Ideas and resources for parents of ESL/ELL students

These reviewed resources offer information so share with parents of ESL/ELL students. Some are resources parents can use at home with children to reinforce language skills. Others include suggested activities ESL/ELL learners can begin in school and share with parents. Be sure to read the "In the Classroom" suggestions for ways these reviewed resources can build language skills both at home and at school.

 

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Preparing For The Oath - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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Could you pass the U.S. Naturalization Test? Preparing For The Oath offers learning opportunities and a practice test. Practice listening, reading and oral skills as you take the practice...more
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Could you pass the U.S. Naturalization Test? Preparing For The Oath offers learning opportunities and a practice test. Practice listening, reading and oral skills as you take the practice test. As you check for correct answers, use the Review This Question link to learn and practice more information. Additional links offer lesson plans and guides for teachers, word lists, and full transcripts of resources.

tag(s): immigration (56)

In the Classroom

Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on US history or citizenship. Take advantage of the video lessons on this site to teach and review topics pertaining to the United States. Be sure to share with your school's ESL/ELL teacher as an informative resource for students and parents.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Choosito! - Eleni Miltsakaki

Grades
K to 12
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Choosito! is a search engine providing safe access to the worldwide web through filtering of reading levels and subject areas for education. Create an account to add class information...more
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Choosito! is a search engine providing safe access to the worldwide web through filtering of reading levels and subject areas for education. Create an account to add class information and add your collections. Search Choosito! using filters for reading level and subject. Limit searches to Choosito's Library, your collections, or Choosito! Web. Easily share searches using social networking links or save to your library. Be sure to check out the Choosito! Start Guides for a quick overview to getting started with this search engine.

tag(s): bookmarks (58), search engines (64), search strategies (27)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account and provide a link on classroom computers for student searches at any time. Differentiate in your class by assigning reading by reading level. ESL/ELL and resource teachers will find this especially helpful when looking for reading material at your students' level for topics assigned in core classes. Be sure to introduce Choosito! on an interactive whiteboard or projector for students to understand how to use this search engine. Share Choosito! with parents for use at home.

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ReadingTeacher - Francis Morgan

Grades
K to 3
8 Favorites 1  Comments
   
ReadingTeacher is a phonics-based reading program brought into digital form. Activities include read-aloud books, animated interactive stories, printables, quizzes, and more. Previously...more
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ReadingTeacher is a phonics-based reading program brought into digital form. Activities include read-aloud books, animated interactive stories, printables, quizzes, and more. Previously free only for individual use, it is now free for use in creating virtual classrooms of up to 30 students. Sign up using your email, then go to "My Account" to add students. Be sure to watch the help video for full details about adding and managing students. Some videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos 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.

tag(s): independent reading (112), phonics (74), reading strategies (31)

In the Classroom

Create your account, and then add students to your virtual classroom. Be sure to share individual student login and password information with parents for use at home. Browse the site for materials to use along with your current classroom curriculum. Print books for students to take home for practice. Share a link to the site on your class website for parents to access additional reading materials. Use materials with ESL/ELL students for additional reading practice. Use with learning support students for extra support in reading.

Comments

A great resource for teaching beginning readers, using systematic phonics - and it's free. The books are also free in the Apple iBook store. Francis, , Grades: 0 - 3

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Clyp - Audiour, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Easily record and share audio with Clyp. You can use Clyp on a web browser or as an app from the Apple store or Google Play. You have two options ...more
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Easily record and share audio with Clyp. You can use Clyp on a web browser or as an app from the Apple store or Google Play. You have two options when creating your file. You can click the "Start Recording" button and use the microphone on your computer to record a message. You can also upload an audio file from your computer. Use the social network links to share via Facebook, Twitter, email, and more. To save your file, create an account using your Facebook profile or email. Account creation allows you to manage Clyps across devices, make files private, and disable downloads. Caution: This site is open to the public and anyone can post material (title and songs) that may not be appropriate in a classroom. We do NOT recommend allowing students of any age to explore the already created content on this site.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (130), speech (89)

In the Classroom

When using this site in the classroom in any capacity, we highly recommend providing the direct link to your created material (or your students). This will limit students' exposure to questionable songs on the homepage. Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee student and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ESL/ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Clyp, and have students follow along using a picture book. Alternatively have the students read their own stories into Clyp and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: Create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Clyps for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Clyps of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection. Again, be sure to provide direct links to the students' Clyps.

