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Visuwords - Paul R. Dunn

Grades
6 to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This graphical online dictionary will make looking up words and figures of speech addictive, and visual learners will start to understand meanings as never before. The dictionary pulls...more
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This graphical online dictionary will make looking up words and figures of speech addictive, and visual learners will start to understand meanings as never before. The dictionary pulls it information from Princeton's WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. A WORD OF WARNING: because the source of the words is a university, where speech is completely open, there are word included in this "dictionary" that are NOT classroom appropriate. Use it only under teacher monitoring.
The color-coded word "entries" display like a mind-map or graphic organizer, showing parts of speech in different colors and showing related words and phrases, as well. Be sure to look at the color key at the bottom to understand all the information presented. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dictionaries (59), thesaurus (23), vocabulary (319)

In the Classroom

Introduce new vocabulary before reading or starting a new unit, using this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The distinctions, examples, and relationships the site features for new words will help students build better connections and understanding as they read and study the words in classroom context. English teachers will love this as a learning tool for teaching distinctions between similar words. Just remember to use it in a monitored situation (see above).

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Research 101 - University of Washington

Grades
9 to 12
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Research 101 is an interactive online tutorial for students needing an introduction to research skills. The tutorial covers the basics, including how to select a topic and develop research...more
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Research 101 is an interactive online tutorial for students needing an introduction to research skills. The tutorial covers the basics, including how to select a topic and develop research questions, as well as how to select, search for, find, and evaluate information sources. This site teaches kids HOW to research so it works with ANY subject matter.Teaching kids how to research and the differences between kinds of sources can be challenging. This site makes it a little easier for you and simpler and more fun for them!

In the Classroom

What is terrific about this site is its interactive capability-- so you can introduce it on a projector or whiteboard at the beginning of class, then let them continue by themselves as you go around and check on individual issues. After each section there is a "review quiz" that students can take right there and get their score immediately. Require them to raise a hand to report a score--or they risk a zero!

This site is a must for your teacher web page during research season.

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H2O Playlists - Berkman Ctr for the Internet and Society, Harvard Law School

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create an online collection of annotated links and materials for academic research or have your students use this site to collect sources and materials for a collaborative project....more
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Create an online collection of annotated links and materials for academic research or have your students use this site to collect sources and materials for a collaborative project. A "playlist" is a set of links with explanations and tags that you (or students) can use to initiate self-directed research or that students could use to prepare or present content. Have students make a "playlist" on a research topic, such as the Vietnam War, displaying and speaking about the resources in a class presentation on a projector. You can monitor the progress of collaborative research by checking their playlists-in-progress. Students who have Internet access at home can add to the playlists from any computer. Playlists can be published and shared. You can also find other playlists with the same tags, extending the reach of your research.

tag(s): citations (37)

In the Classroom

The site requires a log-in, so you may want to set up a single account and password based on your "extra" email account (always recommended for joining all these great web-based tool sites). When your students are finished with their projects, you can simply change the password. Skills needed to use this tool: join site (free), copy/paste links, create tags (keywords), reorder list items, start new lists (all very easy by clicking on text links). TeachersFirst Ede staff strongly suggest that you create a sample playlist to start and model the process to your students. They will catch on fast. You will also need to prevent them from altering profiles or creating unmonitored accounts and profiles, for safety reasons.

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QUICK: the Quality Information Checklist - HDA and CHIQ

Grades
3 to 6
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By teaching young students how to evaluate web pages early, this site helps create critical consumers of information. By clicking on items arranged in a circle on the screen, students...more
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By teaching young students how to evaluate web pages early, this site helps create critical consumers of information. By clicking on items arranged in a circle on the screen, students go on to further explanations, examples, and quizzes about the main points of web evaluation.

tag(s): evaluating sources (16)

In the Classroom

This site would be great on a projector as a teacher-centered lesson, returning to each point as you build the understanding throughout the year. Use one point at a time as you show students various websites throughout the school year. Simply open this site prior to sharing a site with the class. You can use the points here to "evaluate" the source together. Be sure to include it as a reference link on your teacher web page, as well. Parents will appreciate it and students can "show" their parents how to judge sources.

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Online Etymology Dictionary - Douglas Harper

Grades
6 to 12
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as the author explains, "Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant 600 or 2,000 years ago." Use this quick online reference to locate the point in...more
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as the author explains, "Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant 600 or 2,000 years ago." Use this quick online reference to locate the point in time when a word entered into usage the way we know it-- or to find out what it used to mean, such as in Shakespeare. Use the richness of these historical meanings to understand literature or to illustrate the living nature of language.

tag(s): vocabulary (319)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in the Favorites on classroom computers or in links on your English teacher web page. Feature a word a week on a projector before you start your lesson to help students think about the evolution of language.

