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What-If Questions - Bruce VanPatter

Grades
3 to 12
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What-If Questions offers questions and suggestions for story starters for students to use in writing. Questions prompt students to dig into the world of fantasy and creativity. If students...more
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What-If Questions offers questions and suggestions for story starters for students to use in writing. Questions prompt students to dig into the world of fantasy and creativity. If students don't like the prompt offered, they can click on the picture to get other possibilities. Some prompts offered were: What if a tree put a spell on a hillbilly?, What if a friend annoyed your mom?, and many others. There are lots of possibilities so students are sure to find one to spark their imaginations and get their story started! Many of the prompts offer unusual juxtapositions likely to build creative flexibility and originality.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), flexibility (5), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for students to use as a resource for journal or creative writing activities. Challenge students to come up with their own what-if questions and create a bank of additional questions. Share your what-if questions on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Creative Commons: What Every Educator Needs To Know - Rod Lucier

Grades
7 to 12
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Confused about the images and content that you can use in your classes? Be sure to view this slideshare presentation to understand copyright and the classroom. ...more
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Confused about the images and content that you can use in your classes? Be sure to view this slideshare presentation to understand copyright and the classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (47)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share the link to this resource for teachers in the district. Place the link on your classroom computer or link to your blog, wiki, or site for access by students to understand the copyright law.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Museum of Obsolete Objects - MoooJvM

Grades
6 to 12
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View this interactive video timeline to look at obsolete technologies from the past, including rotary hand mixers, cassette tapes, and other technologies. These short videos share "obsolete"...more
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View this interactive video timeline to look at obsolete technologies from the past, including rotary hand mixers, cassette tapes, and other technologies. These short videos share "obsolete" items from the 1860s to 2000s. (Note: if your school blocks YouTube, this site will not be accessible. Ask to have this specific url unblocked).

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Use as a introductory video into science and technology. Identify the science understanding and concepts needed to change the technologies. Brainstorm other technologies that could be added to this list from the various decades. Brainstorm together using a tool such as Mindmeister (reviewed here). Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate a specific decade and determine what was a new invention then but is no longer used today. Have students create slideshows using Zoho Show (reviewed here). Display these on a blog or wiki for students to review and comment. Assign students to do a written or recorded interview of those who have used these old technologies to find out how life has changed before and after the technology.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Accompl.sh - Accomplsh, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is...more
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Accomplish your resolutions and goals with this clever resource. Develop a goal, determine the measurable increments towards its completion, and track the progress over time. This is not meant as a "to do" list but as a way to make meaningful changes toward life goals. Create your list by answering "I want to..." Create a title for the list, add 10 goals, then lock in the goals. Click on a goal to create a comment (these can be identified as progress reports using the checkbox below the comment box.) Accompl.sh has a user community that can help in motivating you towards your goals, so be aware that your input is visible to the public. Whether it is New Years or another milestone day, this is the tool to get you started.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Identify the goals needed to become a better student, be more organized, or other life or study skills that students would find useful. This is a great "tracking" system to help students in class and at home. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, so families can make group goals together. Promote solid study skills and project planning using this tool.

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5min Life Videopedia - 5 Min Media, Ltd.

Grades
7 to 12
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Need to be in the know -- now? 5min Life Videopedia gives you five minute stories about current news in a range of areas including arts, business, health, video games ...more
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Need to be in the know -- now? 5min Life Videopedia gives you five minute stories about current news in a range of areas including arts, business, health, video games and much more! The how-to videos are great too! The main page features current news highlights. You can join this site, but it is not necessary to view the videos. Please be advised that not all topics are class or school appropriate. The "Knowledge" section has many school-related topics, but there are also useful How-tos in other areas. Preview and select what to share. Videos include short ads at the start. Once the ad is over, you can click the small link icon to find a direct link or embed code for that video.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), dance (28), fashion (10), fitness (49), news (261), nutrition (154), origami (17), photography (160), video (254)

