Ideas and resources for parents of ESL/ELL students

These reviewed resources offer information so share with parents of ESL/ELL students. Some are resources parents can use at home with children to reinforce language skills. Others include suggested activities ESL/ELL learners can begin in school and share with parents. Be sure to read the "In the Classroom" suggestions for ways these reviewed resources can build language skills both at home and at school.

 

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Sozo Exchange - Sozo Exchange

Grades
9 to 12
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Sozo offers daily online broadcasts for learning English. Older teens and adults will enjoy learning English through daily feature videos, pronunciation assists, and interview clips...more
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Sozo offers daily online broadcasts for learning English. Older teens and adults will enjoy learning English through daily feature videos, pronunciation assists, and interview clips which include lesson features and online review exercises. You can contribute to online surveys, learn idioms, and take quizzes with free registration. Subject matter is designed for teens and adults.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): figurative language (15), idioms (32), listening (69), news (229), pronunciation (33), vocabulary development (89)

In the Classroom

This is a great find for independent ESL/ELL students who want to improve their oral comprehension and knowledge of vocabulary along with its idiomatic language and slang expressions. Keep the link to this program on your computers at school and on your web page for home use, too. Parents wanting to learn English could use this site too!

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LearnClick: Create Gap-Filling Exercises - Learnclick

Grades
4 to 12
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Create interactive online activities quickly and easily with LearnClick's Create a Gap. Submit any text you'd like to learn and mark the text you want deleted for a fill-in-the-blank...more
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Create interactive online activities quickly and easily with LearnClick's Create a Gap. Submit any text you'd like to learn and mark the text you want deleted for a fill-in-the-blank type of activity. Easily create quizzes or tests for individualized students or your entire class. Create a free account with your email. Follow the simple steps to create tests in minutes with varying options for response style choices; blank boxes, generated drop downs, or drag and drop. Search the quiz bank to save time. The free version allows you to make up to five quizzes, which are published on your public page. Your public page allows a direct link to your quizzes.

tag(s): quiz (65), quizzes (87)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use as a review tool on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Assign as homework for a study aid. Create study aids for ELL/ESL, or learning support students to review and learn with a "techie twist." Let students take control! Have students create the tests, in order to find the main idea or quiz each other. Use in centers for a fun review of current vocabulary, concepts, or even mathematical practice. Divide the class into cooperative learning groups to cover all aspects of one topic. The subject areas are limitless. Use as a "Jeopardy" style competition. Post on your website as a resource for parents to help their students keep motivated to study in a fun way!

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Reading Bear - Watch, Know, Learn

Grades
K to 2
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Reading Bear is a systematic program that teaches beginning vocabulary and concepts while introducing phonics patterns. The Getting Started video gives an overview of the program...more
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Reading Bear is a systematic program that teaches beginning vocabulary and concepts while introducing phonics patterns. The Getting Started video gives an overview of the program as it explains the software, videos, and tips for using the system. Choose from any phonics sounds or start from the beginning of the program. Then choose from different video or slideshow tutorials (such as sound it out quickly, let me sound it out, or audio and silent sentences). As sounds are pronounced, the corresponding letter is highlighted. Quizzes are available at the end of each section. Choose from different settings to adjust font, letter color, or order of presentation. At the time of this review, 16 presentations are available. The goal of the site is to create a total of 50 presentations. So check back often. Some of the video clips are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): alphabet (51), phonics (50), preK (257)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent resource for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Choose from the different options when presenting letter sounds in your classroom to present letters in different formats. Create a link on classroom computers to use as a phonics center activity. Share this site with parents through your classroom website or newsletter as a wonderful way to practice and learn letter sounds at home. Use this site with ESL/ELL students. Speech pathologists and special education teachers may want to bookmark this excellent site, too.

