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Action Bioscience - American Institute of Biological Sciences

Grades
8 to 12
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Spark interest and discussion about class content using these peer reviewed articles on current topics in Biology. The articles would also be excellent choices for non-fiction reading...more
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Spark interest and discussion about class content using these peer reviewed articles on current topics in Biology. The articles would also be excellent choices for non-fiction reading comprehension practice. View a variety of articles and links in "Biodiversity," "Environment," "Genomics," "Biotechnology," "Evolution," and "New Frontiers." A link to featured articles can be found on the main page as well as a link to educator resources such as lessons, articles, blog posts, and media. A "donate" link exists on the page, so caution students about this. Read additional information given, especially the reprint policy.

tag(s): environment (317)

In the Classroom

Engage students in topics relevant to today and students' lives by reading and responding to a variety of timely and peer reviewed articles. Use your own class blog or wiki to elicit responses and conversations from your students. Use this site for research and lesson ideas. Additionally, teach students to review and annotate articles while searching for more information to validate or refute those viewpoints. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects to share their findings: wiki, video, or podcast. Not sure what a wiki is? Check out TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Share the video using Teachers.tv (reviewed here). Create a podcast using a tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here). Learning support teachers working to build content-reading skills will find these articles ideal for practice. Share an article on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key terms and generate a sentence for the Main Idea of the article. Cooperate with the biology teacher so students practice with topics currently being studied. If you are not sure of the reading level, check the URL for the article using a tool such as Juicystudio, reviewed here.

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It's a Goal - Spark Island

Grades
K to 2
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This spelling activity provides the beginning and ending of a word. Students must click to choose the correct middle vowel sound. There are pictures provided at the top of the ...more
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This spelling activity provides the beginning and ending of a word. Students must click to choose the correct middle vowel sound. There are pictures provided at the top of the page for additional help to non-readers. The words are also read aloud. The site also provides printable pictures, lesson ideas, and printable activities. This activity is a free sample from a site that charges for other activities. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

List this link on your class website for students to practice in and out of the classroom. Share the site with students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students try the activities on their own. Even non-readers can participate, thanks to the audio and pictures.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (144), 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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Autism Society of America - ASA

Grades
K to 12
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About...more
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About Autism, Life with Autism, Research & Programs, Autism Communities, and more! You can also sign up to receive e-newsletters, learn about fundraising opportunities, and find many tips for parents and teachers. This site is recommended in articles by the National Association of School Psychologists, a helpful endorsement in distinguishing among many web sites dealing with autism.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22), behavior (46)

In the Classroom

Use this site to learn the basics about autism. No classroom teacher can be expected to be an expert on autism, but this site may help you understand some of what you see and some of the more recent information about autism, especially since few teachers receive much training about this in their teacher-ed programs. If you have students in your classes with autism, ask your principal if you can spend part of an inservice day reading and exploring this and other TeachersFirst resources listings on autism. This independent study may save your sanity and benefit students who really need our understanding. This is a great resource to provide to parents!

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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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Autism4teachers - Autism4teachers.com

Grades
K to 12
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This comprehensive website, written by four teachers, offers an excellent starting point and whets the appetite for anyone seriously looking into autism. Autism4teachers offers a snapshot...more
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This comprehensive website, written by four teachers, offers an excellent starting point and whets the appetite for anyone seriously looking into autism. Autism4teachers offers a snapshot of many of the current and research-based concepts in the area of autism. The information provides enough information to enable you to research even further. There are numerous specific topics highlighted at this website including Communication, Social Skills, Classroom Structure, TEACCH, Inclusion, Behavioral Support, Parent Support, Visual Support, Community Support, Autism Awareness, Assistive Technology, Sensory Based Activity Room, Thematic Units, Data Sheets, & several others. Don't miss the MANY lesson ideas and activities provided with the topics. This website requires Windows Media Player. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): autism (22), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Use this free website (and the many tips) to help your autistic students succeed, whether you are in a regular classroom or special ed. Share this link in your class newsletter and on your class website. Be sure to provide this link to any colleagues helping autistic students in and out of the classroom.

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OASIS: Tips For Teaching High Functioning People With Autism - Susan Moreno and Carol O'Neal

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
O.A.S.I.S. (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) presents this simple list of strategies that work with students who have Asperger's or Autism Spectrum disorders. These...more
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O.A.S.I.S. (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) presents this simple list of strategies that work with students who have Asperger's or Autism Spectrum disorders. These explanations and strategies are understandable and practical for classroom teachers and anyone who works with these students, including cafeteria workers or Sunday School teachers! Take the time to help yourself help these enigmatic kids. It will help you understand WHY they do some of the things they do and WHY you should approach tasks a certain way.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

If you have students with autism, ask for some time to review this set of strategies during your next inservice day and brainstorm with other teachers on ways your school building can incorporate some of these more systematically, especially since recent reports have shown drastic increases in autism spectrum disorders in our schools. Special ed teachers will want to share this page with the other adults in their building as an "FYI." Why not provide the link on your class or school website?

