Ideas and resources to help parents support reading

This collection includes handouts and web resources to share with parents in support of reading at home. There are also great tools to use in classroom projects students can create as part of a reading activity. Be sure to read "In the Classroom" portions of reviews for loads of ideas. Invite parents to see the projects online so your students can revisit them and reinforce learning at home. Reading is everywhere!

 

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Get Ready to Read - National Center for Learning Disabilities

Grades
K to 2
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Get Ready to Read is designed to help educators and parents in the development of early literacy skills before kindergarten. Resources include educational games, webinars, literacy...more
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Get Ready to Read is designed to help educators and parents in the development of early literacy skills before kindergarten. Resources include educational games, webinars, literacy checklists, and screening tools. There are also skill-building activities: printable activity cards, online games, and articles with tips and suggestions for early childhood learning. Be sure to check out the "Transitioning to Kindergarten Toolkit" which contains many resources for teachers and parents. Another great feature of the site is the literacy checklists for home, school, and childcare providers that are available to print in PDF format in either English or Spanish. Some games require flash which is not supported on all web browsers.

tag(s): alphabet (51), assessment (146), literacy (110), phonics (50), preK (258), reading strategies (98), rhymes (21), sounds (43)

In the Classroom

Use the Get Ready to Read Program to screen your students' reading skills. Use this assessment to guide your reading program and help individualize instruction based on your students needs. Print out and use the 36 offline activity cards with your students as reading centers, for individual learning, or for whole class instruction. Set up your classroom computers with the Get Ready to Read online activities. Share literacy checklists and suggestions with parents during conferences, kindergarten screening, or on your classroom website.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (30), divorce (6), eating disorders (7), emotions (47), social and emotional learning (84), 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 (218), phonics (50), preK (258), readers theater (10), reading comprehension (142), sight words (22), spelling (95), 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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Help! I lost my library/media specialist - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 5
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Help I lost my library/media specialist offers read-along and activity ideas written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist for schools where budget cuts have...more
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Help I lost my library/media specialist offers read-along and activity ideas written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist for schools where budget cuts have forced the elimination of the library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, you have students whose elementary years are passing quickly. Find new features about once a month, suggestions that classroom teachers or parent volunteers can offer as positive experiences in the school library/media center throughout the elementary grades. Planned features will include both professional articles on promoting reading and activities to do directly with students.

tag(s): book lists (162), independent reading (86), literacy (110), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites as you plan for classroom or library read-along and information literacy lessons. Share the ideas with parent volunteers and other teachers within your school as you struggle to "do more with less." Use the "share" widget to send great ideas to fellow teachers or afterschool program coordinators, as well. Share the URL for the current read-along list on your class web page so parents can do read-alongs at home, too. Need help finding the books you want from this list in your school library? Use the ISBNs to search for them on interlibrary loan from a local public library.

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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 (110), poetry (190), preK (258), 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
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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. ...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 (110), 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
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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...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 (258)

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
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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...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
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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...more
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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 (73), preK (258)

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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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Webquest - Nikkie Aube

Grades
5 to 8
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This engaging, standards based webquest enables students to put themselves in the same time and place as the characters of this historical fiction novel to gain a better understanding...more
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This engaging, standards based webquest enables students to put themselves in the same time and place as the characters of this historical fiction novel to gain a better understanding of life for the African Americans during the 1930s, while reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The integrated language arts tasks take students through the process of analyzing the characters and their motivation for reacting the way they do. Easy to use rubrics are provided for evaluating students' work.
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tag(s): black history (128), racism (76)

In the Classroom

As you plan to teach the novel, include this well-organized webquest as part of the ongoing and post reading learning activities. Use it in its entirety or choose parts to meet your time frame and purpose. Attention is given to all aspects of literacy: reading, critical thinking, writing, infusion of technology, and presentation. Both individual tasks and group work is involved. Students are active participants, and everything they need to increase their appreciation for this literary work is available to them, including vocabulary, clear instructions, and links for further information and details. You may want to find some additional research links for students to use to replace the links no longer active. You may want to share the project with social studies teachers for a joint effort and shared time. Introduce it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, and then make sure that you have scheduled time in the computer lab or with a class set of laptops. Students can jazz up their multi-media presentations by creating an online book using Bookemon, reviewed here, or a podcast by using podOmatic, reviewed here. Be sure to make them directly available from your class webpage to share with colleagues and parents.

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Tar Heel Reader - University of North Caroline

Grades
K to 12
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide...more
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Find free on-line books perfect for emergent readers. The author of the site, the Center for Literacy and Disabilities studies at the University of North Carolina, wants to provide free resources to give everyone an opportunity to learn to read and write. For free registration you will need a code. Just email them and it will come within 24 hours. All books are free and available for download as slideshows using PowerPoint or Impress. Book topics include biographies, fairy tales, history, science, math, nursery rhymes, poetry, food, animals, and more! All stories have speech enabling, can come in as many as fourteen different languages, and are compatible with touch screens. Since a wide range of age groups use this site, they have a rating system to suggest what is suitable for younger readers. Tar Heel Reader is also a great way to write books. Upload images from your computer or Flicker, add text, create, and share student stories with an authentic audience of readers. Tar Heel Reader is a great way to engage students with reading material, increase class participation, and create inclusive instruction for those with illiteracy or learning disabilities.

