc. Pause the video at the beginning so students can write notes on the whiteboard. Then when you start the video have the students fill in the information in their notes as the designated "teacher" fills in the information on the whiteboard. You can follow-up by having students write sentences of their own using the different types of nouns and share them on your interactive whiteboard. (Alternatively, "flip" your classroom bay assigning students to watch the video as homework, then come to class prepared to apply and practice the concepts.)

Put the URL for a video on a classroom computer for students, or pairs of students to rotate through. You can even have a follow-up activity stored there for the students to complete after watching the video. To show what they have learned from the video, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. You could do this on a weekly basis. If you have two computers available, students could rotate through one of the grammar videos and one of the writing videos weekly. Put the URL for the videos on your website for students and parents to use as homework help or review.
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Socrative - Socrative.com

Grades
4 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Socrative is a smart student response system -- the answer to not having expensive "educational clickers" in your classroom. Socrative is in beta at this time and is free. Their ...more
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Socrative is a smart student response system -- the answer to not having expensive "educational clickers" in your classroom. Socrative is in beta at this time and is free. Their apps work on tablets, smartphones, iPod Touch, laptops, and others. There is an introductory video demonstrating teacher and student logins and how your class will interact in real-time. You can create your own multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions. You may also choose to use one of their ready-made activities as exit tickets, thoughtful questions, or games. See your students' responses in an Excel file or view online as a Google spreadsheet. Multiple choice questions are automatically corrected.

tag(s): chat (54), DAT device agnostic tool (177), game based learning (126), gamification (81), polls and surveys (54), questioning (34), social networking (111)

In the Classroom

If you've ever wanted greater student engagement, increased student interest, and heightened discussion and interactivity in your classroom, Socrative is the answer. Students can give their input and express their views anonymously, if you wish.

In any curriculum area, ask open-ended questions and display student responses with your projector or interactive whiteboard. Students could then use a tool like Votesy, reviewed here to vote on the options.

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Wilderness Downtown - Chris Milk

Grades
4 to 12
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This interactive music video will bring in a street view of any address you enter. The pop group, Arcade Fire, worked with Google to develop this video for its song ...more
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This interactive music video will bring in a street view of any address you enter. The pop group, Arcade Fire, worked with Google to develop this video for its song "We Used To Wait." The video is best viewed in Chrome, but can also be viewed in Safari, and most of it on Internet Explorer. It uses Google Maps and Google Street View to bring the address you entered directly into the movie. You don't have to enter an exact address for the interaction to happen. You can put in a city, state, and country and get some very good results. A warning will appear that the information isn't complete, but click on "continue anyway" to see the results. Not only is this a sentimental trip down memory lane for you, but there are a myriad of ways to use this video with your students. Note: the video actually launches in multiple smaller windows, so allow all of them to montage on your screen! The final "postcard" that prompts you to write to your younger self uses the same artistic font as the title page. Take a screen shot of it to preserve what your message.

tag(s): creative writing (167), descriptive writing (42), poetry (221), video (278), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

World history, and world culture teachers could use this video by putting in a city and country where you know there are historical buildings from the time period you are studying. Science and math teachers could put in cities and countries for the origins of famous scientists or mathematicians or locations of major environmental events. And, of course, world language and geography teachers can input any city and country you are studying.

Any student, but especially ESL/ELL students, will discover forgotten memories after putting in an address and watching the film. Students who have always lived in the same home may want to put in the address of a favorite relative or vacation spot. At the end there is a prompt to write a postcard; however, it cannot be mailed to anyone in particular. So, have students jot memories ignited by the video on paper or in an open word processing document. Have them use one of the memories as a prompt for a memoir. Have students create blogs to record their memoir. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.

During Poetry Month or a poetry unit, talk about the song lyrics as poetry, then have students write their own poems and read them along with their personal location video (with sound muted). Make poetry a personal performance piece!

