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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Fantastic Contraption - KONGREGATE

Grades
1 to 12
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Test out your logic, mechanical understanding, and creativity as you create amazing 2D contraptions! Each contraption uses wheels, wooden stationary logs, and power moving water rods...more
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Test out your logic, mechanical understanding, and creativity as you create amazing 2D contraptions! Each contraption uses wheels, wooden stationary logs, and power moving water rods to create a moving vehicle to push a target to the goal. Get a taste of the challenge by trying your hand at the introduction activity. Then begin your regular contraption. Each level adds more challenge. Use the delete button, and try again until you succeed. Registration is not required to use this site. However, more options are available if you register (FREE). As you progress through a level, earn points and badges. Save your designs and send your best designs to your friends using a specific url. You can turn off the (rather annoying) music by clicking the speaker icon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (88), energy (162), gifted (65), inventors and inventions (97), logic (198), machines (29), motion (49), problem solving (170), STEM (50)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, develop logic, perseverance, and creativity for not only gifted and high achieving students, but all learners. Use this activity as part of a unit on inventions or as a lead in to a Maker's Faire. Introduce this activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector and you will have all students hooked! Your ESL/ELL students and weaker readers will be on equal footing with their peers since this site requires very little reading after the introduction. Capture the attention of your students by gamifying science and logic. Continue with class discussions of movement, energy, logic, and strategy. Use as a stepping stone to begin a unit on geometry, energy, or motion. In elementary science classes, include this activity for students who have mastered required curriculum to go beyond the basics of simple machines and motion. Have students add a written explanation of the contraption to take sequencing to a new level. (A screenshot would help them illustrate their writing.) After drawing a scaled model, create the contraption using real objects. Discover the types of energy and movement that are in the model. Organize a contraption competition. Share this link on your class website for students (and their parents) to "tinker" with at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wordsmyth Kids! - Wordsmyth

Grades
K to 5
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Wordsmyth Kids! is a visual dictionary for young children. Search for any word to read the definition, view an image, see the Spanish translation, and hear the word pronounced (click...more
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Wordsmyth Kids! is a visual dictionary for young children. Search for any word to read the definition, view an image, see the Spanish translation, and hear the word pronounced (click the little speaker). Choose "Places with this word" to find books and activities that include the word. Every icon will "speak" if you roll the mouse over it, so navigating is easy for almost anyone, even low level readers. Be sure to check out tools at the bottom of the page in the World portion of the site to add labels, highlight different areas of pictures, and launch activities using the kite icon.

tag(s): dictionaries (43), parts of speech (60), spanish (97), thesaurus (21), vocabulary development (98)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-add to any elementary classroom's bookmarks! Demonstrate Wordsmyth Kids! on your classroom whiteboard or projector, bookmark it in your favorites, and make it directly available to students from your class webpage. Tell parents about it, too. Elementary students will enjoy defining their spelling words or content area vocabulary. Have students categorize words by parts of speech or create a list of synonyms. Have students create their own word "sticky note boards" for new vocabulary words using a tool such as Primary Wall (reviewed here) -- no membership required -- to create and share their sticky notes. Be sure to share this site with parents for use at home too! Speech and language and ESL/ELL teachers will love the audio possibilities and the activities related to many of the basic vocabulary groups, such as animals, etc.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ReaderKidZ - ReaderKidZ

Grades
K to 6
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Introduce budding readers and writers to the authors and books found at ReaderKidZ. Several children's book authors maintain this place for teachers, parents, and librarians. Find interesting...more
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Introduce budding readers and writers to the authors and books found at ReaderKidZ. Several children's book authors maintain this place for teachers, parents, and librarians. Find interesting and exciting books and activities for children PreK through grade five. There are even picture books for non-readers. Check out the Author-In-Residence section with its downloadable activities, books from around the world in Beyond Boundaries, and recommendations in the Book Room.

tag(s): authors (91), book lists (94), ebooks (31), independent reading (91)

In the Classroom

Get your students interested in reading by picking a book for the class to read together as a read aloud or story time activity. These resources are also great for ESL/ELL students just learning the English language. Many of these are available as e-books and even available on mobile devices. Be sure to post the link to ReaderKidZ on your website and encourage parents to read a book with their child. Have your students complete an author study. Each author interviewed has a mini biography (downloadable) and a link to their website. Check out the Tool Box to find recommended reading for comprehension strategies. Some of the books under Authors-In- Residence have downloadable activities such as readers theater and discussion questions. Look at the individual write ups (reviews) for these activities.

