TeachersFirst's Vocabulary Development Resources

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This collection of reviewed tools and resources from TeachersFirst promotes vocabulary development and skills for students to improve and master daily vocabulary, subject matter terms, speech/language vocabulary, and ESL/ELL language. Some are tools for study and practice of terms in any class--including world languages, while others focus specifically on written and spoken English. Be sure to check "In the classroom" for ways each resource might help in your teaching area. Share your favorites on a free TeachersFirst public page for students and parents to use for vocabulary practice outside of class.

 

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Academic Word Finder - Achieve the Core

Grades
4 to 12
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The Academic Word Finder identifies academic vocabulary (tier 2) words found in any text. Register using email to create an account before beginning. Copy and paste any text you want...more
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The Academic Word Finder identifies academic vocabulary (tier 2) words found in any text. Register using email to create an account before beginning. Copy and paste any text you want to analyze, (the site recommends starting with two to three paragraphs) and select your grade level. The Word Finder identifies the vocabulary found in the text and provides additional context with grade range, part of speech, meaning, and an example sentence. Email or print the results using links found on the site. Each entry is automatically saved to your Achieve the Core account for future reference.

tag(s): parts of speech (70), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114)

In the Classroom

Use the Academic Word Finder to introduce difficult portions of text before reading. Display the results on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector to review with students. This site is perfect for use with special needs or ESL/ELL students to break down difficult content into smaller, understandable portions. Use this site to identify vocabulary words then create online games for student practice. Bamboozle, reviewed here, offers several options for creating games for two teams. Use the Word Finder to choose vocabulary to include when creating interactive lessons for students. Rooclick, reviewed here, includes tools for creating interactive video lessons with embedded documents and quizzes.

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Prefix Study Pages - myvocabulary.com

Grades
2 to 12
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As part of their extensive vocabulary site, MyVocabulary.com includes over 90 word puzzles practicing Greek and Latin root words. This site includes alignment of activities to Common...more
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As part of their extensive vocabulary site, MyVocabulary.com includes over 90 word puzzles practicing Greek and Latin root words. This site includes alignment of activities to Common Core Standards. Find 90 additional prefix studies on page 2 here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (205), grammar review (41), prefixes (16), root words (13), spelling (165), vocabulary (301)

In the Classroom

Include these activities as part of any lessons on prefixes. Use words found on this site as a starting point, then challenge students to find additional words with the same prefixes.

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Vocabulist (Beta) - Ahan Malhotra

Grades
4 to 12
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Easily personalize and practice vocabulary with Vocabulist. Upload a file from your computer or copy and paste text into Vocabulist. Wait a minute or two for your document to process....more
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Easily personalize and practice vocabulary with Vocabulist. Upload a file from your computer or copy and paste text into Vocabulist. Wait a minute or two for your document to process. When finished Vocabulist provides a list with each word and its definition. Choose the correct definition when necessary from drop boxes or provide your own definition. When finished, export as a PDF to your computer or directly into Quizlet, reviewed here, to use as flashcards.

tag(s): flash cards (39), spelling (165), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114), word study (73)

In the Classroom

Vocabulist is perfect for differentiated learning. Create individual student vocabulary and spelling lists based on student needs. Create lists for difficult vocabulary from any text or for any subject. Be sure to share a link on your class website for students to use at home to create study guides throughout the year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TextProject - TextProject, Inc

Grades
K to 9
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TextProject offers strategies, tools, and texts to bring beginning readers and struggling readers to high levels of literacy. Download materials for teaching reading such as vocabulary...more
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TextProject offers strategies, tools, and texts to bring beginning readers and struggling readers to high levels of literacy. Download materials for teaching reading such as vocabulary lessons, word pictures, literacy lists, and reading passages. Browse the TextProject Library to find book collections, professional articles, and videos available on their YouTube Channel. Be sure to find time to explore the Classroom Materials part of the site, with many printables and Teacher's Guides for use with all reading levels. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): commoncore (88), independent reading (120), literacy (105), reading comprehension (131), reading lists (77), reading strategies (58), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114)

In the Classroom

If you teach reading or are an ESL/ELL or resource teacher for students with special needs, you will want to bookmark this site! Take advantage of all of the free downloads on the site, including forms, checklists, lessons, and reading passages. Share this site with parents to help them understand the process of learning to read and finding materials for their student. Share this site during professional development sessions when discussing reading instruction and alignment to Common Core Standards. Be sure to sign up for TextProject's monthly newsletter to stay up to date with all new additions to the site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Math Vocabulary Cards - Math Learning Center

