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Protagonize - Taunt Media

Grades
5 to 12
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories...more
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Protagonize was originally a site for collaborative story creation. However, now you and your students can create your own "linear" or solo stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. Stories are available for others to comment on or add to. You can easily specify two endings like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series or leave the story's ending unfinished. Alternatively, choose to create different "chapters" of a story. Before writing, choose from many different story genres. If you prefer not to have outside input on the story, you can select "solo" writing. It is easy to change solo to collaborative writing, however. There is also an option to digitally link the chapters. The site is very flexible, and you can write poetry, drama, song lyrics, and writing exercises including role plays. Before writing, students set up "story guidelines" so that future contributors can see the parameters of the piece. Students can also view the work of others. Mature content is marked with a "Mature" marker. Students and other writers have an obligation to report inappropriate content. PDF format or RSS feeds allow the created work to be saved to another format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), expository writing (44), narrative (24), persuasive writing (55), poetry (228), six traits of writing (8), songs (52), stories and storytelling (33), word choice (26), writers workshop (31), writing (359)

In the Classroom

You may wish to set up a group or class account, so that you can keep a careful eye on what outside additions are made (use an RSS feed!) . Students would then need to sign their writing or their comments on other class members writing, with a code known by you. Or you can invite students through email, and then create a group on the program that would include your students; however this group would also be open to the public.

Create groups of students who would like to work together on a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story connected to a science or social studies topic. Have the students create the story guidelines and parameters. Once the students have started the story, have them use your projector and interactive whiteboard and get feedback from class members about the different directions the story could take. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

Have your students create "solo" stories, and then have them switch to "collaborative" to receive comments and input from other members in their writing group or class. Publish the final adventures by using the page flipping publishing program, Youblisher, reviewed here.

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Hotline Plus Grammar and Practice - Oxford University Press

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers two levels of basic grammar practice. You can select one of 14 review lessons from the basic level or one of 12 from the elementary level; each ...more
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This site offers two levels of basic grammar practice. You can select one of 14 review lessons from the basic level or one of 12 from the elementary level; each lesson contains five different reviews. Topics include forms of "be," using past tense, verb form, and much more. Any grammar or English students could also benefit from this review. This site was created in the United Kingdom, so you may notice some slight spelling differences, if you are used to American English.

tag(s): grammar (216), grammar review (37), verbs (41), word choice (26), word order (5)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to use with ELL/ESL students or in any elementary/middle school classroom, especially those who may need additional practice. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students try one of the activities on individual computers as a learning stations (most activities are about 10 questions.) Consider posting this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. You might also assign a specific review to a student based upon recurring problems in their written expression.

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Documentary Heaven - Documentary Heaven

Grades
6 to 12
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the...more
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the videos via several methods: browse the library, most popular, recent videos, or by categories. The categories vary greatly and include the bullying of those with disabilities, 9/11, aftermath of the Japan Tsunami, import and export of oil, and countless other topics. Each video comes with a short explanation and ratings (out of 10 stars). Viewers can also leave their own rating. Many include suggestions for related videos. Be aware: some of topics may not be suitable for the classroom. Please preview before (or IF) you choose to allow students to peruse on their own. You may want to share only specific videos with the class. It has been noted that this website opens rather slowly at the busy times of the day. But it is WELL worth the wait. Note that videos are recommended for inclusion by the video creators, so there could be very strong bias in documentary presentations. What better way to challenge students to stop and ask, "What is the source of this information and can I trust it fully?"
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (32), biographies (87), bullying (52), disabilities (20), psychology (64), senses (28), sexuality (14), tsunamis (16)

In the Classroom

View videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector to correspond with classroom lessons. Be sure to discuss the source and possible bias of any documentary. "Documentary" does not necessarily mean "trustworthy" or "unbiased"! Link to specific videos on your classroom computer, website, or blog for students to view on their own. Assign different topics and allow students to choose a documentary to use as part of their research. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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EasyDefine - Prabbav Jain