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Cindy, KY, Grades: 0 - 12

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Autism Spectrum Disorders: Primer for Parents and Educators - National Association of School Psychologists

Grades
K to 12
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This introductory article explains basic characteristics of autism and Asperger's, major treatment considerations, and IEP suggestions. Tough ostensibly for parents, the language is...more
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This introductory article explains basic characteristics of autism and Asperger's, major treatment considerations, and IEP suggestions. Tough ostensibly for parents, the language is mostly that of educators and psychologists, so some interpretation may be needed for many parents to fully understand. The article includes a few resource links at the end. Note that this article dates form 2004 and does not reflect the 2007 release of new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on autism prevalence. The file requires Acrobat Reader. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

No classroom teacher can be expected to be an expert on autism, but this site may help you understand some of what you see and some of the more recent information about autism, especially since few teachers receive much training about this in their teacher-ed programs. If you have students in your classes with autism, ask your principal if you can spend part of an inservice day reading and exploring this and other TeachersFirst resources listings on autism. This independent study may save your sanity and benefit students who really need our understanding.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Autism Reveals Social Roots of Language - NPR- Jon Hamilton

Grades
K to 12
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This article (or online broadcast) from NPR explains new research about autism, language, and social functioning. The article is from 2006. The brain-based approach explains the research...more
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This article (or online broadcast) from NPR explains new research about autism, language, and social functioning. The article is from 2006. The brain-based approach explains the research in layman's terms. This could be a very helpful article as you struggle to understand an autistic child in your classroom or try to help your teaching peers understand your students, if you are a special ed teacher. There is an attention-grabbing interactive to help you visualize. This site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): autism (22)

In the Classroom

Be sure to list this link on your class website. The interactive would be ideal for an in-service (or independent) exploration.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Organization for Autism Research - Organization for Autism Research

Grades
K to 12
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If you are looking for information on autism or Asperger's Syndrome, this organization's resources and information will be very helpful. You can find general background information,...more
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If you are looking for information on autism or Asperger's Syndrome, this organization's resources and information will be very helpful. You can find general background information, downloadable "guides" and worksheets for parents and educators, and current research. The guides include advice on how to "be a savvy customer of autism sources of information," a wise idea when investigating a topic with such emotion and so much in the forefront at this time. Some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

Look under "Resources" for Recommended Reading. The "Education and Service Providers" section offers a great starting point for teachers! These downloadable files can be read only or printed out to share with concerned parties. Share this link on your class website, for parents to easily find and investigate.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ELT Portal: Movies - Robet Palmer

Grades
5 to 12
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This site features interactive ESL and ELL lessons to go with popular movies and TV commercials. The activity formats include matching and cloze passages. The lessons are divided by...more
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This site features interactive ESL and ELL lessons to go with popular movies and TV commercials. The activity formats include matching and cloze passages. The lessons are divided by "Easier," "More Challenging," or "Most Challenging." Two types of lessons include vocabulary previews and "fill-in-the-blank cloze" of the movie dialog which appears while the movie or TV clip is playing. The site is growing, with more commercials and films appearing regularly.

There is also a supplementary section in WORD which contains discussion questions for the movies. Some of the clips require QuickTime and/or Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Share this site (and the activities) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Print the list of vocabulary words and have students keep the list with them at their seats while they view the video (or listen to the audio). ESL and ELL students will benefit from the ability to re-watch the video clips and hear the dialog several times. Learning support students will also benefit from the comprehension check and vocabulary development. Although all material appeared appropriate, you may want to preview any video or audio you plan to share, to avoid any "surprises."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

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

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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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 (323)

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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MyVocabulary.Com - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Are you looking for some new tricks and tools to entice your students to learn and practice root words, vocabulary, and spelling? The main links at this site include Root ...more
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Are you looking for some new tricks and tools to entice your students to learn and practice root words, vocabulary, and spelling? The main links at this site include Root Word Lesson Plans, Thematic Puzzles, Word Lists, Test Prep/Assessment, and Daily Root Puzzles.

The Root Word Lesson Plans offer three difficulty levels, a prefix study, interactive puzzles focused on Greek and Latin roots. There are fill in the blanks, crosswords, true-false, word finds, and more.

The Word Lists are extensive and include nearly every topic one can imagine: Shakespeare, Legal Terms, Stock Market, ESL, Photography, Dance, Patriotism, Debate, Women in History, Psychology, Mythology, Kwanzaa, and MANY other topics.

The Thematic Puzzles include printable pages, interactive definition match games, and over fifty topics.

If you have students preparing for the SATs or ACTs, don't miss the Test Prep section with over 200 vocabulary words.

tag(s): prefixes (16), root words (13), spelling (168), suffixes (14), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Search the site for topics that you are teaching or that are timely, such as holidays. Share the puzzles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students research various vocabulary words (provided with each topic). Have students create a multi-media project about their vocabulary words: wiki, blog, or PowerPoint. Be sure to take advantage of the free lesson plan ideas, discussion topics, and printable puzzles. As an ongoing vocabulary project, have student create interactive "word books" using Bookemon (reviewed here).