** This site does contain some materials NOT suitable for all classrooms. Be sure to read the "rating" system, and contribute your own opinions (as the ratings are only as reliable as the pool of contributing voters). Books rated 'E' are meant for everyone but a 'C' means to use caution as it may not be proper material for some. Determine what titles are suitable and save them to the favorites file for students to access.

tag(s): book lists (162), digital storytelling (144), literacy (110), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Increase your big book collection ten fold by projecting Tar Heel Readers onto an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use interactive shared reading lessons to strengthen student recognition of common sight words, concepts of print, decoding skills, and use syntax cues and unlock the meaning of text. Ask students to circle known sight words, count the number of words in a sentence, trace capital letters, or point to the first letter of a word during a choral read. Help ESL/ELL students by creating books out of photos from class field trips, events, or experiments. Integrate text that uses key vocabulary words and creates reading materials that are both relevant to grade level curricular standards and match your student's readability level. All books you publish on the web site are public domain and available to all other users. Be sure to get parent permission before publishing student books on-line. In order to create a book, users will need to register. Unfortunately, this requires users to email gb@cs.unc.edu to request of an invitation code. With this code, simply create a username, submit your name, and email address. Set up a single teacher account and have all the students use that login to avoid safety concerns. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further reading practice.
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Building Schoolwide Literacy With Free Web 2.0 Tools: A Grade by Grade Elementary Model - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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The Source for Learning offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including...more
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The Source for Learning offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students, teachers, and parents. The free Web 2.0 tools suggested here are by no means the only tools that might work. These exemplary tools were chosen by the TeachersFirst Editors for ease of use and versatility in classroom and home use and could easily be implemented at grade levels other than those suggested here. As students and teachers master a new tool at each grade level, they develop rich literacy skills and vital technology skills, all in the context of reading, writing, speaking and listening across the curriculum.

tag(s): listening (73), speaking (22)

In the Classroom

Explore the tools and project suggestions by grade for your individual use as a teacher or work together with others in your school to build literacy across all subjects and grades by systematically adopting and repeatedly using a fixed collection of tools so students master the tool skills as an aside to reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Try the practical suggestions for implementing this model in your school or grade level team.

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Reading is Fundamental - Parent Literacy Resources - Reading is Fundamental (RIF)

Grades
K to 8
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The celebrated RIF program offers this site for parents to support their children's literacy. You will find resources from infancy to the teenage years and some for the entire family....more
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The celebrated RIF program offers this site for parents to support their children's literacy. You will find resources from infancy to the teenage years and some for the entire family. While there is more available for younger children (through elementary school), the Whole Family area and some of the activities are enjoyable for teens, as well. Click to find practical tips to support your growing readers, monthly features, interactive books, activities for family heritage, authors, polls, a personal bookshelf to collect book recommendations, and more. You can even search for activities by age and activity type. Find interactive and audio with text in their "Skybrary." Some of the videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube they may not be viewable in your classroom.

tag(s): audio books (23), authors (105), literacy (110), summer (30)

In the Classroom

Provide this link to parents in support of your in-school reading program. Be sure to share this link before school breaks so parents can support literacy at home to prevent "summer slide."
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Reading is Fundamental - Literacy Central Educators - Reading is Fundamental (RIF)

Grades
K to 5
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There's plenty to see at Literacy Central for educators from the long-running RIF program. There are useful tips and resources for teachers and others interested in fostering reading,...more
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There's plenty to see at Literacy Central for educators from the long-running RIF program. There are useful tips and resources for teachers and others interested in fostering reading, writing, and literacy skills in young children and elementary students. There are lesson plans in PDF format, links to activities on RIF's Reading Planet site, downloadable literacy activity calendars (English and Spanish), and much more. Especially useful is the Activity search for lessons and more for different curriculum strands and ages. Though many are geared for younger children (preschool and primary grades), there are some options for upper elementary, as well, including interdisciplinary lessons to include music, etc.

tag(s): literacy (110), literature (218)

In the Classroom

Explore this site in conjunction with the student options on RIF's Beeline Reader Collection, reviewed here. As you plan new literacy centers, be sure to explore the options here. You may also want to share the link to the parent area of the RIF site on your class web page so parents can promote literacy at home. Not sure if the home has Internet access? Send the monthly literacy calendars home via backpack express and offer Reading Reward points for completed activities students bring in to share with the class. Reading Rewards points can be good for a free book or extra time on the classroom computer exploring (what else?) RIF activities! Reading specialists, principals, teachers, and literacy coaches will be interested in sharing some of the articles with other professionals and paraprofessionals.