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iPracticeMath (Beta) - iPracticeMath.com

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
iPracticeMath is a great site for teaching, reinforcing and reviewing math skills for all grade levels. The site is intended for home use, with parents registering to track their child's...more
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iPracticeMath is a great site for teaching, reinforcing and reviewing math skills for all grade levels. The site is intended for home use, with parents registering to track their child's progress, but registration is not required to access activities. Begin by choosing from math practice, learning, or worksheets. From there choose a grade level and content. In addition to the usual math topics, there is Consumer Math. Answer multiple choice questions that provide immediate feedback including correct responses for incorrect answers. Optional parent account creation provides reports including individual progress, strengths and weaknesses, and comparisons to students of similar age.

tag(s): addition (206), decimals (110), division (137), equations (124), fractions (205), functions (57), integers (41), measurement (134), multiples (31), multiplication (188), number sense (75), numbers (176), operations (94), order of operations (30), polynomials (26), pythagorean theorem (27), statistics (100), subtraction (170), time (124)

In the Classroom

Although this site only reinforces basic math concepts through multiple choice responses and short answers, it is one worthy of adding to classroom computers and definitely worth sharing with parents. Differentiate content based on individual student's needs. If you wish, encourage parents to create individual student accounts to track progress and share with you throughout the school year. Have them email reports or print them out and send to school with younger ones. If you and the parent wish to "share" a login, you could work together to support struggling students. Learning support teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will find this simple tool a great asset in the classroom.

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Great website for math-practice ise, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Math Instructional Videos in Spanish - Arkansas Digital Learning Portal

Grades
7 to 12
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This site offers a large collection of math instructional videos all in Spanish. Topics include Algebra 1 and Geometry topics such as finding slope, using Scientific Notation, and solving...more
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This site offers a large collection of math instructional videos all in Spanish. Topics include Algebra 1 and Geometry topics such as finding slope, using Scientific Notation, and solving equations. Scroll through the links to choose and view videos. Each video includes a printed Spanish transcript for easy download in a PDF version. Easily share videos using links provided for many social networking sites and email.

tag(s): angles (73), division (137), equations (124), geometric shapes (110), multiplication (188), pythagorean theorem (27), ratios (47), spanish (97), video (164)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These are ideal for Spanish speaking students. Why not crossover math and Spanish lessons and do a unit together? Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Share this link on your website for any student (or parent) who may benefit from hearing directions in Spanish. ESL/ELL students and their teachers will love this find! If you teach math with many ELL students, these videos can help you learn Spanish terminology to sprinkle into your classes. Why not have students create some of their own bilingual math videos to help their classmates and future students?

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Zeeik - Compeprice LLC

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This tool creates collection boards for video resources and is a tool for knowledge seeking. Review and choose good videos to collect and curate on various boards. Share video resources...more
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This tool creates collection boards for video resources and is a tool for knowledge seeking. Review and choose good videos to collect and curate on various boards. Share video resources or whole boards with others. Click on a video to watch or hover over it and click on "Collect." You can also search Zeeik for specific items by using the search bar. Many of the videos are hosted on YouTube. View the videos within Zeeik to bypass the YouTube comments -- which may or may not be appropriate. This tool is still in Beta, and more features are planned. If your district blocks YouTube, some of 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): search engines (57), video (164)

In the Classroom

Find how-to videos or videos on a curriculum topic in this tool. Create a Zeeik for your class to use to view videos selected by you for any topic and in any subject. In primary grades, create a Zeeik for students to access as a center and answer questions or complete a drawing about the topic. Create a class account for students to curate videos for the rest of the class to comment and rate them. Share your Zeeik with students and parents by placing the link on your web page. ESL/ELL teachers will like the ease of collecting videos to reinforce language skills.

