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Multimedia in Education - Chris Clementi

Grades
6 to 10
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This website will challenge students and teachers alike. The website is in WebQuest format, but could easily be broken down into a shorter lesson. The main topic is multimedia in ...more
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This website will challenge students and teachers alike. The website is in WebQuest format, but could easily be broken down into a shorter lesson. The main topic is multimedia in education and designing multimedia products to fit the content and the audience of the presentation. Nearly every student and/or teacher can learn something new about computer capabilities. This website is eye-opening and very well done. The "task" is to choose a topic (such as culture, weather, animals, or world issues) and to choose images and videos to complement the research topic. Students also have the option to add sound effects and music.

By completing this web activity, students learn about various computer programs available (such as Audacity, Movie Maker, iMovie, WMP, and Real Player). Other technology topics discussed include resizing images, identifying the differences between a jpg and gif, how to grab audio from videos, and much more. There are detailed directions available in PDF format. This website requires FLASH and Adobe, get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

Teachers, you might want to try some of these activities on your own. You might be surprised at how much information you will learn about computer capabilities and multimedia in education. Perhaps you can create a sample student project as an individualized professional development goal beofe doing this unit with your team.

tag(s): images (269), movies (66)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous website to use to integrate technology into your lessons (in science, social studies, LA, and other curriculum areas). Use this website as a process step the first time students research any topic so they can create an effective multimedia presentation as their final project. If you team teach (as in middle school), orient the entire team to multimedia projects using this site early in the year, so all teachers can assume the same skills in your students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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English: Writing to Argue, Persuade, or Advise - BBC

Grades
8 to 12
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One of the most difficult types of writing for students to master is persuasive writing. While they can speak persuasively, they often have trouble writing that way. This site breaks...more
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One of the most difficult types of writing for students to master is persuasive writing. While they can speak persuasively, they often have trouble writing that way. This site breaks it down for them step by step, taking the mystery out of persuasive writing and helping them be more successful. The website explains how to get started, genre, audience, writing to persuade, writing to argue, writing to advise, and then reviews for a British exam comparable to American NCLB standardized writing prompts. There are also links (tests) that provide excellent review questions. Since this website was created by the BBC, students will notice the slight spelling differences. Also, be advised that the word "revise" in British English means "review." Enjoy stopping to figure out what an "MP" is with your American students.

tag(s): persuasive writing (55), writing (361)

In the Classroom

This information is useful to break down into smaller sections with a particular topic. Have students pick a persuasive or argumentative thesis and then set them to work on an interactive whiteboard, using the steps at this site. The "tests" at each section are very helpful in showing organization and persuasive language. Why not make the tests a class or small group review by using an interactive whiteboard or projector?

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StumbleUpon - StumbleUpon

Grades
8 to 12
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Want to "stumble upon" some great sites? Use StumbleUpon to browse websites without having to enter search terms and click through search pages. Choose categories that you are ...more
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Want to "stumble upon" some great sites? Use StumbleUpon to browse websites without having to enter search terms and click through search pages. Choose categories that you are interested in. These can be updated at any time. Choose hobbies, interests, or teaching subjects. When the StumbleUpon button on the tool bar is pressed, StumbleUpon presents a website to fit your interests. Simply click the thumbs up "I like it" or the thumbs down symbol on the tool bar to "teach" StumbleUpon what you like. StumbleUpon seeks out interesting pages you might otherwise not see. The more you Stumble and indicate your preferences, the more Stumble Upon will refine its understanding of what you like. On the StumbleUpon site, you can see your favorites, as well as the top rated websites, videos, and photos from their many "stumblers." Firefox or Internet Explorer is required.

tag(s): bookmarks (59), evaluating sources (13), social networking (111)

In the Classroom

The best use of this site is for teacher research. Hit the Stumble button once or twice a day to find new ideas and new sites for teaching. Skills needed: Join the site (free, but requires email). Download and install the tool bar for Firefox or Internet Explorer and create your "identity." Click the Stumble button. Though you may not get websites relating to just one specific topic, many in your field or interest group will come up. Bookmark these for later use. LOG OUT of Stumble Upon when you are not at your computer to avoid unauthorized use.

