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TeachersFirst's Oil Spill Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused by these environmental disasters. As students read and see images of animals, be aware that younger students may have more questions than they can explain.

tag(s): disasters (39), environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use these resources together with your class to help students find ways they can contribute to a greater good after such a devastating event spreads across the news. Extend the opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to legislators or the editor), careers in environmental science, and more.

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Mix Book - Andrew Laffoon

Grades
K to 12
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously...more
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Enhance digital storytelling and classroom-publishing techniques with Mixbook. This web 2.0 creating tool lets students collaboratively create beautiful books. Users can simultaneously insert photos, text, and edit from separate computers. Authors can select from a wide variety of thematic designs, layout options, stickers, and backgrounds or design their own. Upload personal photos, scanned illustrations, or free public domain images directly into the image library. Inserting photos is a simple, intuitive process that requires a click and drag. The text comes in a variety of font options, and sizes. A complete transcript of the writing appears below the book. Viewers can enjoy the reading the book without needless advertising or redirection to another site. It is also possible to copy a book and easily create a customized edition for individual students. There is always the option to purchase books directly from the Mixbook. Go directly to this site and immediately create your masterpiece.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (145), ebooks (42)

In the Classroom

Use Mixbook to create collaborative projects, yearbooks, or to give writers workshop publishing a professional flare. History teachers may enjoy letting students photograph a re-enactment of a scene from the past and then write accompanying text. Combine yearly research reports with this multimedia option. Have students create collaborative projects that access fantastic photography collections from sites such as the Library of Congress . Primary school teachers can photograph student illustrations of familiar songs, poems, or rhymes and create "class" books. Project these books onto an interactive whiteboard or projector and revolutionize shared reading. Create parent education books that communicate how to help with their student's reading at home, or explain the stages of project-based learning. Students can also author books in a foreign language. Mixbook is useful for all areas of the school curriculum. Remember to embed student books into the school website for family and friends at home to enjoy.

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WinkBall - WinkBall

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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 (46)

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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Common Core State Standards - Common Core State Standards Initiative Team

Grades
K to 12
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set...more
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set of educational standards which aligns benchmarks and expectations across state lines. This system builds on what states are already doing by providing an opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and lessons, while maintaining high expectations that insure the quality of education across America to enable our students to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy.

Visit this website to find out exactly what the national K-12 standards are for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technology, as well as mathematics, and to find out if your state is one many states (at the time of this review) that have already committed to adopt the Common Core State Standards. Watch videos and the recorded webinar, and read about the key points and rigorous curriculum standards, including the content and skills related to the use of media and technology for critical analysis and production.

tag(s): commoncore (94)

In the Classroom

Take a look at exemplars and sample performance tasks and students' writing to consider how you can integrate these ideas into your own planning to prepare students for the growing challenges of today's world. You can also sign up to receive updates via email. For more information about the Common Core and implementing it in your classes, see TeachersFirst's Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction, a Q/A article for elementary teachers, and TeachersFirst's resources tagged Common Core for many helpful sites.
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September 11 Teacher Awards - Tribute World Trade Center Organization

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York ...more
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York City presents awards to honor teachers who have created exemplary educational projects for students to express and sustain the memory of September 11th. This site shares their projects from the globe and involving all aspects of the arts and humanities, including history, language arts, visual, media and performing arts. Although this site is mainly designed for grades 5-12, there are some activities for younger elementary students found in the "Resources for Your Classroom" section of the site.

tag(s): sept11 (21), terrorism (49), terrorist (16), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Use these award winning ideas to commemorate September 11 in a lesson to demonstrate unity or build worldwide understanding. Use the concepts as a springboard to a collaborative project. Ideas vary from sending chains of origami cranes as a wish for peace, composing and singing a song for unity with an online tool such as Woices (beta) reviewed here), writing letters to local politicians, creating poems and transforming them into digital videos or multimedia presentations using ThingLink, reviewed here, or taking responsibility for the environment while creating a sense of community by planting gardens. Choose from many ways to inspire students to recognize the importance of September 11 and to involve them in working together to become a more tolerant society. You might be so amazed with the results that you will want to submit your students' projects to be considered for next year's Tribute Center September 11th Teacher Awards. The annual award ceremony takes place on February 26, to commemorate the 1993 first attack on the World Trade Center.
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September 11 Timeline of Events - Tribute World Trade Center Organization

