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On-Line Stories and Resources - Babbooks

Grades
1 to 3
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Children will enjoy these short interactive stories on a variety of high-interest subjects such as animals, magic, holidays, princesses etc. Some stories rhyme and soem have lovely,...more
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Children will enjoy these short interactive stories on a variety of high-interest subjects such as animals, magic, holidays, princesses etc. Some stories rhyme and soem have lovely, hand-made illustrations. To encourage children to write, a story tool called Adlib is available with hints about what the required parts of speech mean. Children who write using Adlib can see their stories instantly appear on the computer! Ignore the repeated mentions of "Kids Voyager" unless you want to pay for this read-aloud service. Unfortunately, the stories do not include reading levels. If you cannot tell, check them by simply copying the pasting the URL for the first page into this online reading level checker. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): writing (363)

In the Classroom

ESL students and emergent readers will enjoy seeing the words of the stories as they hear the words read by a big buddy or other helper. Beginning readers would benefit from hearing slightly more advanced readers voice the stories; try a collaborative project with another grade. Try recording students as they read, as well. Make this story site a classroom center or computer cluster option for reluctant readers. Another option: share a story on an interactive whiteboard so students can highlight words with certain consonant clusters, etc.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ninjawords - Phil Crosby

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3 to 12
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A rapid-fire dictionary, this site gives you the definition of any word you type into the box. It also keeps a history of the words in a list on the ...more
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A rapid-fire dictionary, this site gives you the definition of any word you type into the box. It also keeps a history of the words in a list on the right as you look them up, a very useful tool. While the definitions are quite complete, including parts of speech and synonyms for most words, they are not comprehensive. A word such as "look" produces only 2 of the many definitions that could be applied to that word. However, entering in such words as "mercenary" or "ambiance" yields a great short, straightforward definition great for a quick check while reading. The site also provides the ability to enter a single listing of terms, separated by commas, and create a link to EXACTLY that list of definitions (as a glossary for a specific lesson, for example). See a sample created by the TeachersFirst editors here.

Be careful, since the site is nondiscriminatory and will give a response to any word you enter, regardless of the propriety of the word!

tag(s): vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Use the "random" button to generate a word of the day in an instant! Create pre-made word lists for students to access online from your teacher web page by entering them all , separated by commas, and clicking "Link to this page" at the end of the page. The URL that then shows in the address bar IS the URL to access that word list any time from any computer. Have students make personal lists of their own for individualized vocab study. Open Ninjawords as students read a selection in class--even in science or social studies texts, and allow students to take turns entering new words they encounter. If you have a projector or interactive whiteboard, the entire class can "see" the current "word wall" created by the history function. Or you can simply keep it on a classroom desktop to help those who need it. If you mark each "glossary" page as a Favorite on your computer, you can NAME IT "Chapter 3 Glossary" or "Amphibian Unit Glossary" etc and make it available for students to use any time. The history feature allows you to "track" whether students have entered inappropriate words. The history list seems to remain on your computer for a period of time, probably by leaving "cookies" on your computer -- in this case a useful thing! Use it on your machine to recall vocab from day to day for continuing lessons.

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Kindersay - Webmosis

Grades
K to 1
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Although it describes itself as being "preschool" site, Kindersay is a great web site for primary readers, ESL/ELL students and special education students working on speech and language....more
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Although it describes itself as being "preschool" site, Kindersay is a great web site for primary readers, ESL/ELL students and special education students working on speech and language. This site offers simple, easy-to-use activities such as letter recognition and vocabulary. Each letter and vocabulary word has a corresponding video with correct pronunciation. The Favorites tab provides an opportunity to create differentiated instruction for each child. Registration is free!

tag(s): alphabet (90), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Add the link to a classroom homepage for center-time or for parents and children to practice at home. Use a different activity category each day or week with ESL/ELL or special ed students to build vocabulary. Then use a digital camera to create some pictures and sound files of your own for new categories using PowerPoint slides or the online "My Family" area.