Be wise and choose your interests carefully. For example, if you are interested in photography, you will receive random photo sites. Though many have wonderful photos, a few may have questionable content not appropriate for education. Since StumbleUpon has other uses, such as "dating" and "friends," and the ability to see other "popular" sites, you will want to use a single class account to model and teach web site critique and evaluation as a whole class. Individual student profiles can be problematic to supervise unless your school has built a strong, enforceable Acceptable Use Policy, signed by both student and parent, that holds the STUDENT accountable for his/her behavior, not you.

If your school uses a filter (U.S. schools are required to do so by law), any streaming media and other sites may be blocked. If you "Stumble" at home and find a useful site, follow your school's technology policy to request unblocking of specific URLs that are directly related to curriculum.

Editorial comment: Be sure to SHARE your reason for using the site with administrators and school decision-makers to demonstrate why school policies should permit such powerful tools for teaching and learning. You may have to "prove" the worth of StumbleUpon by providing specific examples of the content you have found through this tool, especially since many schools prevent users from downloading and installing any software at all. Be sure to talk about -- and follow through on -- teaching students how to critique and evaluate websites as research skills. General surfing the web in the classroom is not considered best practice, and your example will speak volumes. You may need to become an expert "Stumbler" at home to build your case for accessing and demonstrating the tool at school.

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English literature: Lord of the Flies - BBC

Grades
9 to 12
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This site gives us context, plot, characters, themes, and a model essay question and answer for the novel Lord of the Flies . While the context is quite short ...more
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This site gives us context, plot, characters, themes, and a model essay question and answer for the novel Lord of the Flies . While the context is quite short (Golding's biography is all of 4 sentences!), it gives insight into some of the meaning that Golding himself took from war and his own time as a teacher. The brief plot summaries are just enough to remind students of what each chapter is about-- all the detail is in the novel. Characters and themes are presented with interactive questions and self-quizzes that students can use to review or quiz themselves. One language note: to "revise" material in the UK is the same as to "review" it in the U.S. One "revises" before a test.

tag(s): literature (274)

In the Classroom

This is a great supplementary site for pre-reading or for reviewing. An especially nice extra is the inclusion of a sample essay question and answer. It sets up the question to be answered in a five-paragraph theme and offers possible topic sentences as an outline for writing that theme. Using the sample on a projector or interactive whiteboard is a good way to help students learn how to structure their own essay answers. Have students share and critique essays on the projector or interactive whiteboard.

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English Literature: Jane Eyre - BBC

Grades
10 to 12
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This site excels at giving background to the novel, as well as reviewing plot, characters, and themes of Jane Eyre . It discusses the time period, the Gothic novel ...more
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This site excels at giving background to the novel, as well as reviewing plot, characters, and themes of Jane Eyre . It discusses the time period, the Gothic novel genre, and the background to the novel itself. Each section offers review for students then interactive quizzes to test themselves. Since this is a British site, the word "revise" is used in place of what Americans call "review."

tag(s): literature (274)

In the Classroom

A great review before a test, this site is also good for pre-reading activities to build understanding of 18th century times and novels, particularly the views of women. The sample question takes students through a step-by-step writing of an outline for an essay. On a projector or interactive whiteboard, students might write their own collaborative answers to the sample outline and then compare it with the finished model given.

