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TypeIt - Tomasz P. Szynalski

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Type characters and accents in any foreign language simply by clicking them on screen using TypeIt. Especially handy for those of us who do not know the keyboard shortcuts (or ...more
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Type characters and accents in any foreign language simply by clicking them on screen using TypeIt. Especially handy for those of us who do not know the keyboard shortcuts (or ASCI codes) for accents and unlauts, this handy tool lets you compose in a text box, then simply copy/paste the text into your "destination." Now you can write text to include in the many online tools reviewed by the TeachersFirst Edge and include the accurate accents and diacritical markings vitally important to language learning. Simply keep Type It open in one tab and your tool of choice open in another. Prepare the text in TypeIt and copy/paste to text boxes in any tool or even in PowerPoint, Word, or interactive whiteboard software. Type It is easier to use than "insert character" in most word processing programs, as well!

tag(s): french (88), german (64), spanish (108), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Have students creating projects in your language class? Now online posters made using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here or timelines created using a site such as Timetoast reviewed here can include the markings that are part of the language. Mark this one in your favorites and make it available from your class web page for students to use it any time, in and out of class.

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WinkBall - WinkBall

Grades
K to 12
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to ...more
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Winkball is a fun on-line video communication tool that provides a variety of publishing formats. Using a webcam, users can engage in live web chats and record video messages to email or post on video blogs and walls. Choose to communicate with the general public, set groups, or speak to only one person. Winkball supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files and imports videos directly from YouTube. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. There are no ads except for a very short Winkball ad that appears at the end of each video clip. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. You will want to check to be sure that all portions you plan to use in class will be available using your school's network.

tag(s): journalism (46)

In the Classroom

Winkball requires the use of a webcam or video camera. Simply adjust the camera for a good shot and click record. The preview feature allows users to clear away initial takes and start again. Download video camera footage onto the computer and then directly upload it to Winkball. The site supports the uploading of MPEG, AVI, WMV, and QuickTime video files. Enter a title and description for each video clip. Students can also embed videos from Youtube onto video blogs or walls. The maximum size of each file cannot exceed 100MB. The site is intuitive and involves little more than point and click abilities. Create a single class account using your "extra" email address, so you can monitor and submit student work.

Winkball has the potential to extend learning beyond the confines of your school. It can provide learning opportunities for students physically unable to attend class or who need to receive coursework from another school. Students can film various features of a field trip and share them on a video wall. Video chat will allow students to record interviews with people outside of the local community. Coordinate collaborative learning projects by having students share resources on video blog. The video blog could also serve as an on-line journal for phases of a long-term unit of study, experiment, or class project. Record the stages of a student's thinking process when engaging in creative problem solving activities. Share the value of this learning process with parents and family by posting a video wall on the class website. Create a broadcasting club and post regular news reports about school events on the school website. Upload a film clip about a historic event onto a class video blog and include a probing question that asks students take a stand on an issue, express their opinion, or debate one another on-line. Provide homework help by recording step-by step procedures to solve a particular type of math problem at home. Model ways parents can help their student with their reading. Post live coverage of class plays, concerts, and school performances so that parents at work can still be in the audience. Make language learning more authentic by using video messaging to communicate with students across the globe.

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Sentence Scrambler - altastic.com

Grades
1 to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This sentence scrambler allows teachers to type or paste in as many sentences as they would like and scrambles the words at random. Any punctuation typed in remains attached to ...more
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This sentence scrambler allows teachers to type or paste in as many sentences as they would like and scrambles the words at random. Any punctuation typed in remains attached to the word it is next to. Students can then try to unscramble the sentences. Options include putting slashes or dashes between words to make them easier to distinguish. After typing/pasting the desired number of sentences, teachers should check the box marked "Add Numbers" in order to have the sentences separated and numbered. Sentences in Spanish can also be scrambled. Rearranging the words is not part of the interactive activity.

tag(s): grammar (216), inferencing (5), sentences (52), sight words (37)

In the Classroom

ESL and ELL students will find this activity useful for practicing correct English word order. Primary teachers can also use it to teach basic sight words, sequencing, and inferencing skills with short sentences. After typing/pasting in the sentences, copy the scrambled word box on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students write or type the paragraph in the correct order.