Grades
K to 6
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Math Vocabulary Cards take flashcards to a new level! Available in both English and Spanish, these interactive cards allow you to view three boxes: the vocabulary word, an image, and...more
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Math Vocabulary Cards take flashcards to a new level! Available in both English and Spanish, these interactive cards allow you to view three boxes: the vocabulary word, an image, and a written description. Click on the eye in any box to turn each portion on or off. At the bottom left of the page, choose the stack of cards to select by grade level or topic.

tag(s): area (71), charts and graphs (205), fractions (232), measurement (179), operations (119), probability (135), time (138), vocabulary (301)

In the Classroom

Use flashcards to individualize student learning by choosing specific topics for any student. These cards are perfect for use at a math learning center. Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate how to use it. Be sure to include a link to Math Vocabulary Cards on your class web page for student use at home. Share with your school's ESL/ELL teacher as an excellent tool for Spanish-speaking students to practice math.

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Newswordy - Josh Smith

Grades
K to 12
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We hear new buzzwords all of the time, but what do they really mean? Newswordy provides those answers. Each day Newswordy features a buzzword, definition, and its uses in articles ...more
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We hear new buzzwords all of the time, but what do they really mean? Newswordy provides those answers. Each day Newswordy features a buzzword, definition, and its uses in articles and tweets from trending topics. Find the previous day's buzzword by clicking the link on the bottom of the page or click the three bars on the top-right hand side of the page for a list of previous words. Click the title to go to the source and read the entire article.

tag(s): media literacy (77), news (259), vocabulary (301)

In the Classroom

Newswordy is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Display the word of the day as students arrive in class as a great warm up for current events lessons. Share a link to the site on your class webpage. Tweak your students' interest in what is happening in the world by reading the excerpts of the articles and tweets at Newswordy. Have students bring in examples they find on the Internet or when watching T.V. Next, students can create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.

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Word Writer - BoomWriter

Grades
2 to 8
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Develop vocabulary through interactive activities with a 21st Century twist! This interactive offered by BoomWriter, reviewed here, offers an exciting...more
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Develop vocabulary through interactive activities with a 21st Century twist! This interactive offered by BoomWriter, reviewed here, offers an exciting vocabulary development application useful in all content areas. Choose specific words to incorporate into a writing project. Specify a word limit and list any other guidelines desired. You can create a story or sentences to submit. WordWriter then tracks the use of selected words and checks off each vocabulary word typed. After submission and approval of all writing projects, WordWriter offers the option for an anonymous peer review portion of the process and members vote for the piece they feel best uses the vocabulary. Another great feature of the program is vocabulary word crowdsourcing. You can see the most popular words for a particular grade added by other teachers from around the world!

tag(s): creative writing (161), digital storytelling (147), interactive stories (31), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114)

In the Classroom

Use this site to excite students as writers while still incorporating classroom goals of vocabulary development. Encourage students to read other students' writing for ideas about what makes a story interesting. Create a friendly competition within your grade level by starting a book and choosing a winner. Create new books in any content area and use for review throughout the year.

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Learner's Dictionary - Merriam Webster

Grades
3 to 12
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This American English online dictionary supports ESL/ELL students and people preparing for the TOEFL Test, the standardized test given to non-English speakers for admittance to universities....more
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This American English online dictionary supports ESL/ELL students and people preparing for the TOEFL Test, the standardized test given to non-English speakers for admittance to universities. The top 3000 words in the English language are featured with perfect pronunciation exercises. Use the Word of the Day to increase your vocabulary. The Ask the Editor feature is especially valuable for getting answers about things like "What does high tech mean?" or "What is the difference between beside and besides?" With a free registration, you can save your mastered words for periodic reviews. Test your vocabulary periodically, to continually challenge yourself. Get your free Kindle download or iPhone, iPad, and Android app.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (171), pronunciation (40), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114)

In the Classroom

Provide daily support and growth for your ESL/ELL students by increasing vocabulary and reviewing with quizzes. Have students use their own dictionary to collect all the words they are using. This tool can be used by ANY student preparing for testing (SAT or ACT). Struggling readers can get extra support with pronunciation and save mastered words. During content area subjects, collect words for a quarter, semester, or even year. For Advanced Placement classes, collect vocabulary for continual review.