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Oxford Owl Reading - Oxford University Press

Grades
K to 6
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Find pre-reading and beginning reading help for the very youngest readers through the pre-teen years. From phonics lessons to online books to story videos read by professional story...more
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Find pre-reading and beginning reading help for the very youngest readers through the pre-teen years. From phonics lessons to online books to story videos read by professional story tellers, this site offers comprehensive reading help and activities for educators and parents. There are plenty of activities that accompany the free e-books. Many other activities encourage reading. On the e-book page are also suggestions for other similar or related books. In addition, a special section addresses the problem of reluctant male readers. Assistance for instructors is also available. Accompanying book lists are arranged by level of reader interest. Although the site has links to books for purchase, there is enough free material to warrant inclusion in your reading helps lists. British English speakers read the e-books, so be prepared for the difference in accents.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (86), preK (257), reading lists (80), reading strategies (99)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce one of the free online books on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Then encourage students to use it individually or in pairs. Refer your ENL/ESL and learning support students to this site for extra, assisted reading practice.

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Project Laundry List - Project Laundry List, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Save the planet, one load of laundry at a time with Project Laundry List. This website is dedicated to encouraging people to use clotheslines and other sensible alternatives to wasteful...more
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Save the planet, one load of laundry at a time with Project Laundry List. This website is dedicated to encouraging people to use clotheslines and other sensible alternatives to wasteful energy consumption. Don't miss the Cost Calculator: a spreadsheet that you download to your computer, enter the amount and type of laundry you do, and automatically calculate energy and water costs of clothes care. It even shows your washer's carbon dioxide emissions! The calculator suggests easy ways to reduce costs, which, in turn reduces your impact on the environment. In the Programs Education section, find "The Clothesline Plan." It provides strategies about how to get involved with the clothesline, cold water washing movement. Featured here, among other good laundry history resources, is also "National Hanging Out Day" which is used to educate and create awareness about energy savings through the use of clotheslines.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earth day (60), ecology (100), environment (238), holidays (163)

In the Classroom

During environmental science units or Earth Day, use this to have students calculate what their own households spend to care for clothing. Have students consider different tips for reducing environmental impact and saving money. As a homework assignment, have students implement two changes for two weeks. Have parents sign off on a log form to verify student participation. (Parents will love the extra help and possible money savings!) Set up your own celebration of "National Hanging Out Day" by having teams of students prepare presentations (the website even provides one) to share with others students and the community.

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CK-12 - CK-12 Foundation

Grades
5 to 12
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CK-12 offers a large variety of lessons and resources in STEM topics mostly geared for sixth grade and higher. Choose to access the site as a student or teacher to ...more
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CK-12 offers a large variety of lessons and resources in STEM topics mostly geared for sixth grade and higher. Choose to access the site as a student or teacher to begin. Search by specific content or to find standards-aligned flexbook textbooks. Download flexbooks in several formats such as PDF or mobi and epub format for use on Kindle and e-readers. Create an account and add flexbooks to your list. Add your own files and resources. Specific topic searches provide links to information from flexbooks as well as available study aids, activities, and assessments.

tag(s): atoms (42), cells (81), charts and graphs (169), decades (7), energy (130), equations (119), fractions (159), genetics (76), inequalities (23), landforms (37), measurement (125), oceans (149), organisms (16), periodic table (44), probability (96), pythagorean theorem (18), rocks (36), scientific method (47), seasons (36), solar energy (34), solar system (109), statistics (115), STEM (265), test prep (67), variables (14)

In the Classroom

Introduce CK-12 to your students (and parents) on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrate ways to use the site at home. Be sure to create a link to the site on your class website or blog for easy access at any time. Create an account and upload your own resources and activities to create your own flexbooks for use with students. CK-12 is available in many languages. Use this site with your ESL/ELL students as a supplement to classroom resources.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learn English Kids - British Council

Grades
K to 8
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This kids' branch of Learn English (created in the UK) contains interactives, short stories, crafts, songs, and even an opportunity for students to help their younger brothers and sisters...more
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This kids' branch of Learn English (created in the UK) contains interactives, short stories, crafts, songs, and even an opportunity for students to help their younger brothers and sisters learn English. A free log-in allows you access to printed versions of the stories (with questions), the ability to make comments, enter competitions, answer polls, and even create a "character." Another log in for teachers and parents opens up suggestions for teaching and using the resources of the site. Professionals can also find video tips and access to helpful articles. Access to the site is available in other languages such as Chinese and French, all aimed at teaching English. A text help feature using "BrowseAloud" opens up the English learning to students with vision or reading challenges. Note that vocabulary used is British, so you may need to explain a few words to US or Canadian students, e.g. "rubbish bin."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): interactive stories (22), preK (257), songs (44), vocabulary development (89)

