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QuizBean - Bluehouse Group

Grades
K to 12
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QuizBean is an online quiz generator that does not require registration. Create "this or that" (sorting) quizzes that involve two options easily and quickly. Begin with a title then...more
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QuizBean is an online quiz generator that does not require registration. Create "this or that" (sorting) quizzes that involve two options easily and quickly. Begin with a title then add quiz answer options. These will be the same two answers for every question. Write the question in the next screen. Add as many additional questions as desired. When completed, save and share via your unique QuizBean URL or send via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Responses receive a correct or incorrect notification. A running total of responses displays on the right side of the screen. Although this site is recommended for all grades, with elementary students the teacher should create the QuizBean for students (with their input). The home page features titles of quizzes created by current users (general public). Check the site before sharing it with students. Displayed on the front page are the most recent quizzes For example, at the time of this review, there were quizzes about beer preference.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

This site would be great for review in many subject areas. Share how to use this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a QuizBean for early elementary students to identify nouns and verbs, animals and plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, healthy or unhealthy foods, etc. Have students identify Union or Confederate items for Civil War studies. In Science challenge students to categorize animals as mammal or reptile. Pretest your gifted students and allow them to "test out" of material already known. Challenge students to create their own QuizBean for others to use for review and post a link to the quizzes on the class website or blog. Create this-or-that quizzes for ESL/ELL students as they learn English, and then as they start writing to identify proper subject verb and subject pronoun agreement.

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The Book Drum - Book Drum, Ltd.

Grades
5 to 12
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Book Drum has the ultimate in book reviews and more for classic and contemporary fiction and nonfiction. Reviews are so colossally informative that Book Drum calls them "profiles" instead...more
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Book Drum has the ultimate in book reviews and more for classic and contemporary fiction and nonfiction. Reviews are so colossally informative that Book Drum calls them "profiles" instead of reviews. All types of readers will enjoy the interactive, visual content and attention to detail. Each "profile" has what you would expect: a summary, author information, and a review. However, that is where the "normal" stops and the colossal will begin. Some of the pages also include videos, gorgeous photos with captions and explanations, and maps of the area. The glossary defines difficult, unusual, and world language vocabulary. The most impressive feature is the Bookmarks. This is a page-by-page commentary and illustrations of the text. Head over to Book Drum and type in your favorite book title to see how informative it is. If your favorite book that is not on Book Drum, contact them and ask for a "profile" to be created or volunteer to create one for them as a contributor. Some of the videos require Flash.

tag(s): authors (120), book lists (128), book reports (35), independent reading (128), novels (24), writers workshop (31)

In the Classroom

Whether you are a high school class studying "To Kill a Mockingbird" or an elementary teacher reading Roald Dahl's "Mathilda" with your class, you will want to share with the excellent research that has gone into the "Bookmark" pages at Book Drum. For instance, in the first 25 pages Dahl's "Mathilda" mention the novels or the authors of "The Secret Garden," "Great Expectations," "A Moveable Feast," "Heart of Darkness," "Secret Agent," and "Kim." You will find explanations about the books and authors and links for more information. This is a powerful way to introduce young readers to the classics, the authors who wrote them, and general background knowledge.

If you run a reading/writing workshop with your middle or high school students or want to promote books in your library media center, introduce students to "Twilight," "The Graveyard Book" (Neil Gaiman), or any other contemporary book to help satisfy their curiosity about the places and information mentioned. If Book Drum doesn't have a "profile" on the book your literature circles are reading, have your students create a final project modeled on the Book Drum example. Use a wiki for student groups to collaborate on book profile pages. To learn more about using wikis in your classroom, check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Another good program for nonfiction literature circle projects is Meograph, (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MindMup: Zero-friction online mind mapping - Gojko Adzic, Damjan Vujnovic, David de Florinier

Grades
K to 12
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MindMup is an easy to use mind mapping tool. Click to create a new map. Double click the starter bubble to add your title. Use the tool box (left sidebar) ...more
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MindMup is an easy to use mind mapping tool. Click to create a new map. Double click the starter bubble to add your title. Use the tool box (left sidebar) to add or edit ideas. Use the mouse to drag and drop nodes. The mouse can also be used to scroll the map (drag the central node, or anywhere outside the map). As soon as you change a map, the Save button appears in the toolbar. Click it and your new map gets a unique URL. Every time you save, the map gets a new URL. Just copy and share the URL with colleagues and friends. You can also use one of the options in the Share toolbar (top-right) to send it to a social networking site. Anyone can edit the map, but won't change your original copy. The best part of this simple/easy site: no registration required!