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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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Candlelight Stories - Candlelight Stories, Incorporated

Grades
2 to 8
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This site offers online children's stories (text, audio, and video). Unfortunately, some oral versions of the stories are not part of the free offerings of the site. Scroll down the...more
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This site offers online children's stories (text, audio, and video). Unfortunately, some oral versions of the stories are not part of the free offerings of the site. Scroll down the home page and find many free oral tales. . Students can view the entire site in a variety of languages including French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. When the site is in a language other than English, students can mouse over the text to see the English version. The home page also contains "games," which are educational. Be aware: some of the activities (games) are listed for ages 13+ due to their violent nature. This is probably not a site that you want students to explore unsupervised. You can, however, allow students -even young ones--to work on their own within the "Free Sound Stories" area of the site. These traditional tales are offered as downloadable podcasts or can be played right at your computer for listening activities. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): listening (91), movies (65)

In the Classroom

Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector (turn up the speakers). Download and share Sound Stories as a listening center. Search through the "Games" to find appropriate activities for your class to use to reinforce grammar, spelling, and literature review. If you are having students view this site on individual computers, don't forget headsets!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Magic Key - Adventures - BBC

Grades
K to 2
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This site (created by the BBC) offers nine interactive language arts activities. HMS Sweet Toothdiscusses "full stops" also known as the ends of sentences. Lug and the Giant...more
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This site (created by the BBC) offers nine interactive language arts activities. HMS Sweet Toothdiscusses "full stops" also known as the ends of sentences. Lug and the Giant Storks talks about capital letters, and there are several other topics. Once you click on the activity you wish to teach, you are presented with a choice of "Game, Worksheet, or Teachers Resources." The Teachers Resources include detailed lesson plans with standards (matched to UK standards), extension activities, and other classroom ideas. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): patterns (85), sentences (52), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

If you are teaching any of the nine concepts that are highlighted at this site, be sure to take a look. Share HOW to do the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to explore on their own. Use the ready-to-go lesson plans, worksheet pages for homework practice, and interactives as learning stations or centers. Use this site with emergent readers, special education students, or your ESL and ELL students. List this link on your class website for students to use to practice at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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No Time for Flashcards Blog - Allie

Grades
K to 1
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Your early learners will benefit from the hands-on activities highlighted on this loaded blog. Art meets academics here, as clear instructions for alphabet learning, book reviews, songs,...more
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Your early learners will benefit from the hands-on activities highlighted on this loaded blog. Art meets academics here, as clear instructions for alphabet learning, book reviews, songs, parent involvement, and much more are presented. Promoted as a resource of activities for young children that encourage play, discovery and learning, this blog site is a favorite. Not only are lyrics written for you, but you can watch the songs performed as they are intended on video. This site requires Flash. You can get it here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): alphabet (92), blogs (88), preK (281), songs (52)

In the Classroom

If you are a pre-school or Kindergarten teacher, you'll want to pass this along to your parents through a direct link on your blog or homepage. Special ed teachers who work with developmental delays will also love this resource.

Be sure to take advantage of the free resources: book reviews, alphabet activities, crafts, and more. Share the seasonal songs with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector (turn up the speakers!).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Graphic Organizers - Graphic.Org

Grades
1 to 12
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Graphic organizers defined--that describes this site. Click on the links at the left to hone in on a particular graphic organizer, Venn diagram, or concept map. As well as defining...more
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Graphic organizers defined--that describes this site. Click on the links at the left to hone in on a particular graphic organizer, Venn diagram, or concept map. As well as defining the organizer or map and explaining their usage, some links show 'real' examples. This site does not typically offer worksheets per se, but shows examples of organizers that students can easily draw in their notebooks for quick learning. There is quite a bit of advertisement at this site, some difficult to discern from the actual site content. It typically is a reference site for educators only, so student access to these ads will generally not be a problem.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), maps (287), professional development (123), venn diagrams (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site to learn more about graphic organizers. Why not have your students create an online Venn diagram about a current science topic or literature unit? Use a tool such as bubbl.us(explained here).

Comments

This is an excellent resource for teachers of any elementary grade level. There are endless examples of graphic organizers that students can utilize in order to help them organize or present information. I have had a lot of experience with Inspriation, which is one of the graphic organizer programs mentioned in this resource. This program is easy to use and manipulate. Students can typically learn the basics in one session (50 minutes). I use this program often to teach reading concepts, such as main idea, comparing & contrasting, or character development. You could also use the program to show life cycles or concept development for mathematics. The great thing is that you can either create a template, where students merely insert information or students can create their own organizers depending on their levels of experience. Great resource! , , Grades: 0 - 5

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PicLits - PicLits.com

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

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

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

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), images (266), sentences (52)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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

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