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Games to Learn English - Owen Dwyer

Grades
K to 8
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners,...more
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners, the many activities focus on developing vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, word order, and spelling skills. Choose from interactives such as Fast Hands and Concentration to begin. Each activity includes directions for play and scoring explanations, and most have playing speed options.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (150), preK (281), sentences (46), sequencing (29), spelling (165), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114)

In the Classroom

Although created for English language learners, this is an excellent site to develop vocabulary (and computer skills) for younger students. It also helps with speech/language vocabulary development and grammar reinforcement for special ed. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the activities as a class with a student operating the board. Create a link on classroom computers and challenge students to increase their speed in completing games.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TV411 - Vocabulary - Education Development Center, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about dictionaries, thesaurus, and "How Words Work." Each video includes a short description of content and...more
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Find entertaining videos, web lessons, and downloads to support learning about dictionaries, thesaurus, and "How Words Work." Each video includes a short description of content and the skills addressed. Most videos are approximately three minutes long and include links to related web lessons and print downloads. This site was originally created for adult basic literacy students. However, many of these lessons could be useful with younger students learning the basics of vocabulary. Preview the video for appropriateness before sharing with younger students.

tag(s): antonyms (26), dictionaries (52), prefixes (16), reading comprehension (131), root words (13), spelling (165), suffixes (13), synonyms (35), thesaurus (23), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114), word study (73)

In the Classroom

Any vocabulary development unit needs to include lessons about how dictionaries and thesaurus' work. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of your dictionary/word-study unit. Use on an as-needed basis to address classroom deficiencies in particular areas. Have students complete the web lessons on their own during computer center time. Create links to particular videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Check out the Teachers portion of the site to find activities for specific skills along with ideas for using the videos in the classroom. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can be used to provide suggestions on improving vocabulary and writing skills. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here, to added audio and annotate the image.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Root of the Day Archive - Membean - Ragav Satish, Brett Brunner, Micah Elliott

Grades
4 to 12
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Membean has root words galore! Find interactive flashcard-style information about individual roots. Click "Read more" at the bottom of each "card" to get an impressive display of information...more
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Membean has root words galore! Find interactive flashcard-style information about individual roots. Click "Read more" at the bottom of each "card" to get an impressive display of information for that root and lots of new words. See an interactive tree with words containing that root; when you click on the word the definition appears. There is also a short summary, a podcast (aka a "root cast"), and a "Memlet." A "Memlet" separates the parts of a word and describes how they combine to make meaning. Click on any word part, with a tree icon and a star, to see other words that use that root. You will also find related roots with similar meanings, and definitions of the word's affixes. Clicking on the question marks after the "memlet" offers a video about word parts and roots. Only some or the videos require Flash. This is a remarkably powerful and unique way to learn all about words.

tag(s): prefixes (16), root words (13), suffixes (13), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114), word study (73)

In the Classroom

Root words are at the heart of any vocabulary development unit, or should be! Project this vocabulary website using your classroom whiteboard and projector, and share one of the root words. Have a student demonstrate how to navigate the different types of media to help them understand and learn the root. To assign certain roots for study, post their distinct URLs on your website, blog, wiki, or bookmark on the classroom computers. Once you are on the page for one of the roots, you will see a link that says "See an example word page." Show your students this example word page and analyze the parts together. Then assign individuals or small groups to develop word pages for words based on the roots you are studying. An engaging, visual way for them to present their results would be to use Sharalike, reviewed here , or Zeetings, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Write-n-ator! - New Hampshire Public Television

Grades
2 to 5
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View video clips about words and vocabulary. After completing the clip, try a related writing challenge. Clips and challenges are all related to writing, word recognition, and vocabulary...more
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View video clips about words and vocabulary. After completing the clip, try a related writing challenge. Clips and challenges are all related to writing, word recognition, and vocabulary development and feature titles such as "Favorite Word" and "Mr. Big's Plan." Standards are included. Clips can be replayed as necessary. View other responses to each challenge with the link above the submission form.

tag(s): antonyms (26), grammar (205), grammar review (41), synonyms (35), vocabulary development (114)

