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English Club - Englishclub.com

Grades
2 to 12
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English Club provides ESL and ELL resources and lessons for both students and teachers. There are also games, further resources, idioms, and even the "Learning English Video Project."...more
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English Club provides ESL and ELL resources and lessons for both students and teachers. There are also games, further resources, idioms, and even the "Learning English Video Project." Students can compare their English-learning experience with students from around the world; they can also create their own page to be hosted by the site. Lessons include the standard vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and reference tools. By providing both chat capability and an English question "hotline," the site would work for students learning in groups as well as individually. Games on the site are language based, educational, and designed to reinforce the language lessons. Other interactive features include a weekly news summary and activities and an opportunity to discuss via ESL forums. Free registration ensures students can take advantage of all the site offerings. Students may select their native language for website directions if needed; languages include standard European and Asian ones as well as Arabic.

tag(s): grammar (216), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

Check with administrators to be sure policy allows for students to create their own web pages attached to this site, to participate in chats with other students and teachers, and to be a member of a conversation forum. You should also obtain written parent permission. To fully register with the site you need a valid email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. If you have a number of ESL/ELL students, make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers or share it on your class web page to use it as a center. This site's activities would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops.

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WinkBall - WinkBall

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

tag(s): journalism (46)

In the Classroom

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

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

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Smories - Lisa Swerling & Ralph Lazar

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for a place to publish your student's writing? Smories is a cool site to do this for your student writers. At this site you will find videos of students, ...more
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Looking for a place to publish your student's writing? Smories is a cool site to do this for your student writers. At this site you will find videos of students, 8 to 11 years old reading short stories. Click "Submit a filmed Smory" to submit a video of your Smory. Submitting a video of your Smory requires an email address. Writers can be any age, however narrators must be 16 or under. There is also a place where students sixteen and older may have their stories become one of 50 stories entered into a monthly contest. (Visit the "Submit a Smory" link). There are five winners a month, with a monetary prize. If you're a writer (established or aspiring), send in a story! Be sure to get parent permission to publish stories.

tag(s): word choice (26)

In the Classroom

This would be a great way to have your older students study word choice! Start by going to the "Writing Fix For Kids" (reviewed here) and look at the left column index to find "Six Traits" click on "Word Choice." At this site you will find several recommendations for picture books and chapter books to use with your students so they can analyze good word choice. Read a few of these, and ask the students to point out the descriptive writing that stands out for them. Then use a wordless picture book and have your students write a short story for an 8 to 11 year old that doesn't rely on the illustrations. From there your students can write their own short story, and have an 8 to 11 year old student read it while being video taped. You might consider pairing up with a local elementary or middle school teacher to have one of their students do the reading.

For younger students, use your projector or interactive whiteboard and project the student reader full screen. It would be like having a visitor come to your classroom at story time!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tar Heel Reader - University of North Caroline

Grades
K to 12
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide...more
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide free resources to give everyone an opportunity to learn to read and write. All books are free and available for download as slideshows using PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash. Book topics include biographies, fairy tales, history, science, math, nursery rhymes, poetry, food, and more! All stories have speech enabling, can come in as many as fourteen different languages, and are compatible with touch screens. Since a wide range of age groups use this site, they have a rating system to suggest what is suitable for younger readers. Tar Heel Reader is also a great way to write books. Upload images from your computer or Flicker, add text, create, and share student stories with an authentic audience of readers. Tar Heel Reader is a great way to engage students with reading material, increase class participation, and create inclusive instruction for those with illiteracy or learning disabilities.

