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Introducing the ELA Common Core - Kevin's Meandering Mind

Grades
K to 12
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View this Prezi to learn more about the focus and goals of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Among the highlights are reasons for the Common Core, shifts that ...more
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View this Prezi to learn more about the focus and goals of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Among the highlights are reasons for the Common Core, shifts that are taking place, video clips explaining WHAT the Common Core means, and where Common Core plans to go.

tag(s): commoncore (94)

In the Classroom

This Prezi is very useful for the introduction of the Common Core standards to faculty or parents. This would be a great presentation to share at faculty meetings, inservice, or even at Back to School Night (probably a short clip, not the entire presentation). Share this link on your class website for parents (and older students) to learn more about the Common Core.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Pause For Later - Pause For Later

Grades
K to 12
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Pause for Later is a browser extension that allows you to pause a YouTube, Vimeo, or Hulu video and resume playing it anywhere, anytime. You do have to download and ...more
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Pause for Later is a browser extension that allows you to pause a YouTube, Vimeo, or Hulu video and resume playing it anywhere, anytime. You do have to download and install the bookmarklet or extension. Sign up for a free account for the server to store details of your paused videos. The program also keeps a record of the videos you watch, saving you from having to bookmark or search for them later. The program has extensions or bookmarklets for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari. There is an "Action" button on the side of the video that allows you to restart from the beginning and mark it as unmarked. There are several other features. After installing the extension, you'll see a pause button in your browser. Continue your paused videos from any computer, not just the one where you paused them.

tag(s): video (254)

In the Classroom

If a video is too long to share during one class period, use this tool to pick up where you left the video. It is worthwhile to ask the techies to install it at least on your teacher machine if school machines are locked down. Share this with your students when you assign videos to be watched from home, queuing the video to the start point you want the to use. Encourage students to mark start points for videos they include in oral presentations. Save them time searching if they get interrupted while viewing. This would be a useful tool to share on your class website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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40 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
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Find ideas for using QR codes in the classroom. This slideshow is a must-see to get many unique ideas for using QR codes. Examples include adding QR codes to worksheets ...more
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Find ideas for using QR codes in the classroom. This slideshow is a must-see to get many unique ideas for using QR codes. Examples include adding QR codes to worksheets for students to check answers or to go to a video explanation for completing the worksheet. Another idea: print a QR code on a sticker and place into textbooks for students to access additional content. Add to displays or bulletin boards to make them interactive. There are many great ideas shared on this site. It is definitely worth a visit for anyone using or wanting to use QR codes in their classroom. Of course, you do need to have devices that can read the QR codes; smart phones and iTouches work well.

tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Choose one of the ideas suggested in the slideshow as a starting point for using QR codes. Try additional ideas one at a time. Share the slideshow with other teachers and split up the ideas for each to become an "expert" in one of the strategies. Share your experiences as you learn together. Challenge your students to dream up other uses for the codes. As a service project, students could create a QR code school "tour" or add QR codes for students to use while waiting in the cafeteria line to access nutrition information about today's menu.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twitter - Education Chats - Chat Scheduler

Grades
K to 12
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This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This ...more
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This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This is just the educational chats. You can find diverse chats about everything from leadership, to minimalist running enthusiasts, to 4th grade teachers, and more. You'll probably find something that piques your interest! Some of the chats occur live, but many are ongoing. Not free at a chat time? You can always read the tweets later.

tag(s): microblogging (44), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Explore the site to discover and follow educational and professional chats that match your interests and needs. Read the tweets about what is happening in other classrooms to gain some new/fresh ideas. Students in upper grades interested in a particular career or trying to find a mentor in an area of interest could use this. You may want to preview and pick out certain hashtags for your student(s). Want to know more about Twitter? See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Widbook - Flavio Aguiar

Grades
K to 12
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Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others...more
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Write, read, and share digital books with Widbook. Create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. You can rearrange content on pages and upload images, etc. Invite others to make contributions to your books. Create a profile on the site to begin your book or collaborate with others (or you can skip this step). Books you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook members can add content and or comments to your books. You can change setting to allow comments and additions on a book or not. Likewise, you can search for others' books and contribute to their books. The only way to share your books is with others logged into Widbook or other social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest).