In the Classroom

This resource would be fantastic as a lesson or as a class opener to get students thinking about a particular topic. It also would be helpful for relating classroom topics and content to real life events. Filter the appropriate videos for your students by embedding them in a on your own website or wiki so that students are not distracted. With older students, you can have them use this as a resource to embed video clips or links in presentations and projects for their own classes. Try sharing one of the How To videos with your students in science class, and then have them make their own how to five minute video to demonstrate a lab. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Study Blue - StudyBlue

Grades
K to 12
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This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others ...more
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This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others for excellent collaboration. Study Blue also provides hints to help students study. Create a folder in "My Backpack." Make flashcards to get started or search flashcards already created by others.

tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Use as a study aid for students. This is a great tool for older students (who own cell phones). Students can study their flashcards on the bus, in the backseat of the family car, or while waiting for their dentist appointment! Have students create individual accounts and collaborate with others or create a class account for all to use. Have groups collaborate on the creation of flashcards for students to use or have groups create flashcards for specific parts of the unit. Learning support students can take their extra help along with them.

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Google Archive News Search - Google

Grades
3 to 12
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods...more
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods by using the advance search table that pops up on the landing page.

tag(s): journalism (46), primary sources (86), search engines (65), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This site will complement any social studies, history class, or English class. Use the search to bring history alive for students. Show actual news articles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students use this tool for research. Have them use the advanced search table that pops up to find events that happened during a particular time period. English teachers will also find this a useful tool to show how journalism has evolved through the years.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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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Launch Pad Mag - Launchpad.com

Grades
1 to 9
1 Favorites 1  Comments
This on-line magazine accepts submissions from young authors and artists (ages six to fourteen) who have pieces to fit upcoming themes of the magazine. Some examples of topics include...more
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This on-line magazine accepts submissions from young authors and artists (ages six to fourteen) who have pieces to fit upcoming themes of the magazine. Some examples of topics include The Ocean, Sports, and Mysteries. Two early issues feature authors from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. An interactive map of authors and illustrators shows the home bases of the young contributors. For hesitant writers, a section called "Writer's Block" gives suggestions intended to stimulate writing and thinking. Students are able to send in submissions via email or directly through a form on the website. Read the FAQ page to learn about how students can use pen names, rather than their real names.

tag(s): drawing (78), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your class read chosen selections from this e-zine at their personal computers and consider submitting writing or artwork. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitted student work to this online magazine, if your school policy allows such submissions. Why not link this excellent opportunity on your class website or in your class newsletter, so parents can submit their student's work on their own. or use it as a midsummer inspiration.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

[We have updated this review per teacher comment - TF Editors] This is a wonderful website. And you can send in submissions by email or through a form on the website. The FAQ page says it is optional how much information is published about the student authors and artists- and the kids can even use pen names. They are very friendly to work with. Elise, CO, Grades: 0 - 12

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Jotform - Interlogy, LLC

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use JotForm to quickly build a professional online form. Build contact forms, surveys, and many other forms in a matter of minutes. Customize to meet your needs. Use the large, ...more
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Use JotForm to quickly build a professional online form. Build contact forms, surveys, and many other forms in a matter of minutes. Customize to meet your needs. Use the large, empty canvas by dragging and dropping elements. Generate and post your form online and receive an email for every survey response.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom for a survey, collecting student information, or any time you are looking for feedback. Use this site for checking student knowledge quickly and easily. Use in projects, including graduation projects. Students can collect data for analysis. Teachers can collect input from parents or students, including conference concerns to know about in advance or questions students have about current curriculum topics. Students who might never speak up in class may be willing to share their questions online, especially if it is anonymous.

Comments

Jotform is really easy to use! But there are some limits regarding how long and often you can use it without paying. I also use Google forms/ spreadsheets in my class to make forms. Google spreadsheets also have gadgets that let you graph the results! Elise, CO, Grades: 0 - 12

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YouTube Play: Live from the Guggenheim - Youtube Play

