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The Eighteen Questions - The Fabulist Flash Publishing Family

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about writing from writers. Nicknamed "18Q," this survey was developed by a writing newsletter that interviews working authors. Clicking on "the Writers" will take you to a list...more
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Learn about writing from writers. Nicknamed "18Q," this survey was developed by a writing newsletter that interviews working authors. Clicking on "the Writers" will take you to a list of authors. None of them are juvenile writers, and many of them write for romance series. However, the series of questions are exactly the kinds of questions that kids want to know. Example: the first question is "Did you choose the writing profession or did it choose you?" This question alone can provoke debate among students, particularly older ones. Click on the link 18Q Survey to read the 18 questions.

tag(s): authors (121), writing (362)

In the Classroom

One of the nice things about this site is that it offers the quiz questions that you might have your students answer themselves and compile as a class project. They could do it anonymously or not; they could choose different questions, they could interview one another during a writing workshop. They could also submit questions to a favorite author's publishing company (a REAL reason for a business letter!) who may, in turn, relay the responses from authors the kids read. Or your class could create an online survey using Google Docs, reviewed here, and poll as many writers as they can contact.

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Jeopardy Labs - Matt Johnson

Grades
K to 12
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Looking to make a great jeopardy game with no fees, registration, or powerpoint slides involved? Now you can with Jeopardy Labs! Create your own Jeopardy game or browse the already...more
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Looking to make a great jeopardy game with no fees, registration, or powerpoint slides involved? Now you can with Jeopardy Labs! Create your own Jeopardy game or browse the already created jeopardy games! Be aware: there are over 6,000 Jeopardy Templates ready to use in the classroom, beginning at kindergarten! You may notice that some of the already created Jeopardy Templates are not in "question" format. The topics include nearly everything one can imagine: European Settlement, South America, various books, specific math topics, media, aircraft, and many, MANY more.

Note that all jeopardy templates created become part of the domain and can be used by others.

tag(s): grammar (214), keyboarding (37), literature (276), meiosis (15)

In the Classroom

Use any already-created game as a quick assessment of prior knowledge or review on projector or interactive whiteboard.

To prevent others from editing your template you create a password when you start. Others will be unable to edit your created game without your password. After creating your password, you are taken to the familiar blue jeopardy screen. Here, enter the title at the top and the topics at the top of the columns. Click on a dollar amount under each topic to enter the clue and the What is... question in a pop-up box. Click done to enter the information. The dollar value square becomes blank to let you know it was completed. When done, click "Save." Click on Browse to view random template titles or enter a term into the search bar. On the "Build" page, follow the quick instructions and even browse tips for editing. When done, an internet link will be given for your Jeopardy game. Put this link in any website, blog, or wiki for students to click on and review information for study.

Use this as an introductory activity to uncover misconceptions. For example, prior to a unit on viruses, create a jeopardy game about myths and truths about viruses. Share the Jeopardy activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these as a starting point for understanding concepts in the unit. Create review games for students to learn and remember content. After making one game together as a class, allow students to make their own games to challenge each other on segments of the material. This not only provides students with material to review, but the creation of a game takes thought and understanding of the material. Be sure that students understand how to create such a game and how to choose parts carefully. Check student games prior to saving. Maintain a page of Jeopardy links for review of a wide range of curricular topics.

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Befuddlr - Erik Kastner and Amy Hoy

Grades
K to 12
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as ...more
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as "Patterns," "Hello kitty," "Water drops," and many others. Choose a picture you wish to "befuddlr." Pieces of the original picture are moved around in a new order. Continue to choose a different combination, change the lines that divide segments of the picture, and even drag a button to your toolbar to "befuddlr" any picture. Once done, use the snapshot function of your computer to take a picture. In Mac, use apple-shift-four to take a snapshot. In PC, use the print screen (Prt Sc key) function to "copy" the picture and then paste it into a document or elsewhere. You are able to submit your own photos to the site (found on Flickr, of course). Learn more about flickr, a photo storage and sharing site, in the TeachersFirst review here.