Grades
4 to 12
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This tribute to 9/11 is a series of interactive photographs that highlights the episodes that transpired from shortly after 8:00 a.m. when the American Airlines flight was hijacked...more
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This tribute to 9/11 is a series of interactive photographs that highlights the episodes that transpired from shortly after 8:00 a.m. when the American Airlines flight was hijacked and struck the first tower of the World Trade Center, to the aftermath when the pile of debris that was once the Twin Towers became flooded with volunteer rescue workers doing the indescribable heroic work of helping the surviving victims and recovering the remains of the human lives that were destroyed. Move your curser over the photographs to read actual descriptions from flight attendants, survivors, firefighters, family members and others who were part of tragic history in the making. This is an opportunity to "relive" that day, almost minute by minute, as if you were actually there.

tag(s): sept11 (21), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Display this pictorial interactive September 11th timeline of the attack on the World Trade Center on your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard. After reading real accounts of what happened, have students work with a partner to create podcasts (news broadcasts, mock interviews with survivors and others involved, or even a student perspective of how that day changed the United States forever). Have students create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Alternatively, have them narrate an image using ThingLink, reviewed here.
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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 (26)

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!
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TeachersFirst's September 11 Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can see the events of September 11 in connection with history, current events, and the challenges and balances of national security. Whether you stop to observe September 11 separately from your regular curriculum or include it through curricular connections to writing and social studies topics, these resources can help today's students imagine the events of a day before their memory but ever present in the American consciousness.

tag(s): terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Include one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.

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NEN Gallery - National Education Network

Grades
K to 12
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having...more
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having to register or create an account. Registration is necessary for the uploading of files. Moderators review all content on the site before posting. Registered users can store content in separate online albums. Search the site's resources by keyword, subject, instructional age, or phrase. The site originates from the United Kingdom so you may notice some spelling differences from American English. The gallery files reflect this particular geographic location, history, culture and language. The rights and permissions say they "may be downloaded and used for Educational Purposes only. This includes the editing and repurposing of these resources for use in education" (NOT commercial use). (See Teachers >> Further info to learn more.)

tag(s): animals (276), architecture (84), england (57), fashion (10), medieval (27), plants (145), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Bring history lessons about the 20th century alive by reviewing World War II photographs, videos, and interviews with survivors from the United Kingdom. Then ask your class to upload photographs of artifacts, people, film clips or conduct interviewers with survivors in their own community. Record the interview with a site such as Vocaroo reviewed here. Compare and contrast the experiences of both groups during the War. Have students in family and consumer science research fashion, clothing, food, and/or drink from various locations and time periods. Enrich an anticipatory set about William Shakespeare with photographs of his birthplace, Macduff's castle, the Globe Theatre, and his cottage in Stratford. Younger children will enjoy the numerous digital images of animals and antique toys. Prepare a series of topic albums for students to access and use for research by using the sites "My Album" feature.

