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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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 (41), literacy (83), poetry (180), preK (231), seasons (32), songs (40)

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 (83), poetry (180), rhymes (21), songs (40)

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

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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 (20), preK (231)

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 (20)

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

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K to 12
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL 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 ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment.

tag(s): audio books (20), listening (70), preK (231)

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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): black history (80), racism (68)

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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Building Schoolwide Literacy With Free Web 2.0 Tools: A Grade by Grade Elementary Model - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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TeachersFirst offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students,...more
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TeachersFirst 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 (70), speaking (21)

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)

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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.

tag(s): authors (97), literacy (83)

In the Classroom

Provide this link to parents in support of your in-school reading program. Struggling students can use RIF's Reading Planet, reviewed here, for activities both at home and at school to provide the repetition and review they need for skill mastery. Be sure to share this link before school breaks so parents can support literacy at home to prevent "summer slide."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (83), literature (220)

In the Classroom

Explore this site in conjunction with the student options on RIF's Reading Planet, reviewed here, and Leading to Reading, 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 (83)

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

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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 (61), preK (231)

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

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K to 12
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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,...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 (83)

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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adolescent Literacy - adlit.org

Grades
4 to 12
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit...more
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit offers summer reading strategies, book lists, book clubs, classroom technique hints which encourage 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 already know about teaching reading in easy-to-use formats.

tag(s): authors (97), independent reading (105), reading strategies (55)

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): interviews (13)

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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Mem Fox: Teaching, Learning, Living - Mem Fox

Grades
K to 7
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This author page features plenty of ideas about how to help kids enjoy reading and includes many stories. Hear Mem Fox reading her own stories (click Hear Mem Read ...more
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This author page features plenty of ideas about how to help kids enjoy reading and includes many stories. Hear Mem Fox reading her own stories (click Hear Mem Read Aloud). She gives advice on how to read to children and gives great examples. This author page has many good suggestions for promoting literacy and love of reading. There is also a section of advice on writing your own picture book for children, an excellent writing activity for upper elementary and middle school students. Parts of this site require Quick Time. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): authors (97), literacy (83)

In the Classroom

Create shortcut to Mem reading aloud on your classroom computer for a center activity for primary grades, and place a copy of Mem's book there for students to follow along. Print out Mem's suggestions for reading aloud to give to parents at conferences or share this site on your teacher home page for parent and students to access from home. For older students, this site is an excellent resource for planning cross-grade reading activities for Read Across America or other special times, including having middle school students write picture books for young students, then share them at an in-person visit or on a podcast recording.PowerPoint slides are an easy way to "create" and share large format picture books electronically.

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Kids Book Club Book - Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

Grades
2 to 12
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This site, a companion to a print book, focuses on ideas and activities for book clubs, including short summaries of books, recipes, and activities paired up with featured books. ...more
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This site, a companion to a print book, focuses on ideas and activities for book clubs, including short summaries of books, recipes, and activities paired up with featured books. Books included are of many levels and genres, all of high interest for children. Children's authors write some of the book reviews; book club members are welcome to list their book club, book descriptions, and activities on the site as well. Links include an author section with a comprehensive list of authors who will speak to your book clubs by phone and authors and illustrators willing to visit your school.

In the Classroom

Find food ideas and activities to promote reading on this site! Mention this site to your school librarian for use with school book clubs. FCS teachers may want to coordinate some of the recipes with books featured in language arts class. Parents would appreciate the link on your teacher web page or newsletter so they can encourage reading at home. Your school parent organization can find great ideas, as well. Make this link part of your family literacy treasury.

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Helping Children Get Ready to Read - Kent District Library

Grades
K to 2
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This library-prepared website is all about helping parents develop early literacy skills. Options include video demonstrations of how to read books to kids and many developmental activities...more
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This library-prepared website is all about helping parents develop early literacy skills. Options include video demonstrations of how to read books to kids and many developmental activities including things to do around the house, pre-reading activities, early reading skills information available in TWENTY-SEVEN languages, and many printable reading activities. Check out the Make and Take section: hands-on activities that help children develop the habit of using books. Activities include Activities for Print Motivation, Print Awareness, Phonological Awareness, Vocabulary, Narrative Skills, Letter Knowledge etc. These well-explained activities are fun and original. Many parts of the site are available in Spanish as well as English. Videos on this site require RealPlayer and Windows Media Player. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): literacy (83), preK (231)

In the Classroom

Share the printables and information about the website with parents at open house or conferences and include the link on your teacher web page. Spanish-speaking families will enjoy hearing about this site as well.

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Citebite Bookmarklet - Abstract Factory

Grades
K to 12
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Imagine being able to give students (or parents) an exact link to a specific quote within a web page. Why would you want to? Perhaps you want to send students ...more
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Imagine being able to give students (or parents) an exact link to a specific quote within a web page. Why would you want to? Perhaps you want to send students to a certain paragraph for an activity: for reading comprehension, for reading a specific portion of text, or even for highlighting a literary device within a text or poem. Students will no longer waste time, announcing, "I can't find it!" or return to school saying they couldn't do the homework! Use for FireFox, Safari, and Internet Explorer browsers.

tag(s): internet safety (112), literacy (83), quotations (20), safety (72)

In the Classroom

Tool can be used in less than 30 seconds. Open TWO windows in Internet Explorer or any web browser. One should be open to citebite; the other to the web page you wish to reference. On that web page, locate and "highlight" the exact passage of text you want to "send" people to see. Copy/paste the passage into the quotation box at Citebite (copy, then change windows). Return to the target web page and copy/paste its actual URL into Citebite. Click "Make Citebite." Copy/paste the new url, indicated after "Your citebite link is:" Note: if the original quote is within a FLASH presentation, it will not copy/paste or generate a Citebite. See this example of a Citebite link to a tip about TeachersFirst Edge tools.

Have your middle and high school students do a web page "credibility critique" on their potential sources by using Citebite before they start a research project. They can highlight passages as proof of credibility -- or lack thereof -- and give you the Citebite links. They will love this easy way to reference a specific portion of a page. You will love the ease of finding it. If you give them a Word document table as a web site evaluation rubric, they can paste the Citebites there, with their comments in the neighboring cell!

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Online Magazine Resources for Kids - Owl Kids

Grades
1 to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This 3-in-one online magazine for elementary to middle school kids has attractive graphics, sound, games, news, e-cards, etc. and serves as a companion to paper magazines at three levels:...more
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This 3-in-one online magazine for elementary to middle school kids has attractive graphics, sound, games, news, e-cards, etc. and serves as a companion to paper magazines at three levels: Chirp, Chickadee and Owl. The Owl magazine for upper elementary to middle school is includes an online calendar with moveable stickers, word searches, jokes, a mystery in graphic novel style, and features including international, gender, and environmental awareness. All three magazines promote reading and get children into the habit of "looking" at a magazine for fun, news, and information.

tag(s): puzzles (144)

In the Classroom

This site would be a good one for students to learn the literacy skills of surveying a site to see how it is organized (just as they should do with a textbook).Whether or not you have these magazines in "hard copy" in your classroom, you can generate excitement about reading by sharing the activities on these accompanying websites. Then include the link on your teacher web page for students to explore from home or during free time. The Parents and Teachers Resources section is still under development. Children can submit their own artwork to be displayed at these sites! (Make sure you have parent permission).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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