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News in Levels - newsinlevels.com

Grades
K to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find high interest, leveled news articles (and lessons) for English language learners. Although this site was designed for ESL/ELL it could be very useful in any elementary classroom...more
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Find high interest, leveled news articles (and lessons) for English language learners. Although this site was designed for ESL/ELL it could be very useful in any elementary classroom looking for informational texts that can be differentiated for various reading levels (great for meeting Common Core standards). This tool could be used with any readers to increase comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary skills. There are four difficulty levels. Take the Test Your Level quiz to find out what level will be best. Level 0 requires little to no reading, mostly audio, except some vocabulary words. Many of the lessons include audio, video, practice exercises (with answers), and more. In addition, interesting pictures pique the students' interest. The same story is presented in all of the various levels. The vocabulary at lower levels repeats at the higher levels with more vocabulary added as the level increases. A convenient online dictionary assists with English meanings. Comments are permitted with each article. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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. At the time of this review, most of the news story content was fine for all ages. However, please preview the story before you share it with your class to be certain it is appropriate since there are comments, unmoderated by the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): guided reading (37), news (162)

In the Classroom

Add this website to your classroom computers, websites, and newsletters for parents of ESL/ELL students or beginning readers. Use this tool to differentiate in all primary classes. Use these news articles as informational text meeting your Common Core goals. Assign students of different levels the same story at the appropriate level or build skills by sharing the same story as a class. Challenge groups to compare the stories in pairs. Have students create a visual presentation of the story using comic-creation tools from this collection.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English With Jennifer - Jennifer Lebedev

Grades
2 to 8
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This Youtube channel is designed for English Language Learners. Find a variety of subjects: beginning and advanced English, pronunciation, various grammar points, vocabulary, writing,...more
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This Youtube channel is designed for English Language Learners. Find a variety of subjects: beginning and advanced English, pronunciation, various grammar points, vocabulary, writing, punctuation, slang, language notes, and more. You can proceed through a series chronologically and build from one lesson into the next. You can also view individual lessons. This collection, started in 2007, continues to grow steadily and offer a great variety. The explanations on the videos are clear and easy to understand. Teachers and parents can subscribe to receive more offerings and assistance as well as updates. 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.

tag(s): grammar (207), video (164), vocabulary development (98), writing (310)

In the Classroom

Visit Jennifer's Blog to find ideas about how to use these lessons in the classroom and to find additional support. Jennifer frequently updates the offerings. Share these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. FLIP your classroom and have students view the videos at home and discuss the next day in class. (This is a great option if YouTube is blocked in your school.) Use the videos to introduce a grammar or punctuation point you would like to make, and assign others in the series for homework. Look at the "Word of the Day" each morning when you begin your ESL/ELL lesson. Use the slang offerings in a similar manner. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students (and their families) to access at home for additional English practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Story Town - Harcourt School Publishers

Grades
K to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Story Town offers a writing and reading resources for language arts teachers and students. Main topics include: About Authors and Illustrators, Grammar Glossary, Ideas for Writers,...more
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Story Town offers a writing and reading resources for language arts teachers and students. Main topics include: About Authors and Illustrators, Grammar Glossary, Ideas for Writers, Lesson Vocabulary, and Language Support Posters. There are also links to parent resources, teacher resources, online assessments, and more. The Parent Resources include Internet safety, helping your child become a good reader (and writer), ideas on helping your child to become a better test taker, and more. Teacher resources include language support posters, word wall ideas, author celebrations, letter home ideas, and additional support lessons. This site is extremely useful whether or not your school (or student) uses Harcourt. There is something useful for all elementary students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (91), creative writing (123), expository writing (26), grammar (207), internet safety (90), word study (56)

In the Classroom

Story Town can add new life to your language arts classes. Find examples to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share both grammar lessons and writing ideas. Bookmark this site as a reference for struggling learners or ESL/ELL students. Be sure parents have this site as a resource for suggestions to help their children with reading, writing, and test taking strategies.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Online Voice Recorder - 123apps

Grades
K to 12
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Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. This is a free and simple recording treasure! Simply ...more
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Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. This is a free and simple recording treasure! Simply push the record button and follow screen prompts to ALLOW the application access to your computer's microphone. Talk as long as desired. Then listen to the recorded playback. Trim and edit the length using easy sliders as desired. Save your finished version in mp3 format using the link.
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tag(s): fluency (22), preK (220), speech (84), spelling (155)

In the Classroom

Have students practice spelling words orally, record speeches, practice reading fluency, and much more using Online Voice Recorder. After recording, allow students to listen to the playback and reflect upon the quality of their work. Do before and after recordings of students to share with parents during conferences to demonstrate reading progress. Have students record weekly summaries for what has happened in your class to share on your class website or blog. Record weekly or daily homework assignments and share as a voice recording on your website. Online Voice Recorder would be an excellent resource for recording and sharing more complicated directions for projects and assignments (adding you voice intonation and cues!). Your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students may do better with a combination of written AND auditory directions. Provide the link on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice in spelling, reading, practicing reports, and more. Have students write and record audio book reviews others can play on iPads or iTouches in the school library.

