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Activity of the Month - Dr. Jean

Grades
K to 1
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This site offers a list of monthly "newsletters" full of teaching ideas and parenting tips/suggestions. Each months activities reflect the seasons and their special holidays. Many...more
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This site offers a list of monthly "newsletters" full of teaching ideas and parenting tips/suggestions. Each months activities reflect the seasons and their special holidays. Many activities include letters, words, and book activities. Besides the basic activity, quite a few of the monthly offerings include downloadable books to print and use, original song lyrics, and links to other related websites. This site is great to use with young ESL/ELL students too who need lots of fun reinforcement with learning the alphabet and pre-reading skills. This site includes many math activities as well.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (43), literacy (107), poetry (221), preK (291), seasons (38), songs (52)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who trying to encourage the habit of reading and handling books.

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Follow the Peach - Roald Dahl Nominee Limited/Quentin Blake

Grades
2 to 6
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Follow that Peach! celebrates the 50th anniversary of James and the Giant Peach. This site extends the Roald Dahl book by sending the peach on further adventures around the world. ...more
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Follow that Peach! celebrates the 50th anniversary of James and the Giant Peach. This site extends the Roald Dahl book by sending the peach on further adventures around the world. With Follow that Peach! you can send a virtual peach or download a paper Peach-gram to send through the mail.

tag(s): authors (121), literature (271)

In the Classroom

This site provides a great way for you to extend your literature unit and to bring in geography and math. Send both a virtual and paper peach. Have students calculate how far each peach has traveled. Hang a world map and have students mark each place the peach has visited. At the end of the project have students choose a place that their peach visited and do a presentation on their place of choice. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Teachers and librarians be sure to check out the teacher tips sections.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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WordSift - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 12
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify ...more
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. After entering text several items will appear, first a word cloud will display the 50 most frequently used words in the text. The most frequently used word will display as a word web in a visual thesaurus. Google image and video search results are also shown. One interesting feature is the ability to click on any of the words in the word cloud to display it in the thesaurus and Google image and video searches. A great way to understand the WordSift tool is to try one of the sample texts offered, such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Be sure to check out the "About" link to discover many ideas for use in the classroom. Tips and videos are also available as guides. If you type in a shorter sentence, the site still creates a word cloud using their own related words (not in your original text). Be aware of the advertisements that appear with the word clouds. Advise students not to click on the ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (57), reading comprehension (121), reading strategies (49), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (128), word clouds (11), word study (78)

In the Classroom

This is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.

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Little Lilly Polka Dot - Wendy Grimm

Grades
K to 1
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This site offers several resources for early readers including alphabet learning tools, number matches, and a story book. In Learning Tools, students roll over letters of the alphabet...more
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This site offers several resources for early readers including alphabet learning tools, number matches, and a story book. In Learning Tools, students roll over letters of the alphabet to hear the letter names (turn up the speakers). The games portion has a very simple number puzzle to put numbers 1-4 into place. The activities section has printable coloring pages. Be sure to check out the book, a story about Lilly Polka Dot and her fear of going to the doctor. The book provides audio or the sound can be turned off for someone else to read.

tag(s): alphabet (87), numbers (195), phonics (71)

In the Classroom

Share the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a health unit for students to learn that going to the doctor isn't scary. Create links to the alphabet and number activities on classroom computers for students to practice. Write (and decorate) your own Lilly Polka Dot stories. Provide this link on your class website for students (and parents) to easily access at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ALA Kids Games, Puzzles and Other Fun Things - American Library Association

Grades
K to 5
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Games, puzzles, mazes, and word searches promote library usage and get the idea of the library in the forefront! Although this site is "plain vanilla," it could be very useful ...more
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Games, puzzles, mazes, and word searches promote library usage and get the idea of the library in the forefront! Although this site is "plain vanilla," it could be very useful in teaching students about the library.

tag(s): puzzles (203)

In the Classroom

Use these activities for reluctant readers and students who don't see the point of using anything but online readings. Teach students about the good "old" library (before Google was invented.)
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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SuperKids Vocabulary Builders - Super Kids