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English literature: Of Mice and Men - BBC

Grades
8 to 10
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This is a good site to introduce the Of Mice and Men or to review and quiz student knowledge as they read. It offers very general, but valuable information on ...more
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This is a good site to introduce the Of Mice and Men or to review and quiz student knowledge as they read. It offers very general, but valuable information on context, including a brief Steinbeck biography, background on the depression, information on migrant workers (complete with Woody Guthrie song accompaniment), and a picture of housing. Print these brief sources or use the menus for plot, character, or theme to locate some explanations and interactive quizzes. Note to American students: "Revise" in the U.K. is the same as "Review" in the U.S. Check out the section called "Sample Question." This section helps students think about answering thoughtful questions about this novel. It provides "preparation," a sample question, and a model answer -- complete with commentary on that answer.

In the Classroom

The "sample question" is a great lesson to go over with on an interactive whiteboard or projector in class or have students work through individually or include in student blogs.

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Wolf Quest - Minnesota Zoo

Grades
4 to 12
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This fabulous website about wolves and habitats in Yellowstone allows participants to "live" as a wolf, raise their young, explore the wilderness, go hunting, and survive. Students...more
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This fabulous website about wolves and habitats in Yellowstone allows participants to "live" as a wolf, raise their young, explore the wilderness, go hunting, and survive. Students can work alone or with partners, as they learn about wolves in the wild. Students can consult biologists, write original stories, create drawings, and more. This is the first episode; future installments are expected in late 2008. Students and/or teachers must register (free)to use the program. We recommend using a single class/teacher registration or parent/student written agreements for student registrations in order to prevent inappropriate postings "clever" students might make on the community discussion boards. There are also detailed lesson plans (click on Wolf Info > classroom activities). The lesson plans include national science standards. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): zoology (7)

In the Classroom

Introduce this free resource on interactive whiteboard or projector. The lesson plans and interactive activity are both perfect tools to drum up enthusiasm in biology class. The Game Info provides excellent descriptors and instructions for using this program. Be sure to check back for updated episodes. Include this website on your teacher web site (and the activities) as one of a set of activities on animals and their habitats to be done in class or outside. Then challenge your students to work together in documenting local animals and habitats in a class wiki or group science fair project.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Literature: What makes a good short story - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 10
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This website walks students through analysis of a story. It allows for discussion as a group as well as individual analysis by students of particular elements of a story. You ...more
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This website walks students through analysis of a story. It allows for discussion as a group as well as individual analysis by students of particular elements of a story. You can choose to read the story A Jury of Her Peers or print it so students can read it ahead of time. After reading the story, the website take students through the plot, character, point of view, setting, and theme analysis. One of the major points of this site is the emphasis on the text as the determining factor for stories.

tag(s): elements (36), literature (274), plot (10), point of view (9), setting (11)

In the Classroom

Since this is an interactive site, you can choose to walk students through it yourself, or you can assign them to do it independently or with a partner. With younger students it would work well to walk them through it, then assign them a different story to try themselves. For older students, you might create a blog or a podcast discussion for some "give and take" using a more difficult story than the one given here. The related resources provided on the final page of the website allow students to further research areas of the story that are peripheral but interesting to students.

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Exercise Central - Bedford St. Martin's

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a great site for all sorts of grammar and writing exercise and practice. Geared for college prep and honors/AP students, this site is perfect for individual work on ...more
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This is a great site for all sorts of grammar and writing exercise and practice. Geared for college prep and honors/AP students, this site is perfect for individual work on problem writing areas for students. The exercises in many of the links deal with sophisticated topics such as using commas in cause and effect and avoiding faulty constructions. There are diagnostics, tutorials, and hundreds of exercises for students to practice so you might even assign certain ones. There are also some great downloads such as "Straight Talk about Plagiarism" and more from the Bedford St. Martin's Handbook.