tag(s): images (276), puzzles (207)

In the Classroom

To use the pictures provided, simply chose a "group" title, such as water drops, and click to befuddlr it. If you wish to befuddlr your own pictures, you must first upload them to Flickr, so you will need to learn that simple tool. Be sure to TAG your pictures so you can FIND them again! No membership or saving are available on befuddlr. Its is an on-the-spot tool. Be sure to use your own images or copyright free images and images that are available to be built upon. If students click to choose other pictures from Flickr, they could encounter ANYTHING that someone has uploaded, so be sure to guide them to the pictures you want them to use and have a stated policy and consequence for those who wander off into inappropriate places. Flickr does have anti-porn policies, but girls in bikinis, for example, are still available! Use snapshots of animals, numbers, letters, or other pictures and have students scramble the pieces. Befuddlr a picture on your interactive whiteboard to start a language lesson! Students can create their own and provide hints using a variety of constraints such as no more than 5 words, a poem, using adjectives only, etc. in order to help those guessing the original picture. In Art, create new patterns for analysis. Use befuddled pictures to practice new vocabulary for young ones or for ESL and world language students. Accompany student poetry with befuddled pictures
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

You need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on your computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Or add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures.

NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.

"Learn It" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Advanced lesson plans for teachers are viewed in the "Learn It" tab as well. "View the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Note: Advertisements run alongside the PicLits screen. Caution students to ignore these. Here is an example:
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (169), digital storytelling (155), images (276), sentences (50)

In the Classroom

Users of PicLits must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URL's and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. Help also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits for a curriculum topic or as a literary magazine online. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

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Robo-Bee Speller - Merriam-Webster

Grades
4 to 10
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Let Robo-Bee help your students learn synonyms and tricky vocabulary. This simple website, hosted by Merriam-Webster, requires your students to read the statement with the missing word....more
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Let Robo-Bee help your students learn synonyms and tricky vocabulary. This simple website, hosted by Merriam-Webster, requires your students to read the statement with the missing word. Then, click on the bee, dragging it to the correct word at the bottom of the screen. The right answer is rewarded with a beautiful flower. This is a quick, easy, and motivational way to practice vocabulary. Turn up the sound for audio effects.

If you are looking for even more vocabulary and spelling ideas, visit the official site for the Scripps National Spelling Bee (reviewed here by TeachersFirst). Check out all the links to learn how to study for the Bee, guidelines, and application deadlines. December is the annual deadline for your school's enrollment in the National Bee. This site will have the exact deadline each year. Click on Study Zone to download the Consolidated Word List (a gigantic compilation of 794 pages of words that have been used from 1950 to the present). Students can test their spelling know-how by clicking on the "Test Your Spell It Knowledge" link on the homepage. Your serious competitive spellers will also benefit by exploring Merriam-Webster's Spell It (reviewed here by TeachersFirst).

This requires Flash which may be obtained here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): sentences (50), synonyms (38), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Assign students to try this activity on individual computers or at a computer station. Have students choose 10 words from the Robo-Bee to use as personalized spelling words. Include this link on your homepage.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln Bicentennial: 1809-2009 - Library of Congress

Grades
K to 12
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there ...more
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there is an interactive timeline, online quiz, podcasts, detailed lesson plans for all grades K-12 (with standards), printable pages, research information, suggested literature for all ages, information about the Civil War, Gettysburg, and more! Much of the site requires Flash; some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites! Share the interactive timeline, online quiz, and podcasts using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about our 16th President. Have students create a blog from Lincoln's point of view (or from a slave's point of view AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation). Use the lesson plans designed for the grades that you teach. (Don't miss the history, language arts and writing, and art lessons).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Bookmaking with Kids - Cathy Miranker and Susie Peyton

Grades
K to 12
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the ...more
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the extensive blog material to learn about author presentations and how schools incorporated those visits into making books. The creators say this site is part scrapbook and notebook, so click on the categories frequently to see the new content.

