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River Rhyming - BBC

Grades
1 to 3
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Help Max cross the river by finding the rhyming words. A word is displayed, and three options are provided. Click on the correct answer to "jump" Max to the next ...more
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Help Max cross the river by finding the rhyming words. A word is displayed, and three options are provided. Click on the correct answer to "jump" Max to the next stone on the river. Although this site does use British English, this activity is useful to practice American English. At the time of this review, all words were common in both forms of English.

There are three levels of difficulty. The website also features a "full screen" option, printable worksheets, engaging sound effects, and animations. There is also the option to turn music OFF. The site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): sound (106), sounds (69)

In the Classroom

Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate for your students. Share this website with your class in Full Screen on an interactive whiteboard or projector to show the students HOW to use the program. Then, create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Be sure to provide headsets. Why not split your class into two teams and make this activity a class competition.

You may want to list this website in your class newsletter and on your class website so students can practice rhyming at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Word Girl - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
K to 4
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Looking for a new way to spice up language arts class? Look no further than Word Girl. Although the main "character" is female, both boys and girls will enjoy the ...more
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Looking for a new way to spice up language arts class? Look no further than Word Girl. Although the main "character" is female, both boys and girls will enjoy the challenges at this site. The site features about twenty ready to go lesson plans, interactive language arts challenges, online stories, and much more! Some of the lesson plan topics include, Awesome Alliterations, Sentence Fluency, Writing a Diary, Acting out Verbs with Charades, and many others. Visit the link, Huggies House of Fun to practice vocabulary words, creating comic strips, cartoon games (with a vocabulary twist), and other activities to lighten up language arts! Also at this link, visit the "Captain Huggy Face's Freeze Frame Game," an interactive comedy story that will have students thinking and laughing out loud. Visit the Teachers and Parents link for lesson plans, activity ideas, an online dictionary, and printable pages.

tag(s): antonyms (26), sentences (50), spelling (168), synonyms (36), verbs (39), vocabulary (320)

In the Classroom

Why not introduce a word activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the "Captain Huggy Face's Freeze Frame Game" as a class. Then create a learning center using this website and allow students to view the interactive stories and play the games during your language arts block. And don't forget about the ready-to-go lesson plans. Use these plans to help simplify the complexities of the English language (synonyms, antonyms, onomatopoeia, etc.). Be sure to list this site on your class website and in your class newsletter so students can have some Word Girl fun at home. at home.
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Seussville - Random House

Grades
K to 8
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Find everything Seuss in one place: interactive games, classroom activities, printables, and much more. Audio cues help non-readers to navigate the site (and can be turned off at top...more
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Find everything Seuss in one place: interactive games, classroom activities, printables, and much more. Audio cues help non-readers to navigate the site (and can be turned off at top right). Find videos, author information, and learning games featuring the famous Seuss characters. The Educator link takes you to lesson plans and teaching ideas for use throughout the year, not just for Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2! This is where you will find Read Across America printables and more. Since the publisher obviously wants to sell books, there is complete information for purchasing books, as well, but it is not offensive.

tag(s): dr seuss (11), read across america (5)

In the Classroom

Primary grade teachers will want to share this site on their teacher web page for students to visit over and over both in school and out. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector to show students where to find all the best learning activities, then have students explore on individual computers or at a center. This is a great "indoor recess" option! Teachers of students in older grades-- even middle school -- can use this site during Read Across America celebrations. Have student groups create a Seuss-style book-in-verse on a current curriculum topic, using this site for inspiration. How about a book about electricity or alternative energy? Have them create their new interactive "book" using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kids Memory - kidsknowitnetwork

Grades
1 to 8
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers,...more
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This site claims to improve memory with its interactive games. The highly interactive games include one that's similar to the game Memory. Others include remembering a series of numbers, one in which you click on bulbs that light up after the lights turn off, and one that has you click on parts of faces to improve sequential memory. Most of the games have several levels so these activities can easily be differentiated for your students. The site provides specific ideas for ways teachers can use the activities.

There are some minor advertisements included at this website. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Have a team competition as students use the site on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or computer station for higher scores or better times than another team. Learning support teachers may want to try it as a memory improvement tool. Our editors really do not know if it works or not. Leave a comment on this review if you try it(TF members can do this)!

