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ePals - ePals, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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ePals, a global community, offers students the chance to connect with other students around the world (200+ countries). The free student email feature is one of the most useful features...more
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ePals, a global community, offers students the chance to connect with other students around the world (200+ countries). The free student email feature is one of the most useful features of ePals, since complete teacher moderation is available. You may be able to convince a more conservative school administration to permit student email using this tool. This site is the largest worldwide community for global collaboration. Don't worry about the language barrier, there is built-in language translation! This content-rich site also offers lessons, interactives, printables, and more. The "Focus Areas" include Biodiversity, Black History, Election/Inauguration, Geography Central, and Human Rights. In addition, you can click on the "Projects" link to find several ready to use projects (Habitats, Maps, Natural Disasters, Water, and others). Click on "ePals Tour" to view an informative video clip about the site, downloadable brochures, and more.

tag(s): black history (59), disasters (39), environment (317), habitats (84), maps (288), natural disasters (20), water (130)

In the Classroom

Navigating this site is rather simple. Simply click on one of the tabs across the top of the website: Home, Focus Areas, Projects, Connect, Forums, How-To, and ePal Tours. Parts of this site require log-in. Registration does require an email address. The site does offer SchoolMail, the leader for FREE "kid-safe" email.

A lot of safety features are already put into place at this site. The SchoolMail (email service offered at this site) offers monitored mail, instant translations, spell-check, anti-spam filters, and virus protection. To learn more about the safety features at this site, check out the ePals Tour link.

This site offers an amazing assortment of class activities and possibilities. Collaborate with schools in Africa (or 200 other countries) for a geography project. Have your students find ePals to correspond with and practice writing skills in English or in a language you are studying. Use the ready to go lessons and interactives at the "Focus Areas" and "Projects" links. Get additional ideas for projects, by visiting the "Projects" link or propose one of your own based on ideas from TeachersFirst suggestions you read in other reviews, lesson plans, and articles. After viewing one of the informative videos, challenge your students to study one of the topics available at this site and create their own videos. Use a tool such as TeachersTube, to share the video clips, reviewed here.

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Design*Sponge - Grace Bonney, Ed.

Grades
9 to 12
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This design blog from a team of contributing designers and New York-based editor Grace Bonney features multiple daily posts of design ideas from homes, thrift stores, and occasional...more
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This design blog from a team of contributing designers and New York-based editor Grace Bonney features multiple daily posts of design ideas from homes, thrift stores, and occasional traditional artwork. There is also information about student design competitions and shows worldwide. Be sure to explore the various categories, from DIY projects to city design "guides." The visual inspirations and discussion starters will elicit reactions from, "What's such great design about that piece of junk?" to "Wow, what a creative idea!" The rapidly-growing collection can inspire ideas for invention, writing, artwork, and formal design projects. There are also video clips that require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): cooking (34), crafts (40), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Share images and posts from this blog on your interactive whiteboard or projector to illustrate basic principles of color, line, and other art elements (use those whiteboard drawing tools for students to highlight and label!). After sharing a trend from this blog, ask your art or design students to take digital pictures illustrating that trend in their own home or local mall. Create a class wiki connecting what YOUR students see with what professional designers see. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

As an environmental awareness project, focus on recycled goods and their use as "design elements" in chic homes. Challenge visual/spatial intelligence and engage your visual learners by using this blog as a writing prompt option for student blogs, descriptive writing, or persuasive essays on America materialism or the environment. In science class where you may be studying the laws of motion or the nature of light, allow your "artsy" students to use objects from this blog as illustrative examples of curriculum concepts, connecting something they care about with the science curriculum. Ex. Why is this kind of metal better suited for a lamp? Offer this site as one of many optional links from which they may choose examples, along with more traditional "scientific" sources.

World language students will find the city design guides a wonderful way to study culture in other lands -- and practice describing it in the language of study!