Grades
3 to 11
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This site offers vocabulary enhancement activities in a variety of neat ways. Words of the day are available on three levels, upper elementary, junior high or middle school, and PSAT/SAT...more
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This site offers vocabulary enhancement activities in a variety of neat ways. Words of the day are available on three levels, upper elementary, junior high or middle school, and PSAT/SAT prep. Hangman, wordfind, scrambled words, and other conventional word games are also available.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (234), puzzles (203), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Use this site to review pertinent vocabulary by making FUN activities for your students! Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Learn English - Jacob Richman

Grades
1 to 8
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories,...more
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At this site students will learn to pronunce words correctly. Words appear in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and English. The words are well organized according to categories, and the multilingual jumping off point is unique. Hear the word only or see images and hear the word using the video tab. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): chinese (50), french (92), hebrew (20), pronunciation (44), russian (29), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Besides using for world language classes and limited English speaking students, refer your students with speech difficulties to this site whose clear pronunciation is helpful.

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Fairrosa Cyber Library for Children - Roxanne Hsu Feldman

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a well organized and comprehensive collection of links to online literature, classics, folk tales, poetry, reference materials, magazines, and professional journals....more
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This site offers a well organized and comprehensive collection of links to online literature, classics, folk tales, poetry, reference materials, magazines, and professional journals. There is also access to a library of websites organized and maintained by a librarian. Reference shelf links give access to professional articles and other resources for children's literature including information about authors. The archive section leads to archives of discussions about materials for students.

tag(s): authors (121), ebooks (43), literature (271)

In the Classroom

Whether you're reading the classics or folk tales in your classroom, students can access these stories online in school or at home. Since many of the genres have an extensive collection, you might consider reading one as a class, and then having small groups choose different titles to read and present the story or folktale in picture book format. You can easily have them do this online using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Once the project is done these books can be posted to your website for students in class to read through, and for parents and family to view.

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LiveBinders4Teachers - Barbara Tallent

Grades
K to 12
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This website is a compilation of completed LiveBinders. LiveBinders4Teachers is separated by subject, grade, and general usage. This would be a great way for a new teacher to get ideas...more
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This website is a compilation of completed LiveBinders. LiveBinders4Teachers is separated by subject, grade, and general usage. This would be a great way for a new teacher to get ideas for teaching units. Using a pre-made binder saves time and sheds light on some of the potential of the application. Anyone interested in setting up their own LiveBinders would benefit from using this resource. To learn more about Livebinders and how to make your own, see our full review of LiveBinders here.

tag(s): classroom management (155), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Use these prefabricated binders as the base for your own binders! Also, connect with other adventurous technology using teachers to glean new ideas and discover even more new tools.

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Topmark Interactive Whiteboard Resources - Topmarks

Grades
K to 12
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This wonderful collection of interactive whiteboard activities is designed for students ages 3 to 18. Topics include Math, Literacy, Science, Physics, History, Art, Music, and Religion....more
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This wonderful collection of interactive whiteboard activities is designed for students ages 3 to 18. Topics include Math, Literacy, Science, Physics, History, Art, Music, and Religion. Within each topic are categories to help narrow down search results. Activities contain a short summary, a link to the resource, and some have objectives. Because this is a British site, be aware that some vocabulary and content may be unfamiliar to American students, so preview carefully before using.

tag(s): descriptive writing (42), energy (203), environment (321), forces (44), grammar (209), literacy (107), literature (271), map skills (81), maps (292), novels (23), persuasive writing (55), poetry (221), preK (291), religions (68), rhythm (21), rivers (24), seasons (38), shakespeare (112), speeches (18), spelling (168), water cycle (32), weather (197)

In the Classroom

Use activities offered on the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector either as a whole class activity or use your whiteboard as one of the learning centers in your class. Share with parents on your blog or classroom newsletter as a resource for practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Flu Trends - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the ...more
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the time of this review, the graphs were updated through 2009. Google uses aggregated data to make the flu trend data into graphic form. In an accompanying narrative, Google suggests that people who search for flu trends are often suffering from flu themselves. The site also compares the data Google collects and the published data from each country's health services.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), medicine (70)