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Common Core Conversations - Kristina Holzweiss

Grades
1 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Common Core Conversations is your place to find Common Core resources. The Standards, Resources from state education departments, free resources in all subject areas, using tech tools...more
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Common Core Conversations is your place to find Common Core resources. The Standards, Resources from state education departments, free resources in all subject areas, using tech tools for learning the standards, and a section for parent information provides a great basis for your Common Core needs. Resources include: ESL/ELL, library, careers, family and consumer sciences. Join the online community to join in the conversations.

tag(s): commoncore (76)

In the Classroom

Common Core Conversations provides ideas and resources to assure your lessons contain Common Core Standards necessities. Investigate a resource for yourself every week or to share at your professional growth development. Be sure to document your new ideas under professional growth for your evaluation. When hosting professional growth development, begin here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sway - Microsoft

Grades
3 to 12
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Use Sway to create interactive presentations across all devices. Drag and drop content from your device, social networks, and the web directly onto your Sway canvas. Log in using your...more
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Use Sway to create interactive presentations across all devices. Drag and drop content from your device, social networks, and the web directly onto your Sway canvas. Log in using your Microsoft account to begin or create a new account using your email and a password. Add content to your storyline using links to add text, images, and media. Change the look of your Sway using the Mood and Remix tools to change the color palette, layout, and fonts. When finished, click the Share button for options to share to Facebook, Twitter, URL, or copy the embed code. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then it may not be viewable. You could always view the video 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.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (130), slides (55), visualizations (15)

In the Classroom

Use Sway as an alternative to Prezi or PowerPoint presentations. Sway is perfect for use in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Use during your presentations to increase student interest and interaction. Check understanding of your ESL/ELL students by having them respond or pose questions throughout the presentation. Share with students for them to use during their own presentations, inviting other students to comment and answer questions. During Open House night with parents, demonstrate how Sway provides interaction. Use Sway during professional development presentations to invite discussions from colleagues.

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OK2Ask'®: Google Six Series (part 3): EZ Google Cool Tools - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from January 2015, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore some of the many Google treasures for your classroom. Learn more...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from January 2015, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore some of the many Google treasures for your classroom. Learn more about various sites owned by Google (Google Video Chat, Google Translate, and some newer additions)! Explore teaching resources that use Google Tools. Come learn more about these "simple to use" sites in this fast paced session. Participants will be given time to explore. A question/answer period will also be available. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology comfort levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will explore the various educational resources available for using Google in the classroom. Learn time saving Google tricks including Google Translate, Google Video Chat, and more. They will find online tools (by Google) to use to create, organize, and save time. Participants will explore the many resources on TeachersFirst related to Google's offerings. (Follow-up) Create a lesson for your own classroom (or position) using one of the Google tools shared. Applicable NETS-T standards (2008)*: 1a, and b, 2b and c; 3a and d ISTE's standards page.

tag(s): professional development (94)

In the Classroom

Learn about some Google Cool Tools and have lots of time to explore on your own. Find ways to help your world language classes or ESL/ELL students using Google Translate. Learn about tools to use for communicating with parents via email, telephone, or webinar. Find new ways to organize with the help of Google tools! Take a look at the resource page full of GREAT resources to explore! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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myWebRoom - Rooms, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Decorate a 3D room and make it your computer home page. Categorize and store all of your favorite sites in objects around the room. Choose a room with a view: ...more
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Decorate a 3D room and make it your computer home page. Categorize and store all of your favorite sites in objects around the room. Choose a room with a view: cities, a beach, snowy mountains, jungles, and many more. Select a contemporary room, a retro room, a Disney room, or just about any theme imaginable. Establish and save the room's look, and then click objects to store favorite sites. There are also website suggestions. Browse everything in one category by clicking on the object in the room. Invite friends to your "my WebRoom" by giving them a key. Make your computer home page convenient and reflect your interests by storing all your online favorites within the objects in your "room."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (58)

In the Classroom

Create a "myWebRoom" for class sites used with students. Share the "my WebRoom" on your website for parents and students to use at home. Create myWebRooms, with a theme, for units your students study. To save time, have sites open in separate tabs to copy/paste urls of the resources you are planning to store in the objects around the room. Older students can create myWebRooms for characters in the book they are reading or as a literature circle project for a book they read together. Also, older students can use this tool to create a myWebRoom with a theme when researching topics or working in groups for projects or research. Use this tool to share sites with non-readers or ESL/ELL students.

