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Define It Fast - WordNet 3.0 Princeton University

Grades
K to 12
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The goal of this website is to become the easiest, fastest online dictionary available. Is it? Try it, you'll be impressed. An exciting tool is the audio component, allowing ...more
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The goal of this website is to become the easiest, fastest online dictionary available. Is it? Try it, you'll be impressed. An exciting tool is the audio component, allowing you to listen to the English pronunciation for selected words ( the triangular "play" button will show next to the word on the entry) . DefineItFast.com has a bookmarklet that you can drag and drop to your browser's link bar (if your computer is not "locked down" at school). When you look up definitions, highlight the word and click the linkbar button or you can directly type the word by clicking the button and click 'OK'. View the tutorial video to learn more about the bookmarklet feature. This site requires Flash, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

Note: The dictionary, like many real-world dictionaries, includes words that may not be classroom-appropriate. Decide how you will handle students who make inappropriate choices in using this tool.

tag(s): dictionaries (57)

In the Classroom

Definitely investigate the free Search Engine download that's available to make this tool even more useful. This may become your favorite dictionary-- bar none. You may want to save this site in your favorites on your class computer(s), but see the cautionary note above about the FULL database of words available.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TeacherTube - Teacher Tube, LLC

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Move over YouTube! Teachers now have their own place to learn and to teach: TeacherTube.com. Since this site is designed specifically for education, there is not as much concern about...more
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Move over YouTube! Teachers now have their own place to learn and to teach: TeacherTube.com. Since this site is designed specifically for education, there is not as much concern about "public" contributions and appropriateness for school! Teachers will find videos suitable for classroom instruction, such as Ben Franklin chatting with a group of students, or there are also professional videos ideal for staff training (such as Classroom Strategies for Differentiated Instruction). Search and view videos or click on the subject area that interests you, and then click on a video to view. To leave comments, save your favorites, or upload your own video, you will need to register. It's all free. Obviously, this isn't a site for students; however, there are many educational videos suitable for all subject areas that you could share with your students. If your school blocks streaming video sites, consider accessing this site and choosing videos at home, using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube to bring them in for class use.

tag(s): video (268)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for a specific topic, save time and use the search option If you wish to add comments or upload your own Teachertube video, you must register as a user at the site. Create and save your edited videos where you can find them on your computer. (Windows Movie Maker or iMovie are great, free tools for video). Then upload to TeacherTube. You will also receive comments on your uploaded videos. If the teacher is the one uploading, the only potential concerns include posting videos with identifiable information or images about your students, school, or class. Check your school policies about posting pictures of your school. If you post student videos, obtain written parent permission to post student work, again within school policies. Any student visible in a video should also have parent permission in accordance with school policies. The most common classroom use would be viewing many videos that match curriculum content. Rap math, visit Anne Frank's historical locations, or view a grammar lesson--these are just a sampling of videos that you may want to use to enhance your curriculum lessons. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the videos with the class. Use the site's videos as an anticipatory set to a new unit or lesson on a specific topic. Have your students create their own TeacherTube video together as a class on any lesson/topic that you are teaching. Have a contest for the best videos and upload the winners to the site (within school policies, of course). Once the class has videos hosted at TeacherTube, you can also embed them in your class bog or wiki for easy sharing with those in your extended online "community."

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Style and Diction Checker - Edit Central

Grades
1 to 12
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This is a simple, user-friendly, interactive web page for checking writing samples and readability levels. Type, or cut and paste, text into a specified location and watch the analysis...more
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This is a simple, user-friendly, interactive web page for checking writing samples and readability levels. Type, or cut and paste, text into a specified location and watch the analysis begin. The analysis consists of several readability scores such as Flesch reading ease, Automated readability index, Flesch-Kincaid grade level, Coleman-Liau index, Gunning fog index, and SMOG index. The site also provides total counts for the following items: characters, non-space characters, letters/numbers, words, complex words, syllables, sentences, characters per word, syllables per word, and words per sentence.

tag(s): readability (8)

In the Classroom

This site can be helpful in a variety of ways. Primary and secondary classroom teachers can check students' work or have students check their personal work by placing their own text in the box. Reading specialists, classroom teachers, ESL and ELL teachers, and special education teachers can check readability levels of various books to find the right fit for each student. E-books and on-line literature is easy to check with the cut and paste option! Note: if the text is available as a complete web page, you can also use this tool. Student word processing can also be analyzed using the Grammar tools in Word (tools menu), but these two tools yield slightly different information.