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), expository writing (44), paragraph writing (17), persuasive writing (55), process writing (42), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Create books on any subject for your students to review or learn. Set up a whole class account or use individual accounts with those 13 and older if school policy allows it. Challenge students to create a book as a multi-media presentation instead of a typical book report. This would be great to use for a student/star of the week presentation. Each week add a student's information. Do this together as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a link (and log in) on classroom computers for students to view the book when they wish. Use this tool for groups to collaborate on science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool with a whole class account, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. Have students create a book as an end of the year culminatng/review project.

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Cropp.me - imagga

Grades
4 to 12
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Crop and resize your images using this online tool. Upload your images and select the desired size. There are several predefined sizes to choose from: an avatar image, gallery thumbnail,...more
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Crop and resize your images using this online tool. Upload your images and select the desired size. There are several predefined sizes to choose from: an avatar image, gallery thumbnail, Facebook timeline cover image, or you can select a custom size (width and height) for your particular purpose. Crop up to 5 images simultaneously. The site detects the most interesting part of each image to use when cropping. Adjust the placement as needed. When finished, select images to keep and download to your computer.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Quickly and easily crop pictures and images to any desired size for use in projects and presentations. Share with students to use with projects and presentations for making images uniform in size.
 

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CurriConnects Book List: USA Regional Books - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Discover books about each of the fifty United States and selected U.S. regions. Move beyond state facts and immerse readers of any age in the life of a state or ...more
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Discover books about each of the fifty United States and selected U.S. regions. Move beyond state facts and immerse readers of any age in the life of a state or region. This extensive list is sorted by state, with books listed in ascending level "bands" within each state. Listings include ESL/ELL and Lexile'''® levels so every student can read successfully.

tag(s): book lists (128), states (162)

In the Classroom

Go beyond state "reports" to state experiences by encouraging students to select independent reading books. Looking for more information about the states? For history, economics, facts, famous people, and sights to see in each state, try TeachersFirst's 50 States, the perfect complement to these independent reading selections. Even younger students would enjoy a "tour" of the states using some of the easier books on this list. Maybe have a read-aloud tour featuring one or two states per week throughout the school year.

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Seymour Simon: Award Winning Children's Author - Seymour Simon

Grades
2 to 8
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Seymour Simon's author site is the perfect compliment to his many award-winning non-fiction books (almost 300). Presented in many formats, content appeals to many learners. Use this...more
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Seymour Simon's author site is the perfect compliment to his many award-winning non-fiction books (almost 300). Presented in many formats, content appeals to many learners. Use this site with those who learn from text, images, or hands-on. Free enrollment in the site allows access to many features such as teacher guides and resources, project ideas, and discussion boards. Other areas of the site for adults include videos, an interactive science dictionary, and searches for any science topic. Be sure to check out the Science News area under the kids portion of the site. Labels range from Alana G (their 10-year-old environmental blogger) all the way to Writing Wednesday. Also check out the informational bio of Seymour Simon and the FAQ which answers questions on many of his book topics. If interested, you can also request a school visit or Skype session with the author!

tag(s): animals (276), brain (72), butterflies (13), earth (228), earthquakes (48), environment (317), human body (121), hurricanes (35), insects (69), light (46), oceans (148), planets (123), plants (145), solar system (119), spiders (10), stars (61), sun (71), tornadoes (16), volcanoes (61), weather (188), whales (16)

In the Classroom

Enroll on the site using your email address. Access and use teacher guides along with Seymour Simon books during Guided or Independent Reading. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to learn more about the author and watch ebooks. Share Seymour Simon's bio with students when using his books as part of a non-fiction unit -- perfect for Common Core informational texts! Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to explain or review any of Seymour Simon's books or articles from the Science blog. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here) to create the avatars. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore items such as the Science Dictionary or read and discuss items from the Science News.
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Playfic - Andy Baio and Cooper McHatton