Save this site in your favorites. Use the site for enrichment, or test it out as a memory tool as you try out different study skills. You may want to list this site in your class newsletter and on your class website for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Multicultural Literature for Children - Children's Book Press

Grades
2 to 6
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Try this section of a popular children's publishing site to find poetry-related lessons. In the opening activity, of "The Magical Cycle of the Seasons," students write four poems, one...more
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Try this section of a popular children's publishing site to find poetry-related lessons. In the opening activity, of "The Magical Cycle of the Seasons," students write four poems, one for each of the seasons. Included materials are worksheets, timing hints, vocabulary development add-ons, and description of the entire process. Other poetry writing activities include writing poems about their school, "golden" poems, poems about every day things, and family poetry. There is also "Cross-Curricular Activities" that connect poetry to math, art, language arts, and social studies lesson plans. Click on reading activities on the opening interface to find more activities that encourage writing and reading. Although the curricular suggestions on this page refer to a specific book sold by the press, the material is adaptable.

tag(s): creative writing (165), poetry (221), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Try these activities in a mixed class containing some ELL and ESL students. Sometimes, their slightly different take on language results in beautiful creations. Save this site in your favorites and try one of the suggested activities as part of your poetry unit.
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Adolescent Literacy - adlit.org

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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. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): authors (121), independent reading (129), reading strategies (52)

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 Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Field Trip - HUD

Grades
1 to 3
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Students can take an interactive tour (or quick picture tour) of three community sites: a park, a library, and city hall. Each location allows students to "click around" to learn ...more
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Students can take an interactive tour (or quick picture tour) of three community sites: a park, a library, and city hall. Each location allows students to "click around" to learn more about the location. For example at the library, students learn what non-fiction, fiction, periodicals, and other library terms mean. There are also links on the bottom of the page for People, Places, and Things. The People link teaches students about volunteering, the homeless, and various careers. The Places link features safe places to play, field trip links, and more. Go to the Things link to Build a Community, go on a Scavenger Hunt, or play other interactive games. Much of this site requires Flash. Get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): communities (37)

In the Classroom

Use this during your unit about neighborhoods and community. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then either set up a social studies computer station or have students explore on individual computers. If you plan to visit the library or town hall, preview it with a visit to this site. Have your students draw other community buildings and explain their functions by using a map or go floor by floor, as in the library visit. You could even create a class wiki "tour" using digital pictures. You might want to list this site in your class newsletter or on your class website for parents to share with their students.

ESL and ELL students learning names for community locations will appreciate this site for helping things come alive. Use this site to increase and strengthen vocabulary. Ask students to compare these locations with parallel offerings in their home communities.
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Better At English - betteratenglish.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site features podcasts on subject areas of interest to ESL and ELL students and their instructors. Since August 2007, all material is also available as videos. The material presented...more
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This site features podcasts on subject areas of interest to ESL and ELL students and their instructors. Since August 2007, all material is also available as videos. The material presented features teaching techniques, information on new available technologies that assist students with schoolwork and language learning, and grammar and other communication techniques. Although this site was created for ESL/ELL students, it would also be useful for any students learning grammar.. All podcasts include text of the spoken or video materials. The focus for these lessons is on acquiring more vocabulary and improving oral and reading comprehension. Some of the videos come from YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, consider accessing this site and choosing videos at home, using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube and bring them in for class use.

This site does have several appropriate advertisements. There are also a few questionable links on the site (for example, "Uncensored English"), so be sure to supervise WELL.

tag(s): idioms (45), listening (88), slang (15), vocabulary (320)

In the Classroom

You will need headphones or speakers if you choose to assign students to listen to the podcasts individually. This site is excellent for enrichment or special topics. Include it on your teacher web page (with a disclaimer regarding content) for students to access both in and out of class. Use this site with intermediate and advanced level ELL and ESL students to help them improve their knowledge of English slang and idioms. If you are into video, consider creating your own student vodcasts about idioms and sharing them via TeacherTube ( reviewed here) and on your class wiki.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Better at English Videos - betteratenglish.com

Grades
2 to 12
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You Tube videos at this site are organized by English learning subject categories like fruits and vegetables, cars, culture, and also by level of English. Levels go from beginning elementary...more
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You Tube videos at this site are organized by English learning subject categories like fruits and vegetables, cars, culture, and also by level of English. Levels go from beginning elementary up through advanced. The opening page features several videos with a humorous twist (such as interviewing Japanese celebrities about the difference between "like" and "hate"). A section for teachers includes suggestions of how to use specific videos and also teacher training videos. Many of the featured videos are products of professional ESL/EFL services, so this site does a good job compiling and organizing them. Although this site was created as an ESL/ELL site, much of the material would be useful for any students learning grammar.