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Spore Creature Creator - Electronic Arts, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use Creature Creator to make interesting and imaginative animals. Your students may recognize it as a tool for making characters for the Spore video game, but it is actually a ...more
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Use Creature Creator to make interesting and imaginative animals. Your students may recognize it as a tool for making characters for the Spore video game, but it is actually a useful tool for learning, as well. Use a pre-made creature or create your own custom creature. Add carnivore features to your creation that include mouths, ears, eyes, arms, hands, feet, and legs. Weapons such as horns, spikes, and clubs can also be added to the creature as well as wings. Change the position of the features and alter them through unbelievable joint changes which then alter how your creature walks and moves. Paint your creation when done and place it in its woodland environment. The creature can walk, show emotion, have offspring, and make sounds. Use the software to take a picture, record a movie, and make an avatar. By adding a description and tags, your creation can be uploaded to the spore website or to a You Tube account. Here is the first Spore tutorial , which is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it 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.

Creature Creator is a free download but is a limited version of the original purchased program. The purchased program provides many more choices for the features and environments used to make the creatures. The download is available for both PC and Mac.

tag(s): adaptations (18), animals (284), animation (66), classification (25)

In the Classroom

User needs to be able to download and install the free program. Easy to use interface. Start with a blob, which you manipulate into a shape, pulling its spinal cord in any direction with the mouse, before adding a head, limbs and various optional extra body parts. Choose your part by using the onscreen catalog. Manipulate it further by changing the position of joints or through adding or deleting segments. Add a background and move your creature by dragging your mouse for it to follow. Continue to alter your creature to get the movement or features needed.

Pressing "H" brings up the spore guide which includes topic categories such as "Welcome to Spore," "Getting Started," "Build Mode," "Test Drive," and "Paint Mode."

Check your district policy on downloading and installing of programs. Check with your IT department. Teachers who must request software installation by tech staff may want to try this tool at home and create some sample projects to convince administration of its educational value.

Uploading pictures and videos of creations to You Tube or the spore site may expose students to advertising as well as inappropriately created creatures. You may want to send students directly to URLs for their own projects, maintain the creatures on the classroom computer itself, or use Teacher Tube to upload the creations. Uploading creatures enables outsider comments without teacher control. Outsiders can interact or mark the creations as favorites. Many school policies prohibit such interaction, so be sure to check your school policy. You will want to discuss these features in the context of Internet Safety or establish specific written class rules and consequences for interacting with outsiders. Student work can be saved as a picture and printed, as well, for sharing and showing. Check your school policies on whether student work may be displayed online and what information is permitted, then enforce that policy with your students.

The tool does not show which work is attributable to each student. You may want to require student initials on projects in order to get credit.

Use Creature creator to create an unusual creature as a class project. Create a classification system of all the class creatures to demonstrate biology classification skills. When discussing the groupings in the Animal Kingdom, use Creature Creator to create a new organism for that group. Use the tool to create a class creature with adaptations to a specific environment. Have students create a creature and then write a story or poem about it and how it lives. Have students create a creature as a self-portrait of personality or other traits the students possess. Students can design and draw habitats that would house their creation including the calculation of the volume and area the housing would require. Use a classroom projector or white board to share/create creatures in class and discuss specific features of the creatures.

