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Science projects, ideas & topics - Science Made Simple

Grades
K to 12
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This "plain vanilla" looking site offers science help for parents, students, and teachers with simple explanations of science topics and ideas for experiments and projects. There is...more
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This "plain vanilla" looking site offers science help for parents, students, and teachers with simple explanations of science topics and ideas for experiments and projects. There is an extensive section devoted to creating a wonderful science fair that includes project ideas, how to pick a topic, presenting projects, judging, and parent information. There are also many at-home ideas for projects using simple, easy to find materials such as swinging cereal to demonstrate static electricity. You can sign up for their free newsletter to stay informed of new materials added to the site. There is an online store; however, it isn't necessary to purchase materials to use most of the information offered onsite.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (79), electricity (89), experiments (71), photosynthesis (33), plants (144)

In the Classroom

Share portions of the site such as how to use a lab notebook or how to do experiments safely on your interactive whiteboard when beginning science projects. Use the site as a resource for classroom experiments with materials that are readily available. Assign experiments for students to do at home, then have them prepare a presentation for the class describing science concepts demonstrated and learned. Secondary teachers can assign students a topic from the Science News portion of the site to read and discuss with the class. Challenge students to create a multimedia project to share with the class using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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SMART Board Goodies - Amber Coggin

Grades
K to 12
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This bright and cheerful blog offers original interactive whiteboard resources created by a certified SMARTboard trainer. The site is updated often, get notices of updates by email...more
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This bright and cheerful blog offers original interactive whiteboard resources created by a certified SMARTboard trainer. The site is updated often, get notices of updates by email or by following on Twitter or Facebook. To find archived files, search the site using the search box at the top of the page, search archived files by month, or find links to notebook files on the right-hand side of the home page. Especially helpful are the author's notes when posting new files as she offers tips on how to use it in the classroom. An example is the singing horses file (check it out, very funny!) that she uses to help students get used to using an interactive whiteboard while learning cause and effect. Be sure to check out the Facebook page template which includes a template for student use. Since this teacher uses SMART brand IWB, you may need to use SMART Notebook Express reviewed hereto open some files on another brand of whiteboard.

tag(s): iwb (31), literacy (103), numbers (204), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Shop the site for interactive whiteboard resources to download for classroom use. Use the singing horses to teach cause and effect. Use the Facebook page template for students to create biographies of famous people, of themselves for back to school, or of teachers in your building for Back to School nights! There is much to explore at this "gem" of a site!

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Snag Learnng - Snagfilms LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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Use SnagLearning to present high-quality documentaries to promote meaningful discussions in your classroom. Find great videos about many issues of today such as nuclear tipping point,...more
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Use SnagLearning to present high-quality documentaries to promote meaningful discussions in your classroom. Find great videos about many issues of today such as nuclear tipping point, the history of various forms of music, effects of desert winds, and more. Choose your subject matter from the tab along the top. Choose a grade level band as well to find videos appropriate for different age groups. Warning: as topics frequently change, be sure to preview before you share.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): movies (64), twitter (50), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use videos in your subject area to inform students about the topic being studied. Share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider using backchannel while viewing the documentary to allow students to express their feelings and thoughts. Try using the site "Get your students talking about what you want them to talk about" (reviewed here). Follow viewing with blog posts that include student reactions and topics related to what has been discussed in class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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What Browser - Google

Grades
3 to 12
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The tagline, says it all: "World, meet your browser." Use this site to identify the browser you are using, learn specific features and how it works, and identify useful tweaks. ...more
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The tagline, says it all: "World, meet your browser." Use this site to identify the browser you are using, learn specific features and how it works, and identify useful tweaks. Click on "Try a new browser" to view other browser options to identify the differences, understand the uses of browsers, and learn what exactly a web browser is.

tag(s): browser (6), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Students can use different browsers when starting class, visit this site, and learn specifics of their browsers. Consider a group of students each looking at a different browser and reporting back to the group about their specific browser. Alternatively, use a jigsaw approach by having student number off in their groups. Have each number 1 meet and work on a specific browser (and the same with the other members.) Students in the group work together to understand the browser and then report bac to their group about their specific browser.
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Adaptations and Survival - Intel