You do have to register, but it is free. Student registration requires an email address. 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.You can even set up the site for students to do exercises and instructors to look at student results-- very handy if you are working with a cyber class or want to assign the work to be done outside of class.

tag(s): grammar (217), writing (361)

In the Classroom

Putting some of these exercises on an interactive whiteboard would be great for class analysis of errors and then having students create their own quizzes to test each other on the skills. If you are thinking about flipping your language arts or ELL/ESLclass, this is a terrific tool to use.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Business Writing Help - Donna Shaw

Grades
8 to 12
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This website offers tips for business writing. Specific topics include memos, letters, creating visuals, proposals, reports, resumes, cover letters, and more. This site does an excellent...more
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This website offers tips for business writing. Specific topics include memos, letters, creating visuals, proposals, reports, resumes, cover letters, and more. This site does an excellent job breaking down the complexities of business writing to enable a student to walk through each step of the process. The website features easy-to-read instructions and samples of each type of business writing. There is also a Common English Errors link that includes audio; the information is available in text format, also. The audio feature requires FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): business (58)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous resource to preview on a projector before your students work independently. Utilize the various steps and examples provided to prepare your students for the "real world." Have your students create "visuals" or "reports," and then practice their presentation skills by sharing their projects with the class or beyond. Maybe have them use this site as they work in groups to request and prepare a presentation for the school board proposing a student-friendly solution to a school problem, using the tools of "the system" for their own goals. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to use as a reference when applying for jobs, etc.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Musical English Lessons - Bibi Baxter

Grades
4 to 10
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This very ambitious site reviews many traditional grammar rules/issues and attempts to link the grammar with lessons gleaned from lyrics to popular songs. The grammar is in the center...more
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This very ambitious site reviews many traditional grammar rules/issues and attempts to link the grammar with lessons gleaned from lyrics to popular songs. The grammar is in the center of the page and lots of options for using music frames the page on both sides. There is a wide variety of content, for teachers willing to take the time to search. Lesson plans, information on hot topics, proverbs, sport features, and games are only some of the offerings which try to link grammar to music.

tag(s): grammar (217), idioms (44), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Use this website to connect grammar rules and issues with songs that know. Share this site with learning support teachers or as extra help during a tough grammar lesson. Use music with ESL/ELL students as much as possible to reinforce pronunciation, listening, and memorization of grammar structures. These activities are ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Project the activity on the screen and have students work individually or in pairs to complete the challenge. These activities are appropriate for small group instruction in an ESL, ELL, or Special Education class - but they could also be used in a regular education class to reinforce grammar understanding.

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Write Source: Writing Topics - Houghton Mifflin Co.

Grades
1 to 12
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Getting students involved in writing sometimes takes the right motivation. This site can provide that through a multitude of prompts and models for the students to see. The site is...more
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Getting students involved in writing sometimes takes the right motivation. This site can provide that through a multitude of prompts and models for the students to see. The site is offered by the Houghton Mifflin Co. in conjunction with a writing textbook. Even on its own, this is a great site to find student topics and show models of good writing. The topics are divided by grade level in elementary and intermediate, then grouped as 9-12 for high school. Each section includes a number of writing prompt --enough to whet the appetite of almost any student -- as well as links to different parts of the Houghton textbooks. The student models are shown by type (creative writing, persuasive, academic, workplace, etc.) and the links at the top of each page access MLA and APA styles as well as samples and information on how to do multimedia reports for college or the workplace. The upper levels of this site, such as persuasive writing or multimedia reports, open the door to higher level thinking.

tag(s): blogs (88), essays (22), writing (361), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Have the students choose their own prompt from the list and then share their writing within a small group, with the class, or on their own blogs. Use the models and anonymous sharing on an interactive whiteboard to create a "safe" way for students to share writing as process and hear how others do it. Use the option of PUBLISHING student models on the site as a motivator. Be sure to get parent permission!