** This site does contain some materials NOT suitable for all classrooms. Be sure to read the "rating" system, and contribute your own opinions (as the ratings are only as reliable as the pool of contributing voters). Books rated 'E' are meant for everyone but a 'C' means to use caution as it may not be proper material for some. Determine what titles are suitable and save them to the favorites file for students to access.

tag(s): literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Increase your big book collection ten fold by projecting Tar Heel Readers onto an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use interactive shared reading lessons to strengthen student recognition of common sight words, concepts of print, decoding skills, and use syntax cues and unlock the meaning of text. Ask students to circle known sight words, count the number of words in a sentence, trace capital letters, or point to the first letter of a word during a choral read. Help ESL/ELL students by creating books out of photos from class field trips, events, or experiments. Integrate text that uses key vocabulary words and creates reading materials that are both relevant to grade level curricular standards and match your student's readability level. All books you publish on the web site are public domain and available to all other users. Be sure to get parent permission before publishing student books on-line. In order to create a book, users will need to register. Unfortunately, this requires users to email gb@cs.unc.edu to request of an invitation code. With this code, simply create a username, submit your name, and email address. Set up a single teacher account and have all the students use that login to avoid safety concerns. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further reading practice.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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UVic's Language Teaching Clipart Library - University of Victoria

Grades
K to 12
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The University of Victoria's clip art library is a small collection of images meant to assist with basic language instruction and development. The graphics are useful for developing...more
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The University of Victoria's clip art library is a small collection of images meant to assist with basic language instruction and development. The graphics are useful for developing the vocabulary of speech/language students or ESL/ELL students. There is a keyword search option and a topic gallery that contains subjects such as food, animals, and clothing. One draw back is that the images are typically only 100 by 100 pixels. The library does allow for free download of its .GIF images but if users post clip art on a website they need to add an acknowledgement to the UVic Humanities Computing and Media Center and Half-Baked Software.

tag(s): spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Create non-verbal task cards or visual directions for assignments with graphics from this library collection. Download imagery from a variety of different categories and create an interactive whiteboard or projector sorting activity. Have students decide what images have in common and then sort them into groups. Use online graphic organizers from sites such as Webspiration reviewed here. to sort clip art. The images are also excellent to design language-teaching flashcards, game cards, illustrate songs, add to worksheets or include on class websites.

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Open Clipart Library - Jon Phillips and Bryce Harrington

Grades
K to 12
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This is a large archive of public-domain clipart. All images are free for download and artists are encouraged to contribute to the site. Search for imagery by keyword or category. ...more
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This is a large archive of public-domain clipart. All images are free for download and artists are encouraged to contribute to the site. Search for imagery by keyword or category. The individual images download as PNG thumbnails or html pages. Users can also download a complete package of all of the site clipart. Review all imagery before students go to the site. Although a majority of the site images is appropriate for students, some may be questionable.

tag(s): creative commons (21)

In the Classroom

Pre-select clipart and save to albums meant for students use. A complete library will be useful for multimedia presentation, digital storytelling, reports, and presentations. This is a great site for ESL/ELL students and special education students working on speech and language. Visual representations will help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. Open Clipart is a valuable resource for imagery to use when designing language-teaching flashcards, game cards, directions, illustrating songs and poetry, or including on class websites.

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Lit Tunes - Corndancer

Grades
5 to 12
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Wow! Wow! At this site you will find lesson plans that connect grammar, literature, and music. Use music to teach students about sentence structure, plot elements, basic grammar, literary...more
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Wow! Wow! At this site you will find lesson plans that connect grammar, literature, and music. Use music to teach students about sentence structure, plot elements, basic grammar, literary terms, and much more. You'll also find a database of hundreds of contemporary and classical literature titles connected to contemporary music. Click on "Connection" on the left to find music for every major work you will ever want to teach.

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

Use the list to find literature you can use in your classroom. You may want to choose short stories or poems and their music so students will get the idea of how music and literature can fit together. Then have students choose appropriate contemporary music for an independent reading novel presentation or report. Have students figure out how they would divide up the book into sections. Then select a piece of (school appropriate) music that they think captures the feel or tone of each section. They record the pieces and possibly do voice-overs explaining what is happening in the novel during the piece of music and why they felt this piece of music fits the section of the novel. As a choice, students could use "podOmatic" to create podcasts, reviewed here. Or have students create ThingLinks, reviewed here. Be sure to PLAY the music out loud as the student is talking. If you want students to "mix" music with their own computer, check out Garage Band (Mac) or Audacity (free download) available on Mac or Windows. Looking for more ways to use these audio tools? Take a look at a webquest explaining how these programs work, reviewed here.