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Every Child Ready to Read - American Library Association

Grades
K to 2
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The resourcea on this site suggests behaviors and activities that can assist parents, preschool teachers, and early elementary teachers in getting children ready to read. Available...more
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The resourcea on this site suggests behaviors and activities that can assist parents, preschool teachers, and early elementary teachers in getting children ready to read. Available in both color and black and white formats, the brochures are also downloadable in Spanish. The brochures encourage people to use books, songs, stories, and word games to reinforce the importance of reading in education.

tag(s): literacy (110)

In the Classroom

Make these aticles, videos, etc. available to parents of the very young. The added bonus of having some of the brochures available in Spanish makes the development of good readers a task shared by parents and educators alike. PLace some on the table in your conference waiting area or send them home in backpacks!

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Early Childhood Handouts - Zero to Three

Grades
K to 1
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A series of resources and web information assist parents with helping children develop pre-literacy and other developmental skills. Click on Early Language & Literacy to find out how...more
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A series of resources and web information assist parents with helping children develop pre-literacy and other developmental skills. Click on Early Language & Literacy to find out how to use books and stories to help children prepare for school-age tasks and reading. Other topics include Brain Development, Health & Nutrition, Social & Emotional Development, and several others. Though the information and handouts seem to be for much younger children, they will also be helpful for parents new to English and the American school system.

tag(s): parents (58), preK (258)

In the Classroom

Print out these handouts and copy when meeting pre-kindergarten parents for the first pre-registration meeting. List this site on your class website. Use with international parents whose cultures might not include using books and America's free public libraries. Encourage international parents to tell stories from their cultures and families to help children succeed in school.

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Ed Pubs - US Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures,...more
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures, posters, videotapes, newsletters, and more). The intended audiences include students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Many publications and also site information come in Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (110)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class website so parents can learn about this free resource. Include links to specific publications tha fit your class' needs. Or choose helpful information with your particular parents/students and share the pdf files as print-outs at conferences or via email to help parents.
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AdLit - adlit.org

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. Sister sites Reading Rockets, Colorin'Colorado, Start with a Book, and...more
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. Sister sites Reading Rockets, Colorin'Colorado, Start with a Book, and LDonline offer summer reading strategies, book lists, book clubs, classroom technique hints which encourage the development of reading attack skills, and a special section on authors and their best books. For a Spanish language version of the main topics available as an A to Z list, click on the left side of the screen En Espanol. This site has everything you need to know about teaching reading in easy-to-use formats.

tag(s): authors (105), independent reading (86), reading strategies (98)

In the Classroom

If you need ideas to get students reading for fun and to help develop their confidence, try this site. Highlight this on your class website so parents can try the activities with their older students. When doing author biographies, share this site with your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the "Classroom Strategies" link for even more literacy ideas.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fact Monster Printables - Education World

Grades
2 to 8
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Weekly printable Hunt the Fact Monster activity sheets encourage students to build research skills and internet literacy as they use the Fact Monster search engine to find the answers...more
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Weekly printable Hunt the Fact Monster activity sheets encourage students to build research skills and internet literacy as they use the Fact Monster search engine to find the answers to the questions in the activity. There are separate sections for grades 2-3 and grades 4-8. This site requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): search strategies (23)

In the Classroom

This site can be used for individual students, in a technology class, or as a parent-and-student together assignment. Be sure to see the Ideas for Using Hunt the Fact Monster in Your Classroom page for tips on using the hunts in your classroom. Before you launch your research project with younger students, use this exercise to solidify research basics or as a pretest to be sure everyone is ready. Challenge your more able students to create their own Fact Monster hunts on individual research topics and share them with classmates. Reading teachers can also use these activities to help students practice skimming and scanning.

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Elementary School Literacy - Thinkport

Grades
1 to 6
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This wonderful site has an extensive list of free video clips of favorite children's books, author interviews, and author documentaries. Users can open them with Windows Media or Real...more
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This wonderful site has an extensive list of free video clips of favorite children's books, author interviews, and author documentaries. Users can open them with Windows Media or Real Player (the listings tell which one is needed). Some clips offer both options. Get the plug ins from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..This site MUST have a high speed connection! It can be slow to load during "peak" times (11 a.m. to 2 pm Eastern time in the U.S.). Be patient while clips download, even on a peppy network. While the videos are downloading, you may not think anything is happening. TURN OFF your pop-up blocker (including the ones built into the Google and Yahoo toolbars) so you can see the video pop-up windows.

tag(s): literacy (110)

In the Classroom

Preview the video clips before recommending them to students or using in class, since the quality of video and audio varies significantly. None is designed for full screen projection, though some will project about half-screen. Share a partial video with the class or as a center to inspire children to read a book or allow them to watch videos after they have read books. (A Dark, Dark tale would be great for Halloween week). Remember to turn up speakers for group viewing or provide headphones at your center. If you are ready to try podcasting, use these dramatic readings as models for students to record some of their favorite selections as a podcast (and possibly illustrate with student artwork). Share this link with parents on your web page or in your newsletter to encourage reading at home. Most of the books will be in our school library, so students can follow along. School librarians should know about this site as well! ESL students and weaker readers always benefit from listening to different voices read the same story as they follow along.

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