Teachers who desire professional development and fresh ideas will want to include this site in their repertoire.

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ANY grade level create original books. Have students work with a partner to create a book together. With older students, challenge them to create a book as a culminating project for a research assignment. Have younger students create books at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves to the class. The possibilities are endless at this creative site! Use some of the ideas to make online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Native American Booklist - NEA

Grades
K to 12
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This site celebrates the major works by Native American authors. There are three booklist levels, grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12 and above. As part of NEA's Read Across ...more
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This site celebrates the major works by Native American authors. There are three booklist levels, grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12 and above. As part of NEA's Read Across America program, links to tools to help parents and teachers encourage more reading among the young. Books include fiction, essays, poetry, and nonfiction articles.

tag(s): book lists (132), literature (276), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a reference when picking extra reading materials during a Native American unit or as you approach November and Thanksgiving. Teach students how to find book reviews online after they've selected a book they would like to read. Have students create multi-media book "reports." Give students choices like a wiki, blog, PowerPoint, or even an online book review using a tool such at Bookemon (reviewed here).

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refseek - refseek.com

Grades
4 to 12
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RefSeek is a different search tool (beta--new in Nov, 2008) for beginning researchers as well as those already knowledgeable about the process. Although this search engine appears "plain...more
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RefSeek is a different search tool (beta--new in Nov, 2008) for beginning researchers as well as those already knowledgeable about the process. Although this search engine appears "plain vanilla," it is a great option for research purposes. As they explain it, they "search the entire Web for freely available academic information, providing relevant results while filtering out most commercial content." This is different from Google's standard search. RefSeek looks through web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers for your chosen topic. With special search features, students can also limit searches to specific web pages, search two topics (either-or option) at once, and even include search words usually dismissed by academic searches (like "the" and "if"). After starting a search, click on Directory to limit searches to certain types of publications and resources, including quotations, almanacs and teacher resources.

tag(s): news (265), newspapers (97), search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Use this site to compare the validity of various types of reference material sources. Compare results of searches to teach critical reading skills and 21st century information literacy. Compare info from sources on this site to those in print materials. Encourage your students to use this tool for individual as well as group projects. Encourage ESL and ELL students to find sources with lower reading levels that still give the necessary information.

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National Book Awards - National Book Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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The National Book Awards, presented each November, reward the best books each year in several categories, including Young Adult. Find the definitive list of all the winners through...more
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The National Book Awards, presented each November, reward the best books each year in several categories, including Young Adult. Find the definitive list of all the winners through the years here. While visiting this site, read the multitude of interviews of famous young adult authors who have been nominated for this award in the past. If your students do author studies, this site is a necessary stop for them. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): interviews (17), literature (276)

In the Classroom

Use this site to learn about new literature to use with your students. Share the video clips on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students complete author studies and create an interactive presentation: an online book using Bookemon reviewed here, a PowerPoint, or a wiki including all of the author studies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive-Learning.com.au - K.O'Regan

Grades
6 to 12
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers...more
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers of any of those subjects to pick and choose what best fits their plans. Some examples of topics include archaeology, ancient Rome, South American Empires, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, letter writing, gorgeous grammar, common spelling errors, the Renaissance, the Middle Ages, poetry, the theatre, film, composers, and at least twenty other topics. The site declares itself "student self-directed (self-explanatory)." The links are functional, the graphics are attractive, and, while some of the activities are simple and straightforward, many of them take students into analysis and synthesis without them even realizing they are thinking on higher levels and producing work with more depth. Many of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): australia (35), civil rights (122), grammar (214), listening (92), medieval (27), poetry (225), renaissance (35), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