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Pullfolio - pullfolio.com

Grades
8 to 12
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Create an online portfolio created from your flickr set of specific photos. Choose your photos by choosing a set or a specific tag. Pictures are displayed in an elegant and ...more
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Create an online portfolio created from your flickr set of specific photos. Choose your photos by choosing a set or a specific tag. Pictures are displayed in an elegant and beautiful format. Since Pullfolio is not flash based, the ipod/iphone app is another plus. Pullfolio instantly updates as you update your flickr set or continue to use the tag. Use the free version or go pro to use your own domain and access additional features.

tag(s): flickr (7), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to add pictures to a set on flickr or use a specific tag for particular pictures. Be sure to choose your username carefully as it becomes part of the url of your portfolio. Follow the directions to identify your flickr account with Pullfolio.

Have students create their own pullfolio, but why not create a class pullfolio that showcases student work? If using as a class pullfolio, pictures will not be attributed to the individual students. Create some way of identifying pictures to various students. Require students to tag their pictures with their initials as well or create a comment with their initials in the picture's description.

This tool would be a great asset to a photography or art class but can be used in any subject area. Create a pullfolio of pictures that showcase life around us, or in a Math class to show various Math functions in man made structures and nature. Use this site to take your geography class around the world (virtually). Have students create presentations in any subject area and narrate the pictures rather than doing a traditional oral report. Speech and language on lower grades or ESL/ELL teachers could create pullfolios for vocabulary development, tagging them for positions, feelings, etc. Involve students in taking the pictures, then share the resulting pullfolios for them to practice their new words.

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fastr - a flickr game - random chaos

Grades
3 to 12
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Guess what a group of photos have in common with this simple game that draws from flickr images. The game shows a group of images, and you must guess what ...more
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Guess what a group of photos have in common with this simple game that draws from flickr images. The game shows a group of images, and you must guess what "tag" the images have in common.

tag(s): flexibility (5), images (266), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Share a fastr game on your projector or interactive whiteboard to get the mental juices flowing at the start of class. Build word choice vocabulary for speech/language students or ESL/ELL students as they guess what word the photos have in common. Extend the experience by having students create their own groups of images (perhaps even taking their own with a digital camera) to support a curriculum concept, such as "omnivore" or "well." Use this tool in combination with a Flickr search tool such as FlickrCC reviewed here to help students understand tagging and see how an unusual combination of images can share the same tag.

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TodaysMeet - James Socol

Grades
5 to 12
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows...more
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows anyone with the URL for a specific chat stream to join in, using short (140 characters) messages. Participants can be in the same room or across the globe. The only "skill" needed is being able to type! Save a transcript via the link at the bottom of the chat and switch to "projector-friendly" view with one click so a group can follow the chat on screen. TodaysMeet does not require a membership to access these features, but creating a free account with an email address unlocks more features to meet your needs. The free account allows you to archive your rooms for up to one year, and custom organization of your rooms is available for easy access. You can only archive rooms for up to one month without creating an account. Filter participants, moderate their content, and use speaker colors to take control of your rooms. A TodaysMeet account also offers three different QR code sizes to share access to your room as well as the ability to allow participants to download the transcript. TodaysMeet may be blocked through some web filters as a social media site.

tag(s): microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

No special skills needed except the ability to create a name for your chat and to share the URL with others. Create "room" by giving it a name; decide how long you want it to last; and add a Twitter hashtag (optional). The room name becomes part of the URL. For example, The room called tfedge has URL http://todaysmeet.com/tfedge. Give participants the room URL. They join in simply by entering a name (or initials, to keep it safe) and clicking Join.

Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel, or ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a backchannel chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or post the chat transcript to a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.

In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students backchannel descriptions of what they see as classmates act out a scene from a video, using new language vocabulary and/or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or - in history class - between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Money trial. Make brevity an impetus for well-focused thoughts and use instantaneous response as an incentive for engagement.

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Conceptua Math - Conceptua Math, Inc.

Grades
4 to 10
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This is a great collection of free visual math tools for class instruction. View the sample problems and instructional video for each concept. All concepts are standards aligned and...more
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This is a great collection of free visual math tools for class instruction. View the sample problems and instructional video for each concept. All concepts are standards aligned and include NCTM and recent Common Core State Standards. Identify the key vocabulary as well as IEP goals.

tag(s): fractions (239)

In the Classroom

Check out the video on how to use the tool as well as the sample lesson plans on Adobe PDF. Click to try this tool in the classroom. Registration and sign in are free but required to use the tools. These tools would be fantastic used on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Follow up on the tools with practical ways to use the concepts. Be sure to pay attention to the vocabulary as well as IEP goals.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Midomi - midomi.com

Grades
2 to 12
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On this general music and music video site, students and teachers can find the name of a song they have forgotten by simply humming or singing into the computer mike. ...more
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On this general music and music video site, students and teachers can find the name of a song they have forgotten by simply humming or singing into the computer mike. Note: when you click to sing or hum, you will get a message asking you to ALLOW or DENY permission for the web site to access your computer mike. IN some web browsers, the security settings may prohibit this. Test the tool on your computer to be sure it will work before assigning students to try it. It takes a little practice!

tag(s): songs (52)

In the Classroom

Use this site for ear training. Play a reverse "Name that Tune" game to see how accurately the site finds songs. Try to find two songs with similar beginnings and see if the site can distinguish the two. Learn about other songs that have similar beginning melodies. ESL and ELL students can use this site and participate without knowing the English words for a song just by humming. Students can introduce their favorite songs this way.

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TeachersFirst's Study Skills Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies. The collection includes specific study tools, reading strategies, review ideas, and notetaking methods that students and teachers can try as lessons in themselves or --even better-- as they go about the regular curriculum. Whether you want to use a graphic organizer, create your own electronic flash cards, or simply learn how to approach a test, there is a resource to help. Learning Support teachers and teachers of gifted will also want to share these alternate ways for students to organize and retain concepts, vocabulary, and more.

In the Classroom

Make learning how to learn part of your class routine at any grade level and in any subject. Feature one or more new study strategy each month and share this entire list as a link from your class web page for students and parents to access both in and out of school.

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Tagxedo - Hardy Leung

Grades
K to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. ...more
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Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. Create a visual representation of a passage to pull out and identify important words or show the text in an interactive, visually appealing way. The resulting cloud pops out the words as you roll over them, so viewers can "see" each word separately. See a sample, created by the TF Edge review team. Explore the gallery for many inspiring examples, including some that use the customizable image shapes uploaded from your own computer (premium feature). Some features may change slightly after the beta phase, but developer Hardy Leung assures TeachersFirst users, "Even after beta you'll be able to save the animated version of the Tagxedo for free to your computer or to the web without the paid version. I may require a membership, though unlikely, but even then I'll make sure there is a free version for teachers and students."