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Jollo - jollo.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This new translation tool allows students and teachers to type a word or phrase to be translated to/from 41 languages. The site shows the words and says it has audio ...more
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This new translation tool allows students and teachers to type a word or phrase to be translated to/from 41 languages. The site shows the words and says it has audio translation, though our reviewers were not able to make it work. It also shows the translation as done by a variety of other sites on the internet including Google Translate, World Lingo, and Yahoo's Babelfish. It's very fast. There's a section where students can see common phrases and translations recently requested.

tag(s): chinese (48), greek (41), hebrew (14), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), russia (38), russian (26), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

If you have e-mail pals in other countries or are working on a collaborative project in multiple languages, this site will help you communicate across the world (within limits of auto-translation). You can also use this tool to underscore similarities in related languages as you study English vocabulary and its roots. In world language classes, use this site to compare translations done by the different sites and to demonstrate the fact that instant translators cannot do your homework for you! Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site with ESL/ELL students. As with any site that aggregates from multiple sources, there is some need possibility of coming up with results others have requested that are in poor taste. Also be sure students know consequences of typing inappropriate words. If you suspect that a student is using an instant translator to DO homework, this site will help you test most available translators to find the one he/she may be using.

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Sporcle - Sporcle, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge...more
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge against a timer. Accessing the comments below can lead to spoilers that reveal answers. Become stumped during a game? Click on "Give up" to end the game and reveal the rest of the answers. Teachers should preview and provide the DIRECT link to the games or section (such as geography) they wish students to use. The "popular" listings and some advertising on this site may include questionable content for classrooms. . These games would be great study tools for students, both in and out of the classroom!

tag(s): elements (36), literature (275), maps (288), phonics (75), presidents (131), vowels (13)

In the Classroom

Share specific activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers should provide the address URL of the actual game to prevent students from accessing other games (or advertisements that you may wish to avoid). Use these interactives as individual activities or in groups to learn a variety of data. For example, play "Element by Symbol" to review the names of the elements of the periodic table by knowing the names of the symbols. This game entertained this science teacher editor and her chemistry student son for fifteen minutes. Enjoy other science games or in subjects such as Geography, History, or Literature. Use the unknown answers that are shown at the end to create study cards in order to improve scores the next time.

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Brainflips - Brainflips, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are ...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are literally HUNDREDS of ready to go flashcard packets: presidents, addition, algebra, music, and more.

If you are creating your own, you can add images, video, or audio. Study flashcards online or share with others in created study groups. Use flashcards to learn new information (question and answer are side by side,) study (shows the question and then the answer,) or quiz themselves by entering answers. Create a game with the flashcards by using a timer and score board on the site. Share flashcard sets with others by sending a URL address or create study groups to share. View public flashcards created by others by using their search feature.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (46), presidents (131), word study (80)

In the Classroom

You can access the already created flashcards without any account, email, or age requirements. However, if you wish to create flashcards, an email and birth date is required to create an account. Users must be 13 years of age or older.

Using Brainflips: Use the Deck panel to enter flashcard deck title and other basic information. Use the Card panel to add, edit, and change the order of the flashcards in the deck. Create text or multiple choice answers for each flashcard and even enter alternative answers. Click "Insert" above the question field to add images, audio, and video to flashcards.

Safety/Security: Since an email and birth date are required, consider creating a class account for teacher use or for groups of students to use. Create teacher flashcards for class use by creating card decks and providing the URL for students to use. You may want to send students to the flashcards via a direct link to the deck.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names --- all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. You can use multiple tags, too! In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or using teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere with a specific URL that can be placed on any teacher blog or website. No email address is needed to use the cards, only to create the cards. Include the link to your sets on your web page for students to study before tests. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials" with color coding, images, and more.