Grades
4 to 12
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Create interactive, text-based games with this simple tool. Perhaps you remember a text-based game called "Adventure" from back in the early days of computers. Be sure to watch the...more
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Create interactive, text-based games with this simple tool. Perhaps you remember a text-based game called "Adventure" from back in the early days of computers. Be sure to watch the tutorial on the home page that also teaches you how to navigate the stories themselves. By clicking on the "Learn More" when you're signed out, or the "About Us" when you're signed in, you can view the "cheat sheet" that will certainly make your first creative attempt at Playfic more enjoyable. Experiment with Playfic games created by others and time yourself. if you get stuck, you can look at the source code. Create your own Playfic for any topic that interests you, whether it's fiction or not. Note that there is no moderation on games created by others, so preview before sharing with young people.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), digital storytelling (144), gamification (65), mysteries (25), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

"Gamification" of learning is a hot topic in 21st century learning. Use this simple tool to make it happen. Use for any digital storytelling: fact or fiction. In social studies, have students create an interactive game based on life during the Depression or any historic era. Have them create a "Where in the world is ..." for geography. World language students could make a simple game (in the language they are studying) about daily life. Gifted students will love creating games on their favorite topics, so make this a research-and-create-a-game approach for independent projects. Science students could make a game about what might happen in certain weather or life as a fossil. Have your language arts students create mystery or survival stories or even a different ending to a story you've read together. Warning: all stories are PUBLIC and your students will be able to view other's stories. You'll either want to have a class account or monitor this closely.

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Aven's Corner - Preschool Educational Games - Billy Collins

Grades
K to 2
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Aven's Corner is designed by a father as a resource for activities for his autistic son. Find fun and entertaining games and coloring pages for preschoolers and children with special...more
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Aven's Corner is designed by a father as a resource for activities for his autistic son. Find fun and entertaining games and coloring pages for preschoolers and children with special needs. Explore the activity archives to find simple activities to do with young children such as celebrating National Pink Day or taking a number walk. Visit the parent resources portion of the site to read a definition of autism and view a checklist of symptoms. Be sure to check out the Comix creator; use the drag and drop feature to add backgrounds, animals, shapes, and more to your own unique creations. When finished, print, save, or publish your Comix using the links on the page. Publishing requires giving the author's name and a comic title. Some of the pages are slightly slow loading, so a little patience is required (another skill for children to build).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), autism (22), comics and cartoons (74), literacy (103), phonics (75), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Share this site with special needs teachers, parents of autistic students, or speech teachers. Activities are not just for autistic children. All young learners can benefit from the activities such as popping letter bubbles. Create a link on classroom computers and use as a learning center. Create a Comix creation as a class on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) when creating a class story. Use the Comix feature on your whiteboard to retell a story using the images provided.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teach Preschool - Promoting Excellence in Early Childhood Education - Deborah J. Stewart

Grades
K to 2
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Teach Preschool is a delightful blog filled with activities for teaching preschoolers (and primary grades). Updated often, the blog articles include activities, classroom images, and...more
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Teach Preschool is a delightful blog filled with activities for teaching preschoolers (and primary grades). Updated often, the blog articles include activities, classroom images, and practical suggestions. Choose from topics for exploration including: Powered by Play, Exploring Books, or Exploring Art. Use the search bar to look for specific content, explore recent posts, or browse monthly archives. Another way to explore is using the icons on the left side of the page. Although geared toward preschool, this site is worth a visit for anyone interested in educating young children.
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tag(s): alphabet (92), counting (119), density (21), dental health (23), numbers (203), phonics (75), plants (145), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Search the site for ideas. Save them to your Pinterest account (reviewed here) to find for later use. Bookmark the site as a resource for teaching ideas. Subscribe to this blog via Facebook, Twitter, or email to receive the latest blog updates.

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PDFescape - Red Software

Grades
K to 12
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Use this site to be able to edit PDF documents. It is free and easy to use. Upload your PDF document or link to an existing online PDF. Add additional ...more
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Use this site to be able to edit PDF documents. It is free and easy to use. Upload your PDF document or link to an existing online PDF. Add additional text or free hand writing. Create drawings or add images. You can create PDFs, edit PDFs, fill-out existing PDFs, save/print PDFs, and more. When finished, download the final product. No sign up is required to use most features. If you must complete entry forms, applications, or otehr pdf forms, this tool can be a lifesaver.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Use to alter documents that may have been saved as a PDF in the past. Save this site in your professional resources. If you work with students who request college recommendations or need to fill out forms for scholarships or jobs, be sure to share this tool with them!
 