The world is open on this site. Choose any activity your students are interested in and this site can help you mold it into what you want for your curriculum. Students interested in fantasy? Have them investigate and write from the "Fantasy-Myths and Legends" prompt. Trouble with grammar? Have them print off the worksheets from "Gorgeous Grammar" and play online, interactive, Grammar Gorillas. This site's use is only limited by your imagination! From virtual site studies to student web projects-- it's all here!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lexile - MetaMetrics, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Whether or not your school uses the Lexile system to measure reading levels, you will want to become familiar with it as one way to measure the reading level ...more
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Whether or not your school uses the Lexile system to measure reading levels, you will want to become familiar with it as one way to measure the reading level of a book. Lexile level information, along with the student's own participation in the choice, can make book selection a positive experience for any reader. Many publishers are now offering Lexiles to measure the reading levels of their materials. Many schools use Lexile measuring to determine the precise reading level of their students. Explore "About Lexiles" menu for more information on 'how' the measuring is done. On the homepage, click on the Tools menu to find a Lexile Analyzer that allows you to cut and paste text into an entry box to determine its Lexile readability level. (You will need to register for the free use of the Analyzer.) Choose English (or another language) book database to find the Lexile level of your classroom books. The Lexile Calculator lets you figure out the rate of comprehension based upon Lexile scores. Lexile leveling is also available for Spanish text. Explore the variety of tools to help analyze and match books for your students.

Registration is free. An email address is required, as is some other information. Some materials on this site require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

Another helpful resource in understanding Lexile levels is this pdf comparison chart from Harcourt (opens in Acrobat Reader).

tag(s): readability (7)

In the Classroom

Make Lexiles one of the tools you use to make reading a positive experience for your students. The more you know about the student and the actual content of the books, the more helpful the Lexiles can be in assisting a match. If your school reports data to parents using Lexile scoring, download the white papers to give to them at conferences to explain Lexile scores in 'parent friendly' language. Include this link on your classroom web page. If your students know their Lexile level, you will want Lexile levels on your classroom library materials so students can match a book to both their reading level and their interests. As an FYI, SOME books listed on Barnes and Noble's online site include Lexile levels in the descriptions (just after age level). Lexile connects to Barnes and Noble directly from this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Held accountable - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail! ...more
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail!

tag(s): africa (178), black history (62), civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (71)

In the Classroom

Teachers can pick and choose easily from among several strands of thought among these lesson plans, either to supplement a unit on the Civil War, for use during Black History observations, or in an English class focused on story telling and personal voice. It could also provide interesting materials for reading comprehension practice using content area materials. All the plans follow a pretty regular format: link to the Times article, read it and discuss, but this kind of break from the use of a standard textbook can be refreshing. Many plans include a vocabulary list, ideas for extension activities and focus on making the lesson as interdisciplinary as possible. As you celebrate Presidents Day (especially Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009), check out this site for Lincoln resources!

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TeachersFirst Resources for Dr. Seuss - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources is terrific on Dr. Seuss' birthday in March or to find resources to share via your teacher web page. There is information for ALL grade ...more
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This collection of reviewed resources is terrific on Dr. Seuss' birthday in March or to find resources to share via your teacher web page. There is information for ALL grade levels, and the subjects include everything from reading to history to science to math! Many of the sites are interactive, some include lesson plans, and others are great for research!

tag(s): preK (291), read across america (5)

In the Classroom

Why not find some special projects and activities for March 2? Whatever subject and grade you teach, you are sure to find something useful here.

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TESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links - ITESLJ

Grades
1 to 12
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this...more
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this site is "plain vanilla" and not high-tech, it has been around for a long time and offers a comprehensive list of sites to use with ESL and ELL students. English/language arts teachers will also find the vocabulary development options helpful for any student, especially those who may need extra learning support.

Be sure to check out "What's New" for recent additions. Go to "Main Page" and try the search box; it's a good place to try to find the links you remember from awhile back but have lost track of.

tag(s): holidays (152), idioms (44), sight words (37), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website. Use this site for vocabulary ideas with your ESL and ELL students AND in your world language classes or mainstream language arts classes. The variety at this site offers something for every classroom learning English or another language.