Grades
5 to 12
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Join YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum in recognizing a biennial review of the best online videos from around the world. As a form of modern and contemporary art, celebrate free ...more
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Join YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum in recognizing a biennial review of the best online videos from around the world. As a form of modern and contemporary art, celebrate free access every day for your virtual field trip from a Webby award winning nominee site for 2011. A panel of 20-25 experts chooses from a selection of over 23,000 videos submitted. Explore art, music, movement, poetry, and prose on this creative video site. The option of subscribing to recent uploads is available at no charge. Click "continue" to see thumbnails of all available winners. Not all comments posted are appropriate and videos should be previewed before viewing in the classroom setting.

tag(s): computers (95), video (254)

In the Classroom

Capture your students' interest in the modern world of technology. Share this video on your interactive whiteboard or projector (be sure to use full screen mode). YouTube Play can be used in a variety of classroom settings; art, music, technology, language art, drama, science, or political science. If your district blocks YouTube, then this site may not be viewable. You could always view selected 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.

In the art classroom, explore the emerging world of creative video. Determine elements of design, technology, photography, and movement. Discover the integration of music, sound, and movement in video in many creative ways. Use the site to demonstrate how to convey a message through creative animation. Express a creative editorial on a current events or important issues that challenge our world such as over-population, fossil fuels, or pollution. Have students create innovative political campaign videos. Take your technology classes to a new level of excellence. Add a visual component to poems, prose, or narratives as an additional interpretation device. Introduce storyboarding techniques to create videos. Have your students make their own videos and share them via TeacherTube, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Headline Clues - Michigan State University

Grades
8 to 12
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Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in...more
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Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in the blank phrases. What an excellent tool for researching and reading comprehension! There are three levels of difficulty. Choose from favorite news topics on the main page: sports, world and U.S. news, technology, off-beat, entertainment, and even the New York Times. Other publications available for headline finding are NPR and New Scientist. Although this is an activity in "game" format, it is an excellent reading skill builder. Students can see how many letters are missing; they use both semantic and syntactic clues to complete the headlines. Options include a timer and a speed meter. As you play, ask the site for clues to help. Due to the graphic nature of some of the headlines, this site is recommended for mature middle school students or high school students.

tag(s): context clues (8), descriptive writing (41), newspapers (94), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Use this "game" as an introduction when studying the latest news stories and/or basic reading comprehension. Teach reading in context when explaining to students how the activity works. Use the headline builder as a jumping off point for teaching summary writing based on news stories. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as an "ice-breaker" for the start of class or as one of several reading activities during newspapers in education week.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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allwritewithme - Diane Owens

Grades
3 to 7
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Extend your writing workshop beyond your classroom walls with this site! This website includes explanations and practice for writing techniques in upper elementary classrooms. Another...more
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Extend your writing workshop beyond your classroom walls with this site! This website includes explanations and practice for writing techniques in upper elementary classrooms. Another section contains areas to post your own story or continue with a story in progress. The content reinforces and expands upon the 6+1 Trait Writing Model used in many elementary writing programs. Users are able to make comments. So you may want to preview before you share with students.

tag(s): characterization (16), main idea (9), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Emphasize what you have presented or want to review in writing concept mini lessons. Reluctant writers as well as enthusiastic writers can gleam ideas to start writing, as well as several ideas for writing prompts. Share this site on your class website for students who need extra reinforcement with writing concepts at home or students who love to go beyond and dig deeper into writing. Part of the site includes an area to continue the started story. Be sure to monitor closely since not all posts appear to be part of the topic. Use this site as an example of ways to continue writing workshop ideas onto your own classroom blog. Share your class stories using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Greenlearning.ca - Pembrina Institute

Grades
4 to 12
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Promote environmental citizenship through this site's "green learning" units. The curriculum ranges from examining how electricity works, understanding the balance of ecosystems, to...more
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Promote environmental citizenship through this site's "green learning" units. The curriculum ranges from examining how electricity works, understanding the balance of ecosystems, to a high school unit on sustainable futures. Enjoy the interactive wind turbine and carbon calculator. The animation for grades 4 - 7 is engaging, and the video presentations for high school students on sustainability is powerful. Green Learning provides educators with an array of hands-on activities, online learning opportunities, printable materials, assessment tools, and valuable resources such as environmental experts to contact. Each environmental concept taught provides opportunities for real world learning, encourages social action, and advocacy. Teacher friendly planning tools can help meet instructional time constraints, students learning styles, and promote cross-curricular connections. The site is free but requires registration. Membership provides access to additional educational materials and a monthly newsletter. This program comes to us from Canada.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64), conservation (127), ecosystems (88), electricity (89), energy (198), environment (317), natural resources (59), persuasive writing (55), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

The e-Card project series invites students to research a topic, write a persuasive letter to an individual they believe makes decisions that effect environment, then design and create an e-Card. Have your students share their work on the e-Cards website and view what other students have created.