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Litetype - litetype.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Imagine typing a note in Hindi! Simply click on the language of your choice and start typing! The "note" will show up in the text box in the new language. ...more
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Imagine typing a note in Hindi! Simply click on the language of your choice and start typing! The "note" will show up in the text box in the new language. This site helps students search, type, and translate in more than 50 foreign languages. Of course the site has the more common languages: French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and others. But there is also an eclectic mix of other lesser known (to Americans) languages: Kazach, Latvian, Macedonian, Farsi Persian, Tamil, Thai, Swedish, and MANY more.

The FAQ section is extremely helpful, explaining how to use the site with different browsers and languages. It also instructs those who use the site how to zoom, change the "Skins" of the site, and how to convert text to html. Once a student or teacher clicks on a specific language, a separate keyboard appears on the screen that features any diacritical markings or other special language features. This page also contains links to relevant search engines, videos, maps, dictionaries, and other reference tools. Be aware: this site does include some advertisements. This site uses Java and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (20), chinese (48), french (88), german (64), greek (41), hebrew (14), spanish (108), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

As you study English cognates and vocabulary, you can compare the same word in different languages or to make quick comparisons of multiple languages to see the "families" of world languages and etymology. Share this site with your international students and also with students studying foreign languages. They may already know about it as a tool for doing "translation" homework, but you can use it to demonstrate the power of idioms and why direct translation is not so simple! Another strength of this site is in being able to access web-based tools in another language.

Language students will be able to do a complete travel search in another language, for example, search, select, plan, and purchase a trip using another language before writing it up. You can also copy and paste the translations, by clicking "select." Why not have students create a multimedia presentation using this site? Make an online book using the new language (with translations on the next page, if necessary). Or create personal vocabulary books of words from a given language or comparisons of words from multiple languages. Use a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Radio Lingua Network - Radio Lingua

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee...more
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This site offers FREE audio episodes teaching numerous languages: Irish, Italian, Polish, Danish, Russian, Greek, French, and countless others! Featured shows have titles like "Coffee Break Spanish" and "One Minute French." Some of the programs require students to subscribe using a simple form, but most do not require any registration. They can then search the entire lesson content or just search by language. Focus languages include Spanish, French, German, Italian, English, and many other languages, primarily European, though Mandarin and Japanese podcasts are also available. Students will love being able to load the lessons on their Ipods, mobile phones, and computers! The "Guided Tour" section of the page allows students and teachers to learn how to use the site and focus on whatever their particular aims for study are. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): german (64), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Share this site, on your interactive whiteboard or projector, with world language students, particularly independent learners at whom the site is aimed. Students getting ready to take school-sponsored trips to European countries, for example, could benefit from the quick introduction and easy access this site provides to simple language lessons. ESL and ELL students will enjoy using the English podcasts as supplements to their in-school English instruction. Why not challenge students to create their own language podcasts using a site such as Podomatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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U.S.A. Learns - U.S. Dept of Ed

Grades
2 to 12
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This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but...more
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This site includes FREE lessons in English and Spanish. Prospective English or Spanish learners start lessons with free registration. Registration is not required to USE the site, but it is required to track progress. When registering, an email address is optional. After registration, students can choose a course at the appropriate level. There are 3 in English and 3 in Spanish. Students can then choose the specific lessons and follow its specific activities in order for each featured topic. Learning activities include videos, transcripts for the video text, questions, listening, stories, vocabulary practice, writing exercises, quizzes, and even voice recordings for pronunciation practice. Although registration is not absolutely necessary, doing so allows students to keep a record of the activities they have already completed. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): pronunciation (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous site for ESL, ELL, learning support, and students learning Spanish! Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with Spanish students who do well at working on learning independently. ESL and ELL students will also benefit from going through the lessons, individually or in pairs. Teachers can register independently from their students and keep track of learner progress and participation. As students learn new vocabulary words, challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book sharing their newfound vocabulary. Use a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bubblr - Pimpampum.net

Grades
2 to 12
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Create free comic strips from flickr pictures. Search tags in flickr or search by user to choose pictures then add words in the caption bubbles. If you use flickr ...more
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Create free comic strips from flickr pictures. Search tags in flickr or search by user to choose pictures then add words in the caption bubbles. If you use flickr reviewed here, you can set up your own tagged collection of images for students to use, as well. Quickly publish, email, or embed your comic strip.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Knowledge of use of tags and familiarity with flickr is required. Each picture is labeled with the title and the picture creator's name.