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Calkoo - Trinity Capital

Grades
4 to 12
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics,...more
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics, loans, health, saving, investing, real estate, and more! Calkoo can handle many tasks, including some rather complex calculations. Complete the various fields based on the type of calculation. Some utilize radio buttons and drop down boxes, while others ask for numbers only. Create almost any kind of calculation you need with this easy accessible calculating tool. Language options include English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.
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tag(s): addition (206), area (50), calculators (31), division (137), fractions (205), measurement (134), multiplication (188), percent (70), quadratics (28), subtraction (170), volume (35)

In the Classroom

Calkoo is a great free tool to replace expensive graphing calculators that many students may not have. Calkoo works well on computers, mobile devices, and interactive whiteboards. Use this site during a unit on careers, economics, or financial literacy. Include it as part of a measurement unit. Share during Family and Consumer Science units to explore the cost of living and have students put together a mythical "budget" for living in their chosen career. Have students send you on a vacation and include calculations for the currency converter, fuel cost calculator, sales tax for souvenirs, and more! This is a great site to support many experiments in science. Calculate acceleration, velocity, and time, or use the mathematics category to complete problems. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. Visit Calkoo and select a calculator to meet your needs! Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. The various languages make this tool very useful for ESL/ELL students.

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Rewordify - Neil M. Goldman

Grades
4 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown...more
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown with highlighting. Click on the highlighting to view the original, more difficult word(s). View excellent student and teacher demonstrations showing how to use the website. You have the option to choose how Rewordify displays the results using the options in the settings. Several options allow for easy personalization of results.

tag(s): vocabulary (302), vocabulary development (98)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for saving and bookmarking for classroom use! Be sure to share with learning support and ESL/ELL teachers and students. Be sure to share a link on your classroom website and parent newsletter for use at home. Save a link to Rewordify on classroom computers for students to easily paste text from any website to read in a simpler format. Copy and paste any difficult text into Rewordify and display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to enhance student understanding or show meaning in complex texts. Have students guess meanings from context clues in the more complex version, then share the "rewordified" view to test their guesses. Have students create a word cloud of difficult words identified using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students take a screen shot of passages that have been "rewordified" to share and discuss.
 

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ESL Reader- Online Reading Help - ESLdesk.com

Grades
2 to 12
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ESL Reader provides instant reading help for English language learners. Use it to improve reading time and reading skills. Simply copy/paste or type text into the box and click. Each...more
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ESL Reader provides instant reading help for English language learners. Use it to improve reading time and reading skills. Simply copy/paste or type text into the box and click. Each word becomes a link to a dictionary, thesaurus, or other reference including Wikipedia. Numerous dictionaries and references are available. Select the dictionary or other reference work and click. The site also translates the selected text into a variety of languages, but use caution with online translators! They often scramble meaning and syntax.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dictionaries (43), guided reading (37), thesaurus (21), vocabulary development (98)

In the Classroom

Provide a link to this site on classroom computers, and use it like a dictionary. Share this link with parents and students on your class web site to have as a resource any time.

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Learn American English Online - Learn American English Online

Grades
2 to 12
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This comprehensive English program offers complete ESL/ELL instruction on seven levels. The units/lessons are color-coded. The focus of the lessons is mostly on grammar. Blue for example...more
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This comprehensive English program offers complete ESL/ELL instruction on seven levels. The units/lessons are color-coded. The focus of the lessons is mostly on grammar. Blue for example focuses on "be," prepositions, this/that/these/those, and many other topics. You must be able to read and write English to successfully benefit from this website. Each color/level has more than 20 lessons, quizzes, tests, dialogues, and reading. Many of the lessons have an audio clip or a video (or a Voki) to illustrate the level. Answers are provided for the quizzes. Extras include a pronouncing dictionary (found under Vocabulary), extra video lessons, extra information on pronunciation, and extras in each level. The levels also contain reviews and checklists. Many of the videos are hosted on YouTube. 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): dictionaries (43), grammar (207), grammar review (35), listening (77), pronunciation (37)

In the Classroom

Check this site if you need a quick grammar review of any topic. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard/projector. Provide a link to this site on your class webpage. Many of these lessons would be useful with non-ESL/ELL students, as well. It is easy to scroll through the lessons in each color-coded level. Put a link to this site on classroom computers and send it home with ESL/ELL students in school newsletters to share with their parents.
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ESL Games World - eslgamesworld.com