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Story Bee - Story Bee

Grades
K to 12
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Listen to professional storytellers weave their tales. Story Bee contains hundreds of stories (with audio) for a wide range of age groups (ages 4-18). The genre includes; myths, legends,...more
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Listen to professional storytellers weave their tales. Story Bee contains hundreds of stories (with audio) for a wide range of age groups (ages 4-18). The genre includes; myths, legends, folktales, fairy tales, and some of the storytellers own original work. The audio files come in mp3 format and will require a media player. The site lists the names of all participating artists and their email addresses. If you are using a Mac, Story Bee works best in FireFox.

tag(s): creativity (109), literature (275), maps (288), narrative (24)

In the Classroom

Witness great storytelling techniques in action. Discuss these techniques with your students. How do storytellers use their voices to convey mood, tone, emotion, and sound? How can storytellers use descriptive language to paint a picture in the mind of the listener? How can onomatopoeias and sensory imagery make stories come alive? What can students infer from a story based on tone and verbal expression? What lessons and morals do some stories imply? Encourage visualization by asking students to sketch story events, create portraits of characters, or paint the setting. With younger children, help them learn to identify character, problem, and setting. Discuss story sequence and plots common to folk tales. Diagram how a circle story plot starts and ends in the same place. Search for stories that contain common themes of self-acceptance, friendship, transformation, or personal journeys. Let students use individual computers to listen (with headphones) to the stories.

After examining stories told on Story Bee, have students create and practice their own storytelling skills. Demonstrate how to compose modern versions of familiar tales, or retell family stories and recent events. Use plot diagrams to assist in the organization of their own stories. Record and share class stories with tools such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their stories by using sites such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Help students create a checklist or rubric to use for self-evaluation or peer review. Use this same document to help students make constructive suggestions for story revisions. Post a link to Story Bee on your class web page or wiki so that students can access it both in and out of class.
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Wikimedia Commons - Wkimedia Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using ...more
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using the same technology as Wikipedia, you can edit, upload, and embed media file projects into any Wikimedia project. Every media file comes with a description, name of the author and complete licensing details. Search for videos, images, or sound media by keyword, content categories, nature, science, or society. This is an amazing resource to use when searching for any multimedia content.

tag(s): creative commons (21)

In the Classroom

Address the needs of the visual learner and include media files as part of the research process. Wikipedia Commons offers a way for students to gain an understanding of content through images, sounds, and video. Give students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge by narrating a slideshow of images found on Wikipedia Commons or create multimedia presentations on a site such as Glogster (reviewed here). These free media files will also help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. This site is a valuable resource for imagery useful when creating presentations, lectures, digital stories, reports or to include on a class websites. Students learning a foreign language may benefit from using Wikipedia Commons to learn about more about the culture and lifestyle of the country whose language they are studying.

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Edit Dan's Copy - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Reporter Dan needs help editing his news reports. Students can choose Level 1 for capital letters and final punctuation or Level 2 for run-on sentences, quotation marks, and apostrophes....more
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Reporter Dan needs help editing his news reports. Students can choose Level 1 for capital letters and final punctuation or Level 2 for run-on sentences, quotation marks, and apostrophes. Students need to retype the entire sentence using correct punctuation and capitalization. Walk through this site with students prior to putting them on independently. This site provides a lot of keyboard practice and may require some comfortability with a keyboard.

tag(s): capitalization (19), grammar (216), punctuation (43), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

Use this site as additional independent practice during center time or have students work in pairs to edit the sentences together. Place the site on an interactive white board or projector and correct the sentences during whole-group work time. This would be a great Opening activity for the start of the school day.
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Clean Up Your Grammar - Scholastic

Grades
1 to 4
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Trash is floating onto the beach and needs to be sorted into the appropriate trash bins with this fun grammar interactive. Students simply click and drag to sort the trash ...more
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Trash is floating onto the beach and needs to be sorted into the appropriate trash bins with this fun grammar interactive. Students simply click and drag to sort the trash into either the Noun bin or the Verb bin. Choose from Level 1 or Level 2. If you have a successful "dump," the result is a colorful song reward. An error results in a slightly different sound, but the focus of the site is decidedly positive, rewarding students for what they do correctly. This is a very simple site for students to use independently.

tag(s): grammar (216), grammar review (37), parts of speech (68)

In the Classroom

This user-friendly site can be utilized during center time, or for individual or pairs of students in a lab, as a skill reinforcer. Students can use the site as a lesson review, supplemental practice or enrichment. Demonstrate the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try it out themselves.
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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 (103)