Have you ever wanted to show your students the setting of a novel you are reading as a class? Imagine using the setting for Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet and putting in the street, city, and zipcode for Hyde Park and the University of Chicago. Powerful! At the end of the book there is a chase scene, and the students will really be able to visualize this section of the book. You might want to show the setting at the beginning and ask the students to write about why the person is running. After reading the novel, students could select different music to fit their impression of the book. Just mute the music in the video and allow their selection to play. Have students explain why they felt their choice fit that part of the novel better. Have students do this and vote on the musical selection they think fits best by using a tool such as Votesy, reviewed here.

This video could also be used as a prompt for a creative writing. Ask the students to listen carefully to the words in the music and connect the runner with the words, and explain why the figure is running? What might the figure be running from? Toward? Or, students could create a poem for the video, and even put the poem to music, or use the music from a favorite song for their poem. This site invites creativity and multimedia responses.

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I Am the Words and Pictures I Create - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This interdisciplinary lesson uses writing and art as a way to build a sense of community both within and outside the school. Students write and share across grade levels, and ...more
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This interdisciplinary lesson uses writing and art as a way to build a sense of community both within and outside the school. Students write and share across grade levels, and they include images and/or drawings as additional means of expression. Finally, the resulting works are collected and added to a real or virtual library. This lesson plan was one of the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored by TeachersFirst in 2002. TeachersFirst editors have since added technology options where appropriate.

tag(s): communities (38), creative writing (167), expository writing (43)

In the Classroom

Use this model of write/collaborate/share for any writing project and to build relationships across grade levels.

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Busy Teacher - busyteacher.org

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers ESL/ELL worksheets for a wide range of subjects, including pronunciation, grammar, reading, listening, writing, and speaking. With a free registration, you can search...more
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This site offers ESL/ELL worksheets for a wide range of subjects, including pronunciation, grammar, reading, listening, writing, and speaking. With a free registration, you can search for the type of worksheet you desire, including review, crosswords, games, etc. You can also submit your own worksheets for inclusion on the site. In the creative writing section of the site, there are also "ready to go" writing prompts (in addition to worksheets).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (167), descriptive writing (42), grammar review (41), listening (92), pronunciation (44), reading comprehension (124), speaking (25)

In the Classroom

This site offers multiple levels and themes, so it is easy to differentiate for ability levels and interests within your class. Peruse the many printable pages available and determine which are useful for your students. Provide this URL on your class website for students to access (for practice) at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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English Language World - Janet Castrejon

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers well-organized lessons of English to limited English speakers. There are three levels. After selecting a level, students can choose the theme of each lesson they wish...more
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This site offers well-organized lessons of English to limited English speakers. There are three levels. After selecting a level, students can choose the theme of each lesson they wish to study. Offerings include vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension, pronunciation, reading, and other types of practice. Besides complete English lessons, the site offers a word of the day and also lesson plans for teachers that correspond to the lesson themes. At the time of this review, these were only available at the beginning level. The site promises that those at the intermediate and advanced levels will be coming soon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (92), reading comprehension (124), reading strategies (50), speaking (25)

In the Classroom

Mark this site on your classroom computer for ELL/ESL students who wish to work on their English during their free time. Share this link on your class website for students to access (and practice) at home.

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Virtual Field Trip - Utah Education Network

Grades
1 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
Save hundreds of dollars spicing up your curriculum with virtual field trips! This site has "field trips" to take, instructions for creating, and resources for other virtual field trip...more
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Save hundreds of dollars spicing up your curriculum with virtual field trips! This site has "field trips" to take, instructions for creating, and resources for other virtual field trip sites. Field trips for; Career, fine arts, foreign language, health and PE, language arts, math, library, media, professional development, science, social studies, and technology are given. There is a plethora of topics - perfect for research and "virtual" travel. The topics are too broad to list all of them, but some include tessellations, dinosaurs, water cycle, medieval times, Civil War, oil painting, and much more! Receive a detailed tutorial for finding instructions on asking permission for field trips, creating virtual field trips, and evaluating the experience. No bus required! At the time of this review, three of the links under "Visit Related Sites" were not working.

tag(s): animals (297), baseball (37), biomes (105), business (58), charts and graphs (199), civil war (143), dinosaurs (54), egypt (70), field trips (13), immigrants (22), immigration (59), japan (60), maps (295), mayans (13), medieval (26), mexico (35), multiple intelligences (10), musical instruments (49), nutrition (154), olympics (49), painting (67), probability (137), religions (67), rocks (50), russia (37), sports (97), statistics (126), tessellations (6), test prep (96), virtual field trips (51), volcanoes (64), water cycle (32)

In the Classroom

Immerse your students into your studies with a close up in depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Create a personalized field trip to meet your every need with the detailed tutorials given. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global!