Grades
1 to 12
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ESL Game World is the place to go for interactives, PowerPoint activities and templates, printable board games, ESL/ELL games for kids and adults, grammar games, vocabulary challenges,...more
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ESL Game World is the place to go for interactives, PowerPoint activities and templates, printable board games, ESL/ELL games for kids and adults, grammar games, vocabulary challenges, and reading activities. Some of the featured activities include Snakes and Ladders, Hangman, and Wheel of Fortune games/templates. Some spelling appears to be different from Standard American English. Check to be sure. Avoid the online store section to stay with free activities.
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tag(s): grammar (207), grammar review (35), verbs (37), vocabulary (302)

In the Classroom

Find ways to assist your ESL/ELL students in an engaging way! You can also use many of the games to reinforce basic skills with native speakers. Customize some of the activities for the content areas you are studying. Use as a whole class activity on your projector (or interactive whiteboard) to practice vocabulary, grammar, and content. Add as a resource for ESL/ELL learning or even struggling readers. Ideas and materials are gathered in one spot to help you reduce the time you need to meet your ESL/ELL students' differentiated needs. Add this link to your class website or share with parents as a resource.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Shutter Cal - ShutterCal.com

Grades
K to 12
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password,...more
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ShutterCal is a photo-based calendar site. Sign-up and upload an image each day to view a beautiful photo calendar created from your own images. Create an account using email, password, and user name. Click on the date, upload an image, add a caption, then submit. ShutterCal resizes the image and places it into the calendar. Share your calendar using the unique url provided. Embed into your website or blog using the code offered under the "My stuff" link. Premium features allow your calendar to be private; however, that isn't included with the free membership. This is a public site that isn't moderated. So preview any other calendars you plan to share.

tag(s): calendars (32), images (201)

In the Classroom

What a wonderful way to share your school year! Create a ShutterCal calendar to embed into your classroom blog or website. Forget a day? No problem, just click on the date and upload as usual. Have your student of the week be responsible for taking pictures for that week's calendar (and for uploading if savvy). This is a public site and content is not moderated. Take precautions when allowing students to view other calendars. In primary grades, a teacher can prepare a calendar for parents to access at home and have children talk about what they have learned. During science units, document the plants you grow or the labs you do using images on a daily calendar. Speech/language or ESL/ELL teachers can create calendars together with students to provide ways to practice oral language retelling events. Teacher-librarians can create calendars with a book a day or research questions shown as images.

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Croak.it - Protik Roychowdhury and Srinivasa Teja

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Croak.it allows you to TALK to those who land on your webpage. Your visitors can leave a verbal message for you using the Croakit application program interface (API). (An API...more
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Croak.it allows you to TALK to those who land on your webpage. Your visitors can leave a verbal message for you using the Croakit application program interface (API). (An API is similar to embedding a mini version of the tool.) The beauty of this audio recorder is that it works on many types of devices, including iOS (iPad, iTouch, iPhone), Android phones, or in a regular computer browser. And it's free. There is no email sign up. Their slogan is, "Push. Speak. Share." Leave a message up to 30 seconds on your page. You can push to stop at any time. Once you have created your Croak.it, you have the choice to adjust the tempo and pitch. Share your Croak.it through Facebook or Twitter. Copy the URL and put it on your webpage, in your email, on your blog, etc. Use Croak.it to express yourself using your voice, which is much more interesting than reading text! The only part of this program that uses Flash is the introductory video.

tag(s): speech (84)

In the Classroom

The potential for using Croak.it for and with your students is limitless. Record a message for absent students explaining something done in class and email it to them. Leave verbal instructions on your web page or homework page that might be too complicated to write out or for your students to read. This program has incredible promise for use with learning-support students, speech and language students, ESL/ELL students, non-readers, and for differentiating instruction. If your students have blogs, consider adding Croak.It to their blog pages for spoken comments. An excellent idea from the blog "Inquiry Live in the Classroom" is to use Croak.it with QR Codes and have your students make 30 second book reviews for your classroom or school library. Students can then scan the code of a book they think they are interested in reading to see what others think of it, or to get a 30 second summary of it. Use Croak.it for tutorials on your website. Use a QR Code generator and put the code next to diagrams in text books. To view many more ideas see "QR Codes and Using Them in the Classroom," reviewed here, and know that you can combine these with the use of Croak.it, too. There are many personal ways you and your students can use this program: create a wish list, Mother's Day or birthday greeting, a message to a grandparent, or a recording of part of a picture book for a younger sibling. Because of the 30 second time limit, encourage students to rehearse (never a bad idea) before recording. One suggestion for saving recordings is to create a Google Form or wiki page where students can use to submit their recording links. This allows you to collect student recordings without having to use an e-mail account. Speech and language teachers could create wiki pages (on a private wiki) for each student to record samples throughout the year to demonstrate progress with articulation. World language teachers could record assignments and ask students to respond orally on a class wiki.