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bubbl.us - Kirill Edelman and Levon Amelyan

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This simple and free online tool allows you to brainstorm ideas and create concept maps with no special software! Bubble.us features some highly interactive abilities: saving your mind...more
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This simple and free online tool allows you to brainstorm ideas and create concept maps with no special software! Bubble.us features some highly interactive abilities: saving your mind map as an image, sharing (emailing) your work with a friend, printing your organizer, creating colorful mind map organizers, embedding your work into a website or blog, and working with friends. You are able to "play" at this site without registering; however registration is necessary for saving, embedding, emailing, and other features. NOTE: the free version only allows you to SAVE three maps, so you will want to save your completed maps as images, then deleted them from your membership to make room for more freebies. Here is an example of a bubbl.us map embedded in a page. Click and drag on the background to read more, or try the zoom controls to see more or less.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), graphic organizers (42), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Click "Start Here" to type the subject of your concept map. Hitting your Enter key creates a new level (branch) within the map. Tab creates an additional branch on the same level as the current topic. Experiment with the small icons on each "element" to change colors, drag, make new connections, etc. Save and set sharing (read-only or open access) in the area at the right. You can "send" a read-only link via email or copy the embed code from the Menu at lower right), but you cannot find the URL directly from your map. "Send" it to yourself via email to copy the actual URL.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings(?) based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum." Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. To minimize the number of maps on a free account, have students screenshot or print their results to turn them in. See more ideas in the linked example above!

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Lit2Go - Florida Educational Technology Clearinghouse

Grades
K to 12
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Now you can listen to classics and poems through the generosity of this site's creators. Download story files to your mp3 player or listen to the files on your computer. ...more
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Now you can listen to classics and poems through the generosity of this site's creators. Download story files to your mp3 player or listen to the files on your computer. Don't want to just listen to the classics and other stories? Then, view the text on a webpage or in a printable pdf. Easily browse the site by author or title to locate literature. You are also able to search by reading level; the levels are broken down by month (ranging from 0.0 - 12.0). Stories and poems are added frequently to this site, so check back often. This site requires Windows Media Player or Quicktime and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), audio books (31), folktales (65), literature (275), nursery rhymes (18), rhymes (32)

In the Classroom

Print out up to 25 pdf copies of stories and poems if you do not have print versions. Make your own books and leave blank sections to be illustrated for aiding comprehension. If you have iTunes installed on your computer, you can download many of the selections directly into your iTunes library. Use individual laptops for reading the stories online or as a download. Make sure your sight-impaired students know about this helpful site. Special ed teachers and ESL//ELL teachers will love the availability of audio files and text together.

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Pixton - Goodinson Design Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create comics quickly and easily with this free site! Choose starting scenes, add new frames, change characters and add text. At this site, students can create, share, and "remix" comics....more
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Create comics quickly and easily with this free site! Choose starting scenes, add new frames, change characters and add text. At this site, students can create, share, and "remix" comics. The "remix" link allows students to add their own twist to ready-made comics. Students can read comics created by others and also make comments on them. Other highlights of the site include a featured author and blog. The free version of Pixton is open to the public. There is also a fee-based version for schools (with teacher and student registration levels and safety tools) with a 30-day free trial period available. Be aware: the Pixton for Schools (if continued after 30-days) will cost $1 per student. See an example created by the TeachersFirst Edge team.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), graphic novels (7), novels (24)

In the Classroom

Simply login and click create. Choose a scene you wish to start with. Change your characters from a variety of option. When the comic loads, your chosen character may not show immediately but will appear as you edit each frame. Change sizes of caption bubbles, fonts sizes and types with easy to use sliders. New characters can be added in each frame as well as a variety of additional props such as sports equipment and furniture. Change the background set to a variety of indoor, outdoor city, and outdoor country landscapes. Change background colors easily too. Comics can be saved, scenes can be deleted, and changes made can be reverted to the previous idea easily with on screen controls. Below the comic, buttons for "Save for later" and "Publish Now" quickly save or publish works. If the scene is not ready for publishing, Pixton requests further edits to complete the process.

Consider creating a class account that students can use. Track comics made by students by placing initials in a small caption bubble to identify created comics to a specific student. There are some safeguards in place to be sure students use appropriate language and actions. It would be wise to preview whatever you wish to share with your students, however, since the general public can create comics with their own ideas. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy. You will also want written parent permission before allowing students to create comics that can be seen online.