Grades
4 to 12
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Create definition lists easily and completely. Simply enter the terms, and click "generate" to create a list of words with definitions. View synonyms, download as a document, or email...more
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Create definition lists easily and completely. Simply enter the terms, and click "generate" to create a list of words with definitions. View synonyms, download as a document, or email your list to others. Be aware: there are no filters on this definition site, so ANY word (appropriate or not) can easily be searched by students. Use under teacher supervision with students likely to enter inappropriate terms for immature reactions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), synonyms (38), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125), word study (80)

In the Classroom

You must know where you are saving downloads on your computer to save the list as a document. Pay attention and name files with meaningful file names, such as "chapter17vocab." Enter your list with one term per line or separated by commas, etc. Click on advanced options to add other options to the search: number or alphabetize the definition results, maximum definitions, and hiding parts of speech.

Create definitions easily for word lists in any subject area. Have students enter a series of similar words to see variations in connotations. For example, enter various words that mean "fat" and discover the variability in positive and negative connotations. Follow up with a ranking or sorting activity with the same words on interactive whiteboard to build word choice options. Have students generate individualized reading vocabulary lists for content are reading chapters or literature. Click on the synonyms tab to find related words. Save as a document for easy sharing in groups. Advise students to collect definitions and compare to those they write in their own words. As with any other reference, students should be cautioned to be sure these are accurate definitions needed for the context in which they are studying the words.

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Read the book -- then see the film - Christchurch City Librarires

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides descriptions of children's and young adult movies and the books they come from. The site encourages kids to read the book first, or watch the movie first, ...more
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This site provides descriptions of children's and young adult movies and the books they come from. The site encourages kids to read the book first, or watch the movie first, whichever they prefer. The list has frequent updates, so students can check back on a regular basis to see if what they're reading has become a film yet. A link provides contact with the complete list of book-movie pairs including books and films for adults. Clicking the name of the book goes to the library catalog and the film goes to the IMDB (Internet Movie Database).

Besides the book-movie pairings, the site allows students to review books and also provides interactive reading guides for six subgenres of children's books: pirate books, fantasy, adventure, and more. Another separate section deals with books that become TV shows and TV shows that become books later. Since this is a site from New Zealand, however, the TV portion may not be applicable elsewhere.

tag(s): book lists (128), movies (65), video (254)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site to your class using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students time to explore on their own about a book they want to read that has an accompanying movie. This could be a class book, and the treat after reading would be to watch the movie. Students could then write a compare contrast essay, or an essay that evaluates which was better, the book or the movie and why. Have students compare the book and movie using an online Venn diagram site such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

This site would also be a good site to use with ESL/ELL students and reluctant readers. Students could read a section of the book, then watch that section of the movie, and verbally compare or evaluate, ask questions, etc.

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Math Glossary - McGraw-Hill

Grades
6 to 12
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This site features a multi-lingual glossary for middle and high school mathematics along with a listing of mathematical formulas. Thirteen languages are included ranging from Arabic...more
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This site features a multi-lingual glossary for middle and high school mathematics along with a listing of mathematical formulas. Thirteen languages are included ranging from Arabic to Vietnamese. Upon entering the site, you select a grade level or formulas. A list of all vocabulary terms are on the left side of the page, or the initial letter of the vocabulary word can be chosen from a list at the top of the page. After choosing the word, the definition is displayed. The option is also available for an audio definition of the term. Changing language is as simple as choosing the desired language from a drop-down box at the top of the page. Formulas are available as an easy-to-print PDF document.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers to use the site as a resource for students to use as needed for vocabulary help. Share this site with the ESL/ELL teacher to use when helping students with mathematics. World language teachers may want to use this site for higher-level students to increase vocabulary skills.

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Reading and Writing Project Booklists - Teachers College of Columbia University

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a compilation of themed book lists focusing on two types: those with general themes,and those compiled by publishers or well-known libraries and/or schools. Of particular...more
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This site offers a compilation of themed book lists focusing on two types: those with general themes,and those compiled by publishers or well-known libraries and/or schools. Of particular interest is the book list entitled "Book Ladders" since it lists books in a series or with the same characters and the specific order they should be read in. Some book lists correspond to grade level, reading level, or genre. The themes are very broad and the grade level varies from Read Alouds through Middle School.

tag(s): book lists (128), media literacy (58)

In the Classroom

Share this list with students looking for a new book to read. Post a couple of the lists you like the best on your Edmodo reviewed here or Wiki classroom site. Share this compilation with other educators and librarians.

