Grades8 to 12
Once registered, students can select fitting vocabulary words to put into sentences. The sentences come from popular current newspapers. The site also has standard reading lists for the top test prep sites, including GRE, ISEE, SAT, and ACT. It keeps track of which of those words a student is working on and which he/she has learned. Students who master certain words will find new, more challenging words added to their work-on list. Besides seeing the words used in context, you can also hear the pronunciation of most words, thus making it a good tool for TOEFL test takers as well.
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. List the link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Have students work with a partner to explore this site and then create a podcast incorporating the new words that they learned. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomIf individual computers aren't available, this site would work on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make it a class challenge. Put this site in a PSAT, SAT, or ACT preparation pamphlet/web page to help students maximize their vocabulary knowledge. It is fast and easy to use. For the most advanced second language learners, this quiz would also be helpful for preparing for the TOEFL test. This is a site you want to list on your class website. As part of your regular vocabulary study, consider having student create their own "Image Quizzes" using their personal vocabulary words, then challenge their classmates! Use a simple tool such as Powerpoint to make the quiz slides (uploadable to Thinglink, reviewed here, or other slide sharing tools) or create them online on a class wiki.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): literature (272)
In the ClassroomOffer this site only to your most discriminating readers. Look at this site frequently since its offerings change weekly. Offer this site only to your most discriminating readers. Look at this site frequently since its offerings change weekly. Share selections on a projector or interactive whiteboard for "quicky" book talks or take a screen shot (with credit, of course) to display a selected review on a digital picture frame in your library/media center. Set the frame to cycle through a slide show of new book selections! Other options for cycling book reviews would be to paste them into PowerPoint slides to run in a looped show on selected media center computers or to run the screenshots as screensaver images.
Now sure how to take a screen shot? Press the PrtScrn button on a Windows computer (sometimes combined with SHIFT or Ctrl key, depending on the computer), then CONTROL+V to PASTE the screen image into an image program such as Paint so you can save it. Screenshots are even easier in Vista using the Snip tool. On a Mac, the screen shot function is Command+Shift+4 (the number 4), and the "picture" (a png image file) gets saved to your chosen location, usually your desktop. Be sure to copy the URL of the page you are "shooting" to give proper credit and place a label with your frame providing this information.
GradesK to 10
tag(s): book lists (131)
In the ClassroomSave this site on your classroom favorite's on your computer to assist students in finding books to read and sample illustrations for art class and students' own stories. This is a great link to provide on your class website for students to access at home. Within the classroom, have students choose a former Caldecott winner to read and create a multimedia presentation. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share concept maps about the books.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): news (261)
In the ClassroomCheck here for well-developed lesson plans for a specific topic you'd like to teach. Or scroll through the offerings for your grade level and subject. Complete directions for each lesson plan will guide you through how you can use it in the classroom. Share the interactive or photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites to visit often for some new ways to freshen up the content in your class.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you have e-mail pals in other countries or are working on a collaborative project in multiple languages, this site will help you communicate across the world (within limits of auto-translation). You can also use this tool to underscore similarities in related languages as you study English vocabulary and its roots. In world language classes, use this site to compare translations done by the different sites and to demonstrate the fact that instant translators cannot do your homework for you! Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site with ESL/ELL students. As with any site that aggregates from multiple sources, there is some need possibility of coming up with results others have requested that are in poor taste. Also be sure students know consequences of typing inappropriate words. If you suspect that a student is using an instant translator to DO homework, this site will help you test most available translators to find the one he/she may be using.
Grades2 to 12
Use the embed code and URL codes with each clip to provide link or embed a specific clip into a blog, wiki, or other site.
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): movies (70)
In the ClassroomNone, if you simply wish to view clips. Clips can be played through the site. Copy the URL or embed codes under "Share this clip" to link or share the video.
Student registration is not advisable due to mature content.
Use the clips for vocabulary with ESL or ELL students. Introduce other curriculum topics or lessons using the clips on this site. For example, use video clips to get students thinking about concepts such as tornadoes, animals, feelings, or decision-making. As you teach about characterization in literature or creative writing, use movie clips to illustrate how a writer can "show not tell" about a characters personality or motivations. Have students observe the outward signs the actor uses to SHOW what he/she is feeling, then use these signs in writing their own stories: the way the eyebrows move, the body language, etc. Emotional support and autistic support teachers can use the clips to help students learn to "read" human feelings.