tag(s): concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

This free organizational tool can be used in classrooms at every level. Use this tool to help organize learning units and share the organization on screen so students see how pieces fit together. Share the unit map with other teachers, students, or parents. Highlight goals, objectives, learning tasks, assessments, and resources. Share before your unit, and expectations become very clear. Use as a yearly overview for parents at the beginning of the year at Open House. Let parents see the multiple ways their child will be assessed through the year. Have students use this tool for direction in problem based learning situations. Use this tool in science for collecting data, experiments, or science fair outlines. Use the tool in writing class to make writing guides for narrative or expository writing. In reading use for predictions, sequencing of stories, inferences, or organizing genres of books each student has read. Have students map multiple ways to solve a single problem in math class. Have students keep daily requirements or schedules with readily available resources as links. Let students enjoy taking notes from content based classes. Have a student scribe create the notes each day and share with the class. Have student groups map the current unit before the test as a review activity. Or use an ongoing map as a whole class visual diagram of concepts learned, adding new knowledge throughout a unit. Don't miss the chance to color code to "sort" ideas and concepts!

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Learn American English Online - Learn American English Online

Grades
2 to 12
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This comprehensive English program offers complete ESL/ELL instruction on seven levels. The units/lessons are color-coded. The focus of the lessons is mostly on grammar. Blue for example...more
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This comprehensive English program offers complete ESL/ELL instruction on seven levels. The units/lessons are color-coded. The focus of the lessons is mostly on grammar. Blue for example focuses on "be," prepositions, this/that/these/those, and many other topics. You must be able to read and write English to successfully benefit from this website. Each color/level has more than 20 lessons, quizzes, tests, dialogues, and reading. Many of the lessons have an audio clip or a video (or a Voki) to illustrate the level. Answers are provided for the quizzes. Extras include a pronouncing dictionary (found under Vocabulary), extra video lessons, extra information on pronunciation, and extras in each level. The levels also contain reviews and checklists. Many of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), grammar (216), grammar review (37), listening (91), pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

Check this site if you need a quick grammar review of any topic. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard/projector. Provide a link to this site on your class webpage. Many of these lessons would be useful with non-ESL/ELL students, as well. It is easy to scroll through the lessons in each color-coded level. Put a link to this site on classroom computers and send it home with ESL/ELL students in school newsletters to share with their parents.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Verb Viper - Arcademics

Grades
2 to 5
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Practice singular and plural verbs at Verb Viper. A viper sits, ready to eat the oncoming verbs. Four different types of verb review are included: "to be," "to have," present ...more
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Practice singular and plural verbs at Verb Viper. A viper sits, ready to eat the oncoming verbs. Four different types of verb review are included: "to be," "to have," present tense, past tense, and past participle. You can also adjust the speeds at which the verbs appear. View your results at the end of the interactive.

tag(s): grammar (216), grammar review (37), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector for entire class practice. Set up a learning station using this site on individual computers or the interactive whiteboard. Provide this link on your class website for students to practice verbs at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TV411 - Reading - Education Development Center, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about reading comprehension, test prep, and libraries and books at TV411. Each video includes a short description...more
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about reading comprehension, test prep, and libraries and books at TV411. Each video includes a short description of contents, then just click to view the video. Below the video text includes skills addressed. For example, the video Dorothea Lange, Photographer addresses the skill of reading pictures. Skills addressed include summarizing, point of view, newspapers, highlighting, and study skills. Most videos are approximately three to five minutes long and include links to related web lessons and print-ables to download. Although this site was originally created for adult English language learners, it would be useful with all secondary students.

tag(s): context clues (8), maps (287), news (261), newspapers (94), poetry (228), point of view (9), summarizing (13), word study (80)

In the Classroom

View videos on your interactive whiteboard as part of your reading comprehension or study skills unit. Use on an as-needed basis to address classroom deficiencies in particular areas. Have students complete the web lessons on their own during computer center time. Create links to certain videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Check out the Teachers portion of the site to find activities for improving or introducing skills along with ideas for using the videos in the classroom. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to provide suggestions for study skills and improving reading comprehension. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

This is an excellent site with a variety of short videos for concept instruction. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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English Grammar Express - englishgrammarexpress