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Accompl.sh - Accomplsh, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is...more
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is not meant as a "to do" list but as a way to make meaningful changes toward life goals. Create your list by answering "I want to..." Create a title for the list, add 10 goals, then lock in the goals. Click on a goal to create a comment (these can be identified as progress reports using the checkbox below the comment box.) Accompl.sh has a user community that can help in motivating you towards your goals, so be aware that your input is visible to the public. Whether it is New Years or another milestone day, this is the tool to get you started.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Identify the goals needed to become a better student, be more organized, or other life or study skills that students would find useful. This is a great "tracking" system to help students in class and at home. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, so families can make group goals together. Promote solid study skills and project planning using this tool.

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Study Blue - StudyBlue

Grades
K to 12
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This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others ...more
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This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others for excellent collaboration. Study Blue also provides hints to help students study. Create a folder in "My Backpack." Make flashcards to get started or search flashcards already created by others.

tag(s): flash cards (45)

In the Classroom

Use as a study aid for students. This is a great tool for older students (who own cell phones). Students can study their flashcards on the bus, in the backseat of the family car, or while waiting for their dentist appointment! Have students create individual accounts and collaborate with others or create a class account for all to use. Have groups collaborate on the creation of flashcards for students to use or have groups create flashcards for specific parts of the unit. Learning support students can take their extra help along with them.

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Aesthetic Computing for Mathematics Teachers - Paul Fishwick

Grades
7 to 12
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"Aesthetic computing" is an approach to algebra that focuses on students representing algebraic equations as pictures and stories to increase student involvement and understanding....more
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"Aesthetic computing" is an approach to algebra that focuses on students representing algebraic equations as pictures and stories to increase student involvement and understanding. The goal is to engage students who would benefit through hands-on and visual approaches to learning. The site includes a 5 minute video describing the approach, an introduction to the theory including lesson plans and handouts, and learning outcomes. Lesson plans are divided into Middle School and High School categories. One interesting inclusion to the site is the online chat and group for teachers interested in trying the approach. The group is very small but might be worthwhile to use for networking with others using this approach.

tag(s): operations (126), problem solving (272), visualizations (14)

In the Classroom

Share this site with Special Education and Gifted teachers as the hands-on approach will appeal to both types of learners. Display and share students' pictures and stories in your classroom or on your classroom website. Challenge students to find the equation within the pictures and stories.

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Launch Pad Mag - Launchpad.com

Grades
1 to 9
1 Favorites 1  Comments
This on-line magazine accepts submissions from young authors and artists (ages six to fourteen) who have pieces to fit upcoming themes of the magazine. Some examples of topics include...more
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This on-line magazine accepts submissions from young authors and artists (ages six to fourteen) who have pieces to fit upcoming themes of the magazine. Some examples of topics include The Ocean, Sports, and Mysteries. Two early issues feature authors from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. An interactive map of authors and illustrators shows the home bases of the young contributors. For hesitant writers, a section called "Writer's Block" gives suggestions intended to stimulate writing and thinking. Students are able to send in submissions via email or directly through a form on the website. Read the FAQ page to learn about how students can use pen names, rather than their real names.

tag(s): drawing (78), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your class read chosen selections from this e-zine at their personal computers and consider submitting writing or artwork. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitted student work to this online magazine, if your school policy allows such submissions. Why not link this excellent opportunity on your class website or in your class newsletter, so parents can submit their student's work on their own. or use it as a midsummer inspiration.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

[We have updated this review per teacher comment - TF Editors] This is a wonderful website. And you can send in submissions by email or through a form on the website. The FAQ page says it is optional how much information is published about the student authors and artists- and the kids can even use pen names. They are very friendly to work with. Elise, CO, Grades: 0 - 12

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), speech (92)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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Listen a Minute - Sean Banville