In the Classroom

Use this site when teaching graph reading and also data collection presentation when students are doing research. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on graphic organizers on a projector or interactive whiteboard. The site includes an active graph that adds data by time period as students view it. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create a different type of online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Discuss with your students other types of data that Google might be able to collect in a more up-to-date manner than public agencies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Loyal Books (was Books Should Be Free) - BooksShouldbe free

Grades
K to 12
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis ...more
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Acquaint student's with the classics (and more) with these free public domain audio books. Most of these novels are written by authors such as: Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austin, J.B. Barrie, Hugh Lofting, and Beatrix Potter. Some audio tracks are available in different languages. The most significant collection appears to be in French and German. Download MP3 files for each chapter in one zip file (333 MB) or directly into iTunes. Search for books by genre, author, title, or keywords. Suggest this site to students who have difficulties with reading, including with ESL/ELL students. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Share this site with your teaching colleagues who work with your learning support, foreign language, or ESL/ELL students..

tag(s): ebooks (43), fluency (24), french (92), german (67), literature (271), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Upgrade your literature circles and include e-readers that are speech enabled. Share the stories (or full text) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Loyal Books (was Books Should Be Free) provides links to the free text that accompanies the audio track. Sites such as Project Gutenberg (reviewed here) contain free versions of the full text. Students can simultaneously listen and read books on either a classroom computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or other mobile or cell phone. These recordings will also boost fluency instruction by serving as an oral reading model. Audio-assisted books will encourage students to read with expression, improve reading comprehension, stimulate vocabulary development, and provide a way for students to read text beyond their reading level.

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Story Something - Jim Rose and Jonathan Ehrlich

Grades
K to 2
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StorySomething contains a large array of online stories that can be personalized to the individual reader. After choosing a story, a list of characters in the story (with a ...more
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StorySomething contains a large array of online stories that can be personalized to the individual reader. After choosing a story, a list of characters in the story (with a short description) appears. These names can be replaced with your choice of names. The story then appears with the new names. Optional sign-up on the site allows students to share their stories through email or save stories to the site. However, no sign-up is necessary to view the personalized stories.

tag(s): interactive stories (31), literacy (107), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Save this site on your computer favorites. During the first week of school, project a story on your interactive whiteboard or projector using students names in your class. Have students take turns reading the story to the class. Create a class account and allow students to personalize their own stories, then print the stories for students to read on their own or with a partner. Share the site on your classroom blog or website for students to use at home for reading practice. Ask your students to write their own stories where others can insert names, and share them on your interactive whiteboard or projector for reading fluency practice.

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Quizbox - Quizbox.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. ...more
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Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. Edit the questions and choices. Complete the quiz and place on your blog. At the end of the quiz, students click submit and get their score. Use the result editor to provide a feedback message depending upon their score.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quiz (88), quizzes (101), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use as a pre-test at the start of a chapter or unit. Identify misconceptions or basic knowledge to help determine instruction. Identify interests of students at the start of the school year. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.
 

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BrainBashers - Kevin Stone

Grades
3 to 12
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BrainBashers offers many different types of puzzles, riddles, brain teasers, and optical illusions. The site is updated daily so new material is always readily available. Each time...more
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BrainBashers offers many different types of puzzles, riddles, brain teasers, and optical illusions. The site is updated daily so new material is always readily available. Each time you open the site, find a new fun fact along with an odd word and its definition. The site is organized into puzzles, games, illusions, fun stuff, and logic games. Sudoku puzzles of different difficulty levels are also available. The link for teachers includes puzzles for schools and useful pages including optical illusions, memory tests, and logic puzzles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): logic (234), problem solving (286), puzzles (203), riddles (16)

In the Classroom

Use the odd words daily for students to learn new vocabulary. Share the fun fact on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter. Print and share Sudoku and other puzzles as challenge activities. Use logic puzzles in class for practice with problem solving skills. Share the site on your classroom website or blog for students to access at home.