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iCharts - iCharts, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
iCharts creates a new place to publish online charts (with interactive info on mouse-clicks) based on public or private data. Format charts as you see fit. Share charts using Facebook...more
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iCharts creates a new place to publish online charts (with interactive info on mouse-clicks) based on public or private data. Format charts as you see fit. Share charts using Facebook or Twitter or embed them in a website or blog. Clip and save iCharts that you like into your account. You can also browse all types of interesting charts made by others.

tag(s): charts and graphs (199)

In the Classroom

This site is great for classroom work or teacher-created mapping. You will want to play with this tool before using it in class, but it is very simple to use. Use with any numerical data that is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science lab, survey, or math class, and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. In reading class, practice reading charts/graphs that accompany informational texts using the various examples here. Use for quick creation and sharing of graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) when introducing the different types to elementary students, then embed your examples on a class web page for students to revisit. Have students operate the board so their peers can see how the tool works and give each other oral directions as they problem solve together. Then make the iChart site a small group center during math class for further practice on a computer or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites for quick retrieval any time students need to make a quick chart. For student practice, have them chart time spent on homework or hobbies, choice of favorite pet, etc. Reinforce good study habits in middle school by having students make charts of their average grades or time spent on independent reading.

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The Readability Test Tool - David Simpson

Grades
1 to 12
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Test any website's readability using The Readability Test Tool. Test readability by URL or direct text input from any source (such as copy/paste of student writing). Simply enter...more
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Test any website's readability using The Readability Test Tool. Test readability by URL or direct text input from any source (such as copy/paste of student writing). Simply enter the web address (URL) and get the readability of the site on several scales. You can also check your own webpages by using the "referer" section. You will get a score for the most used readability indicators: Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease and Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, Coleman Liau Index, and Automated Readability Index (ARI). The tool also includes explanations of each scale. These tell much more than a simple "grade level."

tag(s): independent reading (130), readability (7), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to offer differentiated resources for the different reading levels in your class. At the beginning of the year, as you learn your students' capabilities, use this tool to find reading at the appropriate level to eliminate frustration. This is perfect for finding the "just right" level for your highly advanced/gifted students and those needing extra remediation. If you do discover that a website you want to use is over your students' independent reading level, you can still use it, just open Lingro, reviewed here, first; then enter the URL you want them to read. Lingro is a study aid and open content dictionary that makes all of the words (on a particular website) clickable for definitions and translation. Of course, if the sentence length or complexity is at a much higher reading level, simple word definitions will not make it "readable" for struggling readers.

Why not have students put in the URL for their blog or wiki (or simply paste in a writing sample) to see the level at which they are writing? This is one way to encourage writing as a craft and challenge students to include more varied vocabulary and sentence structure in their writing.

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SuperLame - Superlame.com

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Super-hero your images! Use this image editor to add speech and thought bubbles to photos and images. Upload your image (such as a photo from your digital camera or a ...more
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Super-hero your images! Use this image editor to add speech and thought bubbles to photos and images. Upload your image (such as a photo from your digital camera or a copyright safe image), add a text balloon, insert a sound effect (like kaboom!), and change the background or border. Save to your computer or email to yourself or others (note that the image is deleted from the website after 24 hours.)
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bulletin boards (18), comics and cartoons (64), digital storytelling (151), images (273), photography (159)

In the Classroom

This would be a great way to make comic strips using images from class! Use in any subject area and for any topic to add a twist to your digital storytelling project. Have students create a comic rather than a traditional book report. The main character or a minor character could "talk" about the book. Or have students create comic strips to go along with science topics, math concepts, historical figures, and more. Have students email you the images/comics. Share the finished products on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the saved images on a class wiki or make a student generated bulletin board of comics.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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