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The WriteSite - ThinkTVNetwork

Grades
6 to 10
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Are you looking for a site to teach kids about journalism? This is the one for you. Developed by a company in Dayton, OH, this site includes information on features, ...more
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Are you looking for a site to teach kids about journalism? This is the one for you. Developed by a company in Dayton, OH, this site includes information on features, style, research, the newsstand, and a classroom challenge with other classes. There is a section for teachers to look at ideas, but mostly this is an interactive site that allows students to create news stories, walking them through the basics in a lively way. It includes the history of news in the USA and career opportunities in journalism for writing-minded students or those who want to be a photographer or a cameraman (yes, the site includes TV news!). Overall, a wealthy site for those who teach journalism or writing in general.

tag(s): journalism (46), news (260)

In the Classroom

Depending on the level of your class, you can have students create a classroom or school newspaper or a TV news program. Younger studentscould concentrate on school news while older students can start mixing in more local, state, and national news. Posting them on the web would be inspirational to all students as well as a firm pat on the back for those who did the work. It might even develop into an ongoing project. A wiki would be a great tool for this! Take advantage, too, of the opportunity to do the Classroom Challenge with other students in the country.

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NIE Custom Classroom lesson Plans - NIE Online

Grades
9 to 12
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These are lesson plans geared to provoke discussion and provide activity for students using current events. Clicking on any of the newspapers listed will take you to "Newspaper Activities...more
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These are lesson plans geared to provoke discussion and provide activity for students using current events. Clicking on any of the newspapers listed will take you to "Newspaper Activities for Teaching." In the right-hand column, click on "Go to lessons for grades 9-12" to find 5 activities for the week using the newspaper as a catalyst. You can print them out using the "printer friendly" format offered. Substitutes stranded without plans will love the readily-available lesson plans that are always timely and worthwhile.

tag(s): blogs (88), journalism (46), news (260), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

The actual lesson plans can easily be varied to suit your needs for online sleuthing and discussion on contemporary issues. Remedial reading and ESL/ELL teachers will find these lessons helpful in providing non-fiction reading practice, as well. One of the extras on this site is the ability to go back for a year for more ideas. Using different media websites such as CNN News, MSNBC, ABC, Fox News, NY Times, etc. will keep students working and interested in the world around them. Try assigning students to different types of articles, i.e., a news story, an editorial agreeing with and one disagreeing with it, a cartoon about it, etc. Use this site as instant "blog fodder" to get students writing and interacting with the real world.

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Timeless Ideas for Teaching - Concord Monitor Publishing

Grades
6 to 12
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper...more
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper in front of them, with an online news service such as CNN, or with online editions of newspapers that you find here. The examples used all refer to the New Hampshire newspaper, but are easily adaptable to whatever topic you want the students to deal with. This site includes such varied activities as creating a database and writing recipes. It covers every section of a newspaper. Students could create their own classroom newspaper using some of these activities or simply create journalistic articles based on whatever topic you are currently teaching. This is adaptable to almost any grade level and subject area.

tag(s): local history (13), news (260), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Whether you use hard-copy papers or electronic editions, many of these ideas will work even better using technology: word processing, wikis, blogs (for editorials), graphic organizer tools, digital cameras, etc. Use today's tools to study this powerful medium as it goes through transition into an electronic world. Consider asking students to compare electronic vs. hard-copy newspapers and their pros/cons, as well.

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Inspiration Lane - Susan Alyn

Grades
4 to 12
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the ...more
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the Day," "This Day in History," "Article of the Day," "Comic Creators," "Cooking State," "Match Up," "Museum Town," and "Caption Central." All change daily! "Today's English Lesson" changes on weekdays. Like a newspaper, teachers and students can read a single feature or the entire sheet. Interspersed with the information are grammar reminders and practical applications. For foreign language students and beginning language learners, there is an option to translate the page into Korean, French, German, Italian, Portuguese,Spanish, Japanese, simplified Chinese and even Arabic!

tag(s): cooking (34), news (260), pronunciation (43), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Project this on your whiteboard at the start of your lesson as students enter or to wrap up the final five minutes with interesting clips from history, quotes, ESL in music etc. Encourage your students to try a new vocabulary word each day on their own. If your students have Internet access outside of class (even in study hall), require a weekly current events response for writing practice--perhaps on a class blog?
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Big Dog's Grammar - Scott Foll