Type in the name of a topic in the tag area or the name of a known flickr user. Entering information into both fields is not required. Pictures will appear in the top area. Choose a picture you wish to use by clicking on it. To add another picture, choose the options in "Add frames." Drag a caption bubble onto the picture and type in your caption. Easily delete pictures by clicking the "Delete" button at the bottom of the picture. When finished, click "Publish." Comics can be deleted afterward, and sharing gives the option for sending an email link or using an embed code to include within a website or blog.

Clicking on "...or visit the archive" takes you to other users' content. The archive of this site includes changing "featured" content.

Consider creating anonymous ways to enter names in order to track student contributions. All projects are public. Check your school policy for posting student work online. Written permission is always a good idea.

Use this site for students to take pictures of lab experiment steps and explain the experiment or the concepts behind the experiment. Students can create a story using pictures taken from home and uploaded to a class flickr account. Any school subject can easily use the comic strip generator to show knowledge learned in class. World language or ESL/ELL students can create dialog strips. Reinforce vocabulary by having students create strips with characters using the new words. Assess student understanding of concepts by providing a collection of tagged photos on Flickr and having the class create a Bubblr strip on the interactive whiteboard (collaborating for a whole-class or group grade). Share completed strips on your class web page or wiki. Example created for review: Angiosperms by Mrs. Maine

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Diffen - Diffen

Grades
2 to 12
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the ...more
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the similarities and differences in a table format. View simple definitions under the information table. Need more information? Wikipedia style entries of information area also available on the page. There is a Top 5 list. At the time of this review, the Top 5 included "Gross vs. Net," "Affected vs. Effected," "Meiosis vs. Mitosis," "DNA vs. RNA," and "Fruit vs. Vegetable. While not ALL topics are included, the variety is impressive. You can add your own comparison of terms to the list. You may want to discuss with your class the fact that the information here is only as reliable as the people who submitted it, and ask them whether they agree with the comparisons you find here. NOTE: If you explore some of the ready-mades or requested topics, there are some topics "compared" that are not school oriented, such as comparisons of popular television characters. Preview before turning students loose or simply direct them to a specific "diffen."

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

The options are endless. Search the differences between two types of soils, mitosis and meiosis, presidents or those running for office, of geometric figures, artists or musicians, places to visit. As a way to build higher order thinking skills, this site is ideal, since comparison of attributes requires analysis.

Try creating some lists of your own as a class after using the ready-made ones here. This activity would be easy to do on an interactive whiteboard, with students hand writing the characteristics and dragging them into Similarities and Differences columns before entering them into Diffen. This site could be used in nearly every subject area. Share this site on your class blog or website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. This is definitely one to save in your favorites.

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This I Believe, Inc. - Jay Allison, NPR, et. al.

Grades
7 to 12
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This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site...more
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This site offers essay-writing tips, podcasts, and more. Useful across a wide array of humanities topics, including English, social studies, art, music, religion, and speech, this site is an inspiration to students and can serve as an essay starter, a discussion starter, or contemporary information about politics, economics, and the world. On its home page it states that this is "an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives." There are essays from the 1950's when the first incarnation of this idea was heard on the radio from famed journalist Edward R. Murrow. There are essays from those who are famous and those you never heard of. All of the essays are short--usually no more than 400 words. You can hear some of them as they were first broadcast on NPR, and there is a general podcast you can play which defines the site. Anyone can submit their own "This I Believe" essay as long as it follows the guidelines given, and they include essay-writing tips and advanced essay searches to assist anyone interested. The site includes special features which deal with specific topics and there are ideas for educators, students, and community leaders. The printable curricula require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1950s (12), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Searching the "For Educators" page gives you a wide variety of ideas for using this site and these essays. Since students enjoy using first person point of view in their writing, this might be an inspiration for some. You can use some of these essays as conversation starters on topics you are studying in class. (Example: Penn Jillette wrote his essay stating that he believes there is no god. This could be related to many books studied, such as 1984 or Brave New World.) Have students write their essays as blog entries or record them as podcasts using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or as an illustrated essay using ThingLink, reviewed here. Spanish teachers will want to explore the options to listen to or write essays in Spanish, as well.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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My Spell It - Merriam-Webster