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CurriConnects Book List - 20th Century America, Part 2 (1945-2000) - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Do your students remember 2000? How about 1950? This booklist explores the times of JFK and Reagan, the tumultuous 60s and Woodstock, Civil Rights, and so much more. CurriConnects thematic...more
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Do your students remember 2000? How about 1950? This booklist explores the times of JFK and Reagan, the tumultuous 60s and Woodstock, Civil Rights, and so much more. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. This list features books for all levels of readers. Let students choose a book in one area of interest during the 20th century and share with the class about times (probably) long before they were born. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): 20th century (40), book lists (107), independent reading (112), kennedy (28), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Make the 1950s and beyond come alive during your unit on American History. Have students choose a book from this list and present their impressions from it in the form of a blog post from the times using a tool such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Have students interview parents about different times that they learn about. Have students include the interview in the blogs. Collect the links to all the student posts on your class web page for students to browse and gather a "human" experience of history.

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The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Mighty Book, Inc

Grades
K to 3
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Listen to the classic story of Peter Rabbit while following highlighted text. As the story is read, each word spoken highlights in red. Stop, go back, or move forward through ...more
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Listen to the classic story of Peter Rabbit while following highlighted text. As the story is read, each word spoken highlights in red. Stop, go back, or move forward through each page as you desire.

tag(s): audio books (30), listening (86), literature circles (6), preK (257)

In the Classroom

Encourage beginning readers and ESL/ELL students to read along with texts in hand as they listen to the stories and the pronunciation of possible new words. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as encouragement for extra reading. Save this site in your favorites and use it as an L.A. learning center (don't forget the headsets). Play this audio story with the speakers turned up and lights turned off for a quiet listening activity. For emergent readers, consider having students mute the volume and read along themselves.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Learn the Alphabet - Marc Gunderson

Grades
K to 2
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This very simple but engaging site allows young children to select a letter of the alphabet, then view a video to learn about the letter. Choose any letter to view ...more
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This very simple but engaging site allows young children to select a letter of the alphabet, then view a video to learn about the letter. Choose any letter to view the video with characters providing letter sounds and providing words beginning with the letter. The videos are hosted on YouTube. They do not require Flash. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (90), phonics (74), preK (257)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce each letter of the alphabet. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these videos for your "letter of the day" activities. Be sure to include a link to videos on your class web page for viewing at home. Share a link with parents as a resource for learning letters at home. This site is perfect for use with ESL/ELL learners as an introduction to the alphabet and letter sounds.

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Memidex - Memidex

Grades
7 to 12
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Memidex is a free online dictionary and thesaurus that will work on any computer or device that can access the Internet. A clear, simple, uncluttered layout and the fast access ...more
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Memidex is a free online dictionary and thesaurus that will work on any computer or device that can access the Internet. A clear, simple, uncluttered layout and the fast access time make it a desirable choice for quick word access, especially when using a mobile device. Some of the features include auto-suggest for searches, definitions from many different references, etymology references, audio references, adult filtering, no obscure abbreviated labels, and audio pronunciations in North American and British English. Be aware: this site includes some words that are not appropriate for the classroom. There is an adult filter for obscenity, ethnic slurs, and other words deemed offensive. Read more about the adult filter by clicking on the link in the descriptive paragraph on the home page. If mobile devices don't have Java and cookies enabled, the filter won't work on them. Be sure students know the rules and boundaries when using this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (50), pronunciation (43), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Use Memidex on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to explore word origins, definitions, and more. Set this site as the home page on classroom computers for student use. Be sure to share this site with parents for use at home too! In addition to defining the word or phrase, the dictionary has click-able audio recordings to hear how the word is pronounced in North American and British English. This site could be very useful for ESL/ELL students. Talk with your district technology department about including the adult filter as part of the security settings on servers. Any settings you "save" will only save on the computer being used.