Grades1 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomIf your students have never tried to make a Blabber, share the introduction blab on the home page (click the Blabberize logo to get there) on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Browse a few examples first to get ideas on how to make a mouth on your photo to move and "talk." Be sure to turn up your sound! Have a student demonstrate uploading an image from a safe and legal source. You may want to use a single, whole-class account you create with your "extra" email account. Be sure to spell out consequences of inappropriate use/content of blabs. Have students enter the site through the "Make" page link provided in this review to steer clear of the "latest" blabs. You may want your students to make their blabs "private" so they do not show on the public areas, depending on school policies.
Blab the homework directions on your teacher web page. Have your students use photos or digital drawings to "blab"! Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then make it "speak." Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters tell about themselves. This tool is great for gifted students to go above and beyond the basics with an independent project. Create entire conversation sequences of blabs between people in world language or ESL/ELL classes (with students speaking in the language, of course), then embed them in a wiki. Have speech/language students make blabs to practice articulation and document progress over time. Promote oral reading fluency with student-read blabs. Create book "commercials." Have students blab what the author may have been thinking as he/she wrote a poem or literary selection or as an artist painted. Blab politicians' major platform planks during campaigns for current events. Blab the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make an animal blab about his habitat if you set up the blab as a center. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?) Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then blab the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class blabs on your class web page or wiki! Give directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parents' attention for important information.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomKeep this link handy among the resources on your class web page or wiki, and be sure to bring it up on your screen or interactive whiteboard to remind students of the rich tools it offers as you teach grammar, revision, poetry, essay-writing, or even letter and resume writing. With primary grades, share the rhyming words to help teach spelling and phonics! As students share in revising a passage or writing a poem on the interactive whiteboard, have this thesaurus available on another window to model their search for just the right word. Encourage students to look up any new vocabulary or terminology at the start of new science or social studies units so they can gain a broader "sense" of the words themselves through a constellation of synonyms and related words. Help students refine vocabulary by having them rank the various synonyms offered for a certain word, deciding which has the most positive or negative connotations. Offer the writing prompts for student journal or blog posts or creative stories. ESL/ELL students can explore new words with this tool, even practicing the rhyming sounds and noticing their varied spellings. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.
NOTE: If students enter an inappropriate word, they WILL find classroom-inappropriate terms. As with use of any reference, your students need to know your classroom's consequences of such activity. The options are no different from students looking up body parts or pornographic terms in a print dictionary or on Google.
Grades5 to 12
Registration does require an 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.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.
In the ClassroomRefer your ESL/ELL or speech articulation students to this site to use with a microphone to record their voices. Be sure to show them the demo so they can learn how to use the tools on the site and click to "allow" the mike to record. Help weaker readers by allowing them to see the text of film clips as they listen along, then speak the words back. As they practice English pronunciation, they will also be learning about current events and other topics. Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computer. List this site on your class webpage for students to access (and practice) both in and out of the classroom. Check you school policies before setting up any student accounts with identifiable information or real email addresses.
Grades2 to 10
In the ClassroomUse parts of this site when doing units on prejudice, diversity, and discrimination. Refer students to do research in some of the books listed here on those subjects. Have students interview people from other cultures to check the information given here on aspects of their cultures. Do they agree with what is said here? Even younger students will enjoy learning about flags and peace symbols. Make the craft links available for students doing reports on different countries or preparing for an International Day. Have students copy flags or other country symbols. Ask them to create their own "country" from these models. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific topic at this site and prepare a podcast to share with the class using PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the relevant word searches on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups practice spelling or vocabulary words by creating their own word search. List this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. This is a great one for those word search lovers in your class. Why not have students use a whole-class account to make their own word searches to challenge each other with new vocabulary and terms?
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomPut this link on your class website for those ambitious ESL/ELL students desirous of more practice. Set up a point system for students to earn individual credit for their work. Make a handout about the blog and send it home with your students at the end of the school year for summer use. Check out the "Links for Teachers" section which offers suggestions about how to incorporate second language learning into your classroom using technology.