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Crickweb Learning Games Grade 3-5 - Crickweb

Grades
2 to 6
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Discover over 100 online interactives for practicing elementary skills from reading, math, and more at Crickweb. Featured offerings are on the main page, including practicing basic...more
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Discover over 100 online interactives for practicing elementary skills from reading, math, and more at Crickweb. Featured offerings are on the main page, including practicing basic math skills of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. Choose additional activities from the bar labeled Key Stage 2 located near the top of the page. This drop-down box provides additional games divided into categories from literacy through French and Spanish. Activities include easy to follow directions and instant feedback for responses. Note that this site uses British spelling!
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tag(s): addition (250), dental health (23), division (172), earth (228), food chains (22), habitats (84), human body (121), life cycles (25), light (46), magnetism (36), map skills (79), matter (58), multiplication (227), parts of speech (68), rivers (21), rocks (49), spelling (168), subtraction (207), sun (71)

In the Classroom

Use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a whole class activity or for a learning center. Create a link to games on classroom computers for students to practice while at centers or during free time. Share this site for at-home practice through your classroom newsletter or blog.
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Slide.ly - EasyHi

Grades
7 to 12
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Easily create a slideshow of your photos! Simply upload your photos or pull your Flickr, Instagram, or Facebook photos into your slideshow. Create beautiful slideshows by adding music...more
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Easily create a slideshow of your photos! Simply upload your photos or pull your Flickr, Instagram, or Facebook photos into your slideshow. Create beautiful slideshows by adding music and then sharing them with others. Connect all the accounts that you use for your photos. Click on the photos from any of your sources to be included in your slideshow. Drag your photos around to put them in the order you want. Add music to the show by using YouTube videos or SoundCloud music. Finish by adding a few effects to your show to liven it up a bit. Embed the slideshow on your site or share it on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or Facebook easily. There are public slideshows created by others on this site. Some may not be appropriate for the classroom setting so please preview..

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), images (266), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Use to create educational videos and projects to introduce and interest students in a topic. Use to generate questions prior to the discussion of topics. Create a multi-image slideshow where students brainstorm how the images are all connected. Students can use Slide.ly to create projects for class. Be sure to add the link to your blog, wiki, or site for easy access when needing a tool for projects.

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Wix - Giora Kaplan, Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami

Grades
7 to 12
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Wix makes creating your own website EASY! Wix has over 100 visually rich templates for you to choose. Or you may choose a blank template and upload your own material. ...more
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Wix makes creating your own website EASY! Wix has over 100 visually rich templates for you to choose. Or you may choose a blank template and upload your own material. The easy, "drag and drop" elements allow even the novice technology user to create their own website. Choose to have your website in Flash or HTML. Wix does all the work for either of these. Choose from 100s of images, fonts, menus, music files, buttons, and widgets, or upload your own. There are video tutorials that will take you from beginner to website designer in 8 steps!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88), game based learning (103), gamification (65), portfolios (28), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Your students, 13 and over, may register by email if you want them to create a page to present a project, or for club web pages. Use a whole class account for students under 13. This program would be nice for developing student portfolios, small group presentations, even journals about career research. Create a Wix website page to publish biographical information about any historical figure in any subject area. Use Wix to create pages about characters in a novel. Create pages about scientists and their contributions including reactions of others to their discovery or invention. Research why these inventions were particularly important and the scientific knowledge that changed as a result. Create a page about artists, musicians, politicians, etc. using the same guidelines as above with scientists. Challenge students to step into the person's character to create an informative understanding about the person and their contribution. In upper elementary grades, have all students generate a starter page offline about a famous person (or people) you are studying. Then vote on one to publish as a class using this online tool. Have teens begin a "Me" portfolio in middle grades, one that they can continue to develop as they approach college and/or career. Encourage them to showcase links to online projects, favorite images they have taken or created, artwork, music, writing samples, and personal interests. This is the ideal way to build a positive digital footprint that students can actually use well into the future. If you teach gifted students, encourage them to add suitable projects from your class to their portfolio site, especially projects that involve connections with the "real world."