Grades
5 to 12
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Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter...more
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Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter of the alphabet. Each listening selection has a multitude of activities you can download (along with the reading text) in Word and pdf formats. Find Cloze paragraphs, fill in the blanks, words to unscramble, and much more. Many activities can also be viewed online. Each selection has two interactive quizzes. Though targeted for the ESL/ELL student, listening is one of the language arts standards, and this is a good way for any classroom teacher to address listening skills.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dance (28), listening (91), reading comprehension (116), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Use the selections and activities with individual students as an assignment or independent practice on your classroom computer. The reading and activities are easy to work on independently because of the listening feature. Don't forget to provide headsets. Small groups of students can listen at one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Provide this link for the families of ESL/ELL students to read (or listen) to the selections together. Learning support teachers will also appreciate the option to provide audio and text together to improve student comprehension.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Free English Lessons Online - esolcourses.com

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts...more
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At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts teacher will find activities here to help differentiate language skills in your classroom. This is an extensive site with several levels in each language arts strand. Every strand and level also has numerous activities to choose from.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (216), listening (91), reading comprehension (116), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

You may want to complete some of the selections with a projector and your interactive whiteboard for the whole class as there are listening activities, reading activities and quizzes about holidays, etc. You could differentiate by having small groups of students or individuals listening and reading at their different levels while you work with another group, or small groups of students can listen at a station that is one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Since each of the selections has activities in several language arts strands, one selection could make up your student's instruction for the day, or week. Students could rotate through a station for listening, one for vocabulary development, etc.

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Here on Earth - NPR

Grades
5 to 12
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a ...more
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a larger series, the archives of which are easily accessible as well. Previews for the five weekly programs, Monday through Friday include enticing photographs. Links on the pages of the programs offer opportunities for more information and links to related programs. Students also have the opportunity to see short, related videos and comment on ongoing programs. Programs cover a wide variety of subjects and fields.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), radio (26), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to preview the upcoming programs for each week to connect their ELL/ESL students with the programs that concern their part of the world. Students could do an introduction to their countries before the class listens to an appropriate program. Ask your students to visit the site, listen, research, and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Visual Recipes - Visual Recipes

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language...more
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Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language learners and new learners to foods will find this a great resource.

tag(s): cooking (34), nutrition (154), sequencing (31), visual thinking (10), visualizations (14)

In the Classroom

Choose recipes to create a menu that meets all of the requirements of the new USDA "MyPlate." Analyze a typical dish to look at calories and the breakdown of the nutrients. Be a food scientist, choosing recipes that are examples of different types of solutions (homogeneous and heterogeneous) or basic chemical reactions. Encourage healthy eating, ethnic exploration through foods, and many other topics with these easy to follow pictures and directions. World language teachers will love this visual approach to foods in another culture and can ask students to "narrate" a visual recipe in the new language while presenting on interactive whiteboard or projector. Use visual recipes to teach sequencing for writing about step by step process using words like "first, then, next." Challenge cooperative learning groups to make their own slideshow/recipe for a favorite dish of their choice using a site such as 280Slides (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Kathleen, VT, Grades: 0 - 12

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Youblisher.com - Youblisher

Grades
K to 12
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Have you ever wanted to share your class books online? Youblisher offers a wonderful, visual method for uploading pdf's to an online location and making them look like pages turning...more
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Have you ever wanted to share your class books online? Youblisher offers a wonderful, visual method for uploading pdf's to an online location and making them look like pages turning in a book. If you don't create with Acrobat, not to worry! You just need to scan your documents to convert them to a pdf file. Once you know how to generate pdf files, you are ready to go. Explore whether your computer can "print" to pdf files or learn how to use the scanner. If you use a Mac, the option to "print" from your word processor or other program to pdf is built right in. Once you have a file as pdf, upload the files to this site. Youblisher makes your files flippable like the pages of an interactive book. You receive a link (url) to add to your website. Check out the introductory video on the homepage. Students, teachers, and parents (and grandparents) will all love seeing classroom creations in this easy to view format.

tag(s): book reports (35), digital storytelling (144)

In the Classroom

Share interactive books created online for students to read at learning centers. Create a lesson via pdf files and share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Scan/convert and save students complete research projects, upload the pdf's as a way to share all information. Create a class book, or newsletter, including images, and upload the pdf "book" or newsletter to Youblisher. Then include the the url on your website to share with friends and family. Challenge students to create their own books (in cooperative learning groups) about a specific topic being taught in class. Have upper elementary or middle school students create online "little buddy books" they can share online with lower grade classrooms. If your interactive whiteboard program generates pdf files from in-class activities, why not share them in flippable form on your class web site for review or absentees?