Grades
5 to 12
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For serious lovers of words and their meanings (is there perhaps a future lexicologist in your classroom?), this site offers a wealth of information using examples from 1150 words....more
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For serious lovers of words and their meanings (is there perhaps a future lexicologist in your classroom?), this site offers a wealth of information using examples from 1150 words. Click on Home to get a complete overview of this site. In the "Words From" box, just click on a category: Latin, Slavic Languages, Dutch, Greek, Spanish, and many others. A list of words from that category will appear at the bottom on your screen. Now, click on a word to learn information about that particular word. Click on the "Now You Try" tab to work interactive activities for that word category. Lists of those example words may be printed as well.

Visit the official site for the Scripps National Spelling Bee (reviewed here by TeachersFirst). Check out all the links to learn how to study for the Bee, guidelines, and application deadlines. December is the annual deadline for your school's enrollment in the National Bee. This site will have the exact deadline each year. Click on Study Zone to download the Consolidated Word List (a gigantic compilation of 794 pages of words that have been used from 1950 to the present). Students can test their spelling know-how by clicking on the "Test Your Spell It Knowledge" link on the homepage. Flash is required to enjoy the interactive activities, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (20), french (88), german (64), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), spanish (108), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Share this site (and word lists) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. As they study different word etymologies, have students sort copy/pasted selections from these wordlists into categories by language of origin as a drag-and-drop activity on your whiteboard. If you have students who are competitive spellers, encourage participation by introducing this site to them and their families. You may want to list this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom.

For an interactive cooperative learning project. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the languages shared at this site. Have the groups create a multimedia project to share their new vocabulary. How about an online book created using Bookemon (reviewed here) or their own drag-and-drop activity for the class to use on the interactive whiteboard?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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FORVO - forvo.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Forvo offers word pronunciations in a whopping 213 languages, with more words recorded every day. Besides common languages, there are a host of unusual and even rare and old...more
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Forvo offers word pronunciations in a whopping 213 languages, with more words recorded every day. Besides common languages, there are a host of unusual and even rare and old languages whose words students can hear on the site: Lithuanian, Latin, Tibetan, Franco-Provencal, Walloon, and many others. Speakers of other languages may wish to contribute their own pronunciations for unusual words; all of the speakers on the site are native speakers! Words are organized by languages and also in 6 very general categories which include people, music, countries, etc. The site also includes Google Maps of the areas where the languages are spoken. Files are downloadable to mp3's and other types of recorders. But you can also listen to them directly online without downloading. Native speakers can also dispute recorded pronunciations and request for new languages to be added. There is free membership, but this is only needed if you wish to rate recordings or participate as a contributor.

tag(s): maps (288), pronunciation (44)

In the Classroom

World language and ESL/ELL classes (using a whole class account) or individual students (if a specific school permits students to join sites) can maintain their own word lists with pronunciations. They can submit words to hear them pronounced by native speakers or pronounce them themselves. A teacher could submit words or assign students to explore and find a list of personal words to learn each week. Students can also compare pronunciations of the same word by several different speakers coming from different countries (Mexican Spanish vs. Spanish from Spain etc.). ESL students will no doubt enjoy disputing the pronunciation of words from their native languages! This is a perfect collaboration of geography and world language classes. Share the maps on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This site could also be useful as a learning center, for students to practice pronunciation. (Don't forget the headsets!) List this link on your class website for students to use for at-home practice!