Capture and use your students creativity in storytelling using this exciting tool! Using small amounts of texts to frame a story or to deliver information creatively allows students the opportunity to work deeply with information and use a creative outlet for a variety of projects. Use for students to provide information learned with personal thoughts on subjects ranging from historical events, environmental issues, discussion about plants, animals, and ecosystems, as well as other topics in Art, Math, English, Health, and others. Use in Foreign language classes for short stories created in the language and translated then by other students in the classroom. Use comics to write summaries of current events, responses to reading assignments, expressions of teen problems, and creative works of humor. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the life cycle of the frog or ways to conserve energy. Use this site to integrate an art and writing lesson. Why not have students create comics to demonstrate a concept in science or social studies, rather than a traditional paper/pencil quiz? World language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will love the chance for students to demonstrate written language skills in the "context" of their comic situations.

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Ed Pubs - US Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures,...more
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures, posters, videotapes, newsletters, and more). The intended audiences include students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Many publications and also site information come in Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (107)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class website so parents can learn about this free resource. Include links to specific publications tha fit your class' needs. Or choose helpful information with your particular parents/students and share the pdf files as print-outs at conferences or via email to help parents.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adolescent Literacy - adlit.org

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit...more
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit offers summer reading strategies, book lists, book clubs, classroom technique hints which encourage development of reading attack skills, and a special section on authors and their best books. For a Spanish language version of the main topics available as an A to Z list, click on the left side of the screen ( En Espanol ). This site has everything you already know about teaching reading in easy-to-use formats. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): authors (121), independent reading (129), reading strategies (46)

In the Classroom

If you need ideas to get students reading for fun and to help develop their confidence, try this site. Highlight this on your class website so parents can try the activities with their older students. When doing author biographies, share this site with your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the "Classroom Strategies" link for even more literacy ideas.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adopt-an-Author - Steve Alten

Grades
7 to 12
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Choosing a book, particularly for reluctant readers, is sometimes a challenge. Working online with some of these materials would certainly provide a different look for savvy teenagers...more
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Choosing a book, particularly for reluctant readers, is sometimes a challenge. Working online with some of these materials would certainly provide a different look for savvy teenagers and give them some different ideas on reading. Initiated by author Steve Alten, this website uses this author's books to excite reluctant readers with good stories, incorporating technology with planning. While this site has a complete program that is for sale, you can register free and use most of the materials without buying anything. It offers five books by Alten as well as several other fiction and nonfiction titles by different authors. Each book has materials that may include a PowerPoint of the curriculum, a chapter to peruse, activities, quizzes, etc. The variety of books offered is interesting, including an autobiography of Gerda Weissman Klein, a Holocaust survivor, and a finance nonfiction book to help teens prepare for their futures. This site does have sponsors and minor advertising. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): authors (121), holocaust (39), independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Allowing students to choose among these books may encourage them to read. Having students "teach" their book to the rest of the class after they have finished it might be an activity that would urge other students to pick up those books, too. Have students share their books creatively: write a blog post as a character, make a video to post on TeacherTube or SchoolTube, or make a podcast "interview" of the main character, played by a classmate. Bring reading into the 21st century reality of your students and watch the two worlds "mash" together.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to ...more
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to parents and administration, and how to get started. There are over 50 examples of activities you can do with a wiki and links to a free tool to get started. A fresh revision of the Walk-Through in 2008 includes comparison reviews of the top three wiki tools for education. We even give you the downloadable handout to send home.

tag(s): wikis (20)

In the Classroom

This is listed as a TeachersFirst "edge" entry, but our step-by-step walk-through takes the edge off and makes your wiki a walk in the park. Check it out now, while there is still FREE classroom wiki space available from the three wiki tools we review in detail.
 

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KidsWWrite - Kalamalka Institute for Working Writers

Grades
1 to 10
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The ...more
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The writing includes both poetry and stories. Students can also submit book reviews of favorite works and also art. The book reviews are anecdotal and personal and also include a drawing or copy of the book cover. If students wish to search for stories on a certain topic, a search box and archives are available.

tag(s): creative writing (168), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Share samples of students' writing on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom. Have your students create cover art and write stories, book reviews, or poetry to submit to this site. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online magazine. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy.If your school prohibits using blogs to post student writing, this is a middle ground alternative to get their works in front of a wider audience.