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Bab.la - bab.la

Grades
K to 12
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Need to translate words or phrases into another language? Use this free and easy to use site for translations. in various languages (Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese,...more
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Need to translate words or phrases into another language? Use this free and easy to use site for translations. in various languages (Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese, Polish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hindi, German, and French). View dictionaries that exist between languages, hear audio of the translations, take quizzes, or try language games. Students can play language activities such as hangman, scrambled words, memorize, or match it, as well. Customize each game by clicking "change" next to the "settings." Choose different languages, ease of play, and categories of words.

tag(s): chinese (48), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), korea (15), portuguese (18), russia (38), russian (26)

In the Classroom

Use this translator for understanding foreign words or how words compare between different languages. Use this in a world cultures class when looking at other cultures and to learn or use basics of their language. Have students create online books defining newly discovered words (in other languages). Use an online book making tool such as Bookemon reviewed here.

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Radio Lingua Network - Radio Lingua

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee...more
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This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee Break Spanish" and "One Minute French." Some of the programs require students to subscribe using a simple form, but most do not require any registration. They can then search the entire lesson content or just search by language. Focus languages include Spanish, French, German, Italian, English, and many other languages, primarily European, though Mandarin and Japanese podcasts are also available. Students will love being able to load the lessons on their Ipods, mobile phones, and computers! The "Guided Tour" section of the page allows students and teachers to learn how to use the site and focus on whatever their particular aims for study are. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): german (64), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Share this site, on your interactive whiteboard or projector, with world language students, particularly independent learners at whom the site is aimed. Students getting ready to take school-sponsored trips to European countries, for example, could benefit from the quick introduction and easy access this site provides to simple language lessons. ESL and ELL students will enjoy using the English podcasts as supplements to their in-school English instruction. Why not challenge students to create their own language podcasts using a site such as Podomatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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U.S.A. Learns - U.S. Dept of Ed

Grades
2 to 12
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This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but...more
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This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but it is required to track progress. When registering, an email address is optional. After registration, students can choose a course at the appropriate level. There are 3 in English and 3 in Spanish. Students can then choose the specific lessons and follow its specific activities in order for each featured topic. Learning activities include videos, transcripts for the video text, questions, listening, stories, vocabulary practice, writing exercises, quizzes, and even voice recordings for pronunciation practice. Although registration is not absolutely necessary, doing so allows students to keep a record of the activities they have already completed. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): pronunciation (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous site for ESL, ELL, learning support, and students learning Spanish! Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with Spanish students who do well at working on learning independently. ESL and ELL students will also benefit from going through the lessons, individually or in pairs. Teachers can register independently from their students and keep track of learner progress and participation. As students learn new vocabulary words, challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book sharing their newfound vocabulary. Use a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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This I Believe, Inc. - Jay Allison, NPR, et. al.

Grades
7 to 12
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This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site...more
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This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site is an inspiration to students and can serve as an essay starter, a discussion starter, or contemporary information about politics, economics, and the world. On its home page it states that this is "an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives." There are essays from the 1950's when the first incarnation of this idea was heard on the radio from famed journalist Edward R. Murrow. There are essays from those who are famous and those you never heard of. All of the essays are short--usually no more than 400 words. You can hear some of them as they were first broadcast on NPR, and there is a general podcast you can play which defines the site. Anyone can submit their own "This I Believe" essay as long as it follows the guidelines given, and they include essay-writing tips and advanced essay searches to assist anyone interested. The site includes special features which deal with specific topics and there are ideas for educators, students, and community leaders. The printable curricula require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1950s (12), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Searching the "For Educators" page gives you a wide variety of ideas for using this site and these essays. Since students enjoy using first person point of view in their writing, this might be an inspiration for some. You can use some of these essays as conversation starters on topics you are studying in class. (Example: Penn Jillette wrote his essay stating that he believes there is no god. This could be related to many books studied, such as 1984 or Brave New World.) Have students write their essays as blog entries or record them as podcasts using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or as an illustrated essay using ThingLink, reviewed here. Spanish teachers will want to explore the options to listen to or write essays in Spanish, as well.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook...more
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ESL/ELL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Our editors made a sample for you to see.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click to Enter The Site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. The link for Writer Prompts can be found on the bottom right side of the site. The Writer Prompts link will lead you to the creator's blog, with many writing prompts (with new prompts added often). This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (145), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This one is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless.