Grades
4 to 12
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Find many useful grammar lessons with practice exercises for ESL/ELL students at this site created and maintained by English teachers. The lessons are well organized and illustrated,...more
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Find many useful grammar lessons with practice exercises for ESL/ELL students at this site created and maintained by English teachers. The lessons are well organized and illustrated, with some in video format. The video lessons include grammar and comprehension questions (and answers). A newly added search feature allows you to look for exactly the lesson and subject you need. At the bottom of the page, there are links to related lessons. You also can print out entire lessons in PDF form. The opening page shares a "New Lesson" feature and links to other practical lessons. Some of the lesson topics include grammar mistakes, future tense, revision & comprehension, stative verbs, prepositions, plurals, party conversation, job interview information, and many more. Also featured on the "Ask Us" page are questions other teachers might have. If your district blocks YouTube, some of the video clips may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.Caution: at least one of the YouTube videos on the homepage was blocked due to copyright issues at the time of this review. Note that spellings are British, but this would only affect the usefulness of a few lessons for U.S. teachers and students.

tag(s): grammar (216), idioms (44), reading comprehension (116), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Check here for the grammar lesson you have in mind, including for individual help for some ELL students. Many of the topics, such as verb agreement, are suitable for any English/Language Arts class. You may find helpful exercises, illustrations, or even a video to demonstrate what you plan to teach. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector or as an individual task for certain students. Introduce your grammar lesson with one of the featured conversations which have a grammar focus. Challenge students to create their own grammar lesson using clips form YouTube (if permitted at your school) or try Dailymotion, if that site is permitted. Have students use ClipNabber reviewed here to grab favorite clips from online video sources such as YouTube and Dailymotion quickly and easily.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Clifford the Big Red Dog - Scholastic Entertainment Inc.

Grades
K to 1
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Every child loves the popular Clifford books by Norman Birdwell. Explore over 75 books in your classroom to get ready for the concepts and ideas presented on this website. Here, ...more
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Every child loves the popular Clifford books by Norman Birdwell. Explore over 75 books in your classroom to get ready for the concepts and ideas presented on this website. Here, you will find games, printables, and information about the traveling Clifford presentation. Exploring the "Backstage" tab will allow you to see video clips of the cast of characters and the studio where they film the program.

tag(s): colors (79), matching (24), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Use the activities on your interactive whiteboard or at centers. Use the printables as inspiration for a make believe visit to your classroom from Clifford. Send a stuffed Clifford home for adventures. Have each family write about their adventure with Clifford. Use with the ESL/ELL students to provide extra support.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Caillou - 2011 Cookie Jar Entertainment

Grades
K to 1
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Join PBS kids and Calliou, the curious preschooler, from the book series by Christine L'Heureuxz and illustrator Helene Desputeaux. Calliou explores the world while using his imagination...more
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Join PBS kids and Calliou, the curious preschooler, from the book series by Christine L'Heureuxz and illustrator Helene Desputeaux. Calliou explores the world while using his imagination on many different adventures. Activities, printables, songs, and goodies such as screensavers feature Calliou and his curiosity. The activities feature school readiness skills involving spatial awareness, memory, puzzles, matching letters, and following musical melodies. Advertisements are only for Calliou products.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): matching (24), preK (281), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

After reading some of the Calliou adventures to your preschoolers, bring him to life on the PBS kids website. Be sure to check out the Parent/Teacher area for some unique activities. Use games on your interactive whiteboard, or use at center time. Recommend this site to parents as a resource for school readiness. Depending on the age of the child, activities can be played with an adult or without an adult.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Story Creator - Compass Learning Odyssey

Grades
K to 3
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Enjoy building and creating stories with Story Creator! Start by choosing your "Blurpie." Click and drag hats, eyeglasses, hair, and shoes. Then click READY to get started! Choose your...more
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Enjoy building and creating stories with Story Creator! Start by choosing your "Blurpie." Click and drag hats, eyeglasses, hair, and shoes. Then click READY to get started! Choose your setting, add characters, choose your words, and choose props. Use items around the page as desired, or drag to the trash can to get rid of them. When the scene is complete, choose the print button to create a page to write the story. Your image will be on the top of the page along with several lines for story writing. Print and write your story using the props, words, setting, and more!