Teachers will need to set up videos to be used in class (and supervise WELL) to control student viewing. There are some questionable links on this site including "Uncensored English" and "Sick Videos." There are also advertisements on the top and right side of the website. This site is slow to load at times, so opening the site before you are ready to use it in class may save you some time. If your school blocks YouTube, consider accessing this site and choosing videos at home , using a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): business (59), grammar (210)

In the Classroom

Use specially previewed and selected videos to make vocabulary lessons come alive. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share with the entire class. Be sure to preview and have the video before the class sees it. Encourage your students to make their own videos or vodcasts of items you are studying in class. If teachers are unsure of how to use the videos, check the for teachers section. Check this site frequently to see what's new. List this site on your class website (with a disclaimer regarding content), for ESL and ELL families to explore together at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Up and Down Words - Merriam Webster

Grades
3 to 10
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second ...more
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In this activity, students learn word combinations and idioms. In a ladder sequence, students find the second half of a word combo by reading its definition and adding the second word.That, in turn, becomes the first part of the next answer. The goal is to get to the 7th word combo whose second half started the game. Clickable hints assist students with the first letter missing word. You are able to click on the clues (to get more letters) as often as needed to solve the puzzle. There are new puzzles every weekday and archived puzzles from previous dates. There are two difficulty levels. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): grammar (210), idioms (45), puzzles (203), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for vocabulary enhancement and understanding of idioms. Speech and language teachers may want to use it to teach word combinations, as well. Students can easily play this game in pairs. Since teachers can also print the blank activity, you can use it for a desk activity or homework assignment. After students get used to this idea, have them make their own word ladders on the interactive whiteboard, as a sequence of animated PowerPoint slides, or collaboratively as a graphic organizer using an online tool such as Gliffy or Mindomo.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Concentration - Clifford The Big Red Dog - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Treat your students to this educational adventure with Clifford to practices letter sounds with a concentration game. Students are presented with eight cards. You click to flip the...more
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Treat your students to this educational adventure with Clifford to practices letter sounds with a concentration game. Students are presented with eight cards. You click to flip the cards to find (and hear) words that have the same middle sounds. Audio is provided so students (even non-readers) can easily follow along. A word list is created for students to see their progress. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): alphabet (86), phonics (70), sound (106), sounds (69)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take turns navigating the website. Then create a learning center using this website (or better yet, have students work on individual computers). Be sure to provide headsets! Use this site with your youngest ESL, ELL, and special education students to help them better understand the English language. List this link in your class newsletter or on your web page for students to use for additional practice at home.
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Clifford's Big Dig - Scholastic

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K to 2
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing...more
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing words. Students have to use their phonics skills to choose the correct answer from multiple choice answers. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): phonics (70)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this website on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then have students work on at their own pace on individual computers or with a partner to read/listen to the story. Be sure to include headsets! An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website.
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KidsWWrite - Kalamalka Institute for Working Writers

Grades
1 to 10
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The ...more
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The writing includes both poetry and stories. Students can also submit book reviews of favorite works and also art. The book reviews are anecdotal and personal and also include a drawing or copy of the book cover. If students wish to search for stories on a certain topic, a search box and archives are available.

tag(s): creative writing (165), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Share samples of students' writing on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom. Have your students create cover art and write stories, book reviews, or poetry to submit to this site. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online magazine. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy.If your school prohibits using blogs to post student writing, this is a middle ground alternative to get their works in front of a wider audience.

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Polite English - English Portal.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Polite English offers practice with many frequently-used expressions by category. Students can select to see all offerings or just those at their level: beginning, intermediate, and...more
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Polite English offers practice with many frequently-used expressions by category. Students can select to see all offerings or just those at their level: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. All lists have a series of remarks, quick quizzes, and immediate evaluations of the students' work. The quiz types include drag and drop, true or false, and multiple choice. The drag and drop feature is a bit difficult to manage, just remember to click on the word first to make it "moveable." The British English spellings may surprise some students. Unfortunately, there is not a pronunciation feature.

tag(s): grammar (210)

In the Classroom

Use this site for ESL and ELL students, or even basic grammar review in a regular language arts class. Help students learn "survival language," such as greetings or saying thank you. Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computer(s) so ESL/ELL students can add new expressions to their present knowledge. Send this site home (or list it on your website) so your international families can benefit from it.

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ESL HQ - ESL HQ

Grades
1 to 6
4 Favorites 0  Comments
This site helps regular classroom, ELL, and ESL teachers prepare vocabulary review and game sheets by providing ready-made sets of pictures and flashcards. You must register, but registration...more
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This site helps regular classroom, ELL, and ESL teachers prepare vocabulary review and game sheets by providing ready-made sets of pictures and flashcards. You must register, but registration is free and is simple. The many topics and options are a bit difficult to find because of all the forums and blogs on the page; just look for the tabs across the top of the opening page and also "See this Worksheet" when you enter a subject category page. Registrants can create their own combinations of the pictures provided and leave a copy of the worksheet at the site for others to use. The pictures themselves are fairly neutral and would work with all elementary levels. Warning: this site has several advertisements that can be rather distracting. Also, due to the forums and blogs, this is NOT a good site to send students to independently.

tag(s): clip art (9), flash cards (44), printables (39), vocabulary (320)

In the Classroom

This site is a time saver when you are looking for pictures around a certain theme for your ESL and ELL students. Select whatever pictures you like and create worksheets, games, and flash cards. Have students review the pictures and vocabulary with each other after you demonstrate the activity.