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Free Short Stories For Low Intermediate ESL Learners - eslfast.com

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers a list of short stories for ESL/ELL learners. Students can read the story, listen to the story, review the story, click on vocabulary words to access an ...more
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This site offers a list of short stories for ESL/ELL learners. Students can read the story, listen to the story, review the story, click on vocabulary words to access an online dictionary, and more. There is also a link to an online dictionary for other new words not featured in the vocabulary section at the top of the page. Many of the stories offer two listening speeds (slow and normal). Although the advertisements are a bit distracting, this website does offer a high number of ESL/ELL stories on a variety of topics. The subject matter of many stories is not appropriate for younger students. Preview! This site requires Windows Media. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dictionaries (57), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

The reading and listening activities are easy for students to work on independently because of the listening option. Special ed teachers may also have students who will benefit from the listening practice. Don't forget to provide the headphones. Provide this link on your class website or newsletter, so the families of ESL/ELL students can read (or listen) to the stories together.

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How are You? - Genki English

Grades
K to 8
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This ESL site uses cute graphics to illustrate a variety of feelings. Users can view them online or print them out as flash cards. Genki's commentary adds suggestions of how ...more
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This ESL site uses cute graphics to illustrate a variety of feelings. Users can view them online or print them out as flash cards. Genki's commentary adds suggestions of how to use the cards. An accompanying song file (RIGHT-click and Save Target As to download onto your computer) and lyrics spice up the lesson. There are also illustrative photos of a Japanese elementary class using hand gestures to reinforce the lesson. A free online game allows users to click on graphics when they hear the description of a feeling, such as, "I'm sad." Although the page itself advertises products, enough of the offerings are free to make this a worthwhile beginning-level ESL/ELL, speech/language, or emotional support lesson. This site requires Shockwave. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share the activities on a computer cluster or interactive whiteboard with a group or a single computer with one or two students. Special Ed teachers may find the musical activity helps some students respond where they are usually more distant. For more lessons with illustrated gestures, flash cards, teaching suggestions, and songs for ESL students, scroll down to the bottom of this long page.

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Let's Read It Again - Intl Reading Assn.

Grades
K to 3
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This lesson uses a bilingual (Spanish-English) picture book to increase comprehension and reading skills in ESL students by having them retell the story in a variety of ways. Many non-ESL/ELL...more
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This lesson uses a bilingual (Spanish-English) picture book to increase comprehension and reading skills in ESL students by having them retell the story in a variety of ways. Many non-ESL/ELL students would benefit from the same skills.They make vocabulary lists, make diagrams, retell the story, and rewrite the book using their own words. Teachers can generalize the knowledge gained after using this lesson plan to incorporating other bilingual books while teaching ESL students. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Allow ESL/ELL or other students to work on the various online tools included in this lesson on their regular classroom computer or cluster, printing the products and sharing them in partner-reading or other activities with non-ESL/ELL students. Learning support students would also benefit from the comprehension strategies involved.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visual ESL - Learn English Vocabulary Visually

Grades
1 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Visual ESL has created quite a selection of engaging drag and drop vocabulary lessons and quizzes. For example, the "Basic Verb" lesson uses stick figures jumping, punching, running...more
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Visual ESL has created quite a selection of engaging drag and drop vocabulary lessons and quizzes. For example, the "Basic Verb" lesson uses stick figures jumping, punching, running etc to illustrate the verbs. Users drag the correct label to a box beneath the figure. The offerings in the drag and drop section are much more interesting than the grammar section which is text only. There is a wide range of game selections. They include fill ins and grammar illustrated with cartoons. There are advertisements on the site (text links).

tag(s): grammar (213), quiz (86), quizzes (97), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

This is a good site for ESL students who are more visual learners to practice concepts. Special Ed teachers may find some games helpful for vocabulary development and basic grammar, as well. Many of the drag and drops would work well on an interactive whiteboard or as a learning center on a single classroom computer.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Smart Girl - NSF & UMich

Grades
7 to 12
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This site values bright young women by offering features on things that interest them: surveys, creativity, feelings, writing, horoscopes, dreams, sports, college, etc. Older girls...more
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This site values bright young women by offering features on things that interest them: surveys, creativity, feelings, writing, horoscopes, dreams, sports, college, etc. Older girls will gain confidence as they find their voices and read those of others. Mentor journals of college-age "Smart Girls" share their college experiences. The site is run by NSF and University of Michigan and provides a very positive tone. They monitor content. Links are available to outside sites on a wide variety of topics.

tag(s): organizational skills (127)

In the Classroom

Counselors, writing teachers, and even those working with young women in emotional support classes will want to encourage your female students to submit creative writing, write surveys, learn to do websites, and write reviews of their favorite media productions. If you have students who want to know more about college life (in a positive way), share this link with them to learn about the college experience, time management , and more from the mentor journals.