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YourDictionary - LoveToKnow Corporation

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system...more
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A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system that allows you to hear the word as well. YourDictionary also provides resources to help you find foreign language translation sites. It even directs you to medical, computer, or electricians' dictionaries, and many more. Haven't you always wanted to say a tongue-twister in the Asante language? Words have never so much fun. This site does include some advertisements.

tag(s): thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Send students to this site to look up those difficult words. ESL and ELL students can use this site to practice the pronunciation of new words. Be sure to mark this site as a favorite or share on your teacher web page for easy access.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Older Readers - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
4 to 12
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed for older students (and adults). The site was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th...more
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed for older students (and adults). The site was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher. He has found the "best of the best" interactive stories for older students. Some of the stories include Pulp Fiction, Nightmare Tales, American Folklore, and several others. The color coded descriptors let you know if the story includes text, pictures, sounds, animations, and videos. The reading levels vary, so preview the story before sharing it with your students.

Be aware, there are minor unobtrusive advertisements at this website. Nearly all of the interactive stories require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): folktales (65), interactive stories (33), mysteries (25)

In the Classroom

There are many ways to use this site in your classroom. Share the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students investigate the sites on their own (using headsets). Save this site as a favorite and list this site on your class web page. earning support and ESL/ELL teachers will love the variety of options for aural stories, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ESL Reading Lessons - 5 Minute English

Grades
4 to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This teaching site has a variety of short readings at various levels that could be useful in an ESL, ELL, special education, or regular ed classroom. Some of the topics ...more
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This teaching site has a variety of short readings at various levels that could be useful in an ESL, ELL, special education, or regular ed classroom. Some of the topics include sentences with grammar errors, students must figure out what is wrong with each sentence. This is excellent practice for any student learning proper grammar. True/ false comprehension questions follow the reading in most cases. Most of the answers are provided at the bottom of the website - so don't scroll too quickly. Before the reading begins, students can study difficult vocabulary words presented in an attractive format. There are full units (with many mini-lessons): grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, and writing. This site does have unobtrusive advertisements, but watch out for the audio announcements when you open the site. Some of the listening activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (215), listening (92), pronunciation (44), reading comprehension (115), short stories (25), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Use this site if you want your students to do additional reading. Project the topic, story, and questions on an interactive whiteboard or projector for group discussion. Have your students make up their own questions to go with the site. Have your students write up a similar subject relevant to their own culture and present it, along with questions to check for comprehension. This is a fabulous site to list on your class website for students to use for at-home practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Phil Shapiro Websequiturs - Phil Shapiro

Grades
3 to 10
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears...more
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears in a box below the three choices. As students make choice after choice, the box fills up with the complete story which they can reread by scrolling up and down. Lots of comprehension checking, context clues, grammar review, punctuation, use of transitions, and paragraph organization work are wrapped up in this activity, all while students are anxious to find the next phrase to "make sense." Fiction, non-fiction, and humorous excerpts are available.

tag(s): humor (15)

In the Classroom

High intermediate and advanced ESL and ELL students will enjoy the stories and review their grammar usage at the same time when using this site. Reading teachers looking for a way to practice with context clues will find this site a refreshing change. Use this site as a complement to reading stories using sentence strips. Have your students create their own story building activities following the format of this site.

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SmartWriters.com - Roxyanne Young

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
While this site is geared towards writers, it also delivers powerful information to teachers and librarians. From the homepage, find the left-side links for Teachers and Librarians....more
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While this site is geared towards writers, it also delivers powerful information to teachers and librarians. From the homepage, find the left-side links for Teachers and Librarians. These include essential information on planning a great school visit from an author, resources for teaching reading and writing, and Teacher's Pets (tons of reviews of well-loved books). Also, at the SmartWriters homepage, click on the For Young Writers links to find how-to activities, contests, and publications for your students' work.

tag(s): resources (112)

In the Classroom

If you have budding writers in your class, make sure you check out the Young Writers link. Scores of websites open their doors to student publication. You must obtain parent permission before submitting any student work to such sites, however. Why not create a bulletin board, "Smart Writers," to highlight your own smart writers?