In the Classroom

Primary grade and preK teachers will find many useful interactives for basic skills like colors and phonics on this site, even though it is intended for learning English. Share the activities as a center or for extra practice for struggling students. Check with your administration about whether students can register individually for the site. Introduce this site to your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and have your ELL/ENL students use it as one of your learning stations. Teachers can print flashcards for survival English vocabulary such as clothes, food, parts of the body, jobs etc.; accompanying activities provide reinforcement for vocabulary. Learn English Kids changes weekly, offering weekly activities, opinion polls, learning through songs, playground fun, and more. The read-aloud stories are a wonderful option for beginning readers and even non-readers. Speech/language clinicians will join ESL and primary teachers in using the many activities on this site. It even has sorting activities such as fruits/vegetables (see "Food"). Although the interface is graphically appealing, by clicking on "Topics," you can find activities, songs, and games all organized by subject. There is also a large section for parents to help their child at home. Short stories and other interactive features of the site would work well with special education students, too. Be sure to share this link with parents of your ELL students if they have Internet access at home.

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CurriConnects Book List: Books for Tough Situations - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find independent reading books to help students facing difficult circumstances such as divorce, loss, bullying, deployed parents, friendship issues, eating...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find independent reading books to help students facing difficult circumstances such as divorce, loss, bullying, deployed parents, friendship issues, eating disorders, and more. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ENL/ESL levels and Lexiles'''® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): difficult conversations (58), disabilities (29), divorce (6), eating disorders (7), emotions (47), social and emotional learning (83), social skills (22)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills and help students facing personal challenges. Reading about personally meaningful topics will help students work through them. It will also build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to what they already know. Keep this list handy in your Favorites to suggest options when a student seems to need them. Since the list includes topics for all levels of maturity, you might want to share portions of it rather than the entire list. You may also want to tell parents about it during parent conferences or when situations arise. As always, allow students to self- select independent reading books from a list of options. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan, if needed. Your school counselor will also appreciate this list. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers and parents who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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Literacy Connections - Educators Circle, LLC.

Grades
K to 6
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Literacy Connections provides information on reading: teaching and tutoring techniques for all ages (young child, adult literacy) and ESL/ELL students. Find resources that are useful...more
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Literacy Connections provides information on reading: teaching and tutoring techniques for all ages (young child, adult literacy) and ESL/ELL students. Find resources that are useful for teachers, volunteers, and tutors. Topics include; read aloud, fingerplays, readers theater, songs, spelling, high frequency words, writing instruction, the language experience approach, phonics, word study, word families, the best in children's literature and more. Broaden your knowledge for ESL/ELL, literacy programs, and parent information. The (many) articles are well written and cover a broad variety of topics such as learning the letters of the alphabet, encouraging your student (or child) to be a reader, reading aloud, and many others.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (51), literature (217), phonics (50), preK (257), readers theater (10), reading comprehension (143), sight words (22), spelling (96), word study (58)

In the Classroom

Make your reading and writing workshop come alive with a wealth of resources and information at your fingertips. Help your school volunteer program or business partnership with background training to work effectively with your students. Share this one on your website as a link for parents. Periodically revisit to be sure your language arts program has the most useful and meaningful components. Gifted and ESL/ELL programs will greatly benefit from additional ideas and fun activities for whole group instruction, centers, or even homework practice.

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Natural Reader - Natural Soft Limited

Grades
1 to 12
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Bring additional help to your classroom with Natural Reader, a downloadable program. You can test it on this web page by pasting text into the text box. Natural Reader takes ...more
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Bring additional help to your classroom with Natural Reader, a downloadable program. You can test it on this web page by pasting text into the text box. Natural Reader takes written text from MS Word, emails, Internet Explorer, scanned books, or even images from a camera phone and turns it into spoken text. This is an incredible tool for special needs students, there is even a dyslexic font you can turn off and on. Just highlight the section you want read aloud, and your choice of voice will read it aloud. The voice choice and speed are adjustable. Turning written text into MP3 or WAV files is another option. Typing/pasting in the text box allows any text to be read aloud. A floating tool bar allows the downloadable software to be available all the time with an easy click. A free trial version is available for both Mac and Windows, with more deluxe versions available. Educational discounts and volume discounts do apply. This is the teacher's aid that needs to be in all classrooms. You must be able to install software to put this Reader on your computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dyslexia (11), learning disability (22), learning styles (18), Special Needs (53), text to speech (19), writers workshop (31)