The site creators tell us that Makebeliefscomix accepts accent marks and characters from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, in addition to English, they hope soon to add Chinese and Japanese.

Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Visit often, as new prompts are added weekly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Nepantla: Between Worlds - Race Bridges for Schools

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan set uses a Latino story teller whose stories to promote tolerance and embrace diversity. Short MP3 extracts are provided, which can be heard on Windows Media Player...more
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This lesson plan set uses a Latino story teller whose stories to promote tolerance and embrace diversity. Short MP3 extracts are provided, which can be heard on Windows Media Player or your computer's chosen audio program. At the time of this review, some of the MP3 tracks include "My Own Rhythms," "Why Do You Want To Go To College," "Bridge Between Worlds," and many others. With a complete lesson plans accompanying the story sections, this resource is ready to use in a variety of situations. Other lesson plan topics on ths site include : Feathers of the Wind: A Jewish-American Story, A More Perfect Union, Hidden Memory: Japanese American Internment, and several others. New lesson plans and story excerpts appear often. This site requires Windows Media Player (or similar MP3 audio player) and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): diversity (36), immigration (58), mexico (34), migration (59), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Social studies and language arts teachers will enjoy this site when talking about diversity, second generation immigrants, living between two cultural worlds, etc. Use some of the story extracts when your school is celebrating holidays around the world. Share the audio clips. And be sure to TURN UP THE VOLUME. When studying folk literature and culture, have your students search through the extracts for evidence of underlying myths and universal tales. Have your ESL students from Hispania compare their experiences to those in the stories.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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busuu.com - UNESCO

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers language lessons for 4 languages: Spanish, English, French and German. The site plans to add additional languages in the future. Joining for free allows students to...more
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This site offers language lessons for 4 languages: Spanish, English, French and German. The site plans to add additional languages in the future. Joining for free allows students to learn vocabulary, dialog, writing, oral skills, comprehension, and more - in a highly interactive format. Support from native speakers is a regular feature of this site using the interactive video chat capability. The range of topics includes more than 100 commonly used language situations. The site saves errors for review, lists of lessons already studied, results of those lessons, etc. This project of UNESCO's International Year for Languages offers lessons in "What you really need to know!" This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), social networking (112), spanish (108), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Check school policies concerning both student memberships and interaction with outsiders. You will want a written set of rules which both students and parents agree to before allowing students to navigate on their own in the portions of the site that use video chat with outsiders. Younger students (under 13) should use a teacher or class account, rather than an individual one, to avoid conflict with COPPA (child online protection act in the U.S.).

Make this site available from your class web page or as a favorite on local machines for ESL, ELL, and world language students to use to reinforce their survival and vocabulary skills. World cultures classes might even want to "taste" a bit of a language as they learn about other countries. French, German, and Spanish language students will enjoy the opportunity to "chat" with native speakers in their target study languages. (Be sure you have parent permission for students to interact with outsiders!). You will need headphones or speakers for the audio portions of this site. This site is excellent for enrichment or personal learning. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Salsa - Georgia Public Broadcasting

Grades
K to 12
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This Spanish language program features TV segments of popular children's stories in Spanish. The forty-two TV episodes include puppets, animation, live action and music characteristic...more
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This Spanish language program features TV segments of popular children's stories in Spanish. The forty-two TV episodes include puppets, animation, live action and music characteristic of Hispanic culture. Besides transcripts, the website includes activity guides, educational games, review activities, etc. In some episodes, the action is translated into sign language for the hearing impaired, as well! Complete transcripts in Spanish and English allow the instructor to pre-teach vocabulary and set up the situation before showing the video. One of the main advantages of using this program in a mixed language class is that the Spanish speaking students suddenly become the authorities in the classroom; they can assist the instructor with the episodes and activities.