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Student Produced Video Field Trips - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams ...more
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams the video (live and archived) to students, parents, and others unable to attend in person. TeachersFirst shares this how-to and why-to so you and your students will try it. Expand each point within these pages to learn what to do in detail---and skip the steps you already know or that don't apply!

tag(s): video (276)

In the Classroom

Read through the step by step and get started! TeachersFirst offers all the practical advice you need to try this 21st century approach to real world learning.

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Interactive Whiteboard Resources - Woodland Grange Primary School

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers a growing bank of resources for elementary teachers to use with interactive whiteboards or projectors. If you don't have a whiteboard, files can be opened on computers...more
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This site offers a growing bank of resources for elementary teachers to use with interactive whiteboards or projectors. If you don't have a whiteboard, files can be opened on computers for individual use. Files include Excel, Flash, PowerPoint, Word and other formats to download. Use the links at the top of the page to find the appropriate grade range beginning with preschool (foundation) through KS3 (roughly equivalent to middle school). Within each grade level are resources divided by topic such as mathematics, literacy or science. Be sure to check out the "Amusements" section as it isn't just for fun; this category includes activities such as jumbled words and memory games. Sign up for the free mailing list to be notified when new activities are added. You can also add your own resources to the site for others to use. While testing this site, the editor noticed a few of the links either take extremely long to open or don't work at all. However, we still felt this was a great find, since nearly everything else worked perfectly.

tag(s): fluency (24), iwb (32), literacy (107), number sense (97), numbers (195)

In the Classroom

Introduce activities to your classroom then use this site as a learning center (use on computer if you don't have an interactive whiteboard.) These activities are perfect for at-home practice so share the site with parents through your classroom newsletter or blog and include practice for homework.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Writer's Workshop Introduction - Teachersfirst

Grades
1 to 6
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Good writing skills are essential for secondary students. Writer's Workshop is an interdisciplinary writing technique which can build elementary students' fluency in writing through...more
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Good writing skills are essential for secondary students. Writer's Workshop is an interdisciplinary writing technique which can build elementary students' fluency in writing through continuous, repeated exposure to the process of writing. Teachers can introduce elements of Writer's Workshop at any elementary grade. Ideally, however, the process begins in Kindergarten.

tag(s): writing (365)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use this introduction to introduce Writer's Workshop elements in a variety of curriculum situations and classroom settings.

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Learning to Give - Points of Light Institute

Grades
K to 12
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson ...more
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson plans for teachers, parents, and community leaders. Lessons are coded to state standards and can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject, or academic or philanthropy standard. Some lessons are geared toward private or religious schools and are clearly labeled as such. Lessons include subject, key concepts, vocabulary, objectives, materials needed, approximate time, procedures, extensions, handouts, and much more. An example of a grade 3-5 lesson would be Cool Kids Compost which explores responsible use of resources by gathering data about lunchroom waste. Don't let the concept of philanthropy keep you from exploring the site, there are many great classroom lessons available for all subjects.

tag(s): african american (112), animal homes (45), animals (292), charts and graphs (192), colonial america (107), communities (38), data (150), diversity (33), ecology (138), environment (321), heroes (23), money (181), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site.

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Story Blocks - Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy

Grades
K to 1
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This early literacy site contains many video clips to assist parents and teachers in getting students ready to read. Rhymes and songs are modeled for use with younger children. ...more
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This early literacy site contains many video clips to assist parents and teachers in getting students ready to read. Rhymes and songs are modeled for use with younger children. Each aspect of literacy is explained before you hear the targeted text. Materials are available in both Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (107), poetry (221), rhymes (32), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Use the songs and chants on these videos to interest children in reading. Many songs and rhymes have actions that the children can do while saying the text. Have the children lead the class once they are familiar with offerings. Project the rhymes on your interactive whiteboard and follow along with the motions on the screen. Write down some of the words in the song and use them as sight words for the week. Have student helpers hold up the "sight word" as it is shared. Choose 3-5 new words from each rhyme. Share this site with ESL and learning support staff.

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