There is a range of lessons and activities here, some more complex than others. You may want to choose a few that fit your curricular needs and then allow small groups of students to investigate one together. Have student groups make an online Stixy (reviewed here) of things they discover about their topic, and later rearrange the items to "explain" their topic to classmates visually.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
19 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), speech (92)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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Listen a Minute - Sean Banville

Grades
5 to 12
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Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter...more
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Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter of the alphabet. Each listening selection has a multitude of activities you can download (along with the reading text) in Word and pdf formats. Find Cloze paragraphs, fill in the blanks, words to unscramble, and much more. Many activities can also be viewed online. Each selection has two interactive quizzes. Though targeted for the ESL/ELL student, listening is one of the language arts standards, and this is a good way for any classroom teacher to address listening skills.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dance (28), listening (91), reading comprehension (116), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use the selections and activities with individual students as an assignment or independent practice on your classroom computer. The reading and activities are easy to work on independently because of the listening feature. Don't forget to provide headsets. Small groups of students can listen at one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Provide this link for the families of ESL/ELL students to read (or listen) to the selections together. Learning support teachers will also appreciate the option to provide audio and text together to improve student comprehension.
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Creative Writing Practice for Secondary Students - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 12
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Find ideas and quotes to prompt secondary students to write, write, write. These evocative ideas and questions will give even the most uninspired student something to write about....more
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Find ideas and quotes to prompt secondary students to write, write, write. These evocative ideas and questions will give even the most uninspired student something to write about. Included with the prompts are some tool suggestions to encourage writing process that moves beyond "I'm done!"

tag(s): essays (21), expository writing (44), process writing (42), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Share these prompts one at a time or as options for essay writing. Some of the results may end up being strong enough to warrant revision and submission as college essays. Extend the idea of quotes as writing prompts by creating a class "quote graffiti" wall on a wiki or on paper so students can offer their own quotations as possible writing prompts.

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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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Here on Earth - NPR

Grades
5 to 12
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a ...more
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a larger series, the archives of which are easily accessible as well. Previews for the five weekly programs, Monday through Friday include enticing photographs. Links on the pages of the programs offer opportunities for more information and links to related programs. Students also have the opportunity to see short, related videos and comment on ongoing programs. Programs cover a wide variety of subjects and fields.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), radio (27), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to preview the upcoming programs for each week to connect their ELL/ESL students with the programs that concern their part of the world. Students could do an introduction to their countries before the class listens to an appropriate program. Ask your students to visit the site, listen, research, and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Starship - BBC

Grades
3 to 6
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Following the metaphor of a growing plant, this site helps budding writers create original stories. In an interactive box, students select from several visual choices to create the...more
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Following the metaphor of a growing plant, this site helps budding writers create original stories. In an interactive box, students select from several visual choices to create the parts of their stories. Audio prompts tell the students what to do, and when their selection is made, a voice reads the newly created sentence as the story grows. After adding each sentence, writers hear the directions to click on the watering can to add more sentences. Before selecting from the four choices, writers can hold the cursor over each to see what the resulting sentence will be. As students go through the writing process, the audio support, a firefly, reminds them of what parts they have already selected, i.e., who, what, where, etc. At certain points during the writing, the process stops, and the firefly shows and reads the story as it has been written up to that point. After the story is read, you can print it, read it again, or write a new story. This site was created by the BBC, so you my notice some slight differences in pronunciations.

tag(s): narrative (24), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Make this a class activity by sharing the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Since it has audio support, be sure to provide headsets for the students. Use the printables from this site for your bulletin boards. The audio accompaniment makes this a great site to use with ESL/ELL students too!
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