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), digital storytelling (144), preK (281), writers workshop (31), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Story Creator is a fabulous way to prompt creative writing. Students are sure to be drawn in by the "Blurpies," Create a story on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) including words used in the story. Print for students to begin writing. Allow students to create their own story setting or have them create one that supports a science topic or retells a story they recently read. Display finished projects on your classroom bulletin board. You may want to print out the paper for students to view the scene and included words. Have students write rough drafts on a separate piece of paper, saving this print out for the final copy. Use Story Creator as part of your writers workshop to teach lessons on setting the scene, describing characters, or adding interesting words. Create a class book of "Blurpie" stories to share with families.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Readability Test Tool - Dave Taylor

Grades
K to 12
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Find readability scores for web pages and word documents in an instant! Upload a word document or enter a site url to begin. Readability tests include Kincaid, ARI, and five ...more
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Find readability scores for web pages and word documents in an instant! Upload a word document or enter a site url to begin. Readability tests include Kincaid, ARI, and five other indexes. View sentence info such as total characters, number of words, average word length, percentage of short and long sentences, and more. View word usage of types of verbs, conjunctions, and other parts of speech as well as type of words used to begin sentences. Click the link provided to view an explanation of each type of score.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (128), readability (8), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

Upload word documents to view instant feedback on readability, including the directions you write for assignments. Challenge students to make changes to their own writing and increase sophistication of their writing to a level appropriate for their own grade. Talk about how readability works: the types of sentences that make a passage "higher" level, sentence length, etc. Test passages of public domain texts from sites like Project Gutenberg, reviewed here, by famous authors to see how their writing ranks when discussing their writing style. View readability levels of websites before sharing with students to find appropriate reading levels for differentiation.

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Learning Edge - Wellington County Learning Center

Grades
3 to 12
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This online newspaper, designed for ELL/ESL students and adult learners, offers stories on a variety of topics. Topics in the issues include sports, heroes, current events, health,...more
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This online newspaper, designed for ELL/ESL students and adult learners, offers stories on a variety of topics. Topics in the issues include sports, heroes, current events, health, computer usage, and writing. The twelve available issues let you to hear the chosen story read aloud as it highlights words. There are also word work exercises and interactives related to each story. Listen again to any portion of the story as many times as you wish. Difficult words are highlighted and underlined. A click leads to a pronouncing dictionary so you can see the definition and hear the word pronounced. Some of the issues are appropriate for those pursuing vocational careers. Find them under Workplace. This site also offers you practice in writing and the option to submit your own writing for future issues.

tag(s): careers (132), descriptive writing (41), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

If you work with ESL/ELL students, this is definitely a site to bookmark or save in your favorites! It would also work well with learning support students who need support reading informational texts. Share various segments of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to peruse on their own (using earbuds). This is a great tool to use to differentiate for your ESL/ELL students' various levels. Spend some time exploring this site to find articles/activities applicable to your students. Be sure to check school policies to see if students can submit their own articles. Use this newspaper as a model for ESL/ELL students to create their own class newspaper. Have students collaborate on an online newspaper following the model of the site. Use a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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History for Kids - history-for-kids.com

Grades
K to 6
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Join lyrical rhyming adventures of history in poetry! Find poems summarizing famous people or periods from history. Explore the topics in the left sidebar: Ancient History, Middle Ages,...more
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Join lyrical rhyming adventures of history in poetry! Find poems summarizing famous people or periods from history. Explore the topics in the left sidebar: Ancient History, Middle Ages, British History, American History, Myths & Legends, and Pirates. The American History poems include: The California Gold Rush, The Statue of Liberty, The Moon Landing, The Voyage of the Mayflower, The Boston Tea Party, and a few others. Each poem includes additional facts about the event or people, along with drawings submitted by students. You will also find coloring pages, interviews, jokes, and more. Be aware: this site does include a lot of advertisements. At the time of this review, all advertisements were completely "kid-appropriate." However, it may be wise to advise students not to click on any of the links/pictures.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): boston (14), california (27), dinosaurs (57), england (57), gold rush (19), greece (26), myths and legends (25), olympics (47), romans (35), vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Make history (and mythology) come alive in your classroom with a little rhythm and rhyme! Use the poems to supplement your instruction while even adding tambourines, clapping, tapping, or toe tapping reaching all learners. Share the actual poem on your projector or Interactive whiteboard. If you want students to have a hard copy of the poem (to use as a study guide), print it out. Otherwise, save paper and share the link on your class website. If you can't find the history or mythology topic you are studying, it is time for your students to make their own rhymes. Have students create poems for photos and images using UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows narrating and adding text to a picture.To find Creative Commons images for student poems (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. Have a poetry day featuring what you have studied in history. Be sure to add your students' projects to your class website or blog. Gifted students will enjoy the challenge while struggling learners will enjoy the reinforcement of the main ideas.

