Examples of ways to differentiate instruction

TeachersFirst's Thinking Teachers who write our resource reviews often have suggestions that have worked in their classrooms. Open the reviews to the "more" view to see ideas for using specific resources as tools to differentiate for a variety of learners. Alternatively, use the keyword search tool at the left of this page to search for a curriculum topic and the term "differentiate." For example, search fractions differentiate (with "all the words" selected for the search).

 

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Asset MathActive for Grades K-2 - Eight Educational Outreach Arizona State University

Grades
K to 2
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Asset Mathactive is a group of flash animated modules containing lessons and activities addressing geometry performance objectives. Choose from well over 50 activities including many...more
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Asset Mathactive is a group of flash animated modules containing lessons and activities addressing geometry performance objectives. Choose from well over 50 activities including many in Spanish and Navajo voice. Read a short description of each activity before choosing a link. Each activity also includes a teacher's guide in PDF format. The guides include Arizona standards, objectives, overview, modeling instructions, assessment, and more. Activities have easy to follow directions, and many contain additional extension activities as well as questions for exploration.

tag(s): angles (88), geometric shapes (163), numbers (204), preK (281)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to use to differentiate activities for the various levels of mathematics learners in your classroom. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide the direct link to relevant activities. Use this site as a learning center for students to work at their own level. Provide this link on your class website for students (and parents) to use at home for enrichment or extra practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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noredink - Jeff Scheur

Grades
3 to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Have fun while improving your writing and grammar. At the time of this review, noredink's grammatical categories include apostrophes, subject-verb agreement, comma issues, sentence...more
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Have fun while improving your writing and grammar. At the time of this review, noredink's grammatical categories include apostrophes, subject-verb agreement, comma issues, sentence fragments, and run-on sentences. The program provides differentiated instruction based on the questions you answer right or wrong. There are tutorials to help you correct mistakes. Sign up with your name, username, email address, gender, school name, and a password.

So, what's fun about learning this type of grammar? noredink asks you to pick your interests from Sports, TV shows, Musicians, and Miscellaneous. You will also be asked if you want them to use your friends from Facebook. When you are practicing or are taking quizzes, the program will use your interests and friends, and generate the questions around your interests and friends. The hope is that the content will be more interesting by including sentences with favorite celebrities, hobbies, TV shows, or even personal friends. Be sure to watch the introductory video which is the only item on the site that requires Flash. The program works on iPads as well as your regular computer. There is a 90 second intro video at the bottom of the landing page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): capitalization (19), grammar (216), homonyms (12), homophones (17), punctuation (43), quiz (85), quizzes (97), sentences (52), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Teachers sign up and create a class. You will receive a class code for your students to use (optional). With the class code you will be able to track student's progress, differentiate, assign quizzes and assignments, and see class trends. The program has color-coded "heat maps" to track progress easily. Your assignments and quizzes will be uniquely generated according to each student's interests. Also, students don't have to wait for you to give them an assignment. With their account, they can practice at any time. A student does NOT have to provide an email address to create an account. It will work without it! Since students are providing some personal information about interests, etc., we strongly advise parent permission.

Challenge (and excel) your gifted students with the concepts practiced at this site. Since student assignments are at their own level, students can find great acceleration in practicing these necessary skills. ESL/ELL students will especially benefit from the practice using correct English, in their writing, over a continuous time period. Student assignments are at their own level. You can also create your own quizzes. Use this site as part of your rotation during learning stations. Put your class' URL on your website so students can practice at home, too.

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Math Zapper! - SingingWhale.com

Grades
3 to 8
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Math Zapper is a collection of Flash-based activities that provide practice with fractions, decimals, and percents. View the short tutorial to learn how to play. Choose one of those...more
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Math Zapper is a collection of Flash-based activities that provide practice with fractions, decimals, and percents. View the short tutorial to learn how to play. Choose one of those items from the menu bar, then choose a specific activity such as intro to decimals or adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing by decimals to begin. Pause or continue the program as necessary to view at an individual pace. Progress is displayed with lights on the left side of the display.