Tagxedo requires Silverlight. The site will appear as a blank page with the "Install Silverlight Plugin" button if your computer does not have it installed. See your tech folks to allow download and installation of this plug-in if school computers do not have it and/or are "locked down."

tag(s): vocabulary (324), word choice (26), word clouds (10)

In the Classroom

NO membership required to create a cloud, though saving may require a (free) membership in the future, according to developer Hardy Leung. Click "Create" and then "Words." Paste URL to "cloud" words from a web page or copy/paste (or type) a passage of words into the given field. (Repeat words to make them larger). Experiment with various settings and "themes" to create the different colors and shapes of the word cloud. Change the theme, shape, direction, layout, and other parameters easily. Click SAVE to easily download a static image of various sizes or take a screenshot using shortcut keys. Saved images do not have the cool "pop-out" feature (rats!), though the developer tells TeachersFirst that users will be able to download animated versions in the future. You can also save and obtain the direct URL to your animated cloud. Be sure to bookmark it or copy/paste the URL for safe keeping in a document, wiki, etc. During beta, the tool allows you to save and copy embed code, but this feature will cost money later.

In the classroom: This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In primary grades. Enter a group of related words into the text box, such as sight words, words with the same spelling cluster, or vocabulary terms. Then have students roll over the words to read them aloud as they pop out (only works in the ONLINE version of the clouds). Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize terms and important vocabulary, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Use themes and shapes that coordinate with the word cloud (for example, use a bird shape when creating a cloud about flight or a heart when interpreting a love poem. Consider using a word cloud as a first week of school activity where students discuss summer vacation or what they did over the summer. As a first day activity, students could also make a cloud with words about themselves, then have classmates guess which cloud matches which person.

For a free gift for special occasions, make word clouds about mom for Mother's Day or Thanksgiving "I am thankful" visual poems. Share them by emailing the URL or in printed form.

Comments

Very versatile, creates word clouds in specific shapes. Adds another dimension. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Sentence Scrambler - altastic.com

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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StoryCorps - Dave Isay

Grades
4 to 12
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StoryCorps is a nonprofit site where Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. It is one of the largest oral history ...more
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StoryCorps is a nonprofit site where Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. It is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. At the site you can download a "Do it Yourself Guide", find resources for teachers, and a list of great questions. You can subscribe to their podcast, e-newsletter, and blog, or you can upload your own story or that of a loved one or friend for free. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

tag(s): questioning (31), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Grandparent's day is in September. What better gift to a grandparent than to be able to spend time with their grandchild and tell them a story about an important time in their lives? Of course, you'll want to prepare students with some interviewing skills and questions before they interview their grandparents, and show them how to record the interview with some type of recorder (tape recorder, cell phone, video camera, etc). This recording can then be submitted to StoryCorps and it will then reside at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Students can also interview parents about their first memories of school, and what they remember about the grade that the student is currently in. Share these interviews during the first week or month of the school year. Not only can these interviews be submitted to StoryCorp, but students could then do a write up of their interviews and publish them in a classroom book of memories. Have students create online books to share with the class about their interview. Use a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or have students narrate a photo of the person they interviewed using a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here.

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Stories Behind the Songs; Introduction - Jonathan Chase

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is part of the Musicians United for Songs in the Classroom, (M.U.S.I.C.), nonprofit website that promotes the educational use of songs by teachers in all subject areas. Here,...more
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This site is part of the Musicians United for Songs in the Classroom, (M.U.S.I.C.), nonprofit website that promotes the educational use of songs by teachers in all subject areas. Here, the use and study of songs extends beyond traditional general music classrooms. Lyrics are a timeless expression of the human experience that captures the history that shapes our people and culture. The creative process of analyzing and interpreting song lyrics helps students to develop critical thinking and media literacy skills. In each song entry you will find information including artists' commentary, discussion of corresponding songs, referenced and related works for study and comparison, music and lyric resources, and samples of classroom activities. Song lyrics are a powerful teaching tool that engage, excite and motivate young people. Some songs only include lyrics, while others include video an/or audio. All students can learn, but first you must get their attention. This resource is music to their ears.