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.
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Kinder Site - Joel Josephson & Ziv Avidor

Grades
K to 6
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This international, award winning site provides a large collection of games, stories and songs for pre-school and kindergarten age children. They are beginning to extend similar services...more
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This international, award winning site provides a large collection of games, stories and songs for pre-school and kindergarten age children. They are beginning to extend similar services for children age seven to twelve. English Language learners may be able to access the site in their primary language as the site is available in seven languages. Some stories, songs, and games on the English speaking site are in Spanish. You can search for material by age, content, or by "educational," "playability," or "fun" value. Save appropriate activities on your "my page" for future use. There are some advertisements and a few video ads before interactive activities meant for older students. Ignore the advertising; the site content is worth it. Every link and site on Kindersite conforms to "Department of Children, Schools and Families" (UK) guidelines for safe sites for children.

Kindersite collaborates with outside institutions to develop educational projects that compile resources, generate new curriculum models, create training materials, and implement teacher-training seminars. Researchers can gather user data from Kindersite that represents varying population sizes, geographical groupings, and languages.

General Tips and Reminders: Some sites originate from the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. There is some advertising on the right side of the page. Some links may direct students to sites that also contain advertising. Warn your students to avoid them.

tag(s): literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Invigorate shared reading with Kindersite's songs and stories. View the colorful illustration and text on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Some stories and songs highlight the tracking of words. Other sites provide character voices when you click the text in quotations. The animation will definitely engage everyone even those who wiggle on the carpet. Differentiate computer centers with the "my page" function. Save interactive tasks that target the instructional needs of students. Make a shortcut to the "my page" site collections on classroom computers and use it as a center. Be sure to take advantage of the professional resources Kindersites provides as well. Post a link to this site on your school website for parents to access at home.
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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 (108)

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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Literacyhead - Jan Burkins

Grades
K to 5
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Literacyhead is an online literary magazine that provides creative inspiration for teaching reading, writing, and higher order thinking. They provide teachers a literacy curriculum...more
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Literacyhead is an online literary magazine that provides creative inspiration for teaching reading, writing, and higher order thinking. They provide teachers a literacy curriculum that promotes creativity and critical thought. Every two weeks Literacyhead publishes a new issue that focuses on either a children's book author, writing, or reading comprehension strategy or open ended literary theme. Their lessons are not prescriptive or ordinary and always include the visual arts. Each issue is broken up into 14 components. Two of the main features are The "Art of Teaching Writing" and "The Art of Teaching Reading." The writing section contains a lesson perfect for writer's workshop. Funny cartoons introduce the week's literacy theme. They recommend author mentor texts and suggest independent writing practice objectives. The book titles they suggest come with discussion prompts to guide reading instruction before, during, or after a read aloud. Visual vocabulary illustrations serve as definitions for key terms. Explore the other wonderful features such as literacy coaching tips, and writing stARTs. Literacyhead's current weekly issue is free but there is an optional membership fee that provides access to previous issues. Sign up for their free bi-weekly newsletter for new issue alerts.

tag(s): creativity (109), literacy (103), writers workshop (31)

In the Classroom

Reach out to the artists and visual learners in your class. ESL/ELL instructors will find the gorgeous graphics and "visual vocabulary" a fantastic way to communicate concepts to second language learners. Literacyhead will spark ideas for instruction that address the diverse learning styles in classrooms today. Use this site to help students draw connections between text, and prompt thoughtful conversations. Ask students to create their own "visual vocabulary" illustrations. Download the free graphic organizers. This site offers reproducible graphic tools to reinforce comprehension and writing strategies but also some meant to develop critical and creative thought. Share this site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support students.
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Voices in the Dark - Sean Puckett and Dawn Keenan