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Englishbanana.com Picture Dictionary - Matt Purland

Grades
1 to 6
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This fairly extensive picture dictionary uses photographs, not drawings, to assist language learners to see the real thing! Besides defining the word the student selects to look up,...more
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This fairly extensive picture dictionary uses photographs, not drawings, to assist language learners to see the real thing! Besides defining the word the student selects to look up, other items in the photo are also labeled so that learning vocabulary can occur in chunks, thus making it more meaningful and comprehensive. Site users may add to an archive of quizzes on the dictionary's word list.

tag(s): speech (87), vocabulary (319)

In the Classroom

A great dictionary site to bookmark on your classroom computers for limited English speakers! This one would also be good for speech and language practice for special ed both at home and at school.

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Citation Machine - David Warlick and the Landmark Project

Grades
8 to 12
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This site enables students to correctly cite sources in a Works Cited page in both MLA and APA style. The student provides the information (such as title, authors publisher, etc.) ...more
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This site enables students to correctly cite sources in a Works Cited page in both MLA and APA style. The student provides the information (such as title, authors publisher, etc.) and the software will show what the entry ought to look like. This is a helpful tool when writing a paper or properly documenting sources fro a student-made PowerPoint show. The directions are in small type in the main column of information. The basic idea is to select the type of style (MLA, Chicago, etc) you want at the left, enter information, and generate the citation.

tag(s): citations (37)

In the Classroom

Be careful that all entries look as you instructed students to do them. the only caution with this site is that there are sponsored sites on the right-hand side that students can click on to buy term papers. Show them the site in class and warn them that you can see these sites, too, and they are better off not even trying. The citation site itself is too good not to use as a tool.

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One Look Reverse Dictionary - Doug Beeferman

Grades
5 to 10
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Designed with ESL students in mind, this dictionary allows students to type in phrases and questions. The dictionary comes up with lists of related words, definitions, and a link ...more
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Designed with ESL students in mind, this dictionary allows students to type in phrases and questions. The dictionary comes up with lists of related words, definitions, and a link to other dictionaries. Although the list of definitions is extensive, the tool reminds the user that the first words found are the most useful.

tag(s): synonyms (36)

In the Classroom

Customize search results to meet your classroom needs! Make this site available in your Favorites for ESL/ELL students to access as needed.

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Heinle's Newbury House Dictionary of American English - Heinle Newbury House Publishers

Grades
3 to 8
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Designed especially for the limited English speaker, this easy-to-use dictionary contains definitions in simple language ESL learners can understand, and each word is used in a sentence....more
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Designed especially for the limited English speaker, this easy-to-use dictionary contains definitions in simple language ESL learners can understand, and each word is used in a sentence. Other features include pronunciation, synonyms, part of speech, word of the day, and activities; browsing and advanced search options are also available.

In the Classroom

A great dictionary to bookmark for your ESL learners on your classroom computer for handy reference anytime.

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The Cook's Thesaurus

Grades
6 to 12
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This online encyclopedia provides definitions, pronunciations, descriptions, and uses for nearly every imaginable ingredient and kitchen tool - beyond the most basic - that students...more
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This online encyclopedia provides definitions, pronunciations, descriptions, and uses for nearly every imaginable ingredient and kitchen tool - beyond the most basic - that students may encounter in a cooking class. Viable substitutions are also discussed. Use this site as the basis for a recipe-specific Web hunt before turning them loose in the kitchen. Search by keyword or category.

tag(s): cooking (33)

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Identifying High Quality Sites - CyberSmart!

Grades
5 to 8
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Teach your students to be savvy Internet users with this lesson plan that stresses the importance of carefully evaluating sites used for research. Using specific criteria and a checklist,...more
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Teach your students to be savvy Internet users with this lesson plan that stresses the importance of carefully evaluating sites used for research. Using specific criteria and a checklist, students must "grade" informational sites using a downloadable checklist.