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How J Say? - Tim Bowyer

Grades
3 to 12
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This site pronounces English words and phrases. The British pronunciation is first, but if there is a difference in the American English pronunciation, the voice says, "Also, American:_____."...more
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This site pronounces English words and phrases. The British pronunciation is first, but if there is a difference in the American English pronunciation, the voice says, "Also, American:_____." Once entered and submitted, the word or phrase appears in pink, along with a list of words before and after it in alphabetical order display. This helps with similar spellings and cognates. The pronunciation plays right away and repeats on mouse-over. With 76870 words in the database at the moment, the odds are that students will find the word they're searching for. ESL students will find the speedy help with pronunciation very useful. There are some advertisements down the side, but they are not objectionable.

tag(s): pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your Favorites on your classroom computer for a handy reference for ESL/ELL students. Speech and language students will also benefit from hearing and repeating the pronunciations.

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Cornell-Notes.com - Ryan Stewart

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Create ready-to-go notetaking sheets for your students or have them create their own using this online tool that generates pdf (Acrobat Reader) files to your specifications. Once you...more
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Create ready-to-go notetaking sheets for your students or have them create their own using this online tool that generates pdf (Acrobat Reader) files to your specifications. Once you choose the options you want under Create Your Personal Notepaper (blank, ruled, etc), click Submit to see your "perfect notetaking sheet" in Acrobat Reader. Click "Save a copy" to keep it or simply print it out on the spot. Results require Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

This resource was featured in a recent New Teacher Hotline Podcast as one of the Tech Toolbox resources. Hear more about it on the podcast .

tag(s): note taking (34)

In the Classroom

If you require a notebook for your course, this is the perfect tool. Share the link from your teacher web page so students can create their own, customized sheets. Be sure to demonstrate how it works, then "write" a sample set of Cornell-style notes by sharing it on your interactive whiteboard so students can see how to use them! Learning support and study skills teachers will love this one. Middle school science and social studies teachers should encourage a consistent note-taking system like this so all students can find what works for them. Perhaps try different variations until students figure out which is best.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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firstfind.info - Westchester Library System

Grades
3 to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers a quick way to find basic information on many topics written in very simple English. There are 9 major topic areas which users can choose from ...more
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This site offers a quick way to find basic information on many topics written in very simple English. There are 9 major topic areas which users can choose from and each area has a variety of inside divisions. Of particular interest to K-12 students would be Government, History, Travel (includes maps), and Health. Especially useful for ESL students are the online magazines written in simplified language and the dictionary link.

In the Classroom

Suggest this site to your students from other countries when they are assigned a research project. Keep this one in Favorites on your teacher web page or classroom computers for ESL students to use the Dictionary or find simplified information on your government, history and health lessons. Special Ed teachers with students of low reading ability can also find adapted resources here.

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Learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun - www.vocabulary.co.il

Grades
1 to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find engaging ways to teach vocabulary to elementary and middle school students--and their ESL/ELL classmates. The numerous games: picture matching, oral pronunciation, scrambled words,...more
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Find engaging ways to teach vocabulary to elementary and middle school students--and their ESL/ELL classmates. The numerous games: picture matching, oral pronunciation, scrambled words, crosswords, quizzes, hangmouse(!), and word searches are available in varying levels. All the games start by choosing a word category. The site creators are constantly adding new words. At the time of this review, "there are now 219 topics and 10,353 words in the vocabulary database." SUbstitutes who find themesleves without lesson plans will also love this site. It requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): crosswords (18), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

These activities are ideal for individual computer time on laptops, classroom computers, or computer clusters. Use the word topics for students to build spelling and vocabulary skills; individualize their lists by category choice or choose a topic that fits the science or social studies unit you are currently studying. Speech and language teachers will like the variety of ways to develop language skills, as well. ESL students will find the variety of spelling and word lists a refreshing way to add to their vocabularies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Elllo( English Language Listening Lab Online) - Todd Beuckens

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site offers a wide variety of listening activities specifically for ESL students. The site is updated weekly with new interviews, games, news, talking points, and songs, all available...more
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This site offers a wide variety of listening activities specifically for ESL students. The site is updated weekly with new interviews, games, news, talking points, and songs, all available for free. A huge audio archive stores items from previous weeks, months, and years. "Mixers" include opinions of several people. Students can listen to these short sessions, answer a main idea question and also see the transcript of the piece. Another feature allows users to see the transcript of interviews as they listen. There are quiz questions available after each interview. Video links connect users to offsite videos from a variety of courses; these are available with some articles and interviews.