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Cramberry - Cramberry

Grades
3 to 12
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Flash cards made easy --- sounds cliche, but this isn't your normal flash card! Create words and meanings, organizing them into sets. Once a set is created, you may edit, ...more
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Flash cards made easy --- sounds cliche, but this isn't your normal flash card! Create words and meanings, organizing them into sets. Once a set is created, you may edit, add, delete, or share with others. Registration is so quick; you can create flash cards within 30 seconds. This website stores your word sets, and an easy login allows you to use them instantly. As you answer the flash cards, Cramberry tracks which cards you answer correctly. It will only flash cards that are giving you problems. Coming soon: you will be able to study on the go with a Cramberry application for your iPod or iPhone! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites. SAT tutors need to know about Cramberry. Sign up all your students (check school policy first!). You may want to use a teacher email account and subaccounts for registration to establish the memberships by "number" and to provide complete monitoring of what students do. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Rotate the job of "card creator" throughout the school year and have the card creator share the word set with the rest of the class. Foreign language teachers will find this a must-have for teaching new words. This site could truly be useful in any subject area that teaches new vocabulary, dates, terms, formulas, and more: history, math, science, reading, etc. Of course, ESL, ELL, and special education students would benefit from the use of this site also.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pixcetera - AOL

Grades
2 to 12
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This is a great source for a massive number of pictures on the web, especially recent pictures. Students and teachers can search for pictures, video, news photos, a specific topic ...more
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This is a great source for a massive number of pictures on the web, especially recent pictures. Students and teachers can search for pictures, video, news photos, a specific topic etc. and have many pictures to choose from. The pictures are well organized and easy to search. They are displayed in Flash, however, so you cannot download them or use them elsewhere. You CAN link to a gallery of images or display it on a projector or computer screen. To get the link for a gallery, click share, choose "email" and copy the link that appears in the email that pops open.

Be aware: this site does include some unobtrusive advertisements. Some of the slideshows and videos require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): news (261), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Include this site in assignments students have to prepare for presentations. Look for photos of any recent news event, even events obscure enough not to be included in American newspapers. Share an image or gallery of images on your projector or interactive whiteboard in a world language class as you discuss it in the language and learn about the culture and news in far off places. Link to certain galleries from your class web page or from student presentations to show examples of concepts and life in other places. Save this site in your favorites, for students to easily access during research projects. Use the photos as a writing prompt in current events or writing classes. Or create a visual current events "quiz" by displaying a gallery of mages and asking students to explain the background of the story. Speech or ESL/ELL teachers can also share images and ask student to talk about or describe them. Let the students select the image they wish to discuss!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook...more
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ESL/ELL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Our editors made a sample for you to see.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click to Enter The Site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. The link for Writer Prompts can be found on the bottom right side of the site. The Writer Prompts link will lead you to the creator's blog, with many writing prompts (with new prompts added often). This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (142), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This one is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless.

The site creators tell us that Makebeliefscomix accepts accent marks and characters from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, in addition to English, they hope soon to add Chinese and Japanese.

Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Visit often, as new prompts are added weekly.
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Study Guides and Strategies - Joe Landsberger

Grades
K to 12
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If you haven't been to seminars, college classes, or professional development lately, you may feel a little rusty on innovative study guides and strategies that will enhance learning....more
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If you haven't been to seminars, college classes, or professional development lately, you may feel a little rusty on innovative study guides and strategies that will enhance learning. This site explains with clear language and no-frills web pages hundreds of ways to help our learners, from online test taking, memorizing, to managing stress and so much more. Another perk from this site is that it is available in over 20 different languages, so even limited English speakers can learn these helpful techniques. From this web link, you enter the "visitors center" where you grasp the impact this site has had on education. Millions of visitors benefit from its resources each year. Click on "index" at the top to access the page full of study guides and strategies options.

Each content area has successful resources that you can use.