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Call 911 - learningbox.com

Grades
K to 3
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This simple website presents young students with information on what to do in the event of an emergency - call 911. The best aspect of the site is that there ...more
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This simple website presents young students with information on what to do in the event of an emergency - call 911. The best aspect of the site is that there is an interactive telephone that allows students to practice calling 911. For example, they show a house with fire coming out of the window and students need to determine when to call 911. The website times the response time of the phone call. This offers excellent practice for emergency situations, without ACTUALLY dialing 911 on a real phone. This site requires Shockwave. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): fire (27), fire prevention (11)

In the Classroom

Share the text of this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector during fire prevention week or while studying a unit on safety. Have students work on individual computers or a center to practice calling 911. Special ed teachers working with severely challenged students will find this safety lesson valuable--perhaps a real lifesaver!

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Nina Loves To Name Things - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This website challenges students to use their reading, listening, and organization skills.The site even works for non-readers, since clicking the items says the word aloud. Nina (a...more
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This website challenges students to use their reading, listening, and organization skills.The site even works for non-readers, since clicking the items says the word aloud. Nina (a fun and friendly green animal), offers students various places to go and explore: farm, aquarium, supermarket, airport, museum, garden, zoo, firehouse, and many other places. When students arrive at their destination, they are presented with a box and various items. The challenge is to drag and drop the items that belong in the chosen location into the box. For example, in the restaurant students could click and drag a napkin, french fries, salt, and other items. There are also items that don't belong in the chosen location. For non-readers, the items can be clicked on to hear the word read aloud. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (88), sorting (11)

In the Classroom

Create a learning center about sorting and naming using this website. Allow students to practice at this individually or to make their own "sorting" groups from clip art on PowerPoint slides. This is also a great site for younger ESL, ELL or speech/language students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles - Alexander Bogomolny

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). ...more
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Although we don't usually highlight a site that is simply a list, this list is worth mentioning. There are literally hundreds of math activities at this site (all Java applets). The activities are divided up into the following categories: Arithmetic, Math Games & Puzzles, Logic, Fractals & Chaos, Fallacies, Calculus, Combinatorial Games, Algebra, Visual Illusions, Computer Math Magic, Combinatorics, Geometry, Eye Opener Series, Social Science, Mathematical Droodles, and Analog Devices. Each category has numerous interactive activities included. The site is frequently updated. There are some small advertisements at the site. This site is simple to use and offers a wealth of options for many grade levels. The activities are not time-consuming and offer simple explanations with the applets.

tag(s): angles (88), logic (247), money (186), puzzles (203)

In the Classroom

Use these applets on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a lesson in math class. Have students work independently on the logic and puzzle activities. These activities are ideal for gifted students (for advancement and/or enrichment) or extra practice for struggling students. Provide this link on your class website, so students can explore at home or as review.

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YourDictionary - LoveToKnow Corporation

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system...more
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A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system that allows you to hear the word as well. YourDictionary also provides resources to help you find foreign language translation sites. It even directs you to medical, computer, or electricians' dictionaries, and many more. Haven't you always wanted to say a tongue-twister in the Asante language? Words have never so much fun. This site does include some advertisements.

tag(s): thesaurus (23)

In the Classroom

Send students to this site to look up those difficult words. ESL and ELL students can use this site to practice the pronunciation of new words. Be sure to mark this site as a favorite or share on your teacher web page for easy access.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Word World - PBS Kid

Grades
K to 2
0 Favorites 0  Comments
    
This language-rich website offers countless language arts activities for young elementary students. Based on the PBS show, Word World, this website highlights animals and objects in...more
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This language-rich website offers countless language arts activities for young elementary students. Based on the PBS show, Word World, this website highlights animals and objects in the environment. The animals and objects are all shapes AND words, everything has a label. Some examples of language activities include spelling, letter sounds, rhyming, upper case and lower case letters, and many others. Click on any of the animals to start your class's language learning adventures. There is also a link for parents and teachers that provides additional information about the TV show, website activities, and lesson ideas. This site is adaptable to use in the regular classroom, ESL and ELL classrooms, and special education students. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alphabet (86), phonics (70), preK (290), sound (106), sounds (69), spelling (168), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Treat your students to an "animal of the week." Each animal adventure challenges students with new language skills. Use an interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share this website with your class. Then make the site a center in your classroom. Provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website so students can practice language skills at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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