tag(s): lyrics (20), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Many students' favorite past time, when not texting or social networking, is listening to their iPods. Why not use that venue to hook them into understanding the 'music of poetry?" Stories Behind the Songs; Introduction includes the music, lyrics, song-based lessons, projects, and activities for many popular songs and ballads that express universal themes of poverty, hunger, discrimination, and hope. Students listen to the music and examine the origins and inspiration for contemporary lyrics. Popular songs can be used in a classroom setting to facilitate meaningful discussions on a particular theme or topic. Songs also create an emotional hook and may be used as a springboard to introduce poetry, literature, and historic documents. Students enter the Song Guide by clicking on the song's title to enjoy the full authentic cultural experience the music and lyrics offer. Follow up with asking students to write poems or short essays describing their feelings and impressions of the lyrics, or have them create new poetic verses and images to accompany the music. Challenge students to narrate an image using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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You Can Teach Writing - Linda Aragoni

Grades
7 to 12
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Here you will find writing advice for different genres, prompts, advice for teaching thesis statements and so much more; all presented with humor and a very strong voice. Are you ...more
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Here you will find writing advice for different genres, prompts, advice for teaching thesis statements and so much more; all presented with humor and a very strong voice. Are you a new teacher? Is your school pushing "writing across the curriculum"? Are you an English or writing teacher who just wants verification and some new ideas or prompts? If you answered yes to any of these you must visit Linda Aragoni's You Can Teach Writing site! Linda is a teacher, editor, and professional writer whose writing site started out as a book. Linda puts out a monthly newsletter with all sorts ideas you can use in the classroom. The last one had a link for a slide show about how new words are made and suggestions for how to use the slide show in the classroom.

tag(s): essays (21), expository writing (44), writing (359)

In the Classroom

This site is primarily for teacher use, but you will find yourself using what you learn here in your classroom, weekly, if not daily. This is definitely a site to save in your favorites. There are many ideas here.

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The Oldest Living Things on the Planet - NPR

Grades
6 to 12
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This clever site uses a time line and photographs to show living things that are older than any of us can imagine. It includes plant and animal species. For example, ...more
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This clever site uses a time line and photographs to show living things that are older than any of us can imagine. It includes plant and animal species. For example, it shows a slide of the Great Basin Bristlecone, a pine tree in California that is more than 4,000 years old! But there is an even older object for readers to start with. The site contains a link to an NPR broadcast, "Hunting For The Oldest Living Things In The World."

tag(s): logic (235), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Because of the few words, this is a great site for ESL and/or ELL students in your classes. All viewers will be able to read the dates and learn the names of the oldest objects on earth. Use this site when demonstrating how to make an interactive time line. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create a different type of online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vocabulary Videos and Flashcards for SAT, ACT, and GRE Prep - The VocabAhead Team

Grades
8 to 12
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This online tool features videos and flashcards with definitions and loads of examples of over 1100 words that frequently appear on the SAT, ACT, and GRE. Make it fun and ...more
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This online tool features videos and flashcards with definitions and loads of examples of over 1100 words that frequently appear on the SAT, ACT, and GRE. Make it fun and interactive to learn new words by bringing a fresh perspective to vocabulary instruction and study. Sometimes the mere mention of vocabulary is enough for students to turn a deaf ear, yet the VocabAhead site can put a whole new spin on it. Teachers and students can access the study room where you can view the videos, flashcards, wordlists, complete multiple-choice quizzes, or join the free membership to create your own wordlists where students may study assigned words and make their own videos, or to regularly receive emails for the word-of-the day video. You may do nearly everything without registering; however, joining the free membership provides plenty of extra perks. You can create your own personalized lists and focus only on words you need to work on. It does require an email address, so check your school's technology policy before allowing students to join. Create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Change the way students learn and study vocabulary by giving it to them the way they want it with interactive videos, flashcards, and self assessment quizzes. Demonstrate with the whole class on the interactive whiteboard or projector and use it that way periodically whenever you have a few teachable moments to fill. Embed it on your class web page for students to access frequently. You may do all of this without registering; however, joining the free membership provides plenty of extra perks. Challenge students to create some of their own vocabulary interactives using a site to narrate a photo, such as ThingLink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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