tag(s): decimals (133), fractions (239), percent (82)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the site with students and parents for review at home. Show portions of activities on your interactive whiteboard pausing as necessary as an introduction or review of these concepts. Create a learning station using this site. Allow students to differentiate based on what they currently know/understand.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Rich Kid, Smart Kid - The Rich Dad Company

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
These activities provide an introduction to financial concepts and tips to getting on the right financial footing for a secure future. There are four different activities. Each contains...more
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These activities provide an introduction to financial concepts and tips to getting on the right financial footing for a secure future. There are four different activities. Each contains interactives by grade level-- up through high school. Even thought the cartoons appear juvenile, the concepts are adapted to be appropriate at each level. Concepts included are debt, making profit, and investing assets. In addition to the games, there is a portion of the site for adults. Here you will find lesson plans for each of the activities by grade level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12. Lesson plans include handouts, additional activities, questions for the classroom, and learning objectives.

tag(s): financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for financial literacy activities. Create a link to grade-level interactives on classroom computers or computer lab computers after demonstrating how to play on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Differentiate activities for students using the grade-level option. After trying the interactives and completing classroom activities challenge students to create a newspaper article about finances using the Newspaper Clipping Generator.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cookie - Cookie.com

Grades
K to 3
5 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Cookie is a large collection of learning games, videos, worksheets, and arts&crafts for preschool to early elementary. Find math, science, art, and language activities in many different...more
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Cookie is a large collection of learning games, videos, worksheets, and arts&crafts for preschool to early elementary. Find math, science, art, and language activities in many different formats. Search by subject, top games, and new releases. Pre-school and early elementary teachers will appreciate the many videos on the site for learning to write numbers and letters, learning body parts, and days of the week. There are interactives for students related to addition, colors, alphabet letters, and more.

tag(s): alphabet (92), audio books (32), colors (79), geometric shapes (163), matching (24), numbers (204), preK (281), puzzles (208), songs (52), worksheets (60)

In the Classroom

These interactives make great center activities to support learning. Or if individual computers aren't available, use your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider using the IWB as a student-run center for pairs to take turns. There are numerous activities to choose from and differentiate for your students' needs. This is definitely one to save in your favorites (or bookmark). Be sure to share this link via your newsletter or list it on your class website, blog, or wiki. Use your TeachersFirst public page (part of free membership) to share with a single click!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Busy Teacher - busyteacher.org

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers ESL/ELL worksheets for a wide range of subjects, including pronunciation, grammar, reading, listening, writing, and speaking. With a free registration, you can search...more
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This site offers ESL/ELL worksheets for a wide range of subjects, including pronunciation, grammar, reading, listening, writing, and speaking. With a free registration, you can search for the type of worksheet you desire, including review, crosswords, games, etc. You can also submit your own worksheets for inclusion on the site. In the creative writing section of the site, there are also "ready to go" writing prompts (in addition to worksheets).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), descriptive writing (41), grammar review (37), listening (91), pronunciation (44), reading comprehension (116), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

This site offers multiple levels and themes, so it is easy to differentiate for ability levels and interests within your class. Peruse the many printable pages available and determine which are useful for your students. Provide this URL on your class website for students to access (for practice) at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Readability Test Tool - David Simpson

Grades
1 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
Test any website's readability using The Readability Test Tool. Test readability by URL or direct text input from any source (such as copy/paste of student writing). Simply enter...more
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Test any website's readability using The Readability Test Tool. Test readability by URL or direct text input from any source (such as copy/paste of student writing). Simply enter the web address (URL) and get the readability of the site on several scales. You can also check your own webpages by using the "referer" section. You will get a score for the most used readability indicators: Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease and Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, Coleman Liau Index, and Automated Readability Index (ARI). The tool also includes explanations of each scale. These tell much more than a simple "grade level."

tag(s): independent reading (128), readability (8), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to offer differentiated resources for the different reading levels in your class. At the beginning of the year, as you learn your students' capabilities, use this tool to find reading at the appropriate level to eliminate frustration. This is perfect for finding the "just right" level for your highly advanced/gifted students and those needing extra remediation. If you do discover that a website you want to use is over your students' independent reading level, you can still use it, just open Lingro reviewed here first; then enter the URL you want them to read. Lingro is a study aid and open content dictionary that makes all of the words (on a particular website) clickable for definitions and translation. Of course, if the sentence length or complexity is at a much higher reading level, simple word definitions will not make it "readable" for struggling readers.