Grades
K to 12
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The website "Voices in the Dark" is a source for audio recordings of classic novels, legends, poems, and essays. There are approximately 150 ageless titles such as Charles Dickens's...more
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The website "Voices in the Dark" is a source for audio recordings of classic novels, legends, poems, and essays. There are approximately 150 ageless titles such as Charles Dickens's "Christmas Carol" and Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Each audiobook comes with an accompanying text transcript and are typically short. Receive regular updates by subscribing to their syndication feeds through RSS or podcasts. The audio files come in both low and high bitrates MP3 files that will match your computer's storage space and Internet bandwidth capabilities.

tag(s): fluency (23), literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Engage your class in real world learning while building fluency and reading skills. "Voices in the Dark" is always looking for people to contribute to their on-line library of audio books. Consider having your class submit an audio recording of their own to the collection. First choose a genre to focus on such as Fairy Tales or Aesop Fables. Review the page that contains directions on how to select stories, create a recording, and submit work. There is a list of links full of public domain books from which to choose. They provide tips on how to record your reading and directions on how to submit your work. Sites such as Audio Pal reviewed here may be helpful in creating your recordings. Of course, check with your administrator before attempting this project and obtain parent permission before sharing or posting student work.

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Tooth Tally - Lynda Smith

Grades
K to 2
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Are your students loosing the same number of teeth as children in other parts of the world? Seize the moment and embark on a global collaborative tooth tally project. Students ...more
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Are your students loosing the same number of teeth as children in other parts of the world? Seize the moment and embark on a global collaborative tooth tally project. Students will learn how to gather data and share their findings with an international community of peers. This project intertwines math skills, storytelling, geography, and descriptive writing. The creator Lynda Smith requires that teachers join her wiki and register for the project by February 1. The wiki is where participants post all class work, photos, data, and comments.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (148), dental health (23)

In the Classroom

This site is a good way to embark on global collaborative projects with your class. Lynda Smith provides lesson ideas, clear directions, newsletter updates, handouts, and links for further enrichment. All participants collaborate on a small group of set activities such as keeping personal lost tooth tally, creating a class graph of lost teeth and drawing a tooth fairy. In addition to this, the "Teachers" page lists other possible activities and posts free resources. Consider integrating how to use Google Earth reviewed here. Have students locate where other participants go to school. Compare and contrast how their environment looks similar or different from your own school. This is a perfect unit Dental Health Month (February). Be sure to get parent permission before posting any student work on this sharing site.
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Grabba Beast - Tangible Worldwide

Grades
K to 12
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Grabba Beast lets you build your own beast. It is similar to Mr. Potato Head (with some additional art elements). Students will enjoy choosing from an extensive library of body ...more
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Grabba Beast lets you build your own beast. It is similar to Mr. Potato Head (with some additional art elements). Students will enjoy choosing from an extensive library of body types and parts and then assembling them into a repulsive, darling, or absurd beast. Viewers can build their own beast, edit those belonging to other users, or generate a completely random creation. Fully grown beasts can either stay in their on-line gallery, turn into an ecard, change into desktop wallpaper, or travel to a social networking site. Saving the beast requires a student to enter their name but does not ask for additional information beyond that. Using a pseudonym might be a good alternative to real names. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online gallery. Unfortunately, it is not possible to download the beast as a decent size JPG. Grabba Beast in the winner of both the "Best of Entertainment" and "Best of Show" 2010 WebVisionary Awards. This site is just plain fun (and educational)!

tag(s): creativity (109)

In the Classroom

Grabba Beast offers an opportunity to improve the imaginary talent of students and stimulate their ability to produce several creative ideas. The site provides the opportunity to continually modify and change beasts. This demonstrates to students that new ideas often originate from combining of materials and characteristics in different ways. Have students describe the attributes of their monster, create a character profile, or write clues to help others identify their beast. Push student's creative abilities even further by asking them to adjust their monster so that it can perform various tasks. You can also have them create beasts that fit mythical environments through adaptations, thus reinforcing science concepts creatively. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops.
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