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Postcard FM - David Hoffman

Grades
K to 12
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Send audio postcards to friends and family with Postcard FM. Choose a photo and MP3 from your computer and preview your postcard. Click to add a message while in the ...more
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Send audio postcards to friends and family with Postcard FM. Choose a photo and MP3 from your computer and preview your postcard. Click to add a message while in the preview. Enter the email addresses and send. No registration is necessary to use this fabulously simply tool.

tag(s): digital storytelling (105), images (236)

In the Classroom

Use Postcard FM to send quick reminders to students or parents of upcoming events. Have students send you a postcard as a simple book reports or preview of a class presentation. Send parents a weekly audio postcard with a summary of class events. (Better yet - have students create the weekly summary!) Have students create audio postcards to practice speech/language skills or ESL/ELL vocabulary. Use it in world language class for students to practice oral language and pronunciation as they send cards to each other. Create audio postcards as a thank you to school staff or a simple gift for Mothers or Fathers Day. Make postcards to announce events in the school library or sponsored by school clubs.

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Tip of My Tongue - Chirag Mehta.

Grades
1 to 12
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Have you ever just had a word on the "tip of your tongue"? You know what it means, you just can't think of the exact word, only its synonyms? With ...more
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Have you ever just had a word on the "tip of your tongue"? You know what it means, you just can't think of the exact word, only its synonyms? With this tool, you can search by Word Meaning. Ever been stuck on how to spell a word? With this tool, you can search Partial Words by Starts With, Contains, or Ends With. Note: the source dictionary this site uses includes "adult" words. Discuss appropriate use with young people.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crosswords (14), puzzles (192), spelling (170), word study (64)

In the Classroom

Create a bookmark/favorite on class computers and your class website for students to use when they just cannot think of the right word. Use for word games like Hangman or Monopoly. Use to solve crossword puzzles. Have students look up words they do not know how to spell! Use this tool with ESL/ELL students as an interesting way to learn new words. As with any online dictionary intended for all ages, you will need to set explicit consequences for students "looking up" inappropriate words-- just as you would for saying those words out loud in your classroom! Share this tool with parents at back to school night as an interesting tool for the whole family to use.

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CurriConnects Book List - Music and Musicians - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Dance to the beat with books about musicians, composers, and the way they make music. This list includes fiction and nonfiction books, as well as books about instruments and how ...more
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Dance to the beat with books about musicians, composers, and the way they make music. This list includes fiction and nonfiction books, as well as books about instruments and how they are made. Take note of music and the people who make it -- from long ago until today. This list includes books for ALL levels. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): composers (16), music theory (33)

In the Classroom

Share this list with students (and parents) during Music in Your Schools Month (March) or even during a unit on sound in your science classes. Bring the Arts into STEM to make STEAM!

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What is Ebola? - KidsHealth

Grades
3 to 8
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This informative article provides a quick overview of Ebola virus information. Find symptoms associated with Ebola, how it spreads, and learn where it came from. Click the speaker icon...more
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This informative article provides a quick overview of Ebola virus information. Find symptoms associated with Ebola, how it spreads, and learn where it came from. Click the speaker icon to have the article read to you. You can also choose the link to read (or hear) the story in Spanish.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bacteria (31), diseases (60)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss together when you are answering children's questions regarding the Ebola virus. This site is perfect for use with weaker readers and ESL/ELL learners. Allow them to listen to the article on classroom computers or read in Spanish. Share this link on your classroom website for parents to use when discussing Ebola with their child. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Tagxedo (reviewed here). Have students create true/false quizzes using information from this site. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet, (reviewed here). Challenge older students to share what they know about Ebola before reading this article then research information on misconceptions using Snopes.

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Parent-Teacher Conference Tip Sheets - Harvard Family Research Project

Grades
K to 12
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Achieve maximum potential from Parent-Teacher Conferences with these three tip sheets (PDFs) from Harvard Family Research Project. Tip sheets for parents, teachers, and principals offer...more
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Achieve maximum potential from Parent-Teacher Conferences with these three tip sheets (PDFs) from Harvard Family Research Project. Tip sheets for parents, teachers, and principals offer targeted suggestions for teams working together to promote student success. Suggestions include ideas for before, during, and after conferences and suggestions for all participants to "Be Heard."

tag(s): parent conferences (16)

In the Classroom

Use these tip sheets as suggested on the site. Prepare copies for parents, principals, and teachers well before conference meetings. Include a link to parent tip sheets on your class website or include with class newsletters. Be sure to include copies for other professionals such as counselors, and ESL/ELL, Learning Support, Speech/language clinician, or Gifted Education teachers.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ba Ba Dum - Aleksandra MizieliA...