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Mural.ly - Tactivos, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Collaborate with multiple users in real time on this FREE multimedia canvas. Add documents, audio, video, images, and more by uploading them or grabbing them directly from the web....more
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Collaborate with multiple users in real time on this FREE multimedia canvas. Add documents, audio, video, images, and more by uploading them or grabbing them directly from the web. Embed websites in the canvas as well. Click and drag content into place. Invite others to collaborate and share or embed the canvas on your site.

tag(s): book reports (29)

In the Classroom

It is best for the teacher to create a mural (canvas) and provide the link for students to collaborate on for greater accountability. This is great for any class and especially with ESL/ELL or special ed students where pictures, audio, and images are very useful to promote understanding. Students could create book reports like no other. Create a mural of what students think they know about a given topic, and edit the mural to reflect their new understandings as a unit progresses. Even very young students will enjoy suggesting what to add to a whole class mural. Create a presentation for any group project. Prepare your own mural about various subtopics of content to share with students. Create a class bulletin board mural to embed on your site or wiki. Use a mural to collect image references or inspiration for an art project. Visually share what you have been learning with parents and class visitors. Murals are also a wonderful idea collector or "idea bin" for beginning projects. Read more about the idea bin strategy in TeachersFirst's Cycles vs. Checklists: Fostering Creativity in an Accountability World.

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Slidespeech - Slidespeech

Grades
3 to 12
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Make the Notes on your PowerPoint presentations into narration using this text-to-speech tool. Upload your presentation, being sure to include the information you want read in the Notes...more
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Make the Notes on your PowerPoint presentations into narration using this text-to-speech tool. Upload your presentation, being sure to include the information you want read in the Notes section. (This will be the part spoken by this tool.) Click share to send by email, share a link, or embed the narrated results in a wiki, blog, or site. Also share via Facebook or Twitter. Presentations can be downloaded as a video or saved as a zip file.

tag(s): digital storytelling (79), video (164)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to differentiate instruction for students in your classes. Students can watch the narrated show any time. Students can use this tool to record their own presentation ahead of time and upload to a site for viewing and grading later. Students with speech difficulties (or challenges with English fluency) will appreciate the opportunity to prerecord their presentations without an audience. High school students can also "narrate" a portfolio slide show for Art school applications or a show of accomplishments for college applications. Students can package book reviews or author reports to be shared in the media center. In primary grades, have students "narrate" their portion of a whole-class slide show, then share it with parents and grandparents by URL. They can practice oral reading as they share their story slides. Use for digital storytelling. Have students draw or upload pictures about a story they have written with the words in the Notes area, and have Slidespeech read the story out loud. Create simple narrated slideshows with questions in the notes area for ESL/ELL or speech/language students to practice on their own, such as slides with images of objects and a questions, "Is this a sock or a shoe?" Challenge students to create review aids for each other by writing questions on slides.

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LittleFingers Games - LittleFingers Software

Grades
K to 5
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Play, learn, and discover with these Shockwave interactives from LittleFingers! Simple directions are given at the start of each activity. Topics include syllables, patterns, geography...more
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Play, learn, and discover with these Shockwave interactives from LittleFingers! Simple directions are given at the start of each activity. Topics include syllables, patterns, geography and mapping, puzzles, alphabetizing, and more. At the time of this review, the African Map activity was the only activity designed for upper elementary students. The majority of activities are geared towards early childhood and primary level students. They advertise that more activities are coming soon. So be sure to check back.

tag(s): addition (206), africa (178), alphabet (86), alphabetical order (16), colors (66), maps (229), matching (25), numbers (176), patterns (70), puzzles (175)

In the Classroom

Create a link to individual activities on classroom computers for student practice. Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site with parents through your class website or blog for practice at home. Interactives provide great practice for all students, including ESL/ELL.

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