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
The beauty of this website is its wide grade range usage. It offers simple topics, such as subjects and verbs, but also offers misplaced modifiers, consistency, and MLA guides. Click...more
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The beauty of this website is its wide grade range usage. It offers simple topics, such as subjects and verbs, but also offers misplaced modifiers, consistency, and MLA guides. Click on any of the categories and the page walks a student through very simple explanations of the structure. It then offers students self-tests, which they can take immediately to see if they understand. It provides instant feedback with each question, so students are guided before making too many mistakes. A caution: students must type the words correctly since misspellings read as wrong answers to the computer!

tag(s): grammar (217), parts of speech (68), sentences (52), speech (91), writing (361)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for students to use independently on their own particular grammar weaknesses. Create a diagnostic grammar test based upon the items offered at the site; then allow students to practice their weak spots online. This also offers a great homework practice site, particularly for students working on MLA research who need a quick refresher in easy (but tricky!) punctuation reminders. The language is accessible, includes some humor, and is never condescending.

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Aaron Shephard's RT (Reader's Theater) Page - Aaron Shephard

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on...more
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This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on Aaron's Extras to find scripts for plays and tales you can use in the classroom. Other offerings include worksheets, examples of scripting sheets you can use or learn to do it yourself, tips for using RT, and links to other references. You can search among the many materials available by genre, country, historical period, theme, etc.

tag(s): plays (36), writing (361)

In the Classroom

Use this website to find hints on how to dramatize the literature or folklore you're studying in the classroom. ESL students will find using Reader's Theater particularly helpful as they can read, speak, and listen to the materials and have more chances at comprehension. Similarly, students who are visual or oral learners will benefit from the multi-sensory presentations.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Writers' Workshop - Northern Illinois University

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This website is a valuable professional source. It is posted through the Northern Illinois University as a source for their instructors, tutors, and students, but gives great information...more
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This website is a valuable professional source. It is posted through the Northern Illinois University as a source for their instructors, tutors, and students, but gives great information and guidance on helping students become the best writers they can be, including MLA formatting of papers. The student section includes sections on editors' marks, quoting, and plagiarism (including interactive quizzes for each), while the instructor section includes a lesson exchange and computer lab ideas.

tag(s): writing (361)

In the Classroom

While this is mostly a teacher resource, it could be used for a class lesson on certain areas of writing, particularly for high school students. It will give you ideas to use on laptops or in a writing lab as well as offer an interactive quiz when you finish teaching certain writing skills. The comma splice/sentence combining activity would make a great starting point for student editing. Then have students create an animated multimedia illustration of an example to show how to correct a common "Issue in Sentence Management" (humor welcome).

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HistoryBuff.com - R. J. Brown

Grades
5 to 12
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There ...more
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There are such diverse things as the "Nameplate Hall of Fame," featuring interesting newspaper titles and primary source material for those who are doing serious research or who are just interested in the perspective of the time. Panoramas, which show pictures of a variety of historical characters and their backgrounds as well as interactive quizzes will get students enthused about the reality of history. The transcripts from actual newspapers on Jack the Ripper, Bonnie and Clyde, and the Louisiana Purchase were particularly fascinating. Note: the interactive newspaper archive requires Flash.

tag(s): news (260), newspapers (94), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for sparking the imagination! Share a shot of a newspaper on a projector as an anticipatory set to a history lesson. SHOW the parts of a newspaper when you study this and have students annotated them on your interactive whiteboard. Opportunities for writing prompts also abound. After reading through some of the transcripts, students can post their own responses or letters to the editor as a blog. They can make their own podcasts after listening to some of the speeches or they can make their own newspapers after searching through some of the interesting nameplates and articles about actual historical events. The sky's the limit after perusing this innovative and complete site.

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