Although the site contains the option to buy the TV segments and booklets, the materials are available for free on the website. The site also includes a complete broadcast schedule from Georgia Public Broadcasting.

tag(s): spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use these episodes as a supplement to regular Spanish language classes or as enrichment for elementary classes wishing to learn a language. Encourage your Spanish speaking class members to assist with pronunciation, episode summaries, songs, etc. Provide this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom; both the activities and stories help with Spanish language comprehension. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a model for world language stuedents, then challenge students create their own stories (on video, of course). Use a tool like Stupeflix, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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1000 Images on the Tip of my Tongue - Centre collegial de developpement de materiel didactique

Grades
5 to 12
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This tri-lingual site: English, French, and Spanish, presents idioms organized in categories. After choosing a category, students see a list of matching expressions. They can hear...more
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This tri-lingual site: English, French, and Spanish, presents idioms organized in categories. After choosing a category, students see a list of matching expressions. They can hear the idioms pronounced and used in sentences. This site offers a new and different feature than most idiom sites: a link to an equivalent idiom in French or Spanish! The only idioms here are idioms with similar expressions in the three languages, though they are not directly translated. By clicking on Activities, students can see selected idioms in animated cartoons with sound; there is also the text of the utterance available at another click. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): idioms (44), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use this in reading classes studying English idioms and figures of speech or in middle level French and Spanish classes to help students remember idioms in those languages by aligning them with similar expressions in English. Include the site in your class web page for easy access from computer labs or home.

Challenge your class to create an illustrated idiom wiki in English or the language you are studying, adding digital pictures to "illustrate" the idiom literally and in its figurative meaning: Ex. "feeling blue" with a photo of a person shaded blue, then one of a SAD person. Be sure to include the text and a link to the page on this site for visitors to hear the clip, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ancient Mexico -The Art, Culture and History of Ancient Mesoamerica - Patrick Oliveras

Grades
4 to 12
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire,...more
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire, a clickable Mesoamerican time line and a wonderful interactive map. View the ruins of the cities of Pre-Columbian Mexico by clicking on their names on the map! Watch the conquest of Mexico as a flash animation of ancient drawings and music. Read the words of the Spanish explorers in the primary source documents of Mexico. Although Ancient Mexico is a commercial site, the advertising is limited to the books and DVD's for sale on the topic of Mesoamerica and some history-related Google ads. This site requires Flash to enjoy the music and animation. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): mexico (34), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Tour Ancient Mexico as a whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard or projector. If students have access to computers, let groups delve into selected topics and create travel posters and brochures as their research projects. Students can look at the cities in ruins, explore architectural styles and ceremonial uses of the buildings, and find contemporary examples.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English Interactive - A. Gil and H. Massingham

Grades
2 to 10
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This wonderful, highly interactive ESL site includes survival topics, grammar, culture, and vocabulary at three levels for English learners. The BIG caveat is that the explanation for...more
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This wonderful, highly interactive ESL site includes survival topics, grammar, culture, and vocabulary at three levels for English learners. The BIG caveat is that the explanation for the teachers and students and a lot of the metalanguage is in Spanish. Click on menu, though, and all the topics come up in English. The intermediate and advanced levels are still under construction, but the highly interactive quality of the beginning sites offers a promise of continued excellent material. Click on the "P" on the left side of the interface to see printable reviews of many topics, especially grammar, all in English. The most in-depth portions are survival vocabulary and grammar.