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Munseys - munseys.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Munseys is a library of free e-books which can be downloaded or read in pdf form. You have the choice of technology: Amazon Kindle (beta2!), Sony Reader, Mobipocket, MS-Reader, Palm,...more
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Munseys is a library of free e-books which can be downloaded or read in pdf form. You have the choice of technology: Amazon Kindle (beta2!), Sony Reader, Mobipocket, MS-Reader, Palm, and more types of readers. There are numerous categories of books including Drama, Folklore, Classic, Biography, Religion, Science, Political Science, Periodicals, Renaissance, and countless others. WARNING! Do NOT provide this link to students for independent use. If they click on "popular," they will find material inappropriate for the classroom. Download the books you wish to share in Acrobat form or monitor student use directly. The children's book section currently has 1502 offerings. New books appear in the library daily. If you choose to use Adobe Acrobat, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

Combine your students' love of technology with the joys of reading by letting them select from your download library. These books (in Acrobat form) also provide text selections for teaching about grammar, language structure, and reading comprehension on your interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teacher Book Wizard - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Wizards perform magical feats, and this book wizard proves to be equally supernatural. Claiming to be the first book search engine for teachers, it is built on a database of ...more
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Wizards perform magical feats, and this book wizard proves to be equally supernatural. Claiming to be the first book search engine for teachers, it is built on a database of 50,000 books from all publishers. Snazzy tools allow you to choose your own leveling system, and then match the student to a whole list of books. You will find ready-made, themed lists as well. Teachers can create their own book lists to share with other teachers. Use the BookAlike tool to see what books are similar to a particular well-loved book. Matching the right book to each individual student has never been easier. The Book Wizard Tour requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Teachers, make sure your librarian and even parents know about this wonderful web tool. This could be set up as the homepage for several computers in the library, so students can plug in their levels, their interests, and then enjoy the book recommendations. Librarians, use Scholastic's online library evaluator tool to evaluate your current collection. Teachers, take the Book Wizard Tour for an easy explanation of this helpful service.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ZIPskinny - ZIPskinny

Grades
6 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
A useful little site for research or idle curiosity, this site offers some basic demographic data about the communities that make up each U.S. ZIP code. The ZIP code, first ...more
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A useful little site for research or idle curiosity, this site offers some basic demographic data about the communities that make up each U.S. ZIP code. The ZIP code, first developed in 1963 to assist the U.S. Postal Service with automated mail delivery, has become a powerful demographic symbol and is frequently used by researchers to compare U.S. communities. This site, which ties its data to information gathered in the 2000 census, offers no commentary--just the facts ma'am--and includes statistics on education, income, population, race, gender, and marital status. There is a utility for comparing any ZIP code with up to 20 other ZIP codes. Students may be interested in the specific data provided for each public school within a given ZIP code. Our reviewers did notice that some ZIP codes are not included at this time. Serious researchers are cautioned, the data comes from the 2000 census, and may be outdated. This historical census data may provide a good comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends. There is a lot of advertising on the site, although the majority of it is in the form of text links rather than annoying pictures or dancing silhouettes.

tag(s): census (19), demographics (19)

In the Classroom

Teachers or students seeking some basic demographic data about their own town or city, or wishing to compare it with another location, will find this site useful. Civics, government, or economics lessons could be enriched with local data which might be compared to the more general information offered by textbooks in answer to the question "How do we compare to this?" Math teachers and reading teachers who teach graphical data analysis might get some mileage out of using the graphs and tables from their own towns or communities for computations rather than using generic information from a textbook. Project the graphs on a whiteboard and have students manipulate to explain the meaning of changes in the visuals. Think of the higher level thinking questions you could generate during a political year! Of course, the terminally curious can probably waste a good hour or two just noodling with the data.

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