In the Classroom

Offer these challenges to your class using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Watch the video clip and create a class response to add to the challenge. Alternately, each student can take the challenge in a writing journal. These videos and challenges make for a writing warm up. There are 20 video clips and challenges. To demonstrate what students have learned from the site, have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster/infographic using Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Hippo - Wordhippo.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Word Hippo is a word study tool for synonyms, antonyms, and more. Look for rhyming words, opposites, translations to a variety of languages, plurals, definitions and uses for the word,...more
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Word Hippo is a word study tool for synonyms, antonyms, and more. Look for rhyming words, opposites, translations to a variety of languages, plurals, definitions and uses for the word, etc. The site also makes suggestions for other words in case you might have made a typo or do not know the spelling. As with any other reference, students should be cautioned to be sure these are accurate definitions needed for the context in which they are studying the words. You will want to spell out consequences and/or supervise to be sure students are not searching for inappropriate words, but the most egregious words of bad taste do not appear to be available for search at this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): antonyms (26), dictionaries (52), spelling (165), synonyms (35), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114), word study (73)

In the Classroom

Use this site for vocabulary development and word study assignments, such as writing sentences, paragraphs, or essays using new words. Since the site permits translation, this would be a valuable tool in world language classes, ESL/ELL classes, and more. Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard and elicit examples to show the class how quickly it works. Have students create their own word walls with synonyms, antonyms, sentences, and more for their latest vocabulary words. Try a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, for each student to create an online "wall" with words aligned to color coded stickies for synonyms. antonyms, etc. Alternatively, have students create class challenges for their peers with color coded matching activities for the interactive whiteboard matching words to synonyms, antonyms, and an appropriate fill in the blank sentence. Share this as a favorite on your teacher public page for handy reference any time students encounter an unknown word. Even subject area teachers such as science and social studies will find this tool handy for students with weaker vocabulary levels.

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Vocabulary.com - Vocabulary.com

Grades
7 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Vocabulary.com is an individualized vocabulary development program. Your students will select definitions for several vocabulary words. Based on their answers, the program will predict...more
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Vocabulary.com is an individualized vocabulary development program. Your students will select definitions for several vocabulary words. Based on their answers, the program will predict which vocabulary words they don't know and instruct them from there. You can also type in a word to learn the definition. With more than 40,000 questions to help your students learn new vocabulary, time will not be wasted here. The vocabulary is chosen based on words that need to be mastered for success in an academic or business environment. The program will analyze student achievement and review words that the students originally missed to make sure they are retaining the words. Vocabulary.com is for students from elementary school through graduate school. You can register with an email address or via your Facebook account. Note: as with any dictionary tool, there is content that is intended for more mature users, including matter of fact definitions of swear words. Teachers will want to manage this tool as any adult dictionary and have logical consequences for those who look up words so they can giggle, etc.

tag(s): game based learning (150), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114), word study (73)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station for students who finish their work early. Be sure to mark the site on classroom computers, making it easier for students to navigate there. Or, if you have access to multiple classroom computers, you may want to start your language arts lessons with five to ten minutes of work on Vocabulary.com. Once students have learned this program they can be totally independent. This is one to list on your class website for students/parents to access at home for additional practice.

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david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Knoword - Trevor Blades

Grades
5 to 12
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This "wordy" site offers word definitions with a challenge! You see the first letter of a word and its definition. You must quickly type in a word you think fits ...more
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This "wordy" site offers word definitions with a challenge! You see the first letter of a word and its definition. You must quickly type in a word you think fits the definition. The site allows you to pass if you do not know the word, but the definition of the word appears anyway (along with the answer). Once the correct word is entered, the definition changes quickly so you can accrue as many points as possible in a limited time. The site also keeps a list of words used at any interaction, so you can see the words correct and missed. Some definitions offer easier hints in their wording.

tag(s): game based learning (150), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114), word study (73)

In the Classroom

Try this activity at the start of class on your interactive whiteboard or projector; it's perfect for vocabulary development with a lively twist! Offer this site to your students who are trying to assess and/or improve their vocabulary for standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT. ESL/ELL students may also enjoy the challenges and additions to their vocabulary. Share this site on your class webpage or blog for students to access (and practice) at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learning Chocolate - learningchocolate.com