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Podiobooks - Evo Terra, Tee Morris, and Chris Miller

Grades
6 to 12
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Podiobooks is an online library of audio books available for free download. There are categories for children and young adults, and several different genres. Click on the "Browse our...more
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Podiobooks is an online library of audio books available for free download. There are categories for children and young adults, and several different genres. Click on the "Browse our Titles" link to search for children's books. Many titles are classics and appropriate for middle school and teen readers. You can download to your computer, get an RSS feed, or download to an MP3 player. Options for listening include downloading one chapter at a time or getting the entire book. Authors donate their works to this site which also includes books already in the public domain, such as The Wizard of Oz. Some works are in the process of being recorded. Listeners have to wait for remaining chapters.

Without registering, you can download items manually. All you have to do is navigate to a book page, scroll down and click on the name of any episode. Play it on your computer or save it to your hard drive for later. Registering allows Podiobook to build a custom podcast feed just for you. They will customize each feed so that it is updated once a week. You can change that to once a month, or once a day if you need to. Be aware: the titles on the main page (at the time of this review) were not appropriate for elementary students. There is an option "Erotica" in the search options. So be sure to preview what you wish to share AND be certain that students know where they are allowed to search and the consequences for not following the rules. Adults may want to download for the students and offer the files offline. Joining and designing a "feed" of teacher-selected books avoids the complicated issue of monitoring content.

tag(s): audio books (32), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Teachers and parents need to supervise title selection or do the downloads themselves. Send students directly to the children's or young adult categories to ensure age appropriateness for your students. Find appropriate books for students to use at a listening learning center. Have an actual hard copy of the book; then use this site for your learning support students or weaker readers to help them build fluency, increase their vocabulary and pronunciation of new words. Provide this link ( maybe the link to just the children's section) on your class website for students (and families) to access out of the classroom.

Make a listening center or load the mp3 files on a set of iTouches for student listening. If you choose to register, an email address is required. Rather than using your personal email address (or professional), sign up for a gmail account (FREE).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Phrasemix - Aaron Knight

Grades
3 to 12
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning...more
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning clear. Many of the situations described are those experienced by adults or older teens, not children, such as giving a speech or shopping alone. Of course, this site could also be used in a regular classroom to teach speech/language or grammar. Students can look at the site or have a phrase emailed to them every day. Phrases include commonly used groups of words, idioms, and other typical language of both casual and formal English. To find a list of all phrases in the system, students can click on "Learning Tools." In addition to an index, this section offers explanations of basic grammar terms like parts of speech, stress, and other conversation techniques. Students can also make comments and read the comments of others. No email address is required to comment on the blog posts. (Our reviewers found no objectionable comments from the public, but teachers should always preview.)

tag(s): idioms (44), phrases (6), slang (15)

In the Classroom

Put this link on your classroom blog or newsletter for English learners. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Have students prepare online projects about phrases they learn, using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here). Check with your school policies before having students comment on other blog posts.

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What's Your Reading History - NY Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of ...more
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of readers and persons they are today. Students close their eyes and listen to a guided journey through their reading pasts; they then respond to it in a journal. Options include reading the words of a published author who realized she was illiterate and discussing or writing about what she said. A teacher's pdf is included to help students format their writings. McREL standards are included (for grades 6-12).

tag(s): independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Use this activity both at the beginning and ending of a school year to impress upon the students the importance reading plays in their self-concepts. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce the idea of regular journal keeping. After students complete their writing segment, have them do a media project that reflects their reading "identities."

Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits reviewed here. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). Share the results of their writing and posters at open house nights or --even better- embedded in your class wiki or web page. Ask students to find what other celebrities and authors say about how reading has influenced their lives. Collect quotes from famous people about writers and list them on posters in your classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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