Content areas include Preparing, Learning, Studying, Learning with Others, Online Learning/Communicating, Classroom Participation, Project Management, Research, Reading Skills, Preparing for Test, Science and Technology, Math, Resources, Vocabulary/Spelling, Writing Styles, Writing Basics, and Taking Tests. There are over 100 individual topics to explore: Time Management, Avoiding Procrastination, Learning with ADHD, Effective Study Habits, Peer Mediation, Problem Based Learning, Netiquette, Public Speaking, Citing Websites, SQ3R, KWL, Overcoming Test Anxiety, Ten Tips for Terrific Test Taking, Prefixes and Root Words, Seven Stages of Writing, and countless others!

There are some basic advertisements at this site. Flash and Acrobat Reader are needed for some of the links and can be obtained here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), organizational skills (122), spelling (168), stress (14), time (144), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This site is one to save in your favorites! There is so much here, it is hard to know where to begin. The language offerings provide opportunities for ESL and ELL students to learn study skills in their native language. This site could also be used in world languages classes.

Why not highlight a "study skill" each week using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students TRY it. Most of the topics provide interactive learning or another assignment to help students practice the skill. Have students work individually or with a partner to explore the "topic of the week." These life skills are so necessary, but hard to fit into the already crammed curriculum. This site does a nice job of integrating the study skills with curriculum content. Have students create their own multimedia projects about study skills using a current unit of study from your class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Nova Roma: On Roman Numberals - Nova Roma

Grades
2 to 10
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Use the "On Roman Numerals" page to learn how Roman Numerals are used. Visit the Roma Nova main page for more information about Roman culture. ...more
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Use the "On Roman Numerals" page to learn how Roman Numerals are used. Visit the Roma Nova main page for more information about Roman culture.

tag(s): latin (22), roman numerals (9), rome (27)

In the Classroom

Use the Roman numeral converter to enter a year (ex. 1500.) Note the Roman Numeral that corresponds to the number. Enter another number (ex. 1499) and note the difference. Share the converter on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students determine the rules for using Roman numerals based upon the results. Then have them "predict" the answers while a student game-show host operates the converter for the class.

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Befuddlr - Erik Kastner and Amy Hoy

Grades
K to 12
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as ...more
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Add some fun to your pictures by making them into puzzles using this free site. This easy-to-use, free site offers choices of Flickr picture groups to choose from, such as "Patterns," "Hello kitty," "Water drops," and many others. Choose a picture you wish to "befuddlr." Pieces of the original picture are moved around in a new order. Continue to choose a different combination, change the lines that divide segments of the picture, and even drag a button to your toolbar to "befuddlr" any picture. Once done, use the snapshot function of your computer to take a picture. In Mac, use apple-shift-four to take a snapshot. In PC, use the print screen (Prt Sc key) function to "copy" the picture and then paste it into a document or elsewhere. You are able to submit your own photos to the site (found on Flickr, of course). Learn more about flickr, a photo storage and sharing site, in the TeachersFirst review here.

tag(s): images (265), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

To use the pictures provided, simply chose a "group" title, such as water drops, and click to befuddlr it. If you wish to befuddlr your own pictures, you must first upload them to Flickr, so you will need to learn that simple tool. Be sure to TAG your pictures so you can FIND them again! No membership or saving are available on befuddlr. Its is an on-the-spot tool. Be sure to use your own images or copyright free images and images that are available to be built upon. If students click to choose other pictures from Flickr, they could encounter ANYTHING that someone has uploaded, so be sure to guide them to the pictures you want them to use and have a stated policy and consequence for those who wander off into inappropriate places. Flickr does have anti-porn policies, but girls in bikinis, for example, are still available! Use snapshots of animals, numbers, letters, or other pictures and have students scramble the pieces. Befuddlr a picture on your interactive whiteboard to start a language lesson! Students can create their own and provide hints using a variety of constraints such as no more than 5 words, a poem, using adjectives only, etc. in order to help those guessing the original picture. In Art, create new patterns for analysis. Use befuddled pictures to practice new vocabulary for young ones or for ESL and world language students. Accompany student poetry with befuddled pictures
 
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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