Be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker so you can "see" all the site content. Although the pronunciation is in British English, this is a great, high-content site. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (216), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Save this site to your favorites so you (and your students) can easily find this site. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference and for engaging extra practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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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Inspired Beginners Spanish Podcast - Ben Curtis and Marina Diez

Grades
5 to 12
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This language-rich website features podcasts spoken using British English. The podcasts review the previous episode, explain new English vocabulary, discuss the subject in English,...more
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This language-rich website features podcasts spoken using British English. The podcasts review the previous episode, explain new English vocabulary, discuss the subject in English, and then present the Spanish language podcast. Be aware that clicking to play a podcast will start a long pause as the podcast downloads to your computer, and it may appear that noting is happening! The subjects are of high interest for students. The name is somewhat of a misnomer, though, since people with no knowledge of Spanish might be a bit overwhelmed by the language used. Unfortunately, accompanying worksheets with complete transcripts are not free, and there is no text available elsewhere. There are a few other free worksheets available under the About link (see resources). Listening options include listening on your computer, iPod, or mp3 player as podcasts.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This site includes tools for blog users to interact (in English or Spanish). Any visitor can comment on the posts and podcasts or participate in Forums. There is also a link to a sister blog on Spanish culture. Check your school policies on students posting comments, etc. to the web and whether they are permitted to do so anonymously and/or with name or initials.

This site requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): podcasts (52), spanish (108), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This site is a treasure trove for Spanish teachers. It also provides a way for your ESL and ELL students to share their language and culture as the focus of a lesson, perhaps as you study other cultures. Have the ESL or ELL students and native English speakers work on understanding podcasts together. They can discuss what they understood and what they did not. You might have your Spanish speakers write out the dialogue and vocabulary selections, but be sure to have a knowledgeable adult check the Spanish before using it with your students.

To alleviate safety concerns, you might want to create a simple class policy (e.g. initials only) and obtain parent permission before inviting your class to participate in the blog, since you will not be able to monitor their submissions. The site does moderate to prevent "bad" comments from appearing online, but you do not control this moderation. ALL blog comments require an email address (kept hidden). If safety and school policy concerns limit student access, use the site as a whole-class activity and selectively choose portions for students to use. You can assign DIRECT links to podcasts by right-clicking the "Audio: download" link and copying the URL that shows in "Properties," ex. http://media.libsyn.com/media/learnrealspanish/nisbeginners20_el_kindle.mp3. Students can RIGHT-click >Save target as to download and load podcast files to their mp3 players or simply keep to listen over and over at a computer.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Word Reference - wordreference.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up...more
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up in English, there are links to other dictionary pages where the word appears in a sentence. You can click on the audio button to hear the word spoken in both languages. This feature is only available in more commonly used words

There are also immediate clicks to other languages, so a student could check the same word in Spanish and French very easily. In addition to the translation dictionaries, there are also "English Dictionaries" (non-interactive) available in Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Czech, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Arabic (coming soon). Many of the foreign language dictionaries will increase in volume as the site developers add more vocabulary.

Be aware: this site does include minor advertisements. There is a link to Language Forums. It is probably best to advise students to stay away from the forums.

tag(s): chinese (48), dictionaries (56), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), korea (15), portuguese (18), russia (38), russian (26)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers for use by ESL/ELL and foreign language students or for use when studying derivations and word families in English (compare the same word across several languages to see how close they can be!). Students can take an active role in vocabulary preview work by using this site in prior to reading. Be sure to list this site on your class webpage so students can access this information both in and out of the classroom.

If you are introducing new vocabulary words to your foreign language class. Have them use this site to find the appropriate translations. Then have the students work in cooperative learning groups to create online vocabulary guide books using a tool such at Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to keep the links for future students to use the guides, as well.

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