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Vocabulary Web Games - Sheppard Software

Grades
2 to 12
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Enjoy language arts interactives suited for elementary students through adult learners at Vocabulary Web Games. Elementary activities offer review of grammar and punctuation...more
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Enjoy language arts interactives suited for elementary students through adult learners at Vocabulary Web Games. Elementary activities offer review of grammar and punctuation concepts. Activities include Magical Capitals, Comma Chameleon, Adjective Adventure, and more. More advanced (secondary+) activities include practice SAT and GRE prep vocabulary, medical vocabulary, and computer vocabulary using a flash card format. Play word games such as word scramble and hangman with other interactive games on this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): capitalization (19), grammar (216), parts of speech (68), puzzles (208), test prep (96), verbs (41), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Create links to games and practice vocabulary on classroom computers for students to practice language arts skills. Have students preparing for the SAT/ACT or GRE take vocabulary quizzes to find unknown words. Complement this site by creating your own vocabulary flash cards using an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Freebook Sifter - FreebookSifter

Grades
K to 12
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Explore this useful catalog of all free e-books available for Kindles through Amazon. It is quite extensive with many categories: Advice & How-to, Biographies & Memoirs, Business &...more
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Explore this useful catalog of all free e-books available for Kindles through Amazon. It is quite extensive with many categories: Advice & How-to, Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Investing, Children's eBooks, Fantasy, History, Literary Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Politics & Current Events, Reference, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Science Fiction, Sports, Teens, Travel, and many others. At the time of this review, there were over 69,000 free eBooks listed on the site.

tag(s): book lists (128), independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

This site is a helpful classroom reference tool. Save this link on your classroom computers. Find books to use at learning stations, especially if you are a BYOD (Bring your own Device) school. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students to use at home. The books available include all those in the public domain and titles whose authors have granted permission for free dispersal.

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Punctuation and Capitalization - Castle Park, LLC

Grades
1 to 3
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This engaging "Toon University" site allows students to practice using proper punctuation and capitalization within sentences. Immediate feedback is provided. Please note: there is...more
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This engaging "Toon University" site allows students to practice using proper punctuation and capitalization within sentences. Immediate feedback is provided. Please note: there is a constant "beeping" sound as part of this interactive. If you find this distracting, you can mute your speakers, as there are no other audio sounds during this activity.

tag(s): capitalization (19), punctuation (43), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Throw away practice worksheets! Provide instant feedback for a quicker learning with reinforcement. No wasted time grading! Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector at the start of class to get students thinking! Sharpen writing skills in a real situation without isolated practice! Use as a resource for your writing classes or add to your class website. Have students create examples from their own writing to share with the class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ESL Games World - eslgamesworld.com

Grades
1 to 12
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ESL Game World is the place to go for interactives, PowerPoint activities and templates, printable board games, ESL/ELL games for kids and adults, grammar games, vocabulary challenges,...more
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ESL Game World is the place to go for interactives, PowerPoint activities and templates, printable board games, ESL/ELL games for kids and adults, grammar games, vocabulary challenges, and reading activities. Some of the featured activities include Snakes and Ladders, Hangman, and Wheel of Fortune games/templates. Some spelling appears to be different from Standard American English. Check to be sure. Avoid the online store section to stay with free activities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (216), grammar review (37), verbs (41), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Find ways to assist your ESL/ELL students in an engaging way! You can also use many of the games to reinforce basic skills with native speakers. Customize some of the activities for the content areas you are studying. Use as a whole class activity on your projector (or interactive whiteboard) to practice vocabulary, grammar, and content. Add as a resource for ESL/ELL learning or even struggling readers. Ideas and materials are gathered in one spot to help you reduce the time you need to meet your ESL/ELL students' differentiated needs. Add this link to your class website or share with parents as a resource.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Noun Project - The Noun Project