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CurriConnects Book List: Immigrants and Immigration - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books about immigrants, immigration, and the American immigrant experience. Include this list while studying Ellis Island, periods of immigration,...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books about immigrants, immigration, and the American immigrant experience. Include this list while studying Ellis Island, periods of immigration, or multiculturalism in the U.S. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (128), immigrants (20), immigration (58)

In the Classroom

Allow students to select books at their own level to understand immigrants and how their own ancestors may have felt upon arriving in the U.S. Perhaps have them write a blog post as if they had just arrived. Have students meet in literature circles as they discuss these books or hold an immigration day where students share the experiences they have read and how immigrants contribute to the many cultures in the U.S.

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CurriConnects Book List: Civil War and Slavery - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects list features books about the U.S. Civil War and slavery. This is a great match for student independent reading during units about the Civil War at any grade ...more
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This CurriConnects list features books about the U.S. Civil War and slavery. This is a great match for student independent reading during units about the Civil War at any grade level. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (128), civil war (145), slavery (72), underground railroad (11)

In the Classroom

As you study the Civil War and slavery, let students select books from this collection of fiction and historical fiction. As we honor and move beyond the 150th anniversary of many Civil War events, what better way for students to make a more personal connection to the people who lived during those tumultuous times.

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CurriConnects Book List: The Way Things Work - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects list offers books about science applied in the real world. Read about the how and why of the way things work. Some fiction, and some non-fiction, all the ...more
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This CurriConnects list offers books about science applied in the real world. Read about the how and why of the way things work. Some fiction, and some non-fiction, all the books will appeal to your curiosity and inspire young designers and engineers. This list includes books for all grade levels. This is a great match during units on scientific method or scientists or simply as a way to promote STEM. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your school does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (128), engineering (125), scientists (69), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Have students choose a book they can connect to concepts you are studying in science class or have them choose a book of interest and generate a list of the questions they would like to learn about after reading the book. The non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework.

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We Read - WeRead.org

Grades
K to 3
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We Read is a website designed to help adults teach and encourage children to read. Information is presented in a clear and easy to read manner. Choose a topic such ...more
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We Read is a website designed to help adults teach and encourage children to read. Information is presented in a clear and easy to read manner. Choose a topic such as planning reading sessions. View specific plans for sessions with non-readers and early readers for specific times for sessions and appropriate activities. Other interesting topics include the Parents' Corner, Reading Skills, and information on Reading Logs. Although very simple, this site is an excellent resource for anyone beginning to work with early readers. The site includes links to helpful resources from many other places on the web.

tag(s): literacy (103), parents (56), preK (281), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

Share information from this site with classroom volunteers and parents or use information to add to literature you distribute at Meet the Teacher/Back to School night or conferences. The Planning Reading Sessions information may be especially useful to share with parents as a framework for reading at home. Include a link to this site on your class website or blog as a resource for parents to use when reading at home with their child.

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Drama in the ESL Classroom - Jessica Davis

Grades
2 to 12
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Find a wealth of resources for using drama in the ESL/ELL classroom. The same activities can also be useful for other subjects. The improvisation resources are especially exciting,...more
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Find a wealth of resources for using drama in the ESL/ELL classroom. The same activities can also be useful for other subjects. The improvisation resources are especially exciting, offering definitions, examples of activities, links, and visual examples of how you can use improvisational techniques. In addition, information and activities on using plays, process drama, and reader's theater for language teaching abound. Use play writing for another aspect of language teaching. There is a complete curriculum for offering an independent class in drama for ESL/ELL students. Although this site may appear plain vanilla, there are sprinkles throughout, making this tool very valuable and informative.

tag(s): acting (27), creative writing (166), plays (37)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for group projects like having the students write and produce their own play(s). This is a great find for gifted students as well as students studying any modern language as the play writing and acting techniques can easily be adapted. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos of the plays they write and produce. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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