Why not have students put in the URL for their blog or wiki (or simply paste in a writing sample) to see the level at which they are writing? This is one way to encourage writing as a craft and challenge students to include more varied vocabulary and sentence structure in their writing.

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Shadow Light Productions - ShadowLight Productions

Grades
2 to 12
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Investigate the art of shadow puppetry through Shadow Light Productions. This is a commercial site featuring performances for school groups, community centers, or various events. Examples...more
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Investigate the art of shadow puppetry through Shadow Light Productions. This is a commercial site featuring performances for school groups, community centers, or various events. Examples of performances with traditional stories appear in written and video format. A commercial venture on this site sells DVDS of actual performances. Begin your study of shadow puppetry at this site. Detailed plans with standards include suggested objectives, strategies, equipment, materials, and resources for audio, video, and texts. These plans answer all your questions on how to use shadow puppetry effectively in your classroom. Examples of lesson plans and student performance give ideas for language arts classes. Some of the images (although appropriate) may appear scary to younger students. So please preview before you share with your class.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): halloween (40), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Share some of this "puppeteer fun" on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Integrate into your Language Arts classroom to discover theme, plot, characterization, or myths and legends in a new way. Science classes can investigate the use of shadow and sound. Shadow puppetry is an easy way to incorporate several multiple intelligences. Easily differentiated plans for ESL/ELL and Gifted students to capture interest and motivate success. Use as an enrichment cluster, or after-school activity. Be sure to capture all your class creations on video and share on your class web site or blog.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Absorb Learning - Crocodile Clips, Ltd.

Grades
10 to 12
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This site was written to be a series of online, interactive courses for Chemistry, Electronics, and Physics. Although much of the site contains lessons to be purchased, there is still...more
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This site was written to be a series of online, interactive courses for Chemistry, Electronics, and Physics. Although much of the site contains lessons to be purchased, there is still a lot of free material available that would make this a valuable resource for content information. Each lesson contains an introduction, explanation of the topic, questions to correspond with the material presented, a summary of information provided, then follow-up review questions.

tag(s): test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Provide a link on classroom computers or in the computer lab for students to review this material at the end of the unit. Place the link on your wiki, site, or blog for homework help. Differentiate for students by providing this link to students struggling with the topics. Use the site as an example, then challenge students to create their own activities on different concepts for classmates to use for review.

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Dare to Differentiate - Leslie Grahn

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 2  Comments
 
This wiki is a treasure trove of resources for teachers to use when using the Differentiated Instruction model of instruction. The site is most easily navigated by choosing topics from...more
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This wiki is a treasure trove of resources for teachers to use when using the Differentiated Instruction model of instruction. The site is most easily navigated by choosing topics from the links on the left side of the page. Topics include background information, planning and managing, and professional development tools. After choosing a topic, there is a list of links: some are to videos, others are to Word or PDF documents that can be downloaded for immediate use. One particularly rich resource on the wiki is the section titled Questioning & Thinking Skills. Located here are many resources such as how to write great questions, a Blooms Taxonomy interactive quiz, podcasts about Blooms Taxonomy, an Essential Questions PowerPoint, and much more. This section is worth a visit just to review the resources. Another well-developed portion of the wiki is the Pre-Assessment link. Here you will find many documents to use for pre-assessment of knowledge as well as activating prior knowledge resources.

tag(s): assessment (100), blooms taxonomy (9), differentiation (47), learning styles (19), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Use the printable resources on the site in your classroom to help differentiate instruction. Share resources from the site during staff meetings to help further knowledge of Differentiated Instruction techniques and management. Break up the wiki into sections and have different staff members present on resources from different parts of the site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

carol, TX, Grades: 6 - 9
david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Math 3 Under the Sea! - LearnAlberta.ca

Grades
1 to 3
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This interactive and colorful math activity lets students practice math skills in several different areas. All activities take place in an under the sea environment with included help...more
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This interactive and colorful math activity lets students practice math skills in several different areas. All activities take place in an under the sea environment with included help and vocabulary support. Please note that this site is from Canada, so the money activity uses Canadian currency.