Note: Teachers should PREVIEW content before using it in class or assigning it. Some slang and topics are not appropriate for younger students, though most of it is excellent. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Downloads for mp3 players are available for free.

tag(s): listening (91), news (262)

In the Classroom

Share chosen activities from this site on laptops or computers with headphones to build ESL/ ELL student confidence and listening skills. Some activities are well-suited for speech/language students to improve listening comprehension skills, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Illustrated Vocabulary - Institut de la Providence

Grades
1 to 10
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This illustrated word list, grouped by category, offers users the chance to test their vocabulary knowledge of basics in English, French, Danish, and Dutch. Simply select a language...more
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This illustrated word list, grouped by category, offers users the chance to test their vocabulary knowledge of basics in English, French, Danish, and Dutch. Simply select a language and category, and the graphics in the category ask for a word choice. Immediate feedback in the chosen language indicates a percentage of correct choices and allows users to guess again.One unfortunate note: since the site creators are French, they did not capitalize the months of the year--even in English. You probably will not want to use that section of the site.

tag(s): french (88), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a review for ESL students. French language students will also enjoy this quick way to check their knowledge. Speech and language teachers or primary reading teachers who are teaching simple reading vocabulary or spelling words may want to make this site as center in their classrooms.

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Learning about Maps and Directions

Grades
K to 5
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Although this website appears "plain vanilla," it is a treasure chest. If you are teaching about reading maps or directions, this website has a wealth of information ready for you ...more
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Although this website appears "plain vanilla," it is a treasure chest. If you are teaching about reading maps or directions, this website has a wealth of information ready for you to use in your classroom. Some of the topics include spatial relations (around, between, left and right, and others-- great for primary grades and speech/language students), using a scale, following N,S,E,W directions, using a grid, and many additional topics. There are interactive games and activities, printable pages, and links to other online resources. This website has activities for very young students and more advanced learners. This website is truly a rare find. Many of the interactive map activities require Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): directions (19)

In the Classroom

This website would offer an excellent learning center! There are so many activities available, that this website could be useful in nearly all of your geography lessons. Be sure to introduce this website using an interactive whiteboard, then allow students to explore at their own levels. Special Ed teachers will appreciate all the options of different ways to practice and reinforce skills.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Location - National Grid for Learning (UK)

Grades
K to 2
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This interactive site teaches young children about location and position. Pictures of toys are used to demonstrate various locations or positions (i.e. above, to the left, or inside)....more
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This interactive site teaches young children about location and position. Pictures of toys are used to demonstrate various locations or positions (i.e. above, to the left, or inside). There are three main lessons - all are easy to use, interactive and motivational. Note that the lessons require reading basic words. This website requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a learning center. Speech/language teachers and ESL teachers can also use the activities to practice reading, saying, and understanding basic "position" words with students. If you have an interactive whiteboard, students will LOVE practicing the skills in small groups.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learning Style Inventory - Brett Bixler

Grades
5 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
This visually "plain vanilla" learning style inventory, created by an instructional designer at Penn State, is simple enough to use in a middle or high school classroom without explaining...more
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This visually "plain vanilla" learning style inventory, created by an instructional designer at Penn State, is simple enough to use in a middle or high school classroom without explaining elaborate personality traits and indexes to preteens and young adults. (There is one unfortunate mention of smoking, since the inventory was designed for college students. You may want to point it out and make an active disclaimer. about not promoting smoking!). This free, simplified inventory is short enough to complete and discuss during one class period. NOTE: the results of the inventory come up in a small pop-up window. Make sure your pop-up blocker is not preventing you from seeing them. The Google and Yahoo toolbars block pop-ups! In Internet Explorer, you can temporarily turn off the blocker by RIGHT-clicking on the narrow yellow bar that appears at the top of the web page window.

tag(s): assessment (106), learning styles (19), multiple intelligences (11)

In the Classroom

Regular ed and learning support teachers from middle school up will want to share this resource with students and parents to help students find the most effective ways to study and retain knowledge. Include the link on your teacher web page (with a note about the unfortunate mention of smoking!) or plan a start-of-the year in-class time to help students get off on the right foot. Even teachers of gifted (whose students are notorious for inconsistent study methods because they have not "needed" to study) will find this resource helpful when students "hit the wall" in challenging courses. As part of a study skills unit, have students self-assess and create a single database of the class members' learning styles and subject strengths so they can find peer-tutors during study halls.