Grades
K to 6
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Learn about how a variety of species adapt to their environment. Listen to the narration as the slides move through the presentation. Take the short quiz at the end to ...more
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Learn about how a variety of species adapt to their environment. Listen to the narration as the slides move through the presentation. Take the short quiz at the end to see what has been learned.

tag(s): adaptations (17), diversity (36), environment (317), habitats (84)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to animal adaptations. Follow with a list of animals that students can investigate either individually or as a group. Create a chart, document, wiki, blog, or other conventional display to show information learned. Categorize each animal into different adaptation groups such as "Escape," "Protection," and "Coloration."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Weather Maker Interactive - Scholastic Kids

Grades
4 to 10
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Thinking it would be nice to control the weather, especially if you have to teach about it? Well, this site will not change your outdoor situation, but it does allow ...more
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Thinking it would be nice to control the weather, especially if you have to teach about it? Well, this site will not change your outdoor situation, but it does allow you to simulate weather that you can control. There are only two simple rules to follow: keep the poles cooler than the equator and do not allow for more than seventy degrees difference between two temperatures. Easy as can be! Click through the screens, make your choices and see what unfolds.

tag(s): animation (63), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. When you are teaching about weather, have students adjust the settings of the program to create a desired weather outcome. Create a learning center using this site and your interactive whiteboard. See what happens! Discuss what could have been done and what factors contributed to overall change.
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Selenia: Science comics - University of the West of England

Grades
2 to 8
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This colorful site offers science comics, educational interactives, links for teachers, and more. Engage students with these comics, and encourage them to identify the scientific principles...more
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This colorful site offers science comics, educational interactives, links for teachers, and more. Engage students with these comics, and encourage them to identify the scientific principles found in each. Follow up activities include word searches and other puzzles to reinforce vocabulary. Use the "For Teachers" link to find pdf lesson plans for ideas and experiments that coordinate with the comics. This site was created in Great Britain, so you may notice some slightly different spellings that US English.

tag(s): air (163), comics and cartoons (74), inquiry (37)

In the Classroom

Begin with the comic strip to introduce a concept (share on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Have students note the physical and chemical properties occurring in each frame and to identify the scientific principle being presented. Use as a class discussion and introduction to specific principle. Use the suggested experiments and activities for further inquiry and investigation. When discussing other topics in class, encourage students to create their own comic either traditionally or digitally to demonstrate their understandings of the concept. Try using an online tool for students to create comics, such as the Comic Creator (explained here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Kids Should See This - Rion Nakaya

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and ...more
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and up. Media isn't divided into categories. The newest items appear first. However, you can search the site by keyword. Information ranges from animal stories of a dog without legs to video of Ella Fitzgerald scatting. Obviously, this site is updated frequently, so contents will change. Students and adults alike will love browsing for interesting stories and information.

tag(s): news (261), speaking (24), video (253), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Check first to be sure the media are not blocked by school web filtering. Choose one item from the site to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter on current topics or as a lead-in to a lesson. (Example: show the YouTube video about order of the planets when beginning an astronomy unit). Share the site with students and let them explore to find interesting topics for research reports. Ask students to choose one item from the site to share with other students as a way to practice oral presentation skills. Use videos or images as writing prompts or blog prompts. ESL/ELL students can practice their language skills by retelling a favorite video. Challenge your students to create their own informative videos on a topic that your class is exploring. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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COLORCUBE: ColorFun - ColorCube

Grades
4 to 12
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Have lots of fun learning about color on ColorCube. Several different activities explore the world of color. In Color Paintbox mix colors from the 5 color palette to recreate the ...more
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Have lots of fun learning about color on ColorCube. Several different activities explore the world of color. In Color Paintbox mix colors from the 5 color palette to recreate the color given on the site. Explore the color systems of hue, saturation, and lightness with Color Slide by deconstructing images to find the various colors within. Try the Color Scrambles puzzle to practice color sequencing and recognition; choices at the bottom of the page allow for easy, intermediate, and difficult puzzles.

tag(s): colors (79), light (46), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector and allow students to manipulate the program. Share this site with the Art teacher in your building as a resource for teaching color. Photography teachers may want to use this site to reinforce color concepts and changes that can be made with digital photography software. IF you teach about light and the color spectrum in science classes, this site will give students a "hands on" way to "see" color.