In the Classroom

Bring Natural Reader into your language arts classroom to help all students edit written work. Bring an extra helper into your class to pronounce difficult words. This program allows students with decoding difficulties to focus on comprehension on all texts. Natural Reader offers repeated readings to improve fluency, comprehension, and confidence. Add an extra learning dimension to any textbook or written notes. Honor the auditory learners with their natural style. Learning support, ESL/ELL, dyslexic, or ADHD learners have shown marked improvement. Writing classes can benefit by having individuals, copy and paste into the text box to help edit and proofread. Add extra reinforcement with directions by recording and being available for playing multiple times. Be sure to include this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.

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Math 3 Under the Sea! - LearnAlberta.ca

Grades
1 to 3
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This interactive and colorful math activity lets students practice math skills in several different areas. All activities take place in an under the sea environment with included help...more
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This interactive and colorful math activity lets students practice math skills in several different areas. All activities take place in an under the sea environment with included help and vocabulary support. Please note that this site is from Canada, so the money activity uses Canadian currency.

tag(s): differentiation (83), numbers (119), operations (71), vocabulary (236)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector with the sound turned up. Play the introduction to orient your students. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center (maybe on the IWB). For students that are having trouble with math vocabulary, use the provided glossary for explanations of common math terms. Parent/teacher information is available for each of the lessons. Most of the activities have different levels so activities can be differentiated for students.

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English - Pronunciation Lesson - EmbedPlus

Grades
4 to 12
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Scroll down the page to find the video "100 Most Common Words in English Speaking." These are the little words that make a huge difference to understanding what someone is ...more
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Scroll down the page to find the video "100 Most Common Words in English Speaking." These are the little words that make a huge difference to understanding what someone is saying such as be, and, to, with, they, her, and so on. The video focuses on the speakers lower face so student s can pause the video and see facial expressions and tongue placement. The video resides on YouTube so it may not be viewable at your school

tag(s): pronunciation (33), vocabulary (236), vocabulary development (89), word study (58)

In the Classroom

As an ENL/ESL teacher you can use this site in your classroom or post it on your class website for student practice. If YouTube is blocked at your school, have this site posted on your webpage for parent and student use at home.

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Making Books with Children - S. K. Gaylord

Grades
K to 10
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This site offers free book making activities -- the old fashioned way with paper and art supplies. Of particular interest is the project titled Making Books around the World...more
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This site offers free book making activities -- the old fashioned way with paper and art supplies. Of particular interest is the project titled Making Books around the World in which students can make slat books, palm leaf books, accordion books, "papyrus" scrolls, and cloth books of many types. Tips for teachers make the book making projects accessible. Book plans are also available in Spanish.

tag(s): artists (78), book reports (28), creative writing (121)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan to do final projects on research of a variety of topics. This is a great find for gifted students or ESL/ELL students since it is so varied and flexible. Challenge students to make books as an end of unit project in science, social studies, and math. Have a bookmaking contest in your classroom. Have students make creative books rather than a traditional book report. Share this site together with art teachers. Share this site with parents to use to create books at home.

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ESL Bits - Skip Reske

Grades
5 to 12
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Don't let the title mislead you! Find listening and reading activities for any listener who enjoys audio stories at a teen and adult level, including the advanced English language learner....more
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Don't let the title mislead you! Find listening and reading activities for any listener who enjoys audio stories at a teen and adult level, including the advanced English language learner. There are short stories, books, radio scripts, and songs to listen to and read, as well as English idioms, sayings, and slang. You'll also find a Reading Comprehension and Test Preparation area with interactive activities to help students read and understand English and prepare for reading exams. Unlike many audio book sites, this one includes recent and popular selections for almost anyone, including teachers and parents! Don't miss classic radio shows perfect for discovering life in 20th century decades past.