Grades3 to 10
In the ClassroomBrainstorm situations that cause fear and identify how the brain processes this information. Explore the similarities of fear responses with the feelings when riding thrill rides. Identify as a class how people respond to fear and ways fear can help you. Creative writing students can explore different ways that people show fear so their writing can describe what fear LOOKS like instead of simply saying, "he was afraid." Why not include this site when studying Poe's tales of terror or as a curriculum-related activity during Halloween season? Check out the "Dealing with Fear" section to help students struggling with anxieties and worry. Emotional or autistic support teachers and school counselors may also find this site helpful in allowing students to understand their body's reactions to fear. Health and psychology classes can use this site to explore the physiology of fear.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to tell your students that they are NOT the "dummies" referred to in this site! Then go beyond the obvious use of this site as a reference to use it to teach informational writing, reading comprehension, or any curriculum content. Share text-based articles on a projector or interactive whiteboard and have students analyze the keywords and structure of sequential direction-writing or informational writing before they try it on their own. Use the pens and highlighters to note transitions and other ways of organizing directions, including formatting. Use articles to teach basic comprehension skills by copy/pasting sections and having students drag them into the correct sequence on the whiteboard to form logical directions. In science or social studies classes, have students view models on this site, then work in groups to write their own how-to wiki on curriculum topics such as "How to tell a fungus from a bacterium," "How to solve simultaneous equations," or "How to form a government." If you have access to video equipment, have students write scripts and produce video versions of their how-to instructions and post them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomFind great question starters and projects for increasing critical thinking and creating higher order projects and activities. Use these question starters for writing assignments or larger projects in any content area to move beyond just knowledge. As you design project-based learning, be sure to visit this site to be sure you are putting the HOTS into student tasks!
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is ideal for your interactive whiteboard or projector, learning station, or on individual computers (with headsets). Use this site to keep your students up to date on current events. Have students compare the different versions of the same news stories to try and ferret out the facts and the way points of view affect reporting. Project the scripts on an interactive whiteboard to have students highlight language choices that provide a certain slant. ESL/ELL students will benefit from listening to the short news clips and being able to see the transcript of the report. Have your ESL/ELL students write their own comprehension questions and answers based on the podcast to check their own comprehension and to exchange with classmates. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare the differences in two newspapers' versions of the same news. Have ESL/ELL students present the news from a newspaper familiar to them if possible by having them prepare an introduction and questions. Learning support students can use the transcripts and videos in combination to understand and report weekly current events assignments for social studies class.
Grades3 to 12
Registration does require an 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. This is explained here, and tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.
tag(s): countries (81)
In the ClassroomUse this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of any country or culture. Another obvious use of this site is for any type of country research projects. This site allows students to explore their previous beliefs about cultures, in the "exploring your cultural baggage" section.This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class. This site does include the ability for the general public to submit their own cultural information. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom. You may want to limit use to whole-class activities or prohibit accessing the "add to the guide" portion of the site. ESL and ELL students will be proud to make reports to the class about their own countries using this site as backup and illustration. Share this site with language teachers who are taking students on trips beyond the U.S. or as a general resource for cultural information.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomIf using a phone, understanding calling plans and additional charges is needed. You must know how to use embed codes to place audio files within your blog, wiki, or website. No login is required! Simply click the "Get Yours It's Free" button. Choose the method to create the audio and preview and edit the file. Enter your email address to receive a link to your file. Click on the link to grab widgets. Copy the code and place in your blog or website.
The tool does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students mark their contributions in order to get credit. Consider using a class email account set up for this purpose. Be sure students understand the appropriate use of this email account.
Classroom use: Use this service to record audio of passages used in class, homework assignments, and other written material. Young students can practice reading aloud at this site (and listen to themselves), showing improvement in fluency as the year goes on. Have students use this site in place of a traditional book report. Have cooperative learning groups create a news broadcast and share it using this site. Use this site with ESL/ELL students just learning the English language. Use this site in world language classes for students to hear and learn the pronunciations. Place the embed code in a site that students can access outside of class for review, identifying directions, and listening to text. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to record student articulation and demonstrate progress through the year.