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

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

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busuu.com - UNESCO

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers language lessons for 4 languages: Spanish, English, French and German. The site plans to add additional languages in the future. Joining for free allows students to...more
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This site offers language lessons for 4 languages: Spanish, English, French and German. The site plans to add additional languages in the future. Joining for free allows students to learn vocabulary, dialog, writing, oral skills, comprehension, and more - in a highly interactive format. Support from native speakers is a regular feature of this site using the interactive video chat capability. The range of topics includes more than 100 commonly used language situations. The site saves errors for review, lists of lessons already studied, results of those lessons, etc. This project of UNESCO's International Year for Languages offers lessons in "What you really need to know!" This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), social networking (112), spanish (108), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Check school policies concerning both student memberships and interaction with outsiders. You will want a written set of rules which both students and parents agree to before allowing students to navigate on their own in the portions of the site that use video chat with outsiders. Younger students (under 13) should use a teacher or class account, rather than an individual one, to avoid conflict with COPPA (child online protection act in the U.S.).

Make this site available from your class web page or as a favorite on local machines for ESL, ELL, and world language students to use to reinforce their survival and vocabulary skills. World cultures classes might even want to "taste" a bit of a language as they learn about other countries. French, German, and Spanish language students will enjoy the opportunity to "chat" with native speakers in their target study languages. (Be sure you have parent permission for students to interact with outsiders!). You will need headphones or speakers for the audio portions of this site. This site is excellent for enrichment or personal learning. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class.
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Salsa - Georgia Public Broadcasting

Grades
K to 12
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This Spanish language program features TV segments of popular children's stories in Spanish. The forty-two TV episodes include puppets, animation, live action and music characteristic...more
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This Spanish language program features TV segments of popular children's stories in Spanish. The forty-two TV episodes include puppets, animation, live action and music characteristic of Hispanic culture. Besides transcripts, the website includes activity guides, educational games, review activities, etc. In some episodes, the action is translated into sign language for the hearing impaired, as well! Complete transcripts in Spanish and English allow the instructor to pre-teach vocabulary and set up the situation before showing the video. One of the main advantages of using this program in a mixed language class is that the Spanish speaking students suddenly become the authorities in the classroom; they can assist the instructor with the episodes and activities.

Although the site contains the option to buy the TV segments and booklets, the materials are available for free on the website. The site also includes a complete broadcast schedule from Georgia Public Broadcasting.

tag(s): spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use these episodes as a supplement to regular Spanish language classes or as enrichment for elementary classes wishing to learn a language. Encourage your Spanish speaking class members to assist with pronunciation, episode summaries, songs, etc. Provide this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom; both the activities and stories help with Spanish language comprehension. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a model for world language stuedents, then challenge students create their own stories (on video, of course). Use a tool like Stupeflix, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.
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Global Voices Online - Global Voices

Grades
9 to 12
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In just a few short years, blogging has become one of the fastest growing means of Internet communication. This site represents a collection of bloggers whose interests focus on developing...more
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In just a few short years, blogging has become one of the fastest growing means of Internet communication. This site represents a collection of bloggers whose interests focus on developing countries. These international blogs and blogs about international issues give an authentic voice to areas of the world where that voice is often suppressed or unrecognized. The site is a combination of blogs that have been collected and translated and are presented on the site itself and links to offsite blogs. The entries can be searched by region, by country, or by topic. Additionally, there is a cadre of authors sponsored directly by Global Voices itself to comment on and recommend blogs and bloggers from their geographic areas of expertise.

Be aware that many school districts' web filters exclude blogs, but the entries that are posted directly to the site itself may be more accessible. You should monitor student use regularly, however, as blogs represent the opinions and feelings of their writers and may not always be suitable for classroom use. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): blogs (88), countries (77)

In the Classroom

Many social studies classes feature long term projects or units on diverse countries, and this site is a goldmine of information about places that can be difficult to research. Share the blog entries on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not have students create a video highlighting what they have learned about their country (or other topic). Share the videos on a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
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