tag(s): differentiation (47), numbers (204), operations (126), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector with the sound turned up. Play the introduction to orient your students. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center (maybe on the IWB). For students that are having trouble with math vocabulary, use the provided glossary for explanations of common math terms. Parent/teacher information is available for each of the lessons. Most of the activities have different levels so activities can be differentiated for students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Absorb Mathematics - Kadie Armstrong

Grades
6 to 11
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This site offers a series of online, interactive math courses for middle-school students. Although a majority of the site contains lessons to be purchased, there is free material available...more
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This site offers a series of online, interactive math courses for middle-school students. Although a majority of the site contains lessons to be purchased, there is free material available that would make this a valuable resource for classrooms. Several lessons are available in geometry and shape basics. Each lesson contains an introduction, explanation of the topic, questions to correspond with the material presented, a summary of information provided, then follow-up review questions. The real-life examples make geometry much easier to digest. At the time of this review there were ten free examples. Some of the topics include Ratio and Scale, Bearings, Working with Angles, Regular Polygons, and more.

tag(s): geometric shapes (163), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Provide a link on classroom computers or in the computer lab for students to review this material at the end of your geometry unit. Differentiate for students by providing this link to students struggling with these geometry topics. Put the link on your class website. Use the site as an example; then challenge students to create their own activities on different geometry concepts for classmates to use for review. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iRubric - Reazon Systems, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create your own rubric for multimedia and other projects or search the gallery from many that already exist for all grade levels. (Also use the gallery to get great ...more
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Create your own rubric for multimedia and other projects or search the gallery from many that already exist for all grade levels. (Also use the gallery to get great project ideas!) Search the type of rubric or project to find a related rubric. Use the buttons at the bottom to preview, edit (customize and save your own version from existing ones), or copy. Share by URL or embed code in a wiki, blog, or site. Keep bookmarked rubrics in your account on the site. Create free personal or group accounts (for educators). Create classes, join educator groups, and more.

tag(s): assessment (100), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

To save rubrics and modify existing ones, educators must create an account. Find great project ideas, rubric examples and criteria. Build on the expertise of others to create excellent rubrics. Consider creating categories and using the advice of students to help identify criteria that is important to the project. You might even want to create differentiated rubrics to match multiple intelligences, learning styles, or varied ability levels. With such easy adaptations, you can start alter different versions very easily.

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Weblist - WebList

Grades
3 to 12
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Weblist is a way to organize and gather web content, a way to put a list of links into a meaningful organization, ready to share. After you create your list ...more
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Weblist is a way to organize and gather web content, a way to put a list of links into a meaningful organization, ready to share. After you create your list of sites based upon a theme, Weblist will create one easy url to access the list and navigate to the sites. This link can then be shared as a customizable web page or inserted into your website or blog. Click the links in the Weblist to open them in new tabs/windows. No more typing urls!

tag(s): bookmarks (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Create and share resources for any classroom topic. Ask students to develop a Weblist of their sources when doing their research. Create your own Weblist to be used during lessons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign small groups of students to investigate the already created Weblists to find resources for projects or to reinforce concepts being taught in class. Create differentiated Weblists for projects so everyone can find information they can read and understand.

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Sum Sense - Oswego.org

Grades
K to 3
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Looking for a quick game of timed subtraction? Play this simple card game by dragging and dropping the cards to complete the correct subtraction equation. Try to complete the sequences...more
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Looking for a quick game of timed subtraction? Play this simple card game by dragging and dropping the cards to complete the correct subtraction equation. Try to complete the sequences in the time frame given. On the home page you are able to set the timer anywhere from 1-10 minutes. You can also set the correct answer "goal" to anywhere from 1-99 questions/answers.

tag(s): number sense (97), numbers (204), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Use for drill and increasing accuracy with subtraction. Use as a single player or multiple player activity on a classroom computer for additional practice or as a learning station as part of the class activities. Use this tool to differentiate for students just learning subtraction and those who just need a review.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mr Nussbaum's Math Games - Greg Nussbaum