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Learn English with Pictures and Audio - Jacob Richman

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers a pronouncing picture dictionary arranged alphabetically. Students can click on letters of the alphabet to see a selection of pictures and hear the words pronounced....more
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This site offers a pronouncing picture dictionary arranged alphabetically. Students can click on letters of the alphabet to see a selection of pictures and hear the words pronounced. They can also select "Index" which leads to an entire listing (34 total lists) of the words offered. The site continues to add new content, including videos for learning English!

tag(s): sight words (37), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Share this link from your class website for ESL and ELL students to use the picture/pronouncing dictionary both in and out of the classroom. Try the videos on a classroom computer or projector with a small group. Teachers may enjoy using the print option for creating paper copies of the target word lists. ESL/ELL teachers can also assign specific lists to students so they can work individually on pronouncing and understanding the words.

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Reading For All - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading,...more
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This TeachersFirst professional page includes extensive resources for Reading in the Content Areas, Graphic Organizers, Reading Strategies, Vocabulary Development, Elementary Reading, independent reading, and special topics reading lists. The page also includes a link for you to purchase books from Amazon and have TeachersFirst receive a portion of the proceeds. TeachersFirst is a free service of a non-profit since 1998. Why not shop through this link to help TeachersFirst continue its service to teachers worldwide?

tag(s): amazon (8), area (67)

In the Classroom

No matter what you teach, these resources will help you target reading and study skills for better comprehension and more.

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5 Sources for Free and Legal Images - The Blog Herald

Grades
K to 12
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging...more
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging students or using them on your whole-class blog or wiki. The sources include abstract photos and current events new stories, as well as general photos. Each has its own search/browse features. The services include: Voxant Newsroom, PicApp, GumGum, Zemanta, and PhotoDropper.

tag(s): blogs (89), images (276)

In the Classroom

Since each site has its own directions, our review team will not explain the how-to's of each here. Some require access to install a plug-in on your blog, such as wordpress. Many school blogging sites do not provide this access. Others permit embedding an image simple by copy/pasting code into your blog or wiki. Two are actually extensions you add to Firefox or Internet Explorer and may require tech department authorization or installation on school computers.

If you do allow students to join a site, be sure to adhere to school policies. As always, we recommend previewing the content available on each site before recommending it to your students. These images sites are NOT education-only, so some image content may not be classroom-appropriate. Have a policy and consequences in place before turning your students loose.

Art teachers or writing teachers can use the abstract images from the GumGum option as writing prompts or to launch discussion on design principles. If your students have individual blogs, allow them to personalize the "look" using these legal images. Be sure to model thinking aloud about why you are using a legal image source. Use news images or videos from Vixant Newsroom as prompts for current events discussions on your blog or wiki, or assign students to select a news story and write an in-depth analysis of it to accompany the image/video. English or social studies teachers teaching persuasive writing can assign students to use their multimedia skills as they present arguments both verbally and visually on a class "issues" wiki. Younger students can help select images to include on a whole-class wiki or blog then add their own writing about them. A teacher can embed a sequence of photos and ask student to tell the story that explains it. Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page for your tech-savvy teens to use as they generate projects with LEGAL images. Of course you will require them to document their sources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wonder How To - Wonder How To, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to ...more
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to comment on the videos, grade the videos, or submit your own "how to" video. Topics vary; some are appropriate for the classroom - others are definitely NOT appropriate. Some of the general topics that may be useful in the middle school or high school classroom include: alcohol, autos, motorcycles, and planes, business and money, computers and programming, diet and health, education (which features a variety of science experiments and more), film and theater, language (English, Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, Finnish, sign language, Polish, and countless others), music and instruments, travel, and several other topics. Within each of these general topics, there are thousands of specific "how to" videos.

Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aircraft (24), business (58), money (190), russian (28), sign language (8)

In the Classroom

Use these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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