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Quizlet: The End of Flashcards - Brainflare: Andrew Sutherland

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study...more
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This easy to understand web and mobile app tool allows you or your students to enter vocabulary terms and definitions to create electronic flashcards and quizzes to enhance word study in any language or a content area. Students may choose to create electronic tests, or the networking page allows them to interact and learn with other users who have the same words. Teacher or students can create groups to share word lists. See a sample matching activity about TeachersFirst created by our editors to show a variation on using this online tool for simple words/definitions. Use this tool from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. The iOS and Android apps practice tests can be multiple choice, true/false, or written questions. Turn on "Instant Feedback" (new feature for the apps) that will give real-time feedback on right/wrong answers as you go; or wait and get your score at the end. As wonderful as this technology is, the coolest thing about Quizlet might be in its history--its creator was a high school student who tells his inspiring story and shares his blog through links at this site.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (167), quiz (86), spelling (166), vocabulary (325), word study (79)

In the Classroom

Membership asks for an email. Email allows you to notify others that you want to share a word list or activity with them. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here, this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class. KEEP A LIST of students usernames (non-identifying) and passwords, incase they forget them! If you already use Google Classroom with your students, it only takes a few minutes to get them set up with a Quizlet Class.

Quizlet has a very thorough "Help Center" to get the idea of how the site works. Save your "sets" and decide whether you want them to be entirely public, just for you personally, or shared with a "group." Create your own groups for each class or subject. Be sure to note the fact that you can upload vocabulary lists by copy/pasting from various formats--- a time real saver! Use this tool easily in your byod classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

Content and English teachers may set up their personal network of users. Pretest your gifted students and allow them to "test out" of material they already know. Learning support teachers will want their students to create their own Quizlet sets and help learn them in the process! Teachers may create your own sets of words, or let students do the work for themselves and each other. Use the interactive whiteboard for quick flashcard or electronic testing using your sets. World language and ESL/ELL teachers will find many word sets already built and ready to use at this site. If you team teach with others at your grade level, take turns making the online Quizlets to accompany your science or social studies chapters. Be SURE to share this tool on your teacher web page for students to use at home.

Be sure to see the classroom quiz game for groups, Quizlet Live (from the creator of Quizlet), reviewed here.

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Toy Theater - Toy Theater

Grades
K to 5
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Memory puzzles, comic stories, action alphabet and math flashcards are just a few features at this site. Art, music, reading, math, puzzles and more are accessed through easy dropdown...more
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Memory puzzles, comic stories, action alphabet and math flashcards are just a few features at this site. Art, music, reading, math, puzzles and more are accessed through easy dropdown links. The difficulty ranges from simple primary skills to more challenging puzzles. Use these great interactives to teach music composition, practice with numbers, letters, and colors, do paper cut-outs like Henri Matisse, or practice math and reading skills. ESL or elementary spelling teachers will like the simple "crossword" vocabulary interactive. All links are interactive and require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): alphabet (90), animation (65), counting (119), numbers (199), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

Use these activities as a center, with partners, or on an interactive whiteboard. Turn up the speakers for sound on the music portions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Out of Place - BBC

Grades
K to 1
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This simple web activity (no reading required, but turn up the sound)challenges students to determine the differences between two locations and the items found there. Students simply...more
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This simple web activity (no reading required, but turn up the sound)challenges students to determine the differences between two locations and the items found there. Students simply click and drag the items to the correct picture. The pictures are both related to travel and geography. The observing, thinking, and categorizing build higher order thinking skills. The entire activity requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Be sure to visit the Teachers/Parents link to view general standards for this interactive game.

tag(s): matching (24), sorting (10)

In the Classroom

Save this website to your favorites, and then use it as a learning center. Ask children to explain why things go where they have placed them. Speech and language teachers can use this activity as part of vocabulary development, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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