Grades
K to 6
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MrNussbaum.com was developed with the idea that crucial concepts, themes, ideas, and fact sets taught in the classroom can be enhanced over the internet through interactivity. Furthermore,...more
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MrNussbaum.com was developed with the idea that crucial concepts, themes, ideas, and fact sets taught in the classroom can be enhanced over the internet through interactivity. Furthermore, for teachers to have a reliable k -8 internet site to use in the computer lab or in the classroom, that likely covers one or many themes currently being taught. The Math portion of the site contains dozens of interactives labeled by grade level and topic. Directly below the links to all different topics offered on the site there is a color coded display to help correctly identify grade-level suggestions for activities. For example, red for 1st Grade, orange for 2nd, and so on. Many different topics are offered including fact practice, estimation, rounding, fractions, decimals, money, time, coordinate grids, metric and standard units, and more. Many of the games offer an introductory video explaining how to play. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Some activities require a name, Mr. Nussbaum recommends that students never use their actual name but make up something. Names are not stored and login isn't required to play.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), coordinates (32), decimals (133), estimation (46), fractions (239), measurement (159), money (193), number sense (97), operations (126), rounding (22), time (144)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. This site offers multiple levels, so it is easy to differentiate for ability levels within your class. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter for practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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E-Lab Grade 6 - Harcourt School

Grades
5 to 7
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Harcourt School's website offers many different activities for practicing Math skills taught in their sixth grade program; however, the activities are free and available to everyone....more
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Harcourt School's website offers many different activities for practicing Math skills taught in their sixth grade program; however, the activities are free and available to everyone. Activities are divided by math strands - number sense, algebra and functions, measurement and geometry, and statistics, data analysis and probability. Most activities have a printable recording sheet that can be used by students. Students can input their own figures which makes the activities less repetitive and more interesting.

tag(s): equations (155), fractions (239)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Have students complete the recording sheet with an activity to use as an assessment or accountability piece. Include a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for students to practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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E-Lab Grade 5 - Harcourt School

Grades
4 to 6
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Harcourt School's website offers many different activities for practicing math skills taught in their 5th grade program; however, the activities are free and available to everyone....more
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Harcourt School's website offers many different activities for practicing math skills taught in their 5th grade program; however, the activities are free and available to everyone. Activities are divided by math strands - number sense, algebra and functions, measurement and geometry, and statistics, data analysis and probability. Most activities have a printable recording sheet that can be used by students. Students can input their own figures which makes the activities less repetitive and more interesting.

tag(s): data (148), fractions (239), measurement (159), multiples (35), number sense (97), prime numbers (31), probability (130), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Have students complete the recording sheet with an activity to use as an assessment or accountability piece. Include a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for students to practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Free English Lessons Online - esolcourses.com

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts...more
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At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts teacher will find activities here to help differentiate language skills in your classroom. This is an extensive site with several levels in each language arts strand. Every strand and level also has numerous activities to choose from.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (216), listening (91), reading comprehension (116), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

You may want to complete some of the selections with a projector and your interactive whiteboard for the whole class as there are listening activities, reading activities and quizzes about holidays, etc. You could differentiate by having small groups of students or individuals listening and reading at their different levels while you work with another group, or small groups of students can listen at a station that is one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Since each of the selections has activities in several language arts strands, one selection could make up your student's instruction for the day, or week. Students could rotate through a station for listening, one for vocabulary development, etc.

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E-Lab Grade 4 - Harcourt School

Grades
2 to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Harcourt School's website offers many different activities for practicing Math skills taught in their 4th grade program; however, the activities are free and available to everyone....more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

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Harcourt School's website offers many different activities for practicing Math skills taught in their 4th grade program; however, the activities are free and available to everyone. Activities are divided by math strands - number sense, algebra and functions, measurement and geometry, and statistics, data analysis, and probability. Most activities have a printable recording sheet that can be used. You can also input your own figures which makes the activities less repetitive and more interesting.

tag(s): data (148), functions (70), measurement (159), multiplication (227), number sense (97), probability (130), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Have students complete the recording sheet with an activity to use as an assessment or accountability piece. Include a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for students to practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

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