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Epic Decide - EpicDecide.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this free and easy to use tool to make decisions quickly. Provide a question and options to choose from. View data and a make a decision based upon the ...more
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Use this free and easy to use tool to make decisions quickly. Provide a question and options to choose from. View data and a make a decision based upon the majority. Test the tool by trying the Instant Demo. Enter the answer to the following: "What would you like to vote on" and "The best options are the most"... Include as many options as are necessary. Click create the vote. Send the URL to others to read the options and make a choice. Click Settings to choose to update the acceptance of nominations. Click Results to see choices people have made. Be sure to keep the results page bookmarked in your Favorites to view the results. Results are not saved within an account.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to make choices on activities in class, what students feel about certain aspects of history or current events, or any other question where you want to offer options and collect votes. Use in clubs and organizations in school. Poll a class at the start (on iTouches) to see how they would have handled a difficult issue in history or as part of homework, have them predict what will happen in the next chapter of the novel the class is reading. Have students use the decision maker in a role play activity such as deciding whether or not your state should secede from the Union in 1861.

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A Google a Day - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Here you will find a new question each day for your students to practice their web search skills. Some are as simple as "How many cubits tall is the ...more
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Here you will find a new question each day for your students to practice their web search skills. Some are as simple as "How many cubits tall is the structure that houses the ZIP code 10118?" and others are more complicated, such as "If you were a ferry passenger traveling from Continental Europe to the country with twice as many sheep as people, in what town would you most likely dock?" What a discussion starter for key words to use in THAT search! There is also an archive of questions you can get to by clicking on the colored numbers below the question of the day.

tag(s): logic (235), problem solving (272), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Use this after presenting some of the lessons from "Google Web Search for Educators" reviewed here. Once you've been through several of those lessons, why not use "A Google a Day" for a beginning of the class warm up or an end of the class exit activity. Once you've done this for a while, you might want to switch things up and have students write their own questions (related to curriculum, of course) to challenge their classmates.

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Google's: Help your students become better searchers - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Find lesson plans and presentations to teach your students "how to search," all ready for your classroom. The lesson plans are divided up by category and ability level. There ...more
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Find lesson plans and presentations to teach your students "how to search," all ready for your classroom. The lesson plans are divided up by category and ability level. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The five main categories include: Picking the right search term, Understanding search results, Narrowing a search to get the best results, Searching for evidence for research tasks, and Evaluating credibility of sources. To access the lessons you MUST have a Google account. There are also current and past training sessions: Power Searching, Beyond the First Five, Creative Commons, When Time is Tight, and several others. These video clips are open to all and appropriate for various grade levels/subjects. There are also occasional contests listed on the site.

tag(s): creative commons (21), search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

If you are planning an inquiry or research unit, this site would be a good starting point. These lessons could end up saving you class time, and your students won't become frustrated while looking for their research information. Present the first lesson using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Next, have your students try to search the answer for one of the more complicated questions on "A Google a Day" reviewed here. Once that is done, or students give up in frustration, have each student invest in their education by deciding if they need to complete the basic, intermediate, or advanced lesson for Understanding search results. Group students who need basic instruction together, intermediate together, etc. Let them work through the lessons on their own, helping each other. Once they have completed their lesson, have them test their skills on "A Google a Day" again reviewed here to see if they need to go on to the next set of lessons, i.e. intermediate or advanced, or if they can move on to the next lesson. View the video clips (Live Trainings) to freshen up your own knowledge or share them on your projector or interactive whiteboard with your students.
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Everyday Mysteries - Library of Congress

Grades
3 to 12
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Find answers to the most interesting and intriguing questions that can be asked. Uncover cool science facts by looking at these answers. Enter a search term to find related questions...more
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Find answers to the most interesting and intriguing questions that can be asked. Uncover cool science facts by looking at these answers. Enter a search term to find related questions and answers. Browse categories such as Agriculture, Zoology, Meteorolgy, Home Economics, and Technology. View related resources and other interesting information on each page.

tag(s): agriculture (54), animals (276), climate (92), energy (197), planets (123), plants (144), questioning (31), resources (112), seasons (37)

In the Classroom

Use as a reference to answer questions that students have. Use this site to also apply information learned in the classroom. For example, when discussing light energy and wavelengths, use the explanation of why it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter to apply the information about energy and wavelength. Follow the use of this site with related labs and other activities. Follow up also with more research. For example, after learning about how an hour glass works, research, report, or create other timepieces used throughout history focusing on the advantages and disadvantages as well as the limitations and changes in technology over time.