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use these interactives to learn up to thirteen new languages (English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Lithuanian, and more). Choose from various...more
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Use these interactives to learn up to thirteen new languages (English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Lithuanian, and more). Choose from various options: match images to a spoken word, fill in the blanks, or multiple choice. Audio options are available for non-readers. No registration is required. Registration allows you to save your progress and compete to earn the highest scores in each activity.

tag(s): arabic (18), chinese (48), french (86), german (63), italian (33), portuguese (17), spanish (101)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce this site in your world language class, ESL/ELL class, or young elementary classroom. Make a shortcut to Ba Ba Dum on classroom computers for use as a center in a language class or world cultures. Use this tool with young students just learning the English language to build up their vocabulary. The website offers audio options on many of the interactives, making this site ideal for non-readers (even kindergartners). Share this site with your gifted students looking for individual challenge. Why not learn Lithuanian or Chinese? Be sure to share a link to this site on your class website or blog for students (and possibly parents) to use at home. Have cooperative learning groups create online picture or ABC books featuring a different language using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

Comments

Buena practica de vocabulario Claudia, TX, Grades: 1 - 7

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Swipe - Horia Cernusca and Hakon Eide

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create simple, interactive presentations on any device using Swipe. Rearrange slides using drag and drop. Add YouTube and Vimeo videos by adding the URL. Upload images and documents...more
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Create simple, interactive presentations on any device using Swipe. Rearrange slides using drag and drop. Add YouTube and Vimeo videos by adding the URL. Upload images and documents right into your Swipe presentation. Use the Markdown feature to create simple, text-only slides. Add polls to make your presentation interactive, and view results with one click. Share presentations privately through email, publicly with a unique URL, or by embedding in your website. View and edit presentations on any computer or mobile device.

tag(s): slides (55)

In the Classroom

Use Swipe to create quick slideshows for any classroom use. Easily share slides with information and images on your website or blog to remind students about a project or assignment. Create a presentation for Open House and embed on your site for parents who could not attend. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Create a slide show to introduce any unit and have students guess what they will be learning. Create a Swipe "on the fly" as a review resource to embed on your class website or blog. This site is perfect for the BYOD/1:1 classroom since it is viewable on any device. Make quick "cue cards" using the Markdown tool for students to read their lines off a projector or interactive whiteboard during a video or school news broadcast. Practice reading fluency or sight words using markdown slides, too! Paste school or class announcements into slides and embed them on the class or school website. Have world language or ESL/ELL students write messages in their new language for a classroom "activity tour." Activities could include speaking, following directions such as "touch your nose" or question/answer about an image.

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My Live Chat - mylivechat

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create a polished, professional live chat on your blog or class site with this FREE tool. Create a "How Can I Help You?" message to pop-up as parents and students ...more
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Create a polished, professional live chat on your blog or class site with this FREE tool. Create a "How Can I Help You?" message to pop-up as parents and students visit the page. When in an active chat, visitors receive a pop-up asking if they wish to join the chat. This tool runs on every platform and mobile device. Be sure to check out the demo tab to understand how to use the tool in your website. Add the HTML code into your site to add the chat box and features. Use this tool to analyze site traffic so you can identify what is most used by students and parents.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (40), DAT device agnostic tool (130)

In the Classroom

Create a chat message pop-up for the most frequently asked questions students and parents have about finding items on your classroom site. Offer a set time for office hours published well in advance for parents and students to drop in and ask questions about assignments, homework help, or any other questions that they may have. Set up a chat time early in the school year for "meet and greet" so parents discover your website or for those who are unable to attend back to school night! Cut down on email! Encourage students to identify the questions they (or their parents) have the most as you develop the scope for your chat. ESL/ELL teachers can use the chat to provide extra written language practice for their students in an engaging way! Use the chat with your colleagues in a Teacher Lounge format to help each other in the appropriate use of technology, content sharing, or professional development.

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