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Search Engines

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This handy tool helps clear up the search engine confusion. It clearly and simply matches research needs with appropriate online resources. Point your students to this site before starting...more
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This handy tool helps clear up the search engine confusion. It clearly and simply matches research needs with appropriate online resources. Point your students to this site before starting them on a research project.

tag(s): search engines (58)

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Finding and Evaluating Web Sites - Houghton Mifflin

Grades
5 to 8
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Help your students hone their online researching skills with this helpful tutorial that walks them through each step of the process. Concepts like "search engine" and "key word" are...more
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Help your students hone their online researching skills with this helpful tutorial that walks them through each step of the process. Concepts like "search engine" and "key word" are clearly defined along with criteria for evaluating the quality of a site. Download and distribute the "What's the Source?" worksheet - a handy tool filled with important questions for students to consider before selecting an online source.

tag(s): citations (37), search strategies (24)

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Citation Maker - Secondary - Oregon School Library Information System

Grades
6 to 12
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Secondary students will appreciate this user-friendly bibliography helper. They still have to do the work of collecting all of the necessary information, but after entering it into...more
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Secondary students will appreciate this user-friendly bibliography helper. They still have to do the work of collecting all of the necessary information, but after entering it into the site, a citation with correct MLA format and punctuation is created for them. The citations can then be copied and pasted into a word processing document.

tag(s): citations (37)

In the Classroom

Have a student demonstrate how to use this tool on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share this link on your class web page for easy use any time students have a research project. Model ethical use of resources by using it yourself to cite sources on handouts, etc.

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Citation Maker - Elementary - Oregon School Library Information System

Grades
2 to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This is almost too easy! Students can enter information about a research source and, with the click of a mouse, create an entry in proper MLA format. Results can be ...more
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This is almost too easy! Students can enter information about a research source and, with the click of a mouse, create an entry in proper MLA format. Results can be copied and pasted into a word processing document, printed directly, or saved to an RTF file. This tool is perfect for younger students who are just learning about the importance of citing sources for a school report.

tag(s): citations (37)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page for easy use any time students have a research project. Have a student demonstrate how to use it on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make sure to teach the easy keyboard commands for copy (Ctrl +C or Command+C) and paste (Ctrl+V or Command + V). The easy way to remember the letter "V" is to think, "Velcro-- to stick it there!"

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Finding Information on the Internet - UC Berkeley

Grades
8 to 12
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This online tutorial provides students, teachers, and parents with guidance and up-to-date information on understanding search engines, using search strategies, evaluating Web sites,...more
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This online tutorial provides students, teachers, and parents with guidance and up-to-date information on understanding search engines, using search strategies, evaluating Web sites, and citing resources. There is A LOT of information here, but it is organized into manageable subdivisions that teachers and librarians will find useful. It's fairly high-powered content, so sift through it to isolate those specific gems that your students will need before they jump into a research project.

tag(s): search strategies (24)

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Word Central - Merriam Webster

Grades
5 to 12
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Enter the hallways of Word Central for an unforgettable online dictionary experience. In addition to finding correct spellings and definitions, you can look for the daily Buzz Word...more
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Enter the hallways of Word Central for an unforgettable online dictionary experience. In addition to finding correct spellings and definitions, you can look for the daily Buzz Word and listen to the pronunciation, or create poems in a snap with Verse Composer. Then walk up to the second floor to the Build Your Own Dictionary room and Computer Lab coding chamber.

tag(s): poetry (221)

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Ask a Librarian - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
If your local library just can't help, try this online service that puts you in contact with Library of Congress research librarians. Live chats are available for some topics. Other...more
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If your local library just can't help, try this online service that puts you in contact with Library of Congress research librarians. Live chats are available for some topics. Other inquiries will receive a response within 5 days. Be sure to read the Reference Correspondence Policy at the bottom of the home page for directives on how this resource should be used. This is an "adult" reference tool, not a student's homework assistance hotline!

tag(s): resources (106)

In the Classroom

Have students use this as a resource while working on a research project. Just check with your school technology policies and make sure it's acceptable to use the live chat option.

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Rhyme Zone

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is much more than an on-line rhyming dictionary. Use it as a thesaurus, spell checker, or on-line source for all of Shakespeare's works. Other features include interactive...more
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This site is much more than an on-line rhyming dictionary. Use it as a thesaurus, spell checker, or on-line source for all of Shakespeare's works. Other features include interactive quizzes on a variety of topics (high-school level), thousands of searchable quotations and poems, and the complete texts of several famous documents.

tag(s): shakespeare (111), thesaurus (23)

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Copyright Terms and the Public Domain - Cornell University

Grades
1 to 12
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Knowing the specific rules about copyright terms can be a definite benefit when copying or scanning. This easy-to-read chart outlines the point at which published or unpublished materials...more
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Knowing the specific rules about copyright terms can be a definite benefit when copying or scanning. This easy-to-read chart outlines the point at which published or unpublished materials enter the public domain. It may be more information than you care to know about the public domain, but it will keep you legal!

tag(s): air (146), copyright (48)

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