Grades
K to 12
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of...more
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of the week, Europe, Fruit, Work Site Problems, Medical Jobs, and much more! Click on a category and you get common vocabulary as well as five review games for that category. Each word has sound, and many of the review activities are based on hearing the word to complete the required work. An added benefit to the site is that it is easy to switch the target language from English to three other languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chinese (49), japan (60), japanese (44), spanish (106), vocabulary (301)

In the Classroom

Save/bookmark this site on your classroom computers to serve as a vocabulary resource for ESL/ELL and also world language students. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Share this site with Chinese, Japanese and Spanish teachers as well as with special needs professionals for help with vocabulary development and articulation. You could also have students create their own narrations of photos (similar to this site) using a site such as Thinklink reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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WordSift - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 12
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify ...more
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WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts -- just copy and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. After entering text several items will appear, first a word cloud will display the 50 most frequently used words in the text. The most frequently used word will display as a word web in a visual thesaurus. Google image and video search results are also shown. One interesting feature is the ability to click on any of the words in the word cloud to display it in the thesaurus and Google image and video searches. A great way to understand the WordSift tool is to try one of the sample texts offered, such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Be sure to check out the "About" link to discover many ideas for use in the classroom. Tips and videos are also available as guides. If you type in a shorter sentence, the site still creates a word cloud using their own related words (not in your original text). Be aware of the advertisements that appear with the word clouds. Advise students not to click on the ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (52), reading comprehension (131), reading strategies (58), thesaurus (23), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114), word clouds (13), word study (73)

In the Classroom

This is a classic tool to promote "before reading" strategies and vocabulary development. Use WordSift to preview text to be used in class and define vocabulary before reading to increase reading comprehension. Have students use WordSift with different portions of text to identify key words and vocabulary for class presentations. Use WordSift to discuss different meanings of words using images presented through the site. This site isn't only for English teachers, share with Science and Social Studies teachers to use in their classrooms with reading texts in their content areas. ESL/ELL and learning support teachers will want to share this as a support for any reading assigned in regular classes. Be sure to show students how to copy/paste to WordSift texts from informational web pages and news stories on the web, as well. Share this link as a Favorite on your public page so students can use it anytime.

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Select and Speak - Google Chrome

Grades
1 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Select and Speak (formerly (Speakit) is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time ...more
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Select and Speak (formerly (Speakit) is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, it works exclusively on Google Chrome. You can use this extension in many different languages. All you do is highlight the text, and it reads it aloud. The tool works only on website text, not documents, etc. This extension uses text to speech service and might not be accessible to those whose computers prevent download/installation of software. There are some errors in the program they are still fixing.

tag(s): listening (81), text to speech (17)

In the Classroom

Use Select and Speak as your teacher's helper. Be sure to test it out on classroom computers and devices before using it with students. During research or computer explorations, allow students to use this read aloud feature. Honor the students who heavily rely on hearing as their preferred form of comprehending material. In lower grades, research on computers now becomes an easier task. This extension is perfect for ESL/ELL or learning support students to help with vocabulary development, comprehension, fluency, and repetitions.

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Lexipedia (Beta) - Vantage Linguistics

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Lexipedia is "Where Words Have Meaning." Type in a word and see what happens! This site creates a web of related words. Each color represents a different part of speech ...more
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Lexipedia is "Where Words Have Meaning." Type in a word and see what happens! This site creates a web of related words. Each color represents a different part of speech or relationship to the original word - nouns, verbs, synonyms, antonyms and even fuzzynyms! Words become more than isolated strings of letters and part of a greater web of language.

tag(s): antonyms (26), dictionaries (52), mean (27), synonyms (35), vocabulary (301), vocabulary development (114)

In the Classroom

Explore this site on interactive whiteboard or projector to show students how to improve writing with descriptive words. Consider allowing students to share a favorite word of the day for 30 seconds on your interactive whiteboard at the start of class. Use this in a word study unit by covering up the original word.Students will then try to discover the word based on the word relationships found around the word. Build understanding of parts of speech through this tool every time you look up a word. Reinforce these concepts for visual learners continuously by using the same colors every time you highlight on your interactive whiteboard. World language teachers can also type in words to demonstrate and expand vocabulary in Spanish, French, German, Dutch, and Italian. Special ed teachers, especially those in speech/language will love this tool to help students SEE relationships between words. Encourage your language-delayed students to look up words and build "word sense" even when they are familiar with the word's meaning. Make this site available as a reference on classroom computers and on your class web page.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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