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Common Core Standards - Pearson Education, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Start investigating the world of common core Curriculum through Pearson education. Pearson Common Core standards website offers an introduction to Common Core standards, reading standards,...more
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Start investigating the world of common core Curriculum through Pearson education. Pearson Common Core standards website offers an introduction to Common Core standards, reading standards, math standards, and information on the transition to Common Core Curriculum. All but six states have adopted common Core standards and they will be transitioned into full use by 2014. Pearson currently employs several of the authors of common core curriculum. Free webinars offer information about introductions to common core, math and reading, and transitions into common core. Included on this site is a blog and parent information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): commoncore (92), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Begin your transition in to the world of Common Core Curriculum by starting with great webinars and resources. The webinars are very informational and give great insight. Find ways to begin to align your own teaching by offering more rigor and challenge. Stay in touch with the latest blogs on Common Core Information.
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Colonial Gardener - Colonial Williamsburg

Grades
2 to 6
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Try your best to grow the beautiful gardens of Colonial Williamsburg! The more flowers you grow, the greater your point total. To grow beautiful flowers you need to hoe and ...more
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Try your best to grow the beautiful gardens of Colonial Williamsburg! The more flowers you grow, the greater your point total. To grow beautiful flowers you need to hoe and weed the gardens, the better you do, the more elaborate the garden. This activity is easy to follow, simply press on the x or z button to control the actions in the garden. Clicking on "more information" will give you information about the actual gardens and people of Colonial Williamsburg.

tag(s): colonial america (107), colonization (16), plants (144)

In the Classroom

Display and try the activity on the interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on plants to demonstrate the growth and care of plants in a garden. During a unit on Colonial Times allow students to try this activity to see what it was like to do chores in the Colonial Days. This is a great one for a learning station and/or cooperative learning groups!
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Doctor Doctor Lesson - Genki English

Grades
K to 4
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes...more
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These multi-media lessons provide an alternative approach for young elementary students or ESL/ELL students trying to learn body parts. With song files and a video, this site makes it easy for language learners to acquire body part name knowledge easily. The video and song lyrics make the "Body Part" lesson entertaining and memorable. There is also a "Make a Face" interactive. To use the video part, download the "Realvideo" player. This is about the only items that are FREE at this site, but they are still worth a look if teaching body parts or expressions of the face.

In order to get the "free" printable cards, worksheets, and acompanying language games you must buy the Teacher's Set, Superpack, or Download Pack. However, the video and songs ARE free and fun!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): faces (3), human body (120), preK (279), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use the videos on this site to introduce basic English to ESL/ELL students in a fun and energetic way. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view that 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.
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Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine - pcrm.org

Grades
4 to 12
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View excellent information from an organization of doctors dedicated to publishing the truth about the way our nation eats. Learn about fast food, issues with various types of foods,...more
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View excellent information from an organization of doctors dedicated to publishing the truth about the way our nation eats. Learn about fast food, issues with various types of foods, and characteristics of different types of diets. View issues of the day, current notes, and videos of hot topics.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): fitness (49), myplate (28), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

When discussing foods, biomolecules, or the food groups or portion control, use this site as a tremendous resource that discusses not only scientific facts but how nutrients act in the body. Use this information and search for other information to validate or dispute the information. Create a healthy discussion about web resources and credibility. Encourage students to pick a nutrition issue they would like to know more about and research to create a multimedia presentation (blog or wiki post, podcast, or video) or conventional (bulletin board, poster, or pamphlet) display of the information. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Do: NASA's site for Kids! - NASA

Grades
1 to 12
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Here is NASA's site full of space-related activities for kids! Activities range from at home to classroom activities, with all levels of ease. ...more
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Here is NASA's site full of space-related activities for kids! Activities range from at home to classroom activities, with all levels of ease.

tag(s): nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Make sure to check here for a unit on space, or recommend to parents for enrichment at home ideas.

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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 (56), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (44), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word clouds (10), word study (80)

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
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (92), numbers (204), phonics (75)

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.
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