tag(s): listening (69), radio (20), reading comprehension (143), short stories (18), test prep (67)

In the Classroom

Project a story or song on an interactive whiteboard or projector for group listening, reading along, and discussion. Literature teachers can use the site for a class novel, so lower readers can have audio support at home for listening and review. You could have small groups of students listen to different short stories, and make up Bloom's type questions for the next group of students to answer, or they could turn the story into a Reader's Theater piece and video tape it, or perform it live for the class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. This is a terrific site to list on your class website for students to use for at-home practice or enjoyment. For elementary and middle school students, you will want to provide the specific url for the selection you want them to use so they are reading articles appropriate in content for their age group. If you supervise a study hall, keep this link handy as a listening option for students who "don't have any homework."

Comments

Excellent resource! alma grimaldi, , Grades: 7 - 9

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My Immigration Story - R. Ramos Y Sanchez

Grades
8 to 12
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This site shares real immigrants' personal tales of coming to America. It also shares helpful resources for immigrants. Read unique stories about the many immigrants. With a simple...more
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This site shares real immigrants' personal tales of coming to America. It also shares helpful resources for immigrants. Read unique stories about the many immigrants. With a simple click, a box opens to share a story in writing. Writers only need a name (even just a first name), address, and email address (optional) to register. Also included on the site is an NPR interview with the creator of the site, indicating the site is not political, just a vehicle for allowing immigrants to share their concerns and triumphs. Other features of the website include an interesting quote from Benjamin Franklin concerning the public view of immigrants of his time, and many compelling photos of immigrants from all around the world. This site does include some minor advertising.

tag(s): immigration (64), migration (45), writing (316)

In the Classroom

Have your ESL/ELL students share their stories here (with permission from parents) when doing a biography writing unit. Have all students search for stories of immigrants whose ethnic background resembles their own. Have each student choose one story to read about and share a quick multimedia project with the class, such as a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here). Use stories from this site as a writing prompt for a poem or essay about an aspect of immigrant life, asking students to put themselves in the immigrant's shoes.

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Activity of the Month - Dr. Jean

Grades
K to 1
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This site offers a list of monthly "newsletters" full of teaching ideas and parenting tips/suggestions. Each months activities reflect the seasons and their special holidays. Many...more
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This site offers a list of monthly "newsletters" full of teaching ideas and parenting tips/suggestions. Each months activities reflect the seasons and their special holidays. Many activities include letters, words, and book activities. Besides the basic activity, quite a few of the monthly offerings include downloadable books to print and use, original song lyrics, and links to other related websites. This site is great to use with young ESL/ELL students too who need lots of fun reinforcement with learning the alphabet and pre-reading skills. This site includes many math activities as well.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (54), literacy (109), poetry (190), preK (257), seasons (36), songs (44)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who trying to encourage the habit of reading and handling books.

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Story Blocks - Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy

Grades
K to 1
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This early literacy site contains many video clips to assist parents and teachers in getting students ready to read. Rhymes and songs are modeled for use with younger children. ...more
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This early literacy site contains many video clips to assist parents and teachers in getting students ready to read. Rhymes and songs are modeled for use with younger children. Each aspect of literacy is explained before you hear the targeted text. Materials are available in both Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (109), poetry (190), rhymes (21), songs (44)

In the Classroom

Use the songs and chants on these videos to interest children in reading. Many songs and rhymes have actions that the children can do while saying the text. Have the children lead the class once they are familiar with offerings. Project the rhymes on your interactive whiteboard and follow along with the motions on the screen. Write down some of the words in the song and use them as sight words for the week. Have student helpers hold up the "sight word" as it is shared. Choose 3-5 new words from each rhyme. Share this site with ESL and learning support staff.

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Audio Books with Text Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form as they reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the audio books and texts.

tag(s): audio books (23), preK (257)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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Interactive Audio Books Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books in interactive form so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience reading with...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books in interactive form so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience reading with audio and visual prompts or interactivity to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment as they read. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the interactive books.

tag(s): audio books (23)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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Audio Books Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ENL/ESL learners, can experience literature and other reading...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ENL/ESL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment.

tag(s): audio books (23), listening (69), preK (257)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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Close

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