Grades
K to 12
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Find free, scalable vector images created by a community of designers whose goal is to create a universal global language of symbols that everyone can understand. Vector files are images...more
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Find free, scalable vector images created by a community of designers whose goal is to create a universal global language of symbols that everyone can understand. Vector files are images that do not change or become fuzzy when you resize them. Communicating visually is powerful and easy using symbols like these. Move beyond language and cultural barriers in learning and communicating by using these symbols. You must set up a free account to actually download. Note: Many programs cannot use the file format (SVG) but some programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, can. Don't have a program to open the image? Download the image, then upload to the Media Converter (reviewed here) to convert the image. No need to open the file- just convert! Note that the use of these vector images is FREE if the artist(s) attribution is easily viewable and accessible (linked back to the artist's page on the Noun Project site). Many images are in the public domain with no attribution required. Ethical use would still give credit. If you do not want to attribute each time it is used, icons can be purchased for unlimited use instead. Be patient. This site is often SLOW to open and offers slow downloads because of the larger image files.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), graphic design (35), images (266), infographics (42), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

The symbols are useful for autistic support, emotional support, ESL/ELL, and even in world languages. Use these vector diagrams for creating infographics and pictograms in any content area. Use a site such as Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Challenge students to tell a rebus-style story using simple symbols only. This is a fun and imaginative way for students to think creatively. Use these symbols to create classroom signs. Teach students digital citizenship along with creativity by learning to give credit for resources used as they explain. Try using icons like these in the navigation area of a wiki or class website instead of words to increase the accessibility to others. Be sure to include this site as a list of resources for students to use on your wiki or class website. Students can access images to tell their story or to relate/teach content to others. Encourage students to create their own symbols for use in telling a story (great if students have access to programs that can create vector images). Special ed teachers may want to use these symbols on communication boards. Note: since file downloads are slow, you may want to download a collection for your specific lesson or project outside of class time and offer the files to students locally in a shared folder or on a class wiki. Teachers of non-readers will find these symbols useful in making classroom rules or signs.

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Shutter Cal - ShutterCal.com

Grades
K to 12
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password,...more
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password, and user name. Click on the date, upload an image, add a caption, then submit. ShutterCal resizes the image and places it into the calendar. Share your calendar using the unique url provided. Embed into your website or blog using the code offered under the "My stuff" link. Premium features allow your calendar to be private; however, that isn't included with the free membership. This is a public site that isn't moderated. So preview any other calendars you plan to share.

tag(s): calendars (44), images (266)

In the Classroom

What a wonderful way to share your school year! Create a ShutterCal calendar to embed into your classroom blog or website. Forget a day? No problem, just click on the date and upload as usual. Have your student of the week be responsible for taking pictures for that week's calendar (and for uploading if savvy). This is a public site and content is not moderated. Take precautions when allowing students to view other calendars. In primary grades, a teacher can prepare a calendar for parents to access at home and have children talk about what they have learned. During science units, document the plants you grow or the labs you do using images on a daily calendar. Speech/language or ESL/ELL teachers can create calendars together with students to provide ways to practice oral language retelling events. Teacher-librarians can create calendars with a book a day or research questions shown as images.

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Trace Effects - U.S. Department of State

Grades
7 to 12
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The U.S. Department of State designed this interactive game to help ESL/ELL learners to learn American English. However, many non-ESL/ELL students could greatly benefit (and enjoy)...more
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The U.S. Department of State designed this interactive game to help ESL/ELL learners to learn American English. However, many non-ESL/ELL students could greatly benefit (and enjoy) this highly interactive experience and look at U.S. culture. Download Unity Player to begin. Registration is free, but does require an email address. Begin your mission with Trace, a teen back in time from the year 2045. Help Trace return to his regular time by completing several challenges. Trace must follow directions (called objectives) on each screen. He travels to 8 separate locations around the U.S. Learn about entrepreneurship, community activism, empowering women, science and innovation, environmental conservation, and conflict resolution. Travel to Kansas, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Complete 28 practice activities. You will also find 4 multi-player practice challenges, 7 graphic novels for extension activities, and an American English dictionary integration activity. The game is so involved, that you will not even realize that you are also learning English.

tag(s): communities (35), conflict resolution (8), conservation (127), cross cultural understanding (115), women (101)

In the Classroom

This site offers a window on American culture that you can use in comparing cultures. It is a great way to engage ESL/ELL teens as they practice English skills. Since the State Department created it, an AP Civics or Government class might even want to critique or discuss its portrayal of U.S. culture. Have ESL/ELL students work on individual laptops and explore this site alone or with a partner. Provide this link for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Challenge your students to collaboratively write the dialogue for an additional visit Trace might make to a community near you using Google Docs/Drive reviewed here. Your more technologically savvy students may like to create another version of a Trace visit to go along with the dialog! In a world language class, have students work collaboratively to create a visit to a cultural site using this game as a model.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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